For the safety of our riders and our volunteers, you will need the ability to understand and carry out direct instructions. Both the leader and side walker positions require physical endurance and good verbal communication skills.
Volunteer Job Description – Leader
The Leader is responsible for the horse at all times. If you have any questions, be sure to ask the instructor.
- Please arrive half an hour prior to class starting.
- Upon arrival, consult the white board for the horse you will be using or check with the instructor.
- Get the horse’s grooming box
- Speak to your horse as you approach in the stall
- Slide the halter over his/her head and fasten the halter closed
- Always use a lead rope when leading a horse from the stall
- Hold the lead rope with two hands (right hand close to halter, excess rope in your left hand)
- You are the first one through the stall door and the horse follows
- Attach the halter to the crossties
- Pick the horse’s hoofs
- Use the curry comb/glove, then the hard brush, and finish off with the soft brush
- Tack your horse making sure the girth is snug but not to tight at this stage
- If you have reins, attach them to the halter
- Please be ready to go into the arena 10 minutes prior to class
NEVER LEAVE YOUR HORSE UNATTENDED IN THE CROSSTIES
- Call “Door” when you enter the arena
- Line up facing the ramp until the instructor has come to tighten the girth
- When called, lead the horse to the ramp, then turn your body to face the horse putting one hand on each side of the halter
- You will be walking backwards and guiding the horse in slowly
- Keep the horse still while the rider mounts. Remember, this is the time when it is most important for the horse to be calm and quiet.
- Stand facing the horse, not off to the side
- On the rider’s command walk the horse ahead and halt when clear of the ramp
- The instructor will adjust the stirrups
- Once the rider is ready, walk the horse to the far end of the arena and circle until all the riders have mounted
- It is the leader’s job to assist the rider in completing instructions while giving the rider a chance to do as much as they can on their own
- As you walk, remain in the leading position between the horse’s head and shoulder
- Walk at a steady pace to allow the rider to receive the full benefit of the horse’s movement
- At the end of class, line up and make sure the student waits for the instructor to assist with the dismount
- Check with the instructor to see if the horse is going back in its stall or outside
- Lead the horse back into the barn and to your crossties
- Remove the saddle and reins
- Put your horse away and sweep up any mess
- Return grooming kit and tack to the appropriate area