Well there's a huge difference. There's not a half ton animal wih its own brain and opinions involved with a kid mowing the lawn. A kid will not have the experience, size or strength to address a problem with a naughty horse. They're going to be limited in what they do and I'm pretty sure that there's some amount of legal obligation to supervise under 16 year olds when handling horses. I say that because all the barns I've been to have very strict rhles about not allowing anyone 16 and younger unsupervised. Kids don't always make the best choices due to lack of experience and maturity. This is an even bigger concern with someone new to horses because they are going to need a lot more guidance and supervision than someone older or who has been around horses. There's too much that can go wrong. Additionally the barn owner would have to accept responsibility for the kid in question while the kid is on property and not everyone would be willing to take on the risk of liability on a stranger. Posted via Mobile Device
Volunteer work is different than paid work. However, the problem in many work environments are the insurance and liability issues. So, you would need to find some kind of place that is set up for volunteers already -- those are usually more accomodating for younger volunteers because they need anyone they can get. Perhaps a therapeutic riding stable? Perhaps a rescue organization? And don't limit yourself to horses. If you can get something with animals anywhere, that at least gives you some experience that you can bring forward to a possible position with horses in the future.