$H$ “Barn Bucks” and Volunteering

Why volunteer?

Every Stable needs Rats and Cats! Ours is the human kind and an integral part of the success of our programs. Our Seaton Hackney volunteers not only earn valuable Barn Bucks (we call these $H$) but also are able to improve their horsemanship and leadership skills, acquire a sense of responsibility and  have a great time interacting with their peers and favorite critters in a healthy and supportive environment at Seaton Hackney Stables. Their parents know that they can entrust them to us for a few hours while running their errands and other family pursuits.

What does it take to become one?

To become a RAT and, ultimately a CAT, you must, demonstrate a love of horses and a willingness to help others. While we make an occasional exception, the minimum age for volunteering is 12yo (RAT) and 13yo (CAT). Before becoming a CAT, you will need to have proven yourself as a RAT, and that will take time. Also, because your ability to perform your tasks properly and succeed in your job as a Volunteer is very important to us, we offer specific Volunteer Training and make it compulsory. Once the training is completed and you have successfully passed the final test you will be able to fill out a volunteer Card and start earning $H$ Barn Bucks. The office will contact you regularly and schedule you for one or two (consecutive) 3-hr shifts. Until then, as part of your learning process, you will be asked to shadow other RATs or CATs.

What should I wear when volunteering?

It is absolutely essential to clearly show that you are a volunteer while working your shift at Seaton Hackney Stables. Staff and customers depend on you, may have questions, may need your help and they have to be able to locate you without having to ask around. SHS will have some kind of apparel for you to wear, sometimes charging a small $H$ token fee for it or including it in your Training Fees. YOU CANNOT come for a shift without that piece of apparel that clearly states that you are a volunteer.


Session I Grooming and Haltering
Session II Tacking – English and Western
Session III Mounting Riders for trails / lessons and Pony Rides
Session IV Mini Cart & HARNESSING
Session V Interacting with Clients and Office + Horse Body Language
Session VI Proactive Behavior and Practice
Session VII Rat Test **1.5 hour session***
Session VIII Make Up Class/Q & A’s/Practice

Every Stables needs Rats and Cats! Ours are the human kind and an integral part of the success of our programs.


Dear Marc and all the team,

Our daughter, Selda, loves her experiences at SHS. Riding first in PEP, then in troop sue has many encouraging, confidence-building instructors. In shows she feels proud and capable. As a volunteer, she enjoys the feeling that of responsibility and solving problems. Now as a CIT she loves the nice people, the responsibility and the appropriate level of challenge. She has become so independent, in part because of the trust and mentoring everyone their gives her: from the office, to the ring, to the stalls, and now at Lake Rickabear.

We applaud you all for the encouraging, safe, positive culture you have nurtured. We are also grateful for all the opportunities for self-development, learning and job skills you have offered Selda. I can imagine you might have some stress and hard days. Hold on to this screenshot and know that you are doing a great job! 7/2022

I would like to thank you and your staff for the time you dedicated to our kids. It was such an incredible day all around and you just topped it off for them. They loved the horses. Your staff and your kindness is so greatly appreciated. We will be sending an email to all the parents of the students that participated to give them your name and phone number of your stable. Thanks again and if there is ever anything we can do to help you as a organization please ask. The Lions club and Leos club would gladly help.
Barbara G.

Looking forward to it! Jillian is proudly riding in your groups for children with special needs and we continue to be very grateful of your support and for giving our daughter a place where she feels like she belongs!

Jodi G.

My son Anthony “AJ” Laska attended pony share camp at Alverthorpe Park in Abington, Pennsylvania from July 7-10, 2014. I have to tell you how impressed I was with the program and the staff. Fernando was very organized and kept the program moving at a good pace. I loved how he taught them the basic safety rules, which is not easy with younger children. Emily, Luisa, and Hector were FANTASTIC too. They really made the activities enjoyable and fun. My son was one of the youngest children there, and they were so kind and patient with him. The staff demonstrated their knowledge of the horses and took good care of them. They also made sure that each child had time to ride. As a mother, I was just so delighted and thrilled with the program that I can’t wait to enroll him again next year! So a big “thank you” again to Fernando, Emily, Luisa, and Hector for a wonderful week.

 Mary L.

I was one of your first Equishare riders back in the mid ’80s. My horse was DJ. I am still thankful for the training you gave me. I still ride for pleasure and enjoy watching my daughter ride who is starting to show and is part of the USEF High School Equistrian Athlete Program. Looks like you are doing amazing work with children in NJ. Wish you all the best for a great 2015.

Trish M.

My daughter has always had a wonderful experience at Seaton Hackney, the staff have never been anything but welcoming, the horses are wonderful and Kaylea loves them all. We have tried other barns, but as a beginning family we were not welcomed at other barns as much as we have been at SHS. Thank you for all you do for your riders and horses!

Erin M.

Seaton Hackney has helped me become the rider that I am today, especially Gillian. Gillian is fun but focused on my safety. My daughter has ridden at Seaton Hackney Stables since she was four-years-old. She always enjoyed participating in the horse shows at the facility and enjoy the Barn shows in the fall and spring. I also had fun at Seaton Hackney at camp this past summer.

I have learned responsibility of taking care of the horse and the tack. Riding has helped me learn about competition and both winning and losing.

Kathyrn D. 

I love the stables because I get to ride my horses and it’s fun. I also like grooming the ponies. Elvis always remembers who I am and licks my hand. He’s fuzzy and cute.

Cat Z.

As the dad of a young lady that rides at Seaton Hackney, I could not agree more about the quality of the facility and of the instruction they provide.


Seaton Hackney Stables has changed my life. I can honestly say that without the joy of horses, I would have gone through life with an emptiness that I didn’t even know existed. The horses and the staff are part of my family. It’s an amazing facility with quality instructors and horses.

Stacey G.

Trail Riding

Two friends and I decided to go horseback riding and we were looking for a stable in Northern NJ. While there were a few in the area, we chose Seaton Hackney and had a great time. When you call to set up your ride in advance, they prep you extremely well and set great expectations. It didn't feel commercial what so ever, and we always felt we were in great hands. Our instructor Jen was AWESOME, always making sure we were good but also empowering us to ride. Price was pretty decent for a group, less expensive than other stables in the area. The trail was pretty and actually public, so a bunch of people were so happy to see us. Every point of contact was very welcoming, and I will definitely be coming back here.  

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