Help! Volunteering on a farm
Good day all,
This is my first post, so I apologize before hand if this is a repeat post!
I am volunteering at a local farm in trade for horseback riding lessons! I'm super excited because I love horses but I've never had the opportunity to be around them or ride them to be honest!
Would anyone be able to advise me as to what I'll be looking at as far as work around the farm? I have been researching a lot around the Internet but I haven't really found any information as to what staff do on the farm. I know I'll be cleaning stalls as well as other duties.
If you were new to horses and farm life what would you have liked to know that no one told you?!
We can't really tell you what you'll be doing, as that will be up to whoever will be assigning tasks.
Since you're unfamiliar with horses in general, you probably won't be asked to turn horses out or bring them in until you're more comfortable around them.
Cleaning stalls, sweeping aisleways, and cleaning and filling water buckets are all things that you'll become very acquainted with doing. Newbies are always given the easiest but labor intensive tasks at first.
Good luck, and have fun. It's a whole different world, but if horses are something about which you're passionate, you'll find it's all worth it.
You may be taught to tack up/untack for lessons being held and groom also. Have fun! Its a great experience. Honestly, working at the barn for hours is more fun to me than just going there to ride and leave. Plus, you get to know everyone and the horses a lot easier!
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Thank you both, I am definitely up for anything due to the fact that I'm passionate about horses and willing to learn as much as possible. It's just the first time being around horses and a farm in general so I didn't know what I'd be expecting. Thank you for your views.
Try to never stand around doing nothing. When in doubt, clean something. If a horse is acting oddly, SPEAK UP and tell someone. It's better that you report a non issue than something important be ignored.
Ask questions, but dont overstay with non-staff. Boarders are there to be with their horses and you dont want to ce off as pushy. Smile a lot. Try to remember people's names and horses. Offer to help and if you're not sure what to do, ask.
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Watch and Listen. You will learn almost as much about what to and what not to do with horses while you are working on the ground as you will with your lessons. Because it is all new, you will probably be overwhelmed at first. This will pass. ALWAYS remember safety first. You should be given some basic instructions about safety, but if it doesn't make sense, ask someone. Decent gloves, I would recommend leather, and work boots would be wise. If you are going to work, don't show up in sandals.
Pet peeve-leave the IPOD, MP3player or whatever behind. You can't hear anything else if you have the tunes cranked in your ears. This also goes back to safety.
Have Fun. Don't expect it all to make sense right away, but eventually it will click, and you will be amazed.
Great advice, thank you!
When you say "acting oddly" what kind of behavior is that I should be looking out for or will that come with experience?
Great opportunity-listen, watch, ask questions. When you get a nugget of information,don't think you know it all. With horses, even after decades, we're all still learning. Read lots of threads on this forum-there is so much knowledge here. Good luck to you, please keep posting & don't be afraid to ask more questions here.
I had my new kids sweep the rafters for cobwebs, rake the leaves behind the barn, paint the pasture fence, clean stalls of course, and use the weedeater. They new they were in trouble when I sent them off to weedeat every tree in the back 40.
It takes time, you learn a little at a time. Even with cleaning stalls and sweeping, there is a certain way I want it done. Listen, put things away, leave things the way you found it, gates!!! Have fun.
My pet peeve was two people doing a task that only needed one person.
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