Equestrian Instructor

Company: Meramec Adventure Learning Ranch

Job Type: Full Time, Seasonal

Job Description

Equestrian Instructor for At-Risk Youth

Do you want to be part of the most exciting and fulfilling job you’ve ever imagined?

  • Join the Team
  • Create a Legacy
  • Change Lives… yours, too!


Instruct small groups of youth in residential treatment and other youth in state custody through an exhilarating 9-week summer adventure camp program.  You’ll instruct groups in horse care, grooming, saddling, riding techniques, and take them on trail rides each day as they live in tents in the woods, cooking over a fire, and participating in 5-10 day therapeutic adventure programs.  You’ll have the opportunity to use horses in intentional ways to grow our young people’s confidence, relationships, and purpose, as well helping them heal from the past and grow hope for the future.


Meramec Adventure Ranch

Who we are: Using the transformative power of the wilderness and adventure, Meramec Adventure Ranch is dedicated to serving individuals and families whom much of the world has given up on, including youth struggling with traumatic pasts, youth in residential treatment, youth on the Autism Spectrum, and Wounded Warriors.  Since 2006, the Ranch has grown to be one of the most extensive adventure bases in the Midwest and has served over 100,000 youth and families.

What you get to do: The ranch is a unique program; the only one of its kind in Missouri and one of the few therapeutic adventure programs left in the country that serve youth in the state system. Summer Guides facilitate the 9-week therapeutic summer adventure program with youth in residential treatment, Siblings separated in the Foster care system, and youth on the Autism Spectrum. Youth are between the ages of 6-18, have experienced histories of severe trauma and abuse, and are working through significant emotional and behavioral challenges. Approximately 40-70 campers will attend each week, and be assigned to groups with guides and staff leading each. During these trips adventure activities such as horses, ropes courses, team challenges, and the outdoors itself is used as a catalyst to build relationships and produce victories that grow awareness, efficacy, connection, purpose, and hope.

Adventure experiences are not an escape from the daily grind. They are reality where, in an “off-balance” environment, the true self always eventually surfaces and must be faced, concrete victories are earned, natural consequences are plentiful, roles and gifts are discovered, and positive relationships are built. Evidence bears out that these experiences become defining moments for young men and young women as they grow, heal, and hope.

You can be a part of this critical program and play a vital role in the life stories of the incredible individuals we are honored to stand alongside each day!


What you get to do in this position:

  • Live on-site with the full-time camp staff during Adventure Camp.
  • Lead groups through daily equestrian activities including horse care, grooming, saddling, riding instruction, and trail rides
  • Facilitate group processing and individual growth throughout each activity, all the while maintaining safety and trust.
  • Lead your group in daily camp routine and living, evening activities and special events.
  • Take every opportunity to tell others about the Ranch, our mission, and about the young men and women we serve.
  • Become an engaged an active part of the Ranch Family as well as the local community.


When is Camp?

May 21-June 5—Camp Preparation/Training

June 8-July 2—Camp Sessions 1-4

July 3- July 7—Break

July 8- July 29—Camp Sessions 5-7


Do I get paid for these positions?

Yes! Salaries are based on position and experience and range from $400-$450 per week.  Meals and shelter are provided at the camp, and housing is provided for time off if you desire to remain in the area. Practicums and internships are welcome.



  • Kids who are extremely challenging to build relationships and trust with, and whom—many times—will act out in extreme ways to find out if you really are who you say you are.
  • Long times in the woods with mud, bugs, snakes, ridiculously long hours, and no showers!
  • We count on you to leave a lasting impact!  Our team has created what the Ranch is today and our team will create what it becomes tomorrow.
  • Your success will not be based on the greatness of your techniques or strength of your skills, but on the quality and character of person you are and are becoming.



  • All those “challenges” just mentioned!
  • Lodging provided.  All food provided during working days.
  • Never have two days that are the same.
  • Free stickers for your Nalgene Bottle.
  • You can bring your hammock to work…though we won’t guarantee that you’ll spend much time in it.
  • Looking up a night sky from your sleeping bag and saying to yourself, “This is where I belong!”
  • Standing alongside people who have seen incredible adversity, hurt, and pain, and be a part of their stories as they grow to change the world!
  • Stand beside people who have seen incredible adversity, hurt, and pain, and be a part of their stories as they grow to change the world!


Experience Needed:

  • A Calling/Passion to be HERE!
  • GRIT
  • Disciplined Work Ethic
  • Honesty
  • Willingness to have fun and act silly
  • Creativity and Ideas
  • Self-Awareness
  • Wisdom and Discernment
  • Willingness to learn
  • Humility
  • Unconditional Care, Unwavering Belief, and Consistent Accountability for yourself, the Ranch Family, and those we serve
  • Experience with horseback riding, horse care, and leading activities
  • Experience in Residential Care is also very useful.


For more information:



[email protected]



If you are passionate about being part of what is happening at the Meramec Adventure Ranch, send your resume to [email protected]


We would be honored to team up with you and stand alongside some pretty amazing youth! 

How to Apply

If you are passionate about being part of what is happening at the Meramec Adventure Ranch, send your resume to [email protected]