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At Hope Haven, you will have the satisfaction of knowing you are making a profound difference in the lives of children and adults with special needs.

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No Experience Needed

As a Hope Haven Volunteer, you will have the satisfaction of knowing you are making a profound and life-altering difference for children and adults with emotional, physical or intellectual challenges. It is not necessary to have experience – we will train you. We offer ongoing training and support for all of our volunteers.  We encourage our volunteers to keep asking questions and keep learning.

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We Need You

Without volunteers, our therapeutic riding program could not operate. We value your time, commitment and enthusiasm! We hope that you will find volunteering with us to be satisfying and rewarding. We are always open to suggestions to make Hope Haven the best that it can be!

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To be a Hope Haven Volunteer, we require that you are at least 16 years old, complete and sign our Volunteer Application form and attend attend our volunteer orientation and training sessions.

Volunteer Positions Available

At Hope Haven, we have a wide variety of volunteer positions available. Every position counts and it is not necessary to have experience – we will train you! Take a look at the position we typically recruit volunteers for and if you see a position you are interested in and would like more information, please email

Volunteering in Adaptive Riding and Therapeutic Riding Lessons

Leader: assists the rider in preparing the horse for lessons and leads the horse during the lesson.

Side Walker: walks beside the horse and rider providing support and stability.

Horsemanship Helper: assist our clients to groom, lead and care for a horse.

Special Interest Group Activities

Herd Buddy: Help us take care of our horses by grooming them, performing health checks and loving them!

Exercise/ Schooling Riders: help to exercise our therapy horses. Competent riders who can school according to weekly guidelines, trail ride and help in simulating Hope Haven lesson situations as required (as riders, leaders, sidewalkers). Must be comfortable with groundwork such as leading, grooming, mounting and dismounting. De-spooking and desensitizing will only be done under the supervision of Head Trainer.

Activity Assistants: Help out with our school groups and other special interest groups facilitating alternate activities both indoors and out. These could include scavenger hunts, hikes, snowshoeing, fishing, arts and crafts, yoga, rhythmic drumming and more.



Barn & Property Helper assists with a variety of chores including general barn clean-up, feeding/watering horses, spring clean-up, trail maintenance, gardening, and paddock cleaning.

Turnout/ Horse Herd Volunteers assist with morning horse care including turnout, feeding, and watering.

Handyperson assists with servicing our equipment.

Safety Ambassador tours the facility twice yearly to ensure that we confirm to the National Safety Standards Checklist (CanTRA).

Carpenter helps with general maintenance and projects around the farm and property.

Landscaper helps us to manage various landscape projects (design and/or execution).

Administrative Volunteer Activities

Administrative/ Office Assistant provides general office task for the Executive Director.

Special Events Volunteers assist with fundraising and other special events that occur both onsite and offsite.

Memory Keeper/Digital Scrapbooker helps us document how our years unfold via pictures and stories.

Newsletter Committee Members designs the monthly newsletter using content supplied by Hope Haven. (Great for students looking for experience in graphic design or publishing!)

Amateur or Professional Photographer for onsite and offsite activities. (Also great for photography students looking for experience!)


545747 Sideroad 4A, RR #2
Markdale, ON N0C 1H0

(t) 519-986-1247


Located on Sideroad 4a between
7th Line and 9th Line.

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Benoit Dube, Executive Director

Barb Sheperd, Development Officer

Robyn Allen PT, Program Manager

Emma Houser, Volunteer Coordinator

Ann-Ida Beck, CanTRA Senior Instructor (CTRSI)

Gillian MacNeill, Horse Trainer