When I was 10, my dad said I could buy a horse but I had to sell my sheep. We had a neighbor who ran cattle in Nevada and bought mustangs to train and use with the cattle. He loved kids and taught me many things about horses. That was the beginning of many years of horse ownership. When I retired at 55, the budget wouldn’t support a horse so I sold my horse and tack. I wanted to give back and started searching for volunteer opportunities.
Little did I know that a newspaper article about Forward Stride would lead to such a wonderful experience and fulfill my need to work with horses.
I started with Forward Stride in November 2009 doing pm horse care to become familiar with the horses. Eventually I moved on to side walking, leading, and long lining in Forward Stride’s Rehabilitation Services program. I’ve taught several volunteers to long line. As time has gone by, I have become more involved with a variety of projects and duties. Today, I am at Forward Stride 6 hours a day, 4 days a week.
Currently, I am responsible for sorting, storing, and pricing donated items. I am in charge of setting up the annual tack sale at the barn and the Canby Tack Sale. Other duties include washing and storing horses blankets and taking them for repair, creating new horse ID tags and stall cards, washing and color coding horse tack, and many one time jobs that come up.
It is nice to see some clients return year after year and their improvement. I enjoy checking in with them to see how they’re doing. Forward Stride gives me the opportunity to take lessons, which helps support the organization and gives me tools to improve my riding thus enjoying my time riding even more. There is nothing better to me than the smell of a horse. Any time I’m feeling down I know that spending time with Eddie will boost my morale. I’ve made many special friends who have become my family. My experiences at the barn have given me the confidence I never really had.
I am so excited to be a part of Forward Stride as it moves forward. I can’t imagine my life without this wonderful organization.
It’s my dream volunteer job. It gives me a reason to get up in the morning. Knowing that I am helping others is very rewarding and I will continue to be part of this community as long as I’m able.
We Need Your Help!
For many individuals, their personal therapy is in the form of giving back through our Volunteer Program. Being part of an organization that changes lives through equine assisted activities and therapies is an extremely powerful therapy tool, all on it’s own.
Did you know… volunteering plays a huge role in building self esteem, confidence, and overall well-being? This is the reason many of our volunteers keep coming back.
Help us ensure our volunteers and participants continue having a place where they improve their lives and the lives of others by making a tax-deductible contribution today!