Become a Volunteer
How do I Volunteer?
You must call to book an orientation session if you are interested in volunteering. Orientation session dates are scheduled as needed – usually every other month.
Who is the Volunteer?
Volunteers are one of the most important aspects of a safe, successful therapeutic riding program. Volunteers are giving people with an interest in helping others. They are able to commit to the same time each week throughout the 12 week session.
How does the Volunteer help the Program?
Volunteers are the backbone of the program, helping with the many tasks which may include side walking, leading, farm related chores, cleaning, painting and fundraising. Volunteers do many supportive jobs, which make the non-profit programs work. Volunteers bring new ideas for the lessons and the program. Volunteers help support the riders emotionally as well as physically.
What is expected from a Volunteer?
All prospective volunteers must have a current police clearance. You will be asked to commit fully to the weekly therapeutic riding sessions as a horse leader or a side walker. Sessions are usually 11 or 12 weeks in length. Other responsibilities may include farm maintenance, cleaning, gardening, etc. as needed. All Volunteers are trained before being allowed to handle horses or assist with students during riding lessons. On-going training is provided during the course of the year. Volunteers will never be asked to ride our therapy horses, this is done by our staff/instructors. Although horse experience is an asset, volunteers are not expected to have any before attending a training orientation, just a strong desire to learn from our experienced staff.
BASIC REQUIREMENTS FOR A VOLUNTEER
- 14 years old
- A desire to assist riders with disabilities to fulfill their goals and realize their potential.
- Attend an orientation before starting. Commitment to regular attendance for the entire session is very important in providing continuity for the rider.
- Volunteers should be comfortable around horses but it is not necessary to have a high level of horsemanship skills.
- Volunteers should have a reasonable level of fitness. Able to walk briskly for 45 minutes to an hour and able to jog for short distances (length of the arena) with arm at shoulder height.
- Clothing: Footwear is very important. Shoes should have low heels and closed toes, be sturdy so that they protect the feet from horses’ hooves and should provide good stability on rough surfaces. A pair of waterproof boots may be required for wet weather. Volunteers should wear long pants. (Walking shorts are acceptable in hot weather.) Skirts and dresses are not suitable. Short jackets for cold weather, no long coats; and gloves, not mittens.
- Jewelry, such as earrings and bracelets, can get caught in tack or inadvertently grabbed by a rider and create a dangerous and painful situation. Strong perfume can be very irritating to a horse’s sensitive nose. Please refrain from wearing these things to the barn.
- Long hair MUST be tied back