Equestrian Instructor for court-ordered youth

Job Description

Equestrian Instructor for Youth in Residential Care

Do you want to be part of the toughest and most 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 10-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: The Meramec Adventure Learning Ranch is the therapeutic wilderness and adventure arm of Great Circle.  Using the transformative power of the wilderness and adventure, the 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.  In nine years, the ranch has grown to be one of the most extensive adventure bases in the Midwest and recognized on a national level.  Located on 1,200 acres in Steelville, last year the Ranch served over 8,000 participants in programs running all but a few days of the entire year.

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. The MALR is looking for Summer Guides to facilitate the 10-week therapeutic summer adventure program with youth in residential treatment. 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. Each guide is assigned a group of 10 kids and 2 cottage staff and leads them through the week’s adventures. During these trips adventure activities such as ropes courses, team challenges, climbing, lake and aquatic adventure activities, 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 growing to become the people they were created to be.

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 would 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 and at all times as well and maintaining safety.
  • 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 20-June 2—Camp Preparation/Training

June 4-June 29—Camp Sessions 1-4

July 1- July 8—Break

July 9- Aug 4—Camp Sessions 5-8


Do I get paid for these positions?

Yes! Salaries are based on position and experience, but range from $375-$390 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 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 bugs, snakes, ridiculously long hours, and no showers.
  • Opportunities to leave a lasting impact on the program.  Our team has created what the Ranch is today and our team will create what it becomes tomorrow.
  • Quality performance is not based on the greatness of your techniques or strength of your skills, but on the quality and character of person you are.



  • 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, “I’m getting paid for this.”
  • Get to be part of a unique small town.
  • All those “challenges” mentioned above!
  • 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:

  • Solid riding and horse care experience!!!
  • 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
  • It’s also nice if you have experience in Residential Care or in a related field.


For more information:



[email protected]


To Apply

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 to stand alongside some pretty amazing youth! 

Application Closing Date: 
19 May 2018
Application Contact Email: 
Employment Type: 
Job Region: 
Job Location: 
Steelville, MO
Job Salary Range: 
Job Degree Level: 
High school
Job Starting Date: 
20 May 2018

Job Details

Job Details: 
Adventure/Wilderness Therapy
Experiential Education
Outdoor Skills School
Summer Camp
Job Activity: 

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