Texas Tech Therapeutic Riding Center in need of volunteers - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

Texas Tech Therapeutic Riding Center in need of volunteers

(Source: Jenna Siffringer, KCBD) (Source: Jenna Siffringer, KCBD)

The Texas Tech Therapeutic Riding Center is looking for volunteers to help with lessons, inventory, and grooming for their horses. 

You don't need any horse knowledge or previous experience to be a volunteer, you just have to be willing to help people. And there's no commitment, just come in when you can.

The center works with dozens of riders every week, ages two to 98 years old, with a variety of special needs. Volunteer Coordinator Kelcee Lewis says ideally, they would like to have a hundred volunteers a day. Each rider needs up to three volunteers assisting them, so they are always looking for more volunteers. 

They offer two types of equine assisted therapy: hippotherapy and therapeutic riding. 

"With hippo therapy the rider works one on one with a speech, occupational, or physical therapist, and the horse is used as a treatment tool for that session. And therapeutic riding is for our more independent, self-sufficient riders, and they learn the actual skills to ride a horse while also achieving their therapeutic goals," said Lewis. 

Lewis says the volunteers have a huge impact on the safety of the riders and increasing their confidence and social skills. And it's not just rewarding for the volunteers, but it's also fun. 

"I've had so many volunteers tell me it's therapeutic for them just to come out and help, and as you can see around us we have a nice atmosphere, it's nice and quiet out here. Even if they're not riding the horse, it's therapeutic to see someone ride, or to get that horse ready for the lesson," said Lewis.

"Our volunteers have a huge impact, and that's not only just providing safety and support for the rider, but it helps to increase that riders confidence," said Lewis. 

The center runs on donations, grants, and volunteers, so they are always looking for more help. 

If you're interested in volunteering you must attend an orientation. You can find the next orientation time on their Facebook, or by emailing ttrc@ttu.edu

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