Volunteer Bulletin

Little Bit Therapeutic Riding Center
December 2016
In This Issue...
Annual Holiday Party
Barn Team
Holiday Gift Ideas
Arena Volunteers
Paddock Training
10th Annual Stinky Spoke
Winter Weather Reminders
Standard of Appearance
Volunteer Spotlight
Meet our Staff
Important Dates 
December 4
Little Bit Holiday Party 

December 12 - 17
Volunteer Appreciation Week

December 18 - January 8
Session Break; No Arena Volunteers
Annual Holiday Party
Celebrate the Season with your friends at Little Bit on Sunday, December 4 from 1:30- 3:30 p.m. Enjoy appetizers and refreshments, a performance by our Instructors, and even a visit from Santa. This is a potluck style party, so please bring a sweet or savory dish to share.
Victor Claus needs YOU!
Victor Claus and the rest of the Little Bit herd are looking for volunteer elves 14  years and older who can make a weekly commitment to their care. 

Volunteer elves keep our horses happy and healthy by delivering lunch, re-filling water buckets, and mucking paddocks.

We offer shifts Monday-Saturday from 11 AM - 1:30 PM Email Ariel Aman  to schedule a brief training!
Holiday Gift Ideas
Spread a Little Bit of cheer this holiday season! We have brand-new neon-colored ponies wearing Little Bit bandannas, Breyer ponies, wine cases, and more! 
You can also order Little Bit merchandise online at www.fieldhouse.com/LittleBit. The online store offers tees, hoodies, jackets, hats, and MANY more items! You can customize your items by choosing from a rainbow of colors or add custom text. Order by December 7 to receive your items by Christmas.
Lastly, don't forget to link your Amazon account to Little Bit by visiting Smile.Amazon.com. Little Bit receives 0.5% back from all eligible purchases! And if you're looking for charitable giving opportunities this holiday season, please check out Little Bit's Amazon Wishlist

Arena Volunteers
Fall Session is quickly coming to a close and Winter Session will be here before we know it! 

Please  contact Dana LaRue at 425-882-1554 if you need to change your availability for Winter Session, or if you are interested in signing up for a recurring volunt eer shift. Please keep in mind that you are expected to return to your normal shift the week of January 9 if we do not hear otherwise. 

***Little Bit relies heavily on substitute volunteers to cover shifts when a rider's regular volunteer cancels. Contact  Alison McCarthy  to join our sub list or update your availability to ensure our team is as efficient as possible when working to cover shifts.
Paddock Training 
Would you like to lead horses to and from their paddocks? If so, then Paddock Training is for you!

It's a great opportunity to expand on horsemanship skills, get some one-on-one time with the horses, and help make classes run more efficiently. Paddock Training is also a prerequisite for Horse Leader Training, which allows you to assist riders in the arena by leading their horse.  

Little Bit will lead Paddock  Trainings:
  • Saturday December 3, 10-11 am and 11-12 pm
  • Thursday December 8, 12-1 pm                        
  • Monday December 12, 3:30-4:30 pm
These will be the only offerings until Winter Session kicks off in January. Sign up today - email Lindsay Shepard, call 425-882-1554, or sign up in the Tack Barn for the training of your choice! 
10th Annual Stinky Spoke: Riders Helping Riders
Stinky Spoke  is an 18-mile mountain bike "poker ride" held on the statistically most-rotten-weather day of the year:  January 21, 2017

The riders start and finish at Redhook Brewery in Woodinville, WA.  Playing cards are collected at stops on the route, with each rider hoping to have a poker hand good enough at the end to win a prize.

All proceeds benefit Little Bit! Riders who raise over $250 will be entered into a drawing for lavish prizes. The top event fundraiser will receive a shiny new bicycle courtesy of Woodinville Bicycles.  There will be a live band, prizes for the top fundraisers, and a beer garden! 

Help make the event a success and  click here to volunteer!
Inclement Weather Policy

Arena Volunteers
The basic assumption is Little Bit (LB) is open. However, follow the Lake Washington School District (LWSD) for weather closures. In the event of inclement weather on the weekends, LB will make the decision as to whether classes or treatments will be held.  
  • LWSD closed: Classes and treatments at LB will be cancelled for the day. 
  • LWSD late start: Classes and treatments will start at the same time as LWSD. For example, if LWSD is two hours late, LB will open at 10am. Classes or treatments that would have taken place between 8-10am will be cancelled.
  • Arena Conditions: If LWSD is open, there may still be conditions that necessitate un-mounted lessons. Snow melt from the roof, wind, stormy conditions, or temperatures below 20 degrees can create unsafe conditions in the arena. Classes and treatments will be individually evaluated and transitioned to un-mounted lessons. 
  • Volunteer Notification: LB will rely on publicized announcements from LWSD. Little Bit's main phone line, 425-882-1554, will have a pre-recorded cancellation message, signage will be posted on doors, and The Volunteer Department will contact impacted volunteers. Facebook may be the first method of outreach. 
Non-Arena Volunteers
The office follows University of Washington Bothell for inclement weather. For any non-arena volunteer position, contact the team lead regarding your schedule. We err on the side of safety. If you have concerns, please cancel.
Standard of Appearance - Winter Reminders
Please dress appropriately for your tasks. Physical work requires clothing that is comfortable and durable. Layers are recommended.
  • Closed toed shoes are required at all times. 
  • Long hair should be tied back. If needed, extra hair ties are in the tack barn.
  • We care for the herd and ride in the rain, so please bring rain attire when necessary. Be prepared to walk through puddles, not around them, and to get a little dirty.
  • As a safety precaution, hanging jewelry (hoop earrings, necklaces, etc.) should not be worn. 
  • Please do not wear perfume, cologne, or scented lotions.
  • Please do not put your hood up, as it unsettles some of our participants and horses and hinders complete vision in an emergency. Hats are a great alternative to hoods.
  • Please bring a jacket! Scarves should be tucked into your zipped jacket.
  • Do not tie a jacket or sweater around your waist. If you need to remove your jacket, please alert the instructor or therapist before leaving your rider.
  • Gloves are advisable for warmth and protection. If you are leading a horse, please make sure to wear gloves that will have a firm grip on the lead rope. 
If you need to store extra layers or valuables, please utilize the lockers in the Check-In area or Tack Barn. It's best to keep valuables at home when possible. Little Bit is not responsible for any lost or stolen items.
We have extra clothes available if proper attire is not achieved. We can't guarantee a range of sizes or fashions will be available. It is much easier to come prepared for your shift.
Volunteer Spotlight: Erin Diffley
What motivated you to volunteer at Little Bit?  
I have a passion for horses, a love of riding and believe in continuous learning. Little Bit provides a learning environment and gives me the opportunity to give back to the community by helping people develop their skills with horses and riding.
Which Little Bit horse is your favorite and why?  
My favorite Little Bit horses are the ones I have had the most experience with and they are: Boomer, Star and Gypsy. They are patient, and help build rider confidence and skills.
Do you have a Little Bit moment you can share?  
The team penning game aka "The Cow Game" is always fun for riders, horses and volunteers. The game builds skills and teamwork and there is no shortage of smiles and laughter.
Do you have a hidden talent, or a hobby you love to spend time on?  
I love to ride horses out in the open country.
What's one piece of advice you would give a new volunteer?  
Be open to learning new things and do not be afraid to ask questions. Enjoy your experience and have fun!
Erin has been an "extremely good coach" to her riders since October 2010. In that time, she has given over 590 hours of service to Little Bit. She's a regular as a Horse Leader Level II and also helped with this year's Pat Flynn Memorial Horse Show. Thank you, Erin, for all your hard work!
Meet our Staff: Lindsay Shepard
What is your role and how long have you worked at Little Bit? 
As the Manager of Volunteer Involvement, I focus on program growth, strengthening the relationship between Little Bit and its volunteers, and building awareness and support in the greater Puget Sound community.  I've been part of the Little Bit team since July of 2015.
What do you love most about Little Bit ?
The staff here are an incredibly hardworking, supportive, and FUN bunch of people. I'm also constantly blown away by the dedication of Little Bit's volunteers. I've worked at other non-profits and Little Bit has something special - the family feel makes it easy to come to work with a smile and our volunteers remind me that giving of yourself really is the best medicine.
What kinds of hobbies do you have outside of work?
I enjoy hiking, FaceTime dates with my family and friends in Ohio, and practicing yoga (when can I talk myself into parting from my two crazy kittens to actually go...). I don't think my reading list will ever get shorter, but that could be because I return to the Harry Potter series far too often.  
What is the one place or country you would like to visit?
I can only choose one?! I am working towards visiting all 50 states, with 11 to go. Right now, I'm eagerly saving to visit Hawaii for the first time.
Do you have a favorite food or drink? 
Give me cheese, bread, and wine and I'm a happy woman. Bryan does most of the cooking in our household for good reason. :) 
Tell us something fun about yourself?  
In 2013, my brother and I completed a 2,660-mile hike of the Pacific Crest Trail in honor of my father and in support of the National Brain Tumor Society. We were able to spread my dad's ashes on top of Mount Whitney on Father's Day and the five-year anniversary of his passing. We were the only hikers on top of the entire mountain at sunset on June 16th, which is pretty incredible in and of itself! I also met my partner, Bryan, on the trail and fell in love with WA - which brought me to Little Bit. 
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Thanks for reading and thank you for your service!