• 393 people are interested

Mini Handler/Walker

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ORGANIZATION: Minis and Friends

  • 393 people are interested

The little horses/minis need help to work in the community one to two times a month (approx 6-8 hours a month) mostly on Saturdays. We have restarted our visits since COVID, but we have lost two mini-owners in the Austin area due to major health problems.

We are recruiting volunteers in Austin, but visiting currently only in Austin - south of Highway 183 and Research Blvd, Austin metro including the downtown area, Westlake, south Austin, Buda, and one location in Lakeway at this time.

Some of our indoor facilities, still require masking before we enter their residential facility. We always honor facility needs.

The next Volunteer Training class will occur when we have 4-6 potential new volunteers signed up. It will occur in south Austin at our Austin mini-owner home. We are thrilled to still have retained 2nd place for Volunteering in Austin, TX. Visit Great Profits to learn more: https://greatnonprofits.org/city/austin/TX

Mini-Handler Requirements - you must be physically fit to handle a miniature horse of 100 - 220# in all situations. The minis may be small but they are strong. This is our most popular position - but we need to let you know beforehand - that Safety is #1 in Minis and Friends.

  • Please be aware that working with the minis is physically challenging.
  • Our minimum volunteer age is 16 with parent (many facilities require volunteers to be at least 16 years old, regardless of a parent being present). Clarification of AGE-RESTRICTED will show on the calendar (NO EXCEPTION).
  • If you are 70 or more, we have opportunities but not as a Mini-Handler - safety for you! Our insurance sets the safety age, so we do adhere to this policy.
  • Mini handlers must be able to stand for long periods of time as well as have excellent balance.
  • Your work as a handler requires agility to move alongside the mini while walking as well as move quickly when changing positions during a close-up interaction with those we visit.
  • We ensure the safety of both the minis as well as our volunteers or the reverse at all times and this has given us a fantastic reputation for being "safety first" when we work with the little horse therapists.

A mini handler works in a 2-person team with a mini at the many facilities we visit on weekends. Everyone starts at the back end, meaning you are the one that guides the mini around wheelchairs/walkers and also the one responsible for scooping accidents that may occur (easy - dog scooper). After you have been to a few visits you move to the front end - which often entails stooping by your mini to advocate safety while hands pet him. The front end also guides hands to where they can pet or hug the mini.

Everyone must attend our Equine Guided Interactions Training (EGI). This is a 2-hour class with hands-on following the visual aid we provide you.

  • You must fill out the application which you can download from our website at https://www.minisandfriends.org/volunteers and then email it to minisandfriendsvolunteers@gmail.com
  • You must have returned it before you receive the location of the training
  • At the training, you will receive a workbook with a visual aid on EGI and your logo t-shirt, after 3 months, you will receive our logo fanny pack and magnetic badge.
  • There is a $25.00 admin fee which helps us with the cost of the workbook and logo t-shirt, fanny pack, and magnetic badge.
  • We ask that you sign up for the first EGI visit that is on the schedule following the training for more practice (once we are allowed on site again).
  • You must be able to volunteer at the first EGI visit to show you are really interested. The little horses must trust you and know you- thus we are firm in requiring this request.

We have many positions in Minis and Friends - take a look and select those that interest you on our application - if you think of something not there - let us know! We love creativity! If you are more virtual or not hands-on - you would need to only attend 1 visit a month so you know what is happening in the organization. At fundraising events for instance - the minis are always there to spend time with them :)

We promise it will be an exceptional way to give back to the community.

Minis and Friends visit with those that have special needs - children, youth, adults, and seniors - or whom life's circumstances have created a special need. Please see our webpage to learn about how you can help too -- www.minisandfriends.org

Age is 16 and up with a parent. Students are welcome for those who need community service for school.

We do not have court-ordered volunteering as we need dedicated volunteers who will stick with us. It is important for the miniature horses to feel safe and trust the team.

Have fun and do something unique - the minis love people and we need your help.

"Won't you help a mini today?"

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About Minis and Friends


2603 Jones Rd. #230, Austin, TX 78745, US

Mission Statement

"Little Horses, Big Hearts" Minis and Friends is a group of caring people and horse lovers dedicated to sharing the love and spirit of miniature horses to those who need special, tender care. Minis and Friends brings our mobile herd of trained miniature horse ambassadors to people of all ages who may be suffering mentally, physically or emotionally. Our unique programs tailor activities for children with disabilities, at-risk youth, individuals in transition and elder adults to improve their motor skills, ability to connect, tactile response, use of senses and spirits through interaction with miniature horses.


Mighty Equines In Small Packages

Minis and Friends"is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Our organization was specially created by a group of friends who want to share this exciting equine experience with you.

Everyone young and old will enjoy a visit with our small, but mighty, equines. You will see big smiles during a visit with a small horse.

We wish to educate people about the unique ability of the miniature horse to soothe the soul. The human-to-horse bond also warms the soul and opens the heart. We bring a little bit of love to everyone.


Children & Youth
People with Disabilities
Children & Youth, People with Disabilities, Seniors


We'll work with your schedule.


numerous locationsAustin, TX 78749


  • Grant Writing / Research
  • Video Production
  • Public Relations
  • Graphic Design / Print
  • Social Media / Blogging




  • Driver's License Needed
  • Must be at least 16
  • Orientation or Training
  • 6 to 8 hours a month
  • 2 visits per month when scheduled, students 1 visit per month

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