Australia’s many horse farms are involved with equestrian, racing, trekking, breeding, polo, and hobby-riding. Helping on one of these farms offers travellers the opportunity to indulge their love of horses and get some riding in, while becoming part of an Australian farming family.
Typical help with the horses includes mucking out, feeding, tacking up, and/or lunging, as well as other general stable duties. Those placed at equestrian farms may also need to travel to competitions between September and March (note this usually includes sleeping in the horse truck and helping out as a groom).
Farm hosts require a good level of experience to be able to ride their horses and this will be determined by the video provide in your application and will be at the discretion of the farmer. If you’re an experienced rider, you may also be able to compete at events.
During your placement, you’ll also be expected to help out around the house, and participate in some family social events. You’ll spend time on food prep, cleaning, grocery shopping, helping in the vegetable garden.
Some hosts like you to work 100% of the time with the horses however, others may prefer for you to be involved in other parts of the farm or to help out more with the children. When you have your first consultation with an Internex supervisor we can work out which kind of placement would be best suited to you, given your level of experience and motivations.
The majority of our participants are interested in equestrian riding and can stay from September until April (full season), have been riding for most of their lives and have a love of horses. If you are not able to stay a full season let our team know during your consultation and we will find the best option for you.
Tasks are varied and change from week to week and season to season. However, typical tasks include;
Handing young horses
Helping with riding lessons
Loading / uploading horses on the float
Shampooing / washing horses
Preparing horses for shows
Helping on competition days
Taking horses to and from the paddock
Other general cleaning and farm work around the yard
Other jobs around the farm with other animals
Helping with children
If you are required to help at horse shows this may include getting horses ready for the riders, cleaning, providing general assistance etc. However, traveling to the show, cooking, watching competitions and going to events at the show is not considered work. Work does not include riding (unless jockeying), lessons, competing, or learning about something new such as changing a shoe or watching a vaccinating etc.
While living on the property you’re also required to help with an additional domestic duties which are considered your everyday household chores and are not considered work. For example; preparing and cooking meals, cleaning and washing your clothes, vacuuming, keeping your bedroom and living areas tidy, going grocery shopping and feeding the pets.
You’ll have a private bedroom in the main family home, or in a sleep out / cottage / detached room on the family property.
Most meals will be with your host family. If you’re travelling with friends or living with other volunteers, you may have some meals in your own cottage, but the food will be supplied. In general, you’re expected to help in the kitchen. If you’d like additional snacks, you’ll need to buy these yourself – and with regard to alcoholic drinks, you must get permission from your host family to bring this to the farm, and do so at your own expense. You are also responsible for buying any food that meets specific dietary requirements, such as vegan milks, gluten-free bread etc.
Most families have WIFI that you can use for basic purposes, such as contacting your family, checking your emails, and occasional Skype calls. Please ask your host family before using the WIFI, as some locations have very limited reception and high usage charges. You’ll be able to buy data for your own mobile phone or personal device when you arrive in Australia.