Last year, my daughter and I had the opportunity to put our passion for horses & experience to work as volunteers at a local therapeutic riding program called Horse Sense for Special Riders ( www.hssr.org ). We had been long time admirers of the program and finally, my daughter was old enough to become a leader or sidewalker in the program. After an informative training session, we began our 18 week journey and found it was therapy for us as well!
The amazing therapy horses are so much fun to work with and the people that run the program and all of the volunteers are truly wonderful to be around. As volunteers, we did everything from grooming, bathing, tacking up, exercising, sidewalking, leading, putting up hay, feeding, and fundraising to photographing the sessions and donating name tag buttons for volunteers and staff. We went into the program because of our love for horses but were rewarded with much more than I can express.
The gentle therapy horses are so very well taken care of and loved by all of the riders in the program. It was so much fun to see the joy on the faces of the children in the program and the family members that brought them to it. It truly was rewarding and we are looking forward to volunteering again this spring.
As horse enthusiasts, I encourage each of you to seek out therapeutic riding programs in your area and put your skills to work and enjoy the rewards as we have. You won't regret it!