Frequently Asked Questions
What qualifies a child for participation in BMYR programs?
We serve every child we possibly can between the ages of 6 and 18 years old. Our programming is directed towards at-risk and underprivileged children, but our mentoring program benefits every child regardless of socioeconomic status. We try our hardest to offer sessions to every child as we have resources to do so. We do also have HERD groups that provide a group mentoring environment in an effort to serve more children in our community.
How do we sign up for sessions?
If you are interested in signing up for sessions, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
How do I refer a child for sessions?
If you know a child in our community who you believe would benefit from our programming at BMYR, please contact us at email@example.com
How much does a session cost?
We offer all of our programming to every child at no-cost. This is possible because of our generous sponsors, donors and volunteers.
What does a session look like?
Our sessions are as unique and individual as the children themselves. The goal through all of our programming is to create spaces to develop deep and connected relationships between children, horses and their mentors. Children also have a lot of input and frequently get to choose their activities for the day. Our session leaders work with the children they are mentoring to determine their plan for the day. Our sessions are 90 minutes and usually begin with a 10-15 minute farm chore. This gives them a sense of ownership and pride in the Ranch, its people and its animals. The remainder of the session could be spent working with horses, playing games, or working in the garden.
Will my child learn to ride a horse?
Many of the children at BMYR will choose to spend their time on the Ranch riding and working with horses. We are dedicated to equine education and to teaching horsemanship skills to each child who would like to learn. However, we are not a riding school. Our ultimate goal is developing relationship skills for children, not to prepare them for competitive riding. A session may not always include riding a horse. Children do have the opportunity to learn ground work and equine safety. If you are looking for riding lessons, we have a list of horseback riding trainers in our area.
What should my child wear to a session?
All children should wear shoes with a closed toe and heel such as boots or tennis shoes. If the goal of the session is horseback riding, boots are recommended and long pants are required. An equestrian riding helmet will be provided by BMYR and is required when riding at the Ranch. When seasonally appropriate, we also recommend that you wear sunscreen and bring a water bottle. In the spring and fall, layers are also recommended as the weather can change quickly and unexpectedly.
What should I do while my child is participating in a session?
Our mission is to provide a positive environment for struggling, at-risk and disadvantaged children and their families. For this reason, a parent or guardian is required to be on site at the Ranch for the entirety of their child's session. You are welcome to bring siblings and spend time together at the Ranch, relaxing, visiting with our animals, or just to bring a good book to read while you are here. We ask that you not enter any animal enclosures or feed any of our animals without a staff member's help and supervision. We hope that your time at the Ranch is restful and encouraging to you and we look forward to getting to know you and your whole family. Please feel free to take photos of your child's session and to watch from a short distance. We do ask that you respect your child's time with their session leader and allow them the freedom to navigate their session on their own. Our session leaders are trained and prepared to help support a child through all the activities that may be included in a session, and we hope to see your child's confidence and sense of responsibility grow with each session.
How do I become an BMYR volunteer?
It’s easy to volunteer at the Ranch! Head to the volunteer information under our “Get Involved” tab on the website. If you would like to RSVP for our next Volunteer Orientation and Training, please sign up on our events page. If you have any questions, feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
I don’t feel comfortable working with horses, can I still volunteer?
Absolutely. We need all kinds of volunteers and since we do a wide variety of activities in our session programs. many of our volunteer tasks have nothing to do with our horses. When you are filling out your volunteer application, there will be space for you to specify what your interests are and how you believe you can best serve at BMYR.
What is the difference between a volunteer and a session leader?
Volunteers can fill a wide variety of tasks - everything from farm maintenance, feeding and working with horses, office and administrative tasks, as well as greeting and welcoming visitors to our Ranch. A volunteer could work as little as one hour in a season or they could come and help on the Ranch on a daily basis. In contrast, Session Leaders are volunteer mentors who serve in a very specific capacity. We require that our Session Leaders serve with us a minimum of twice a month for each 2-3 month session of programming. Session leaders also go through additional interview procedures and training.
Can my kids volunteer with me?
Yes! We love all our volunteers – no matter the age, and we have many volunteer tasks that are well-suited for children to help with. We just ask that youth 15 years old and younger be accompanied by an adult during their time on the Ranch.