Volunteering

SIGN UP TO ATTEND VOLUNTEER TRAINING:

Volunteer Training dates:

March 7, Tuesday 1pm – 5pm
March 12, Sunday 1pm – 5pm
May 13, Saturday 1pm – 5pm
August 26, Saturday 9am – 1pm

CLICK ON THE SIGNUP BUTTON TO REGISTER FOR VOLUNTEER TRAINING:

Click to View Volunteer Opportunities on SignUp.com

SIGN UP TO VOLUNTEER FOR RIDING BEYOND EVENTS (Volunteer Training grads only):

Sessions begin March 28, 2017. Signup by clicking here:

Click to View Our SignUps on SignUp.com

What it’s like to volunteer at Riding Beyond

 

The individual details of our stories, we did not share. We did not need to know. By sensing together we created a place to cultivate reverence, awe, grace, dignity and respect. The courage to walk with horses, not knowing and being vulnerable, allowed us to weave together our own story, one of deep connection and belonging. Whether you are a volunteer or participant, the wisdom and magic of horses exists for you. Allow it and it will change your life. I am Jenny, a Riding Beyond volunteer and because I dared to be a part of Riding Beyond, I have grown. Thank you, Riding Beyond volunteers, participants, and of course the horses. Your courage has given me great joy.” — Jen Lieber
Immediately I was awed by the spirits of the other volunteers, all from different backgrounds  and experiences yet I felt at home right away. My gifts were acknowledged, appreciated and cared for. Each person was  assigned a place to be of help within their comfort level,  no matter their experience with horses or cancer for that matter. People and animals were held with gentleness, grace and appreciation. Laughter rang out, a few tears ran down cheeks, warmth exploded out of our space, (in spite of one very icy Ashland day), chickens cheered us on and I even got hugged by a horse. What a way to spend a morning. Then we had the blessing of meeting the participants , brave woman finishing a tough course of treatment and trusting us to help them take a new step on their journey of healing. An intuitive horse partner, a trained facilitator and amazing volunteers. We got to watch the magic unfold. It really doesn’t get any better.

“Join us and be inspired.

“I can also add: since I am a breast cancer survivor, I inadvertently received a healing blessing from Mystic, who took time to get to know me and nuzzled her nose on the exact area I first found my lump….how’s that for intuitive? She then proceeded to give me a horse hug , gently wrapping her beautiful neck around my leg and holding me. Guess she knew we all need love.” —Mary Piper

Riding Beyond Jobs

Here are jobs where you might consider helping at Riding Beyond,  most of them requiring an average of about 2 hours per week, more for those actually helping hands-on with the horses. All volunteers must attend a day long volunteer training and horse handlers must commit to regular training throughout the year as needed. People work in teams of 2 or more:

HANDS ON

The hands-on jobs include working as sidewalkers and horse leaders, committing to a minimum of a session of four meetings with two riders, starting at 1pm and finishing by 4:30 pm on four afternoons, either Tuesday or Wednesday.  We also conduct Saturday group sessions 9am – 2 pm, May through September, once a month. See the dates for sessions HERE. Horse handlers are required to attend ongoing horse handling sessions outside of participant sessions, usually once or twice a month for 2 hours.

Maybe you want to help with snacks, music, and the other nitty gritty, which involves less time commitment.

Additionally, our horses benefit from regular exercise by volunteers with advanced horse experience who can attend regular horse handler training and spend about an hour or so a week doing ground work at the ranch where the horses live.

BEHIND THE SCENES

To ensure the future success of the program, we take the winter months to build the Behind The Scenes structure of Riding Beyond.  This breaks down into five main areas where volunteers can help:

CLIENT FINDER/STRATEGIC PARTNER IN THE MEDICAL WORLD

Alongside the continued spreading of information to those supporting breast cancer survivors/thrivers, we need  strategic partners who will be responsible for marketing and sending clients to Riding Beyond.  We offer a 2-4 hour experience for those interested in taking this role, a hands-on time with Mystic to understand Riding Beyond first-hand, periodically scheduled throughout the year.

PUBLIC AWARENESS

We need a few folks willing and capable to take charge of our PR campaign: schedule presentations, radio, newspaper, tv coverage, distribute posters, and utilize internet resources.

FUNDING

We need someone(s) with funding experience who can oversee and manage the funding and especially cultivate individual donors.  This will eventually be a paid job.  It requires developing contacts with individuals and organizations on a regular basis, keeping records of contacts and their status, and generally becoming an advocate for Riding Beyond with people across the Rogue Valley and beyond.

A grant writer can help write grants now that we can qualify for grants, having been delivering services for 4 years.

We do a crowd funding campaign, with the idea that a group of four folks can spread the intensive work that is required for about 8 weeks to have a successful campaign. Additionally, we have a Salons for Survivors campaign in October for Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and presentations throughout the year at various venues, including the Jackson County Horseman’s Ta Ta Trot Horse Show in October.

MORE HORSES

The program is seeking other horses to be made available by their owners for Riding Beyond one morning a week March through September in the Ashland area.   Horses need to be about 14.2 hands, with strong backs, and a calm disposition in a variety of settings. Owners will be trained in how to prepare their horses for this work.  Contact us for more information.

ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURE

We constantly engage in creating the structure of the organization and who will do what.  Someone in the role of a part time executive director would be very helpful.

Riding Beyond sessions are conducted under the highest safety standards, by a PATH International certified therapeutic riding instructor and certified equine specialist, attending to the well-being of all people and horses involved in Riding Beyond.

 

Contact me, Mary Beth Watt, if you’d like to know more about volunteering or if you need help with the electronic signup system:

(408) 568-0120 / marybethwatt@gmail.com

Go to our Events page to find the current dates for volunteer training and Riding Beyond sessions.

Volunteer Application (PDF)