Become a Volunteer!

The VTRA relies largely upon volunteer support to make our programs work. Through our volunteers’ dedication and generosity, more than 180 children and adults with disabilities are able to ride every year. Volunteering with us provides opportunities that will enrich your life both personally and professionally. We get tremendous satisfaction from the work that we do and we have a little fun at it too!

Interested in volunteering with us? Simply click here and fill out our volunteer application form.

What Can Volunteers Do?

  • Side Walker: Assisting riders with balancing and interpreting instructor directions.
  • Horse Handler: Leading horses during lessons. Previous horse experience and assessment required.
  • Assistant Instructor: Previous experience in program and with horses required.
  • Groom: Prepare horses for the next lessons and complete barn chores. Experience with horses and assessment required.
  • Fundraising: Assisting the Board before and during events.
  • Tack Store Staff: Opening the tack store, selling tack. Knowledge of tack an asset.
  • Assisting with building projects

Who Volunteers?

  • High school students volunteering in order to get their CAPP hours (must be at least 16 years old)
  • University and College students wanting to fulfill their need for community hours
  • People who have a few hours a week to spare and want to contribute their time

If you are 16 years of age or older, have a clean criminal record check, and are able to travel out to our barn in Central Saanich for a few hours a week, please fill-out our application form and e-mail our Coordinator of Volunteers. We also have a volunteer Facebook group!


Here’s what some of our current volunteers are saying about volunteering at VTRA:

“Volunteering with the VTRA has been one of the most rewarding and satisfying endeavours I’ve undertaken. Although you would assume that volunteering benefits the kids that are riding, I think the benefits to the volunteers themselves are just as important. There is such a positive and friendly attitude at VTRA, the staff are so welcoming and patient. Being involved can lift spirits and shine a bright light on your day. To see the joy in the face of the kids riding and to be able to have close contact with the horses is the best cure for whatever ails you. Volunteering for VTRA is my weekly positive mental health break!”

“As a volunteer, I really enjoy seeing the riders gain confidence with themselves and the horse as the term progresses. It is very rewarding to support an organization that has such positive impacts on its participants.”

“VTRA is a godsend to the lives of not only our students, but their families and friends alike. To see the joy in the face of a student who normally shows no expression, or the “WooHoo!” from a young man at the end of the lesson who is so very proud of himself is so precious. As a volunteer, there is nothing more rewarding than being a part of the magic between the horse and the student. Life is Good!”


If you are contemplating volunteering with us, this video will give you a nice overview. Thank you to Terry for making this great video!

Have a look at the documents at the bottom of this page for more information.

Session Dates (No classes on public holidays)

Term 1: September 9th – October 25th (*1 Holiday Monday)

Term 2: November 4th – December 20th (*1 Holiday Monday)

*Christmas Break*

Term 3: January 13th – March 13th (*1 Holiday Monday)

*Spring Break*

Term 4: April 6th – June 5th (*2 Holiday Mondays, 1 Holiday Friday)

Upcoming Training/Workshops

We have just finished our October/November training week!

Our next training week will be January 6th to 13th.

*Please Note:  Horse Handler & Groom Training are evaluations to ensure that volunteers have enough experience to safely handle, groom, and tack our horses. Volunteers MUST have previous horse experience to attend or a minimum of 6 months Side Walking experience with the VTRA prior to attending one of these classes.

** Please Note: Assistant Instructor Training typically requires prior experience in our program, either as a Side Walker, Horse Handler, or Groom.

Documents for Volunteers (click on image)




Volunteer Handbook

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