October 2018 Team Member Highlight: Jennifer Stancavage

A childhood obsession turns into a selfless adult contribution that benefits the treasured residents of Red Bucket.

Remember when you were a kid and first saw a horse? Was it love at first sight? For this month’s featured team member it was; and as an adult she seeks to rekindle that flame.

Jennifer Stancavage recalls her childhood passion, which led her to Red Bucket two years ago: “I remembered how much I loved being with horses as a girl and wanted them back in my life. When I was a little girl, I loved going to horse camp in the summer! I would come home with my camera full of horse pictures and my mom’s eyes would glaze over as I blabbed on and on about each of them! Then adulthood and all its responsibilities (college, career, marriage and family) took up my time and attention.”

When Jennifer’s son started driving on his own she found herself with some free time. Her first thought? HORSES! “I thought it would be fun to volunteer somewhere with horses,” she relates. “I came across Red Bucket and thought I could make a difference by contributing my time.”

Jennifer’s current responsibilities include being the Tuesday night feed crew lead, preparing haybags on Wednesdays, and grooming on any other free days. “The Tuesday night feed crew is amazing,” she shares with me. “Red Bucket is one of my favorite places in the whole world. My family even knows to schedule trips or vacations around my volunteer days because I really hate to miss seeing the horses and my friends. It is peaceful and healing for the horses and the team members. When you leave, dirty and tired with hay in your clothes, it’s a great feeling because you know you made a tangible difference in the lives of our treasured residents. There is so much satisfaction in seeing a horse take a long deep drink of water as you are filling up another big stock tank, or hear the nickers of anticipation as the horses see the feed cart coming with their dinner buckets.”

“I’ve learned such an incredible amount in the past couple of years thanks to so many who take the time to teach others, especially Michelle Mendez, Jenon Mathes, Kyle Blotzer, Andrea Velarde and Susan Peirce. I am so very grateful that I found Red Bucket and I cannot image my life today without this amazing Ranch that the horses own.”

Gwen Ali, Team Coordinator, explains why Jennifer is just WONDERFUL! “She started around the same time I did a couple of years ago, and quickly became the feed crew team lead on Tuesday nights. She is very diligent, has a great memory, which is critical in remembering which horse gets what food, supplements and meds, and is super detail oriented. She absolutely LOVES our treasured residents, right down to every whisker on their noses! She has a certain calmness and grace that transfers to the horses; they seem to bask in her gentle energy. Jennifer is very consistent and dependable. Not only does she commit to her weekly feed schedule, she can always be counted on to fill in when there’s an emergency. She knows all the ins and outs of feed crew; when she works the morning shift she tees it up for the evening shift. Jennifer makes sure everyone has a pleasant experience on her shift, be they two legged or four legged- she’s a great team player. Everyone loves her energy!”

Susan Peirce explains what makes Jennifer Red Bucket Red: “Jennifer works on the feed crew on Tuesday nights, she just LOVES the horses and is totally dedicated to serving. She truly gets our culture and isn’t afraid of the work and commitment it takes to be on the feed crew.”

Valarie MacDonald, another feed crew team member, works side by side with Jennifer and looks forward to it each time! “Jennifer is super fun to work with, and she’s such a hard worker! She truly loves the horses and wants to do the best she can for them. Not only does she thoroughly enjoy what she does, the entire team has fun because of her.”

Also chiming in to offer accolades, Andrea Velarde, leadership team member, paints this picture for us: “Jennifer jumped in and became a lead on the feed crew pretty quickly. She works Tuesday nights but she also covers other shifts. She also helps with grooming and other tasks around the Ranch. Jennifer is very dependable, reliable, positive, and enjoys the horses. She is always ‘in the moment’, and present for the horses which is something they can sense. She brings wonderful energy to the Ranch and to the horses.”

For the love and soothing energy Jennifer shares with us and our horses, we are tremendously grateful! Thank you Jennifer for all you do to help save our horses!

Story by Roni Raczkowski