Volunteer Program

Love horses? Want to make a difference in the lives of horses that have suffered abuse, abandonment, or neglect? Horses of Tir Na Nog might be the perfect place for you to volunteer! We invite you to become part of our Hearts For Horses Volunteer Program.

Here are some things for you to consider:

  • Horses of Tir Na Nog (HTNN) is the longest-operating equine sanctuary in San Diego County.
  • We offer a life-long home to the animals in our care. They are not available for adoption.
  • Our sanctuary is located in the Descanso-Pine Valley area, roughly 35 miles east of San Diego State University.
  • HTNN has a limited number of volunteer positions available.
  • While horse experience is not required, a willingness to learn how we care for our horses and handle them is required.
  • We currently only offer volunteer opportunities on Sundays. Check back later in 2015 to see which days are added.
  • Since space is limited, volunteers need to be able to commit to their dates in advance.
  • HTNN does not provide any riding opportunities.
  • Due to medical conditions and diets we do not feed our horses treats (carrots, apples, etc.).
  • HTNN is a no-smoking facility. Alcohol and pets are also prohibited.

We are currently recruiting for Horse Care Volunteers:

Our Horse Care Team helps us to provide the best life possible for the horses in our care. These volunteers spend an hour cleaning corrals. The remainder of your shift might be spent grooming or bathing horses, turning them out or taking them for a walk. While this opportunity is perfect for people with previous horse experience, if you lack experience but are willing to make a regular commitment to our horses, we will provide on-going training.

  • Shift: 9:00 a.m. – Noon on Sundays.
  • Volunteers must be at least 16 years of age.
  • Attendance at a Volunteer Orientation is required.
  • Horse Care Volunteers are asked to commit to one Sunday each month, for a minimum of six months.
  • Horse Care spaces are limited, so you must be able to commit to dates in advance and honor those commitments. Our horses counting on our volunteers for enrichment and exercise.
  • The entire volunteer shift is spent outdoors, engaged in physical activities and includes a significant amount of walking.
  • These volunteer positions are based on developing a relationship between our volunteers and our horses, so a regular, on-going commitment is essential.

If this volunteer position sounds like a good fit for you, please complete our VOLUNTEER APPLICATION. If you are not able to access the on-line application, please E-mail us at heartsforhorses@ymail.com.

Coming later in 2015:

Grooming Crew:

Looking for a way to connect with horse but unable to commit to the Horse Care Team? Consider joining our Grooming Crew. No experience grooming horses is required. We will provide safety and grooming training. Check back in the coming weeks for schedule announcements or follow us on Facebook!

Pup Patrol:

Love dogs? Love BIG dogs? Pup Patrol needs you! Commit one morning each month to walking, grooming, and just plain loving on our BIG ranch dogs. These volunteer positions do require previous experience with large dogs and the use of positive reinforcement training techniques. Check back in the coming weeks for schedule announcements or follow us on Facebook!

Ranch Hands:

Looking for an opportunity to spend a few hours outside in the beautiful Cuyamacas while being physically active? Our Ranch Hands Team is waiting for you. If you are a high school student looking for service hours, we’d love to have your help as a Ranch Hand. Some ranch hands help clean corrals, others with specialty skills take on specific projects. Check back in the coming weeks for schedule announcements or follow us on Facebook!

All-Hands Ranch Day:

Once a quarter we host an All-Hands Ranch Day. This is our big project day. You might find volunteers painting fences or doing general ranch clean up. This is a great way to come and see what Horse of Tir Na Nog is all about either as a one-time volunteer or someone who might want to become a regular volunteer. The day begins with a brief orientation and includes a ranch tour and a light lunch. Space is limited and reservations are required. Due to training requirements, All-Hands Ranch Day does not include direct horse care, but you will get to meet the herd! Check back in the coming weeks for schedule announcements or follow us on Facebook!

Looking to help in other ways?

As a non-profit, we are always looking for volunteers to help with fundraising, giving ranch tours, media relations, social media, photography, and in a number of other administrative capacities. If you are skilled in these areas, let us know.

Volunteer Orientations

Volunteer Orientations are typically held once a month at the ranch. Orientation invitations are sent to qualified applicants.

More ways to help

If Horses Had Wishes … Wish List Items for Horses of Tir Na Nog

Any amount is appreciated. Won't you help our horses?

Find out more about sponsoring a horse in need.

We always need volunteers. Come out and meet the herd and help us help them.

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