Imagine being a part of a lesson where an individual with special needs may take a first step, say their first word, laugh for a first time, or recognize and give their first command to a horse.
Side Aides help to support the participants, and assist the Instructor and/or Therapist with the lesson.
Leaders maintain control of a horse during a lesson. They may also groom, tack up, and untack at the beginning and end of class.
Grounds and Maintenance Volunteers mow, plant, weed, maintain fencing, clear pastures, and assist with small building projects.
Office/Special Events Volunteers assist with filing, mailings, and fundraising projects and activities.
"For one to fly, one only needs to take the reins" - Melissa James
The program volunteer is a KEY element in providing our riders with a safe and enjoyable environment!
Volunteers assist the riding instructor and/or therapist in carrying out the riders' Individual Program Plan (IPP), helping to maximize the progress for our riders. Volunteers usually work as horse handlers or sidehelpers. There are other volunteer opportunities available for those not wishing to be involved in the activities in the riding arena, such as office work, general barn assistance, fund raising, mailings, etc.
Most importantly, volunteers find Equi-librium to be fun and exciting. Experiencing the connection with rider and horse is a special gift that is both challenging and rewarding. Prior horse experience is not necessary! Due to our insurance guidelines, volunteers must be 14 years or older. You should be in reasonably good health, as a fair amount of walking, and sometimes jogging next to a horse that is trotting, is required. Our training session will prepare you to become a side aide in the riding arena; if you'd rather not be involved in lessons directly there are also lots of other tasks that can be done. You need only an abbreviated training to do other things - for more information, speak with Yvonne Darlington, our volunteer coordinator.
Volunteer Training dates for 2019: March 16 & 23, April 13, May 11, June 8, July 13, August 3, September 7 & October 5.
The training is held at Equi-librium from 12:30 to 3:30pm; it is broken into sections for classroom learning and hands-on work with the horses and participants. Please arrive 15 minutes early.