“Our horses get so much more attention and love because of the volunteers,” comments Melissa Clay a Redwings Horse Trainer. The Redwings Horse Rescue and Sanctuary staff is often pulled away by work responsibilities so there is less time to brush and simply be with each horse. Gratefully, Redwings volunteers step in and provide extra care and interaction with the horses. “We as the staff love to see the horses getting that extra care and attention,” adds Melissa.
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Integrating Volunteers into the Operation at Redwings
All volunteers start at level one. The training introduces volunteers to Redwing’s mission and history, covers some basic horsemanship, plus goes over policies and procedures. Volunteers completing the class go on a short facilities tour where they meet the level one horses they will be working with. There are also level two horses needing interaction. Volunteers desiring to work with these horses will meet with a staff member for proper introduction to these horses. The staff will introduce each level two horse and inform the volunteer about their personalities ensuring the best ways for working with these particular horses.
Is Horse Experience Necessary?
Volunteers do not need to have any horse experience when they first begin. Completing the volunteer course authorizes every volunteer to interact directly with a level one horse regardless of volunteer’s horse experience. If there are level two horses needing extra care, then volunteers will need to have a staff member introduce them to a particular level two horse. This ensures the volunteer will understand the horse’s personality and what to be aware of with the horse.
“I am always looking for ways to give back to my community. The Redwings Horse Sanctuary is such an amazing place to volunteer. It has been a joy to work around horses and learn more about them while being able to support a wonderful organization. I feel very lucky to have found a place that I look forward to visiting every week and to know that I am making a small difference.” – Rochelle
What are the Various Redwings Volunteer Jobs?
There are many ways volunteers can serve at Redwings Horse Sanctuary. Extra horse grooming care and interaction keeps the horses stimulated and healthy. However, there are a variety of other jobs a volunteer can perform:
Docent: Speaking to groups of visitors with an understanding of Redwing’s mission. The volunteer understands and knows the history of Redwings and the story of each of the horses.
Fundraising: Speaking or writing persuasively promoting the mission and validity of the need for financial support.
Gardening: Help maintain the Redwings gardens by weeding, hoeing and trimming.
Pasture care and grounds clean up: Picking up trash and checking for problem areas then reporting back to a Redwings staff member. This would require walking on rough terrain through the pastures and roads.
Ranch work: Mending fences, painting, and other ranch facility repairs.
Special Events: Meeting and greeting the public at Special Event while communicating Redwings Mission and stance on equine related issues. This includes helping with setting-up, tearing down and staffing at the event.
Writer: Formulating and writting letters, proposals, and grants as directed.
Spending Time at Redwings
“My first visit to Redwings Horse Sanctuary was in October of 2006. I immediately fell in love with the ranch and the horses. Sooo, being a horse lover all of my life, I signed up for their Volunteer Training Class. Soon I was volunteering one to two times a week, sometimes three! Redwings is always looking for volunteers to help the staff provide the highest standard of care for their horses and burros. If you want to work with the equines, taking this class is the first step.
The time I have spent at Redwings Horse Sanctuary has made me aware of the fact that there are so many horses in need. Most of the horses at Redwings come from abandoned, abusive or neglected backgrounds. Seeing them arrive at the ranch and witnessing the transformation of their condition and quality of life (being well fed, retrained and fostered/adopted, or given a permanent home) has been very rewarding for this horse lover.
47240 Lockwood-Jolon Rd. is a very special place. This ranch has provided sanctuary for all the beings that have passed through its gates and will never be forgotten. I am looking forward to visiting all of my friends at their new home on Union Road in Paso Robles and making more wonderful memories.” – Pam Shreeves
Redwings Volunteers are Needed Year-Round
Redwings Horse Sanctuary relocated their entire operation to Union Road in Paso Robles. They are still settling into their new digs, but are welcoming volunteers. Redwing volunteers are needed year-round on a weekly basis and once-in-awhile. Volunteer classes and appreciation events are all part of the on-going volunteer experience at Redwings.
Anyone interested in volunteering can start by making an appointment to attend one of the volunteer orientation classes. Upon completion, volunteers work at the Sanctuary Tuesday-Saturday from 9:00 am -3:30 pm. If you are interested in one of the other volunteer activities listed above, contact a staff member to get started. You can e-mail them at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Go make a difference in the life of a horse at Redwings Horse Rescue and Sanctuary. Visit them at their new home off Union Road in Paso Robles.
Photo credit: Redwings Horse Santuary
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