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How Do I Become A Volunteer?

Please read this entire page carefully.

Complete your volunteer application online. You will also need to complete the online volunteer waiver for you and any dependent children who are volunteering. If you have not done your criminal background check, you must completete that and the Child Abuse History check.


CATRA is a working horse farm which is also home to a number of other therapy animals including goats, dogs, cats, rabbits, chickens, and alpaca. 

Volunteers assist with therapeutic riding lessons; feed and care for our therapy animals; provide grounds and garden care; plan events and fundraisers; serve on our board; assist with administrative work, and more.


Anyone can volunteer and CATRA welcomes volunteers 13 to 17 years old with parent or guardian permission. Anyone under 13 may volunteer when accompanied by a parent or guardian. Completion of the online liabilty waiver by a parent or guardian indicates permission to volunteer.

Liability Waiver


The law requires all CATRA Volunteers over the age of 18 to have PA State Police & Child Abuse Clearances. These are FREE of charge at most once every 5 years.

If you’ve lived in PA for over 10 years, you will also need to fill out a Disclosure Statement.

Bring a copy of your record check and PA child abuse clearance and disclosure statement to CATRA when you come to volunteer.

Once you have completed the online application and waiver, you can begin volunteering at CATRA or you may want to attend one (or more) of our volunteer training programs.

The best place to get started volunteering is by helping with lessons. There is typically a strong need for volunteers at these times. From helping with lessons , it’s just a small step to becoming involved in some of the many additional tasks completed by volunteers at CATRA.

Special Projects
Additionally, there are a variety of special projects and events that take place throughout the year. This means that while CATRA’s volunteer utilization may be at its highest when lessons are in session (3 trimesters per year), volunteers are needed everyday, year round. Many of our volunteers choose to help in a variety of ways.
While we appreciate volunteers who bring horse-knowledge with them, no experience is required to volunteer at CATRA. However, if you’d like to learn more about horses and horsemanship we offer a wide variety of clinics and programs for volunteers and the general public.
Get Started

Volunteers at CATRA are always needed and you can get started just about anytime. Take a moment to download and complete our Volunteer Application. If you’re under 18, a parent or guardian must also sign the application. Bring the application along on your first visit to CATRA.

While volunteers take care of nearly all aspects of the farm, probably the easiest way to get started is to come out and help with lessons. You can view or download our lesson schedule. And you can sign up online to assist with lessons

More Information
If you’re not quite sure and would like more information about CATRA, you’re welcome to attend one of our volunteer orientation meetings. You’ll learn more about the history of CATRA, the work we do, and the ways you can get involved.

CATRA also welcomes volunteer groups that are interested in lending a hand.

Groups from 3 to 30 or more are welcome to volunteer at CATRA.  For larger groups please give us plenty of time to plan ahead for the schedule.


CATRA can schedule volunteer groups nearly any day of the year.  The length of time groups will volunteer typically ranges from a couple hours to 5 or 6.  We recommend just a few hours for our younger volunteer groups.  Groups may volunteer as frequently as they would like.  Individuals who enjoy their volunteer experience are welcome to come on their own to lend a hand.

If your group or organization would like to volunteer at CATRA, please go to the top of page and click on volunteer group.

Our Mission

CATRA provides quality equine and animal-assisted therapeutic programs to the people of the Capital area.

Our vision is to be a center of excellence where equines and other animals enrich the lives of people of all abilities to enhance physical, spiritual, intellectual, mental, emotional, and social well-being through a holistic approach.