Valley Therapeutic Equestrian Association (VTEA) in Aldergrove is looking for volunteers, new and old, to lend a hand. (Special to The Star)

Return of clients creates volunteer need for Aldergrove therapeutic riding non-profit

Easing of COVID-19 restrictions brings Valley Therapeutic Equestrian Association back to full speed

Valley Therapeutic Equestrian Association (VTEA) has always been a place of potential, and now that the organization is preparing to open its arena doors to the community once again, a sense of unbridled potential is presenting itself more than ever.

VTEA has been providing therapeutic horseback riding and hippotherapy treatments to individuals of all ages and abilities since 1983.

Lynn Moseley, VTEA president, said they will welcoming back clients who have been without therapeutic riding for over a year come September.

“Rejoining our community, they will be able to reconnect with our instructors and the horses, and finally begin the next steps of their healing journeys,” Moseley explained. “The challenges of the pandemic allowed us all to pause and reevaluate. We took the opportunity to examine both our brand and our programs and add new opportunities for healing for our clients.”

As such, focus on Equine Facilitated Wellness (EFW) programs and mental health has increased – now standing in their own right alongside well-established Therapeutic Riding and Hippotherapy programs.

But with the welcoming of new programs and the returns of clients, volunteers are needed to keep the non-profit running efficiently.

“Right now, we are reaching out to the wonderful, hardworking volunteers who have been the backbone of this organization for years – and encouraging many, many more applications from new volunteers who would like to, as we like to say, help themselves just as much as they help others,” Moseley noted.

READ MORE: Aldergrove’s Valley Therapeutic Riding Association announces help for mental health

Leaders and side walkers work closely with clients while guiding them around the arena, often building a personal relationship, or simply just being a comforting and necessary presence.

Barn volunteers assisting the equine manager help take care of VTEA’s empathetic therapy horses.

“All regular volunteers benefit from physical activity, whether through walking beside or in front of the horses, or by the grooming, feeding, and other heavy-lifting tasks performed in the barn and paddocks,” Moseley said.

Moseley added that other volunteers, such as those writing about equine therapy-related topics for the VTEA website blog, or micro-volunteers, who help out around the property now and then with odd jobs, are also essential.

“We really are a family here, and once you arrive on the property, you’ll get it – that feeling specific to Valley. We have often called it ‘the Valley vibe’,” Moseley said. “We are so excited for this restart, and so ready to welcome back more clients and more volunteers than ever.”

Located at 256th Street in Aldergrove – just south of the Fraser Highway – people can visit www.vtea.ca for more information on volunteer positions and to sign up.


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