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Volunteer Introduction

Volunteer Opportunities

Volunteer Requirements and Application

Current Volunteers

Volunteer Training Schedule

Volunteer Resources

Group Projects

Volunteers in the News


 Volunteer Opportunities

Training. Each month MTR provides a mandatory initial Volunteer Orientation and Training session for all new volunteers (see the Volunteer Training Schedule link at left to see our calendar for exact dates and times). Attendance is required prior to volunteering. At this orientation session, volunteers will be introduced to MTR, the riders we serve, our horses, and our policies and procedures. Wear closed-toe shoes, as we will go on a tour of the facility. New volunteers will then learn how our horses are prepared for their lessons and will receive hands-on training. Practice for sidewalking will be provided so that new volunteers will be ready to begin assisting in lessons.

 There are many volunteer roles and ways to contribute at MTR: 

  • Lesson Program Volunteers: Volunteers assist by leading horses or walking beside riders (sidewalking) during lessons. Program Volunteers must be able to walk for an hour on uneven surfaces, jog short distances and be able to hold their arm above shoulder height and support a modest amount of weight. Education opportunities such as assisting with PATH Instructor Certification workshops and AHA workshops are also available throughout the year. Lesson Program Volunteers assist with other barn chores and jobs that help the Lesson Program run smoothly.
    • Horse Leaders ensure that each horse is groomed, tacked and warmed up prior to the start of each lesson. They help ensure the safety of horse and rider before, during and after the lesson. Leaders also help with un-tacking and grooming horses after the lesson. Horse Leaders must possess a basic understanding of horse behavior and demonstrate horse handling skills and the ability to assess and address horse behavior. Prior to handling horses or leading them in client sessions, volunteers with this prerequisite knowledge must attend and pass mandatory horse leader training. These training sessions are available throughout the year. Volunteers with no previous horse experience may attend horse handling and horse leader trainings to work toward gaining the skills necessary for this role.
    • Sidewalkers walk beside the horse in lessons and provide physical and/or emotional support to the rider. They help the rider to successfully reach their lesson goals, as well as ensure rider safety before, during and after the lesson.
  • Equine Program Volunteers: Volunteers work directly with barn staff to assist with horse care, grooming, feeding, cleaning stalls and paddocks, etc. While not the most glamorous job at MTR, these volunteers are essential for the care and safety of our very important horses. With time, Equine Program Volunteers may be eligible to become a Horse Buddy and provide additional love and care to our herd. Prior to handling horses, an Equine Program Volunteer must attend mandatory horse handling training and be deemed ready for the role. These training sessions are available throughout the year.
  • Facility and Farm Volunteers: Volunteers help with gardening, general maintenance, repairs and improvements to the facility.
  • Office Volunteers: Volunteers assist with word processing, data entry, reception and general office support.
  • Special Events Volunteers: Volunteers serve on event committees and assist with various fundraising events held throughout the year at MTR.
  • Special Skills Volunteers: Many volunteers come with special skills and talents such as photography, computer knowledge, grant writing, etc. and we encourage you to share those skills with us.

If you are interested, please review the Volunteer Requirements and Application page.

Internships: Earn school credits while learning about all aspects of the therapeutic riding industry with PATH Intl. Master and Advanced Instructors as mentors! Internships are geared toward college students, but can be tailored for high school students as well. Horse experience is required. Internship applications are reviewed on a rolling basis. For more information please contact

"Being an intern at MTR has really inspired me to make a difference in people's lives. Just from the three short months of being here I have already noticed a difference in myself. I smile more, I laugh more, and I give more. The staff, riders, volunteers, and horses here have really inspired me, and I thank all of the them for the time they have taken to help me learn and grow."

-Nichole Vandenbossche, MTR Summer Intern 2014
University of Maryland College Park, Class of 2015





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