Clutha Community Riding (CCR) is calling out for volunteers to meet growing demand, having had a busy first term with 14 new enrolled riders since January bringing total riders to 25.
‘‘We are extremely well-supported by the council, Sport Otago and generous donors and sponsors,’’ co-organiser Sharon Jackson said.
‘‘So we have excellent gear and the capacity to work with a lot more riders but we need more volunteers to support and train them.’’
After deciding to share the benefits of equine experience with the wider community, the organisation expanded from Balclutha Riding for the Disabled to become Clutha Community Riding last summer.
Horse-riding has been shown to improve physical abilities such as balance and coordination as well as psychological elements like discipline, confidence and mindfulness in children and adults.
‘‘We do have a waiting list,’’ Mrs Jackson said.
‘‘Word has spread about what we can do here so we’ve been very successful in that respect, but horses and new riders need close one-on-one supervision so we need keen people to help.’’
CCR has options and funding to train recognised equine skills to committed volunteers.
‘‘I really thought I wasn’t feeling up to it for a while this morning,’’ volunteer Davinia Forrester said.
‘‘But I came along and after an hour with the guys listening and learning and seeing their enjoyment and confidence grow, I was feeling much better myself and was really glad I came.
‘‘Volunteering feels like you’re giving until you work with some of our clients and realise what you are getting out of it yourself, and go away on a real high.’’
CCR runs ‘‘school days’’ where selected pupils come to train in their purpose-built facility, but anyone interested can contact the group on social media or attend an open day or weekend.