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trail pick
leading buttercup
helping campers turn out horses
leading ginger
Baby Tucker

Welcome to Whispering Hope Ranch Ministries!!!

Our Mission: The mission of Whispering Hope Ranch is to be used of Christ by bringing the message of salvation to lost and hurting people, through the use of His creation, the horse. Our focus is on children, not only for their salvation, but also to train them as future leaders. We desire to teach holiness, and Christ's unending power to transform us into His image.


Jesus looked at them and said, 'With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”' Matthew 19:26  


Thank you for considering volunteering at Whispering Hope Ranch Ministries! Our volunteer program is designed to teach you fundamental horsemanship skills that you can take with you and apply to any other place you encounter horses. Partnering with us will not only help us with the hands-on work that comes with providing safe horse programming, but also helps us present the Gospel of Christ to all who come to WHRM. Once certified to level 1, you will be eligible as a WHRM volunteer to participate in any WHRM activity. If space is available any WHRM volunteer will be able to participate in our programs as well. For safety reasons, cohesiveness, and general horsemanship, completion to at least level 1 is required before you are qualified to volunteer at WHRM. Volunteer training days will be offered for participants to receive training and instruction. On each volunteer training day participants will be given the opportunity to certify to the level that they have been working towards. Our volunteer program is for adults only. Teens don’t fret though, we have Project Spur, our summer leadership camp for 13–17-year-olds.  The first step is reviewing all the information. Once ready to get started, fill out a volunteer application and submit it in person or by mail. 



All individuals involved with the program are expected to conduct themselves in a cooperative and appropriate manner at all times. Examples of inappropriate behavior would include – any form of harassment, aggressive or abusive behavior towards themselves, other people, or horses. If you are subject to any type of inappropriate behavior, please do not approach the individual. Notify staff immediately. Please notify staff immediately ofany concerns regarding the behavior of the riders in the program, or the program horses. Inappropriate behavior may result in dismissal from the program.


Communication and Questions

The instructor is responsible for each rider, horse and volunteers. All directions should come from the instructor, including the assignment of riders, horses and volunteers, the time and method of mounting, and the structure of the lesson. Unless notified otherwise, all volunteer must defer to the instructors’ decisions. This is extremely important to help ensure safety. If at any time, you are unclear regarding your volunteer role or responsibilities, please direct questions to the instructor, program staff or an experienced volunteer.

WHR Volunteer Certification levels: All volunteers must certify to at least level 1 to volunteer with any WHR programming.


Level 1:

  • Leading

  • Short tying

  • Long tying

  • Grooming

  • Pasture etiquette

  • Barn safety rules

  • Hoof picking

  • Safety knot

*Criminal background check is required


Level 2:

  • Certify level 1

  • Saddling

  • Bridling

  • Basic horse anatomy

  • Saddle parts

  • Bridle parts

  • Intro to horse psychology

  • Riding: walk, trot,  understanding foot falls (225 pound weight limit to ride)


Level 3:

  • Certify level 1 and 2

  • Mounting

  • Dismounting

  • Setting stirrups

  • Proper helmet fitting

  • Intro to trail guiding

  • Horse psychology

  • Riding: Canter, identifying leads

  • Communication: the basics



Level 4:

  • Certify to level 1,2, and 3

  • Ability to teach level 1 and 2

  • Ability to teach a basic riding lesson

  • Trail guide basics

  • Ponying a horse

  • Communication: the finer points

Barn Rules

  • First Things First!  - Barn Rules

  • There is absolutely NO SMOKING while in or around the barn!

  • Volunteers are only allowed on the barn premises when WHRM staff are present

  • Close all gates that you open

  • All phones must be turned to silent or vibrate when in the barn. 

  • Please do not feed the horses any treats. Giving treats can promote biting, also some of our horses are on a special diet, and treats can be detrimental to their health. Please do not allow horses to lick your hands as this encourages biting. 

  • Do not enter a stall or outside pen unless asked to do so by a WHRM staff member

  • Only approved horse leaders will be allowed to get horses from outside pens and lead horses into the barn or designated area. 

  • Keep aisle way clear at all times. All wheelbarrows, tools, and grooming buckets need to be kept out of the walking path. 

  • When approaching a horse always consider the horse’s limited field of vision. Horses cannot see directly behind or in front of them without moving their head. Approach at the horses shoulder.

  • Avoid sudden movements when around the horse. This includes removing coats, raising arms suddenly, running, jumping, climbing, etc. Horses can spook, please keep this in mind at all times when around horses.

  • If you are not directly involved with a session please keep all activities and conversations to the designated waiting areas or check the volunteer board to see what additional tasks need to be done.

  • The instructor is ultimately responsible for all aspects of the session from the time the first horse is taken out of the stall until the last one is put away. Please listen and follow all directions given by the session instructor.

  • NEVER sit, kneel, or lay on the ground near a horse

  • NO PETS PLEASE. Please do not deny your pet the comfort of their home. PETS ARE NOT PERMITTED. Service dogs are welcome. 

  • No Goodies please! Be aware that some riders may have medical conditions such as allergies, diabetes, etc. which make certain foods off limits or incompatible with their medication. Check with the staff or the family before sharing “goodies.”

  • Adhere to a 10 MPH speed limit at all times while on the property

  • WHRM Volunteer & Guest dismissal policy:  WHRM reserves the right to dismiss a guest or volunteer from the facility and the program if their behavior is putting themselves, a student, staff, other volunteer, or horse’s mental or physical health in jeopardy. The WHRM instructor in charge at the time will review the behavior with the individual and determine the level of intervention necessary. The level of intervention could include verbal or written warning, or immediate dismissal from the WHRM facility and program. Physical, emotional, mental or sexual abuse by a person at the WHRM facility will not be tolerated and will result in immediate dismissal.

  • Alcoholic consumption by a volunteer prior to a session is not allowed. A volunteer smelling of alcohol will not be allowed to assist in that day’s session.

Volunteer Info

Volunteer General Information

Volunteers come to the program with a wide range of knowledge and experience. However, it is important that while working with WHRM riders and horses that you follow and teach ONLY the methods taught at your training, in the manual, or by our staff. There has been significant thought put into the methods used for our riders and our horses. Using multiple methods can be confusing to them. Training for program volunteers is mandatory. Training sessions are offered throughout the year.

Physical Considerations:

Side-walking and leading in the arena, as well as assisting in the stable and facility, can be physically demanding at times. It is important for you to inform WHRM staff if you have a condition such as high blood pressure, heart condition, allergies, etc., that may prevent you from working a half hour in the arena at a walk or a jog or walking on trails.

What to wear!

Volunteers should wear close-fitting clothing for both safety and comfort. Loose clothing can get caught and tangled in equipment. Long pants, such as jeans, riding breeches or other comfortable pants are recommended. For the sensitivity of our riders, revealing clothing (exposed belly shirts, low cut shirts, skin tight clothing, and see through clothing) will NOT be tolerated. Dangling jewelry should not be warn, as it can be unsafe. Close toed shoes are REQUIRED! And boots are highly recommended, but tennis shoes are acceptable. Open toed shoes, and sandals are not allowed when working near equines. Do dress weather appropriate (gloves, jackets, sunscreen, etc.)


If you are not able to make it to your scheduled class, please either email, text or call at least 24 HOURS ahead of time so we can locate another volunteer to assist in the class. If you know that you will be away for certain weeks, please let us know at the beginning of the session so we can make arrangements. We understand that emergencies can come up, but PLEASE make sure to let us know you will not be coming. Our riders need their volunteers, and without you, they are not able to ride.

Liability Release

Working with horses can be potentially dangerous. Because of this all prospective volunteers must sign the liability release for WHRM.

Parking/ Driveway

Please use caution when driving at the facility – Drive slowly, adhere to a 10 mph speed limit, and check for pedestrians and horses!

Voluneer Application
Volunteer Forms

Whispering Hope Ranch Ministries
5407 Arntz Road
Rose City, MI 48654


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