Volunteer to help
Who can help
Volunteers are the essential part of our Group and we could not function without them. We have a wide range of people, both in age and skills, who give an hour or two of their free time each week. People volunteer for many different reasons and at different stages of their life. You can become as involved as you wish or just lend an hour of your time. We offer a warm welcome to cheerful, reliable people who would like to be part of our dedicated team.
You don’t have to know anything about horses - we provide full introductory and on-going training. If you would prefer not to work with live horses then we would welcome your help with the disabled people who ride STORM the mechanical horse. We also welcome help behind the scenes with administration in our office, so there are many ways in which you can make a difference. In return we offer you the opportunity to help us make riding enjoyable and rewarding for both you and our disabled friends.
We welcome volunteers from the age of 15, so if you are doing your Duke of Edinburgh award you could do your volunteering with us. Our timetable will show you the times of our rides so if you are at school or work during the day there is a ride that would suit you.
What is involved
Before you start we ask you to complete an application form and supply us with two references. As soon as we have received these and checked your references we contact you to find out which ride you would like to help and we get you started. If you are experienced with horses you may be asked to help tack up and then given the task of leading the horse.
If you are not experienced then you would be asked to walk by the side of the horse to ensure that the rider is safe. Each horse has a leader and one or two sidewalkers depending on the capability of the rider.
Helping with STORM, the mechanical horse, would involve either operating STORM or standing by the side of the rider to ensure that they were comfortable and safe.
The third option is for people who are experienced with horses and carriage driving. We are always looking for experienced carriage drivers to help us during the Summer months.
We are fully covered with Personal Accident and Public Liability insurance.
Training we provide
When you join a ride for the first time the Coordinator and Ride Leader will greet you and explain what is involved on their ride. They will help you settle in and introduce you to the other volunteers. They will then give you a task either leading or sidewalking depending upon your experience.
Twice a year we run comprehensive training courses, both during the day and in the evening. These will cover: leading a horse, sidewalking, tacking up, using the hoist and many other topics. These are run by experienced people in the group and experienced stable staff. Once a year the St John's Ambulance run a first aid course for us which is always well received.