Our volunteers are one of the program’s most valuable resources! We have many opportunities, from assisting with riding lessons, feeding and caring for our herd, and facility maintenance! We have seen from experience that volunteers can be instrumental in caring for our herd and making a positive difference in the lives of our students! Prior horse experience is helpful but not required. All volunteers must complete a volunteer application and an online and in-person training before becoming an ECL volunteer.


Program Volunteer

A program volunteer will assist our instructors in therapeutic horseback riding lessons and field trips. Volunteers will help with preparation before the lesson, such as getting horses out of the paddocks, grooming, and saddling. During the lesson, there are two opportunities including leading the horse or sidewalking to assist with student balance and confidence. 

The leader is responsible for helping to control the horse as the student learns how to steer. A sidewalker walks in close proximity to the side of the rider and horse and in some cases, may need to assist the rider with their balance. Sidewalkers can also give the rider a sense of security while in the saddle, thus helping to build the rider's confidence. 

Herd Care Volunteers

A herd care volunteer is responsible for feeding horses, keeping their paddocks clean, and checking for potential hazards. With our horses needing 24/7 care there are AM and PM shifts every day of the week! 

Maintenance Volunteers

At the Equine Center for Learning, our top priority is our students and our horses. However, we could never accomplish our goals in these spaces without functioning and well maintained facilities. As such, on top of our daily lessons and field trips, we have many chores that need to be completed around the farm. Examples include driving a tractor to move hay, moving manure, fixing fences, dragging the arena, painting, and electrical work. Our maintenance volunteers help keep the Equine Center for Learning running smoothly, efficiently, and looking it’s best!



Thinking volunteering at the Equine Center for Learning is for you? To be sure that this is a good fit for everyone involved and to ensure that every volunteer is scheduled in a space that works best for them, the Equine Center for Learning has a three-step intake process!


Please fill out the volunteer application below. 


To volunteer you must also complete an online background check linked below. 

2023 - 2024 Volunteer Background Check


Once we have received your volunteer application and background check then we can get you signed up for a volunteer orientation! At orientation you will get a tour of the facility, learn more about the volunteer opportunities, and get an introduction into basic horse handling skills.


After you complete your volunteer orientation, you will be able to sign up for the shifts that works best for you!


To begin the process of becoming a volunteer at the Equine Center for Learning, please complete the volunteer application below. 

Where did you hear about volunteer opportunities at the Equine Center for Learning?
I agree to the following agreement with the Equine Center for Learning (ECL) and the Lansing School District, a Michigan non-profit Organization, (hereafter referred to as “Center”), as a condition for allowing me, and the persons identified below, to enter the Center’s premises and surrounding land, to be near horses, participate in equine-assisted activities, ride the horses, work near the horses, participate in hay rides, handle horses, use equipment, work with staff and volunteers, and/or receive instruction or guidance in riding, grooming, or handling the horses (these activities will hereafter be referred to in this document as “The Activities”).
Help for Parent/Guardian's Full Name: Required if volunteer is under 18 years old
IT IS HEREBY AGREED AS FOLLOWS: I/we are aware and acknowledge the inherent dangers, hazards and risks, associated with equine activities. I/we understand that the inherent risks of the equine activities mean those dangerous conditions which are an integral part of the equine activities, include but not limited to: 1. The propensity of any equine to behave in ways that may result in injury, harm or even death to persons on or around them and/or damage to property in their vicinity. 2. The unpredictability of an equine’s reaction to such things as sounds, sudden movement and unfamiliar objects persons or other animals. 3. The equine’s response to certain hazards such as surface and sub-surface objects. 4. Collisions with other equines, animals, people and objects. The potential of any participant to act in a negligent manner that may contribute to injury to the participant or others, such as falling to maintain control over the equine or to act within his/her ability. I/we assume these risks and accept the consequences involved in the participation of the participant registered on this form. I/we will consult with the instructor of the Equine Center for Learning (ECL) for advice in circumstances where safe practices are in doubt. Warning: Under the Michigan equine activity liability act, an equine professional is not liable for an injury to or the death of a participant in an equine activity resulting from an inherent risk of the equine activity. I/we have read and fully understand the content of this release of liability and agree to comply with the intent to hold harmless or to indemnity the Equine Center for Learning (ECL), the Lansing School District, its’ staff, volunteers or any other individuals and/or organizations involved, from any liability or injury that may result from participation in this program. I/we understand that the Equine Center for Learning (ECL), always recommends that I/we seek the advice of a physician, as many of The Activities pose special physical risks to the participant and even to the volunteer. I/we acknowledge that it is my/our responsibility to make the Equine Center for Learning (ECL), aware of any conditions that may affect my ability to handle, ride and /or be near an equine. I/we have received information on the signs, symptoms and consequences of concussions in accordance with Public Acts 342 and 343 of 2012.
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