Lesson volunteers work directly with our instructors, therapists, and staff members providing assistance before, during and after a rider’s lesson. Trained to become sidewalkers and leaders, each member of the volunteer team has a specific responsibility. Working directly with the rider, sidewalkers are a helpful extension of the instructor, giving encouragement and physical support. Working directly with the horse, leaders groom, tack, and lead the horse at the walk and trot throughout the lesson.
- Must be 14 years of age or older (horse experience not required).
- Must attend an orientation and pass the volunteer training.
- Must be able to walk and briskly jog on uneven ground throughout a 45-minute lesson.
- Must be able to lift up to 20 lbs. (e.g., saddle).
- Must commit to a weekly, same day and same time, schedule.
- Be on time! Arrive 20 minutes prior to your lesson time.
- Be willing to learn and follow “The Shea Way” procedures.
- Be willing to help staff with all barn chores.
- Be able to perform volunteer tasks with minimal supervision.
- Be willing to attend continuing education and training classes offered throughout the year.
Volunteer dependability is essential for the smooth running of our programs. We ask our volunteers for a weekly commitment to provide consistency for our clients.
How to Become a Volunteer at The Shea Center
- Visit our volunteer page and complete the online form. Volunteer candidates are required to pay a nominal Volunteer Application Fee of $25.00. Candidates over the age of 18 will also be asked to submit to a background check prior to volunteering. Be sure to watch our Introduction to Volunteering video located on the website.
- In 3-5 business days, you will receive an email invitation to attend one of our upcoming volunteer orientation classes. After choosing your orientation class, you will receive a confirmation email with your scheduled orientation date.
- After attending the orientation, you may then schedule your volunteer training. All potential volunteers must complete and pass our two-hour volunteer training class. Upon successful completion of the class, you will then become a Shea Center volunteer.
- Our volunteer scheduler will work with you to determine your weekly volunteer commitment.