Volunteers are an essential part of the Healing Reins team.
Horse experience is not necessary to positively impact the lives of our participants! We are looking for volunteers with an interest in primarily working with our riders in the Sidewalker position.
Sidewalkers assist the rider while on the horse during a lesson. This requires walking alongside a horse and occasional trotting for an hour as well as some lifting of twenty to thirty pounds of tack. Some Sidewalker positions require the volunteer to be in close contact with a rider who will not be wearing a mask due to various limitations. We ask that you consider this prior to the training. Our highest need spots are on these days and times:
We also have needs for Sidewalkers on Mondays and Tuesdays at 4:00 and 5:30. These riders have less physical needs, but still need Sidewalkers for assistance and may or may not be wearing a mask.
Step One – Apply
Fill out the Volunteer Application
Volunteers must fill out the Volunteer Application as well as agree and sign the Volunteer Code of Conduct in the back of the Volunteer Handbook. A $25 registration/processing fee is required for anyone attending the volunteer training in order to keep the volunteer program running efficiently. Minor children (ages 14 and up) who would like to volunteer in the arena must have written parental permission.
Read the Volunteer Handbook
Step Two – Get Trained
After you complete the online Volunteer Application and submit your online $25 Processing Fee and Background Check, you will be invited to attend an orientation/training to learn about Therapeutic Riding, our scheduling process, and the various volunteer jobs available. If you have any questions feel free to contact us.
Orientations include everything a volunteer needs to be successful at Healing Reins. Horse experience is not necessary.
Step Three – Volunteer!
After your orientation and training, the Volunteer Coordinator performs a background check. Once that is complete, you will be able to schedule yourself into our online system for whatever days and times work for your lifestyle.
For further information on how to get involved or to reserve your spot in a training, contact our office at 541-382-9410 OR email email@example.com
Available Volunteer Positions in the Arena
Volunteer Lesson Assistant
The VLAs job is to help in Hippotherapy sessions as well as help throughout the facility with jobs such as mucking, cleaning the pig and goat area and cleaning tack. This position is open for 12-14 year olds.
A Sidewalker’s job is to assist the rider in all phases of the lesson. Sidewalkers have minimal verbal interaction with the rider and serve as an extra set of eyes and ears for the instructor. Sidewalkers are responsible for the rider’s safety, comfort, learning, and interaction with the horse. The Sidewalker must be able to walk and jog along side a horse while holding on to the rider in a specified safety hold. This position is open to 14 and older.
Sidewalker – Coach
A Coach’s job is to assist the rider in all phases of the lesson. The Coach interacts with the rider, and also serve as an extra set of eyes and ears for the instructor. Coaches are responsible for the rider’s safety, comfort, learning, and interaction with the horse. The Coach must be able to walk and jog along side a horse while holding on to the rider in a specified safety hold.
Leaders have additional training to ensure the safety of the horse and rider at all times. A Leader’s job is to retrieve the horse from the paddock, help with grooming and tacking, and handle the horse during the lesson. You must be a Sidewalker prior to Leading in order to gain experience as part of the lesson team and to have practice with the Healing Reins Way of interacting with the horses. Volunteers must be invited to attend Leader training by staff.
Available Volunteer Positions Outside the Arena
A Horse Buddy provides special attention to a particular horse on a regular basis. This may include, grooming, massage therapy, and other opportunities to give the horse well-deserved attention. There are three levels to the Horse Buddy program. Horse Buddies must have completed Sidewalker training and have been a Leader for an extended period of time. Volunteers who wish to Horse Buddy must have the okay from instructors and the Volunteer Manager prior to entry into Horse Buddy program.
While there are many ways to work with a horse, we require all volunteers and staff to follow the Healing Reins Way. This ensures that our horses are treated with the utmost respect while numerous individuals are interacting with them. A Horse Schooler provides horses with the opportunity to review appropriate behaviors and exercise at all three gaits while in the arena on a regular basis. A Horse Schooler must have extensive volunteer experience at Healing Reins and special permission from all instructors as well as the Volunteer Manager in order to join the Horse Schooling team.
Facility – grounds keeping, paddock and arena cleaning, general repairs
Outreach – help our staff by attending informational events to help us spread the word about what we do
Special Events – various duties related to developing and hosting fundraisers
Administrative – assist staff with various office functions and/or help with crafting arena themes and supplies
We love to have community and church work groups join us for a day or even a few hours to help keep our facility looking clean and tidy. Contact our Volunteer Manager, firstname.lastname@example.org, to set up a time for your group to come in. Thanks to all of our individual volunteers and a special thanks to the following groups: