Thank you for considering volunteering your time and dedication to The Horse Shelter. Your contribution of 12 hours a month is greatly valued and appreciated. During our orientation, you will gain insights into the essential aspects of volunteering with us, including:

Training: You will attend training classes covering General Ranch & Barn Policies, Safety Guidelines & Procedures, and gain an understanding of herd dynamics and basic horse body language.

Daily Tasks: All volunteers at the ranch begin their day with mucking, ensuring a clean and safe environment for our horses.

Progressive Involvement: Once you’ve completed your initial 12 hours of service, you will have the opportunity to participate in our hands-on Forever Foundation Plan 4 Progress horse training program after your morning mucking duties. Additionally, you can choose to assist in our office or Resale Store.

Physical Requirements: Please note that the physical demands of mucking and caring for horses include lifting at least 25 pounds, pulling loaded muck carts, walking across our 128 acres of uneven terrain unassisted, and being on your feet for a minimum of 3 hours. If you have physical limitations, such as a bad back, shoulder, or knee, this role may not be suitable for you.

Skill Development: We also offer free and low-fee natural horsemanship clinics to enhance your skills and allow you to take on more hands-on responsibilities with our rescue horses.

Community & Bonding: Throughout your journey with us, you will forge close bonds not only with other volunteers but also with our incredible horses.

Youth Volunteers: The minimum age for youth volunteers is 16 years old. Minors must have a parent or guardian accompany them at all times when volunteering at the ranch.

Required Paperwork

Before getting started, please complete the necessary paperwork, which includes:

If you are ready to make a commitment and would like to attend our initial orientation, please specify the date you are interested in the comment box. Thank you for choosing to be a part of The Horse Shelter’s mission to care for and support our rescued horses. We look forward to working together to make a positive impact on their lives.

Orientation takes place at our ranch from 10 am to 12 pm. The orientation is followed by a tour of the ranch. Please dress appropriately for outdoors (solid shoes/boots, sun protection, layered is best!) It is often more windy, cold, or hot than in town. Our volunteer orientations are limited to 15 attendees. If any orientation is full, you will be notified and invited to the next orientation.

2024 Orientation Dates: Jan 13, Feb 10, March 9, April 13, May 11, July 13, August 10, September 14, Oct 12, November 9, December 14
Please send in your application, and our volunteer coordinator, Traci Kipnes, will contact you. If you have any questions, please call Traci at (505) 577- 2193 or email [email protected]


I would love to volunteer for THS, how do I get started? Great! Please start by filling out our Volunteer Application. The Coordinator will contact you via email when they receive your form and get you signed up for the next available volunteer orientation.

Who can volunteer at THS? THS welcomes adult and minor volunteers with a parent/guardian (minimum age is 16) who can dedicate at least 12 hours a month for at least three months.

What is a typical volunteer shift? Volunteer shifts start at 9:00 am every day and are approximately 3-hour shifts.

What do volunteers do at the THS ranch? The Volunteers’ primary task is to assist with mucking (cleaning pens). Occasionally, there may be other tasks (assisting with events, special projects, etc.)

Do volunteers get to work with and groom horses? Yes! After mucking each day, volunteers may choose to work with/groom horses during our hands-on horsemanship class. We use an online and in-person coaching program that was developed specifically for horse rescues with the goal of training volunteers and staff to handle and train the horses consistently and efficiently, which helps increase adoptions.

Do I need prior experience with horses to volunteer at THS? No, we will train you to work around horses safely.

Are volunteers scheduled, or can I just show up? There is a schedule to help make sure we have enough/not too many volunteers on any given day. Volunteers are typically assigned a day of the week based on their availability and the current needs at the ranch, which becomes “their day.” If the day you are available as a new volunteer is fully covered, you may choose to be put on a waitlist and will be contacted when the day opens up again.

If I have more questions about volunteering, who can I contact? Please reach out to our Volunteer Coordinator at [email protected]

When and where are Volunteer Orientations, and how long are they? Orientations are held at The Horse Shelter Ranch in Cerrillos and are approximately two hours long.