Volunteers are the mainstay of our program and are highly valued. Individuals interested in volunteering will receive on-going training covering all aspects of therapeutic riding and horsemanship. Horse experience is not necessary for most of the jobs we have. Therapeutic riding is as rewarding for volunteers as it is for students. We hope you can join us and assist with jobs such as:
- Sidewalk and lead riders during lessons
- Groom and care for horses
- Organize fundraising or public relations campaigns
- Perform clerical work
- Provide professional consultation – physical or occupational therapists
We welcome new volunteers to attend a few sessions to find out if the work matches their expectations. Volunteers must be willing to commit to a regular day and time, arriving promptly. We ask that you arrive 30 minutes before class to groom and tack horses, and receive assignments from the instructor. Physical fitness is required for those volunteers working directly with riders during lessons. Since volunteers are a vital part of each lesson, we ask you to contact Phyllis Herinckx or the instructor ASAP if you are unable to work so a replacement can be arranged. Please record your hours on the volunteer sign-in sheet each day.
Leading and Sidewalking
Volunteers who lead and sidewalk receive the most hands-on experience in therapeutic riding since they have direct contact with the students throughout the entire lesson. Leaders and sidewalkers assist before class by setting up the arena, grooming the horse and tacking the horse. The instructor will tell you how much assistance to give a rider in preparing their horse. During the lesson the leader’s main focus is the horse and the movement of the horse with consideration for the rider’s safety. The sidewalker helps the rider maintain balance and focuses on the rider’s safety. After class the leader will either prepare the horse for the next lesson or groom the horse and return him to his stall, making sure the tack is properly put away. The sidewalker escorts the rider to her parents after she has put her helmet away, then helps with untacking.
Feel free to contact us with any questions.