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Initially, I thought our group would best serve as volunteers for an event. I did some research and see only regular sessions on their calendar.
They need help maintaining the facilities. with catering, landscaping, tiling, electrical, concrete, manual labor, fencing, plumbing, grant writing, painting, printing services, gardening, keeping the office/porch clean.
Barn buddies to feed, water and medicate the horses, clean stalls and report any health concerns to the Program Facilitator. Because of responsibilities, barn buddies must be able to lift at least 50 pounds, be reliable, have confidence (a hungry 1,100 pound animal can be intimidating) and have a willingness to learn.
Sidewalkers to insure the safety of the rider. Sidewalkers should not interact with the horse and should keep their focus on the rider.
Sidewalker walks to the side of the rider with one arm over the rider’s thigh or with a hand on the rider’s ankle. The degree of assistance from the sidewalker will depend on the need of the rider. Sidewalkers must be able to walk at a fast pace, jog intermittently during the lesson, have good listening skills and have a willingness to learn.
Leaders to control of the horse during a lesson. The leader should not interact with the rider and should keep their focus on the horse. It is the leader who must help in guiding, stopping and starting the horse in a way that assists the rider but doesn’t hinder their learning.
Leaders must be able to walk a fast pace and jog intermittently during the lesson. Leaders must go through special training to learn how to work with therapy horses, as they are not your typical trail horse and require special cues and handling. You must also be willing to continue your education beyond the initial training to make sure that you are consistent with the program’s policies regarding the equines.
You must be a regular sidewalker for at least a session of 7 weeks before you can apply for our leader program.
If you’re willing to donate your skills and a little bit of your time, please call[masked] or contact [masked] to coordinate a date and then post it to our calendar and see who would like to join in from this group.
Here is a link to download the application (http://eatherapy.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/VolunteerApplication_Updated20150907.doc)
ORIGINAL POST TEXT...
Equine-Assisted Therapy provides many physical, mental and emotional benefits to our disabled and military riders. But volunteers are a huge part of being able to do what we do and enriching our community. And many of our volunteers come to help the kids in our program but are surprised at how therapeutic it is for them as well.
We have more than 150 volunteers each week, and there’s always room for more help. They cover a variety of roles at our Wildwood and Town & Country locations. Most people volunteer in our Monday-Thursday and Saturday classes, either watching out for the safety of a rider or the safety of the horse. But whether you’ve got an hour or a full day, we’d love to have you be a part of enriching lives with us.
Find more information and download an volunteer application at eatherapy.org. You can call[masked] or email [masked] with questions.