At our inception, for four years straight, Ride On St. Louis operated solely on a volunteer basis including professional staff. 22 years later, and our volunteers are still making a huge impact on our operations and ability to serve. Most years our logged volunteer hours total almost 20,000 hours, and we praise and give thanks to God for our volunteers' kindness and abilities! Even though our special group volunteer activities have been suspended, we still rely on individuals to help get the jobs done!
Special thanks to volunteers Laurie B., Teresa B., Kati B., Maria C., Lauren D., Darryl J., Jeanne J., Deana, Andrew and Andrew Jr. J., Dominic L., Kelly and Joseph L., Ron P., Zach R., Colleen R., Joe R., Dave S., Ken S., Kim S., and Sue S. Each volunteer has helped by providing care to our herd, maintaining and improving equipment and grounds, fulfilling organizational leadership roles and everyday management (and so much more!).
Deana, Andrew and Andrew Jr J., Kelly and Joseph L., Zach R., and Joe R. have helped us load, haul and throw over 200 bales of hay so far this year. Kelly, Joseph and Joe have even volunteered their vehicles and trailers to help transport. It a big job to feed our herd and we are so thankful for all the help in keeping our hay stocked!
At our temporary residence in Cedar Hill we've been helping to clean up some areas to make the environment safer, more accessible and easily traversed for humans and horses. Ron P. and Joe R. have been doing a great job on weed control, grass mowing and trimming. Their efforts have made a huge difference in pest control and promoting grass growth. Joseph and Kelly L. have made a few trips to get our panels out of storage to fortify fencing. With fencing improved, all of our herd are able to safely enjoy more areas of turnout.
Ron P. and Ken S. have spent a few days burning brush piles out of the turnouts and pasture. Near the end of 2019, volunteers including Dave S. cleared over 1500 feet of fence-line of weeds, bramble and brush, which was placed into four piles among two areas. With these piles burned, Ron and Ken have eradicated ticks nests, increased airflow and eliminated pasture hazards.
Members of our leadership and daily administration continue to work behind the scenes in areas of governance, office management, book keeping, finance, legal and real-estate. We are so thankful to Kati B., Jeanne J., Dominic L., Colleen R., and Kim S. for their professional skills.
Members of our volunteer caretaking team include Teresa B., Maria C., Lauren D., Darryl J., Deana J., and Joseph L. Each volunteer has undergone months of training and participates in ongoing training to be able to provide professional and correct care to our varied herd of seven horses. Knowledge and ability to demonstrate understanding in husbandry, horse behavior, first aid, stable management, sanitation, record keeping, safety and communication are key to fulfilling requirements at Ride On St. Louis. Our volunteers have worked hard to increase their knowledge and skills to make sure our horses are well cared for! Special thanks to Sue S. and Laurie B. who have gone through our leader training program and has assisted this year with grooming and bathing. Additionally Laurie continues to manage our merchandise and Sue participates as an Ambassador in many community outreach events! Thank you!