Volunteering at Free Rein is soul food, say our volunteers. In a world with no shortage of heartache, our stable is an oasis of tenderness and compassion, a sanctuary that nurtures our spirits every day. We love to share it with others. If that sounds like something you’d be interested in, please continue reading and see if joining Free Rein’s family might be right for you.

Join our family and become a Free Rein Volunteer!

Volunteers are an essential part of the Free Rein team. We could not operate our programs without them. Our class schedule is typically Tuesday through Saturday and 150+ lesson volunteers are needed to assist staff in Adaptive Riding and Military Horsemanship programs.

Volunteer training is held throughout the year.  For people who are unfamiliar with our program, we recommend contacting our volunteer coordinator (volunteerfreerein@nullgmail.com) to schedule a tour to get a feel for what it is really like to volunteer in our classes.  You will also learn about our class schedule and what a typical volunteer commitment looks like.

Once you have decided this is a volunteer experience for you, it is time to sign up for our 2-hour volunteer training.  This is required before starting in Free Rein classes.  We encourage our volunteers to commit to serving for a full session which can range from 8 to 12 weeks long depending on the time of year.  This is important since experienced class volunteers provide stability and a sense of community and familiarity with riders’ goals and needs.


1. Volunteers must be 14 years of age
2. Be able to lift up to 20lbs i.e. a saddle
3. Be able to walk and jog on uneven ground during a 1-hour lesson
4. After training, be able to perform tasks with minimal supervision
5. Be able to accept constructive feedback
6. Be able to commit the same day & time weekly for the entire session
7. Be willing to learn and follow the policies and procedures documented in the volunteer manual
8. Dress in appropriate barn attire
9. Horse Knowledge and experience is helpful, but not necessary

Volunteer Roles

Volunteers support riders by helping them to groom and tack their horses, to mount and dismount, and to learn new things and complete tasks during a lesson. Volunteers are categorized as “Leaders” and “Sidewalkers”.

The primary function of the Leader is to handle the equine during all phases of the lesson. Leaders interact with and observe the horse at all times to ensure the safety of the rider. Leaders attend additional training after having experience in Sidewalking and other volunteer roles in the class setting.

The primary function of the Sidewalker is to assist the rider in all phases of the lesson. Sidewalkers observe and interact with the client, and also serve as extra eyes and ears for the instructor.

Free Rein also has volunteer needs outside of the arena which includes assistance with fundraisers, facility maintenance, office work, etc.


In order to ensure a safe and secure environment for all parties, a background check is required for ALL volunteers. Minor children (ages 14 and up) who would like to volunteer in the arena must have written parental permission.

For additional information on how to get involved, contact our Volunteer Coordinator, Nicole Shek, for more information: volunteerfreerein@nullgmail.com

Equipping Riders for Life!