PEGASUS SPECIAL RIDERS, INC. , is a not-for-profit 501 (c) 3 organization dedicated to providing therapeutic horseback riding instruction to the physically, mentally and/or emotionally challenged of the northwestern Illinois area. This service is provided through the cooperation of parents, physical therapists, educators, and volunteers.
Horseback riding provides disabled individuals with a variety of positive physical and psychological benefits. A horse offers a source of love and reassurance. The horse is not an animated gymnastic instrument. Riding is a dynamic treatment, rather than a static repetitious routine, which can become discouraging to a challenged person.
Mastery of horsemanship develops self-awareness, builds self-confidence, and improves concentration and self-discipline. Horseback riding also strengthens and relaxes muscles, improves posture, balance, coordination and joint mobility.
Riding provides a tremendous boost to the self-esteem of students with learning disabilities and emotional problems. Finally, the talents learned in the barn transfer to classrooms and everyday living.
What Does it Take to Volunteer?
Our Volunteers represent every segment of the community in age, race, educational background, and interest. We do request volunteers to be at least 14 years old. No prior experience with challenged individuals or horses is necessary. What is needed, is your willingness to learn an abundance of love and patience.
We request that all volunteers attend a training session before working in the program.
This on line booklet is an outline of what is expected of our volunteers. Read it carefully, as it is important for you to understand the nature of your work. We look forward to having you with us.
Some physical stamina is required. You may have to walk or jog next to a horse for as much as an hour. If you are physically unable to do this, if you feel uncomfortable around horses, or you feel uncomfortable working with challenged individuals, you could consider barn maintenance or administrative duties.
What Can I Do?
There are a number of jobs that need to be done. Jobs involve working with the horses, keeping the facility and equipment cleaned and maintained, working with students, or helping students ride and learn. Volunteers are also needed for other jobs ranging from public relations to scheduling and fund raising.
LEADERS - These volunteers are expected to lead the horse while the student is mounted. They also stand at the horse's head in the halt position when a rider is mounting and dismounting.
SIDE WALKERS - These volunteers walk alongside the horse and assist the student in keeping his balance, assist in following instructions and help the student to mount and dismount.
GREETERS - These volunteers greet the student, help them sign in, find a size-appropriate helmet and assist putting on, if necessary, phoning emergency authorities, should the need arise and accept payments.
GROOMING AND TACKING UP - Volunteer cleans and brushes the horse and gets the saddle and bridle on. May warm horse up in riding arena by leading the horse around. This may also be done by the leaders.
Confidentiality/ Interpersonal Interactions
What is confidentiality? Part of the safe environment we are committed to providing at Pegasus is the protection we promise clients and their families that their personal information, health issues and business will not be discussed outside of the therapeutic setting, nor with individuals who are not directly involved with client care. We also establish emotional safety at Pegasus by setting a standard of honoring each individual’s dignity, uniqueness, and right to be treated with respect and good humor. This standard applies to clients, their families, visitors, and fellow workers --- both the two and the four-legged kind!
Another word on interpersonal interactions... During the lesson it is friendly and helpful to offer words of encouragement, support, and clarification of instructions to riders. However, the quality of a rider’s experience is diminished when leaders or side-walkers engage in conversations that divert attention from the goals and activities of the lesson. Safety is also compromised when attention is not being given to the instructor. Please use your interactions to enhance the lesson experience.
Click on the link below to download the volunteer application:
Please, complete the form and mail it to P.O. Box 293, Oregon IL 61061.
If you are interested or want more information about volunteering, please contact us at 815-973-3177, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org