How can I volunteer at Ridin’ High?
Volunteers truly are the heart and soul of a therapeutic riding program. Anyone who has the desire to help, love, and have a wonderful time is welcome; however, you must be at least 14 to work directly with our riders. No previous experience is necessary. Our skilled instructors will teach you everything you need to know.
What do volunteers do?
Volunteers assist in a variety of ways: Leading horses during lessons, Sidewalking (walking alongside the horse to offer the rider support when needed), grooming horses, tacking up horses, cooling out horses, cleaning tack, horse care, helping with fundraisers, assisting with administrative duties, planning of special events, and … anything else that needs doing!
Click Here to see a list of areas and descriptions for our current needs.
What is involved in the training?
To assist in providing the safest environment possible for everyone involved with our program, new volunteers are required to attend a volunteer orientation and training workshop. These are generally held on a Saturday and last approximately 3 hours. New volunteers are provided with:
• an introduction and orientation to the facility;
• an overview of the field of therapeutic riding and the population the program serves;
• hands-on training in the various volunteer roles and their responsibilities; and
• a review of the general rules and regulations regarding all aspects of the program.
Do I have to have experience with horses?
Though experience with horses is not necessary, it is important that volunteers are not afraid of horses. More importantly, it is critical that volunteers are willing to learn about horses and are committed to following the safety guidelines we set forth.
All volunteers begin as Sidewalkers -- assisting with stabilizing riders during their lesson. Sidewalkers also help by reinforcing directions given by the instructor and by providing encouragement to the rider.
Sidewalkers who would like to become Horse Leaders should talk with the Volunteer Coordinator or the Director. Horse Leaders receive additional training in horsemanship and horse handling skills.
Is there a certain time commitment needed?
We try very hard to create a safe physical and emotional atmosphere at Ridin’ High. One of the ways we do this is to make a strong effort to assign the same volunteers to work with a rider each week. For this reason, it is very helpful if a volunteer can commit to a full session (8 weeks) and, of course, we would like you to be with us as much and as long as you are able. Volunteers need to be able to commit to one to three hours per week and, ideally, for the entire Session.
If you are interested in volunteering with us...
Ridin' High volunteers serve in a wide range of capacities..from lessons to fundraising to horse care!
Join Our Volunteer Family!
In addition to the satisfaction and joy of helping others, our volunteers find benefits in many other ways as well. They gain job skills and experience, get a better understanding of individuals with special needs, build self-confidence, make new friends -- and have fun!