Leader/Sidewalker

Time Involved:

One morning, afternoon or evening per week. This is a three to four hour commitment once a week for a minimum of nine to eleven weeks. Our instructors rely on regular weekly participation of volunteers to provide a quality program in a safe environment.

Responsibilities:

  • To assist people with disabilities in our therapeutic horseback riding program.
  • The help prepare horses for class, assisting with the grooming and tacking (saddle, bridle or special equipment). New volunteers will be assisted by an experienced volunteer.
  • Once the horses are ready, the volunteers act as either horse leaders or side walkers.
  • Horse leaders are responsible for a horse in the class.
  • Side walkers are responsible for the rider and walk along side the horse to offer rider support when needed.
  • After classes, volunteers take the horses back to the barn, untack and put the horses back in their stalls, tidy up the barn, tack room, etc.
  • Perform miscellaneous tasks as needed.

Requirements:

  • A non-fear of horses; a liking for people; comfortable helping people with disabilities; generally good physical condition (there is some running involved in some, but not all classes).
  • Willingness to learn and follow CARD’s procedures.
  • Willingness to attend continuing education opportunities.

Clothing:

  • Comfortable casual clothing. Since the arena is heated in the winter months, layers of clothing should be worn. If your hands are sensitive, bring a pair of gloves. Comfortable walking shoes or preferably boots that provide foot protection are essential.
  • The following articles cannot be worn for safety and health reasons: open-toed shoes or sandals, tank tops or sleeveless tops, cut off jeans or shorts, dangling jewelry or perfumes and colognes. It is strongly suggested that rings be discouraged.

Length of Commitment:

The CARD program operates like the school system. There are three sessions per year, consisting of nine to eleven weeks per session. We also have a six week Summer Program. We require volunteers to commit to a minimum of one session.

Download a .pdf of the CARD Volunteer Application Form HERE