Revised on July 1, 2007 (detailed updates)
This document has been created to facilitate the integration of volunteers in to the heart and soul of Refuge Farms. The primary purpose in formalizing what we do is to create a safe place for you, the horses, and our guests.
It is our intention to communicate the expectations that best reflect the purpose of THE FARM and how we operate while remembering that safety of all creatures is of utmost importance. Remember, we are a place of healing for both horses and Human Beings alike.
The Ways of THE FARM is divided in to five (5) sections. These sections are:
At the document conclusion you will find a VOLUNTEER COMPLIANCE PAGE which you are asked to sign and return to the Operations Manager. In addition, a Refuge Farms volunteer will be required to complete Application and Disclaimer documents, both of which may be found on our website at the bottom of the Refuge Farms' Declaration of Purpose.
- GENERAL EXPECTATIONS
- BARN EXPECTATIONS
- HORSE HANDLING EXPECTATIONS
- APPEARANCE EXPECTATIONS
- PUBLIC PERSONA EXPECTATIONS.
Updates to this document will be published on our website every January and July. Updates will be displayed in italics for easy reference.
We welcome your discussion and input regarding the improvement of this document. Thank you for volunteering!
Kathy Myren, Operations Manager
Sandy Gilbert, Executive Director
Refuge Farms premises will be no more than 5 mph.
- GENERAL EXPECTATIONS
- You are here to give and to receive. Thank you and enjoy!
- It is expected that your vehicle will be parked on the edge of the west lawn unless instructed during special events.
- It is expected that the speed limit on
It is expected that THE FARM is open to volunteers arriving 30 minutes prior to THE FARM opening and remains open to the volunteers for 30 minutes after it closes to the public, unless planned during special events.
It is expected that volunteers will respect the need for privacy and will limit access to the personal residence to only those times when required.
It is expected that any visits other than when open to the public will be scheduled with the Operations Manager or the Executive Director.
It is expected that volunteers will use appropriate language, free of cursing or discriminatory words, while representing or on Refuge Farms premises.
It is expected that volunteers will refrain from use of any tobacco products, alcoholic beverages, or non-prescription drugs while representing or on Refuge Farms premises.
It is expected that all volunteers will supply documentation of a current tetanus shot and will keep that vaccination current.
It is expected that volunteers will not be asked to answer telephones or sign for mail or receive packages while at THE FARM.
It is expected that Refuge Farms will provide a designated area for volunteers to rest and eat.
It is expected that volunteers will be given a total of two (2) Refuge Farms t-shirts at the conclusion of their initial training and submission of paperwork.
It is expected that all volunteers attend the Horse Handling and Safety Class arranged specifically for Refuge Farms volunteers.
It is expected that the volunteers who give tours will know the story of Refuge Farms and the history of the horses.
It is expected that Refuge Farms will have a sign up calendar for volunteers for Saturdays when the barns are open to the public.
It is expected that there are three (3) volunteers for each Saturday when THE FARM is open to the public.
It is expected that participating volunteers will be given a "chit" good for a free refreshment and food for each event worked. It is further expected that participating volunteers will refrain from consuming the guest refreshments and food until event conclusion.
It is expected that Refuge Farms will have a volunteer sign up sheet for Thursday night facility maintenance during the months of April through October.
It is expected that if a volunteer is unable to fulfill their scheduled time the volunteer will find a replacement volunteer.
It is expected that volunteer time will be logged by the volunteer in the provided "Volunteer Log" to support "in-kind" contributions.
It is expected that any volunteer 16 years of age or under has a parent or guardian jointly participating with them in all activities when volunteering at THE FARM or during events and activities.
It is expected that any volunteer that is less than 18 years of age will have parental or guardian permission and consent on file with THE FARM.
It is expected that new volunteers will be assigned a buddy. This buddy will train on the history of Refuge Farms and The Ways of THE FARM, insuring that safety is paramount.
It is expected that all trash - especially foodstuffs - deposited in the Refuge Farms dumpster will be contained in a sealed trash bag. It is also expected that no partial beverages, loose trash, or manure of any type be thrown in to the dumpster.
Remember, you are a gift! As are these creatures! Enjoy them and be safe!
HORSE HANDLING EXPECTATIONS
- It is expected that volunteers and guests will not climb under or over gates, stand on gates, stand on fence, climb over stall rails, posts, or fences.
- It is expected that all gates shall be kept shut and properly latched at all times, except while passing through.
- It is expected that volunteers and guests, when accompanied by a volunteer, will access stalls, pens, and pastures by use of designated entrances and gates.
- It is expected that barns are kept free of all obstructions.
- It is expected that water hoses be coiled and buckets stored when not in use.
- It is expected that any equipment used will be cleaned and put away when finished.
- It is expected that tools will be handled safely and carried with spades/tongs facing the ground.
- It is expected that all grooming equipment will be cleaned and put away after use.
- It is expected that glass, plastic, aluminum, or human food will not be brought in to the barns, except for special events.
- It is expected that pasture doors and gates or stall doors and gates will be closed to prohibit horses from entering the barns/stalls while cleaning.
- It is expected that feeding will be by recipe by horse.
- It is expected that no horse be given treats of any kind unless with prior knowledge and approval of the Executive Director or the Operations Manager.
- It is expected that access to the horses during feeding will be restricted.
- It is expected that while eating, the horses will not be approached, brushed, or disturbed and the barn will be quiet with no unnecessary activity or traffic in the barn area.
- Refuge Farms is committed to using the Parelli™ Natural Horsemanship technique of horse handling. It is expected that volunteers wishing to handle horses pursue the technique and work toward Level One testing, excluding tasks relating to riding.
- It is expected that volunteers may use THE FARM's copy of the original version of Level One training documentation while pursuing the technique.
- It is expected that volunteers will purchase and label their own personal equipment needed to complete Level One testing.
- It is expected that prior to accessing the horses beyond the gates, each volunteer will have attended a Horse Handling and Safety Class arranged specifically for the volunteers of THE FARM.
- It is expected that all gates are kept shut and properly latched at all times, except while passing through.
- It is expected that all animals on THE FARM be addressed by their given or barn name.
- It is expected that any horse will be approached quietly and slowly and not by running up to it.
- It is expected that a horse will not be touched by raising hands or arms in a quick manner.
- It is expected that nothing will be thrown at or toward a horse.
- It is expected that loud noises around a horse will be avoided.
- It is expected that when approaching a blind horse you approach from the front on either side talking quietly and constantly until you can touch the horse.
- It is expected that volunteers and guests will work and walk quietly and slowly around the horses.
- It is expected that horses will be handled with safety in mind.
- It is expected that a horse be always led with a lead rope or trailer/feeder tie.
- It is expected that one volunteer will lead only one horse at a time.
- It is expected that you walk on the left hand side, beside - never in front or behind - the horse.
- It is expected that the lead rope never be wrapped around your hand.
- It is expected that volunteers will remain calm and work to keep control of your horse.
- It is expected that any volunteer experiencing difficulty handling a horse will request and receive assistance from any other volunteer(s).
- It is expected that horses will be tied at designated areas only.
- It is expected that a horse be tied to a post or eyebolt.
- It is expected that a tied horse will not be left unattended.
- It is expected that the horses be tied with a quick release knot only or provided feeder/trailer ties constructed with panic snaps.
- It is expected that when a horse is tied you walk behind them, not under their neck or head.
- It is expected that you walk either directly behind the horses with a hand on the hind flanks or at least 12 feet behind them.
- It is expected that you never walk between the horse and what it is tied to.
- It is expected that you walk up to a horse's head - never toward its hind legs.
- It is expected that if the horse you are attending creates a mess that the handling volunteer will clean the area. This includes manure, any hair from grooming, or clumps from your horse's feet after walking, etc.
- It is expected that there will be no treats given out in the herd.
- It is expected that treats be given to horses only in a designated area.
- It is expected that only celery be given to the horses as treats.
- It is expected that no sugar cubes, candies or mints, bread, pop, carrots, apples, pears or any manufactured treat be given to any horse.
- It is expected that all plastic bags be kept out of the reach of the horses and out of the barns.
- It is expected that collars will be used only for feeding.
- It is expected that for the general health of the horses, bathing will be under specific weather conditions and under the Executive Director's instructions.
- It is expected that no treatment or procedure will be performed on any animal of Refuge Farms without prior consent of the Executive Director.
- It is expected that the commands used when moving the horses are: Step Up to start a horse or guide a horse over a raised step, Back to move a horse backward, and Get Over to move a horse to either side.
Refuge Farms logo may be screened or embroidered on shirts, jackets, hats, etc. of your choice with clothing being of a solid color with no other advertising or customizing.
- It is expected that volunteers, when at THE FARM, have loose hair pulled up or back or under a cap.
- It is expected that volunteers, when at THE FARM, have limited and "considered" jewelry. Any and all jewelry is worn at the risk of the volunteer.
It is expected that the volunteers will pay for their own clothing, screening, and embroidering, except for the two (2) original Refuge Farms t-shirts given to the volunteer by Refuge Farms.
It is expected that volunteers interacting with a horse, when representing or at THE FARM, will wear Refuge Farms hats or head bands, Refuge Farms shirts, clean blue jean pants (with no holes, frayed edges, or tears), work gloves, and work boots with ankle support (no steel toes or cowboy boots).
It is expected that volunteers not interacting with a horse, when representing or at THE FARM, will wear Refuge Farms hats or head bands, Refuge Farms shirts, clean blue jean pants (with no holes, frayed edges, or tears), denim or khaki capris pants (with no holes, frayed edges, or tears), hemmed denim or khaki tan shorts (with no holes, frayed edges, or tears and with a minimum inseam of 10 inches), and clean tennis shoes or shoes with no heel or toe exposed.
PUBLIC PERSONA EXPECTATIONS
Refuge Farms receives and considers the public as guests.
It is expected that guests will be asked to sign the Guest Book and be offered a brochure and/or literature.
It is expected that volunteers will present a courteous and professional manner to all creatures, including guests.
It is expected that abuse of any kind to any creature on THE FARM will not be tolerated. The volunteer or guest will be asked to leave.
Refuge Farms is not a riding facility.
It is expected that the only dog(s) on THE FARM premises will be the resident dog(s) of THE FARM.
It is expected that access to the horses by guests may be restricted due to guest dress or shoes.
It is expected that any donations received from guests will be received with grace and humble appreciation. Donation receipts will be offered and given.
It is expected that guests to THE FARM will be accompanied at all times during their visit.
It is expected that guest children will be not be allowed to wander off without an adult accompanying them.
It is expected that any assistance needed during a guest visit may be requested and given of any other volunteer(s).
It is expected that guests to THE FARM will not be allowed in to the pastures, in to the corral, or on to any leased or gifted property. Exceptions will be under supervision and with permission by the Executive Director or Operations Manager.
It is expected that volunteers will approach a guest and tactfully explain the no smoking/no alcohol policy of THE FARM and request that any smoking be extinguished and any alcohol be put away.
It is expected that while conversation and banter is encouraged, postings to the Refuge Farms Bulletin Board without relevant content or postings that would be considered "Chat Room" postings will be deleted, at the discretion of the Web Master. It is encouraged that "Chat Room" entries be moved to personal email.
The Ways of THE FARM
The Ways of THE FARM