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Therapeutic Horseback Riding Program Volunteers

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Ride for Joy Therapeutic Riding Program

  • A group opportunity. Invite your friends.
  • 18 people are interested

Lessons volunteers are mentors, and provide a safe environment for our riders. While in the arena, side walkers and horse leaders work under the direct supervision of a PATH Intl. Certified instructor.

Side walkers assist the instructors during mounting and dismounting process, during the ride by encouraging the riders to participate in activities, to protect the rider by offering support holds, and to help the rider develop to their fullest potential. Side walkers help between lessons with disinfecting props and tack, greeting riders, and assisting staff and horse leaders as needed.

Horse Leaders assist barn staff with grooming, mucking, tacking and transitioning horses between lessons. Volunteers lead horses to and from lessons, warm up horses before lessons begin and lead a horse during the lesson as prompted by the lesson instructor.

- Ability to walk and jog on an uneven, sandy surface for 45 minutes
- Ability to independently complete required forms, schedule online and report volunteer hours.
- Ability to attend orientation, trainings and lessons independently.
- Cognitive capacity to follow directions, clearly communicate, respond to an emergency and focus attention in the present.
- Reliable roundtrip transportation (uber/lift services not available from our ranch).
- Experience with veterans, people with disabilities and/or horses is recommended but not required.
- RFJ doesn't accept court ordered community service participants.

Junior volunteers 14-17 years old may serve as sidewalkers. Those with previous extensive equine experience may qualify to be horse leaders. A parent/guardian is required to complete all of the forms, in addition to the junior volunteer's application & waiver, and attend the required orientation and training(s). Juniors may not be dropped off to volunteer without a parent/guardian without prior approval from staff. Juniors may serve independently at lessons only after an evaluation and approval.

- All lessons are held on Tuesdays and Wednesdays between 11am-6pm. Spring session is Mar 9 - May 5. Summer session is Jun 15 - Aug 11. Fall session is Sept 7 - Nov 3. Sessions are 4-8 weeks.
- Volunteers are encouraged to commit to a minimum of one hour on one day per week for a full session.
- Volunteers are required to attend a one hour orientation and a two hour sidewalker training. There is an additional two hour horse leader training available for those who qualify.

Side Walker and Horse Leader Trainings in 2021:
June 8 - SW 11am-1pm & HL 1-3pm
August 31 - SW 3-5pm & HL 5-7pm

Ride for joy requires all volunteers to wear a mask covering the nose, mouth and chin. Mask are provided if the volunteer does not have one available. Volunteers who have medical clearance or refuse to wear a mask for any reason will not be permitted to volunteer in any area.

More opportunities with Ride for Joy Therapeutic Riding Program

No additional volunteer opportunities at this time.

About Ride for Joy Therapeutic Riding Program


28379 El Paso Rd, Caldwell, ID 83607, US

Mission Statement

Ride for Joy Therapeutic Riding Program is a Premier Accredited Center of PATH Intl. Our mission is to provide professional and compassionate equine assisted activities and therapeutic riding lessons to individuals with special needs, military veterans and active duty personnel. Being a Premier Accredited Center (PAC) of the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International (PATH Intl.) puts RFJ in the top 30% of centers worldwide.


Ride for Joy offers the following services and activities: therapeutic riding, student evaluations, veterans program, one time rides, field trips, all abilities camp, veterans retreat, barn tours and volunteer trainings and opportunities.

People with Disabilities
Veterans & Military Families


We'll work with your schedule.


28379 El Paso Rd.Caldwell, ID 83607



  • Veterinary
  • Animal Care / Handling
  • Physical Therapy
  • Veteran Care
  • Equestrian
  • Special Needs


  • Teens
  • People 55+
  • Group


  • Background Check
  • Must be at least 14
  • Orientation or Training
  • Volunteers are encouraged to commit to a minimum of one hour on one day per week for a full session. Volunteers are required to attend a one hour orientation and a two hour sidewalker training.

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