Do you want to make a difference in the lives of others, while others are making a difference in your life?

Volunteers are the heart and hands of North Country RIDE programming and are vital to our success. The majority of our clients could not participate without the help of volunteers. If you are interested in volunteering, there are many areas available for volunteering, some involving direct horse contact and some helping the organization strengthen and grow.

We fill 160 hours of volunteer time a week during our season. Volunteers are needed to assist with classes as horse leaders and rider assistances (side-walkers). We provide training so horse experience is not necessary.

Other volunteers pitch in with work around the farm, both indoor and outdoor, keeping our grounds and buildings safe and looking good. Some use their talents to help with volunteer and client recruitment, office work, photo/videography, newsletter, website development, special events, fundraising, or our volunteer board of directors.

General Job Description for an Equine volunteer (working directly with the clients and horses)

We use the time and talent of many volunteers, with and without previous horse experience, to provide assistance for people facing a variety of challenges. Our clients look forward to seeing their volunteers every week. One rider is quoted as, “The best ride I have had both volunteers talked to me and my horse regularly, it made all of us more comfortable and relaxed”.

General Qualifications

  • Minimum age of 14
  • Able to work independently in a safe manner
  • Physically capable of performing assigned tasks; lifting saddles, arm extensions, standing, walking
  • Must be able to walk for an hour at a time (indoors/outdoors) on uneven surfaces
  • Willing and able to learn and follow North Country RIDE policies and procedures
  • Horse knowledge and experience helpful but not required
  • Adequate vision and hearing to ensure the safety of horses and participants


  • Arrive when scheduled
  • Prepare horse and tack for lessons
  • Assist instructors by horse leading or side walking with riders
  • Assist with activities required at the end of the day and or lesson
  • Attend continuing education opportunities

Training is provided in all areas of responsibility and staff is always available. If you would like to assist in classes, please choose a class you can attend every week for a 6-week session. If there are other times when you are available as a substitute, please let the Program Coordinator know. If you are unable to commit to a full 6-week session, speak with the coordinator about your options as a substitute.

If you are unable to attend one of North Country RIDE’s orientation sessions, Don’t let that stop you! You are still encouraged to view our volunteer handbook and submit an application. Call the office to set-up a one-on-one orientation out at the farm.

Click for horse leader description » Volunteer -Horse Leader Job Description

Click for side-walker description » Volunteer -Sidewalker Job description

Volunteer Application Form » Volunteer Application Form2022


Volunteers frequently ask if they will have the opportunity to ride the horses as well.

The answer is “yes” if you are an approved horse conditioner. These are volunteers who have demonstrated their riding competency through a riding test and an instructor has cleared them to come in and exercise the program horses either during class or on their own time. This conditioning helps our horses stay fresh and engaged in their job. For more information, please contact the office.

Volunteers have the opportunity to take paid lessons on our horses during the summer sessions.

We also on occasion offer a riders horse to a volunteer if the rider doesn’t show up for a class.

North Country Ride

180 Hatinen Rd
Esko, MN, 55733
Phone: (218) 879-7608