This year we were so excited to add a service outreach with our long-standing partner Pony Bird! Pony Bird has been partnering with Ride On St. Louis since 2014 and is a residential group home serving adults with medically complex diagnoses. For several years, Pony Bird residents who are non-ambulatory and use a wheel chair for mobility, have been participating in our Unmounted Activities. Unmounted Activities provides social interaction and revitalization of the senses and body through equine interaction and learning.
This year, our new added outreach invites Pony Bird day-program participants to exercise inclusive volunteer opportunities. Sometimes, people with disabilities may not have as many options to volunteer in the community as they would like. Volunteering and doing good for others is an important part of community life. It's estimated that nearly 61M adults volunteers 4B hours in 2021! Our inclusive volunteer opportunities ensures that everyone can give back and be a key part of civic engagement across the community.
Our Pony Bird volunteers visit weekly to build confidence, job skills, work experience, and to give back in a fun, engaging equine environment. Participants work on new relationships, building friendships, learning new skills, being responsible for signing in/out, and assisting in keeping a professional barn in good working order! Volunteers this year have picked up sticks, learned to use a wheel barrow, learned about different grooming brushes, cleaned grooming tools and feed buckets, practiced times/dates and logging hours, and even learned a little about what makes a horse happy.
A big thank you to Sherri, Doug and the staff and volunteers of Pony Bird, and of course our wonderful Pony Bird volunteers! So far, 30 unique day-program participants from Pony Bird have volunteers their time and energy at Ride On St. Louis this year. Thank you so very much not only for your work, but also for showing others the importance of inclusive volunteer opportunities.
People can and should be enabled to get involved in and give back to their communities. And when we can all participate, it’s a win-win!