Horse-assisted therapy requires a large therapeutic staff; in many cases there is a need for two, three and sometimes even four staff people for one rider in order to ensure the safety and efficiency of therapy.
The accompanying staff are required to lead the horse, to support the physically disabled rider, to mediate instructions for riders with communication disorders, to assist with external accessories etc.
This activity could not take place without the intense help of our volunteers. Among our volunteers are young women from the “Aharai!” (“Follow me!”) organization, who postpone their military service in order to give a year to the community; young men and women from the Mechina program run by the urban kibbutz “Bet Yisrael”; young women from North America who came to Israel for a year of studies and volunteer work with Midreshet Yeud; interns from Givat Washington Educational Center, and others. Each volunteer comes for different reasons but they all share a sincere wish to help, give and contribute.
The volunteers'’ work is very meaningful for us, not just economically but especially from an inter-personal aspect. The relationships that develop between the children and the volunteers who work with them on a regular basis are an integral part of the therapeutic process. The encounter between volunteers and children gives the children a sense of belonging, confidence and love and gives the volunteers a tremendous feeling of satisfaction and excitement. One can often hear the statement “the child’s smile is my reward”.
Our volunteers undergo a short training course where they become acquainted with the world of horses and the world of therapy. During the course skills such as horse-grooming, stable work and work with children and youth with special needs, are taught. At the end of the course the volunteers are integrated in jobs with the horses, stable work and of course – with children and youth in the horseback riding field.
If you are interested in becoming a volunteer at our Farm you are welcome to contact us or to come visit at the Farm.