The coordinator is responsible for the training of all volunteers, publicizing Project ASTRIDE, coordinating volunteer schedules, contacting volunteers to update schedules via phone or email, maintaining volunteer files, assist in developing class schedules, and helping everyone involved feel comfortable, appreciated, and needed! An ideal coordinator will be highly organized, efficient, personable, tactful, and dedicated.
One of the most challenging duties that can be assigned to a volunteer is that of horse leader. A leader's first responsibility is the horse, but they must also consider the sidewalkers, making sure there is enough room along the arena wall and obstacles for them to pass safely. The leader retrieves their horse from the pasture, assists in grooming, and is in charge of the care and safety of their horse. At the end of class the leader will walk the horse to to cool them down and stretch and release their back muscles before being turned out into their pasture. Only those with previous horse experience who attend and successfully complete leader training may be a horse leader.
Sidewalkers usually get the most hands-on duties in therapeutic riding. They are directly responsible for the participant. As such, they have the capability to either enhance or detract from the lesson. In the arena, the sidewalker helps the student focus his attention on the instructor, provides encouragement and helps to complete tasks.
This position is very important as the greeter is the first person the participant and caregiver will be in contact with at the beginning of each class. The greeter will welcome the participant and assist with name tags, helmets, and help both the participant and the caregiver feel welcome. The greeter prepares for the class by laying out name tags, volunteer sign in sheets, and informing volunteers of any schedule changes or special instructions for that class. The greeter also prepares horse treats and makes sure parents and caregivers are comfortable during class.
The tack volunteer's responsibilities include bringing in the proper equipment for the class' horses and participants, such as saddles, pads, lead ropes, bridles, helmets, grooming kits, treat buckets, helmet spray, name tags, and bug spray. Tack volunteers may also participate as sidewalkers as they complete the same training program as sidewalkers.
The arena volunteer is responsible for setup and teardown of the riding arena to simulate riding experiences such as trail riding and showing. The volunteer will also bring in the equipment for games and activities such as a small basketball hoop, cones, buckets, bean bags, balls and toys, and throwing games as requested by the instructor. All these tasks need to be performed to provide the participant with the best possible experience which allows them to get the most out of the program. Arena volunteers may also participate as sidewalkers.
Interested? Simply send us an email and we'll contact you!