by LIZ ONUFER | photo by Lauren Nygard Photography

Giving & Receiving

It is the daily work of many hands that can make the biggest impact. For 92011 resident Cathy Goedken that means never missing her morning shift at Laughing Pony Rescue. A volunteer since 2013, Cathy helps care for the sick, abandoned, and abused horses at Laughing Pony Rescue in Rancho Santa Fe. “Whether it’s rehabilitating a sick horse or working to earn the trust of an abused pony, it is all very rewarding,” Cathy shared.

volunteer02Cathy began volunteering at Laughing Pony after her youngest son graduated from the elementary school where she had been volunteering. A lifelong passion for horses made the volunteer position a perfect fit. Growing up in La Cañada Flintridge, Cathy began riding at the age of three and got her first pony at eight years old. She participated in Pony Club and showed across Southern California until high school. Cathy continues to ride at Haven Farms in Olivenhain a couple days a week.

Today, she balances her volunteer time with biking, hiking, walking her dog, and most importantly, attending her sons’ basketball and volleyball games. Cathy and Bob’s three sons, Mitch, Jack, and Stephen, have been playing sports in North County San Diego most of their lives. “Needless to say, I spend a lot of time cheering on my boys in all of their sports!” Cathy exclaimed.

Cathy cherishes her volunteer work at Laughing Pony Rescue. With 14 horses to care for, there is no shortage of work to be done. The organization can always use extra helping hands and is especially appreciative of financial contributions. For Cathy, the time she spends volunteering is just as much about giving as it is receiving. “I love spending my free time around horses. They are such beautiful animals, and they have added so much to my life,” Cathy acknowledged.


Group: The Laughing Pony
Mission: The Laughing Pony rescues and rehabilitates sick, abused, and abandoned horses of any breed.
Website: www.laughingponyrescue.com


Name: Cathy Goedken
Community: Carlsbad
Volunteer Affiliation: The Laughing Pony
Family: Husband – Bob; Sons – Mitch, Jack, and Stephen
Hobbies: Riding horses, biking, hiking, watching my sons play sports