Time Involved:

Two to four hours a week for a minimum of nine to eleven weeks. Our instructors rely on regular weekly participation of volunteers to provide a quality program in a safe environment.


Is provided.


  • To assist people with disabilities in our therapeutic horseback riding program.
  • The help prepare horses for class, assisting with the grooming and tacking (saddle, bridle or special equipment). New volunteers will be assisted by an experienced volunteer.
  • Once the horses are ready, the volunteers act as either horse leaders or side walkers.
  • Horse leaders are responsible for a horse in the class.
  • Side walkers are responsible for the rider and walk along side the horse to offer rider support when needed.
  • After classes, volunteers must complete their assigned tasks.
  • Both leaders and sidewalkers must assist with the maintenance of the barn and tack room
  • Perform miscellaneous tasks as needed.


  • A non-fear of horses; a liking for people; comfortable helping people with disabilities; generally good physical condition (there is some running involved in some, but not all classes).
  • Willingness to learn and follow CARD’s procedures.
  • Willingness to attend continuing education opportunities.


  • A minimum age of 13 is required for both leaders and side walkers
  • Volunteering at CARD is not suitable for those with mobility issues.  Volunteers must be in generally good physical condition and be able to briskly walk for approximately 30 minutes.  There is some running involved in some, but not all classes.


  • Must be able to volunteer one morning, afternoon, after school or evening per week.  Two to four hour commitment once a week for a minimum of nine to eleven weeks is required.
  • Be able to commit to at least one term a year (nine to eleven weeks per term).
  • Provide at least 1-business day notice (Monday – Friday) if you are unable to volunteer at your designated time.  For weekend lessons, you must notify CARD by Friday 3 PM latest if you will not be able to attend.
  • Be comfortable around horses; experience is not necessary.
  • Must enjoy working with people, especially those persons with different abilities.
  • Be familiar with CARD’s procedures.
  • Willingness to attend continuing education opportunities when and if available.

Clothing Requirements:

  • Hot weather: Wear comfortable casual clothing suitable for the weather.  Shorts may be worn but must be mid-thigh in length.  No cut off jeans. Tank tops must have straps that are 3 fingers wide.  Baggy and too loose clothing may not be worn.
  • Cold weather: The barn and arena areas may be cold during the winter months.  Layers of clothing should be worn, which would include gloves as your hands must never be in your pockets for safety reasons.  Jackets/cardigans must be done up throughout the lessons and hoods must be tucked in.
  • Footwear: When working with and around horses proper footwear is essential for safety. Volunteers are required to wear sturdy footwear that protects the whole foot (heels and toes), such as shoes, boots (short or long) or running shoes (not canvas). The following footwear is never acceptable as it is not safe when working around horses (grooming, leading or side walking):  Sandals, flip flops, crocs, clogs or canvas running shoes such as Converse/Keds/etc.).
  • Hair: Long hair should be tied back and secured off the shoulders.
  • Electronic devices: including cell phones are not permitted in the barn/arena.
  • Jewellery: such as necklaces, long earrings and rings should not be worn when working around the horses.
  • Perfumes and colognes: cannot be worn.
  • Chewing gum: is not appropriate when working in the barn or with riders in the arena.

Volunteers are the heart and soul of CARD.  You are an integral part of the fabric without whom the CARD program simply could not operate.  Your help is greatly appreciated!

Download a .pdf of the CARD Volunteer Application Form HERE