Westernaires is an outstanding mounted precision drill organization composed of over 1000 Jefferson County, CO youth from 9 to 19 years of age. There are approximately 500 volunteers who make the whole thing possible.
Self-respect, responsibility and leadership are encouraged through horsemanship and family participation.
Westernaires provides training in western riding, precision drills, trick riding, dressage and horse care.
I've never seen such a successful youth education program.
You don't need to own a horse to join. Westernaires has over 150 horses and ponies for participants to groom, saddle and ride. And, it's affordable: Membership is $25. Horse rental is $10.
Classes in grooming, saddling, wrangling are free.
In addition to learning about care of horses and honing their skill at precision mounted drill, Westernaires members develop important intangible qualities. These include the discipline that comes from training every week for years to achieve promotion to the top teams of the organization, the sense of teamwork from riding week after week with a group of riders trying to gel into a polished performance, the sense of personal responsibility from caring for horses, and community pride from gaining a personal appreciation for our western heritage.
Westernaires provides a constructive alternative for today's suburban youngsters. There are no drugs, alcohol or tobacco at Westernaires. There is a sense of family and community, which nurtures young people into responsible leaders. It provides a place for parents and youth to work together in so many ways that seem unavailable elsewhere.
This teamwork between generations is exemplified by the 500 adult volunteers who make it possible for our young people to ride; wranglers, instructors, first-aiders, maintenance crews. Westernaires' horse and facilities caretaker is its one paid employee.
I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...
I have two young people participating in the program. They are learning responsibility, discipline, respect through horsemanship in the tradition of the American West.
Ways to make it better...
If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...
Encourage others outside the organization to learn about and participate in Westernaires programs.
Would you volunteer for this group again?
For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?
Did the organization use your time wisely?
Would you recommend this group to a friend?
What one change could this group make that would improve your volunteer experience?
Stay on course and don't change!
Did your volunteer experience have an effect on you? (teaching you a new skill, or introducing new friends, etc.)
It had a profound effect on me. In one year I've learned about horse care and behavior. I'm now a wrangler and can help teach and facilitate others, young and old, in their participation. With over 500 volunteers, I've met countless new friends. So have Kayla and Haley.
How did this volunteer experience make you feel?
Great. Working with horses and like minded people and youth are very satisfying. I should have gotten involved many years ago!
When was your last experience with this nonprofit?