Volunteer Training & Workshops
Please join us in becoming a class volunteer! Whether you are an enthusiast with many years of horse experience, or this is your first time working with horses, your time with us is invaluable and appreciated!
Volunteers can be involved in our classes as either Horse Handlers or Side Walkers. Volunteer training for these roles is to ensure that everyone working with our horses and clients knows and consistently uses proper techniques. This attention to quality and consistency allows us to run safe programs and maintain the high standards we strive for as a PATH Intl. Premier Accredited Center.
2020 Class Session Schedule
Winter Session: January 6 - March 7
Spring Session: April 6 - June 6
Summer Session: June 29 - August 29
Fall Session: September 28 - November 28
When is the next Volunteer Training?
We hold many of our volunteer training classes in a group setting while we are on break from our sessions, during the months of March, June, September, and December. This allows volunteers to start at the beginning of a session. Seasoned volunteers are also welcome to attend to brush up on their skills!
Our next training opportunities are for volunteers who are interested in volunteering for the 2021 Winter Session. Volunteer training times will be offered in December- please check back for specific dates/times. Thank you!
SMILES staff strives to provide continuing education for all of our current volunteers to keep our program safe, effective, and thriving! Volunteer Workshops focus on topics that are important for volunteers, and allow opportunities to practice skills outside of our regular classes. Continue to check back for further workshop opportunities!
SMILES staff offered two workshops for volunteers this past year in which the volunteers were able to climb into the saddle and feel what our clients feel when they are riding! Not only did riding offer volunteers a new perspective, but it also allowed volunteers to practice their horse handling skills.
Trotting Workshop, March 2020: In this workshop, volunteers were given tips and tricks for trotting with various horses in a class setting, and gained confidence in their trotting skills! CLICK HERE to see an album of pictures from this fun evening!
Need for Speed Workshop, September 2020: In this workshop, volunteers gained skills relating to speed changes in class (fast walk/slow walk). Volunteers practiced their horse handling skills, and were also able to ride one of the therapy horses to feel what happens to our muscles when horses change speeds. CLICK HERE to see an album of pictures from this fun evening!
"The social aspect of SMILES is an amazing thing to be a part of! The students, volunteers, staff, and horses come together every week for learning, for challenges, and for fun!"
-Alison Brown, SMILES Volunteer & Kindergarten Teacher