Inspiration Ranch

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How old do I have to be to volunteer at the ranch?


You must be 15 years old in order to volunteer with our therapeutic riding sessions.

2. Do I have to have experience with horses in order to volunteer?


No. You will attend training before you start volunteering, then you receive ongoing support and additional training opportunities to ensure that you are comfortable with your responsibilities.  Initially all volunteers attend our 101 Volunteer Orientation and Side Walking Training.  After volunteering as a side walker for at least 10 hours, you are eligible to attend our 201 Horse Leading Training.

3. What qualifications do I need in order to volunteer?


The first requirement is that you have the willingness and ability to make a time commitment to volunteer each week for your shift. Along with that we ask that you are able to answer yes to the following questions:

Side Walker:

  • I can walk for 30-45 minutes
  • I can jog for short distances
  • I can pick up 20-40 pounds
  • I can stretch hands in all directions
  • I can remain calm and assist the instructor in an emergency
  • I can work outside in the weather all year

Horse Leader:

  • I can walk for 30-45 minutes
  • I can jog for short distances while controlling a horse
  • I can pick up 20 pounds
  • I can safely halter and lead a horse with correct positioning
  • I can read a horses behavior, with appropriate training
  • I can remain calm and control a horse in an emergency
  • I can work outside in the weather all year

4. Are there other opportunities to volunteer that are not with the horses or kids?

A: Yes. We have many volunteer opportunities with Panther Creek Inspiration Ranch such as clean up, repairs on the ranch, administrative (some can be done from home), event planning, special awareness events and fundraising committees.

5. What will I be doing if I volunteer at the ranch?


We have many jobs available for our volunteers. For each rider we need 3 volunteers to assist in the ring: 2 side walkers and 1 horse leader. We also need people to help prepare the horses for riders. The instructor does the teaching and most of the interacting with the clients. When there is time between clients, we may ask you to help with small clean-up efforts and maintenance of our tack or therapeutic riding equipment.  Your assistance allows us to maximize instructor time in the ring with our amazing riders!

6. Can I just show up when I have some extra time?


We ask that the volunteers who are in the arena with the clients commit to 2 hours a week at the same time each week for an 8-week session. We could not do what we do without our amazing team of committed volunteers who show up each week. The clients need the consistency of the same hours, horse and volunteers to maximize their therapeutic experience. When a volunteer misses a session it can put the session in jeopardy of being cancelled. Volunteers who are unable to make that time commitment are able to be placed on a sub list or come out to the ranch to help with projects outside of the lessons.

7. If I cannot find a babysitter, can I just bring my child to the ranch with me?


Unfortunately the ranch is not a good place for kids to be unsupervised during your volunteer shift. We will need your undivided attention on the client for their safety so we ask that you make sure your children have other care provided for them when you are volunteering at the ranch.  Pets are also not allowed at the ranch.

8. What are the times that I can volunteer at the ranch?


Our hours are Monday-Friday.  Please check with us for our current schedule.

9. Can I ride while I am at the ranch?


No. We are committed to helping as many special needs clients as we can. In order to do this we do not allow volunteers or siblings of clients to ride so that our horses are available for our clients. We do however; have many places that we can recommend to you for riding lessons.

10. Are there other ways that I can help the ranch??


Yes. Many employers offer matching donation and volunteer hour matching programs for employees and spouses. Please check with your or your spouse’s employer and let them know you are volunteers for us to see if they have one of these programs. We have received checks that have covered the cost of sponsoring a child for an entire session from these programs. It is worth checking into!

11. How do I get started?

A: Fill out the volunteer packet then email and we can set up a training date for you.  Please feel free to email this address if you have other questions as well.

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