THE REINS VOLUNTEER PROGRAM
The REINS Volunteer Program was originally established as a pilot program of the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service to assist in the education and development of the North Carolina Horse Industry, and has been adapted to meet the needs of the Ohio State University Extension and Ohio Horse Industry. The program is coordinated by the Extension Equine Specialist and participating Extension professionals. Through guidance of the coordinating Extension professionals, horse owners in a multi-county Extension Education and Research Area (EERA) are organized into a regional horse educational organization. The regional organizations link together the educational efforts of the Ohio State University Extension and the promotional efforts of the Ohio Horse Industry with agribusiness contacts.
A limited number of equine enthusiasts from each participating county will be selected to receive specialized training as a REINS volunteer. Extension professionals from The Ohio State University, faculty members from the OSU College of Veterinary Medicine, and agribusiness partners will provide training on several horse management and science topics, teaching techniques and program development. Upon completion of the training, participants who successfully complete an exam will assist Extension professionals in the development of educational horse materials, programs and on-farm demonstrations; assist in the coordination of the regional horse organization; and serve as a horse industry contact within their county.
HOW DOES THE REINS PROGRAM BENEFIT YOU?
Through initial training programs and subsequent REINS volunteer training sessions and workshops, you will become a more knowledgeable equine professional. As part of your training, you will receive publications and resource materials. Through special seminars, newsletters and workshops, REINS volunteers are kept current on horse management information and technology. You will work with other volunteers and Extension professionals to develop a regional horse organization to benefit your local equine community and interests. You will also meet and network with many people who share an interest in the horse industry and desire to help others. Volunteer hours are flexible depending on interest and time available and travel expenses are tax deductible.
As a REINS volunteer, you will share knowledge gained in the training sessions with other horse enthusiasts in the community. You can do this by participating in a variety of ways. Every time you respond to a question, you extend the knowledge you have gained. The REINS Program offers many volunteer opportunities, and volunteers often develop their own projects to benefit the community.
Specific requirements include
- submission of an application, three recommendations, and proof of a criminal background check to the Extension Equine Specialist;
- successful completion of the training program and demonstration of your knowledge of the subject matter;
- ability to devote volunteer time monthly to the participating Extension professionals;
- knowledge and/or interest in horse management;
- willingness to work cooperatively with Extension professionals, agribusinesses, horse owners and others; and
- a commitment to staying current on the most recent management information and technology relevant to the horse industry.
TRAINING AND CERTIFICATION OF REINS VOLUNTEERS
REINS Volunteers will initially receive 16 hours of training on specific subject matter designed to enhance their knowledge of horse management. The training sessions will stress the most recent technology and practices in horse nutrition, breeding, health care, facility design, evaluation, genetics and other pertinent topics. REINS Volunteers will also receive instruction in program development and evaluation and public relations skills. A variety of manuals, fact sheets and newsletters will be provided to support training information.