Volunteer Janice and Grummon


working studentThank you for your interest in volunteering at Ironstone Farm. Our programs depend on volunteers to assist our staff in providing therapeutic riding programs to individuals with disabilities. Each client needs between 1 and 3 volunteers for his/her session and without the commitment of 200 or more volunteers weekly, we would be unable to provide the services that we offer to our 400 clients weekly, year round! When you volunteer at Ironstone Farm, you have the opportunity to make a difference in someone’s life.


Need more information? Send an email to volunteer@challengeunlimited.org or call 978-475-4056.

Who may volunteer?

We are interested in all who are willing to give their time in exchange for a rewarding and fun experience. The minimum age to volunteer is 13 (sorry, no exceptions).

Working student KyleHow do I become a volunteer?

First you need to complete a volunteer packet. After completing it, please mail, fax or drop off the completed forms to Ironstone Farm. The volunteer coordinator will review the packet and call you if she has any questions.
Certain times of the year we have greater needs for volunteers than other times. Our goal is to have you in a workshop as quickly as possible! When your availability matches our current needs you will be contacted, generally by email, to attend a training workshop. At that time you will be asked to complete some additional forms and bring these additional forms to the workshop. After attending a volunteer training workshop, you will be scheduled to volunteer on a weekly basis (other options are also available).

NOTE: Ironstone Farm is also seeking volunteers to help out in its new Arts & Education Center, providing programs for children and young adults with special needs. To learn more, call 978-475-4056.

Wendy Morrissette has been volunteering with Ironstone Farm since 1999. For a story about her experience, click here.
Wendy Morrissette has been volunteering with Ironstone Farm since 1999. For a story about her experience, click here.

I have horse experience. Do I need to attend the workshop?

Yes, everyone regardless of experience must attend the training workshop. At the workshop you will participate in an orientation session followed by active participation in a horse-handling session.

Would you like to meet the horses of Ironstone Farm? Click here.

Do I need previous horse experience?

No, you don’t need horse experience to volunteer here. Training is provided in the workshop.

What is covered in the volunteer training workshop?

  • History of Ironstone Farm
  • Orientation of the different programs offered at Ironstone Farm
  • Volunteer policies and procedures
  • Volunteer opportunities
  • Actual horse handling, to include: grooming, tacking up the horse, leading the horse, sidewalking and properly cooling out the horse

When do you need volunteers?

We are open Monday through Saturday. Our needs depend on the clients’ schedules and our needs are year round. The earliest time we need a volunteer is 9:15 a.m. and the latest tends to be early evening. When completing the volunteer application and schedule, please be as specific as you can be about your availability.

Vicky Bernard smiles while on an African safari she won at the 2013 Spirit of Giving Gala. The trip is an annual favorite at the night’s auction.
Vicky Bernard smiles while on an African safari she won at the 2013 Spirit of Giving Gala. The trip is an annual favorite at the night’s auction.Click here for a story about Vicky.

What is the commitment to volunteer?

While the minimum commitment is one hour each week; we prefer that you are able to commit to between 2 and 3 consecutive hours weekly. You will be scheduled for the same day and time each week. Are you an adult with a rotating work schedule? Contact the volunteer coordinator for options.

Why volunteer?

Aside from being fun, volunteering provides the opportunity to receive rewarding personal experiences, fulfill community service requirements, learn new things, engage in good exercise and even develop lifelong friendships.

What other volunteer opportunities are there at Ironstone Farm?

Volunteering at Ironstone Farm can lead to opportunities in the following areas: participating in our feeding program; working student program (for teens); and apprentice program (to become a licensed riding instructor in Massachusetts). To be considered for these programs you must attend a volunteer training workshop. If working around horses is not for you, we have opportunities working in the Welcome Center meeting and greeting clients, as well as volunteering for special events. Please contact the volunteer coordinator for more information.

Traditional healing. More horsepower.

Ironstone Farm is home to Challenge Unlimited, Inc. (est 1983) and Ironstone Therapy, Inc. (est. 1998), two nonprofit organizations established to provide a variety of services for people with and without disabilities. Both organizations use horses and the wholesome environment of a working farm, while involving people in serving others through volunteering.