News. Ti racconto. Chiara racconta

Chiara tells about the riding stable

Hello everyone, my name is Chiara and I’m a 17-year-old girl. I attend the Cattaneo Deledda Institute in Modena, and I volunteer at I’M Possible. I’m writing this article to share my experience with you and tell you what prompted me to start this journey.

Chiara racconta il maneggio

It all started in 2020 because of the pandemic. We were locked up at home for 3 months, and I felt like every day was the same. I felt isolated, sad, missed communicating with my classmates, and needed to learn to express myself with adults and children.

In June 2020, I realized that I needed to do something different to help myself: I decided to volunteer because I didn’t like the idea of ​​staying inside an empty house doing nothing. The thought of helping people and the feeling of being able to be useful to someone pushed me to start this journey.

There are many activities that can be done at the stable. When needed, we clean the horse using tools like the curry comb, brush, and hoof pick, and we dress it by putting on the saddle pad, the pad, and the saddle. As volunteers, while we are with the children or teenagers, we assist and teach them how to perform these procedures.

If our help is not needed, we always find ways to be useful: we sweep, tidy up around the stable, and groom the animals. While working with children and teenagers, we also have to manage the horse and our own emotions: for example, initially, there might be fear of being bitten or losing control of the animal. Therefore, we must speak calmly and convey positive emotions to the horse.

It may seem complicated, but after about a week, you’ll become adept at managing your emotions and learning to anticipate the horse’s behaviors and act accordingly!

In the good volunteer’s toolkit, there must be patience. For example, when a child drops objects on the ground, you must ask them to pick them up calmly and kindly; you must know how to communicate with adults, but this you can learn through experience; you must be responsive to the needs of the moment. Punctuality is very important out of respect for both others and the commitment made; one must be responsible to avoid disrupting activities and endangering people and animals; finally, it is very important to empathize with others to understand and assist them in times of need.

Don’t worry, you won’t be alone because there’s Francesca, an expert in hippotherapy, who will help and guide you every step of the way in this journey. She’s a reference point for me because despite my inexperience, she trusted me, teaching me all the procedures for cleaning the horse and how to interact with others. All of this has helped me with my self-esteem.

The riding center is a very welcoming place, and so are the owners: an open, helpful, and kind family to the guests of the facility.

In my opinion, volunteering can stimulate your personal side, helping you learn new skills and have new experiences. It can help you truly understand what you enjoy by trying out different paths. There will be moments of tension with difficult personalities and times when you may feel less useful. However, this should not scare you because we are all different, and there is a path for each of us to follow. I have realized that I might enjoy this line of work.


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