We could not run our program without Side Helpers!


What is a Side Helper?

A Side Helper (SH) is the person who walks alongside the student. Some of our students require physical support that is provided by the SH and most of our students thrive from the positive reinforcement provided by their SH friends. As a SH, it’s your job to pay attention to the safety ensuring that they are paying attention to the instructor and riding to the best of their ability. Side Helpers play an integral part in tracking student’s progress. Each SH is assigned to one student for the duration of the session. In doing this, the student is able to bond with their SH’s and in doing so, they create a level of trust that enables them to do things they may have never done without your support. At the end of each lesson, SH’s fill out evaluation sheets and comment on their students progress, success and needs for improvement. These evaluations then help instructors tailor their lesson plans to the students needs and goals.

Who can be a Side Helper?

  • For safety reasons, a minimum height requirement of 5’4” (or comparable reach) is considered.
  • No horse experience required but must be comfortable around horses.
  • Must be physically capable of walking for 30-45 minutes at a time, and jogging short distances (20-30 feet).
  • All TRI Volunteers must pass a background check.
  • All TRI Volunteers must be at least 14 years old.
  • Side Helpers for the Horses Assisting Heroes Program must also be Veterans.

What is the time requirement?

Side Helpers are asked to commit to 1 night (or day) a week – about 1-3 hours – for the full duration of the session (8 weeks). All Side Helpers 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?

Contact Sam at SLape@TRIOhio.org to get signed up for the next Volunteer Training. This 2.5 hour training must be completed before you are able to volunteer in a class. The Application Packet can be reviewed and printed here. We would be grateful if you would print this application and bring signed copies, along with a signed FineLine Liability realease, to the Volunteer Training.

2018 Side Helper Trainings are: 

February 27 from 5:45 – 8pm

May 29 from 5:45 – 8pm

August 28 from 5:45 – 8pm

Register by contacting Sam Lape at SLape@TRIOhio.org

2018 TRI Volunteer Application

FineLine Liability Form – Adult

FineLine Liablity – Minor

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

The TRI Volunteer Application  and FineLine Liability Form must be turned in at Volunteer Training in order to be eligible to participate.