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ARCHIVED: Seeking Chore Help in Exchange for Lessons

This is an old post from early 2018. We are no longer offering an exchange program like this – however, we are considering a robust volunteer program that through developed relationships can lead to riding and working with horses as well, so please do not hesitate to reach out if this is something that may interest you. — Samantha Sansevere, Aug. 2019

We are seeking a couple young, able bodied people interested in exchanging hours doing chores at the farm for lesson time. Chores will be credited at a rate of $10/hour which can be applied toward lessons, camps, and certificates.

This is an excellent opportunity for anyone interested in horseback riding while also providing an education on the care that goes into owning horses and work that goes into operating a boarding facility in addition to being a great workout, all while being extremely cost efficient!

Below are our requirements.

  • Must be under 18.
  • Must be physically able to perform tasks such as cleaning stalls and dumping heavy wheelbarrows.
  • Must have a good attitude and a good work ethic.

Helpers are expected to commit to at least one 4 hour shift on an assigned day each week and will be able to participate in one group lesson at a specified day/time that will be determined after helpers are assigned. Helpers that can commit to more than one shift will work with Sam individually to schedule more lessons, ride time, etc. that will compensate them fairly for their time.

Would be helping clean stalls, sweep aisles, organize the barns, perform maintenance around the farm, feed animals, etc. This could open the door to further opportunities at the barn in the future such as assisting with training horses, competing, and more.

Applicants that are accepted for these positions (we are seeking 2-4 individuals) would commit to at least one day per week for a minimum of a 4 hour shift, and would participate in a small weekly group lesson at a specified day and time that will be determined after the positions are filled (most likely a weekday evening). Anyone that can commit to more than 4 hours per week will work with Sam individually to figure out a schedule that can account for additional lessons or riding time.

Please fill out the form below and we will contact accepted applicants by Sunday, March 4th!


[contact-form-7 id=”720″ title=”Chore Help Application”]

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Trail rides, pony painting, and more at the MEA Weekend Camp!

Enchanted Hollow Stables just wrapped up Day #2 of our MEA HORSE & PONY DAY CAMP with a fun pony painting competition.

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What a whirlwind the last couple of days have been. Day #3, which starts later today, is going to be the biggest group we’ve had and the busiest day yet!

Samantha, Spencer, Shane, Alaina, Brynn, Aubrey, Ann and Kaden have been so great. They’ve all pitched in and helped out in so many ways and made these days a success – either in the barn – or one-on-one helping the riders and their horses. The kids also had fun meeting Alaina’s new draft horse and donkey, our pig, goats, chickens, ducks, cats and dog.

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Best of all…. by popular request … they’ve spent most of their days riding. They started the morning helping with feeding and grooming and taking horses out. Shane brought some minis in and showed the kids how to jump and do in-hand obstacles with them. Then they helped tack up their assigned horse or pony and worked on their riding skills – first in the indoor arena – and then they went out trail riding & exploring our woods and fields. We could barely get them off their horses long enough to eat their lunch today – and then we had to bribe them again with promises of finger paint and painted ponies.

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If you are interested in organizing for your child to attend a day camp or mentoring day, please contact Samantha Sansevere at

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MEA Weekend Horse & Pony Day Camp

Enchanted Hollow Stables is offering a mini horse & pony camp over the MEA weekend. It is open to beginners to intermediate riders of all ages. Participants will be broken into age, size and ability groups and will have the option of working with either a miniature horse, pony or a full-size horse depending on what is appropriate and safest for them depending on their age, size and experience level so that they get the most out of their camp experience. 

Each camper will be paired up, taught, guided by and mentored throughout the day by several experienced teenagers here at our barn that been riding, driving & working with ponies and horses their whole lives and have won multiple national championships in both driving & riding.

Each small group will work on age-appropriate farm chores, riding skills, games, equine nutrition and care with their mentor time during lunch break to make a fun horse-theme craft they will get to take home along with handouts about what they’ve learned during the day.

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EQUINE EDUCATION: will cover equine feed and nutrition, how much hay and other types of food horses eat and need.

FARM CHORES: They will learn about about cleaning horse stalls top to bottom, re-filling water buckets, re-filling hay nets and preparing grain and supplements for each horse and pony for the next feeding.

GROOMING: They will learn to properly use each grooming tool and groom a horse top to bottom.

MASSAGE & TOUCH THERAPY: They will learn the basics of how to stretch and massage horses and create a bond and friendship with them during this process.

They will learn how to tack up those horse or pony. Learn about getting on and off your horse safely.
Asking your horse or pony to stop, go, turn and back up.
Learning an “emergency stop” and the situations that may require it.
Working on the gait transitions. Walk, trot, canter (if ready) and whoa.
Riders will get to work their horse or pony over ground poles and small jumps if they are able to do this independently. Otherwise they will be assisted and supervised by their assigned mentor on a lead line) Fun obstacles will also be set up to ride over and through in order to challenge their hand and eye coordination and bond more with their horse or pony. We will also play some team games on horse back. If everybody is doing well on there horse or pony the instructors may take them on a short trail ride though our beautiful trails and woods at the end of the day.

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The ENCHANTED HOLLOW STABLES MEA HORSE CAMP is being offered Wednesday, October 19th, Thursday, October 20th & Friday October 21st. From 930AM – 230PM. (Yes it starts tomorrow)

If notified in advance we can be flexible about an earlier or later drop of and pick up of children in order to accommodate parents work schedules.

You can sign up for 1, 2 or all three days of MEA PONY CAMP.

[su_heading size=”14″]One Day: $90          Two Days: $165          Three Days: $250[/su_heading]

For safety and for being able to work one-on-one as much as possible with the kids we are limiting each day to no more than 4-5 camp participants. Please message, call or text 612-386-0279 to see what days we still have spots and instructors available and to confirm your child’s spot. You can pay via check, cash or PayPal. A barn liability waiver must also be signed prior to participation and it can be emailed to you in advance if you provide an email to us in order for you to read and sign it it in advance.

Participants should wear a sturdy boot or shoe preferably with a heel, old jeans and dressed for the weather. Layers are best. A shirt, sweatshirt, hoodie and jacket that they can take off if warm. A light-weight pair of gloves are a good idea to have along as well. If they have a riding helmet please bring it – if not we have several here. They should also pack their own lunch, water bottle and a snack.

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Saved From Slaughter: The pony nobody wanted.

[su_quote]Saving one horse won’t change the world, but surely it will change the world for that one horse.[/su_quote]

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One week ago, we weren’t planning on adding another horse to our family, let alone two. The thought wasn’t even on our radar. I had no idea that I’d be sending my mom, Mary, to a kill pen in rural Southern Minnesota on a busy Friday to pick up a pony to save him as he waited to be loaded up onto a slaughter truck to be shipped off to Canada or Mexico. I definitely couldn’t predict that not only would she come home with a beautiful grullo gelding boasting a biting problem, but also one of the cutest miniature appaloosas I’ve ever seen.

At Enchanted Hollow, we are blessed with the resources and extra space required to house rescue horses. We have a quarantine pen, access to a fabulous vet and farrier, plenty of hay, experience working with horses that come with some special quirks or temperament issues, many friends that are always wanting to help out, and a whole lot of love to give. We’re blessed to have made many rescues over the years — some people reading this may be familiar with Posey, Charlie, Olaf, or any of our other rescues. When we think that we can help a horse or pony that is at risk to be an issue for some others, we don’t hesitate. That was the case with the beautiful grullo gelding (and his little spotted friend, but we’ll get to that in a bit) that is now sitting in our quarantine pen.


He doesn’t have a name yet, and he probably won’t until he is healthy again so that we can see his personality shine through and give him a name that is fitting for him. He stands 13.3hh and we were told that he is approximately 14 or 15 years old, but we haven’t had our vet confirm that yet. He’s quite sick with an upper respiratory infection of some kind that’s given him a wet cough and a fever, so we’re treating him with antibiotics to help him recover in addition to some Bute — a pain reliever for horses — that will help relieve his high temperature and any discomfort he has from shipping from the East Coast to the kill pen we rescued him from. I’ll get to that in a moment, though, after I explain what led to the decision to rescue this beautiful guy.

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We have rescued horses from a kill pen in Cannon Falls, Minnesota several times now. There’s a Facebook page for this particular pen, Ryon’s Rescue Pen, that gives people the opportunity to adopt the horses and ponies they have before they ship out of the country to a slaughter house, giving them a second chance at life. They post photos of the horses in the pen each week, and any horses not rescued by Friday afternoon are shipped out. The ones that are rescued and bailed out of the pen have their photos removed from that page and they head to a new home. Luckily, since this pen began opening up to outside adoptions over a year ago, there has been nearly a 100% success rate in placing these horses into new homes.

On Auguest 22nd, I was browsing through the horses available for the week and stumbled upon a beautiful 13.3hh grullo pony. He was gorgeous, and I had no doubt that he would find a new home very easily, given his desirable color and height. That was Monday. I saw his photo again on Tuesday.  And on Wednesday. And on Thursday. I couldn’t fathom how a pony that was — presumably — broke to ride, a great size for both kids and adults, a unique color, and a reasonable age could still be waiting in that pen so late in the week.

Thursday morning, my dad, Bob, contacted the people that manage the pen and auction house that he was in to get more information on him. They had quite a bit to say about him, and it wasn’t very positive. He showed aggressive behavior, and usually bit anyone that got too close. He seemed pushy, they said. They also told my dad that several people had called interested in him, but ended up changing their mind when they heard of his behavioral issues, which explained why he was still not adopted yet. He sounded like a handful. Everyone had turned their backs on this aggressive, angry, and pushy little grullo. Which, naturally, means that the moment I heard that, I knew I’d do everything I could to get him.

So on Friday, just hours before the deadline to adopt from the pen and with the help of my parents and our dear friend Shannon,  Mary Sansevere trucked it over to Cannon Falls to pick him up. Before she left, I received a photo of a tiny little appaloosa gelding that had just been dropped off hours earlier. Not surprisingly, she came home with two ponies that day. 🙂 We’re thinking of calling our little bonus pony Cookie, short for Cookies & Cream, which Bob came up with.


Cookie — if that is the name that we decide to keep for him — is so very, very sweet. We were told that they estimated his age to be about 2, and he’s probably about 36″ tall at the shoulder. I think he’s at least three, but we’ll find out for sure when the vet takes a look at him. He’s a little thin, but otherwise in decent condition. Even his hooves are in pretty good shape! He still needs some corrective trimming to fix the angles and straighten out his little legs, but he doesn’t show signs of extreme neglect.

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When I found out that the grullo gelding (it feels so awful to not have a name for him yet, but we will be patient to find one that fits him perfectly!) had bad habits and showed signs of aggression, I just knew in my heart that I wanted to try to do anything I could to help him. I think that he was afraid and stressed out in the pen, and that caused him to bite his handlers and be pushy with the other horses. I also knew that if he was responding to the stress with aggression, that it just means he’s a fighter, and that’s the kind of horse that I want in our pasture. I want a horse with drive, and attitude, and a little bit of sass. All that he needs now is to learn how to apply that energy in a more positive and constructive way.

Since arriving at Enchanted Hollow, he hasn’t bitten me, but he went after my dad once or twice, which is absolutely unacceptable. He’s been here for four days, and I think the upper respiratory infection that he is dealing with really started wearing on him yesterday, because he had no energy and just seemed so sad. He very sweetly accepted all attention that we gave him, and I can’t quite tell if it’s because he’s just a sweetheart that was misunderstood or if it’s because he just feels so lousy that he doesn’t have it in him to be a stinker right now. Either way, he’s been very easy to handle since he got here, and we’ll see how his attitude and personality changes as he gets healthier.

The photos featured on this post were taken yesterday, and I feel like we really captured how he was feeling. He just looks so sad and withdrawn. I hope that in a couple of months I’ll post pictures and he’ll look like an entirely different pony, bright eyed and eager! Neither pony is groomed in these photos, but they were afterward. We wanted true “before” pictures to compare to in the future, so these photos are of them straight out of the kill pen.

Both of them are covered in scrapes and cuts, especially the bigger grullo in the photo below. I’m confident that under all of that dirt and grime is a diamond in the rough. This is just the beginning. We plan to share their journey on this blog, so stay tuned for more! Not every post will be quite as lengthy as this one, we just wanted to share their story with you and document it for ourselves so that we can refer to it in the future.