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Become a Volunteer

Thank you for your interest in volunteering with  Affinity Ranch. We know there are many worthwhile organizations you can spend your time with and we are honored that you want to spend your time with us. We look forward to adding you to our ranch family. Our volunteers are EXTREMELY important to us. We cannot do the incredible work we do without you. We offer many opportunities for volunteers. Please note that all volunteers must be at least 14 years old. Volunteers between the ages of 14 and 15 or volunteers with disabilities must have a parent or guardian volunteer with them. To work in our Adaptive Riding program you must be 16 years old. 

NO HORSE EXPERIENCE NEEDED, WE WILL TRAIN YOU!

​To get started please follow the steps below:

  • Fill out our  Volunteer Registration Form  If you are a minor please note that your parent or gardian will need to sign the waiver for you.

  • Sign up for a 1-hour Orientation

    • ALL VOLUNTEERS OVER THE AGE OF 18 MUST COMPLETE A BACKGROUND CHECK. This background check has a cost of $20. If you are under 18 you may skip this step.

      • To complete your background check visit Sterling Volunteers and use our good deed code 5tuptdn to be linked to our organization.

        • IF YOU HAVE A HISTORY OF VIOLENCE AGAINST HUMANS OR ANIMALS YOU WILL NOT BE ABLE TO VOLUNTEER WITH US.
      • After you complete your orientation and background check you will then be given directions to sign up for side walker training, and or barn chore training. If you are interested in becoming a horse leader you may begin horse leader training after you have some side walking under your belt and receive a recommendation from one of our instructors. 

      • Volunteers with disabilities are welcome here, we love all of our volunteers! Please note that due to safety issues in a ranch setting you will need to bring a caregiver to volunteer along with you. 

    • If you are interested in events or fundraising, you will be given more information and direction at orientation.

    • For court-ordered community service please reach out to volunteer@affinityranch.org to schedule an interview. Please note that you will still need to complete a background check just like all other volunteers. 

If you have any questions please reach out to our volunteer coordinator at volunteer@affinityranch.org.

We are also able to accommodate 1-day volunteer groups for organizations. Reach out to our volunteer coordinator for more information.

Barn Chore Assistant

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Barn chores volunteers take care of all the little things that are easily overlooked – keeping the facility clean and in good working order. Jobs may include but are not limited to cleaning feed and water buckets, cleaning stalls and picking runs and pasture, general barn organization and cleaning, and assisting with special projects as needed.

We have daily shifts available. 

 

 Volunteers must meet the age and physical requirements of our standard barn chores volunteer program. 

  • Age requirement: 16 and over 14 & 15 with a parent or guardian

  • Attend an orientation 

  • Complete barn chore training and pass off appropriate skills with the trainer

  • Physical requirement: must be able to fulfill standard barn tasks

  • Sign up for shifts in VSP required

Horse Leaders

Horse leaders are an integral part of every adaptive horsemanship and therapy session provided at Affinity Ranch. Horse leaders are responsible for catching, grooming, warming up, and tacking the horse before the client arrives, or assisting the client with grooming and tacking in some cases. The horse leader controls and guides the horse during the lesson, ensuring the safety of the clients and volunteers. The horse leader must be able to take direction from the instructor or therapist, allow the client to guide the horse when appropriate, and still maintain control of the horse. Horse leaders must be safety-minded at all times. 

  • Age Requirement: 16 and over

  • Physical Requirement: walk 60 min, jog short distances, and control horse at all times.

  • Must participate as a sidewalker for 8 weeks and must get a recommendation from an instructor. 

  • Complete Horse Leader Training and have all skills mastered before becoming independent. 

  • Time commitment: 1.5 hours per lesson

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Side Walkers

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Many of the clients at Affinity Ranch require the assistance of 1-2 sidewalkers to ensure their safety while mounted. Sidewalkers greet the students when they arrive until the instructor, therapist, and horse are ready. Sidewalkers walk alongside the riders to ensure safety and help facilitate the lesson under the guidance of the instructor or therapist. Sidewalkers may be asked to demonstrate or help the riders with specific tasks, support or assist the rider physically, or facilitate games or activities as directed by the instructor or therapist. Sidewalkers may also be asked to assist with the mounting and dismounting of riders from the horse. Side walkers must be able to take direction from the instructors or therapists, work cooperatively with others, and be safety-minded at all times. Side walking does not require prior knowledge or experience with horses and specific training will be provided.

  • Age requirement: 16 and over

  • Must attend Orientation and sidewalker training

  • Physical requirement: walk 60 min, jog short distances

  • Time commitment: 1hr 30 min per lesson

Other Volunteer Opportunities

If you have special talents you would like to share with us we would LOVE to hear about them. We are always looking for volunteers to help with

  • Fundraising

  • Small Animals

  • Ranch Projects

  • Gardening

  • Events and more

Image by John Schnobrich
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