Volunteers are the backbone of PETS and the only way we can provide the services to our riders and care to our horses. We take volunteers in a wide variety of ages for a wider variety of opportunities.
What Do I Need to Know First?
PETS recognizes that a quality service organization is one that uses everyone’s special talents and skills. The bulk of our job is “hands on” work. Volunteers work with setting up riding rings, participating in riding lessons, cleanup and performing regular horse and barn care. It is hard work, but the rewards are easily visible. For people who want to help serve others, but are not “horse people”, we have many opportunities available. If you are skilled in management, finances, public speaking, fund-raising or public relations, PETS can offer you a challenge and provide you all the tools you’ll need. Our work isn’t just limited to riding – we can always use individuals with talents ranging from physical therapy to dressage, from non-profit fundraising to advertising and community outreach.
I Want to Volunteer and Work With Horses!
We accept volunteers from age 14 and up. We encourage you to visit us during one of our lesson nights so you can see our operation and gain an idea of what to expect. Ask about our program and speak with our instructors and other volunteers as well. If you think you are up for the challenge, then you can fill out our Volunteer Registration Form and mark your calendar for the Volunteer Training Sessions.
Yes. For your safety, the safety of our riders, horses and other volunteers, we need to make sure everyone is thoroughly trained and understands all requirements. Even our returning volunteers go through training at the start of every season. Being a PATH International Premier Accredited Center means that we are held to a large number of therapeutic riding standards. Training also ensures good communication and safe operations.
What Will Training Be Like?
Our training is fun – but serious. Once we have your completed paperwork, your training session will involve learning about our program, barn, horses and services. To make the best of your training session you will need to come prepared:
- Be on time. Call ASAP if you think you will be late
- Wear clothes that can become dirty; No shorts
- No loose, dangling jewelry
- No open-toe shoes. Wear boots or tennis shoes that can become dirty
- Leave cellphone turned off
An Important Note About Your Own Horse Experience:
We love having volunteers with horsemanship or riding experience. It is important to know that with the service we provide our instruction to our riders and our horse care is uniform. We understand that you may tack up differently or feed differently, but at the equestrian center we follow the ‘PETS Way’. The same applies during lessons. Our riders and volunteers follow direction given from our instructors and barn/horse managers. This keeps the program running smoothly. It doesn’t mean that we are not open to advice and suggestions, but we have to keep consistency in our operations.
Once Training is Done, What Can I Expect?
Expect to have fun! We have a wide range of riders who are counting on you to show up. Our horses also need your help – even if bad weather cancels a lesson. You will learn that there are many opportunities to serve within PETS and as your commitment grows, we can give you more responsibilities – or as much as your can shoulder! We also take advantage of trips and events organized by Friends of PETS.
Take a look at our volunteers in action!
What About Volunteering Away From The Equestrian Center?
It’s not about horses, but more importantly about serving our riders. We have many opportunities available in the administration of PETS that can keep a person busy all year. Some activities require a monthly commitment; others need only a once or twice a year effort. If you can provide the citizens of Prince George’s County with some of those talents we mentioned at the beginning, we want help you!
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and 301-627-4308 to begin volunteering!