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Sunnybrook Meadows Recruiting Volunteers

By Staff | Feb 19, 2020

MONTGOMERY-Sunnybrook Meadows is a non-profit organization providing therapeutic riding to children and adults with special needs in the central Susquehanna area. Volunteers are the heart of the organization, allowing riders who otherwise could not ride to receive the physical, mental and emotional benefits of horseback riding. The organization is currently seeking volunteers for the 2020 riding season from March 17 through Nov. 6. Volunteering for SunnyBrook is an excellent opportunity to serve others while receiving physical exercise, as well as a great sense of satisfaction. Seeing the smile on the faces of the individuals who are served is as rewarding as the improvements seen in their physical abilities.

Horseback riding strengthens weak muscles, helps to improve self esteem, balance, and coordination, and while developing self-awareness in the rider. Depending on the rider’s

ability, up to three volunteers per rider are required to ensure a safe riding experience. At the head of the horse, experienced leaders with a well-developed horse sense ensure the safety of the horse while guiding in the arena and on trails.

To each side of the horse, side walkers assist the rider and ensure the riders safety. Side walking can range from hands-on support of a weaker rider to a safety spotter or assisting a rider learning to self-guide the horse. An instructor is also with each rider or riding group. Additionally, volunteers prepare horses for riding as well as general care of the horses.

To volunteer as a leader horse, experience is required; however, anyone over the age of 15 can be trained to volunteer as a side walker. Volunteers ages 13-15 years are welcome to volunteer in the barn caring for and preparing the horses. Volunteer opportunities include several different days. The program operates Tuesday and Thursday evenings as well as Friday mornings.

All volunteers are required to have a child abuse clearance certificate before they can volunteer. Obtain a clearance free of charge at www.compass.state.pa.us/CWIS/Public/Home.

Volunteers who have already completed and receive the child abuse clearance, should bring a copy to the training.

A volunteer training session will be held at 426 State Home Road, Montgomery on Saturday Feb. 29 at 1 p.m. To reserve an opportunity to train, call (734) 536-0956.

More information about the program can be found www.sunnybrookmeadows.com