Volunteer Job Descriptions

As a nonprofit organization, we depend upon the commitment of over 250 volunteers to help staff our therapeutic riding programs. Each year over 14,000 hours of time are required to provide 4,000 hours of programming to children and adults with special needs. The relationship between riders, volunteers, and horses establish connections that benefit our entire community. If you care deeply about the healing and freedom that can come from being on the back of a horse, we invite you to join our team. 

Volunteers are needed on all days of operation: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday. Halleck Creek Ranch is closed on Fridays and Sundays. Minimum age for volunteering is 12-years-old (for program volunteers, the minimum age is 14). To begin volunteering at Halleck Creek Ranch, you should decide which of our two job categories is right for you: Facility Volunteer or Program Volunteer.

Facility Volunteering

  • Includes jobs such as raking the hay barn, cleaning of paddocks, weeding, helping with special events or projects, or helping in the office.
  • Volunteers interested in Facility Volunteering do not have to attend new volunteer orientation and the training requirements are very minimal.

Program Volunteering

  • Halleck Creek Ranch specifies that every program volunteer must complete a volunteer orientation and training; trainings are held quarterly and should be scheduled on the day of the week you plan to normally volunteer. 
  • All Program Volunteers are asked to commit to completing 50 hours of volunteer work in a 6-month period. Both the orientation and training will count towards the 50-hour commitment.  
  • After completion of the initial training, every volunteer begins as a Level 1 volunteer regardless of their degree, profession, past experience with horses, or at another therapeutic riding center. Following the initial orientation, all volunteers will return to the ranch for additional hands on training on the day they are scheduled to volunteer. The training is required before volunteers are permitted to assist in our program.
  • No experience working with horses or special needs individuals is required.  All training will be provided.

Level 1 - Side-walker

Side-walkers are directly responsible for the rider’s safety as well as assisting the rider during their lesson. They help the rider focus on the instructor’s cues and aid the rider when necessary.

For those who would like more responsibility, including learning more about horse behavior, horsemanship skills and ground work and possibly more hands on time with the horses, a Level 2 volunteer position is attainable. A Level 2 volunteer is trained as a side-walker and/or a horse leader. All skills will be taught and verified by a PATH certified instructor.

Level Two – Horse Handler
Horse handlers are responsible for leading the horses for the riders during their lessons. They are directly responsible for both the rider’s, as well as the horse’s safety at all times. To properly and safely lead the horse, a leader must keep their rider’s and side-walker’s safety in mind by communicating with both the rider and the side-walker when necessary.  Leaders must pay attention and always be aware of their surrounding and potential hazards (vehicles, other horses, other people, objects, etc.) and must act safely and accordingly.