April is National Volunteer Month

By Violet Barnett

I love horses. My whole world revolves around them. I believe that any time spent with horses is a privilege and a truly magical experience. Because of my passion for these amazing animals, volunteering at Giant Steps is a natural fit. I not only am able to share my passion with others, but was surrounded by a community who love what I do (you guessed it—horses!) The barn has always been the place where I feel most at home, so being able to volunteer at Giant Steps for the past three summers has been an incredible experience for me. I have been lucky enough to work in many facets of the program—being involved in lessons, helping with barn management, fundraising, writing, and grooming. The gift of Giant Steps is equally rewarding for volunteers and students alike.

The only way I can encapsulate this was during my Saturday afternoons last summer. I was given the opportunity to lead and sidewalk for a lesson every Saturday. As the summer went on, I experienced firsthand the amazing improvement of the students. I was just as proud as they were seeing them beautifully execute a two-point and even a posting trot! Not only was I able to share my pride with the students in the class, but the other volunteers matched my enthusiasm and excitement. The community of volunteers at Giant Steps is truly one of the most dynamic, caring, and kind groups of people I have ever met. Although we all lead different lives, our love of our students and the program that provides them with so much overcomes this. Volunteering at Giant Steps is so rewarding and the program provides such a welcoming atmosphere for new students and volunteers alike.