Free Rein Therapeutic Riding
Adaptive riding program offered to people with disabilities
2205 W Gibbs Rd
Spokane, WA 99224
(509) 979-1468

Contact: Volunteer Coordinator: Nicole Shek

(southwest  Spokane) 
Visit Our Website

Free Rein runs an adaptive riding program that aims to build strength, confidence, and independence for people with disabilities.  Our mission is to help equip riders for life with the help of horses. 

People of all ages and walks of life can experience the the special bond that can form with an animal. Our therapy program goes well beyond the activity of riding. Participants gain physical skills, experience cognitive and emotional growth and are learning social skills in a safe and supportive environment. 

The advantage of a strong therapeutic riding center is having a place for riders, their families, and volunteers to learn and grow as well as build friendships and have a camaraderie with others in a caring and fun atmosphere.

Free Rein has an outdoor arena and indoor tack area, and the ability to keep as many as 15 horses on site.  During the cold months, Free Rein has access to a large indoor arena.  Ten horses give 75 one-hour rides to people with a variety of disabilities every week.  About 160 volunteers help make it happen. 

Volunteer Opportunities:
  • For every rider, it takes 3 volunteers to help.  Regular volunteer orientations and trainings are available.  Contact the volunteer coordinator at or at  979-1468 or visit our website for more information, including video examples of what volunteers do here!  
  • Volunteer to be a Horse leader.  This is a very important volunteer position. We are looking for people who are comfortable with grooming and tacking a horse, able to be relaxed and aware when leading a horse in class and able to stay calm in emergency situations. They must be able to maneuver the horse safely at a walk and a trot and follow the directions of the instructor while being aware of what the rider is doing.
  • Volunteer to be a Sidewalker.  We will often have two sidewalkers with each rider. The sidewalkerr's job is to keep the rider safe and secure while on the horse at a walk and a trot. This position will vary with each rider and their abilities.  Along with the safety of the rider the sidewalker may also assist the rider in games or in processing directions from the instructor.  You do not need horse experience to be a sidewalker, but this would be a great way to get more experience with horses while assisting the leader with preparing the horse for class.
  • Volunteer to be an Instructor Assistant.  This is a position that is pretty low-key, however very necessary for classes that don't have sidewalkers. As a saftey pre-caution, there should be someone else on the ground with the instructor, hands free, who can help in case of an emergency. They are also there to support the general flow of class. 
  • Volunteer to be a photographer/videographer.  It can be very important to document our riding sessions. We use pictures for promotion of the program and for soliciting support. The videos are also used to show progress with each rider and also for promotion purposes. We would like to get pictures and video of each class.  It would be desirable to have several people available to do this job so that we can cover all the time slots.
  • Volunteers are needed to help with the newsletter and other publications, public relations, fund raising and fund raising events, public relations, and coordinating other events. 

  • Volunteer to loan a horse to Free Rein for 2 years.  The horses must be as close to bomb-proof as possible.  They cannot startle and spook at sudden noises or a rider's uncoordinated or jerky movements.  Free Rein screens, tests and desensitizes the horses carefully. 
  • Donations needed:
    • Personal donations of any amount are appreciated:   Find out if your company matches your donation to make an even bigger impact.
    • Tack Donation:  If you have tack that you no longer have a use for, check with us to see if we can put it to good use.
Annual Events:
  • Media Day
  • Horse Show
  • Rider/Volunteer picnic or potluck
  • Barn Dance
  • Rider's Expo
*** This Organization is listed under the following TOPICS ***

Last Updated By: Nicole Shek @ 07/27/2017 12:11pm