by Caitlyn Andrews
July 07, 2017
Each month we feature a horse at LoveWay, a non-profit therapeutic riding center in Middlebury, IN. Instead of focusing on a single horse this month we're featuring LoveWay's summer camp.
LoveWay hosts weekly camps during the summer where participants get to ride and learn about horses. The camp spots fill up quickly. Even though there are several weeks left of camp there are no more openings for participants.
However, there are plenty of spots left for camp volunteers. LoveWay is in need of volunteers to help with day camps.
Summer camp at LoveWay consists of a series of day camps for children ages 6 - 14 years old. The camp gives able-bodied children and children needing therapeutic riding the opportunity to have fun and learn basic riding skills.
Each camp is a week long. Monday to Friday from 9 am to noon. One camp does consist of evening classes. Day camps are an accelerated version of what students learn during LoveWay semesters. Each camp has a maximum of 12 campers.
There are three remaining weeks of camp:
For campers, half of the morning consists of riding and the other half consists of activities. The activities are designed to be fun and informative. Volunteers assist the campers as they work on their activity books, go on scavenger hunts for horse tack, and learn how to properly tack a horse among other activities.
Horses: Whitey (back left) and Copper (front right).
When the weather is nice the campers get the opportunity to go trail riding. The trails at LoveWay are decorated with different themed scenes and large alphabet letters. The scenes were made from repurposed materials. The Merit Learning Center donated the materials for the scenes and helped construct them.
Above: Campground themed scene on the trails at LoveWay.
On Friday, the campers participate in a "Showdeo". The Showdeo is a fun event where the campers get to show their families what they learned during the week. During the exhibition, campers ride their horses or lead them through obstacle courses to show off their newly learned equestrian skills. After the Showdeo, there's a carry-in lunch for families to meet with the LoveWay staff and volunteers.
If you're interested in volunteering at LoveWay you can attend one of the upcoming volunteer orientations:
Thursday, July 13, 2017, 6 pm - 8 pm
You can find out more about volunteering at LoveWay on their website. Below are some of the volunteer opportunities available.
LoveWay urgently needs volunteers for summer camps. Summer camp volunteers assist children with or without disabilities in week-long day camps. You'll act as the rider's buddy for the week of camp by helping them learn to ride and interact safely with their horse.
If you would like to volunteer to work at camp the staff ask that you commit to a full week to keep the program consistent.
Above: "My Horse" page from a camper's activity book.
In addition to summer camps and working with the TR and EAL classes, LoveWay has the following volunteer opportunities available:
Maintenance & Grounds: Help with maintenance and upkeep of pastures, grounds, stable, and buildings. Mowing, string trimming, weeding, manure removal, fence repair, etc.
COLT Program: Community Outreach & Leadership for Teens (COLT) is a new program for teens ages 14-18 on Saturday mornings from 8 - 11 am. Teens help with horses and barn chores while learning about leadership, teamwork, and community give-back. Volunteers assist the Program Leader.
Office: Help with data entry, filing, mailings, answering phones, grant writing, etc.
Special Events: Help prepare for or help on the day of a LoveWay special event such as Derby Day or Ride-A-Thon. This includes helping obtain door prizes, food prep, working at registration tables, etc.
Photography: If you have an interest or experience in photography or videography then LoveWay could use your talent. Great images and videos help tell the LoveWay story.
The LoveWay Shop: Help prepare, describe, or list surplus and non-usable horse-related inventory for sale on eBay or in local or professional publications and websites.
Barn Feeding Team: Work with the Equine Manager and Instructors to bring in horses, clean stalls, and feed them their hay and grain. Feeders help with either morning or evening feedings.
Horse Buddy: Get involved one-on-one with a LoveWay equine. Horse Buddies provide stretches, strengthening exercises, and stress relief. An hour each week gives the therapy horses a break from their regular routine and helps promote their physical and mental well-being. A Horse Buddy must be at least 16 years old and physically able to stoop, bend, and lift the horse's feet for stretching exercises.
Schooling Rider: Ride LoveWay's horses to keep them exercised and in shape. Riding volunteers must be experienced riders able to walk, trot, and canter. This position has limited availability and is assigned by the LoveWay Equine Manager.
Substitute: Substitute for any of the volunteer positions listed above.
Contact Jon, the Volunteer Coordinator, for more information about any of the volunteer opportunities.
Board Member: Be part of a professional team that oversees, advises, and makes decisions concerning LoveWay. Terms last for three years.
Contact Eric, the Executive Director, for more information about the Board of Directors.
by Caitlyn Andrews
August 29, 2018
by Caitlyn Andrews
April 02, 2018
At VPSI, we're proud to be able to sponsor the therapy horses at LoveWay. LoveWay is an equine assisted therapy nonprofit in Middlebury, Indiana. The nonprofit is well-known in the community for helping children with disabilities through their therapy classes.We've featured many of the special horses at LoveWay in the past. This time, we're putting the spotlight on a horse and rider pair: Gus and Suzanne...
by Caitlyn Andrews
January 16, 2018
Not every horse can become a therapy horse. Some horses that enter the LoveWay program don't end up staying for long. It takes a special kind of horse to be a great equine-assisted therapy horse.
Rupert is one such horse