Horse rehabilitation project in South Africa

Travel Team

If you'd like to chat about this vacation or need help finding one we're very happy to help. The Travel Team.

Toll free 1-866-821-6866 Calling from outside the US?

Departure information

Placements can start on any date throughout the year
Vouchers
Accepted
Vacation type

Volunteer travel - what's it all about

Are you looking for an adventurous trip with a purpose, or on a gap year or career break? If you want to make a difference in some of the world’s most important conservation areas - and in community projects - then volunteer trips are for you! Volunteers tend to have a sense of adventure, and come from a range of different backgrounds and from all over the world.
Edward Abbey said 'sentiment without action is the ruin of the soul'.

Responsible tourism

Horse rehabilitation project in South Africa

Carbon reduction

Your vacation will help support local people and conservation. We must also reduce CO2. Learn about the CO2 emissions of this vacation and how to reduce them.

Environment

The nature of this trip is all about making a difference, helping to care for and giving some much needed TLC to horses that have suffered abuse and neglect in the past. Your time with the horses will be improving their quality of life.

This is a family run project. The owners have been providing horse trails since 1998. In 2000, they moved onto creating a rehabilitation center. Since then they have provided a home to numerous horses in order to save them from abuse and neglect. The rehabilitation center has a very good reputation and the SPCA (the South African equivalent of the RPSCA) contact them with any new cases that they have found.

Volunteers who are staying for at least 4 weeks and who have sufficient experience will also be given the opportunity to dedicate some of their time to working with a young, inexperienced horse which provides the chance to make vast improvements. Volunteers who are staying for less than 4 weeks will not have enough time to do that; however there are still lots of interesting projects and horses waiting for you!

With over 40 horses to care for, volunteers’ hard work really helps to lessen the load and consequently, their help is invaluable. Your fee is also an important source of funding for the project, so that the work can continue. For this project, approximately 75% of the fee you pay is passed directly to the project.

The horses that are in the rehabilitation center have previously been abused or neglected so they have lost their trust in people. The aim of the rehabilitation center is for volunteers to provide the horses with the attention and affection that they have failed to receive in the past. This can be provided by spending time with the horses, talking to them, grooming them and riding them. It is hoped that with time and patience shown by the volunteers that these horses can learn to trust in people again.

Once the horses have been rehabilitated to a high enough standard then these horses can work in the center for their beach and bush rides. It is in this way that the center promotes ‘horses working for horses’ as these horses can help the center earn money in order to help pay for the horses that are being rehabilitated.

There are of course some horses that unfortunately cannot be rehabilitated to the point where they can be used in beach and bush rides, either due to the extreme abuse or neglect they have suffered, or injury, sickness or old age and these horses will live out their life in the rehabilitation center and they will be looked after by the volunteers.

We also try to make sure the trip is as responsibly run as possible including:

Social responsibility
Before volunteers depart we provide them with a detailed information pack on the area they will be visiting. We try to educate and encourage our volunteers to understand and respect the local cultures and customs and get involved with local communities.

Economic responsibility
For over 10 years we have been providing volunteers to help at charitable projects around the world. A UK charity has now been launched to build on this success by providing financial assistance to overseas causes as well. The organisations we work with are often struggling to fund the work they are doing so every penny raised makes a real difference.

The majority of the fee that volunteers pay goes directly to the project. The project is family run and provides employment for local South Africa staff. Accommodation is on site and food and produce are locally sourced. While volunteers are in-country, we encourage them to buy locally and support local businesses.

Environmental responsibility
The accommodation used is simple and carefully managed to reduce its environmental impact. While our volunteers and customers are overseas, we identify and encourage simple steps to minimise their impact on the local environment.

2 Reviews of Horse rehabilitation project in South Africa

2.5 out of 5 stars
SHOW
0
1
0
0
1

Reviewed on 28 Oct 2019 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


Hyenas

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


Don’t

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Nope.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


Possibly one of my worst. Won’t be booking with responsible travel again as a result.

Read the operator's response here:

Hi Claire,

Many thanks for your review and it was good to speak to you yesterday. Your feedback is really important as we strive to offer the best volunteering projects around the world and give an accurate and clear picture for volunteers. We are extremely disappointed that you would not recommend our Horse Rehabilitation project to other volunteers as it normally rates so highly.

I am very sorry that you expected to ride the horses more than twice a week, that you would be able to work with more injured horses and work longer hours. Volunteers get involved in dipping, spraying, grooming and caring for horses throughout the year but assisting in the veterinary side of the role depends purely on when it is needed, such as when a rescue arrives which has been abused or has had an accident. We try to convey that rides are just one aspect of the role and the regularity depends on what is happening at the project at the time, but we will review this to make sure it's as a clear as possible in the volunteer role description. It can sometimes be challenging to get a full picture of a project and exposure to all the different activities within a 1 week stay but this isn't an excuse or justification in any way.

I hope that despite this experience you would consider volunteering overseas again in the future.

Best wishes,

Gemma

Reviewed on 26 May 2013 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


Working with experienced people who are always willing to help and teach you

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


To bring many working pieces of clothes and leave at home fashion dresses

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Yes

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


Great and fulfilling experience

Popular similar vacations

Endangered wildlife conservation in South Africa

Endangered wildlife conservation in South Africa

Award-winning, Fair Trade certified wildlife conservation

From US $1544 14 days excluding flights

Volunteer with monkeys in South Africa

Volunteer with monkeys in South Africa

Help re-habilitate orphaned monkeys in beautiful rural South Africa

From £769 10 days excluding flights

Family volunteering with monkeys in South Africa

Family volunteering with monkeys in South Africa

Hands-on family volunteering with monkeys in South Africa

From £767 7 days excluding flights

Volunteer with children & animals in South Africa

Volunteer with children & animals in South Africa

Volunteer with children and wild animals in South Africa

From 550 - €3990 7 days excluding flights

Convert currencies