Volunteer Bulletin

Little Bit Therapeutic Riding Center
April 2016
In This Issue...
Sighted Guide Technique
Reins of Life Auction
Salute to Volunteers Night
Arena Volunteer Shifts
Survey Results
Tack Cleaning Party
Upcoming Training Opportunities.
Volunteer Spotlight
Meet our Staff
Important Dates 
March 29 - April 17
Session Break, no classes or sessions

April 2
Horse Behavior/Communication Workshop

April 12
Captain/Captain-in-Training Meeting 

April 23
31st Annual Reins of Life Auction

April 27
Horse Leader Training Level I 

April 28
Sighted Guide Technique Workshop
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Sighted Guide Technique Workshop
Sighted Guide Technique is internationally recognized ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­as the safest and most effective way to guide people who are Blind or Deaf-Blind.This technique utilizes sighted persons with specialized skills to guide people who are Blind, Low Vision, or Deaf-Blind.

Deaf-Blind Specialist, Richie Frantz, has worked with the Deaf, Blind, and Deaf-Blind Communities for over 30 years. Her career has been steeped in establishing and developing Deaf-Blind programs, as well as providing workshops and trainings both nationally and internationally. Richie is excited to share her experience with you at Little Bit! 

On Thursday, April 28 at 10 AM, Little Bit will host a 45-minute interactive session on Sighted Guide Technique. 

Please email  Lindsay Shepard to sign up!   
31st Annual Reins of Life Auction
Mark your calendars for the  31st Annual Reins of Life Auction on  Saturday, April 23, from 5-10 pm.

The Auction is our largest fundraiser. It will be held at the  Hyatt Regency Bellevue.

We need your help procuring items and experiences for the auction! Click here  to view our auction wish list.

Interested in volunteering for the big day? Contact Dana LaRue, Volunteer Coordinator, to sign up! 
Seattle Mariners  Salute to Volunteers 
The Seattle Mariners and Serve Washington want to thank you for your service at a special night just for v ol unteers! Celebrate all you've done for the community  by rooting on the Mariners as they take on t he Texas Rangers on Monday, April 11 at 7:10 PM.  

Promo Code: Volunteers

  • $10 View Level
  • $22 Main Level
Deadline to purchase: Friday, April 8 at 5 PM

Please contact Elizabeth McCloskey at (206) 346-4519 with any questions.
Arena Volunteer Shifts
We're excited for the 2016 Spring Session to kick off on Monday, April 18!

Please keep in mind that your class schedule remains the same as it was for Winter Session, unless we have let you know other wise.

If your availability has changed, please  email  Dana LaRue , Volunteer Coordinator, as soon as possible so we can work to fill classes before the start of Spring Session.

Substitute shifts are now posted for the remainder of April on   Volgistics If you need help using this feature, please read these  instructions  or call 425.882.1554.  We encourage you to check back if you don't see a shift in your availability. The site is updated frequently to reflect class needs. 
Survey Results
2015 Volunteer Survey:

Wow! 95% of respondents said they'd recommend Little Bit as a volunteer opportunity to their friends and family! 

Thank you to the 139 volunteers who took the time to fill out Little Bit's 2015 Volunteer Survey. We are looking forward to using these results to create a better volunteer experience for our community. For the privacy of our volunteers, we have omitted open-ended responses. Please click here to view survey results. 

Continued Education Survey:
  1. Horse behavior: how they communicate, and how we communicate with them
  2. Equine massage, acupuncture, and chiropractic treatments
  3. Therapy horse selection/training, and how they are assigned to riders
  4. How Instructors form lesson plans and goals
Horse Behavior & Communication was your number one choice for continued education offerings, so we didn't waste any time to schedule a clinic (April 2 from 10-12pm).  

Stay tuned--we'll be adding more workshops to the 2016 calendar soon! 
To see how your top preferences ranked up, please  click here.


If you have questions regarding the results of either of these surveys or if you'd like to provide further feedback, please contact Lindsay Shepard, Manager of Volunteer Involvement, or call 425-882-1554. 
Tack Cleaning Party
On Wednesd ay, April 13th from 10 AM to 2 PM, Little Bit is hosting a Tack Cleaning Party!  

Never cleaned tack before? Ardelle Rivera, Little Bit schooler, is a wonderful teacher and would love to show you the ropes.  

Please email Alison McCarthy to sign up! 
Upcoming Training Opportunities
Janet Kimball leading Honey Bee
Paddock Training:
Weekly, Spring Session 

Mon, 5 - 6 PM 
Tues, 4 - 5 PM
Wed, 5:30 - 6:30 PM
Thurs, 11 - 12 PM 
Fri, 4 - 5 PM 

Paddock Tra ined volunteers can catch and turn out horses. 

Horse Leader Level I
Wed, April 27 , 6 - 8 PM
Fri, May 6, 7:15 - 9 PM
Wed, May 18, 6 - 8 PM

Horse Leaders are responsible for helping their horse follow directions in class. Volunteers must be Paddock Trained in order to participate. 

Horse Leader Level II
Wed, June 15 , 6:30 - 8:30 PM

An  excellent opportunity to brush up on or expand your leading skills! 

Please email  Melanie Renk  to sign up for a training! 
Volunteer Spotlight: Sherry Hoffman
Why did you decide to volunteer at Little Bit? 
I had been trying to find a volunteering opportunity for a while when I attended the Bite of Seattle. There I met a mounted police officer that happened to be Blaze's former partner.  He told me about Little Bit. I couldn't wait to become a volunteer. My first day volunteering was hard work but amazing.
Sherry Hoffman having fun at the 2015 Destination Races event benefiting Little Bit. 
What advice would you give to a brand new volunteer?  
There are many things to learn so just take a deep breath and relax. You can always ask your fellow volunteers/staff any question. There are no stupid questions.

Do you have a hidden talent or a hobby you love?
I enjoy photography, especially pictures of animals and nature.
Do you have a favorite horse at Little Bit? 
I feel a special connection with Gypsy.  We've been working together a lot lately.  She is easy to lead and she's a sweetie.
A funny or inspiring Little Bit Story you can share? I am inspired by all our riders. I've been working with some of our riders for 2+yrs and it's amazing to see the connection between the riders and horses. It's wonderful to see the progress our riders make.  

* Sherry has graciously provided over 1,000 hours of service since she began volunteering in 2013 and is currently a Captain-in-Training. Thank you, Sherry! 
Meet our Staff: Joan Thorson
What do you do here, including your official title? 
Joan Thorson getting her caffeine fix!
My official title is Administrative Assistant.  So basically, I assist. Anything from TP refilling to greeting guests in person or on the phone.
How long have you worked for Little Bit? 
I started volunteering for LB with my daughter in 2004. I was hired as Volunteer Coordinator in 2006 and left LB (the first time) in 2009. I came back off and on as a sub in the volunteer office and the front office from 2010 -2011. I worked as Admin Assist most of 2011.  I left LB again to go back to school in the Fall of 2011. I  came back for a third time in Sept 2015.
What do you love most about Little Bit?  
I love what we do here. We make lives better with the services we offer but also with the support and "family" we strive to become.
Do you have a fun story to share about Little Bit?
Many folks who worked with Bjorn and Spencer know what wonderful therapy horses they were but also how they could manipulate new volunteers. Bjorn loved "training" new green dot  volunteers and Spencer was known to go quickly to his stall at the other end of the barn with or without his volunteer. 
What kinds of hobbies and interests do you have outside of work?
I have just taken up quilting which may start to fill more hours than first anticipated. I also like to garden, cross-stitch and read.
What is the one place or country you would like to visit?  
The Netherlands. I am lucky enough to be going again to Europe this Spring. I still have some cousins in Friesland (northern Holland) and will get to visit for a couple of days.
Do you have a favorite food or drink? COFFEE
Tell us something fun about yourself? Well, there are so many things! I went to Monroe HS. At the time, I really disliked the school colors orange and black. Recently, I have realized how much I enjoy those colors  and I usually react by reciting a cheer we used to do at MHS. Something about "orange and black attack attack..." :)    
Archived Volunteer Bulletins
Thanks for reading and thank you for your service!