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Here are some testimonials from our wonderful volunteers on why they love volunteering at Shiresmill.

Recently, I started volunteering at Shiresmill and this was mainly for my Duke of Edinburgh, however, I have been around horses for years. I enjoy seeing all the riders in their element and relaxing around all the big horses. I have made lots of friends with horses and people and I am looking forward to seeing everyones improvements over the years. 


I like coming to Shiresmill because I like to work with the horses and everybody is friendly. 


I started volunteering at Shiresmill a year and a half ago. It was the best decision I ever made. I have made some great friends and great bonds with the ponies. I love seeing the difference riding makes to the children and seeing them develop. 


My name is Lisa and I am 20 years old. I am from Germany and doing a dual study at the Federal Employment Agency, with a focus on case management. I am very interested in psychology. In my free time, I spend most of my time with my horse. As part of my studies, when I had the opportunity to do an internship abroad, I decided to combine my interests and my hobby. When I was looking for a suitable internship, I found Shiresmill Therapy Riding Centre and was invited to do my internship with them.

My internship started on 17/06/19 and will end it on 19/07/2019 with happy memories  and sadness it is over so quickly.. My task was to analize the use of the horse as a means of communication as well as therapy support. In general, my duties were caring for the horses, including cleaning, preparing the horses for the lesson and to do a little warm up with the horses before the lesson starts. In addition, I acted as sidewalker, so I walked next to the horse and helped the children during the therapy session. I really enjoyed this work. The kids just gave me energy and strength. It's so nice to see the happy smiles of the children after the riding lesson.
I was warmly received at the Shiresmill Therapy Riding Centre, which made it easy for me to fit in with the team. I was able to get on well because I already knew about horses. My ideas were always accepted thankfully. The handling in the team was really great and I felt very comfortable.

A few fun facts about my internship:
Favourite pony: Rio
Favourite task: Poopicking, Sidewalker
Favourite drink: Black tea with 2 spoons of sugar

My highlight: The handover of Rosettes, Sensory Riding Park

After these great weeks, I look back on the many experiences I enjoyed. As soon as I have the opportunity, I will come back and visit the centre, the team and the ponies.


Melanie Göbel

I am Melanie Göbel, 36 years old and student of the Master degree programme “Labour market oriented counselling” of the University of Applied Labour Studies in Germany. My master degree program is a part time program and runs in parallel to my current job at the Public Employment Services in Germany. Since 2008, I have been working as a mediator and consultant for rehabilitated and severely handicapped people in the job center.

During my studies, I have the possibility to do an internship abroad and now I make this at the  Shiresmill Therapy Riding Centre since April 15th to May 24th 2019.

As adviser for unemployed handicapped people of different backgrounds and educations, I was very interested in new or other possibilities to work with them. When I heard about the equine therapy or rather the therapeutic riding, I was curious and eager to learn more about it, because I have never worked with horses before. So I decided that this would be the perfect working environment for my internship. And now  I have been working here 6 days a week for three weeks and half my time is over.

I was very warmly welcomed by all the volunteers and I really enjoy my work. I help with the various tasks that are necessary for the smooth operation of the Centre. For example, I help the riders and take care of the ponies because each riding session requires several volunteers to prepare the ponies and support the riders. At first I was only allowed to watch therapy riding until I had more experience. But with constant guidance from the volunteers I quickly learned what to do and now I am already working as a side walker and participate in therapy riding and related activities for children and people of all ages with physical disabilities, health problems, learning difficulties and adolescents on the autistic spectrum. It is a great experience for me to see how children can improve their coordination, communication, balance, muscle control and posture through riding therapy, all of which contribute to more self-confidence, self-esteem and social skills and all because of the horse.

In addition to riding therapy, I also have other experiences to learn new skills and competences, make new friends, become part of the team and improve my English language skills. This way I can always enjoy talking to the children, parents or relatives and learn and understand more about them.

I look forward to another three weeks here and can only recommend the work at the Shiresmill Therapy Riding Centre to everyone.

Meanie Göbel

Melanie Göbel

I started volunteering for my Duke of Edinburgh award and also for work experience with horses as I want to be a vet. I enjoy seeing all the riders developing and enjoy riding the ponies. Everyone is very friendly and it is always fun at RDA! 

Volunteer Testimonials - Rebecca

“Hi there! I'm Rebecca and I started volunteering at Shiresmill Therapy Riding Centre in October 2015.”

I was drawn to the centre as I'd always loved horses, and although I had ridden in my youth, I knew little about horse care.  Volunteering at the centre has been the perfect way for me to learn.  The ponies are gorgeous, each with their own little personality, and there are so many knowledgeable, friendly people who take the time to share their skills and make you feel part of the team. From making up feeds, grooming and tacking up, to training the ponies for their work in lessons, I feel I've learned so much, met some great people and grown my skills and confidence.  I've even got back into riding!  If you're thinking about volunteering at Shiresmill, I'd say go for it!

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