Question of the Month: How do volunteers get their volunteer assignment?
Answer: New, and sometimes existing, volunteers often wonder how they get their volunteer assignments in classes and at the barn. When volunteers sign up for their volunteer shift our volunteer coordinator adds them to the schedule and our head instructor makes sure their names are on the roster at the appropriate times. From there it is at the discretion of each class’ instructor to assign which volunteers, clients, and horses work together.
We try our best to pair volunteers with horses and clients in ways that will be happy and harmonious for all involved. All of our clients and horses have different personalities, and sometimes we try different combinations to see what works best–because of that, new volunteers can get moved around. We strive to find that perfect pairing and then have volunteers work consistently with the same horses and clients. Clients are most successful when they are able to work with the same volunteers week after week, and volunteers are able to be more helpful, successful, and connected the better they get to know the clients and horses that they work with.
If you are a volunteer and ever feel that you made a special connection or were extra successful working with one of our clients or horses, please be sure to let the instructor know! The instructors have a lot to manage while teaching classes and are not always able to catch all the little things that our volunteers, who are up close with our clients, might see. Be your own advocate, but also be flexible.