Horse Leader and Handler
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Equest Center for Therapeutic Riding

Horse Leader and Handler

You’ll be responsible for preparing a horse for class with a rider, leading the horse to maintain proper spacing from other horses in the arena, and helping the horse follow the directions of the rider during class. You’ll lead a horse and rider through an obstacle course of weaving cones and play activities, like horseshoes and basketball.

Classes are for all ages and all abilities. Sessions are offered Monday through Thursday during the day and evening. Special sessions for veterans are typically held every other Thursday morning.

Show me how to get started
2 hours/week for 8 weeks
Equest Center for Therapeutic Riding
3777 Rector Ave NE
Rockford, MI 49341 3777 Rector Ave NE
Rockford, MI 49341

Is This the Right Fit for Me?

You have a calm presence, and you are willing to learn how to work with horses in the area. You’re comfortable being assertive and attentive to the horses, helping them safely follow directions from riders of all ages and abilities. You’ll work closely with a horse sidewalker (who works with the rider while you work with the horse), so you like the idea of being in partnership with someone on a task. You’re willing to adapt to each new riding situation: the weather, the rider, the number of horses in the arena. You naturally encourage people and you like doing this type of work that will allow a rider to shine. This won’t work well for you if you’re allergic to horses.

About Equest Center for Therapeutic Riding

Equest Center is one of only three therapeutic riding programs in Michigan that owns its own farm. The Grand Rapids facility is the only year-round facility in the area which is a critical piece for many individuals with disabilities. This helps to prevent regression and foster greater physical, mental, emotional, and social improvement and benefits experienced due to a consistent riding therapy schedule throughout the year.

  • Equest Handler and Rider
  • Equest Ponies
  • Equest Rider

What Others are Saying

“I was drawn to the opportunity to work with horses. However, I shortly learned that interaction with the riders, staff and other volunteers was extremely rewarding. Great things happen at Equest on a daily basis. The horses, staff and volunteers work together to create an environment where riders have a wonderful experience. You do not need to know anything about horses to contribute to this place. You will be taught everything you need to know. Simply being around horses and the riders is humbling and empowering. Working with the other volunteers and instructors to provide a great ride for the students is uplifting. The pure joy you will see in the riders will renew your faith in the good parts of life. You will go home knowing you were part of a thing that defines humanity; caring for others. You will be a better person and you will look forward to the next time you can help out.”


Contact the Organization

If you’re ready to ask some questions and get started, contact the Equest Center for Therapeutic Riding directly.

Katelyn Kuhl Volunteer Coordinator 616-866-3066 x.102

What to Expect

Email Katelyn to find out the date and time for the next monthly volunteer orientation. Even if you’ve worked with horses your whole life, the orientation helps get everyone on the same page. For two hours, you’ll learn the basics of horse leading, grooming, tacking, and sidewalking; a tour of the facility; and what to expect in an average class session. Once you sign some liability paperwork, you’ll be ready for your first shift.