Volunteer Bulletin

Little Bit Therapeutic Riding Center
June 2017
In This Issue...
Summer Camp
Continued Education Opportunities
Every Little Bit helps: Tack Stalls
Where? How? What? Who? When? WHY?
Welcome, Dante!
Volunteer Riding Lesson Raffle
Summer Barn Attire
Safety Corner
Pat Flynn and Margo O'Callaghan Horse Shows
Volunteer Spotlight: Melissa Telford
Meet our Staff: Nicole Lesh
Important Dates
Stay Connected! 
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This workshop is offered to ANYONE interested in working with students with mental health or learning issues. Current volunteers receive a $50 discount. 

For more information or to register, visit:

We hope you'll consider joining Little Bit and PATH for this exciting educational opportunity!
Summer Camps are open!
Do you know a child who loves horses? Please invite them to register for summer camp! Camps are open to kids of any ability.

Our 4-day camps run weekly from July 10 through August 24, from 9am-1pm Monday-Thursday. 

TO VOLUNTEER: Please email Dana LaRue
Shifts are available:
Mondays: 9:45-10:45 and 11:00-12:00
Tuesday-Thursday:  9:15-10:15 and 10:30-11:30

We are also looking for Counselors in Training.  Youth volunteers are provided an opportunity to learn and practice leadership and responsibility under the guidance of camp staff.  This is a fabulous resume builder for teens!

Summer camp info, registration form, and CiT application can be found at the front desk or at:
Continued Education Opportunities
Paddock Training:
Paddock Trained volunteers can catch and turn out horses  before and after classes. Sign up by adding your name to the roster in the tack barn. Trainings occur every week of Spring Session:
  • Mon, 4-4:45pm
  • Tues, 1:30-2:30pm
  • Wed, 5:30-6:30pm
  • Thurs, 4-4:45pm
  • Fri, 5-6pm 
Horse Leader Level I  
This training teaches volunteers how to lead and help our four-legged therapists follow directions before, during, and after class. Volunteers must be Paddock Trained before participating. Horse Leader Training will be offered on:
  • Wed, June 7, 7-9 pm 
Horse Leader Level II
This training is an excellent opportunity to brush  up on or expand upon leading  skills, especially with some of our more challenging horses. Training will be held on  
  • Tues, June 20, 7-9 pm 
Training Team
Training Team members lend expertise and assist in the training of new volunteers. In order to participate, volunteers must have served at least eight hours in the arena, successfully passed Horse Leader Training Level I, and enjoy working with people. Training will be held on: 
  • Wed, June 21, 6:30-8:30pm.
Email   Melanie Renk  to sign up for a continued education opportunity! 
Every 'Little Bit' helps - Tack Stall Cleaning
Volunteers often find themselves with moments of "down time" as they wait for classes to start . There are so many ways at Little Bit to keep  busy and help with the mission. P lease take a look at the " Miscellaneous  Tasks" binder in the Tack Barn or ask a staff member to find new ways to help. Every 'little bit' helps!! 

This month's focus is on cleaning tack stalls. 


*Please only clean tack stalls that are empty.


* Sweep into a dust pan and dump into the muck bucket.


Avoid sweeping dirt into rocks, it creates mud.


The tack room can also be swept

*Only pick manure piles in cross ties that are empty. Please don't scoop with a horse in the cross ties.

*Use a manure fork for the manure and dump into the muck bucket


*If the muck bucket is getting full, please empty it into the manure dumpster near the track.


*Check the arena muck bucket. If that one is getting full, please empty it into the manure dumpster near the track.


*If there are no horses in the arena you can pick the arena of any manure piles.


*Check horse traffic areas around the tack barn and arenas for any manure piles.

Where? How? What? Who? When? WHY?
Have a topic you'd like to see covered in an upcoming newsletter? 

Send your questions to  Lindsay Shepard!
Welcome, Dante! 
We are so pleased to announce that Dante has officially joined our four-legged therapist team! Dante is a handsome 23 year old Morgan gelding. He is on care lease to us and has previously been in a therapeutic riding program in Spokane. 
Dante stands at 14.1hh and weighs 888 pounds. Please be sure to say hello to this sweetheart during your next volunteer shift! 

Welcome to the Little Bit herd, Dante!!  
Incentive Program - Riding Lessons
Beginning on May 16, Little Bit implemented a program to thank our volunteers who work so hard to support Little Bit's mission from every angle.   
For each class or hippotherapy session that a volunteer assists in, s/he has an opportunity to earn a raffle ticket. At the end of session on June 20, two tickets will be drawn for a free 30-minute private riding lesson!  
To receive a ticket, all duties must be successfully fulfilled:
·         Arrive at least 30 mins prior to start of class or stay 
          for entirety of Barn Shift, assisting team with all tasks
·         Assist with groom/tack/prep
·         Sidewalk/lead/head during class/treatment
·         Assist with untack/groom/turn horse out
·         Maintain positive attitude

Instructors, handlers, class assistants, or barn staff will distribute tickets at the end of a class, treatment, or barn shift. Volunteers should clearly write their name on their tickets and put them in the jar by the volunteer check-in outside Dana LaRue's office. If a volunteer is late or for some reason does not fulfill all the duties required, he or she will not receive a ticket for that particular session--but there will be plenty of other opportunities!   
To further sweeten the pot, volunteers who permanently sign up for our traditionally hard-to-fill classes will receive 2 tickets per class volunteered!  Thank you to those who have already signed up! We still need assistance in:  
Fridays: 4:15 and 5:30 adaptive
Saturdays: 11:00 and 3:00 adaptive and 1:30 Private
ALT Leaders M-S from 3:00 onwards
Saturdays: 1:30 Private
ALT Sidewalkers M-S from 3:00 onwards
Here's the nitty-gritty:  The volunteer lesson must be used during the break immediately following the end of the session. The Little Bit staff will select an appropriate instructor and horse. Winners must meet Little Bit's eligibility requirements for mounted riding (including but not limited to being under our weight limit of 190 lbs. and meeting PATH International standards for precautions and contraindications). If a winner does not meet the requirements for riding, a different suitable prize (such as a photo opportunity with a horse, a volunteer jacket, etc.) will be offered.
To sign up, please call 425-882-1554, log in to the Volunteer Information Center, or contact Alison McCarthy
Summer Barn Attire 
Summer sunshine is upon us! Here are some cool reminders to ensure you're not too hot to handle for summer session. 

First and foremost, please, 
NO CELL PHONES!   On top of the risk of phones ringing and spooking a horse, everyone needs to be aware of their surroundings at all times. Our staff members carry radios and will find you immediately  in the event of a personal emergency.    

CLOSED TOED SHOES ARE REQUIRED. Supportive tennis shoes, hiking boots or paddock boots are ideal for protection and comfort. Please no sandals of any kind.

No tank tops or bare midriffs.  Some of our clients have inappropriate social behaviors. Dres sing conservatively ensures a happy and comfortable experience for all.
Shorts must be of appropriate length (just above the knee). Pants are recommended due to dust, horsehair and bugs.
Wear comfortable clothes that provide freedom of movement. Please do not tie shirts, jackets or sweatshirts around your waist

Bring necessary rain attire. We ride in the rain, so be prepared to walk through puddles and not around them.

Long hair should be tied back in order to maintain excellent vision of the surrounding environment.
No jewelry.  Jewelry can get lost in the arena or on our 17.5 acre property. Anything that dangles may be an attraction to the rider or horse.
No perfume.  Unscented lotions are okay. Certain scents may cause a reaction in some of the riders, or may attract bees or other bugs. 

Sunglasses and sunscreen may be needed for outdoor activities including trail rides. Please drink plenty of water and find time to rest in the shade!  

Lockers and locks are available for your use in the Tack Barn and in the Volunteer Check-In Area. 
Safety Corner
This month's Safety Corner Tips are about SAFE DRIVING both on and around Little Bit's property:
Tip #1- Please DRIVE SLOWLY on our access road (106th Street) and while you are in our parking lot areas:
  • We recommend 10MPH on 106th Street and 5 MPH on Little Bit's property 
Tip #2- Entering and Exiting our access road (106th Street) from Avondale Road can be a challenge.  In order for everyone to stay as safe as possible, especially during peak traffic hours in the mornings and late afternoons:
  • We recommend that everyone ENTER our property from the south (while travelling in the northbound lanes on Avondale) and EXIT the property to the north onto Avondale.  Both of these recommendations mean that you will be taking RIGHT TURNS onto and off of 106th Street, which will be much SAFER for you, your passengers, pedestrians and other drivers on Avondale Road.  Making these right turns will also prevent dangerous and sometimes time-consuming traffic backups on Avondale and 106th. 

Thanks to Wayne Miller, Facilities Director, for contributing this month's Safety Corner article. 
Pat Flynn and Margo O'Callaghan Horse Shows
2017 Horse Show Season is right around the corner! 
The 30th Annual Pat Flynn show will take place June 23 and 24 and includes equitation, obstacle, barrel racing, and showmanship classes.

The Ben Baratto Memorial BBQ is a wonderful community celebration on Saturday after competition wraps up. 

The 10th Annual Margo O'Callaghan show will be held on Sunday, June 25  and is a dressage show. 

Our in-house horse shows are often the culmination of months of hard work for our clients and give them an incredible opportunity to show off their skills to family, friends, and the community. 

We would love your help to ensure our riders are set up for success!  Whether you are interested in "Arena Tasks" like assisting the riders, horses, and judges or "Non-Arena" tasks like helping with the BBQ, selling concessions or directing traffic, we have a job that will suit you perfectly! 
Contact  Dana LaRue  for more information about how you can join the FUN!  
Volunteer Spotlight: Melissa Telford
What motivated you to volunteer at Little Bit? 
I knew I wanted to be a part of Little Bit when I first heard about it in high school, but didn't have time until after I returned from university. I have always loved working with those with special needs and also have a love of horses. It was a no-brainer when I could be around both at the same time.
Which Little Bit horse is your favorite, and why?
I love all the horses I have worked with at Little Bit, but I have a special place in my heart for Zorro. He is so sweet and gentle and the first horse I worked with. 
Do you have a funny or meaningful Little Bit moment you can share?
My favorite moments are the days my riders have a great ride. Seeing their joy, enthusiasm and progress always brings a huge smile to my face.
Do you have a hobby you love to spend time on? 
I love reading and watching movies, but on a dry Saturday I'm usually out on hiking adventures with my husband and our dogs. 
What's one piece of advice you'd give a new volunteer? 
Never be afraid to ask questions, even if you think it might be dumb. Everyone here is more than willing to answer them. Also, get to know the wonderful staff and the other great volunteers on your shift. 

Melissa has volunteered at Little Bit since 2014 and helps out as a Horse Leader in both hippotherapy and adaptive classes. One of our speech therapists described Melissa as "a  calming, happy presence each week during our sessions.  She responds naturally to each of my clients, is flexible to participate in any game or activity, and knows just where to be and what to do during each session." Thank you, Melissa, for what you bring to Little Bit each week. We are so glad to have you.
Meet Our Staff: Nicole Lesh
What do you do at
 Little Bit?
I am a class assistant. I also help facilitate the horse leader trainings, school horses, and in general make things run smoothly in the barn. If you have barn or horse questions, come ask me! This year I have also added Instructor intern to my list of titles as I work for my PATH instructor certification.

How long have you worked at Little Bit?
I have worked at Little Bit since September 2011 - wow over five years already! I volunteered for a year before that.
What do you love most about Little Bit? 
I love coming to work - not everyone can say that but I love my job! There isn't just one thing...I love the horses, the volunteers, the people I work with and the riders. Everything about this place makes me happy every time.

Do you have a fun story to share about Little Bit? 
So many fun things happen here! I can't think of any particularly fun stories right now but hang around any day and there something fun will happen. 

What kinds of hobbies and interests do you have outside of work? 
Outside of the barn I am a stay at home mom to two little girls - they keep me very busy. I also love to crochet. I love to try new patterns and enter my creations in the Evergreen State Fair every year. I am an avid reader and am always looking for new book recommendations.

What is the one place or country you would like to visit, or revisit?
I want to go back to England and spend some time exploring the entire island of Britain.
Do you have a favorite food or drink? 
I love tea - lots and lots of black tea. My favorite food is chocolate - anything chocolate.

Tell us something fun about yourself?
In addition to riding horses, I spent my childhood taking dance lessons. I even met my husband taking ballroom dance lessons. I still love to dance but don't often get a chance now.
2017 Archived Volunteer Bulletins
Thanks for reading and thank you for your service!