Volunteering with horses is the perfect way to work with your favorite animals and do something meaningful at the same time. Whether you are very experienced with horses, you want to learn horseback riding, or work in natural horsemanship, we will help you find the right project for you. Travel to Spain, Latin America, Africa, or the US.
Whether you’re a horse lover or in need to reconnect, engaging with the equine may prove to be the best therapeutic experience. Travel around the world to some of the most remote places and join the daily activities of a sanctuary, ranch or rescue center. Contribute to the healing process of injured animals and witness the positive effects the experience may have on you. Research has proven that horse therapy can help those who are struggling with mental health issues, for example. Whether you’re excited about an exhilarating gallop in nature, you want to learn how to gain back the trust of injured or abandoned horses or enjoy the process of grooming them, there are so many opportunities for volunteers all around the world.
We don’t need much of an introduction when it comes to horses. For thousands of years, they have been man’s best friend, standing by loyally even during battle. Over the years, it’s become increasingly obvious why humans and equine animals have become so close. They have a lot in common and horses have proven to have quite a therapeutic effect. Before we go into more depth on this matter, let’s take a look at some interesting facts about horses. You may even learn a thing or two:
There are certain domesticated breeds that are slowly becoming extinct because they are no longer bred. The reason for that is mostly a lack of demand. There is only one species that is truly wild and has never been domesticated: the Przewalski’s Horse. The Przewalski species was extinct from the wild at one point in time but and thanks to conservation efforts, they are among us again today and roaming the plains of Mongolia.
Most volunteer projects for horse conservation are focused on nurturing neglected rescue horses who have been saved from situations where they have been ill-treated. Each sanctuary focuses on taking care of these animals and working toward providing them with a safe and happy environment. Most centers will focus on training them in a sustainable way while respecting each horse’s true temperament. This approach allows equine animals that don’t wish to be tamed, to remain wild at heart.
Since the mission of most horse volunteer projects is to end all equine suffering, you might not just find horses at your chosen volunteer project. You might find yourself working with all of the following animals:
Volunteers who love being around equine animals and have a desire to rescue and care for them will feel right at home at a program in a sanctuary or rescue center where they can work in a team alongside others who are equally passionate and willing to donate some of their precious time. There several projects available around the world that will give you the necessary training and, be in contact with horses and learn new things.
There are horse sanctuary projects available across the world. Equine volunteer opportunities will bring you to remote places where you will be able to embrace nature. A volunteer program with horses will usually take place somewhere on a ranch in the middle of nowhere where you’re surrounded with lots of nature and, of course, horses. Your focus will be on working with horses and being a part of the caretaking team. Here are few possible locations that a volunteer program with horses may take you to:
Projects will take you almost anywhere around the world. Each program will allow you to experience the exquisite nature the area has to offer while getting to know the magnificent equine creatures you will work with.
Volunteer projects with horses may vary quite a bit depending on where you volunteer and what the focus of the program is. Some projects are dedicated to helping rescued horses and providing them with a safe space to heal. Other projects are looking for supporters to train horses in a sustainable, safe way. Volunteers interested in alternative healing can join a project devoted to horse therapy. Horse therapy has proven to be an effective way for people or children with special needs to treat their conditions.
Caretaking activities during a day at the sanctuary, ranch or horse rescue center may involve the following:
Horse therapy programs will focus on other tasks. A day at a horse therapy program will most likely include:
Although it is possible that you will ride horses, the focus on a day to day basis, during your volunteer experience at a sanctuary, is focused on taking care of the horses and training them in a sustainable manner. There are projects that offer the opportunity to ride horses alongside work on the ranch. Be sure to examine the expectations of the project carefully.
Volunteer with horses and take the opportunity to connect with these therapeutic creatures that have the power to heal and help so many people. Indulge in the calm of your surroundings and help take care and help with the training of horses. We promise you it will be a unique experience. You will reap the benefits of donating your precious time to these animals.
Each project will have different requirements regarding eligible volunteers. Most important is the length of your stay at the sanctuary or rescue center. Each project will prefer volunteers who are willing to donate more than a couple of weeks of their time. Staying longer will allow you to cultivate a stronger bond with the horses. This will benefit both the volunteers as well as the horses. There are projects that require volunteers to have experience with animals while other programs welcome anyone with the right attitude and a sound work ethic.
A project at a sanctuary could be a very useful experience for volunteers studying to become a vet or those who are looking toward specializing with larger animals. A horse therapy project, on the other hand, could be excellent for those studying psychology, alternative therapy or counseling.
Here are a few characteristics that are nice to have if you decide to become a volunteer. It’s not necessary to tick all the boxes of course but it’s a good guideline to take into account if you’re not entirely sure. A volunteer with horses should be/have:
Most volunteer programs require a fee to be paid to cover the expenses of your accommodation. In some cases, the fee is also used to support the volunteer efforts of the organization. Almost all volunteer programs with horses require a fee. You can use the budget filter on our platform to search for volunteer projects with horses within your budget. If you experience any issues with this, don’t hesitate to contact our live chat team. They are happy to support you!
By volunteering at a horse sanctuary, you will be working with injured horses and helping them to heal. You will support caretaking activities as well as the program to continue their activities in a sustainable manner. But let’s also take a closer look at what will gain from this interesting experience as a volunteer.
Volunteers will learn a lot more about horses in general as well as what it takes to take good care of them. You’ll gain insight in their healing qualities. Dedicating time to taking care of these noble creatures in nature will teach you a lot about yourself, take our word on it.
Besides forging a profound connection with the horses, volunteers will also connect with other like-minded horse lovers who share similar interests. You will work in a team of caretakers with whom you will bond quickly. It’s very likely you will make long-lasting friendships during this meaningful experience.
If you’re an adventurer and love to travel, nothing will stop you from discovering the world. Grasp this chance to explore your surroundings and immerse yourself in nature. Perhaps on horseback!
Volunteering is a brilliant way to expand your perspective of the world. Issues that seemed huge problems before, may seem trivial after your horse sanctuary volunteer experience. Life experiences like this provide valuable baggage that can prove helpful in the future. Volunteer and witness how you become a stronger individual.
Multiple research has demonstrated that volunteering leads to better health and a healthier state of mind. Those who volunteer have lower mortality rates, function better and suffer less from depression later in life. Volunteer with horses and experience the satisfaction of knowing you are helping man’s best friend. Volunteer abroad and see what it does for your health and happiness!