Volunteer With Us

All of our volunteers get to have fun working alongside our therapy horses and our program participants. 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.

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. 

Our lessons require up to 12 volunteers per lesson day. Volunteers will be asked to sign up for a lesson block or communicate availability with our volunteer coordinator.


 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. Pegasus TRA will accept volunteers that are in need of mandatory court ordered volunteer or service hours on a case by case basis. These hour must be completed outside of our regularly scheduled lesson times. 


 Volunteers are the heart of our program! Lessons require up to 12 volunteers per lesson block. Volunteers will be asked to sign up for a lesson block or communicate availability with our volunteer coordinator. Our volunteer coordinator communicates with our volunteers daily by text or phone calls to ensure we have enough handlers and sidewalkers for our riders to safely participate in their therapeutic riding lessons and equine assisted services. If we do not have enough volunteers to safely run a lesson, we have to call a rider and cancel their therapeutic riding lesson for that day. 

Volunteers can sign up for one or more of the following shifts:

  • Mondays, 4:45 – 8:30 p.m.
  • Tuesdays, 4:45 – 8:30 p.m.
  • Wednesdays, 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m
  • Wednesdays, 4:45 – 8:30 p.m.
  • Thursdays, 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
  • Thursdays, 4:45 – 8:30 p.m.
  • Saturdays, 8:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.
  • Sundays, 12:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.

The first step is to attend a volunteer orientation. Volunteer orientations are usually offered twice a month on Saturdays and Sundays from 10:30 am – 12 pm. Please visit our Calendar page for a list of the orientation dates.  

All orientations are held in our back room. Please enter through the front doors under the Pegasus Office sign and proceed down the hallway to where the tables are in the back room.   

1. Print out the volunteer application and fill out completely. 

2. If you are over the age of 18 please complete all necessary clearances that apply to you below. Clearances can be found below. DO NOT schedule an orientation time until you have received the clearances. 

3. If you are under the age of 18 clearances do not apply to you. Once you have completed the volunteer application and have processed your necessary clearances, please reach out to the volunteer coordinator 215-742-1500 ext 102, or email volunteercoordinator@pegasusphilly.org

4. Once all required documents are ready, you can schedule your orientation day. Please DO NOT show up for an orientation time until we have confirmed back with you. 

If you have questions, please include them in the email.  Our volunteer coordinator is part-time and office hours are limited. Emailing is the BEST way to reach us for volunteering questions. Please note: these forms cannot be submitted online 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

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.

Please click HERE to access the most recent version of our Volunteer Registration Forms 

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 

Please visit PATCH and select new Volunteer check to access you PA State Police Criminal Record Check. 

(2) a completed PA Child Abuse History Clearance – fees waived as of July 25, 2015

PA Child Abuse History Clearance Website

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.

FBI Criminal History Clearance Website

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 which explains our policies, procedures, and information that many of our volunteers find helpful when helping at Pegasus. Pegasus TRA accepts volunteers that are in need of mandatory court-ordered volunteer or service hours on a case-by-case basis. Please reach out to find out more details if this applies to you.

Volunteer Handbook 

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