Side Walker Position

See our Volunteers page for additional information & upcoming training dates.


Volunteers need to be able think critically, problem solve, have the ability to work independently, and maintain an awareness of their surroundings at all times. Unexpected situations can arise at anytime involving horse and/or rider.

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 – Side Walker

The side walker is responsible for the rider. Side walkers help the rider engage with the class and encourage and assist them with participating in class where needed. Sidewalkers may also provide physical support to the rider as directed by the instructor.

Before Class

  • Arrive half an hour prior to class start time
  • Upon arrival, consult the whiteboard for the horse you are paired with
  • Assist the leader getting ready for class
  • Clean up if your horse uses their time in the crossties as a bathroom break

During Class

  • Your role will vary depending on the needs of each rider
  • Some riders will require physical support ranging from holding the rider’s ankle to completely supporting the rider with the use of a transfer belt
  • The instructor will explain the support method best suited for your rider
  • Other riders will require help with instructions and staying engaged in class
  • Stay forward and avoid the horse’s back end
  • DO NOT rest your elbows on the horse’s back. This is where their kidneys are located and it is a sensitive area.
  • If your arms become tired, let your leader know to walk to the centre of the arena so you can stop the horse and switch sides.
  • If your rider slides, hold your rider in place and immediately have the Leader move off the track
  • Call the instructor for assistance
  • In the event that a rider falls from the horse, stay with the rider, but do not move them. Keep them calm until the instructor arrives.

After Class

  • Assist with untacking horse and clean up

Download the complete volunteer manual here: Volunteer Manual PDF

See our Volunteers page for additional information & upcoming training dates.