Volunteering at HOPE
When I first heard of the organization HOPE I could not imagine what exactly it meant. An organization offering Horse therapy to special needs children. I was familiar with the term Horse therapy, but I did not know what exactly it meant and how exactly these children could benefit from the horses until I volunteered at HOPE.
The first time the new team met up was for a training session where the new to-be-volunteers were briefed about safety risks, how to handle the horses, how to help the kids and treat them with respect etc. All of this might seem like something one should already know but during my time there I realized how little I had known before.
For that we sometimes had to make adjustments such as changing the horse for a rider, letting them execute different exercises and in general giving them time to get familiar with the horses and people.
Trust was important in the relationship to the kids and sometimes it could take time to establish a relationship to the rider. But the harder it was to reach someone, the greater it was when one finally did! There were days when one was not sure if one was achieving anything at all and sometimes one needed to take a step back first. And then suddenly there were moments where something that seemed impossible all week was done in a matter of minutes!
In conclusion for me personally it has been a great experience and I am looking forward to my second week of HOPE. Volunteering for the organization was a great experience and definitely one I can recommend making for people who enjoy working with children and horses.