Volunteer Inquiry Form

The Volunteer Application Form MUST be completed by ALL Bakas Riding Center volunteers. 


Volunteer Hours and Minimum Requirements

Volunteer schedules may vary due to seasonal considerations and special events so please check the website homepage for the most current volunteer hours available.

Volunteer hours typically run as follows:

  • Tuesday – Thursday (8:00am – 12:00pm)

  • Tuesday – Thursday (2:00pm – 5:00pm)

  • Saturday (8:00am – 12:00pm)

Schedules for Sundays, Mondays and Fridays are scheduled by appointment only.

Volunteers must be at least 12 years old to assist at Bakas. Volunteers under 12 may only assist if accompanied by an adult and WILL NOT be allowed to lead horses or sidewalk with riders.

Volunteers should dress appropriately wearing shorts or jeans and t-shirts or polo shirts. Please no cropped shirts or short-shorts. Absolutely no sandals or flip flops may be worn by volunteers. 

Some of the activities performed by volunteers include the following:

  • Assisting riders during classes as horse handlers or sidewalkers

  • Assisting with chores around the barn

  • Repairing equipment

  • Fundraising

Following the progress of the riders is an extremely rewarding experience enjoyed by all of our volunteers. The time commitment is up to you.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the minimum age requirement for volunteers?

Volunteers must be at least 12 years old to assist at Bakas.  Volunteers under 12 may only assist if accompanied by an adult and WILL NOT be allowed to lead horses or sidewalk with riders.

Will I be able to ride the horses?

Bakas does not promise any volunteer the chance to ride.  The Bakas riding program is intended for individuals who have a physical or mental impairment and have a current medical form signed by a doctor.  Riding opportunities for challenged riders is limited as compared to able-bodied facilities available for those without impairments.  In addition, the horses of Bakas work numerous hours each week providing recreational therapy to our riders.  We ask if your interest is in riding that you seek alternate facilities which will provide you the opportunity to ride.

Do I need to sign up to volunteer?

Volunteers should contact our Volunteer Coordinator, Gina Edwards, to schedule individual volunteer hours or group volunteer sessions at 813-264-3890.  Gina is an employee of Hillsborough County, not a program volunteer.

What training do I need to attend?

We ask that all volunteers plan on allotting 30 minutes extra the first time volunteering at our facility to watch a short video orientation about our program.  After that, Bakas staff provides hands-on training to all new volunteers whether you are planning on volunteering one time or making a longer commitment. However, volunteers who plan on committing to more frequent hours will become acquainted with our daily routines and schedules and will be given more opportunities. You can access the information packet for horse leading and sidewalker training on our Resources page. This will provide you with detailed information about volunteering at Bakas.

Will I be able to work with the horses even if my experience is limited?

The staff enjoys teaching volunteers about the joy of working with our equine companions and we will teach as much as we are able and as much as you are willing to learn.  Again, the more commitment you give to our program, the more involved we will let you become in all of the aspects of working in our program.

Volunteers who have a background with horses and have been thoroughly evaluated and trained by staff members may assist with horse handling during classes.

What kind of work can I expect?

Volunteers help with a wide range of duties at Bakas – so you should be prepared for anything.  Primarily, when classes are in session, volunteers assist staff with grooming and tacking horses, setting up and breaking down the arena, assisting staff with activities and games during classes, sidewalking with riders for support or assistance and untacking and cooling horses for turn-out.  In between classes, volunteers assist staff with barn chores such as cleaning water troughs, stalls and paddocks, cleaning tack, cleaning barn offices and more—there is always a lot to clean at a barn!!  There are also many special events throughout the year that are a lot of fun and require a lot of volunteers to run!

When can I start?

Call Bakas today to set up your volunteer hours!

Other areas of interest for volunteers

Bakas volunteers are primarily utilized to assist staff with arena set up and break down, assist horse leaders with grooming and tacking, sidewalking with riders during classes and helping with class activities and games. 

Volunteers may not ride horses. Horse handling is allowed under staff supervision and only after instructors have evaluated the prospective volunteer’s horse knowledge and skills.

A Bakas volunteer goes above and beyond and is a well rounded individual. Bakas volunteers use their own talents and are willing to pitch in with numerous opportunities to help as seen here……

  • Sidewalkers and assistants for classes

  • Volunteer recruitment

  • Cleaning stalls

  • Cleaning tack

  • Cleaning barn rooms

  • Grooming horses

  • Washing horses

  • Feeding horses

  • Landscaping

  • Painting

  • Administrative help

  • Photography

  • Special events

  • Fundraising

  • Soliciting for donations/horse sponsorships

  • Traveling to horse shows

  • Soliciting for raffle item donations

If what you have seen here sparks your interest, please come try us out… We hope you will want to come back again and again!