Therapeutic riding provides education, socialization, recreation and therapy to more than 60 students in Frederick County Maryland each spring and fall. We always welcome volunteers who serve as barn crew, side walkers or horse leaders for 1 to 12 hours per week. Volunteers also work behind the scene. Without our wonderful volunteers our Program could not exist.

Each year a SPECIAL VOLUNTEER is chosen to receive THE GOLDEN PITCHFORK AWARD in recognition of their service to our Program. Learn More.

Volunteer Training classes are provided at the beginning of the spring and fall classes.

Volunteer training includes tour of the farm, visiting with the horses, and watching a short introductory slide show. Each volunteer will receive hands on training with the horses and “volunteer” therapeutic riding clients. Everyone is eligible to volunteer, regardless of race, color, sex, religion, age, disability or national origin.

If you would like to volunteer, please contact the office. We are scheduling Meet and Greets and small group hands-on learning. Please go to the “FORMS” page and complete the Volunteer Application, and either snail mail or E-mail your application. The Volunteer Coordinator will contact you to schedule a Meet and Greet. WE NEED YOU!


Barn Crew (12 years or older) – Each class day begins an hour or more before students arrive at the farm. The Barn Crew brings in the horses from the fields, brush, and groom them. The Barn Crew makes sure that each horse is wearing the saddle or tack that is appropriate for each student.

Each student may require up to three volunteers – a Horse Leader and two Side Walkers, depending on the Student’s ability. During some classes with six highly disabled riders, up to 18 volunteers are needed in the ring.

Horse Leaders (14 years or older) – Horse leaders are responsible for the Student’s Horse, making sure the horse stays in control – stands quietly for mounting, dismounting, exercises, etc. The Horse Leader will make sure the horse is going in the correct direction and at the proper gait.

Side Walkers (14 years or older) – Students may require one or two Side Walkers. The Side Walkers help riders maintain and learn balance. They are the eyes of the therapist and instructor. They help the student follow directions during the lesson and learn new tasks – left and right, colors, shapes and asking the horse to stop, walk on or trot.

Administrative Volunteers work behind the scenes. These include writing articles, handling public relations activities, printing labels, registering students, organizing classes, paying the bills, writing grant applications, fund raising projects, maintaining the web site, recruiting volunteers,

Would you like to volunteer? Click here.

Everyone is eligible, regardless of race, color, sex, religion, age, handicap or national origin. If you have thought of volunteering or returning to volunteering, now is the time to do it. WE NEED YOU!

Call the Volunteer Coordinator at 301-898-3587

Or email our Volunteer Coordinator at: fc4htrp@aol.com.



Come out and be a Buddy.  Previous horse training experience is not necessary.  Volunteers at least 12 are encouraged to participate. They must be responsible, able to work unsupervised, be familiar with our horses and our barn rules. They should also have written permission from their parents and have reliable transportation.  Horse Buddies will be responsible to go out and fetch their horses and see that they are back safe and secure in their fields or stalls when finished.

  • working on specific horse problems – We are training our horses to be polite not rude
  • complete grooming of retired and working horses
  • grazing appropriate horses for a short break
  • tacking horses for approved riders
  • cleaning tack, including halters
  • mucking paddocks
  • training on ground work – lunging, round penning, leading
  • bathe horses when needed
  • lead the horse/pony for a rider at the walk and trot and backing
  • lead and help to desensitize the horse to different objects in the ring
  • keep track of the horse’s temperature, pulse and respiration rates
  • cleaning grooming tools and equipment