“and I whispered to the horse: 

Trust no one in whose eye you don’t see yourself reflected as an equal…”

Don Vincenzo Giobbe c.1700 a.d.

Volunteer Program* Please note - for  your safety and ours, this program is not currently available until further notice due to the COVID 19 pandemic.

At River Pines Horse Sanctuary there are plenty of ways you can help the horses!


Submit an application to become part of a generous, extensive network of invaluable volunteers.  We encourage and value volunteers at RPHS. We are appreciative of all the help we can get for our horse residents.

Two-Day Volunteer Training Workshop twice each year in May and August.  RPHS 2-day Volunteer training includes:

  • Meet our Staff and Facility tour

  • Overview of your Volunteer Manual with our mission and philosophy statements

  • Introduction to RPHS needs;

  • Basic safety requirements for humans and horses

  • Meet the Herd

  • Sentient Horse Handling Techniques and Skills

  • How to Catch, Halter and Lead a Horse

  • Grooming techniques for healthy horses

  • Tools and equipment use, skills, care and maintenance

  • Feeding and watering logistics

  • Pest and manure management

  • Horse Health Assessment and First Aid for horses

  • Please bring a sack lunch each day; water, refreshments and other materials provided.

  • Dress in weather appropriate layers; weather appropriate, closed-toes shoes or boots* (required year-round); gloves, hats, sunglasses and sunscreen are all recommended

  • RPHS is located in the river bottom at the confluence of the Clarkfork and Bitterroot Rivers - there will be significant muddy conditions throughout the spring, including some flooding in May/June possible - water-proof boots required during this time; during icy conditions November-April some type of traction device for boots required

  • Training Donation: $30/person or $50/family or small group (up to 5).

  • Daily Training Times:  Sat 9:30am - 4:00pm  Sun 9:30am - 4:00pm


How do I apply?

  • Call (406) 207-6105 or email for an application.

  • After reviewing your application, we will contact you to schedule an interview and tour. All volunteers who are accepted into our program must complete a 2-day practical orientation and training prior to their first scheduled shift offered as needed.

  • What sort of time commitment is involved?

    • We ask for a minimum commitment of one 3 hour session per week for at least three months.

  • All volunteer shifts run 3 hours per day.

    • RPHS hosts two barn shifts daily to feed and care for the horses: 7:30 – 10:30am, and 3 – 6:30pm.  Feeding times are 8am and 6pm.

    • Scheduling for Facilities Maintenance and Administrative volunteers is flexible, although we do still ask for a regular weekly time commitment Friday through Sunday.

  • Who can volunteer?

    • We accept volunteers of all experience levels.

    • Barn volunteers must be in excellent physical condition and able to lift 50 pounds.

    • Independent volunteers must be at least 18 years of age.

  • Please note the following Youth requirements:

  • If under 18, please call ahead for parental consent release form

  • Youths, 14-17yo, must be accompanied by a parent or other authorized adult to attend volunteer trainings and all scheduled work commitments.

    • There is an exception granted for youth groups; School classes, 4-H clubs, Girl and Boy Scout Troops, etc. may apply to volunteer for a one-day project. Each group is required to have one adult supervisor per three youth.

    • Your family, company, organization or club may volunteer together…

Please contact our office to discuss a potential farm help day. Group projects include:  gardening; fence and building maintenance; general barn clean-up; building hay sheds, horse pens and shelters; manure management; vehicle maintenance (wash the truck, trailers, tractors and/or feed trucks.