With the close of the old year, Joy Smith, our barn manager, moved on from ThorpeWood. Joy has been with employed by ThorpeWood since 2014, when she transitioned from being an Equine Assisted Learning volunteer to our full-time barn manager. In this role, she elevated the ThorpeWood barn to new heights of order and cleanliness – often evoking the wide-eyed visitors to exclaim, “this is the cleanest barn I’ve ever set foot in!” And it was most certainly true. Every shaving in the stalls was fresh and white, swept neatly into place. The waterers collected no dust. The aisle was blown and empty always.
But most importantly of all, every horse was loved beyond measure. Though not quite as immediately noticeable to a visitor’s eye, it would only take a moment for folks to feel just how much Joy genuinely loved and cared for each of our Icelandic horses. She would look out across the pasture and adoringly say, “Well just look at how fluffy Geysir is today!” or “My Stormy boy is just the most handsome!” She acted like each of them was her firstborn grandchild, who could do no wrong.
Outside of the barn, Joy was instrumental in all our programs. She was endlessly creative in writing new stories for and delivering programming to our preschoolers, dedicated to creating a touching Equine Assisted Learning experience for adult visitors, and excited to share her love of animals and nature with all. We were lucky to have such a passionate person about the farm.
To acknowledge the impact of her 7+ years of service to ThorpeWood, we solicited letters of gratitude from the people she touched through her job here. Incredibly touching letters and photos came in and filled up her going-away scrapbook. If you have fond memories of a time with Joy and would like to share these, please email your note or photos to [email protected] and I will pass along your message!
Thank you, Joy, for all you have done for each of us – animals and people alike. We wish you well!