Volunteers: The Heart & Soul of the Ranch

How to Become a Volunteer

Step 1: Sign Up for a Volunteer Orientation

Volunteer Orientation sessions occur every first Saturday of the month from 9-11 am.  This serves as a time for interested individuals to physically come out to the Ranch, receive a tour and submit required paperwork. We request every volunteer to commit to attending required training sessions. Volunteer Orientation sessions are capped at 20 individuals per session; signups will occur first-come-first-serve basis (see below for available dates). 

Please note, sign ups for orientation become available two weeks prior to the first Saturday of the month.

You may contact our Volunteer Coordinator with any further questions at lauren.higgins@healingwithhorsesranch.org

Step 2: Commit to Regular Volunteer Opportunities

As a new volunteer you will start off supporting through barn upkeep. Then, as you are able to sign up for and attend our various volunteer training sessions, you will be approved to extend your reach into supporting as an adaptive riding lesson volunteer, a feed team member or with facilities projects.  

Learn more about all of our volunteer opportunities below!

New Volunteer

As a new volunteer you will start off supporting through barn upkeep. This looks like helping to fill hay bags, keeping the stall and barn clean, filling waters, deep cleaning stalls, and any other of the many, many tasks that help keep the ranch running. There are also plenty of admin tasks!


  • Attend Healing with Horses Ranch Volunteer Orientation
  • Barn Upkeep Volunteers must be 14, or, be accompanied by parent/guardian (but are not permitted to handle horse if under 14)
  • Consent to and pass a background check
  • Have the ability to walk and stand for 45 minutes to an hour or more


  • Complete tasks as assigned by staff, or as you see necessary around the Ranch


  • Learning about horsemanship and therapeutic riding 

Lesson Volunteer

A Lesson Team Volunteer supports our PATH Intl. Certified Therapeutic Riding Instructors (CTRI’s) in adaptive riding lessons, serving as a role model and mentor for program participants. It is ideal that lesson volunteers commit to the same lesson time every week but substitutes are often needed and welcomed on a more intermittent basis. 


  • Attend Healing with Horses Ranch Volunteer Orientation
  • Attend Horse Safety Training
  • Attend Side-walking and Horse Handling Training
  • Be at least 14 years old 
  • Consent to and pass a background check
  • Have the ability to walk and stand for 45 minutes to an hour or more


  • Contribute to managing a safe environment by assisting a CTRI to advocate for horse and participant in adaptive riding lessons


  • Being a role model and mentor to at-risk youth, veterans, or individuals with disabilities 
  • Learning about horsemanship and therapeutic riding 

Feed Team

A Feed Team Volunteer contributes to feeding, mucking stalls, and other essential horse care related tasks. Feed Team Volunteers work on teams of 2-4 people. Morning feedings begin at 8 am and evening feedings at 5 pm. This is a 1-1.5 hour weekly commitment. It is ideal that Feed Team Volunteers commit to the same shift every week but intermittent substitutes are often needed and welcomed. 


  • Must be at least 14 years old or accompanied by a parent or guardian
  • Must consent to and complete a background check
  • Must attend Healing with Horses Ranch Volunteer Orientation and complete Horse Safety and Handling Training
  • Have the ability manage tasks independently.


  • Prepare and feed the daily AM or PM feed regiment to Healing with Horse Ranch Herd
  • Clean and organize stalls, barn isle, and feed room after every feeding
  • Ensure all stall and pasture waters are full, fresh, and accessible to the herd
  • Alert the staff members of possible horse health concerns (cuts, rashes, signs lameness, signs of illness, or unusual behaviors)


  • Getting to spend time with horses (and donkey! and mule!)
  • Learning about equine care and horsemanship
  • Meeting new people through volunteering on a team

Facilities Volunteer

A Facilities Team Volunteer supports by improving and maintaining our property.  Whether that be fence repair, tree trimming, or otherwise, help us keep the Ranch safe and beautiful.  This position is flexible and can occur as a recurring or project based commitment. 


  • Attend Healing with Horses Ranch Volunteer Orientation 
  • 14+ or accompanied by a parent or guardian
  • Must consent to and pass a background check
  • Must attend facilities training to use Ranch tools, vehicles, and other implements. 


  • Communicate with the Volunteer Coordinator to schedule a shift and recognize pertinent needs
  • Properly store and care for Ranch tools, vehicles, and other property when used for facilities projects


  • Learning how to use a tractor, riding lawn mower, power tools, and more
  • Get out into nature and work with your hands to benefit a good cause 
  • Start and complete land management and carpentry projects
  • Work independently or on a team

Conditioning Team

Our conditioning team is responsible for keeping our horses happy, healthy, sound and in shape, so that they can be the best teachers possible for our students. There are three levels: ground, intermediate (riding), and advanced (riding).


  • Completion of all Healing with Horses Orientation and Horse Handler training
  • Be on the Feed Team
  • Be familiar with the Risk Management Procedure Manual
  • Successful completion of the Conditioning Team riding skills test (for each level)


  • Condition our horses based on their particular needs (physical, behavioral, mental)
  • Communicate with staff any concerns or questions about horses, be their advocate


  • Working with our wonderful horses to help them be their best selves!

Administration Volunteer

In addition to all of the physical work that goes into keeping the Ranch running, there is plenty of paperwork, too! From grant-writing, to helping organize files, to filling meds, we always need administrative support! Please reach out to our wonderful volunteer coordinator, Lauren Higgins at lauren.higgins@healingwithhorsesranch.org, if there’s something you’re interested in helping with.

Board and Committee Volunteer

We are run by a Board of Directors, responsible for ensuring the Ranch stays up and running and on mission. We are always looking for new members to join, particularly with treasury or fundraising skills. We also have several volunteer committees, including the Volunteer Committee (focused on making sure our volunteer experience is the best it can be) and the Fundraising Committee. 

Please reach out to Executive Director John D’Andrea (john.dandrea@healingwithhorsesranch.org) or Volunteer Coordinator Lauren Higgins (lauren.higgins@healingwithhorsesranch.org) if you’re interested in learning more.

Annual Youth & Adult Volunteer Awards

Meet Our Herd

Healing with Horses Ranch is a PATH Intl. Premier Riding Center. Our certified instructors and equine specialists, all of whom are PATH-certified, believe deeply in the transformative power of the horse-human connection, and the ability for individuals from all backgrounds to improve their emotional, cognitive, and physical abilities. 

A central part of our team is, of course, the horses – our true teachers. We partner with a variety of breeds, shapes, and personalities of horses to meet the needs of our riders.