Scroll down to enjoy an emotionally rewarding story of CWER’s outreach to “regular” members of our communities. Please remember — your donations help make us able to do all we do — from rehabilitation of a horse in trouble to helping family members find an easier way to reach each other during trying times…

We have events all throughout the year where we can really use your help! Please contact us and make plans to come be apart of the work we do with the horses.

We have ‘open volunteer hours’ every Monday and Wednesday evening from 6-8PM. This is a time for any supporters who wish to come meet the horses, help with evening feeding, watch training, and for those who put in the effort and learn, many of our volunteers get assigned to do certain aspects of training with specific horses. Please call or email prior to attending the first time, so we will know to expect you and can get you good directions and information on how to dress, things you might need, etc. No horse experience necessary.

We have specific volunteers assigned to help with morning feedings on Monday-Friday. Please call mike at 217 649 7915 if you are interested in helping with morning feedings.

I’m sorry, no, we do not have regular ‘open hours’ every Saturday or Sunday. Thank you for understanding that the weekend hours are used for guests by appointment only, and for potential adopters to meet their possible horse. We are glad to make an appointment for any supporter who wishes to visit, so long as it fits around our schedules. Weekends are also often used to take horses to shows or events or other training lessons for them. Please do know that the Cross family lives AT CWER (actually CWER lives on the Cross’ family home), and so there needs to be some time left for personal and family time.

A week or so ago I went to our little town grocery. As I was getting off my bicycle I watched a grandmother help her grand daughter out of a little white van. You could see that the two of them were not very comfortable with each other.  In the store we were in line next to each other and I asked the little girl, who was maybe 5, if she liked horses. She nodded but did not say anything. I told the grandmother about the rescue and that if they came out I would give them both a ride on Tess. I gave them a card and went on my way.

 That night while AnnMarie and I were feeding the same little white van pulled in the driveway. AM continued to feed as I got Tess and took her in the arena and put her tack on. The little girl was a little hesitant about getting on Tess by herself so I talked grandma into getting on Tess first. We often have people ride Tess with their kids and if the kids are nervous about getting on having the parent or in this case grandparent ride first gives the kids confidence enough to try. After grandma walked a lap the granddaughter was ready to ride with grandma.

I helped the little girl up the steps and sat in her front of her grandmother where grandma could hold on. I got down and started to lead Tess turning around to talk to them as doing so. The little girl was snuggled into grandma and grandma was smiling huge. We walked around several laps and I fed Tess some treats making bow and stretch and do the things we normally do.

 When I helped them get off Tess grandma had tears in her eyes and told me why. Her son is sick and in the hospital and the mother of the little girl left more than a year ago. So she was taking care of her granddaughter who she did not know. She told me that riding on Tess was the first time her granddaughter let her hold her.

 To be part of a young lady trusting her grandmother to protect her for the first time was amazing to me.

 To all of the CrossWinds supporters, Thank you so much for helping us be able to help horses and touch people like this. — MIKE