Volunteers make it possible to provide therapeutic riding to 35 children with special needs and Horse Boy Method™ therapy to 25 families dealing with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Although most volunteers learn to work with the horses and the children, others serve on the Board of Directors, repair equipment and maintain the facility, raise funds and provide special services to Hinchinbrook Farm. You can read about some of these volunteers at this page, and perhaps someday you will see your photo amongst them! Drop down the Volunteer menu and look through the pages relevant to your interests. If you enjoy bringing smiles to people’s faces, then Hinchinbrook Farm is for you.
The objective of Hinchinbrook Farm is to have one trained volunteer coach working with each child who is at the facility. Much of this time is spent on or with the horse. (Some of the horse-connected activities include games that require the child to give verbal commands to the horse, who is trained to respond to verbal and hand signal commands. This promotes the use of language with children who often do not communicate verbally.)
Most of the volunteers are teenagers who are perhaps going to pursue social work or psychology as a career. Since they eventually graduate from high school and leave for university, there is turnover every year, requiring the constant provision of training in the therapeutic riding techniques to about 50 volunteers annually.
This requires 54 hours of clinics plus from 5 to 25 hours per volunteer of personal training mentoring. Since most volunteers are high school students, we see them for 4 years at most, and then they leave for university.
All those who have left have gone onto amazing lives with gifts and skills uniquely acquired here at the farm. Because of their volunteer work here most students go onto study teaching, or health services. Those emerging citizens who start volunteering as teenagers will always contribute to a better community for having had the support and tools to learn how to and be sensitized to the needs of others.
HFS gives these students a tremendous start in their lives through the training they experience with special needs families and horses.