From The Ground Up
Therapeutic Horsemanship, Inc.

Become a FTGU Volunteer

Horse Utica

From the Ground Up is so successful because of our outstanding volunteers. Our volunteers serve in a variety of ways from lesson volunteers and barn work to Board members and fundraisers. We can offer you a life changing opportunity to work with horses and our students with various life challenges. Come join the fun!

Lesson Volunteers

The principal tasks of a lesson volunteer include working with students in grooming horses (when students are able to), getting them physically warmed up for their lessons and “sidewalking” during the mounted portion to ensure the safety of our riders. Experience with horses and/or people with different life challenges is not required. From the Ground Up provides a three-hour training for all its volunteers, including our safety guidelines, introduction to basic horse care, and practice in sidewalking. All volunteers are required to attend a training session annually. You must be a minimum of 14 years old to become a lesson volunteer at From the Ground Up.
NOTE: When attending a volunteer training, dress in layers, bring a hat, gloves, sunglasses and wear hard-toe shoes (e.g. hiking boots).

Click here for FTGU Volunteer Info form


Gentle Hill Farm
1238 North Road, Tully, NY

Contact Nadine Essel for additional information

After a minimum of 15 lesson hours volunteers may train for the position of Horse Handler/Leader. Leaders assist with horse care, help prepare the horses for lessons by assisting with grooming and tacking horses and lead the horse during lessons.

Horsecare Volunteers (Barn work)

Lesson volunteers trained in horsehandling may be invited to be horsecare volunteers. These volunteers are responsible for the daily care of our equine staff, including feeding, moving horses to and from paddocks and pastures, and “mucking stalls.” Morning and evening volunteer hours are available. Horsecare volunteers get the privilege of spending individual time with our very special equine staff! Horsecare volunteers must be at least 16 years old.

To become a Lesson or Horse Care Volunteer contact:
Nadine Essel -

Other Volunteer Opportunities…..

Volunteer opportunities exist outside the stable as well. Join our fundraising committee, apply for an internship, help with special events or become a Board member! We have meetings and events going on year-round.

To inquire about other volunteer opportunities, contact:
Paul Caldwell -

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