Volunteering at RideAble

Volunteer: “One who enters into any service or undertakes anything of his/her own free will.” (Webster’s dictionary)

The work of a volunteer shows their character and integrity.  The time, energy, and cost (mental, physical, emotional, and financial) given by a volunteer reflects their character.  The quality of this work reflects their personal integrity.  Most will do their best or near best for financial compensation, but only those with true character and genuine integrity volunteer.

Over 90% of the hours at RideAble are volunteered by a great group of people. If you are comfortable with horses and a wide range of people, send us an email at info@rideable.org or call 541-684-4623. We can always use another hand!

Volunteer Helping a Young RiderThere are several ways to become involved with RideAble. As a self-supporting, non-profit program, we need your help. If you are a college student, you may be able to get practicum or community service credit by working with us. We work with the University of Oregon and Lane Community College for practicum credits; check with your department or contact us. Volunteers are the lifeblood of our organization.

LEARN to be an observer:

  • of your environment
  • other people around you
  • other living creatures around you
  • of your own personal behavior, words, tones, gestures, etc.

all at the same time!

General Volunteer Requirements:

  • Age 16 and up
  • Be able to be on your feet for at least 2 hours
  • Be able to lift at least 40 pounds
  • Available for 2 hours/day of your scheduled commitment
  • Reliable transportation
  • Attend a formal volunteer training (training not required to begin)
  • Complete the volunteer application
  • Ability to be out in a covered, but not heated facility in all weather conditions
  • Walk and jog with students on horseback

Jr. Volunteers are 14-16 years old and must meet the same requirements above.  Jr. volunteers are supervised by other volunteers and instructor.  They do not work independently with students.

Companion/Spotter

Hour lessons require the volunteer to assist or supervise the student while tacking and grooming their horse. It is highly encouraged that the student do as much as they can with limited assistance. As a Companion/Spotter you are responsible for both the horse and rider. While riding you are there to lend a sense of security for the rider and assist them with following the instructor’s directions for body position, how to control/steer their horse, or participate in the class etc. It is vital that you listen and follow exact directions so that the student learns to do the same.

Side Walkers

Leader and Side Walker assisting a RiderSide walker walks at the student’s leg; assists with balance and is responsible for the student.  Do the minimum to assist the student in a safe manner, as the rider becomes stronger the amount of assistance will lessen.  The side walker’s position should not block eye contact between the student and the instructor.

Property Maintenance

Barn FrontThere are year-round, behind-the-scenes tasks:

  • landscaping/brush clearing
  • fence and pasture maintenance
  • driveway maintenance

Handler/Leader

Volunteer Checking a SaddleThe leader is needed when the rider is not able to or is not ready to control the horse by use of their reins. Leaders need to be aware at all times of both the behavior of the horse and the needs of the rider. As a rider progresses towards being able to steer the horse on his own, the leader may function as a backup.   As a horse leader you walk at the horse’s head, with or without the lead rope and are responsible for the horse.  Use minimum control necessary so that the horse is responding to the rider;  wait for the student to give the commands to the horse.  Having control of the horse, however slight, builds confidence in the rider and horse as a team.

Barn Chores

These are some of the most valued aspects of volunteering. Volunteers will need to water, muck stalls, care for animals and other miscellaneous tasks around the barn to ensure the safety, professionalism and quality of RideAble.

Other Opportunities

  • Community events
  • Sub/Action Committees
  • Fundraising
  • Photography

If you would like to help in one of these areas in lieu of a class volunteer, please let us know when you contact us.

Further details: Volunteer Duties PDF (requires Adobe Reader)