Free Rein Therapeutic Riding Center
Adaptive riding program offered to people with disabilities
Therapeutic riding helps people with physical, cognitive and emotional disabilities. Through the rhythm, movement, and personality of a horse, a rider gains physical, mental and social benefits.
People of all ages and disabilities can experience the feeling of controlling a horse, using their mind as well as their muscles in new ways, forming a bond with an animal that can go well beyond the activity of riding.
The advantage of a strong therapeutic riding center is having a place for riders, their families, and volunteers to learn and grow as well as build friendships and have a camaraderie with others in a caring and fun atmosphere.
Free Rein has an outdoor arena and indoor tack area, and the ability to keep as many as 15 horses on site. During the cold months, Free Rein has access to a large indoor arena. Ten horses give 75 one-hour rides to people with a variety of disabilities every week. About 160 volunteers help make it happen.
- For every rider, it takes 3 volunteers to help. Regular volunteer orientations and trainings are available. Contact Volunteering at Free Rein Therapeutic Riding, 979-1468
- Volunteer to be a Horse leader. This is a very important volunteer position. We are looking for people who are comfortable with grooming and tacking a horse, able to be relaxed and aware when leading a horse in class and able to stay calm in emergency situations. They must be able to maneuver the horse safely at a walk and a trot and follow the directions of the instructor while being aware of what the rider is doing.
- Volunteer to be a Sidewalker. We will often have two sidewalkers with each rider. The sidewalkerr's job is to keep the rider safe and secure while on the horse at a walk and a trot. This position will vary with each rider and their abilities. Along with the safety of the rider the side walker may also assist the rider in games or in processing directions from the instructor. You do not need horse experience to be a sidewalker, but this would be a great way to get more experience with horses while assisting the leader with preparing the horse for class.
- Volunteer to be an Arena Assistant. This is a position that we will have the luxury of filling if we have enough volunteers to handle the horse and riders in each class. The idea behind an arena assistant is to have someone to help the instructor with gates, equipment changes in class, toys and props. Basically just being available to keep things running smoothly.
- Volunteer to be a photographer/videographer. It can be very important to document our riding sessions. We use pictures for promotion of the program and for soliciting support. The videos are also used to show progress with each rider and also for promotion purposes. We would like to get pictures and video of each class. It would be desirable to have several people available to do this job so that we can cover all the time slots.
- Volunteers are needed to help with the newsletter and other publications, public relations, fund raising and fund raising events, public relations, and coordinating other events.
- Volunteer to loan a horse to Free Rein for 2 years. The horses must be as close to bomb-proof as possible. They cannot startle and spook at sudden noises or a rider's uncoordinated or jerky movements. Free Rein screens, tests and desensitizes the horses carefully.
- Personal donations of any amount are appreciated: Find out if your company matches your donation to make an even bigger impact.
- Tack Donation: If you have tack that you no longer have a use for, check with us to see if we can put it to good use.
- Media Day
- Horse Show
- Rider/Volunteer picnic or potluck
- Barn Dance
- Rider's Expo
Last Updated By: Stephanie Wiarda