We could not run our program without Horse Leaders!


What is a Horse Leader?

A Horse Leader (HL) is responsible for arriving 30 minutes prior to the class starting so they can brush and tack their assigned horse. The Horse Leader must be a very experienced horse person capable of safely controlling the horse in a variety of scenarios. Most of our students require a Horse Leader actually leading the horse by a lead rope. It is the Horse Leader’s job to pay close attention to the Instructor’s direction. We pride ourselves in having highly qualified Horse Leaders capable of maintaining the highest level of safety in our lessons, but Horse Leaders must remember that they are there to support the Instructor.

Horse Leader Training is by invitation only. However, if you think you are qualified to be a Horse Leader, please contact Sam Lape at Volunteer@TRIOhio.org.

Who can be a Horse Leader?

  • Horse Leaders must have extensive horse experience,
  • Horse Leaders must attend additional training – by invitation only
  • There are no height requirements
  • Must be physically capable of walking for 30-45 minutes at a time, and jogging short distances (20-30 feet).
  • All TRI Volunteers must be at least 14 years old.
  • Horse Leaders for the Horses Assisting Heroes Program must also be Veterans.

Horse Leader Levels –

All Horse Leaders have been trained as Side Helpers and may be used interchangeably based on the class and student needs. Horse Leaders are classified at a Level IV or V. Level V volunteers are also trained as Exercise Riders.

*Please note that moving through the levels may require you to take riding lessons and that these lessons are not currently offered by TRI. Please see Mary Kay Zimmerly for more information on riding lessons at FineLine Stables – www.FineLineStables.com. *

Level IV – Horse Leader – Trained as a Side Helper and Horse LeaderAble to groom and tack horses with minimal supervision in and out of their stalls. Able to pick front and back feet.

Level V – Exercise Rider – Trained as Side Helper & Horse Leader. Experienced horse person who is able to ride TRI horses. Must HL their horse at least 1 class a session. For more information, see Exercise Riders.

What is the time requirement?

Horse Leaders are asked to commit to 1 night (or day) a week (about 3 hours) for the full duration of the session (5-6 weeks). All Horse Leaders are expected to give advance notice for any absences. It is difficult to find subs the day of the class and if a sub is unable to be found, it may result in your student not being able to ride. Remember, your student depends on you!

How do I sign up?

New to TRI? You’ll first need to attend a Side Helper Training and volunteer as a Side Helper for 1 Session.

Already Trained as a Side Helper? Contact Sam Lape at Volunteer@TRIOhio.org if you think you’re a candidate for Horse Leader training. All Horse Leaders must attend an additional training before volunteering. All candidates for Horse Leading must be approved by the Program Director. If a volunteer is interested, but not yet qualified, TRI Staff will do their best to make recommendations for necessary training/education.

** Parent/Guardian Signatures are required on all Minor’s Applications**

Horse Leader Trainings are arranged on a quarterly basis by invitation only. 

Contact Sam Lape at Volunteer@TRIOhio.org if you are qualified to Horse Lead.