Great third lesson! + A Challenge I NEED HFs Help With!

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Great third lesson! + A Challenge I NEED HFs Help With!

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    05-28-2012, 12:20 AM
Great third lesson! + A Challenge I NEED HFs Help With!

So here's the deal...

I only have a short time to write as must prep to go to work shortly, but, I know if I START the thread NOW, I will be sure to come back to it later tonight at work and fill in the important blanks

In very brief, my second lesson, two weeks ago, I did not post about, because I honestly did not have much to say (for those of you who have read ANY of my posts, I REALIZE you probably are assuming someone has hacked my account, as being at a loss for words is GENERALLY NOT MY ISSUE!)...
It was okay, just nothing spectacularly good or bad, and left me repeating the mantra..."Returning to anything takes TIME and a ton of effort; keep up the baby steps and eventually, you will get there..."

However, my THIRD LESSON, just this past Fri., was a total breakthrough!!! It was as if my body & brain finally decided to join together in the effort! I felt "right" atop Fancy; I felt GOOD, and I felt in CONTROL of what I was other words, my movements were purposeful and specific, and they had specific, desired outcomes which followed them!

All in all, it was literally one of the best days I can remember and I felt on top of the WORLD. I still feel the same, now two days later!

When I have time, I will re-post with some more specifics about the lesson, etc...simply so I can A) show others in the same boat how it doesn't take a whole lot to prove that growth and change ARE OCCURRING, and B) so that in the future, if I have a not-so-great-day/lesson/etc..., I can look back and remember Friday. That is all it will take to rebalance my mind-set...

As for the HELP (!) issue, well, all I can say for now (as I realize it is getting VERY LATE), is that I want desperately to begin my volunteering, and have everything in place to do so, but I am FILLED with trepidation about making THE CALL to speak with the owner of the horse rescue about what days/times I will be is purely a fear/insecurity thing and is ridiculous, but I HAVE TO CALL HER (my trainer had a hand in arranging this, and I WILL NOT do anything to make my trainer look bad or make myself appear wishy-washy). Don't misunderstand...she arranged this at my urging, so did not volunteer me of her own volition! And, this woman DESPERATELY NEEDS VOLUNTEERS, so it is I doing HER the favor just as much as she doing so for me through giving me way more horse time than I could ever get otherwise...but, it its a commitment, and one which I take very seriously!

I guess I will leave it at that and fill in the considerable blanks tonight at work. No need to reply yet, as I probably haven't given enough "issue" to "help" with. However, any stabs-in-the-dark would certainly be welcomed!

To be continued...(p.s. Thanks, guys...)
Skyseternalangel likes this.
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    05-28-2012, 12:31 AM
Okay let me take a stab at it..

"Hi, my name is (really awesome person's name goes here) and I would really love to offer my help and volunteer at your/in your (barn/riding stable/program, etc.) I've always loved horses and have just started up riding again after X years and the little I know I would like to offer to you as I know running a (barn/program/riding stable, etc.) is a lot of hard work. I am available (days of the week) due to working at (job title/field.)"

Then see what she says, and end with "Thank you for taking the time to speak with me, (if she said yes then... I am really looking forward to learning and getting to know the (kids/clients) and the horses!"

Sorry if that's all over the place. Be very honest with your experience though.
    05-28-2012, 07:26 AM
Originally Posted by Skyseternalangel    
Okay let me take a stab at it..

"Hi, my name is (really awesome person's name goes here) and I would really love to offer my help and volunteer at your/in your (barn/riding stable/program, etc.) I've always loved horses and have just started up riding again after X years and the little I know I would like to offer to you as I know running a (barn/program/riding stable, etc.) is a lot of hard work. I am available (days of the week) due to working at (job title/field.)"

Then see what she says, and end with "Thank you for taking the time to speak with me, (if she said yes then... I am really looking forward to learning and getting to know the (kids/clients) and the horses!"

Sorry if that's all over the place. Be very honest with your experience though.
Thanks, Sky! You are so great! You always have the sweetest things to say! Actually, though, the problem is a BIT of a different "animal", so to speak, and I believe I have pretty much solved it, but will lay it out anyway for y'all!

I just typed my post out TWICE, only to lose the silly thing by hitting the return button after having chosen the wrong SMILEY! Wth? How DUH is THAT? Oh well, it's okay after all, because in reality, I saved everyone lots of prattling on!

My new trainer, Holly, (who is wonderful and amazing) knows I so badly want as much "horse" time as possible incorporated into my life right now. She also knows that with me working full time night shift, and my husband being a small business owner and struggling, we are not in a position to lease or buy a horse, or for me to ride more often than once a week.

So, after I asked her about volunteer opportunities, she spoke to the owner of a wonderful local rescue that does AMAZING work in the Southern Arizona area...She told this woman that she trusts me, and believes I would be very good with the horses there (which was an incredible compliment coming from Holly). The other place I had been thinking about volunteering (where, by the way, Holly ALSO volunteers ) is a theraputic riding school, and work with the school-year calendar, thus they do not open for volunteer orientation classes until August, so I have the whole summer to start with another organization.

Anyhow, the rescue is literally SHORT 10 volunteers, since all of the snowbirds (retirees who come every year to Az for the milder winters but really live in other places) have gone back to the east coast and the northern parts of the U.S. And have left the organization, so the rescue is now inundated with work and overwhelmed with horses. Holly told the owner I could start ASAP helping out, and I very much want to, but here, finally, is the issue at hand.

I am so afraid to tell this woman that I can only start out doing Fridays for four hours! I want to give her more time than that, and fully intend to eventually, but it is very challenging to be awake all night five nights per week and deal with a stressful job and then know I need to go and commit to spending "x" number of hours also in the mornings someplace when I am sometime so tired I can barely drive home. It isn't that I don't want to or am not motivated. It is simply that I do SO much already, and I do not want to burn out and get sick. I am so afraid to call the woman and tell her tomorrow that I can offer her four hours to BEGIN and then increase from there and have one of two responses:

1) "Oh. I had the impression you wanted to offer us more time than that."


2) "Holly thought you wanted to commit to some real time with us."

I fear that she will think I am flakey or something, and not see that I just want to gauge how much I can realistically give, time-wise, between work and my son and husband, plus having to SLEEP during the day since that is the only time I CAN sleep, and then having a lesson now on Thurs nights, that is pretty much my whole free time right there! Now, if I had a horse of my own, I would have the same issue, but, in that circumstance, I would have to board someplace that did full-feeding and then I could go to the barn in the early morning right after work to visit, do a quick once over grooming, maybe a hand walk to get him/her out of his/her stall, and then come back at 6pm every evening to ride, (when I normally wake up before work to walk with my kid and husband, do yoga, have dinner, etc...I would ride then instead--and then groom, hang out, etc...then come home and hang with the family before work at 11pm. In that circumstance, everything would be on MY time, and not scheduled around the need of an organization with schedules to keep, etc...Does that make sense?

I fear I will end up letting someone down, and in return, will get overstressed about it and that will cause me to forget I am doing this out of passion and not out of "obligation" or to "please someone" (this is my BIG problem, worrying I will let someone down!) I am just all in my head about how to communicate this to the owner of the rescue...that I WANT to be of USE to her, and I desprately WANT to help her horses! I just need to do so in a way that meets the schedule of the horses and of me, you know?

So, that is the WHOLE THING...all of my a nutshell. I KNOW it will be okay, and I will just need to be honest with her and tell her all of this. I have the skills she needs, and I have the knowledge and abilities, I just need to be sure our times will mesh. I want to also be sure that I do right by this woman who is allowing me into her "inner world" of rescue horses, and by Holly who set this whole thing up for me, and again, do not want to disappoint anyone! Ugh. I need to drink less coffee!

Thanks guys...any input would be great, though, I plan to just call her and lay it all out for her tomorrow when I wake up for a bit, mid-day. It is Memorial Day, so with my husband being a Gulf War Veteran, this is an important day for us, and it may be for her, as well, and I wondererd if I should bother her, but then thought, "the sooner she gets me/others out there, the better she & the horses will be, so I won't put off calling her and will 'sack up' and do what is right; contact her according to exactly the timeline I set out for Holly to tell her (I said I'd call between Sat am and Mon afternoon sometime)...

Best to you all. And by the way, let me please say to all 3 people reading: Happy Memorial Day-- to those who have lost loved ones, thank you so much for their service to this STILL IS the greatest on earth...we just need to keep working at keeping it strong!
    05-28-2012, 07:35 AM
I think as long as you are honest with her right away, then she won't think you're flakey!!
Back2Horseback likes this.
    05-28-2012, 07:53 AM
It's great that you want to volunteer, however much time you can spare! 4 hours may not sound like much, but it will make a huge difference to the horses and like you said, you'll build up the hours eventually! I'm sure whoever you phone will be so grateful for the 4 hours you offer, they won't think you are flakey at all :)
Back2Horseback likes this.
    05-29-2012, 12:45 PM
Okay so...I called said owner of the rescue...she was not as I had expected (I know, one should never have expectations, as that leads to disappointment, but that is SO TOUGH!!) & she seemed totally un-thrilled to have me call...

I did ask if she was busy or had a moment to talk. She said she could talk though was "feeding and orienting someone"...though was not RUSHING me off the phone (total length of call time = less than 2 minutes!)she clearly WAS INVOLVED in something else and not at all "present" for the few moments we were on the phone...(?), though she didn't say I should call back at such and such time either, so I assumed she wanted to talk right then anyway. I explained who I was, that my trainer, (whom she knows WELL AND WHO DOES AMAZING THINGS TO HELP OUT THIS WOMAN ALL THE TIME, BTW), had told her about me (?) & she sounded like she wasn't sure WHO my trainer was!

Then we discussed when I should come out to "orient" & I asked her if she did afternoon/evening volunteer hours (horses have to eat in the evening, right??!!) & she quickly said, "No. It's to hot then. We work from 6:30a to 11a here. The morning crew feeds and then gets the horses out for whatever they need done with them..." So I said that made sense (in Az, by 12 noon it is about 105 in the summer, though most barns have indoor areas for grooming/bathing/etc...and ask of that can be done all day, in my experience, though they may not be set up for that, we shall see).

Then I asked if they had an afternoon or evening feeding crew? She was annoyed sounding, and said, "Well, yes, they work 5p to about 7 or 8p" ( better for me, but I didn't say this). So I said, "I work 5 nights/ week and would not be able to get or to you until 8:30a on those days after work...but, this & every Fri, I am off, and can come at 6:30am and orient if you like?" To which she said, "ok, great, come on out and you can see EVERYTHING we do and then choose what you would like to participate in."

So I'm like, YAH, sounds pretty good (though she is STILL distracted, laughing and chatting a bit with other people!) It's only been like one minute @ this point.

So I say to her, "Great, (insert her name), then I'll see you this Fri at 6:30a and you guys can show me what you need from me!".At this point she is like, "ok, BYE!" & about to hang up. I stopped her and said, "By the way, Holly gave me directions, so don't worry about telling me how to get there, but shall I just park and look for you? Is there someplace you'll be?" (the place is, BTW, VERY HARD TO FIND, thus her not offering to tell me any landmarks or whatever was odd and bordered on rude to me...this is not a paid job, and while yes, of course I WANT TO GIVE TO THESE ANIMALS, BADLY, the fact that she cannot run her operation without volunteers makes me feel she might want to be a TINY bit more giving about a person making the decision to commit to working hard for her horses...and she didn't even want to ask me anything! Not my phone #, if I had references other than Holly, if I was a felon/a weirdo, nothing...! Does that seem weird to you guys??

So she was glad I already had directions, (she said) & she told me to "look around" for her when I got there. I guess this could just be a person who gets burned a lot by potential volunteers, and maybe she likes to size people up and THEN see what they and she will talk about. Maybe she thinks I won't show up, so doesn't want to waste time "chatting" to have me blow her off? People ARE FLAKES, & maybe she is protecting herself, hence, I will show her I ask that much MORE DEVOTED TO THE CAUSE, and she will hopefully warm up/be more polite then? Well, I'm going to find out Fri am, one way or another!!

Thanks again for listening, guys!! Wish me good luck thoughts...?? :0)
    05-29-2012, 01:14 PM
A lot of people who are good with horses, are not good with people. Especially ones who might be dealing with horses that are "thrown away" by other people.
She SHOULD be more welcoming and encouraging. She probably needs a volunteer to recruit volunteers; someone with better people skills.
Back2Horseback likes this.
    05-29-2012, 01:32 PM
Thanks, least I don't feel like the only one now who thought the conversation was a bit, well, "odd"...

I guess I will just have to wait and see. I DO have a lesson with Holly (who set this whole thing up) the evening prior (this Thurs. @ 6pm) & I plan to ask Holly what she thinks about the conversation. She "gets" that I TRULY WANT to volunteer, and am not at all afraid of the hard work, as she has seen me spend HOURS grooming Fancy just to make the horse feel good and be happy, even though they do it already every day! She knows how much I have to give to the horses at this point, and I THINK, at least, she will not look kindly upon someone being so nonchalant toward ANY potential volunteer, ESPECIALLY with this rescue suddenly being so very short-staffed.

If it turns out this is simply the owner's personality, well, no biggee. I'm not going there for her, I'm going for the horses, so I will simply do whatever she needs from me and leave it at that. I would obviously prefer to forge some sort of friendship or acquaintanceship, but, maybe that will be too much to hope for. All in good time!

Anyhow, thanks again, Tiny! You helped me not feel so nutty and overly-sensitive! Much appreciated!
    05-29-2012, 09:25 PM
Yeah a LOT of places that take in volunteers are used to people flaking out, so they aren't as encouraging and welcoming.

Which is why when I worked {at a therapeutic riding center} as a volunteer, I turned that place around. I was so friendly and answered all questions and so we kept a lot of volunteers. Then the BO started acting the same way and they're doing great now :)

Don't take offense.. just it's hard for them to be all welcomey when they get so many people just wasting their time per say.
    05-29-2012, 11:47 PM
Absolutely Sky, I can totally see all of that & I feel pretty good about that part of the situation... I had a fairly long conversation with my husband about the whole telephone call.

We both agree that we can completely forgive ANY LACK of enthusiasm on her part regarding a new volunteer coming out, and as he said, "Just like at work; after she sees you mean business, you take everything she asks of you seriously; just sees you're work ethic in general, abilities with horses on the ground, and your caring and warm personality, she will either warm up to you (if she is that sort of person), or, at the least, she will learn to trust in you and appreciate you for all you give to the horses."...

I believe that is true...I know why I want to volunteer, what I hope to give to these abused and neglected animals, and no part of my goal has anything to do with receiving accolades. I AM of the belief that I, like anyone else, am deserving of respect, so I just hope the fact that she wouldn't stop talking to the other person there with her when I called was sort of a one-time rudeness, and she will not show that sort of behavior as common to her, since of course, we will be working together.

So that is where it sits for now. Things will be quite busy over the next few weeks, and I'm hoping to match the increase of activity in stride...I will look very forward to meeting her expectations, if negative, with positive surprises! If they ARE POSITIVE to begin with, I intend to show her I am more than "up" for the task at hand and am no stranger to hard work, either physical or mental....I'm VERY excited for Friday!

Thanks you guys for your time and input. I very much appreciate that...

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