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Hello… and Goodbye

We love teaching. We believe in helping others learn how to facilitate healing with the aid of horses. Equine-assisted therapies are effective, not to mention fun, so why not be excited about teaching up-and-coming professionals in the field?

We also LOVE OUR VOLUNTEERS! Volunteers provide essential hands during lessons and camps, contribute new and fresh ideas for our programs, assist in the strategic planning process, and help us to pull off special events.

These two passions converge in our internship program. Every year, the best of the best college interns grace our barns to lend a hand while gaining invaluable professional experience. Interns are invited to participate in everything- the day-to-day of running a barn and caring for horses, planning camps and classes, attending staff meetings, giving input on important decisions, and of course, serving our adorable students.

Here’s a glimpse into our two amazing interns “on staff” right now.

Hello!

MaryBeth

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MaryBeth Knapp is a 22-year-old, horse-loving, Huntsville native. She earned her Equine Science degree from Auburn University and is now working to become a PATH certified instructor. She first learned about The Red Barn while studying at AU, and we are so grateful that she liked what she learned!

MaryBeth is now interning at the barn at least through the summer. She already has the riding experience needed for her future career since she began riding dressage when she was only 10 years old. But now she is getting experience working with people of all abilities while assisting during lessons, helping care for the horses, doing barn chores, and even helping with camps and social skills classes!

Please help us welcome MaryBeth if you see her around the barn!

Goodbye… 🙁

Emily

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Emily Davidson is a 24-year-old Masters of Social Work student at the University of Alabama. She was born in Florence and received her bachelor’s degree in Social Work from the University of North Alabama. She grew up with horses and knew that she wanted to help people and work with vulnerable populations, so it was not difficult to put the two together when she toured The Red Barn last year. Wasting no time, Emily immediately asked Joy about the possibility of an internship. No surprise- her internship began in January!

While interning at the barn, Emily has been helping with lessons and camps, doing needs assessments with the parents of our students, completing some of the never-ending barn chores, and she has also put together a resource guide for the parents of our students. (Pssst: You can look for that resource guide to be published here within the next week!)

Emily is breaking ground as the University of Alabama’s first Social Work student to intern in EAT (equine assisted therapy). After graduating on May 4, she hopes to eventually use her love and knowledge of horses while providing services to those in need.

Please help us congratulate Emily on her upcoming graduation and thank her for all of the hard work she has put in at the barn! Leave her a word of encouragement on our Facebook page.

Your donations make it possible to share faith, hope, and love with children and train tomorrow’s leaders of the equine industry.  Give today to continue doubling the impact of your donation to reach even more children and families in need.

 

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Keep Calm. Spring is Coming!

What does it take to have an amazing spring term?

Our spring term begins on Monday, April 2! We are so excited about the beautiful weather and to see the smiling faces of our students. But have you wondered what it takes to “pull off” a spring term at The Red Barn?

Admin Team

Let’s start with the administrative side of things. First, the previous fall term’s students are contacted to confirm that they’d like to return for the spring. Then their day of the week and time for their lesson are both confirmed and the student is placed on the spring schedule. Once the returning students are scheduled, the waiting list is examined to determine if there are any availabilities that match an open time spot with an appropriate horse and instructor.  Click here to read more about our waiting list. At the same time, staff schedules are also being planned for the term and updated student paperwork is received and processed.

Programs Team

Instructors discuss riding goals with the parents and students as well as determine how many volunteers will be needed for their lesson if any.  Available volunteers are paired up with the students who need them the most. Meetings are scheduled so that student, parent, volunteer(s), and the instructor can meet and get familiar with each other. This allows students to be more comfortable with their lesson helpers, volunteers to be better prepared, instructors to know what to expect, and parents to share their goals for their child’s upcoming term.

Once lesson goals are decided they are entered into the database. Contact information is used to invoice parents. Lesson plans are created based on goals for students and shared with necessary staff members.

Is a theme coming through here? Personalization! Experiences are tailor-made for our students, factoring in all available information for the utmost safety, efficiency, effectiveness, and FUN!

Annual tasks are being completed at this time as well, such as preparing information for the 990, compiling the program evaluation for the previous year, and developing the annual report for the previous year. All of this while carrying on the year-long duties of paying the bills, fundraising, planning events, conducting tours, fielding new calls of interest, screening and training new volunteers and interns, and helping other similar agencies start up or improve their programs.

Horse Team

Now let’s talk about the horses. I mean, we couldn’t do what we do without them! Most of the horses haven’t been riding the trails over the winter, so our horse team is working with them to become familiar with the trails again. Mock lessons are being done so that our equine staff members are refreshed on how to do their jobs! Now that the days are getting warmer and the nights aren’t quite so chilly, the horses are being rotated to their spring/summer pasture rotation of being inside the barn during the day and out at night.  In preparation for the spring, the horses (and staff members) are being worked pretty hard so that they are all in their very best shape for our students.

Operations and Property Team

And what would a visit to The Red Barn be without being able to take in the gorgeous, peaceful sights?

Red barn and carvings

There are pastures to be seeded, grassy areas to be trimmed, weeds to be sprayed, tree limbs to be picked up, trails to clear for safety, sidewalks to edge, fences to mend, and structures to be pressure washed! The list goes on!

While you might be thinking that this sounds a bit exhausting, we think that it sounds like a normal season at The Red Barn. This is what we do: plan, clean, cut, clear, organize, strategize, update, PLAN, PLAN, PLAN. All for your kiddos because we know that having a place to feel loved and accepted can make all the difference in the world.