The Riding Season Has Started

Do you have all of your paperwork turned in to ride or volunteer?

PETSPhotoThe 2013 riding season has officially begun at PETS. Early this spring volunteers and riders came to the Equestrian Center to help unpack the barn and get everything ready for the horses to return. For the second year, youth from the Prince George’s County Department of Corrections, Community Services Division helped clean up and made ready the large turnout area. Their hard work made sure that out horses would have a safe and secure are to graze in during the spring and summer months. Park and Planning crews gave our barn a new coat of paint as well. The fresh coat gave a nice ‘clean’ look to our operation.



More About Their Work Last Year.

In April training was conducted for returning and new volunteers. Our regular training during this time consists of reviewing general policies and procedures for the lessons and work around the barn. Emergency information as well as actions are taught and rehearsed for both the barn and the show rings. Once the initial volunteer training was done returning rider orientation was held. Instructors and riders reviewed the PETS student handbook, lesson goals and emergency information in order to have a solid foundation to begin the season’s new lessons upon.

Learn How You Can Become A Volunteer with PETS

Riding lessons began on May 7. Underneath our impressive covered arena, student riders, instructors and volunteers began the season with their first lessons. Our horses also were back in the action as well. This year we have had some changes in our equine line-up.

Returning this year are our regulars: Dancer, Harry, Herbie, Jake and Wesley. They enjoyed a wonderful time off at Marlboro Horse Farm with full care and attention. Volunteers approved to care for them during the winter boarding enjoyed exercising them as well as taking them out on trail rides (the horses loved it too!). Throughout the winter they were healthy, happy and relaxed. Sadly this year PETS did not see the return of Justin or Cookie Monster. It was decided that these two will remain with their owners during the riding season. PETS did pick up a new horse, Alby, for screening and trial use. Alby’s size is expected to be a good fit for smaller, lightweight riders, depending on screening and instructors’ decisions.

Doc , 2009 (PETS photo)Also returning this year is Doc. Many might remember this tall guy from Sherry. He was unable to return last year while recuperating from an injury, but this year he is with PETS once again.

Now What?

Lessons are in full swing Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday nights and will be busier once school ends. Volunteers are needed each night for lesson set-up, work and take-down as well as horse and barn care. Volunteers and riders should review the schedule of graduations being held at the Show Place Arena. Plan accordingly to allow for traffic.

Instructors will be deciding on riders for the Maryland Challenge Horse Show which is scheduled to be held in June. This event may require extra lessons for selected riders. PETS’ volunteers will be needed to help at this event. Details will be provided as the event draws closer.

New volunteers and riders can still join the program. For details on how to start contact the barn at 301-627-4308 or email

Follow PETS both online and on our Facebook page for greater announcement of events and barn information and for coverage of what is going on at the barn.

PETS is a 100% volunteer run, non-profit, skill-based, PATH International Premier Accredited, equestrian therapeutic program serving, at no cost, disabled children and adults of Prince George’s County, Maryland since 1982.

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