When was the last time you helped someone hug a horse? At Shady Hollow Farm in Birdsboro, we provide therapeutic horseback riding lessons for individuals with special needs. Without volunteers our therapy lessons would not be possible!
Shady Hollow Assisted Riding is a nonprofit organization over 90% volunteer based, we have a variety of volunteer opportunities. There are many programs where help is needed to safely assist individuals in horseback riding. The Assisted Riding can require, at times, up to 5 volunteers per lesson. Bridle Club and Little Breeches are fun and inspiring classes that introduce young riders to horsemanship. To experience a child’s first time on a horse is something a volunteer will never forget. During the summer, SHAR is a busy place with Special Group Field Trips, Summer Camps and our away visits to Aaron’s Acres.
We guarantee the time you spend volunteering at SHAR will warm your heart and inspire you. Bring a smile to somebodies face today!
A Program Volunteer must be at least 14 years old and is required to attend a training class before volunteering for lessons. Training classes generally take place once a month beginning in February and continuing until the end of summer. There is a $25 Registration Fee which includes the cost of the training and provides the volunteer with a SHAR Volunteer T-Shirt. Volunteers are asked to commit (but are not required) to an entire riding session, which includes approximately 6 lessons. Lessons take place every other week. At time of Registration, volunteers are given a choice of preferred lesson day and time. We ask that volunteers choose a day that they are able to attend for the duration of the session. A calendar of lesson dates and times is always available on our website. We find that our riders benefit from a consistent group of volunteers.
Program Volunteers "jobs" can include but are not limited to:
- Side Walkers – friendly, horse loving people who walk next to the rider
- Horse Leader – the leader guides the horse and rider during lessons
- Groomers – Brush, comb, cuddle, saddle and snuggle a horse. Prepare horse for lessons.
- Barn Helpers- sweep, scrub buckets, help feed and hay, dust, clean/tidy
A Program Volunteer is able to volunteer for Assisted Lessons, Bridle Club, Little Breeches, Camps, Transitional Lessons and all events for SHAR. If for any reason a volunteer is unable to pay the Registration Fee, please inform a staff member and accommodation will be made.
All Program Volunteers are eligible for a discounted riding lesson at SHAR. Volunteers must accumulate 20 hours of volunteering prior to lesson. Lessons are available at the instructors rate, between $10-14, there is no charge for facility or horse. There is a 200 lb. weight limit for all riders at SHAR. Lessons can be arranged by directly contacting the Instructor of choice or through the Program Director or Volunteer Coordinator.
All volunteers 18 years of age or older are required to submit a copy of the PA Child Abuse Clearance and Criminal Background Check at time of training.
Non Program Volunteers
A Non-Program Volunteer is a volunteer who is interested in farm work, barn and stable maintenance, landscaping, gardening, and fundraising events. (There is no age requirement for Non-Program Volunteers, however children under 14 need to be accompanied by a parent or guardian.) SHAR is a 90 acre farm with, at times 25 horses to take care of. There are many daily chores such as stall cleaning, paper shredding and manure pick up that require help. Throughout the year there are always fences to be repaired, tree pruning and wood cutting to be done. A Registration Form is to be completed before volunteering can begin; however, there is no registration fee for Non-Program Volunteers.
Individuals seeking community service hours for graduation are welcome to contact us for volunteering. Court appointed community service hours can only be fulfilled through Non-Program Volunteering
Who can help?
- Individuals with a mature, confident and friendly personality.
- If under the age of 14, an adult must accompany.
- Community Groups, Church Groups, and School Clubs
- Court appointed individuals
Non Program Volunteer "jobs" can include but are not limited to:
- Behind the Scenes helpers – fundraising, special events
- Donate therapy services
- Manure Maintenance- clean stalls, remove manure from paddocks
- Barn Maintenance- these are people who want to push up their sleeves, get dirty and have some fun!
- Electrical work
- Mechanical work
Make volunteering a part of your life, with donating as little as 3 hours of your time!
Contact us or call 610-582-4050