Volunteers
We cannot express our gratitude for volunteers enough. Our program would not be able to be what it is without them. For our group sessions we need up to 15 volunteers per hour. We find that many of the benefits that the riders get through the program crossover to the volunteers. The smiles we see on the riders are infectious. Volunteers directly impact the changes and growth of the students because without them the riders would not be able to enjoy this valuable opportunity.

Volunteer opportunities include sidewalkers and horse leaders. Volunteer are required to attend one of our volunteer trainings. We try to match a rider and team of volunteers for all four lessons in a series, for this reason we ask volunteers to be aware of the time commitment. On a typical day our volunteers are asked to walk (and jog at times) for two hours, with a break in the middle, on a sand material in the indoor arena. We do try to have standbys that can step in and help out if a break is needed, but being physically able to do the walking is important.

Sidewalkers

Volunteers who are sidewalkers do not need prior horse experience because their primary concern is the rider. Our beginning riders start with one sidewalker on either side of the horse. Those volunteers may be there for actual physical support in varying degrees or in many cases just for emotional support and safety. As the rider progresses we hope to remove sidewalkers slowly in order to encourage independence from the rider. We have found that our sidewalkers enjoy seeing their rider’s grow in confidence and ability. When they are removed they see what they have built for their riders from a different point of view.

Leader

We do ask these volunteers to have horse experience. Under most circumstances a person is not a horse leader until their second year of volunteering. This is because the leader’s main responsibility is the horse. This person has to be able to read what the horse is feeling about a situation and control that horse in any given situation. This applies directly to our goal of making the ride the safest situation for the student we can offer.

Benefits:

  • Enrich the lives of children who are often limited in their opportunities elsewhere
  • Meet new people with like interests
  • Spend time with horses when maybe it is not an option otherwise
  • Get great exercise and spend time outside
Other Volunteering Opportunities

There are some volunteer opportunities for those who are not able to walk (and sometimes jog) for a two-hour period. Please think about coming to the volunteer training or contact us to see how we may be able to include you.

Volunteer Forms

Volunteer Complete Form Download
Volunteer Sign Up Download
Volunteer Emergency Release Download
Volunteer Liability Download
Volunteer Photo Release Download
Volunteer YMCA Download
Volunteer Training Completion Download
Download Full Volunteer Pack
Volunteer Training
New Volunteers in 2017
  • Date: April 23, 2017
  • Time: 4:30-7:00pm
  • Location: Willow Farm Viewing Room and Indoor Arena
Returning Volunteers
  • Date: April 23, 2017
  • Time: 1:30-3:30pm
  • Location: Willow Farm Viewing Room and Indoor Arena

21 comments on “Volunteers

  1. Tammy Krassick

    I am interested in volunteering, not sure how much I could since I am in Escanaba but I would like to discuss options and or make a time to meet up and talk about it.

    Reply
    1. Regan Koers

      Tammy, you may call or text me (Regan) at 906-360-1513 if you’d like or email rkoers@nmu.edu. If you’d like to take a look at our class schedule it is posted on our Facebook page or I can get that info to you as well to see if you could volunteer.

      Reply
  2. Lynn Sykes

    I am interested in volunteering. I watched the segment on TV6. I am able to fill out the paperwork if you still need volunteers. I am comfortable around horses. Thirty years ago I helped train trail horses. Since I am now retired, I have nothing but time and would love to be part of such a rewarding program

    Reply
    1. Regan Koers

      Wonderful! I’m so glad that you are interested and available. We’d love to have you! See you at orientation June 7th!

      Reply
  3. shelly gorsuch

    I would love to be a volunteer, please send me an email and let me know what i have to do, my phone number is 906-250-8862, thank you shelly

    Reply
  4. Nancy Russo

    I have horse experience as well as working with disabled children and adults. I would be available August and Sept.

    Reply
    1. Regan Koers

      Great! We have riding classes in September but not August. If you can make it to our New Volunteer Orientation on June 7th at 4:30pm we can get you set up!

      Reply
  5. Jalynn Close

    Hi! I am 12 years old but love to work with kids with disabitities and also kids in general. I live super close so I could bike if I had to. I’m into horses and volunteering. I volunteer at the Childrens Museum 1-4 days a week (by choice) for 1-5 hours. I have tons of effort and think I can do this well.

    Reply
  6. Patricia Holcomb

    Would like to Volunteer , prior experience with horses .

    Reply
    1. Annie Higley

      Hi Patricia, I’m sorry that it took me so long to reply to you. I was having some glitches…
      We would love it if you still wanted to volunteer. Every volunteer has to go through training and this year our training is on April 24 from 4:30-7:00pm. It is at the farm in what we call the viewing room. You are able to print out our forms from this site and then that’s one last step to do once you arrive. If you are able to make the training please RSVP to our volunteer coordinator, Mara, at 906-235-2552.
      Thank you so much for your interest. Hope to see you this summer,
      Annie

      Reply
  7. Callie Wilson

    hello, I am very interested in volunteering. I have 8 years of working with horses (off and on) which includes training them and riding. I would appreciate more details on becoming a volunteer for your farm.

    Reply
    1. Annie Higley

      We would love for you to volunteer. Our volunteer training is April 24 at 4:30 until around 7.
      Our volunteer coordinator is Mara and if you are able to come please RSVP to her at 906-235-2552.
      Hope to see you there,
      Annie

      Reply
  8. Allison Krattley

    Hello, I am extremely interested in volunteering. I have 6 years of experience being both a sidewalker and horse leader at an therapeutic riding center in Wisconsin. I know it is late in the season but I am wondering if I could get more information about volunteering.

    Reply
    1. Annie Higley

      Hi Allison,
      We would love to have you join us. We do not have another training at this point until the end August. It’s best to call our Volunteer Coordinator is Mara Juidici, her number is (906) 235-2552.
      Thank you for your interest!
      Annie

      Reply
  9. Joni Scott

    Hi! I live in Marquette and just discovered this! I love both horses and kids and have worked with both. I would love to be a volunteer. I noticed the training is this coming Sunday, and I can make it. I have not yet filled out or mailed a volunteer form. do I need to do this in order to go to the training? Can I email or fax the volunteer form? Thank you so much, Joni

    Reply
    1. Annie Higley

      Hi Joni!
      You don’t not need to have your forms mailed in ahead of time. If you are just able to print them out and bring them to the training with you that will be just fine.
      See you Sunday!

      Reply
      1. Annie Higley

        Also, please call Mara at (906) 235-2552 to RSVP

        Reply
        1. Joni Scott

          Ok! I’ll do that

          Reply
  10. Lori

    Hi!! It looks like I missed the training seminar in April. If you are still in need of volunteers and if there is anyway I can still help I am willing. Thank you, Lori

    Reply
  11. Bambi Hamel

    Hello, I have a group of people at my workplace that might be interested in volunteering. In general we do not have any experience but heard there is training beforehand. When is your next training session?

    Reply
    1. Annie Higley

      Hi Bambi,
      We just had a training, but there will be another one at the end of August. It will be just after NMU starts. I’m not sure if you are on Facebook, but if you are, please keep an eye out there because we will have an ‘event’. Also, if we decide to do a pop up training we will have it on there.
      Thanks!!!
      Annie

      Reply

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