Our Volunteers

Volunteers are the backbone of our program here at HAHA. We could not successfully run our program without the time, skills, and energy of the adults and youth who give generously of their time. No matter the task—sweeping the barn or side walking during a session—every moment you spend with us is valued, appreciated, and meaningful. Volunteers who help in sessions do not need previous experience with horses; you just need to be dependable and enthusiastic. Not all sessions include riding, but session volunteers should be able to walk beside the client on the horse for the entire therapy session. Each volunteer must attend an orientation, pass a background check, and attend training before interacting with clients. We take our volunteer program very seriously because our program includes psychotherapy. We invest in our volunteers by providing thorough training on natural horsemanship and how to interact with clients. 

Volunteer Qualifications

  1. Be age 18 or older.

  2. Maintain confidentiality regarding our client information, including names of clients and their needs.

  3. Be willing to learn and follow HAHA’s procedures.

  4. Be able to walk continually for 30–60 minutes, bend, twist, raise arms up, and jog for short distances on uneven ground.

  5. Be able to lift a 35-pound child from horseback and/or assist an adult to the ground from horseback in an emergency.

  6. Be able to perform tasks with minimal supervision after training.

  7. Be willing to help with barn chores and other general grounds keeping.

  8. Love people, kids, and horses.

Volunteer Opportunities

To facilitate a consistent and meaningful training program for our volunteers, we start groups of volunteers every quarter (like a cohort or class). We use levels of certification for volunteers to demonstrate their competency and to gain responsibility and independence in the program. Every new volunteer begins as a Level 1 volunteer who is considered "on trial" for a quarter. During this trial quarter, you will not be involved in client sessions. You will do barn chores, attend training, and may observe sessions.  Once you have passed your trial quarter, you will begin training to become a Level 2 volunteer. To learn more about the volunteer training experience, read the Volunteer Handbook. 

Equus Bellator Program

We are also looking for volunteers who have personal experience as a first responder or member of the armed services. These volunteers will work with our Equus Bellator program to provide support to other first responders and armed service members. If you are interested in being a volunteer for this program, please fill out the Volunteer Application and the paperwork. We will contact your reference(s) and then be in touch to schedule your training. Equus Bellator volunteers will have a slightly different training program than regular volunteers, but you can read the Volunteer Handbook to get an idea of the content we cover in training. If you have any questions, please feel free to Contact Us.

Interested in Volunteering?

Step 1: Read the Volunteer Handbook.

The Volunteer Handbook provides information about HAHA and our program, details the policies for volunteers, and describes the volunteer levels. You may remain at a level as long as you wish; you will not be required to pass to other levels. Please read the handbook prior to attending your first training.

Step 2: Fill out our Volunteer Application

We'll get in touch with you once we receive your application. We'll answer any questions you have and give you information about the next orientation session.

Step 3: Print and sign the Confidentiality Statement, KS Child Abuse and Neglect Background Check, and Moran Family Stables Waiver forms. 

When you come to the orientation session, please bring a printed, signed copy of the Confidentiality Statement. By your third visit to the barn, bring a signed KS Child Abuse and Neglect Background Check form to the barn. We use the information from the form to also submit a Kansas Bureau of Investigation background check. These checks are for the safety of our clients; the cost of both background checks together is $40. 

Step 4: Attend a Quarterly Orientation.

Once you have submitted your volunteer application, the Volunteer Coordinator will contact you and let you know when the next volunteer orientation training will take place.  You will receive more information about volunteer schedules and regular training when you attend the orientation. 

Step 5: Read the Volunteer FAQs

These should answer many of the questions you might have. Still have questions? Use the Contact Us form.