Interested in Volunteering?
Without our dedicated Volunteers we wouldn’t have a therapeutic riding program!
HETRA is always looking for dedicated and motivated individuals to become part of the HETRA team! To become a volunteer, you DO NOT need to have experience with horses or disability knowledge. Volunteering is a simple two step process!
1. Sign up and attend a Tour at the facility you will likely volunteer at. These tours cover the history of HETRA, information about the programs that we offer and clients that we serve, as well as the different levels of volunteering. They are also a great place to ask any questions you might have about the program or your roll as a future volunteer! To see these Tour dates and to sign up for the next one please click here or view the Events Page.
2. After attending a Tour you will be invited to HETRA New Volunteer Training where you will have a hands on learning experience to prepare you for the various beginning volunteer positions dependent on skill and comfort level including sidewalking, scheduled keeping, and equipment/toy assistant. Hands on training will be scheduled a few weeks before the beginning of the next 12 week riding Course. Course beginning and end dates can be seen on the Events Page.
All volunteers must complete both aspects of training and complete the proper volunteer paperwork prior to assisting with sessions.
**All New Volunteers Must Be 12 Years Of Age Or Over**
In order to keep our sessions as controlled as possible HETRA, tries to create a leader and two sidewalker team for each student. It is very important to the progress of the student that this team stay consistent. Therefore we ask that our volunteers commit to at least one 2-3 hour time slot per week for a 12 week course (please refer to the events page for when courses start and end). We understand that not everyone can make this type of commitment. If you would still like to volunteer but can’t come every week we encourage you to put your name on our substitute list.
Ready to get started?
- Click here to sign up to attend a Tour which will complete the first step of training!
- After attending a tour; click here to print off the volunteer handbook to bring with you to HETRA New Volunteer Training.
Volunteer Job Descriptions
Equipment/Toy Assistant*: This volunteer is between the ages of 12 & 13. The Equipment Assistant is responsible for assisting the instructor with retrieving equipment that may be needed in the arena. They also assist with many of the games and activities that the students participate in.
Sidewalker*: This person walks next to the rider and assists the rider with balance and exercises. All Sidewalkers must be at least 14 years of age.
Schedule Keeper*: Responsible for keeping sessions on schedule. Marking down when students mount and dismount, and making sure everyone is doing their assigned task. All Schedule Keepers must be at least 14 years of age.
Grooming/Tacking*: These volunteers are responsible for assisting the Barn Leader in grooming and completing tack changes on the horse, and helping with general barn clean up such as tack cleaning and stall cleaning. Those interested in becoming a Groomer/Tacker must have volunteered a minimum of 16 hours as a sidewalker or Equipment/Toy Assistant before attending the grooming & tacking skill training, and must pass a proficiency test prior to participation as a groomer/tacker.
Horse Leader*: This person is responsible for leading the horse during the session. All horse leaders must have volunteered for a minimum of 16 hours and have successfully passed the grooming & tacking skill training before going through a horse leader skill training and must pass a proficiency test prior to participation as a horse leader. All horse leaders must be at least 14 years of age.
Barn Leader*: Responsible for all activities in the barn area including (barn leaders are individually selected by the HETRA instructors and staff, after becoming proficient as a groomer and a horse leader):
- Bringing horses in and out of the pens.
- Working with the groomers and tackers to get the horses in the barn, groomed and tacked with the appropriate tack prior to the next lesson.
- Doing a final tack check before the horse is taken out to the arena.
- Making sure stalls are cleaned and bedded appropriately.
- At the end of the night making sure horses are being put away correctly, all tack is put away correctly, and the barn is clean and ready for sessions the next day.
Volunteer/Fundraising Committee: These committees meet one time per month and are responsible for the fundraising and volunteer recognition & recruitment for the organization.
Administrative Assistants: These volunteers help with the general administrative duties of the organization including helping with filing, typing, newsletter, and mailings.
Special Events: These individuals help with special events including set up and clean up and provide support prior to the event with advertising, soliciting, silent auction or raffle items and set up at event location. They also assist during the event and clean up with the event concludes.
*These volunteer positions require the participant to complete the appropriate training sessions prior to their participation. Volunteers must be at least 12 years of age to be a HETRA Volunteer. Leaders and Sidewalkers must be at least 14 years of age and demonstrate appropriate maturity and decision making ability.
Days and times that sessions are conducted:
Valley Barn: Monday-Thursday late afternoons and evenings, Saturday mornings, & Sunday Afternoons
Omaha Barn: Monday-Thursday late afternoons and evenings, Saturday mornings, & Sunday Afternoons.
Please call Sara at (402) 669-1504 or email her at Sara@hetra.org for more specific days and times as these times fluctuate frequently.
HETRA’s Non-Discrimination Policy: HETRA does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, gender, age, or disability in admission to it’s programs, services, or activities, or in any aspect of their operations.
A special thank you to the Fremont Area Community Foundation for their support by providing partial funding for a full time volunteer coordinator in 2011!