Volunteers are an essential part of the WindWalkers programs. Experience with horses or challenged individuals is not essential, but helpful. We will train you in the specific duties volunteers perform. Generally your commitment is for a one-hour riding session each week (of course you can choose to do more!) and you will be assigned to help with a specific rider in that session.
All responsible people will be welcomed as Volunteers. People with challenges or disabilities are welcome to be a part of the WindWalkers organization and will participate in roles based on their interests, abilities, strengths and training.
WindWalkers is a charitable, non-profit, non-partisan, non-sectarian and non- discriminating service organization that encourages all people to be involved.
OUR SESSION VOLUNTEER RESPONSIBILITIES INCLUDE:
SIDEWALKING: The sidewalker is responsible for aiding the instructor with the client. You will be walking beside the horse and offering the rider physical support, assisting in the activity and engaging the rider as directed by the Instructor.
Sidewalkers may be assigned to assist the client while waiting at the ramp for the horse to enter. The instructor will demonstrate to the sidewalker the method to be used in supporting the rider.
As a sidewalker, you are vital to the rider being able to ride. You are the rider’s safety angel, assisting the rider in maintaining balance and/or limb control. The instructor will direct you how to best support and assist the rider while riding or mounting. Some riders will need the sidewalker to aid them in understanding and executing the activities.
HORSE LEADER: This volunteer has been approved as a horse handler by the WindWalkers’ staff. Generally, staff and approved horse handlers will bring the horse or horses in from the pasture/paddock and take them to the arena or outdoor grooming area.
A trained volunteer will tack up the horse with the equipment that the instructor has specified. All volunteers will be trained how to do a proper and thorough grooming as well as how to tack up the horse correctly with the appropriate tack. When the horse is ready the instructor will tell the horse leader when the rider is ready to mount. Some riders will use the mounting ramp if necessary or the mounting block.
VOLUNTEER TRAINING AND SUPERVISION
Volunteers will be trained and supervised by WindWalkers staff members.
- Volunteers are encouraged to ask lots of questions, we want you to ask and it is truly helpful if we do things consistently – no such thing as a “dumb” question!
- Volunteers will NEVER be asked to perform a task or take on a responsibility that is out of his/her comfort level.
- WindWalkers operates on the SAFE, SAFER, SAFEST rule at all times.
Please contact Katy Parr, Volunteer Coordinator for further details at 970-963-0583 or firstname.lastname@example.org .