Northside alumna starts equine services small business – Washington Daily News

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Northside alumna starts equine services small business

Published 12:10 pm Wednesday, May 22, 2024

“It’s super special,” Summer Cordon Marsh said when sharing about her mission to give horses a life they deserve. Marsh has established an equine services small business that offers rehoming to horses in need of a temporary place to stay or rescue from a tragic fate. “It’s indescribably special to be able to do this. It’s been my passion to pursue and now it’s becoming a reality that I can do this…”

Marsh, a Northside High School alumna from Bath, started Wildflower Equestrian Services in April. Wildflower offers assistance to people interested in either buying or selling horses. It also offers horse training, private lessons and guided trail rides. She has since added a rehoming service for horses who need a temporary place to stay while they await their forever home. In addition, Wildflower offers a sanctuary for horses who may have gone to a kill pen had Marsh not rescued them.

Wildflower operates on a farm located on the outskirts of Bath that is owned by Timmy Griekspoor. Marsh partnered with Greikspoor to give these horses a place to rest and relax in a peaceful and calm environment surrounded by acres of lush, green grass. 

“It has been an absolute blessing,” Marsh said. “I’m excited for what the future holds for this. It’s not often that you’re handed something, and Mr. Timmy has really blessed me with this opportunity to use his property.”

Marsh started an equine services small business, because there are few programs like it in the area. To gauge the interest and need of local equestrians for equine services, Marsh took to Facebook. Her post asking if people would be interested in something like Wildflower, “blew up,” she said. Marsh met with Greikspoor and his wife to ask if they would like to collaborate with her. They were thrilled with the idea and the prospect that their horses would receive much attention, love and exercise from burgeoning equestrians learning to ride. 

“When you do this, you see the good people and the bad people. You have to wash off the negativity and focus on the positive, and when you have good people like that, you can do anything,” Marsh said. 

While there is a plethora of nonprofits that find homes for small animals, only a handful exist for farm animals. They are difficult for the average person to care for, Marsh explained. “Horses are big. The average person just can up and grab a horse. When they do, that’s when I come into the frame.” 

Marsh scours social media in search of posts that have headlines like “quick sale” or “take home this weekend for a cheaper price.” 

“You have to be really careful when you do stuff like that, because they’ll go to the wrong hands and end up in a small pasture with people that don’t know anything about it and those people end up getting hurt,” 

“I like to watch these sales and contact people as a lady with interest, but this is me saying, ‘if you work with me, I’ll take the horse and I’ll give it time, work on it and give them a forever home,’” Marsh said. 

When a horse comes into Marsh’s care, she brings it to a pasture away from Griekspoor’s farm to quarantine. Marsh has three other pastures nearby and one in Pamlico Beach. There, she and a veterinarian can assess the horse – checking for ailments, if it needs training and what types. This can range from putting on a halter, to loading in a trailer, to saddle breaking. 

Her latest rescues include; a male horse and his two descendents, a female pony and a female horse. 

Marsh’s love for horses and, really, all animals started when she was a kid. She began learning about and working with horses, possessing a natural ability to train them. Up until a month ago, horses were always a side gig for Marsh. Starting Wildflower Equestrian Services was her way of taking a leap of faith to put her passion for horses first. 

Prior to starting Wildflower, Marsh, 29, was a full-time law enforcement officer with ECU Health Police. She still works with the department, on an as needed schedule, while building Wildflower. Marsh’s love of animals led her to a career in law enforcement. At 18, she started as an animal control officer. She then worked as a supervisor in a 911 communications center for five years. That job inspired her to apply for and attend Basic Law Enforcement Training (BLET).  In 2020, she graduated from Basic Law Enforcement Training. 

“Something I base my life on is – the only reason that I’m here is to be able to help somebody else when they can’t help themselves. Whether that be an animal or that be a human, if I can be a help to them, if they can’t help themselves, then I’m all for it,” Marsh said. 

Though she has loved “every bit” of being an officer for the last four years, she is excited to start serving horses in need and protecting those she can from a tragic fate. 

 

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