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Becoming a Volunteer


to become a volunteer


Before scheduling an orientation and training session, please contact Ashley Sands, Volunteer Coordinator, at (860) 434-1974, Ext. 121 or email to discuss your interest and our volunteer opportunities.

Email Ashley

General Orientation and Training

All volunteers must attend a General Orientation prior to volunteering.  The General Orientation begins in the classroom with an overview of High Hopes Therapeutic Riding, who we serve, our horses, and our policies and procedures.  It also includes a tour of the facility.  At the General Orientation, volunteers will choose a role(s) they are interested in, and will be scheduled for an additional training specific to that role. Roles may include sidewalker, horse leader (experience required), feeder, office volunteer, etc.

Sidewalker training includes more in-depth information about providing service to the High Hopes participants and an opportunity to practice hands-on sidewalking techniques that will prepare new volunteers to begin working with riders.

For those with horse experience interested in becoming horse leaders, additional training opportunities will be available to learn and practice our leading techniques.

Qualities of a High Hopes Volunteer

Volunteers give something of themselves and receive back another person’s hopes and dreams.

Volunteers are the heart of High Hopes.

Our therapeutic riding program operates year-round, six days a week from morning until evening. Our staff and volunteers work together, forming a vital team that is essential to our ongoing success. Individual reasons for volunteering may differ, but giving of oneself and forming

special connections with people and horses create a common bond with everyone involved in our program. Our volunteer needs are many. Whether your experience with horses is life-long or minimal, your willingness to give yourself and your time is what we need.

Steps to becoming a volunteer

Step 1

The following form is required as Step 1 of becoming a volunteer:

Volunteer Registration & Release Form

Step 2

New volunteers are required to attend a general orientation session.  The recommended minimum age for volunteers is 14.  After general orientation, new volunteers will select the role(s) they would like to perform, and will attend an additional training session specific to that role(s).

Volunteer Orientation and Training Dates

Step 3

Now that you are a member of the High Hopes volunteer corps, check our Current Volunteers page often for information about substitution needs, upcoming volunteer enrichment opportunities, and more.

Workshops in Advanced Techniques

Volunteer Enrichment Series

The Winter Lecture Series