Imagine helping a child or adult in your community as he or she takes a first step, speaks for the first time, or laughs with joy. Now imagine doing this in the company of horses!
Volunteering at Winslow might be the best thing you have ever done for yourself- and for the special riders at Winslow Therapeutic Riding Center. Winslow's mission goes beyond helping people learn to ride horses; we help people experience success. We work with children and adults who often face serious physical, emotional, or social challenges, and we help them to discover their own strength, beauty, and talent. We love our work at Winslow, and we cannot do it without your help! As a volunteer, you will become a vital part of our program, working directly with horses, riders, Winslow staff, and other volunteers. You will share in the large and small triumphs of our riders as they experience "the miracle in the movement" of therapeutic riding.
How Can You Help?
Volunteers must be 13 years of age or over. You should be in reasonably good health if you wish to work in the ring, as a fair amount of walking-and sometimes running-is required. You can help in several ways:
- Horse Leaders: learn leading skills, and have complete care of the horse during a therapy session.
- Sidewalkers: help to support the riders, and assist the therapist and/or riding instructor with the special needs of each rider.
- Grooms: groom and tack up horses before classes; untack and cool them out after classes.
- Office Volunteers: assist with all types of clerical work, according to your own skills.
- Special Events Volunteers: help organize and run special events and fundraisers.
Training and Volunteer Requirements
All volunteers who wish to work in programming are required to attend an orientation, plus a minimum of one "hands-on training session" - dependent upon your prior knowledge of horses.
In addition, you will be expected to arrive one half hour before your assigned program, and to stay one half hour after the program to help with assessment of the riders. Volunteers in programming may be asked to groom, tack, untack and bathe horses, or clean stalls, tack, and sweep barn aisles. Volunteers who complete a full session of programming will be offered discounted riding lessons as our way of saying "thanks!".
Volunteer training is offered frequently during the year. Check the Events page or click here for a calendar of dates for upcoming Volunteer Training sessions. Please call or come in to sign up.
Individuals 13 years or older should call the Director of Volunteer Services to schedule an appointment for Orientation. You will be asked to fill out an application, and provide one character reference. Previous horse knowledge is appreciated, but not required. We welcome you, and thank you for helping us continue to succeed!