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What is Stable Management?

The Stable Management programs are unmounted programs designed to teach those of diverse abilities about horse care, horsemanship, and safety in a barn setting. The VTRA Stable Management Programs take place in the barn and teach a variety of skills, from gaining confidence around horses, to learning to groom or maintain tack.

To serve our community better, we offer 4 distinct programs under the Stable Management umbrella, each designed to offer specific outcomes to participants: Beginner/Intermediate Stable Management, Stable Mates, Barn Buddies, and Vocational Stable Management.

Although criteria for participation is program-specific, we require participants to be seizure- free for the past 12 months if unmedicated or for 6 months if currently on medication, and to be free of any contraindications to equine-assisted activities. 

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  • What are the class times?
    Our program times for Term 3 of the 2023/2024 are set as: Mondays 9:30am - 5:30pm Tuesdays 9:30am - 5:30pm Wednesdays 2:30pm - 5:30pm Thursdays 11:15am - 7:30pm Fridays 9:30 - 12:30 Each class is either 30 minutes (if a semi-private or private) or 45 minutes (if a group lesson) with a 15 or 30 minute break in between.
  • Can I choose to only volunteer in the horse roles?
    When in a regular spot, you can certainly request which role you prefer. However, all volunteers are expected to fill any position they are trained to do, which may include sidewalking, ring spotting, and assisting with the Stable Management classes. It is very important that our volunteers are flexible so they are best able to help us keep our programs running.
  • Can I fulfill hour requirements by volunteering with VTRA?
    Absolutely! Please try to record how many hours you volunteer with us. When you need a reference or a letter to certify that you completed x number of hours, please email the Coordinator of Volunteers.
  • Can I volunteer on evenings and weekends?
    As of Term 1 2021, we will run one evening class on Thursdays at 6:45pm. There are currently no opportunities to muck paddocks or groom horses after-hours.
  • Can I try Horse Handler or Groom training without horse experience?
    No. Any volunteer attempting Horse Handler or Groom training should feel confident that they can pass the Horse Handler or Groom evaluations. These roles do require significant and recent horse experience so we can ensure our volunteers keep themselves, our horses, and our participants safe. Copies of the evaluation forms are provided in your first email from the Coordinator of Volunteers. If you do not have any horse experience, you must start as a sidewalker.
  • It’s been a while since I’ve worked with horses. Should I start with sidewalking?
    Yes! We require a substantial amount of horse experience to pass Horse Handler or Groom training. Anyone who is not experienced enough must do at least 6 months of sidewalking before attempting the other trainings. Sidewalking is super fun and a great way to get to know our program and re-familiarize yourself with horses!
  • I have a past injury/health condition that makes it difficult for me to lift or run. Can I still volunteer?
    Absolutely. We can swap volunteers out for the running portion of the class if needed and / or schedule you with another volunteer who can assist you when needed.

Important Note:

Before participating, prospective participants must consult with a physician. CanTRA (Canadian Therapeutic Riding Association) and PATH Intl (Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International) require participants in a therapeutic/adaptive equine program to present a completed medical history and signed physician’s consult forms. Forms are sent to you in the Intake Package after the initial inquiry process has been completed.


Stable Management classes are $40/lesson. Participants sign up for a term of riding (between 6 and 10 weeks), so fees are generally between $240 and $400 per term. Payment is due prior to the start of the riding term. 

A variety of funding sources including Autism Funding Unit, Jumpstart, KidSport, and school funding can be applied to VTRA Programs.

Session Dates:

VTRA programs run September to June. There are no classes on Stat holidays.

Term 1: September 18th to October 27th (6 weeks)

Term 2: November 6th to December 15th (6 weeks)

Term 3: January 15th to March 15th (9 weeks)

Term 4: April 8th to June 14th (10 weeks)

Session Dates
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