Today we are highlighting five Workaway hosts that can offer horse riding opportunities in New Zealand. Workaway is a site set up to promote fair exchange between budget travellers, language learners or culture seekers and families, individuals or organisations who are looking for help with a range of varied and interesting activities. Signing up to Workaway costs €22.00 for two years (€29 for a couple or two friends).
Volunteer at a riding School
Where: Bay of Plenty.
What will I do? Volunteers help this farm stay hostel and riding school by feeding, grooming and caring for the ten horses, and helping with trekking and riding lessons.
Qualifications: Experienced and confident around horses and able to stay a minimum of four weeks. Good English required.
Rural help required with horses and with outdoor work
Where: Kaeo, near Kerikeri.
What will I do? A German couple with 25 hectares of native bush and pine forest need help with clearing overgrown tracks, gardening, chopping firewood, eradicating pest plants and cleaning up the droppings of the two naturally trained horses. You also can learn how to bake bread.
Qualifications: There are no special skills required: just some enthusiasm, good sense of humour, love for nature and animals. Non-smokers preferred. Riding skills would be great.
Beach living on a South Island dairy farm
What will I do? We will be looking for a competent horse rider to exercise our 5 hunters from January 2014, however, with our busy lifestyle flexibility is important to us. The horses all have lots of character, but are lovely rides for a confident and competent rider – they are definitely not for novice riders. You may also be involved in helping out with the children and the house from time to time. Our second requirement is for some keen gardeners to knock my garden back into shape and do some plantings around the farm. You must be able to work alone at times and know how to tidy up after yourself.
Qualifications: Confident and competent horse rider.
Volunteer on the farm and in the garden
Where: 15 minutes away from Motueka, and the Abel Tasman National Park.
What will I do? Experienced horse riders are welcomed to exercise the three horses that make up a complement of animals including dogs, cats, chickens and two unsociable llamas. The daily routine includes chicken feeding, egg collecting, cleaning and sorting by size ready to sell. The large gardens also need to be kept under control.
Qualifications: Self-starters, able to work unsupervised, who don’t mind getting their hands dirty and have a good sense of humour are preferred.
Small farm with event horses, gardens and orchard
Where: Near Martinborough, in the Ruakokoputuna River Valley.
What will I do? Help out in the vegetable garden, home orchard and with the sheep, cows, chickens and six horses. Household tasks include cooking and property maintenance..
Qualifications: Experience with riding and handling horses is required, as is a driving license. Minimum one month commitment required.
More gap year ideas can be found at www.takingagapyear.com.
Image courtesy Joanna Penn.