Volunteers are the key component of the Walk On Therapeutic Riding Program. Simply put, without these individuals Walk On Therapeutic Riding Program would not exist.
Volunteers do not need to have a horse related background or working with people with disabilities. As a volunteer you will need to attend an orientation session, document your time and keep the volunteer coordinator informed of your availability.
Volunteer’s serve in a number of roles. The primary roles are as horse leader and side walker. The horse leader is responsible for leading the horse during the classes and steadying the horse while rider mounts and dismounts. The side walker is on each side of the horse, walking along beside the horse during the lesson and assisting the rider. The side walker assists the instructor while the rider mounts and dismounts the horse.
These two important roles provide the necessary assistance to make a enjoyable and safe riding experience.
It take 3 volunteers per horse to have a safe riding experience. Riders may not ride with out these volunteers.
Volunteers have served in additional non-horse related roles as an advisor to the Board of Directors, assists with public relations and marketing, recruitment of volunteers and riders.
Volunteers have also helped with web site development, photography, establishing the 501c3 nonprofit organization, and equipment building and repairs. What ever your skills and expertise may be, it can certainly be used at Walk On.
Volunteer Orientation Program
The Volunteer Orientation Program is established to provide an excellent opportunity for individuals wishing to volunteer with Walk On to become knowledge about Walk On and the services it provides to individuals. This program also meets the required standards in making Walk On an Accredited Premiere PATH International Site. As a Volunteer, you will be required to attend an annual orientation consisting of three levels of orientation. How many of the orientation levels you attend will depend on what you would like to do as a volunteer, what you are qualified to do, the type of involvement, and amount of time you are willing to commit to for Walk On.
LEVEL ONE (1 hour session): Everyone volunteering in any role with Walk ON is now required to attend this one hour volunteer. During this session you will meet other volunteers, discover the many volunteer opportunities, complete all the necessary paper work, and learn about Walk On and the wonderful experiences it has and will provide to the many riders that it serves. This session is for all volunteers regardless if it is the first time for volunteering or you are a seasoned veteran as a volunteer.
LEVEL TWO (1 hour session): This level is for individuals wishing to assist with the riders during the teaching/riding classes as side walkers. This level is also necessary for the individuals wishing to become horse handlers.
This session will concentrate on many of the safety concerns and procedures while assisting the rider before, during, and after the riding session. Your role as a volunteer will be assisting the rider with helmets, tacking, mounting and dismounting the equine, documentation either on paper or computer, and being responsible for the rider throughout the riding session. Individuals completing only Level One and Two will not be able to act as a horse handler.
LEVEL THREE (1 hour or more): Individuals completing Level One, Two, and Three will be able to assist the rider as a horse handler. The horse handler is responsible for the equine, prior to class, during, and after completion of the riding session. This responsibility will include, but not limited to, bring equine from paddock or pasture for feeding and care, necessary grooming prior to the arrival of the rider, and evaluation of the soundness of the equine for the riding session. The horse handler will also be responsible for being attentive to the equine during the tacking, mounting and dismounting of the rider. We will no longer be tying the equines in the stall. At the conclusion of the riding session, horse handler may also be required to return equine to designated pasture. This procedure is further introducing safety measures for the riders, volunteers, and the equines. An individual with equine experience is highly recommended for this duty. Horse handlers will be responsible for documentation of the equine either on paper or computer after the riding session.
As a Horse Handler or Side Walker, it will be necessary to have your commitment to Walk On. In making this commitment, you are providing safety for the rider, other volunteers, and the equine. The riding classes are generally a 5 or 6 week session, Walk On is asking that as a volunteer you commit to attend the riding session for that 5 or 6 weeks. Which day of the week and the number of hours each day you wish volunteer, will depend on your availability. The riders are dependent on you to help them have a safe and enjoyable riding experience. Without the necessary volunteers to assist them, the rider will not be allowed to ride for that class. This commitment statement is not made to have one think twice about not being a volunteer, it is a statement to make one continuously think of how important and necessary your role is as a volunteer to the program and ultimately to the rider.
VOLUNTEER ORIENTATION DATES
You must attend one of the Volunteer Orientation sessions in order to be a volunteer.
There are currently no Volunteer Orientation dates scheduled. Please check back soon for upcoming dates!
Level 1 will occur during the 1st hour, Level 2 during the 2nd hour, and Level 3 during the 3rd hour.
Please email, email@example.com or call and let Walk On know which orientation date you wish to attend.
Riding Classes are held on Wednesday and Thursday evenings at 5, 6, and 7 p.m. and Saturday mornings at 9,10, and 11 a.m.
BECOME A "BARN BUDDY"
You can become a Barn Buddy by helping with chores in the barn. Now that the riding season is over, remember just because we are done with the riding, the equines still need to be fed and cared for throughout the winter. Several of you have expressed an interest to assist with the chores of taking care of the horses. You have indicated you need to “get your horse fix!”. Well here is your opportunity. Become a “Barn Buddy”.
Currently we have several people assisting with the chores since the riding program has ended. These individuals include Slim Ray, Diane Thomas, Sheri Kleist, Kerry Peterson, Paige Giske, and Libbie Tuthill. A big thank you goes out to all of them for assisting with the chores and making things a little easier for everyone.
The times and days of the week, and yes even weekends, are all available. You can plan to spend about an hour assisting with the chores. The more help, the less work and time. Ken or others will assist you to learn what to do and how you can help. If you or your family would like to help out with feeding the horses, cleaning the stalls, enjoying the company of the horses and other volunteers, please let Ken know. It is always fun to come to the barn.
WALK ON VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES:
Katy's Flower Gardens
Assisting the Instructor During the Riding Classes
Rider and Volunteer Check In
Horse Care: Vet, Farrier
Feeding Mornings or Afternoons
Board of Directors
Public Relations: Information Booth, Visiting Organizations, Story Telling, Distributing Flyers
Building Equipment for Class
Making Signs for Class
Assisting Riders During Class
Open House: Assisting with Planning, Organizing, and Set Up
Horse Training and Schooling
If you would like more information about becoming a volunteer, contact Walk On at 715-425-2025 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. No matter what your interest, Walk On appreciates your help. Thank you!