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Hello everyone, me again.  I would like to see if anyone out there knows of someone that has free time in the afternoon’s.  Such as a college student, an active Senior or someone that just has time in the afternoon.  Healing Strides of VA is a therapeutice riding facility that is looking for volunteers, for all hours, but seriously have a need to be filled in the afternoons.  So if you know anyone or would like to volunteer yourself please get in touch with them at:  540.334.5825 or 540.354.8255.

576997_412866512100486_2024963649_n[2]  This is a great opportunity to meet people and get fresh air and excercise.  Most lessons are approximately one hour from start to finish and in that time you get to stand, walk and sometimes trot, uh I mean jog!  You laugh, work hard, sweat and get dirty.  Basically all the things you normally would hate, but you will love doing it at this facility.  You work with some really amazing instructors, students and volunteers from a wide variety of age groups, backgrounds and general interests.

The volunteering you do here gives you almost instantaneous satisfaction, if not from the riders themselves just the stories they can tell.  A lot of you may not of heard of therapeutic riding or hippo therapy but it is a type of therapy where horses are used to mimic the motions of walking, to help maintain core muscles and give the riders confidence and just a general feeling of being in control!  I started volunteering at Healing Strides at least 2 years ago and I have seen some amazing things happen there.  I have met great people in all aspects of the program.  These types of programs rely heavily on volunteers, but unike some places you volunteer at, at Healing Strides, you really feel like you make a difference.  From the instructors to the family’s of the riders to their cats, each volunteer is really appreciated.

arenaThere are a lot of facilities that you can volunteer at, some give you free lunch, some give you set hours and some even give you the opportunity for growth, but I don’t know of any that will give you the kind of feeling you will get when you volunteer at a place like this.  So come check it out.  It is on Naff Road in Boones Mill (just over the line of Roanoke County), less than a mile down the road on the right.  Come visit and see what you think and if nothing else enjoy the big puppies in the fields.  Just a note, no horse experience is necessary or previous volunteering.  They can teach you all you need to know to enjoy this experience.

Ask for Carol, Dee’Anna, or Maggie when you stop in or call!

Just a little note…..

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As everyone in my class knows I have been trying to generate more interest in this program, both in riders and volunteers.  I am trying to locate some groups that I can contact about this program to see if they would be interested in coming out to see this spectacular group of people.  I know there are a lot of people out there that know people that might be interested in something like this.  I am hoping you can help me make contacts.  This facility is so amazing for everyone involved, this is why I have become so passionate because you really get so much out of it.  Let me know if you know anyone that this may benefit!  Thanks so much!

 

I have put in some links so you check out what other people are saying.

http://longvalley.patch.com/groups/schools/p/horseriding-will-continue-tradition-of-therapy-this-summer_4ed73690

http://www.autismspeaks.org/blog/2013/03/08/horseback-riding-autism-therapy

Check This Out!

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Okay so I’ve been talking about Healing Strides in my blogs and I would like to let you know about a special date.  September 28th is the Annual Hoedown Fundraiser for this program.  All are invited to attend and all are welcome.  It starts at 11 and goes until 3, so there will be plenty of time to stop by for a visit. 

Each year the Hoedown is different.  This year they will of course have a band playing througout most of the day. Image

They also sell baked goods and have food.  ImageThere is always the popular trail rides on the horses, the petting zoo, and the kids corner.  This year they are also having a talent show and rider demonstrations.  In past years they have had silent auctions, a yard sale section and a variety of other things to look at. 

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It would be a great time for those that might be interested in checking the facility out.  You will be able to meet a lot of the staff, volunteers and riders with no pressure about signing up for anything.  I think once you go out to the facility you will really love the place and be able to decide if anyone can fit this into their busy schedules.  Remember you don’t have to commit every week, you can do it once a month or just for special events, and in the fall they have some horse shows coming up and other local events you can help out with.

It’s a great way to meet new people, network and just have fun while helping out so many people.  This program relies on its volunteers, so come by in September and just look around!  The address is 672 Naff Road in Boones Mill, just over the border from Roanoke County.

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Look who’s here!

instructors1[1] See this happy group, well these were the first instructors that I got work with at Healing Strides of Va.  They come from a variety of backgrounds, believe it or not, they did not set out to become insturctors.  Through wild opportunities these wonderful people became instructors after lots of studying and  work they were my first experience in VA with equine assisted therapy. instructors2
Now look at this great bunch!  Yes, these guys have just passed their tests and are pretty proud of themselves.  Who wouldn’t be they spent a lot of time preparing for this with help form some old timers!!  ha ha. 

I just wanted to show you guys that this place can change your life and create opportunities you may have never known existed before today.  Again, these instructors come from a variety of backgrounds, some are already therapists, but just thought it was pretty cool that they made it!