Volunteer Bulletin 


Little Bit Therapeutic Riding Center 

January 2016 

In This Issue...
Arena Volunteers
2016 Volunteer Handbook
Training Team
Philosophy of Volunteer Engagement
2015 Volunteer Survey
Horse Leader / Paddock Training
Grooming - Important Protocol Change
Arena Volunteers
Welcome to 2016 Winter Session! Thank you all for coming back into the arena and working with our riders and patients. If you have some extra room in your schedule, we are still looking to fill regular slots. Please email Dana, Volunteer Coordinator, as soon as possible with your availability. 

Please keep in mind that your class schedule remains the same as it was for Fall Session, unless otherwise noted. 
Important Dates 
January 18
No classes in recognition of Martin Luther King Day

January 13
Horse Leader Training

January 18
Stinky Spoke: Riders helping Riders

January 27
Horse Leader Training 

February 14 - 21
Mid-session break, no classes or sessions  

March 28
Last Day of Winter Session

2016 Volunteer Handbook
Little Bit Volunteer Please check out the 2016 edition of our Volunteer Handbook!
If you have questions or need any clarification of the information contained in this handbook, please contact Lindsay, Manager of Volunteer Involvement, or call 425-882-1554. 

Training Team 
Training Team shifts are also now available to sign-up for via Volgistics. You can view and sign up for available 2016 Program Volunteer Training dates by clicking HERE! 

Become our Facebook Fan! 
Become a fan of Little Bit on Facebook  and get more information about events, new horses, and more! 

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NEW - Little Bit's Philosophy of Volunteer Engagement 
Volunteers are essential to Little Bit Therapeutic Riding Center's success. We appreciate the time, skills, and knowledge volunteers contribute. They infuse our organization with energy and passion. Our mission is accomplished by engaging community members as partners, allowing us to achieve a level of service that would otherwise not be possible. To this end, we are committed to recruiting, screening, training , supporting, and empowering volunteers from diverse backgrounds in all aspects of our work. Little Bit staff members dedicate themselves to ensuring our volunteer community remains engaged by providing a meaningful and satisfying  experience with timely recognition, opportunities for personal growth, and social engagement. 

2015 Volunteer Survey 
Our 2015 Volunteer Survey is officially open and we need your feedback in order to improve our Volunteer Program and better serve our participants! Please complete it by clicking HERE!  
Using Volgistics for Online Sign-Up 
Our goal is to have all available shifts posted in Volgistics, in a timely manner. By signing up online, you help us to cut back on the calls we make each and every day to ensure classes run smoothly.  You can view available openings and schedule yourself from any internet-connected device by clicking HERE! If you need help using this feature, please read these  instructions .
Thanks to everyone already utilizing the online system to fill substitute opportunities!
Horse Leader Level 1 Training / Paddock Training
Horse Leader Training is a fabulous way to expand your horsemanship knowledge, while simultaneously opening the door to new volunteer options at Little Bit.

Please email  Melanie, Volunteer Administrative Assistant, to sign up for either:  

Wed, January 13th, 5 - 7:30 PM
Wed, January 27th, 5 - 7:30 PM

During Horse Leader Training, you will be taught and assessed on how to bring in, turn out, and lead our 1,200 pound therapists. 
Not sure if you're ready for Horse Leader Training? We'll have Paddock Training every week of Winter Session during these hours:  
Wed 4 - 5 PM
Thurs 11 - 12 PM
Sat 1:30 - 2:30 PM

Paddock Training allows you to catch and turn out our horses. Sign up in the Tack Barn or email  Melanie.
Gro oming - NEW Protocol Change

We are now allowing you to curry the horse's legs in order to ensure mud comes off (Yay!). You will find 2 labeled curry combs; one for the body and one for the legs in every horses' assigned brush box. The entire horse, with the exception of the head/mane/tail, should be groomed. Make sure you give yourself at least 30 minutes to groom before class, so that you and your horse are not feeling rushed. Remember: Grooming can be therapeutic for you, too!


  Tips and Reminders:


1. Pick the feet first in case a shoe is missing.

  • While you're picking feet or grooming the legs, be sure to check for sores or wounds. Please let a staff member know if you find a shoe that seems loose, twisted, or if you notice anything odd on their body.

2. Curry the body. The curry comb is designed to act like a back scratcher/massage comb that dislodges mud, dirt, loose hair and skin, while also massaging muscles and exfoliating the skin.

  • Most horses have a favorite spot to be curried. Almost all have a spot they also don't love to be curried.  Keep an eye on your horse's face to gauge their preference.
  • Sometimes you just need to adjust your pressure, speed or stroke size.  Some horses like hard pressure, some like soft, or any combination. Take the time to get to know your horses' likes and dislikes.
  • Remember that what feels good one day can be different the next, or what feels good on one part of the body, could be different somewhere else.
  • If you're not sure if your horse is enjoying what you're doing or if your horse seems unhappy, please ask a staff member and they can help you determine what the horse is trying to tell you.

3. After you curry the body, you can do the legs!  The curry comb for the legs is softer and more flexible, since there's more bone than muscle on the legs.

  • Most of the curry combs for the legs look like mitts that you slide your hand into.
  • Make sure that when you're grooming the legs you're not kneeling on the ground or putting yourself in a position where the horse can accidentally knock you if it moves!

4. After giving your horse a nice rub down, it's time to use the stiff brush.  The stiff brush is prickly and helps to brush out the remaining loose hair.

  • It's important that a horse's skin is clean so that sweat can come out of its pores.  Horses sweat an oil that coats their hair and helps protect the horse from rain and wind.

5. Now that your horse is clean and feeling good, you can use the soft brush to get rid of any lingering hair or dust and smooth the coat.  Ideally you should be brushing the coat with some of the oils from the skin that you curried out, so your horse should look sleek and shiny!


6. Lastly, give the brushes a quick brush off to get the hair and dirt off before putting them away.


Thanks for reading! We look forward to another wonderful year with you by our side.