Frequently Asked Questions
Why are volunteers so important to LoveWay?
Our special needs riders require both physical and emotional support to get the most out of their riding experience. Volunteers walk alongside riders making sure they are balanced on their horse and in no danger of falling off. During the ride volunteers encourage their rider and help them follow the directions of the instructor. Over the course of the semester riders interact and bond with their volunteer making the experience that much more valuable for building confidence and social skills.
What are the time requirements?
We ask that you volunteer to work with your rider at least once a week for up to an hour and a half. A Therapeutic Riding semester runs once a week for 12 weeks and we ask that you commit to attending at least 10 of the 12 classes. You can, of course, volunteer for more than one class per week.
What if I don’t know anything about horses or people with special needs?
No problem! Many of our volunteers come with little, if any, knowledge of horses or individuals with special needs, which is why we provide training.
How old do I have to be to volunteer at LoveWay?
To work in classes, they should be 16 or older and capable of walking on uneven ground for a minimum of one hour.
What happens during training?
New volunteers go through an orientation and training session. During the course you are given a volunteer handbook and also shown how best to assist your volunteer around the horses. This includes learning how to tack and groom a horse as well as how to best support a rider during their ride.
I have a vacation planned during one of the classes, what if I can’t attend all of the classes?
We understand; just let us know as far in advance as possible so we can find a substitute for you.
I had an emergency pop up and I can’t make my class today/tomorrow, what should I do?
Please call the Volunteer Coordinator at LoveWay (574.825.5666) as soon as possible and let us know, so we can try to find a substitute for you.
What should I wear?
Long pants and closed-toe shoes work well in the soft dirt of our arena. During the winter our indoor arena is pretty chilly, so please dress accordingly. Layering works best, especially during the colder months.
Do I get to ride the horses?
No, only our diagnosed special needs riders and Schooling Team Riders get to ride. There is an application process and trial ride screening to become a Schooling Team Rider.
If you have more questions you are welcome to reach out to our Volunteer Coordinator at 574.825.5666 or by email at [email protected]