There are plenty of places around the world for horse riders to get a quick equine fix but only by volunteering can travellers hope to spend any length of time directly with horses. Most work exchange hosts will prefer volunteers to stay at least a month, but longer stays are often required. Horse riding experience to a competent level is usually necessary but people with other skills, gardening or cooking for instance, may also be able to make themselves useful. In return for your hard work meals and accommodation will be provided along with the pleasure of working daily with your favourite animal.
Help out with the horses and tourist guests and you can sleep and eat for free in Argentina. An additional bonus is professional instruction in Polo. A competent horse rider is preferred but if you cook and have good Spanish then there could be a place for you too. A three to 12 month minimum stay is required.
The days here are filled with kids, dogs, horses, vegetable gardening and tourists. The hosts have several businesses needing volunteer help: a trail business, restaurant, eco country store and a farm with animals. For the trail business – taking clients into the mountain forest on horse back – you must have extensive horse riding experience.
Volunteer living with horses in Germany helping with show jumping, breeding and riding school stable
This private show jumping stable in the southwest of Germany looks for volunteers, especially over the summer, to help take care of their 90 horses and ponies.
People who love animals and have experience with large horses are wanted to help out at this boutique high end horse stud and training centre in New South Wales. Attention to detail and a calm confident manner is a must. Experienced and classically trained riders are preferred.
This animal welfare, conservation and education project in Greece has had over 60 volunteers since 2009. Most of the work is centred around a herd of very friendly skyrian ponies, mucking out fields, feeding, watering, grooming, keeping the yard and tack room clean, handling the ponies and helping with the upkeep of fences and stables.
Your tasks here include care of four horses, mucking out, feeding, cleaning and repair work around the stables. Volunteers should have good riding experience and knowledge in the basics of dressage.
Orhan and Susan, a Turkish and German couple, host 30 horses near Antalya. The work includes horse and tack care, stable and paddock work, horse training, repair work, cleaning, gardening, forest work, and fruit picking in the spring and autumn. Volunteers need to know how to ride.
Image courtesy Ken Mayer