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Horse Riding Volunteer Program USA

This listing has one of the 10 most popular offers available in the USA

Join the Enchantment Equitreks team and experience the rewards of working with rescue horses. Before Enchantment Equitreks started their own horseback riding vacation business, Mel and Justyn joined the volunteer program at Mozambique Horse Safari. The Retzlaff’s caring nature, passion for rescue horses, and attention to detail were the inspiration for Enchantment Equitreks. They have fashioned their own volunteer program after this in hopes that they can provide the same fun-filled and enlightening experience.

This working vacation program offers riders the ability to develop their trail riding skills, learn to work with rescue horses, and immerse themselves in the Southwest culture. In exchange for a deeply discounted vacation, you will volunteer your time working on the ranch, in the saddle, and engaging with clients. Down time can be spent at the pool or hot tub, hiking, biking, or joining a yoga class. Due to the small nature of our business we only accommodate one volunteer per scheduled riding week.

Key information

  • Rider weight limit: 200 pounds / 90.7 kilograms, but can be waived for a tall athletic man
  • Horse height range: 14 to 16 hands
  • Tack type: Western or Australian tack
  • Horse breed: Quarter horse, thoroughbred, grade
  • Volunteer requirements: 15 yrs, intermediate riding ability, general knowledge of how to catch, halter, groom, and saddle a horse.

Meet the instructors

Justyn
Read more

Highlights

  • Join the Enchantment Equitreks team
  • Daily rides and horse time
  • Access to the pool, hot tub, hiking trails, mountain bikes
  • Daily breakfast, lunch, and dinner
  • 7 nights accommodation
  • Airport transfers

Skill level

  • Intermediate
  • Advanced

Styles


6 days with instruction
Group size: Maximum of 5 participants
Airport transfer included: Albuquerque International Sunport
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Accommodation

Facilities

  • Hot tub / Jacuzzi
  • Swimming pool (outdoor)
  • Air-conditioned rooms
  • Dining area
  • Environmentally friendly
  • Fireplace
  • Garden
  • Kitchen
  • Smoke-free property
  • Special menu request
  • Yoga deck
  • Yoga studio
  • Bicycle rental
  • Free bicycle
  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Laundry

Depending on availability, volunteers will be accommodated in a private room in the guest house or in the main ranch house. You will have a private room and may have a shared bathroom. Access to laundry and wifi.

Environmentally conscious

  • Composting toilets
  • Greywater systems
  • Solar

Landscaped for relaxation

  • Hammocks for naps
  • Quiet spaces for yoga
  • Mountain bikes available
  • Hot tub and pool available There will be free Wi-Fi and access to laundry service.

Environmentally conscious

  • Composting toilets
  • Greywater systems
  • Solar

Landscaped for relaxation

  • Hammocks for naps
  • Quiet spaces for yoga
  • Mountain bikes available
  • Hot tub and pool available

Program

Typical day

  • Helping with ranch chores and horses. Most of the daily chores such as feeding and mucking are done by staff, but you may be asked to grab a pitch fork and pitch in. They also have chickens, cows, and gardens that always need attention. You may be asked to gather eggs, pick veggies, or ride out to check the cows.
  • Loading and unloading equipment and tack in the trailer before and after rides. Cleaning tack and horses after rides.
  • Grooming horses and helping tack before rides or training.
  • Lots of riding! You will either be riding with clients, going on training rides with wranglers, or exercising ranch horses.
  • Helping with meals. If you like to cook, help is always needed in the kitchen. Not an aspiring chef? You can help set the table and clear dishes after meals.
  • Other activities may include visiting the horse rescues and going with clients on tourism days to Santa Fe and Madrid.

Riding ability

Safety is the number one priority. Enchantment Equitreks is not a nose-to-tail dude ranch but an equine adventure business. All of the horses have been trained in trail riding skills and manners; however, they do have a mind of their own. To thoroughly enjoy your stay, they require that your riding ability be at an intermediate level due to the terrain and lengths of the rides.

Enchantment Equitreks ask all riders to be comfortable at a walk, posting trot, and strong canter on the trail within a group, as well as mount/dismount the horse unassisted. Riders do need to be physically fit enough to be in the saddle for three to four hours a day.

If you do not feel that you meet this criteria or do not ride regularly, but are still interested, they strongly suggest riding lessons. This will help you to be more confident and comfortable in the saddle. They will give riding tips and suggestions on trail to keep you safe, however, they do not give riding lessons.

Expectations

The role of a volunteer is to assist with the riding, care, and preparation of horses and clients. Volunteers need to have general knowledge of how to catch, halter, groom, and saddle a horse. Enchantment Equitreks is a small, family operation and they want this to be a great experience for all involved. They hope that you feel like you’re staying with friends so it is important for you to be aware of their expectations.

Working environment

Enchantment Equitreks understands that there are many different training methods out there. They do not prescribe to any one method. They have developed a program that works for their horses and trainers. They ask all volunteers to be open to their program, be willing to follow directions when working with horses, and be respectful to trainers, wranglers, staff, and clients.

If at any time they feel like a volunteer has placed a horse or another person in a dangerous situation, Enchantment Equitreks will ask them to leave with no refunds.

Punctuality

When dealing with the welfare of animals, there are certain tasks that must be done at certain times. Failure to do this not only holds up staff and other volunteers, but it also affects the experience of the client and the amount of time you can spend in the saddle having fun. In the summer, you will ride very early in order to beat the heat of the day, which means some mornings will start as early as 5 a.m.

Alcohol and drug policy

Enchantment Equitreks is well aware that everyone likes to have a good time and will happily join in with volunteers for a drink after work. On the other hand, they will not accept regular drunkenness and operate a zero tolerance policy on drug use and under age drinking. Enchantment Equitreks is also a smoking free facility.

Itinerary

This is an example of a typical day out riding.

  • 7 am Breakfast at the main house.
  • 8 am Clean up from breakfast. Pack trailer. Groom horses.
  • 9 am Departure from ranch to ride.
  • 10 am In the saddle. Ride 2-3 hours, with snacks on trail.
  • 2 pm Lunch at the ranch.
  • 3-4 Help clean tack, clean trailers. Possibly help with some afternoon chores, such as feeding horses.
  • 4-6 Free time (swimming, hiking, napping, yoga)
  • 6:30 Help set up for dinner
  • 7 Dinner

Instructors

Justyn Vogel

Location

This program will take place at Enchantment Equitreks, New Mexico, USA. This small ranch is nestled in the pines at the southern tip of the Rocky Mountains. New Mexico offers varied landscapes including desert, mountains and rivers. It's rich with cowboy culture, Spanish influence, Native American traditions, and outstanding cuisine.

Distances

  • Albuquerque - 40 minutes
  • Santa Fe - 1 hour

Food

New Mexican cuisine is wholly unique, rich with local ingredients, slow-cooked meats, and spiced with roasted green and red chili. The guesthouse kitchen is stocked with all the provisions needed for a European style breakfast, lunches of light salads or soups, and evenings filled with sit down, family-style dinners, relaxing next to a fire and gazing out at the stars.

Enchantment Equitreks does like to visit a few local restaurants that showcase the amazing New Mexican cuisine, they are able to accommodate many food restrictions and allergies for vegetarians, vegans, and gluten-free menus.

The following meals are included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
  • Snacks
  • Drinks

The following drinks are included:

  • Water
  • Coffee
  • Tea
  • Soda

The following dietary requirement(s) are served and/or catered for:

  • Vegetarian
  • Vegan
  • Gluten Free
  • Regular (typically includes meat and fish)
  • Other dietary requirements on request
If you have special dietary requirements it's a good idea to communicate it to the organiser when making a reservation

Things to do (optional)

There are off-ranch excursions with MST Adventures such as SUP, kayaking, biking, and hiking. For more information, please send an inquiry.

What's included

  • Lots of riding and horse time
  • 7 nights accommodation
  • Basic toiletries
  • Access to pool, hot tub, hiking trails, mountain bikes
  • Daily breakfast, lunch, and dinner
  • Airport transfers
  • Taxes

What's not included

  • Meals at restaurants
  • Gratuities
  • Entry fees to events
  • Yoga retreat add-on (165 USD)
  • Balloon Fiesta add-on (200 USD)

How to get there

Recommended Airports

Arrival by airplane

Please book your flight to arrive at Albuquerque International Sunport (ABQ). Transfer from and to the airport is included in the price. Enchantment Equitreks will pick you up and drop you off at the airport. They will personally meet you at the airport, just past security, with a sign that has your name on it.

Airport: Albuquerque International Sunport Airport transfer included: Albuquerque International Sunport No additional charges. You can request this in the next step.

Cancellation Policy

  • A reservation requires a deposit of 25% of the total price.
  • The deposit is non-refundable, if the booking is cancelled.
  • The rest of the payment should be paid 30 days before arrival.

Value for money
Accommodation & facilities
Food
Location
Quality of activity
8 days / 7 nights
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Availability

Arrival: Wednesday June 8, 2022
Departure: Wednesday June 15, 2022

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