Two of my brothers and one of my sisters and I all volunteer at Reins of Life. This is a hippotherapy center for people with special needs. We are so excited about this place. We try to get everyone to volunteer there.
Since 1978 volunteers have been assisting during more than 3,000 hours of lessons per year. The organization helps children and adults reach their full potential by having them ride horses.
The lessons teach focus, direction following skills, coordination, and help stretch muscles and improve balance.
Over 500 riders per year participate. Reins of Life helps individuals who come from as far away as 100 miles. There are very few organizations like this one. I see the same riders a lot because they find the experience to be so beneficial.
The riders sometimes become very close friends with the volunteers. One rider was a flowergirl in her sidewalker's wedding.
I am a “side walker,” so prevent riders from falling, engage them in conversation, and assist during activities. I love to chat with the riders. It's easy to speak abstractly about "appreciating differences," but when I'm with the riders, I really learn how. I am so happy I can help them reach their full potential with their abilities and physical health.
Reins of Life receives no government or insurance funding.
Reins of Life subsists on fundraisers, the small lesson fees, and donations from individuals, organizations, and corporations. The horses are donated.