Volunteer With Us
All of our volunteers get to have fun working with both our horses and our riders. During lessons, each rider works with a “team” that includes a horse, a horse handler, and two side-walkers. This is your opportunity to get to know our riders!
In addition, volunteers help groom and tack the horses before the lessons start. After lessons, you might also help out feeding the horses and settling them in for the night after a good day’s work playing with our riders.
Initially, everyone is trained as a side-walker, which involves walking alongside the rider to ensure his/her safety. Instructors might also ask side-walkers to assist them in activities with the rider. Other responsibilities include grooming and tacking the horses before lessons and helping to keep the barn, arenas, and grounds tidy.
Volunteers who have been with us for 3 months or more can complete the horse handler training. Our horse handlers are responsible for leading horses during lessons and handling them when they are in the barn and in the pastures.
You must be 14 years or older in order to volunteer at Pegasus. All volunteers are required to go through an orientation and training session. Volunteers must have medical insurance as well. Additionally, all volunteers ages 18 and older are required by Pennsylvania State Law to obtain Child Abuse History Clearance and a PA Criminal History report prior to attending the orientation and training session. Additional information about these requirements can be found in the Volunteer Registration form.
Volunteers can sign up for one or more of the following shifts:
- Mondays, 5:15 – 8:15 pm
- Tuesdays, 5:15 – 8:15 pm
- Wednesdays, 9:00 – 12:00 pm
- Wednesdays, 5:15 – 8:15 pm
- Thursdays, 9:00 am – 12:00 pm
- Thursdays, 5:15 – 8:15 pm
- Saturdays, 8:30 am – 1:30 pm
- Sundays, 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm
The first step is to attend a volunteer orientation. Volunteer orientations are offered twice a month on Saturdays 10:30 am – 12 pm. Please visit our Calendar page for a list of the orientation dates.
You must call us at 215-742-1501 to sign up for an orientation meeting in advance. Please download, print, and fill out the volunteer application ahead of time, and bring it with you to the orientation meeting.
Please note: this form cannot be submitted online, faxed in, or dropped off prior to orientation.
If a volunteer is less than 18 years of age, a parent or guardian must stay for the first half-hour of orientation.Download volunteer application
Embedded on the volunteer application are links to the background check websites. In the event that they are not working, please use the links posted below to obtain information on all background checks and clearances.
As of July 1, 2015, in accordance with Pennsylvania Child Protective Services Law, ALL NEW VOLUNTEERS in the Pegasus program who are 18 or older must have the following two clearances BEFORE coming to Orientation and Training and starting to volunteer:
(1) a completed PA State Police Criminal Record Check – fees waived as of July 25, 2015
(2) a completed PA Child Abuse History Clearance – fees waived as of July 25, 2015
AND, if you are 18 or older and have NOT been a continuous PA resident for the past 10 years:
(3) a Federal (FBI) Criminal History Clearance – The cost $21.35. You will be required to register online. You will need to go to a site that does the electronic fingerprinting. There are many sites in the Philadelphia area that offer weekday, evening and weekend hours. Find a site and their hours of operation and check to see if you need to make an appointment and the documents you need to bring with you.
When on website follow these prompts:
- Service name DHS Volunteer
- Enter the following service code: 1KG6ZJ
- Select employment with significant likelihood of regular contact with children.
Pegasus Therapeutic Riding Academy is a wonderful place to volunteer and receive experience working with people with disabilities and horses. In addition to attending our orientation sessions, please download our Volunteer Handbook that explains our policies, procedures, and information that many of our volunteers find helpful when helping at Pegasus.