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GAP YEAR | VOLUNTEER ABROAD | WORK EXPERIENCE OVERSEAS

 
CARE FOR AND REHABILITATE ABUSED WILD HORSES IN FLORIDA IN AMERICA

USA

CARE FOR AND REHABILITATE ABUSED WILD HORSES IN FLORIDA IN THE USA

Assist in a Center that rescues wild Mustang horses that would have been put to death. The horses (who are often close to death when they reach the Center), are nursed back to health and then trained with positive reinforcement and love to become adoptable.

These traumatised horses must spend time with lots of different people, to learn that not all people are bad! This is critical in order for them to be adopted into homes where they'll be well looked after for the rest of their lives.

The Center currently houses 58 horses, 2 donkeys and 13 dogs and is near to Orlando - Disney World, Sea World, Universal Studios, Legoland, Kennedy Space Center and much more!

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SUMMARY FACTFILE
Start Dates Projects start every Monday, all year round; you need to arrive between 9am and 8pm - you choose your start and finish dates.
Duration From 1 week to 12 weeks or longer, subject to visa requirements
Requirements No qualifications or experience required, just lots of enthusiasm and a love of horses. Minimum age 17.
Price Full Price List
What's included Arranging your program,
Full pre-departure support and assistance,
Payment Protection insurance
Accommodation

Food 
Meeting you at the nearest airport
Transfer to your accommodation
Transport to and from your project
Local in-country team support and backup
24-hr emergency support.
Certificate of Completion
What's not included Flights, Insurance, Cost of Visas (if a visa is required), Return transfer to airport.
Who can do this Project? This project is open to all nationalities and all ages over 17.
Suitable for gap years or those taking a year out, grown-up gappers, career breakers, anyone interested in caring for horses overseas.
Suitable if you want to learn about rescue and rehabilitation of wild horses and doing
mustang voluntary work, projects abroad or study abroad.
Also available as a summer placement or a short break activity.

WHAT YOU'LL GAIN FROM DOING THIS PROJECT:

  • An exciting, never-to-be-forgotten adventure into the USA and the American culture

  • The enormous satisfaction of helping abused horses and knowing that you made a difference to them.

  • New skills, more confidence, a greater understanding of a different culture, invaluable personal and professional development.

  • An entry on your CV or résumé that will put you head and shoulders above most others in the job market.

  • And best of all ... an unforgettable experience!

CARE FOR AND REHABILITATE ABUSED WILD HORSES IN FLORIDA IN AMERICA
Mom Epic and Baby Kudo. Epic was rescued from an illegal slaughter house whe she was pregnant. She was near death when she got to the Center. They are healthy now, but Epic is terified of humans and won't let anyone near Kudo either. Epic will probably never be adopted and will thus live her life at the Center as a wild horse on sanctuary land. Kudo will be socialized when he is a bit older.

Romeo and one of the dogs
Romeo and one of the dogs. He's a permanent resident at the Center and a real Mama's boy! Volunteers love riding him.

WORK CONTENT
Work at the Center is all focused on helping the horses. Apart from the elements in the Example Weekly Itinerary below, you could also take part in  Vet visits and new rescue missions, should they arise during your project.

The work schedule is structured in two work shifts. One morning and one afternoon. Each work shift is about 2 hours. Breaks can be taken any time. Other than work, here will be activities such as riding and socializing with the horses.

This is an example of your weekly itinerary:

DAY 1:
This day will change and this is only a very rough guide - your schedule will depend on what time you are arrive in country and at your project. You'll be taken to the Centre and settled into your accommodation. You will have a housing orientation and, if time allows, a tour of the centre.

DAY 2:
6am – 8am - Breakfast and orientation for the day. Diane will tell you about the problems wild mustangs face in the US, how most of the horses come to Centre, how she works with them, that some horses will always be wild, why they do not breed the horses, etc. Diane and/or a volunteer coordinator will tell you what the schedule for today will be, i.e., what chores the morning and afternoon work shifts will include. Your daily tasks will include:

  • 8.30am-10.30am – Clean, Hay, water and feed the horses and other animals at the centre as directed.
  • 10.30am-12.00 – Varies daily (may include horse work, moving pens, etc)
  • 12pm–1pm Lunch – Volunteers will rotate preparing lunches for the group.
  • Break (winter 2 hours after lunch; Summer 3 hours after lunch)
  • Afternoon work shift – Clean, hay, water and feed horses and other animals at centre, finish up any tasks started before lunch or go off site for activities (kayak, beach, air boating, etc!)
  • 5pm: Dinner – Volunteers will rotate preparing dinner for the group.

This schedule is repeated daily, and updates to activities are found on the weekly schedule on the Community Notice board in the kitchen.

Volunteers also have opportunities to ride the horses and there are weekly trail rides for all volunteers, and experienced riders ride more frequently.

DAY 7:
This day will change according to whether it's your last day and you're leaving, or not. You'll work either 5 or 6 days a week, depending on what's required at the time you're there. You can use your days off to explore the region - remember, you're only 40 minutes away from ORLANDO!

Please note that if you would like to take time off from the scheduled work time to visit Orlando or other areas, arrangements can be made in advance. There may be an extra charge for fuel for your transport.

WORKING TIMES
You'll work either 5 or 6 days a week, depending on what's required at the time you're there. You'll generally get one or two days off and you can use that time to explore.

Other activities that you can do will include Trail riding, socializing with the horses, BBQ's, kayaking, walking with sanctuary/wild horses, and more.

BACKGROUND ON WHY THE HORSES NEED RESCUE
The Center was founded over 12 years ago to address the fate of mustangs that are taken from the wild. After these mustangs are captured, they are placed in holding pens where they await adoption. Currently there are over 40,000 horses awaiting adoption. The ones that don’t get adopted, are killed.

A lot of people think they can adopt a wild horse and tame it themselves. They cannot. The result is that these horses end up in abusive and neglectful environments.

What the Center does about the problem:
The Center rescues mustangs from such situations and illegal slaughter houses. The horses, who are often at the brink of death when they reach the Center, are nursed back to health and then trained with positive reinforcement and love to become adoptable.

The Center currently houses about 30 horses (plus 10 dogs, 2 cats, one pig, a few geese and hens as well!). You'll be working with all of them.

Why the Center needs volunteers:
When the horses arrive at the Center, they are often terrified of people. That is why volunteers are not only needed for the daily upkeep of the Center, but also critical to the taming and training of these horses. By spending time with kindhearted people who care, the horses come to realize that not all people are bad.

Mustangs were, historically, a valued resource that played a critical role in the successful development of America. Mustangs are regarded as a treasured national symbol in America, but, sadly, they are currently treated in a cruel and inhumane manner. You can help some of these horses to live a dignified, happy life.

The Horse Whisperer:
The Center is run by an incredible lady, Diane, who historically has supported the Center from her job as a bar-tender! She talks to the horses ... and they talk back!

 

Diane and one of the many dogs

ACCOMMODATION:

Your accommodation location is onsite at the project - and it is stunning!

You'll live at the project centre in 38 acres of beautiful Florida landscape, either in the main house or in a cabin set in the grounds of the Centre.

You'll share with other volunteers (generally 4 to a room) and these can be mixed-sex dorms. In the main accommodation there is a communal area for volunteers to relax in during their breaks and time off. This has comfy sofas, a TV, DVD player, CD player and a computer (with Wi-Fi). The cabin is also very comfortable and can accommodate 5 volunteers. It has a fridge, microwave and has a hot/cold room temperature water cooler. There is a shower room here, but please note that there is a portable toilet - the centre is looking to incorporate this into the shower room. If you are allocated the cabin, you will still have full access to the main house amenities.

There is also a swimming pool and hot tub on site for you to enjoy during your time off.

The  photos on the right to give you a flavour of where you'll live while on the project.

FOOD:

Food will be provided at the project (3 meals every day). You'll take turns assisting with preparing lunch and supper, with the occasional barbecue.

TRAVEL:
You'll fly into Orlando Airport, where you will be met by either Diane or Mary-Alice from the Project and taken to your accommodation to settle in. The accommodation is on site. You'll be given a warm welcome, Induction and introduction to everyone (including the horses!).

 

Accommodation on the Mustang Rehabilitation Project in America

Accommodation on the Mustang Rehabilitation Project in America

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
Got any questions? Please email us: info@travelersworldwide.org

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU BOOK YOUR PLACEMENT:
Once you have applied for a placement, we'll contact you and send you our Welcome Pack. You'll also receive Log-on details and password for our Volunteer Extranet where you'll have access to all the documentation and information which we've put together to facilitate preparations for your adventure! Your Project Co-ordinator for your country will liaise with you throughout the arrangements process, as well as while you're on your placement and on your return home.

The documents you'll have access to also include a Country Factfile, Safety Guide and any manuals that may assist you on your particular program (e.g. Teaching Guide, Sports Manuals, Enrichment Suggestions for Animal Care, etc.). We do all we can to make your stay one that you'll never forget. This is a truly awesome, elegant and beautiful country.

As with all our destinations, the culture and heritage is different to what you're used to ... which, although one of the most exciting aspects of travelling, should be borne in mind.    Self-reliance and independence are highly appreciated in all our destinations and will help you to make the most of this wonderful opportunity! 

On Arrival, your Introduction to the Country: When you arrive you will be welcomed by your Project Supervisor who will take you to your accommodation and introduce you to everyone. During your first few days you'll be given an induction so that you can learn about the country and its culture, as well as other useful information, like how to use the transport system, banks, safety issues, tipping, and lots more.

WHAT DOES THE PROJECT GAIN FROM YOUR VOLUNTEERING?
The funds generated from volunteer placements is the only source of income for the Center and will go towards helping to rescue more horses.

Your assistance is critically needed for infrastructure improvements, daily maintenance of the horses, but, most importantly, to help these horses to be rehabilitated properly.

For this to happen, the horses must spend time with lots of different people - to see that not all people are bad and that strangers are ok. This is critical in order for them to be adopted into homes where they'll be well looked after for the rest of their lives.

HORSE PAINTINGS:
Our horses love to make paintings. We put children’s finger paint on a canvas and then cover it in goodies such as carrots and apples.

The horse then eats the tasty treat laid out for him or her and what is left is your beautiful, personalized painting. The horse gets a tasty treat and you get a beautiful painting!  

A painting made by one of our Mustangs is very special. These horses are extremely intuitive, intelligent and soulful beings – which we believe all comes out in the paintings. A painting made by one of our horses makes the perfect, thoughtful gift for any occasion or a special addition to your home art collection.  

  

 

preparing goodies for horses to "paint"

A work of Art !!!

OPTIONAL ADD-ON ACTIVITIES:

While on your placements, you can also book some Optional Add-Ons to make the most of your Travel Experience.

Coming soon!

This project can also be combined with any of our other projects in the Americas.

LOCATION, EXPLORING AND SIGHTSEEING:

LOCAL ATTRACTIONS IN FLORIDA

The main attraction in the region is, of course, ORLANDO! It has everything you could wish for as a visitor to the USA. And the most famous are the theme parks. From the classic Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World® Resort to the magical Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando® Resort, there's something for everyone.

Fly through a swamp on an airboat or get up close with wildlife at Gatorland or SeaWorld's Discovery Cove.

Sports lovers can cheer on the Magic NBA basketball team at the new Amway Center or take a ride on one of multiple zip-lines in the area.

When the sun goes down, check out a show at Cirque de Soleil, Blue Man Group or one of Orlando's many dinner theaters for an entertaining nightcap.

Orlando has a vibrant local arts scene. From the best of independent film at the Florida Film Festival to fine arts museums, cultural options in Orlando offer a mix of traditional and modern entertainment for visitors.

For those with more traditional tastes, the city's theaters entertain with options from Shakespeare to children's classics, and area museums and galleries showcase local and global artists.

TRAVEL:
To read about Travel arrangements and what happens when you arrive in your new country, please click here.

Support & Backup: To read about the excellent Support & Backup we provide before you leave and during your program, please click here.



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