Helping Horse Therapeutic Riding Program operates with the assistance of over 100 volunteers serving as side walkers, horse leaders, and riding instructors.

Side Walker

A Side Walker is a volunteer that is stationed beside the rider for the duration of the lesson. This volunteer’s responsibility is to the rider. This role offers emotional and sometimes physical support. Certain riders will need direct support to ensure the success of the riding activities. A Side Walker may need to assist in carrying out instructions to the rider. This role requires the volunteer to be alert and aware at all times to the needs of both rider and instructor.

Horse Leader

A Horse Leader is a volunteer who guides the horse for the duration of the lesson. This volunteer’s responsibility is to the horse. This role requires the volunteer to be aware of the surroundings in the ring, the horse’s mood, gait and pace. Certain riders will need assistance in controlling their horses while others are learning how to guide their horses with light support and slight intervention from the Horse Leader.


An Instructor is a volunteer who is specifically trained to meet the demands of our program. They go through rigorous training to prepare lesson materials for each rider. The instructor is charged with the management of all activities during a lesson including giving commands to riders and horse leaders. Instructors ensure that the horses are ready for lessons and are safely tacked.

How to get started

For more information about volunteer opportunities at Helping Horse Therapeutic Riding Program, please contact volunteer@helpinghorse.org Please include your name, any horse experience (not required), and the class you’d prefer to volunteer (Sat, Sun, Mon or Tues).


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