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.


  1. Must be 14 years of age or older (horse experience not required).
  2. Must attend an orientation and pass the volunteer training.
  3. Must be able to walk and briskly jog on uneven ground throughout a 45-minute lesson.
  4. Must be able to lift up to 20 lbs. (e.g., saddle).
  5. Must commit to a weekly, same day and same time, schedule.


  1. Be on time! Arrive 20 minutes prior to your lesson time.
  2. Be willing to learn and follow “The Shea Way” procedures.
  3. Be willing to help staff with all barn chores.
  4. Be able to perform volunteer tasks with minimal supervision.
  5. 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

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Our volunteer scheduler will work with you to determine your weekly volunteer commitment.




Adult Volunteer
Of The Year

Jennifer Lee

matthew sloss

Youth Volunteer
Of The Year

matthew sloss

Matthew S.

Rookie Volunteer
Of The Year

Mark Flynn