Job Descriptions

What does it mean to be a Horse Leader

During a lesson, the horse leader is responsible only for the horse.  

Tasks include:

  • Familiarizing the horse with the arena prior to the lesson
  • Leading the horse to, and standing at, the mounting block
  • While lesson is in progress, follow instructor's directions and direct horse around arena; the leadrope to the halter may be attached or not, depending on student's skill level.
  • Monitor horse's attitude throughout lesson, communicating with side walkers and/or instructor as necessary.
  • Keep horse still during dismounting process.

What are a Side Walker's duties?

During a lesson, the side walker's focus is the student he/she is working with.

Tasks include:

  • Greet student upon arrival
  • Assist student with finding and adjusting helmet (student may have his/her own)
  • Perform simple stretches while waiting for lesson to start
  • May be asked to assist instructor during mounting process
  • May need to perform leg or thigh holds during lesson, dependent on student's skill and comfort level
  • Assist student in lesson activities by encouraging communication and interaction while following instructor's direction
  • Monitor student's balance and attitude throughout lesson
  • Once lesson is complete and student has dismounted, walk out with him/her and ensure helmet is put away properly and student is returned to parent/guardian.


  • Arrive at least 45 minutes prior to scheduled lesson time
  • Assist as directed by the instructor with horse leading or side walking  
  • Assist staff with lesson equipment as needed  
  • Assist staff with barn duties as needed  
  • Willing to attend continuing education clinics to gain additional skills


  • Anyone with a desire to work with horses and people​  
  • At least 14 years of age to horse lead or side walk students 
  • Capable of performing all assigned tasks in a safe manner 
  • Physically able to walk for 45 to 60 minutes at a time and jog for short periods 
  • Able to commit to a consistent schedule or volunteer as a "sub" for sessions 
  • Knowledge of working with horses is helpful but not necessary 
  • Knowledge of working with people with special needs is helpful but not necessary 
  • Willing to observe the dress code and to follow the confidentiality policy and HART procedures for safety and professionalism 
  • Able to attend required training sessions prior to becoming an active volunteer

The opportunities are endless when volunteering at HART!