This weeks volunteer work was with Riding Unlimited.
When I first pulled in, my immediate thought was how beautiful this place is. The wind was blowing and all you see for as far as your eyes can see is open fields and horses. I had to stop and take a big breath. Seeing the horses in that setting was so peaceful.
I was first greeted by Cathy, she had a warm smile and clearly a gift for working with horses. She started teaching me right away. We started out by brushing Honey one of the horses used to work with the riders today. Cathy really took her time to get "Honey" ready and "Honey" loved the attention. Cathy also introduced me to the other volunteers and instructors. You will definitely feel welcomed by this great group of people.
Now as most of you know, I work with lots of different animals, all the time. What you don't know is I've been afraid to work with horses. I'm afraid of being kicked by them.Cathy made it easy to work with them today.All of the girls told me that you stay 6 inches or 6 feet away. That way the horse can't hurt you. So as you can see this was my fear to get over. I did it. I stayed very close to the horse and Cathy.
One of the very special riders I met today was Jim. He was the inspirational forces behind Riding Unlimited. Jim shared with me that the horses walk is very similar to a human walk. People in wheelchairs that are unable to walk have muscles stimulated in them when on top of a horse walking. Jim also feels that the confidence and self esteem the riders get from the experience will stay with them for a life time.I watched Jim go from his wheelchair to the horse and carriage, His face brought tears to my eyes. This was so much more then just a ride to him. It was good conversation with his instructor on a beautiful day doing what made him truly happy all at once. To see this man, that at times is hard to understand, shout out "Whoa" very clearly to the horse and the horse respond. Well you can imagine the pride in his face.
I watched as each of these very special people mounted their horse. The instructors and volunteers are encouraging them to do the best they can. The riders are really holding the reigns, turning, stopping and walking the horse. They have signs posted throughout the arena to look for when given the direction.The instructors look at the posture of the rider and guide them with the commands for the horse. The type of saddle used is dependent on the riders ability and muscle tone. The English saddle has no handle for the rider so they have to use only the reigns, it also requires more use of the leg muscles.The Western saddle has a handle and is bigger to make the riders more secure. Everything is thought of for the rider. I loved to see the riders faces so proud and happy to be with these gentle giants. This absolutely makes your heart stop.
I also met a very special boy named Michael. He was there to be evaluated with hopes of becoming a rider soon. He made me a member of his special club. He said I could be anything I wanted to be in life as long as I made God an important part of it. These are such beautiful people with great gifts of their own to offer the world. I'm proud to be a member of his club.
I want to give special thanks to Cathy.
Their love for people and animals is truly unlimited.
BECOME A RIDING UNLIMITED VOLUNTEER!
Riding Unlimited offers many exciting volunteer opportunities. Whether you like working with children, schooling horses, or soliciting items for an auction, we have the perfect opportunity for you. We welcome individual volunteers or groups looking for a volunteer project. We also have many couples who volunteer together and parents who volunteer with their teenage children.
For hands-on interaction and physical exercise you might want to be a...
Sidewalker – The primary responsibility of a sidewalker is to maintain constant safety awareness,
• Qualifications for Sidewalker – Minimum age is 14. Be able to walk and jog for short periods of time
If you have experience with horses you might want to be a...
Horse Handler – The horse handler is directly responsible for the horse before, during and after each
• Qualifications for Horse Handler - Minimum age is 14. Must have experience with horses and complete Handler Certification. Must attend hands-on training and be responsible for continued training as needed. Should be able to walk at a fast pace and jog intermittently during the lesson.
• Headers (trained horse handlers) and spotters must attend additional training. It is necessary to have operating knowledge of all securing mechanisms and be familiar with loading and unloading procedures.
For the younger generation
Junior Volunteeer – 11 – 13 years old
• Juniors do not work in the arena with the riders. The Junior Volunteer’s primary responsibility is to
Do you like ranch work? If so, we have a spot for you!
Off the Ranch
• Join our Board of Directors
• Join our Development Committee
• Help plan Special Events
• Set up Riding Unlimited tables at community events
• Solicit donations
• Media and communication
• Design brochures, fliers
• Manage the newsletter
• Join our Speakers Bureau
• Join our Finance Committee
For more details contact Pat Dellemann at 940-479-2016 or email email@example.com
Click here to download the Volunteer Registration Forms and the Volunteer Manual to get started.
To volunteer, call the Ranch at 940-479-2016 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.