“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”
- Mahatma Gandhi
Most of our volunteers are geared towards our Equine Partners at Body n Soul Equestrian. This is mainly because taking care of horses is a very large job! Certain tasks require more horse skills than others but many do not require an in depth knowledge of horses. Many volunteers start off around the barn helping with the daily upkeep of the grounds at Haven Hills. They then are able to move into a horse handling position if they have gained the necessary skill sets required coming from hands on horse experience.
Volunteer around the Barn
Currently our Equine Programs are being run out of Body n Soul Equestrian at Haven Hills. Since they are so kind for us to use their facility and their wonderful therapy horses, we lend a hand in general care of the horses. As part of the Barn Volunteer team, individuals can help in cleaning tasks (such as cleaning stalls, paddocks, waterers, sweeping aisles). Other tasks include helping a staffer with making feed and horse turn-in/turn-out.
Horse Handling for a Group
Volunteers who are active in the therapy groups as a horse handler are designated to one horse throughout the group and are responsible for the horse before, during, and after the session has ended. These volunteers help ready the horses for a session starting with bringing their assigned horse in, grooming, tacking, leading, and turning the horse out when the session has been completed. Volunteers also help maintain a safe container while the session is underway in the arena by making sure they maintain safe distances between other horses, people, fences, and other objects that happen to be present in the arena. All volunteers must follow the directions given to them by staff members of Nature Heals and Body n Soul Equestrian.
***All horse handlers must take and pass a horse handling class hosted by Nature Heals in order to be cleared as a horse handler. They also must be able to respond quickly and confidently in order to maximize the safety of the rider and the horse.
How do you get started?
All individuals interested in volunteering must start with an orientation before being able to volunteer. This orientation session is held at Body n Soul Equestrian at Haven Hills and allows for the individuals to talk directly to staff members about our mission, philosophy as well as allow them to have a tour of the facility. We also discuss the tasks and expectations that we have of our volunteers. AFTER the orientation session you may sign up for a training session in the area that you are most interested in (horse handler or barn member). For more information as to dates of orientation sessions and trainings please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Minimum Age Limits for volunteers
Around the Barn: 13 years old
Horse Handling: 16 years old