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Your Guide to Volunteering to Work with Horses

Written By
By Munira Maricar
Travel Writer
Volunteer with horses

Have you ever imagined yourself working with horses, feeling the wind as you ride through breathtaking landscapes, or caring for these majestic creatures in serene countryside settings? If your heart beats faster at the thought, then volunteering to work with horses could be the perfect adventure waiting for you. 

This unique opportunity is not just about traveling to exotic locations; it’s a chance to connect with nature, learn about horse care, and contribute positively to local communities and ecosystems. In this guide, we’ll dive into how you can embark on this journey, the ethical considerations to keep in mind, and where you can find volunteer programs that match your dream.

The Magic of Working with Horses

Volunteer abroad programs for seniors and retirees - Fronteering

Horses have been companions to humans for thousands of years, not just as beasts of burden but as friends, confidants, and even healers. Volunteering to work with horses allows you to experience these deep bonds firsthand. Whether it’s grooming, feeding, or riding, each activity helps you understand these animals’ needs and behaviors, fostering a unique connection that’s both humbling and enriching.

Why Volunteer?


Volunteering to work with horses offers a myriad of benefits. It’s an immersive way to experience a new culture and its traditions, especially those centered around horses. You’ll gain practical skills in horse care, management, and sometimes even veterinary practices. Plus, it’s a chance to meet like-minded individuals from around the world, creating friendships that can last a lifetime.

Ethical Considerations


Before you pack your bags, it’s crucial to consider the ethical implications of your volunteer work. Ensure that the programs you’re looking at are genuinely beneficial to the animals and the local community. 

Research the organization’s mission and the impact of their work. It’s important to support programs that prioritize the welfare of the horses and contribute to sustainable practices.

Finding the Right Program

So, where can you volunteer to work with horses? There are numerous organizations and programs across the globe offering diverse experiences. When choosing a program, consider the following:

  • Location and Environment: Do you dream of working in a specific country or environment, such as the mountains, beaches, or countryside?
  • Type of Work: Are you interested in veterinary care, daily grooming & feeding, or even helping others through equine therapy?
  • Duration: Volunteer programs can range from a few weeks to several months. Consider how much time you’re willing to commit.
  • Costs: Some programs may require you to cover your own travel expenses, accommodation, or even a participation fee, while others might offer a stipend or cover certain costs.

Available Volunteer Programs and Providers

Here are a few reputable organizations to get you started:

International Volunteer HQ (IVHQ)

International Volunteer HQ (IVHQ) offers four unique programs for volunteers eager to contribute to animal welfare and experience life in diverse global settings. 


Here’s a brief overview of each:

  • Animal Care Volunteer Project in Manuel Antonio: Immerse yourself in the beauty of Costa Rica while volunteering at horse therapy centers and animal welfare organizations. Assist in the care and rehabilitation of horses and other animals, and help find homes for abandoned cats and dogs.
  • Animal Care Volunteer Project in Antigua: Join efforts in Guatemala to care for abandoned pets and exotic creatures. Work may include assisting at a veterinary clinic, a cat and dog shelter, or an exotic animal rehab center, including a horse rescue.
  • Animal Care Volunteer Program in Cordoba: Help at a small farm that serves as an animal refuge and learning center in Argentina, offering a safe haven for rescued animals and a place for local children to learn and connect with nature.
  • Animal Care Volunteer Project in Rome: Volunteer at local farms and shelters in Italy, caring for a variety of animals including horses, donkeys, and pigs. Your work supports the welfare and protection of animals, offering them a better chance at finding a loving home. 

Each program provides a unique opportunity to contribute to animal welfare while experiencing the culture and beauty of the host country. 


GoEco offers an enriching program that promises hands-on experience in animal care. Perfect for pre-vet students or anyone eager to delve into the complexities of animal health and welfare. Gain invaluable animal care experience across a broad spectrum of species, including horses, in the stunning environment of South Africa. 


From game captures to veterinary lectures, immerse yourself in a world where learning meets impactful work. Highlights include hands-on work with a variety of animals, exposure to veterinary medicine, and cultural immersion in the beautiful Chintsa area. 

Maximo Nivel

Maximo Nivel offers a compassionate and immersive Horse Care & Rehabilitation program in Latin America, designed for those who wish to contribute to the welfare of horses, donkeys, and mules. This program provides a unique opportunity to work directly with these noble animals, aiding in their care and rehabilitation. Ideal for volunteers eager to make a difference while gaining hands-on experience in equine care, the program highlights the importance of treating these creatures with the respect and love they deserve.


Activities include grooming, feeding, stable cleaning, and assisting with basic veterinary care. Perfect for volunteers passionate about equine welfare and therapy.

Projects Abroad

Projects Abroad extends unique volunteering opportunities for those passionate to immerse themselves in different cultures while making a positive impact. These programs are not just about caring for horses but also about harnessing their therapeutic potential and embracing traditional lifestyles that have existed for centuries.

veterinary medicine internship

Here’s a brief overview of each:

  • Equine Therapy Internship in Argentina: Dive into the therapeutic world of equine therapy in Argentina, aiding in the rehabilitation of children through horse interactions. This program is a fusion of passion for equine care and a desire to assist in therapeutic processes, offering interns firsthand experience in a specialized field.
  • Live and Work with Nomads in Mongolia: Step into the traditional nomadic life of Mongolia, engaging in daily activities and tasks alongside a host family. Known for its deep equestrian culture, Mongolia provides an unparalleled setting to learn horse riding and care from nomadic families. This experience connects you with the ancient traditions of horseback travel and livestock management on the vast Mongolian steppe.

African Impact

African Impact’s program merges the thrill of horseback riding with crucial conservation efforts in Zimbabwe, creating a unique opportunity for those passionate about equine care and the preservation of endangered species. Situated in the vibrant heart of Zimbabwe, this program allows volunteers to contribute significantly to the conservation of rhinos and elephants, offering a hands-on approach to wildlife protection and community education. 


Engage in an unparalleled horse-riding experience while contributing to the protection of endangered wildlife species at the Imire Conservancy. This program is designed for experienced riders eager to make a difference in conservation efforts, offering daily interactions with rhinos and elephants, involvement in anti-poaching patrols, and community educational initiatives.

Volunteering Solutions

Volunteering Solutions offers a unique Horse Patrolling and Environmental Conservation Program in Porto, Portugal, perfect for animal and nature enthusiasts. Volunteers will assist in hippotherapy classes, patrol forests on horseback, and engage in environmental protection efforts, all while staying in a centrally located hostel and exploring the vibrant city of Porto. This program is an ideal blend of social inclusion, environmental conservation, and cultural immersion.


Saddle Up for Service

Volunteering to work with horses abroad is more than just a trip; it’s a profound journey that can change the way you see the world and yourself. It’s an opportunity to learn, grow, and make a meaningful difference in the lives of these noble animals. 


So, if you’re ready for an adventure that combines your love for animals with the thrill of travel, start planning your volunteer experience today. Remember, the most rewarding journeys are those that not only take you across the world but also deeper into the heart of what you love.