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Volunteer brainstorm.

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  • Volunteer brainstorm.

    I've been racking my brain for some horse-related volunteer ideas to bulk up a school application (as well as benefit myself as an equestrian/general horse nut). I've come to a bit of a rut and thought I'd see if any other horse fanatics would have some ideas I hadn't come upon. Volunteering at horse rescues has occurred to me, but most require a long(ish) term commitment that I'm not entirely comfortable making in case my schedule changes when I return to school. Therefore, I'm thinking more short-term and flexible. I looked into a couple of horse shows local to me, but one provides little to no information about volunteering and the other two I'm not even sure are totally still 'on'.

    Anyway, any ideas would be much appreciated!

  • #2
    Are there any horse trials near you? You can volunteer as a jump judge, and it's only a one day at a time commitment.

    If there are dressage competitions nearby, you may be able to volunteer as a scribe.

    If you have a Pony Club or 4H club near you, they may be looking for volunteers, either on a regular basis, or for special events.
    Founder of the "I met a COTHer in a foreign country" clique!

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    • #3
      When I needed to write a paper on raising and training sport horses using a real example, I took my spring break and went for a practical internship. I worked for that time for free in exchange for information to write my paper

      My point: go to established lesson barns with camps, or a 4H group, or find a therapeutic riding center in your area. If you have a limited time only, don't apply for volunteering, but an internship in the end you will do the same things...

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      • #4
        Are you close to any large vet hospitals like New Bolton? They have a volunteer foal sitting program for the foaling season.

        I did it 1 season when I was not working and most of the volunteers were pre-vet students looking to upgrade their resumes.

        If not near any hospitals, maybe a large breeding farm is looking for some help at foaling time.
        "The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated." --Ghandi

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        • #5
          You can always ask your vet to do ride alongs. Most vets love it and let you do a bit of the work.

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          • #6
            How about a therapeutic riding program? or a historical site or program that uses horses? (we have an 1800s era farm in our area that keeps a string of draft horses and always needs volunteers) or a museum (don't know where you are, but if you were in KY - well, the KY Horse Park would be an obvious choice for example). We also have a program nearby that let disadvantaged kids work on a farm. Some juvenile courts have riding programs for court-involved kids. Check your local or state park system - if they offer trail riding you might be able to volunteer there as well.

            Check and see if your area has a 211 service - that's information and referral. If they do, you should be able to call it and get information about volunteer clearinghouses or organizations that are looking for volunteers.

            Good luck!

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            • Original Poster

              #7
              Thanks for all the suggestions so far!

              I'll have to look through some therapeutic riding programs around here, I know they're out there but it's just never stuck in my brain where they are precisely. Horse trials, foal sitting, and 4H are great ideas, too!

              LauraKY and risky business, I've actually already put some feelers out for ride alongs or observing at a clinic. I need both vet-related and non-vet related experience, but you two have got me thinking I should follow up shortly. Especially with foal season coming

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              • #8
                Don't be offended though, if the TR programs wants you to commit to a regular schedule (i.e. you would sign up to work the Tuesday night classes every week, for 6wks at a stretch, something like that). It's usually important for the students to have as much consistency as possible. Also the instructor works as a team with the side walkers, horse leaders, etc to figure out how much help the rider needs, and experiement with slowly removing some of that help to encourage more independent riding. Hard to achieve that progression with a constantly rotating cast of people. But office tasks and barn work are always appreciated and that kind of thing can be done can usually be done on a flexible sched.
                Good for you to be volunteering, you'll prob find it very satisfying even if it started out only as resume fluff.

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                • #9
                  Are you around for Devon?
                  ~Veronica
                  "The Son Dee Times" "Sustained" "Somerset" "Franklin Square"
                  http://photobucket.com/albums/y192/vxf111/

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                  • #10
                    IMO, you'll "get what you pay for" with respect to the line on your resume.

                    If you don't make volunteering a priority, why should anyone take that line on your resume seriously? And most programs that use volunteers put some time into training them. Do what you can to genuinely be of service and your efforts will be repaid.
                    The armchair saddler
                    Politically Pro-Cat

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                    • Original Poster

                      #11
                      Originally posted by HungarianHippo View Post
                      Don't be offended though, if the TR programs wants you to commit to a regular schedule (i.e. you would sign up to work the Tuesday night classes every week, for 6wks at a stretch, something like that). It's usually important for the students to have as much consistency as possible. Also the instructor works as a team with the side walkers, horse leaders, etc to figure out how much help the rider needs, and experiement with slowly removing some of that help to encourage more independent riding. Hard to achieve that progression with a constantly rotating cast of people. But office tasks and barn work are always appreciated and that kind of thing can be done can usually be done on a flexible sched.
                      Good for you to be volunteering, you'll prob find it very satisfying even if it started out only as resume fluff.
                      Originally posted by mvp View Post
                      IMO, you'll "get what you pay for" with respect to the line on your resume.

                      If you don't make volunteering a priority, why should anyone take that line on your resume seriously? And most programs that use volunteers put some time into training them. Do what you can to genuinely be of service and your efforts will be repaid.
                      Thanks for the replies! I certainly understand dedicating time to a commitment, regardless of what that commitment is (and, in my case, it's volunteering). My main concern, and what I mean by short term and flexible, is that I'd just be more comfortable enrolling myself in something that goes in weeks rather than months. I just can't say for sure if, for example, every Tuesday at 6pm for six months would work. The dedication isn't the problem, it's the scheduling that is the factor.

                      Originally posted by vxf111 View Post
                      Are you around for Devon?
                      Unfortunately, I'm stuck on the West Coast of Canada

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by tinydragon View Post
                        Unfortunately, I'm stuck on the West Coast of Canada
                        Oh drat! Always looking for willing helpers
                        ~Veronica
                        "The Son Dee Times" "Sustained" "Somerset" "Franklin Square"
                        http://photobucket.com/albums/y192/vxf111/

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                        • #13
                          How about contacting some local lesson or boarding farms, let them know that you're interested in volunteering? Most people that contact those places are looking for monetary or other such compensation, so it would probably be a breath of fresh air to them to get someone interested in helping just for the sake of helping without expecting anything in return!
                          Teaching Horseback Riding Lessons: A Practical Training Manual for Instructors

                          Stop Wasting Hay and Extend Consumption Time With Round Bale Hay Nets!!

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                          • #14
                            I really enjoyed volunteering at a therapeutic riding school We specifically did hippotherapy.

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                            • Original Poster

                              #15
                              Originally posted by vxf111 View Post
                              Oh drat! Always looking for willing helpers
                              Times like these I could really use a teleportation device, haha!

                              Originally posted by equinekingdom View Post
                              How about contacting some local lesson or boarding farms, let them know that you're interested in volunteering? Most people that contact those places are looking for monetary or other such compensation, so it would probably be a breath of fresh air to them to get someone interested in helping just for the sake of helping without expecting anything in return!
                              This idea had crossed my mind. I'm always worried about overstepping boundaries or wasting anyones time, but I'm sure a short email or quick phone call won't hurt. The worst they could say is no.

                              Once again, thanks for the replies and suggestions everyone!

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                There are TONNES of volunteer opportunities on the West Coast of Canada!!!
                                PRDA in Langley would be a great place to start, and if they don't need volunteers (unlikely) I'm sure someone there could point you in the direction of a TR facility that does! Or, if you're even further west, like on the Island, the VRDA could help. Not to mention all the clinics, and shows that are going to be starting up soon and are going to need willing and able bodies. There are far worse places to be stuck than the west coast of Canada!!!

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