Volunteer Positions


What is Volunteering all about?

 Volunteering is a tremendously self-rewarding adventure. At Loving Thunder, you can choose from some great jobs and committees. All of these jobs or committees are designed to help support our special needs programs. Whatever your talents or interests, we can put them to good use at Loving Thunder. 

Although horse experience is appreciated in many positions you will not be excluded if you do not have it. We have an extensive training program and are willing to help you learn what is needed to perform the jobs.  Horse experience varies from person to person and DOES NOT excuse you from participating in our training program.  Please be aware that our horses are for program use and training purposes only.  Their primary purpose is to provide service to our participants.

If you are interested in becoming a volunteer, proceed to the next section for more details, complete a volunteer application or  email info@lovingthunder.com or call us at  505-554-9493.   An online or pdf version of our application is at the bottom of this page.

Horse Leading during lessons

Do you have a talent for horses?  This position involves a good working knowledge of horse behaviors, training methods, a calm presence, and riding skills.  You are in charge of the horse during our lessons.  You are expected to be able to warm up the horses in our round pen prior to lessons. Previous horse experience, or completed training and no less than 30 hrs. of sidewalking experience is required. You will be asked to help with stall maintenance as well. 

Sidewalking during lessons

 Do you like working with individuals with disabilities?  This position will be assisting our riders when necessary to accomplish the tasks involved in grooming, tacking, mounting, dismounting, and riding in the arena.  You must be able to assist riders during an emergency dismount, if needed.   You should be healthy and strong enough to lift at least 50 lbs. and walk or trot beside a horse for a minimum of 30 minutes. This job requires you to be physically fit and free of back and shoulder challenges.  Your personal well-being is important to us too. You will be asked to help with stall maintenance as well. 

Horse Related Jobs

 Barn Assistant
Do you like being around the horses?  This position will be helping clean and maintain the horse stalls. Clean and fill water buckets.  This may require driving a golf cart and 4-wheeler.  You should be able to lift a minimum of 50 lbs and be free of back and shoulder challenges.

Horse Buddy
This position is a very close connection with the horses.  It requires previous experience with horses and training by our staff.  This position helps keep our horses fit, flexible, and happy so they can do their jobs without causing injury to themselves. You will be asked to help with stall maintenance as well. 

Admin & Marketing

Would you like to help with duties like data entry, drafting correspondence, monthly newsletter, preparing meeting notes and communications with supporters?  It is preferred that you have some clerical or managerial experience for this job. Hours are flexible and our staff will support you and your efforts.

Do you like meeting new people in the community? Are you good at organizing fundraising events? Join this team of outgoing individuals and spread our passion for our programs while raising money to keep kids in the saddle 

Volunteer Management & Training

 Our program revolves around great volunteers. Be on the team to help develop & assist with training, recognition, and recruiting great people like you. You will be working directly with the community, schools and local agencies to build our teams. 

Volunteering for the LOVE of IT

How you can Volunteer


We are glad that you have decided to volunteer with Loving Thunder Therapeutic Riding.
There are three steps to get started, as you’ll see below: a video, a self-assessment, and the actual application. Please, read on...... 

To prepare for the orientation, you will need to view a very informative video about therapeutic riding and what is needed of volunteers. The video is on YouTube and can be accessed by clicking this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fj-iDe2ZwdE. The video is about 24 minutes long. However, you don’t have to watch it in one sitting, there are a few different sections that will allow you to conveniently pause it from time to time. You will not be able to stay for the orientation if you have not previously watched the video. It is a must. 

While volunteering with horses and individuals is a “cool gig,” it comes with certain responsibilities.  We want you to have a full understanding of what is required of every team member.  The questions below are an integral part of being a volunteer. Please answer them honestly because we are interested in everyone having the best and most fulfilling experience while at Loving Thunder Therapeutic Riding. By everyone, we mean the riders, the riders’ caregivers, the volunteers, and the horses.

If you can answer “Yes” to all of the questions below, you are welcome to complete the application at the bottom of this page.  Once we have your application, we will provide further information about the required trainings and  observation times by e-mail. 

If you are not able to answer “Yes” to the questions and you want to help with marketing and promotional duties, please E-MAIL  info@lovingthunder.com  and I will have our Promotion Department Head contact you with additional information.

  1.  Have you viewed the video?  Yes____ No____
  2.  Do you believe that you can perform the duties shown in the video? Yes____ No____
  3.  Will you be able to complete the orientation and 2 observation sessions? Yes____ No____
  4. Once trained, you will be able to sign-up for timeslots of your choosing. However, keeping your commitment to those timeslots is essential for others with special needs to be able to participate. Do you understand that your absence (for a timeslot you selected) can prevent a rider from having their session? Yes____ No____(Your commitment is crucial)
  5. Do you understand that you will be required to be on your feet for 2-4 hours (when you are scheduled) in an outdoor environment?  Yes____ No____
  6. Can you walk and/or jog for 50-75 feet without stopping for at least 30 min/hr ? Yes____ No____
  7. Are you able to assist a person off the horse in an emergency situation (must be able to lift 50 lbs)?  (We will train you in the proper way to do an emergency dismount.) Yes____ No____
  8. Are you willing to help with general ranch chores such as cleaning stalls, pulling weeds, or other maintenance during your scheduled time, especially if a rider fails to show up? Yes____ No____

I hope you were able to answer “Yes” to all of the above. Anyone who has ever worked with on a ranch will tell you that it can be dirty and smelly. However, if you are motivated by a real desire to help us make the world a better place (one horse ride at a time), I guarantee that Loving Thunder Ranch will be one of the most fulfilling volunteering experiences you can have.

Let's get to horsin' around with a purpose.


The training phase can take a little while depending on your schedule, the more flexible your schedule the quicker the process. Once we have received your application, we will follow up with upcoming training dates.  We strive to be as flexible as possible, so dates are chosen according to applicant's available schedules.  Once these  required trainings are accomplished you will be cleared to start working with our riders and horses.

               1.  Orientation ( 3 hours)- Who we are, who we serve, policy and procedures, and tour of the facility.  Learn the Loving Thunder way of grooming, tacking up the horse(putting on saddle), sidewalking, and emergency dismount.  Orientation is offered 1-2 times per month depending on inquiries.

               2. Observation (2 hr) - You will be watching existing lessons and getting a visual idea of how the program helps others. 

(These trainings can be taken in any order)

We realize that this may seem like a lot, but we hope you will understand how important your job will be and we feel it is necessary for everyone’s safety and well-being.

Click here for an ONLINE APPLICATION

This step creates a profile in our data base of volunteers

OR download the PDF version below



Application Online Volunteer (pdf)


Active Volunteer Schedule link