Medicine Horse accepts a limited number of horse handler volunteers each year. Our Horse Hands Team volunteers are a vitally important part of our team (and groups) and require a strong background of horse experience and self-awareness. Click here for information on volunteering as a horse handler.
We have ongoing opportunities for volunteer support to help spread the message about our work that can be done remotely and from your own home. Click here to see how you can help with marketing, event planning, social media, photography and/or videography, and more!
Current Volunteer Opportunities
Candidate information for Horse Hands Team volunteers
Medicine Horse accepts a limited number of horse handler volunteers each year. These roles are a vitally important part of our team (and groups) and require a strong background of horse experience and self-awareness to keep clients safe while allowing them the space to participate in therapy without additional input beyond that of the therapists. Due to compliance laws, horse handlers are required to pass a background check in addition to passing Medicine Horse's written and practical hands-on tests. Due to our limited staff, we are not able to provide basic equine skills training at our facility; however, we do train the Horse Hands Team volunteers on our type of work and how we support clients with horses.
Medicine Horse is a leading provider of equine group therapy programs. We have a wide variety of communities we serve such as veterans, first responders, folks suffering with addiction, abuse, trauma, LGBTQIA communities, marginalized and underserved populations, and women impacted by breast cancer (to name just a few). In addition to Medicine Horse groups such as Operation Be Herd, Wholeness with Horses, Rainbow Wranglers, Horses for Heroes we also partner with agencies such as Thorne Nature Experience, Rose House, TRU Community, Imagine!, Outdoor Afro, Out Boulder, Mount Saint Vincent and others to provide equine assisted therapy.
If you are interested in applying to join our horse handler volunteer team, here are a few things we consider:
Extensive years of hands-on horse experience -- 5 years minimum in horse ownership/leasing, horse handling at other facilities, horse trainers, equine competition background, etc.
Patient, open-minded, inclusive, and compassionate qualities.
Reliable and punctual
Folks who enjoy being outside, getting dirty and contributing with the ability to stand/walk for several hours in all weather conditions.
Ability to lift/carry up to 50 lbs.
Persons in the BIPOC and LGBTQIA communities are encouraged to apply as we serve these communities.
Fluency in Spanish is a plus.
Complete the Volunteer Application provided below.
Pass the written test provided below.
Pass the practical hands-on test at Medicine Horse. You’ll be asked to halter, lead, pick hooves, tie a quick release and other horse handler tasks.
Pass a background check ($20 fee organized by you directly with that agency.)
Attend annual on-site training with our therapists.
Commit to at least 1 day per week turn-in (you pick the day) when you’ll assist with bringing in the mini horses, mini donkeys and therapy horses.
Commit to horse-handle for a minimum 1 group per year (a group can be one full day or 2 hours a week for 8 weeks or some other variation.)
If you are unable to work a session you've committed to, you’ll be responsible to find coverage from others on the Horse Hands Team.
If you’re unable to work a session you've committed to, we ask that you give the lead therapist as much notice as possible.
Be available to back-up/cover for others when they are unable to work.
If you would like to be considered for our horse handler volunteer team, please complete the following volunteer application and written test.
Volunteers Make Medicine Horse Possible
Join our team!
Events and Marketing Volunteer Team
If you enjoy planning online and in-person events, getting creative with marketing ideas, organizing online, silent or live auctions, writing newsletters, social media strategy, or are otherwise interested in helping spread the word about the work Medicine Horse does, we can use your help!
Medicine Horse is currently seeking photographers and/or videographers interested in giving back to their community by helping document our programs and events and telling Medicine Horse's story through visual images on our website, social media, YouTube channel and marketing materials.
Our Events and Marketing Volunteer Team typically meets once a month via Zoom to brainstorm fun ideas, plan events, help support the development of marketing collateral, and tell horse jokes. If this sounds like fun to you, please join us! Please complete and submit the volunteer application below to express your interest.
These guidelines were developed in order to create a safe, respectful environment for clients, volunteers, horses and therapists at Medicine Horse (MH).
Safety is always our primary concern for clients, volunteers, horses, staff, and anyone on the property. Please observe the following rules:
Do not leave gates open.
Do not feed the horses or offer treats.
Always wear sturdy closed-toe shoes and work gloves
Volunteers never feed horses hay or grain, even if they act hungry (they always act hungry). Overfeeding can colic and kill a horse.
Do not remove a horse from a stall or turnout without permission from staff.
Most of the areas at MH (as well as the office) are used for therapy. When entering MH property, please be mindful that a session may be in progress. If a therapist is with anyone while you are on the property, pass quietly without interrupting. If there is an emergency and you must enter the office while a session is in progress, knock first and wait for the door to be opened.
All volunteer time must be scheduled. Volunteers may only be on the property as scheduled and may not stop by randomly, bring visitors, etc.
Please arrive thirty minutes prior to start time for classes, events, sessions, etc. and plan to stay a few minutes afterward to clean up, put horses away, etc.
Emergency Information: Instructions and phone numbers for emergencies are posted in the barn and on on the office door. The phone is in the Medicine Horse office on the desk near the front door. Please note: the office phone is to be used only for emergencies.
Volunteer sign-in: Whenever you are volunteering on the property, please log your hours on the sign in sheet in the central program barn.
NO SMOKING on the Medicine Horse property, please.
Drugs/Alcohol: Volunteering with and around horses requires a clear head. Please do not use drugs or alcohol prior to or while volunteering. If we suspect that you are under the influence we will ask you to leave the property.
Parking: Please do not park on the east side of the drive (ruins drainage pipes). Do not block the large white gates on the southwest side. That is the access for emergency vehicles to get to the arena in case of a riding accident. If you are parked anywhere on the drive and a firetruck can not get through, please move your car behind the white gates.
Outside Animals: Other than service animals, no outside animals are permitted on the Medicine Horse property. Outside animals may NOT be left in parked cars.
Paperwork: All volunteers must complete the volunteer application, and sign the liability release, confidentiality policy, background check notification form and authorization for emergency medical treatment before volunteering.
POLICIES AND PROCEDURES of MEDICINE HORSE
Participant/Volunteer rules and regulations in accordance with Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association (EAGALA)
SAFETY AND CONFIDENTIALITY. No participant is allowed beyond the white front entry gates without supervision of Medicine Horse staff or designated volunteer from the time they arrive until the time they leave.
No family members, visitors, friends, parents, guardians, etc. are allowed to accompany participants or volunteers beyond the front gates while classes are being conducted and must stay in the front parking lot areas. This is due to Medicine Horse client confidentiality policies and privacy issues surrounding Equine Assisted Psychotherapy . The only exception will be for special events and will be at the discretion of the Executive Director or Therapist/Instructor.
No running or shouting is allowed anywhere on the premises. All participants must wear approved riding helmets, long pants, closed toed shoes and comfortable appropriate clothing for existing weather conditions. Boots with a heel are recommended and helmets will be provided by Medicine Horse. Sandals and shorts are not permitted. Instructors must facilitate mounting/dismounting all students.
No hand feeding of horses/ponies is allowed. No smoking or chewing gum allowed while on the property.
No dogs belonging to participants, volunteers, guests, etc. are allowed on the ranch. This includes being inside vehicles. Horses and dogs do not mix.
CANCELLATION POLICY. If lessons/classes must be cancelled, participants and volunteers will be notified in advance as early as possible. If participants are unable to attend their scheduled lesson, Medicine Horse Staff appreciates the same courtesy.
SAFETY AND ADMINISTRATIVE POLICIES. Medicine Horse Insurance covers only participants enrolled in our program. Please do not ask us to let your other children or friends work with our horses.