Spirit Team Guidelines

SPIRIT Open Equestrian Program- 

General Program related policies

Drugs and alcohol
  • SPIRIT OEP is a Drug-Free place. The use of Illegal Drugs and Alcohol is inconsistent with the behavior expected of volunteer and staff. The use of Illegal Drugs and Alcohol and misuse of Prescribed and Over the Counter Drugs subjects volunteers, staff and participants to unacceptable safety risks that undermine the SPIRITs ability to operate safely, effectively, and efficiently.
  • It is the SPIRITs policy to maintain firearms and weapons free place and prohibit the possession of firearms and weapons regardless of any license or permit that an individual may have which would otherwise authorize the individual to carry firearms or weapons. The SPIRIT will strictly enforce this policy.
Appropriate behavior
  • It is the commitment of SPIRIT Open Equestrian Program and its management to ensure this place is free from negative, aggressive, and inappropriate behaviors, and that the environment is aimed at providing high-quality services in an atmosphere of respect, collaboration, openness, safety, and equality. All volunteers, staff, participants and visitors have the right to be treated with dignity and respect.
Hours of operation
  • Hours of operation of SPIRIT OEP is 9 AM- 2 PM – Office, 9 AM- 8 PM Barn and program area. Detailed schedule will be posted on social media, and at the entrance, tack room, and volunteer facility
  • Visitors are welcome to schedule their visit by phone, or –email, have to sign liability release document and should be greeted by staff or volunteer assigned to assist at the time scheduled ahead.
Leather shoes with heels to prevent the foot from sliding through the stirrup are preferred, rather than tennis shoes. Sandals and slip-on shoes are not allowed. Braces and prostheses may be worn with shoes are required for them.
Long pants are required. (Never wear shorts or dresses/skirts). The saddle can bruise unprotected legs. Stretch pants or riding pants are recommended for comfort. Corduroy and parachute pants are too slippery for safety.
All riders must wear an ASTM/SEI approved riding helmet. We will provide an approved helmet until such time as you are able to purchase one. We suggest you purchase your own helmet.
It is the attendance policy of SPIRIT that following three (3) unexcused and/or unnotified absences, a student will be terminated from the program. No refund will be provided in this situation.
We must be notified 24 hours before the scheduled lesson time for the absence to be excused. The expectation to this is for an emergency or sudden illness, which will also be considered an excused absence if we are notified as soon as possible after the onset of the illness or emergency.
SPIRIT will provide one make-up week for each 4-week session for excused missed lessons or canceled due to weather or ring occupancy.
There are no refunds.
There will be a minimal non-refundable deposit required at the time of the parent meeting.
Absolutely NO SMOKING on the premises.
Children must be supervised at all times. PLEASE DO NOT LEAVE YOUR SLEEPING CHILD IN THE CAR. Please remind your children: No rock throwing. No digging. No running. No yelling.
No one is allowed near a horse unless directly supervised by a volunteer or instructor. Please do not allow your children to run up to a horse or to feed them. Any horse can bite or kick, and some horses are on special diets.
We have a well-stocked medical kit. Please report any injuries to us so that we may attend to them. Even a scratch can become infected.
Please do not come to the center wearing open-toed shoes or sandals. And NO ONE is allowed to come barefooted, not even babies.

Program fees pay for the renting the farm and care for horses, as well as other center expenses. For this reason, they are expected to be paid on a timely basis, and throughout times of vacation or illness, including excused absences. The program fee pay covers less than 30% of the actual cost the lesson.

Application forms must be completed each year. Liability and Medical Releases forms are required for be updated annually. The Physician’s statement must also be updated annually. Please inform us of any changes in address, phone numbers, or medical condition, including changes in medications.
All Rider forms are due at the time of the parent meeting, first lesson or your spot will not be reserved!

Fill/sign and submit Liability Release on line
Please bring the following with you when you come for your evaluation or first day of class:
Signed and completed and signed Participant Registration Form, Authorization for Emergency Medical Treatment, Signed and completed Participant’s Medical History and Physician’s Statement
Appropriate riding apparel:
Jeans, britches, or long pants, closed shoes (preferably hard soled shoes with heels no loafers, flats or sandals); ASTM/SEI approved riding helmet if you have one. If not, one will be provided for you.

A responsible adult must remain with all minor children at the center at all times. Riders who have guardians must have their guardian or other approved adult stay with the rider at the center at all times.

You are asked to participate in and support our fundraising activities. Funds raised through these activities support over 70% of total program costs. Thank you for your support in advance
Staff positions and roles

INSTRUCTOR – organizes and executes safe and functional lesson delivery to clients, coordinates Volunteer Team during program activities, communicates with parents as needed, provides written evaluations, including short/long term goals, and individual plan of activities for each rider; in coordination with Executive Director (ED)

Organizes and/or executes training for Volunteer Team in the areas of tack cleaning, storage, mucking, and other barn management activities as well as safety procedures and routine activities at the field; in coordination with ED. They assist with training new volunteers and are involved in all aspects of the program, including exercising the horses. Instructor Assistants  have shown a high level of ethic, skills and knowledge related to SPIRITs Mission and policies, commitment to the SPIRIT program, its practices and goals. They are long-term EAL students  who can perform many varied tasks and commit to attendance for lessons multiple days a week, arriving early as needed. Instructors Assistants are in charge of new volunteers training, supervision, horse care, and management. They also assist with special events, horse shows, and off-site demonstrations. They have demonstrated proficiency in the following: leading and side walking during lessons; assisting with instruction during lessons; horse care, grooming, tacking, and first aid.

They have also committed EAL students who assist the with many tasks including feeding, grooming, tacking, and untacking the horses. They have shown a high level of commitment to the SPIRIT program and its practices and goals. They have demonstrated proficiency in the following: leading and side walking during lessons; assisting with instruction during lessons; horse care, grooming, tacking, and first aid; and stable and tack maintenance.
During the program activities, Mentors are first choice for position of horse handlers and student supporters to help throughout the mounting procedure, the lesson, and dismounting; as well as making sure the horse is groomed and tacked properly, warming up the horse in the ring before the lesson, controlling and calming the horse in an emergency situation, and helping the horse follow the cues from the Instructor or Assistant.

BARN MANAGER – organizes and/or executes feeding, vet assistance, therapies, routine prevention field care

FACILITY & EQUIPMENT MANAGER – maintains and/or improves facility (barns, storages, pasture), fencing, generator, light, truck, watering system; in coordination with ED

Do not forget to remember to always respect one another, their position and title. I look forward to hearing from you.

More and detailed info is available in the Volunteer Manual. Please, feel free to share ideas, comments
Thank you!

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