Throughout the course of each week we benefit from the kindness and giving spirit of many volunteers at Hearts and Hooves. Individuals of all ages — from retired citizens to today’s youth come together to share their skills and devotion to better the lives of the challenged members of their community. Some work on Hearts and Hooves projects from their homes, some prefer tackling those larger special renovation projects at the center, and still others enjoy assisting our special needs riders during their therapy sessions and working with the horses.


There are many different reasons these individuals choose to come to Hearts and Hooves, but there is always a common factor that is found- The DESIRE TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE in another’s life.


We rely on our volunteers to assist our participants during the therapeutic riding sessions in a team approach. It is the guidance, safety and encouragement a volunteer provides that enhances the Therapeutic Riding lesson. With their help disabilities are challenged and new abilities are created.

We ask for a minimum time commitment of about 2 hours. We can happily accommodate more hours, and/or more opportunities if you wish. You can choose a day and time that best fits your schedule.


To volunteer in a Therapeutic Riding lesson you will need to attend an Orientation and our 2 hourTraining. You will learn Hearts & Hooves policies and procedures and hands-on training in leading, sidewalking, mounting, dismounting, as well as grooming and safely handling our personal ponies. 

We would be delighted to have you return each week since experienced Therapeutic Riding lesson volunteers provide stability and a sense of community, familiarity with riders’ goals and needs, and proficiency with horses and tack.


If you would like to take the next step toward becoming a part of Hearts & Hooves please contact our Volunteer Coordinator at (704) 476-8230 ext.6410.  

*You must be at least 18 years old to work with our participants.

(A background check must be ran prior to directly working with our participants.)

All volunteers must be able to demonstrate the willingness and ability to follow directions effectively. As well as demonstrate the willingness and ability to follow all safety rules. We also need our volunteers to have the ability to complete given tasks independently,

treat all riders, volunteers, staff and animals with dignity and respect.


Volunteer opportunities NOT involving therapeutic riding lessons and care of the horses directly do not require attendance at our 2 hour volunteer training, but you must attend our orientation and task specific training.


Some of Our Volunteer Opportunities: Horse Leader, Side walker, Arena set up and break down, Pony Helpers, Special Events (Fundraisers, Annual Bake Sale, Seventh Inning Stretch...), Facility Maintenance (repairs, weeding, flowers, painting, cleaning arena, trail maintenance, etc.), Administration (brochures, bulk mailing, filing, etc.)


Community Outreach: Service projects are also available throughout the year for interested groups such as Boy/Girls Scouts, 4-H, Youth Leadership, Business groups, Church groups, & Schools.

Orientation and Training is not necessary but volunteer registration is required. To learn about current projects – contact Heart’s & Hooves Volunteer Coordinator.

Click on the link below to fill out an application;





Horse leader/handlers primary responsibility is to the horse, i.e., prepare the horse for class, maintain safety spacing, and help the horse follow the directions of the rider during class.

Side walkers physically assist the rider (during riding, mounting and dismounting), help the rider guide their horse during the lesson, and assist the rider in following the directions of the instructor as necessary. The amount of assistance is dependent on each rider’s abilities. 

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