Volunteer Application

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Volunteer Guidelines

These guidelines were developed in order to create a safe, respectful environment for clients, volunteers, horses, and therapists at Medicine (MH).  

Horse safety:  NEVER feed horses hay or grain, even if they act hungry (they always act hungry). Overfeeding can colic and kill a horse. Do not remove a horse from a stall or turnout without permission from staff.

Therapeutic Environment:  Most of the areas at MH (as well as the office) are used for therapy.  When entering MH property, please be mindful that a session may be in progress.  If a therapist is with anyone while you are on the property, pass quietly without interrupting.  If there is an emergency and you must enter the office while a session is in progress, knock first and wait for the door to be opened.

Home Environment:  The property is also home to several individuals.  The house driveway must be kept clear at all times and is off-bounds for volunteers and clients.  Please do not approach the house unless it is an absolute emergency and there is no one in the office or barns.

Scheduling:  All volunteer time must be scheduled with the office.  Volunteers may only be on the property as scheduled and may not stop by randomly, bring visitors, etc.  All volunteering must be arranged through the Volunteer Coordinator by calling 720.406.7630 or emailing volunteercoordinator@medicinehorse.org.   Please do not assume that because you leave a message or email that the time has been confirmed.  

Commitment: It is imperative that you keep your volunteer commitments as scheduled. If you are unable to volunteer for a scheduled shift, please contact the Volunteer Coordinator at least 24 hours in advance by emailing volunteercoordinator@medicinehorse.org.

Please arrive thirty minutes prior to start time for classes, events, sessions, etc and plan to stay a few minutes afterward to clean up, put horses away, etc.

Age Requirement:  Children under 18 must volunteer with a parent or guardian.  

Safety:  

Safety is always our primary concern for clients, volunteers, horses and anyone on the property.  Please observe the following policies:

1.  All riders MUST wear helmets when mounted.

2.  Use the quick release tie with horses.  Use the one taught during Horse-Handling classes

3.  Ensure gates are locked appropriately and do not leave gates open.

4.  Do not feed the horses or offer treats.  This can encourage nibbling at a child’s hand or more aggressive behavior.  Treats may be placed in a bucket or feed pan with the permission of MHP staff.

5.  Turn off cell phones when entering the equine areas.

6. Wear sturdy shoes and work gloves

Horse-Handling Evaluation:  

In order to work with our horses in any capacity (i.e. assist in classes, therapy sessions, programs, grooming and schooling, etc) Medicine Horse requires that you complete the Equine Skills Training offered once a month.  Even if you have years of equine experience, it is still important to standardize all handling procedures and to become familiar with Medicine Horse horses, Medicine Horse philosophy relative to horse-handling, etc. Aggressive behavior will not be tolerated with our horses.  Additional trainings may be provided to ensure that all volunteers act in accordance with Medicine Horse horse handling procedures.

Emergency Information:  Instructions and phone numbers for emergencies are posted in the barn and on on the office door. The phone is in the Medicine Horse office on the desk near the front door.  Please note: the office phone is to be used only for emergencies.

Volunteer sign-in:  Whenever you are volunteering on the property, please log your hours on the sign in sheet in the central program barn.   

NO SMOKING on the Medicine Horse property, please.

Drugs/Alcohol: Volunteering with and around horses requires a clear head. Please do not use drugs or alcohol prior to or while volunteering. If we suspect that you are under the influence we will ask you to leave the property.

Parking:  If you are volunteering for a large program or if the parking lot is full, please drive through the white gates, close them behind you and park in back by the program barn. Please do not park on the east side of the drive (ruins drainage pipes). Do not block the large white gates on the southwest side. That is the access for emergency vehicles to get to the arena in case of a riding accident. If you are parked anywhere on the drive and a firetruck can not get through, please move your car behind the white gates.

Dogs:  We all love dogs, but please leave them at home.  Dogs are not allowed on the Medicine Horse property.  Dogs may NOT be left in parked cars.

Paperwork: All volunteers must complete the volunteer application, and sign the liability release, confidentiality policy, background check notification form and authorization for emergency medical treatment before volunteering.

POLICIES AND PROCEDURES

MEDICINE HORSE

Participant/Volunteer rules and regulations in accordance with Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association (EAGALA)

  1. SAFETY AND CONFIDENTIALITY.   No participant is allowed beyond the white front entry gates without supervision of Medicine Horse staff or designated volunteer from the time they arrive until the time they leave.

No family members, visitors, friends, parents, guardians, etc. are allowed to accompany participants or volunteers beyond the front gates while classes are being conducted and must stay in the front parking lot areas.  This is due to Medicine Horse client confidentiality policies and privacy issues surrounding Equine Assisted Psychotherapy . The only exception will be for special events and will be at the discretion of the Executive Director or Therapist/Instructor.

No running or shouting is allowed anywhere on the premises.  All participants must wear approved riding helmets, long pants, closed toed shoes and comfortable appropriate clothing for existing weather conditions.  Boots with a heel are recommended and helmets will be provided by Medicine Horse. Sandals and shorts are not permitted. Instructors must facilitate mounting/dismounting all students.

No hand feeding of horses/ponies is allowed.  No smoking or chewing gum allowed while on the property.

No dogs belonging to participants, volunteers, guests, etc. are allowed on the ranch.  This includes being inside vehicles. Horses and dogs do not mix.

  1. CANCELLATION POLICY.   If lessons/classes must be cancelled, participants and volunteers will be notified in advance as early as possible.  If participants are unable to attend their scheduled lesson, Medicine Horse Staff appreciates the same courtesy.

  1. SAFETY AND ADMINISTRATIVE POLICIES.   Medicine Horse Insurance covers only participants enrolled in our program.  Please do not ask us to let your other children or friends work with our horses.