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!
I have been a volunteer for over 17 years. The comments from our parents and riders says it all - SIRE is the best thing they have ever done. That is why I keep on giving to them.
Review from Guidestar
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.
My daughter started volunteering at SIRE three years ago, got me hooked, and now my son volunteers, too! As a dad, I love SIRE because it is a great place for my kids to do great work with great people. My kids have created lasting relationships with people of all ages and from many different backgrounds. And, they get to see how our clients with a variety of challenges are real people with the same goals, fears, and dreams that we all have. As a volunteer, I love seeing how an hour on a horse can truly change my clients' lives by giving them more physical, cognitive, and emotional strength. I also love my fellow volunteers, and the staff is amazing. They always make us feel appreciated, because at SIRE, we are all part of the team. If you're looking for hands-on volunteering that lets you change lives in a fun, supportive environment, SIRE is your place.
Thank you, Tim!
I have been a volunteer with SIRE, the Houston area Equestrian Therapy Program, for a little more than 5 years. I have seen adults, young adults, teenagers and children come into and through the program. I have encountered their family and caretakers who support and cheer them on. I still cannot find the words to tell you how much this program has touched each one of them. I celebrate every little success I see each of them accomplish with their favorite horse...the big smile one their faces! I celebrate when I see a young woman who was severely brain injured in an auto accident feel the joy of her horse under her body for weeks and then become able to go back to school (college) and graduate last May! Wow! What a success story! I see a little girl with autism get on a horse for the first time somewhat bedraggled finally settle down, then a big smile come across her face, she sits straight, and, then I know she was meant to ride...today she is reigning her horse as if she had been born on it! Now, isn't that a great success! This is what SIRE does...this is what the program is all about...how can I not nominate it!
Well, all you have to do is look into the faces of our riders and the story of their growth and joy unfolds. Then you look at their loved ones watching them progress and then you know why all of us do what we do...anything and everything to support the work of this program. I have been a volunteer with SIRE for the past 4 years since I retired from University work. I am not sure any words can describe the tremendous experience it is to see a Iraq veteran, injured by a road bomb, ride and become stronger, more balanced, more confident he can make it! Or, see a litte girl who is autistic, ride for the first time...fighting against getting on the horse, and then, once up on the saddle her face lights up and a smile appears...wow...she was made for riding. Now she is excited every time she comes. This is what I say to others.."it puts gas in my tank" and is the reason I keep volunteering doing anything I can do to keep this program alive! Thank you SIRE Family!
Thank you, Stephanie!
I have had a great experience volunteering at SIRE. I benefit in many ways while volunteering at SIRE. I share in the clients success, the parents joy for their child's learning, and I am educated to be a better volunteer ever time I am at SIRE. The instructors are terrific to work with. It's great voluntering at SIRE.
I am the one who benefits by being at SIRE. Everyday that I volunteer I learn more about giving back to others, about people who have handicapps and about horses. I value the continual training SIRE offers for its volunteers. Their instructors are wonderful to work with.
Thanks, that's helpful to know. I hope we're getting better!
Review from Guidestar
I have volunteered with SIRE for 3+ years. I have witnessed this organization continue to provide the very best to its clients not only by the professional and caring instructors but also providing training and education to its volunteers. The clients benefit immensly as everyone works hard to help improve the quality of life for persons with disabilities. I was already volunteering at SIRE when my sister was stricken with a disease that caused her to require a wheelchair. I brought her to SIRE and she began to regain her mobility. She now walks with only a cane for support! It has given her personal freedom, confidence and hope.
Thank you! SS
I have volunteered for SIRE for almost 4 years. My experience with this organization has been amazing! I am humbled by the enthusiasm of the clients that I work with. I see smiling faces and positive attitudes even when they are having a difficult day. Any act of kindness I perform is met with such appreciation by both the clients and the staff. I volunteer at SIRE to make a difference in people's lives but leave each day knowing my life has been made so much better!
Thank you! Sabrina
I've been volunteering with SIRE in Fort Bend county for almost 3 years now. I had no idea that I would become "addicted" to this!! It just feels so good to see the kids and the adults respond to the horses and reep the rewards. This program benefits so many people. Not only our clients but our volunteers as well. I've always loved horses, but now I know what they were truly intended for. I have met the most wonderful people volunteering at SIRE. They are all so giving and commited to making life better for the clients. I wish I could be there every day!!
SIRE, using therapeutic horseback riding helps people with a variety of disabilities. Both children as young as 3 years and adults as old as 80+ have participated as riders and benefited. People with autism, cerebral palsy, and wounded veterans all make gains from the programs at SIRE. I have been a horse sidewalker with clients that have autism and cerebral palsy. The self-confidence they have gained from SIRE has shown in their smiles and their increased speech. Family members are amazed at the impact in the arena and at home and have shared their stories. Each time I leave the SIRE site, I have a warm heart knowing that I've made a difference in someone's life.
I've volunteered with SIRE since I was 14 years old, and it is an amazing organization. It's about making the rider happy, but more than that it's about allowing them to have dignity. It gives the riders something to strive for, and they experience the whole range of emotion, from intense disappointment when they have trouble with a skill to joy when they get it right, or when they form a bond with a horse. Also, they get to make friends at SIRE, that they love being with outside SIRE as well. As a volunteer, it's hard to imagine a better experience. It's incredibly fulfilling, and the staff goes out of there way to make you feel welcome and to give you the chance to give real input about what you think would help your riders. People are really friendly, and they all want to make the world better. It's incredible.
Witnessing the magic that happens when a client connects with a horse is priceless. The multiple benefits are so hard to quantify. Sure, there is the increased strength and flexibility the clients develop, but harder to measure are the confidence and the willingness to try just a little harder that only a horse seems to be able to bring out of a person. Physical, emotional, and cognitive challenges can be helped with the wonderful volunteers, the qualified, dedicated staff, and, most importantly, the patient and sympathetic horses.
Thank you! We love our volunteers! :)
I've volunteered with the SIRE clients for about 3 months now. It is soooooooo gratifying to see the looks and smiles on their faces when riding a horse. Since I love people and horses, this was the perfect volunteer organization for me. Since the clients are disabled, some more than others, the riding instructor's know which horse to put these individual clients on for their special disabilities. The short time I've been there, I can see improvement in some of the clients. I'm consider a side walker and I walk beside the horse and am there for support of the clients leg, if needed.; there are usually two side walker to each client. This organization cares so much for their clients. Everyone should come and watch one of our sessions. Most people who come to observe, join with us because they are so impressed. Phyllis Ransom
Thank you, Phyllis! We love to show people around! Sabrina