2017 Volunteer of the Year

M.A.R.E. is pleased to honor Carl Vawter as our Volunteer of the Year.

Carl has been around horses most of his life; he had his own horse, Blaze, beginning at age 10.  Carl gave up his horse, boat and motorcycle when he married his wife, Barbara, over 30 years ago.  After raising a family and retiring from Chevron, Barbara encouraged Carl to find something to do. Carl came back to what he knew and loved -horses!

Carl has been volunteering, almost weekly, for 7 years now; yes, 7 years!  Carl willingly helps with any chore we need done.  He is most fastidious about cleaning the water troughs -he is insistent that the horses have clean water to drink.  He will help new volunteers learn how to clean stalls, weigh hay, or tie the horses off and groom them.  We are grateful for Carl’s continued dedication and ever-punny sense of humor.

Congratulations Carl.  We appreciate all that you do for us.

M.A.R.E. is a non-profit organization that serves over 50 riders each week and has 11 horses that require daily care.  This can be difficult to manage with a small staff.  Therefore, many of the daily needs for our riders’ lessons and horse care are provided by a committed group of volunteers who donate time to sidewalk, lead horses, clean stalls, and assist with facility care and maintenance tasks.  You do not need to have horse experience; we will train you.

M.A.R.E. welcomes those who are interested in donating their time on a consistent basis.  We understand that your life is busy and that it can be difficult to give time on a consistent basis, but that is precisely what M.A.R.E. needs!  As you assist the riders, they get to know YOU and look forward to seeing YOU and having YOU work with them.

If you, or someone you know, is interested in volunteering, please call us at 661.589.1877 or email volunteer@MAREridingcenter.com to have your questions answered.

M.A.R.E. is currently looking for volunteers to assist with barn chores and lessons on Wednesday and Thursday mornings, on Wednesday and Thursday afternoons, and Friday afternoons (3:00-5:30ish).

The next training is scheduled for Saturday, April  14th, 2018; 9:30-11:30; call the office to reserve your place.  Be able to commit to a consistent volunteer schedule on a weekday morning or afternoon. (Closed Sundays and Mondays.)

How to Become a Volunteer:

    • Read this Volunteer Page in full.
    • Download and complete the Volunteer Application at the link below.  Volunteers are accepted year-round.
    • Call M.A.R.E. at 661.589.1877 to schedule your place for Volunteer Training.
    • Come to Volunteer Training; bring your completed Application.  You will watch videos about equine-assisted therapies, tour the facility, and be trained in stall cleaning, safety protocols, and sidewalking.  (Allow 2+ hours and wear appropriate shoes and clothes that can get dirty.)
    • Sign up and get started!


    • Be a minimum of 14 years old.
    • Must like children, horses, dust, flies, and sunshine!
    • Be able to tolerate temperatures ranging from 30 to 105 degrees F.
    • Be physically able to maintain a steady fast-paced walk, with an arm-over-the-thigh hold for 30 minutes at a time while walking alongside a horse in a sandy footing.
    • Be willing to learn and follow M.A.R.E. procedures and safety protocols.
    • Be able to accept constructive feedback.
    • Be able to follow directions and act as a silent (most of the time) helper.
    • Possess the ability to remain calm in an emergency.

Dress Code:

  • Appropriate clothing: nothing revealing or low cut, no low-cut tank tops or tops with spaghetti straps.
  • Long pants, jeans, or riding breeches are best.  No sagging pants.  Shorts may be worn in the summer but must be no more that 2” above the knee.
  • No dangly earrings or other jewelry or scarves.  Long hair must be pulled back or up.
  • Closed-toed shoes that do not flop are required.  Boots or shoes with socks that cover your ankles are preferred.
  • Hats, sunscreen, and sunglasses are recommended.
  • NO cell phones while volunteering.  We have a place for you to keep your phones and keys.

Volunteer Responsibilities

  • Arrive when scheduled or notify the M.A.R.E. staff by phone, 661.589.1877, or reply to the reminder email to, volunteer@MAREridingcenter.com, if you are unable to work your scheduled shift.
  • Come appropriately dressed and be prepared to perform a variety of tasks which could include: cleaning stalls, arena set up or take down, horse grooming, sidewalking, cleaning offices, cleaning tack, gardening, washing brushes and buckets, sweeping, watering, dusting . . .

Click “2016 Volunteer App” link below (yes, this version is still current), print, complete, and bring it when you come for training.  If you are under 18 years old complete pages 1 & 2, then have a parent read and sign-off on pages 3 & 4, the liability and release portions of the application.