Volunteering at SIRE for 5 years was an amazing experience. Loved the wonderful people working/volunteering there. Every single kid/client I worked with touched my heart in so many ways. It was truly amazing witnessing the so many positive changes & growths these kids/clients benefited from riding and working with these wonderful people and horses.
I have been with Sire for about five or six years and have met amazing clients and volunteers through this experience. It is not only a chance to change someone's life in a concrete way, but the people you are "working" with are some of the most caring and friendly people!
I heard about Sire through my husband's workplace as they donate to support Sire. I was afraid of horses but had worked with special needs students over the years so thought it would be a perfect opportunity to combine and conquer my fear! I have been volunteering as a sidewalker for almost five years now. It just goes to prove you DONT need to be a horse person to be a volunteer! I have made incredible friendships with staff, other volunteers and clients and it has been an amazing experience i highly recommend to everyone I meet:) We are now starting a Friends of Sire group for those who appreciate our passion but can't volunteer their time so anyone can get involved! To see the improvement in the clients abilities on the horse has been so gratifying and to see their happiness in riding has been an important part of my life and I encourage everyone to come out to our Richmond ( or Hockley or Spring ) site to see what we are all about!
I have been a volunteer at SIRE for over 20 years. As a horse lover and owner, I know first hand what riding or just being with a horse does for me emotionally. Yet every time I work with SIRE riders I am amazed and inspired by their progress and joy of riding. For some of our riders, just sitting up straight is a challenge - for others it is negotiating a trail course. And this week I saw a young rider enjoy shooting baskets from horseback, even shooting backwards! One of his goasl is to strengthen abdominal muscles - something which is hard to do from a wheelchair. I am so fortunate to be able to volunteer at SIRE!
SIRE brings a sense of fulfillment and joy to my life. To be part of something that can be life changing for a rider is wonderful. I started volunteering at SIRE as a way to be around horses and work with adults and kids with disabilities. I love the time I spend at SIRE! My heart smiles when I am there.
I began volunteering at SIRE in October 2012. Initially as a way to be around horses again and of course volunteer my time in a way that would benefit others. What I found in these client riders and staff and the horses and of course other volunteers has changed my life. I am inspired by the strength and bravery of every rider who may initially approach with trepidation, mere months later are competing in Top Hands. I know I feel power and freedom on horseback, but some of these riders come for wheelchairs. Imagine how that must make them feel. The instructors and staff always make the experience for riders fun and entertaining while they perform tasks to make them stronger and stretch their limits. Feels like play but you can see how hard everyone works - the payoff is the growth and confidence building every week. It is awe inspiring. I am grateful to have become a part of SIRE and all they do.
Awww, Debbie, you're fabulous!
I started volunteering at SIRE as a way to stay close to horses and work with the disabled.
As a bit of history, I am a breast cancer survivor. My medication depletes my calcium so after being throw from 3 different horses, I quit riding for fear of breaking something, like a hip. As for working with the disabled, my mother was an amputee so as I helped her resume a "normal" life, after the loss of her leg, I gained a modicum of knowledge of how the handicapped are perceived and treated by experiencing it first hand. I also saw what the treatment of others did to her mindset. I wanted to show those individuals called disabled that everyone's normal is different and a smile or a display of kindness through encouragement from a volunteer, or from the rider to the volunteer for that matter, is the BEST! SIRE is the WHOLE package...
People tend to give you kudos for working at SIRE but I just say I do it because I'm selfish. Volunteering with such a great organization make ME feel great. Working with individuals trying to better themselves gives me the incentive to better myself. And the friendships I have gained, disabled and able-bodied, are, well...priceless.
If it weren't for SIRE, I wouldn't have a horse of my own who I love to drive with a carriage. Without SIRE, I wouldn't be training to be the Able Bodied Whip for their newly reinstated Driving Program. To sum it up, if I hadn't gotten involved with SIRE, it's mission and it's people, I wouldn't be near as happy with my life as I am now.
Sidebar: I mentioned my horse. He is young, 10 yrs., and I am not-so-young, 61. But when I quit working with/driving him, he will be the best therapy horse I could train him to be so my hope is that the rest of his life will be spent as a SIRE therapy horse helping the disabled in his later years as I have enjoyed doing in mine.
Laura, thank you for all you do!
After my little brother passed away 6 years ago, at 5 and a half months old, due to different health issues that he was born with, my mom started volunteering at a therapeutic equestrian center like SIRE. Now that I am old enough to do it myself, I searched for a place once we moved to houston last year. I have been volunteering at SIRE since January of this year. It has been such an amazing experience to help all these wonderful people! If my brother hadn't died, he would have been one of these kids riding at SIRE. It brings me much joy to volunteer at SIRE, and help put a smile on all these precious people. :)
Thank you, McKenna, for sharing your sweet story and your time.
SIRE is amazing! I started volunteering with them in the fall of 2013 and have loved every second of it. Everything that they do is for their amazing riders! It is not just a motto, the rider is number 1 at all times. The joy and improvement in the riders that I have seen is remarkable. Their abilities are enhanced by the therapy that they receive. The care and attention that SIRE provides to their riders is phenomenal! This is a special group of people that make this therapy available to those who benefit from it. I have gotten back so much more than I could ever give by being a SIRE volunteer.
Yay, Amy! How can we fail when we have such enthusiastic volunteers!
Having volunteered with SIRE for over 7 years, I have been able to see first hand what a great difference it makes in a child's development. I am a retired special education teacher and know the difficulties these students have finding something they can accomplish and be proud of. The staff is amazing (and that includes the horses). It has enriched my life so much and I will continue to volunteer as long as I can.
Thank you, Teena! You're amazing, too. SIRE wouldn't be able to change lives without great volunteers like you.
I began volunteering about 19 years ago and have been in so many roles, but it is seeing the magic on horseback that makes it all worthwhile. I am currently working with a young lady who cannot speak; she communicates through her body position and facial expressions. When her face lights up, she shares that light with all who are around her. It is clear how much she enjoys it, and she know that she must work to sit up straight to keep riding.