The Horsemanship Team is an all-volunteer group tasked with working with the horses on ground work and under saddle skills to better prepare them for adoption.
Each horses is taught and evaluated on specific skills such as lowering their head, leading respectfully, backing up, loading in a trailer, responsiveness to cues given under saddle and on the ground, gait transitions, acceptance of various objects and obstacles, and much more.
Members of the Team typically work with one specific horse, but can work with more than one. More seasoned members often mentor and assist newer Team members.
In addition to building upon the professional training our horses receive, the Team does groundwork with horses that can’t be ridden. Many of our older horses will be used in educational and equine-assisted learning programs and need to be able to face different situations in a safe, calm and confident manner so that participants will be safe during these programs. Working with the horses on ground manners, desensitizing, equine-assisted learning practice, and helping them learn to use the left side of their brain (the thinking side) more than the reactive side of their brain (the right side) will be very important for the success of the programs that we do to help people.
Volunteers interested in joining the Team should contact Terry Pennington at firstname.lastname@example.org. Prospective members are required to observe several Team sessions and schedule an external evaluation of riding/ground work skills. Those who wish to ride must have at least an intermediate riding level experience.
Freedom Hill Horse Rescue