Volunteer Opportunities

Volunteers provide an invaluable service to Shepard Meadows Therapeutic Riding. Whether you are able to devote one or ten hours per week, your time and energy will always be greatly appreciated! An application and scheduled orientation begin the process.

Over 450 volunteers have supported SMTRC.

Assistance is needed in all areas of the program including:


Volunteer Application


  • Primary role is to walk alongside the rider and provide support as indicated by the instructor.  It my be direct physical support, verbal support to reinforce the instructor’s directions, or acting as spotters during sessions.


Horse Leader:  Horse Leaders are responsible for horses before, during and after riding lessons.  They receive training to prepare horses (groom & tack), how to safely and effectively lead horses during lessons, and the process for removing tack and turning out horses following lessons.

  • Generally, volunteers who come to the program with some horse knowledge and who feel comfortable leading a horse will be asked to be a Horse Leader.
  • Horse Leaders are primarily responsible for the horse and must be alert and aware of the horse’s movement and behavior at all times.


Team Captain:

  • Team Captains are typically long standing volunteers who are responsible for coordinating the activities before, during and after classes. The coordination requires a thorough understanding of the barn, horses and needs of the Instructor. The Team Captain also serves as a resource person for other volunteers by guiding and assisting them as needed. Team Captains receive training by program staff and/or the volunteer coordinator.
  • Barn Team Captains are required to have a year of volunteer experience, and are responsible for assisting with the feeding, grooming and general care of the horses and the barn, acting as a role model and assisting less experienced barn volunteers in grooming leading etc.




Schooler & Exerciser

  • Volunteers who have become familiar with farm and equine routines who are intermediate to advanced equestrians may schedule a riding evaluation and are selected by barn staff to assist with the exercising and training of program horses.


Equine Program & Facility Volunteer

  • Equine Program and Facility volunteers are responsible for assisting with the general care of the horses, feedings, barn and facility upkeep.
  • In addition to the General Orientation, Barn & Facility volunteers are required to attend a training session on horse and facility care.  Working in the barn and on the property can be physically demanding.


Barn Buddy

  • Required to have a minimum of 30 volunteer hours and are regularly scheduled horse experienced volunteers who are matched with a horse to groom and provide extra TLC.
  • They commit to coming twice each week to care for their horse and are required to attend both a General Orientation & Training and a Barn Buddy Orientation.


Office Volunteer

  •   Office volunteers perform a variety of duties including assisting at the reception desk, general clerical duties such as filing, data entry, making copies, assisting with special mailings, etc.
  •  Office Volunteers receive training provided by the receptionist or other program staff.


Special Skill Volunteer

  • Volunteers offering to share are encouraged to share technical or professional skills that may be of benefit to the program such as — graphic design, computer knowledge, public relations, photography, etc.


Special Events Volunteer

  • Special Events Volunteers assist with the various special functions hosted by Shepard Meadows throughout the year such as – the annual horse show, fundraisers, etc.


Fundraiser Volunteer

Duties may include assisting with coordinating an event, serving on a special committee, and/or assisting the actual day of the event. Shepard Meadows staff will provide Special Events Volunteers with training and information required to perform their duties.