Internships, also known as Working Student Programs, are when someone works without pay, in exchange for gaining skills and experience. For me, internships have been a way to learn from different horse people, through a variety of horses.
For roughly three months of the year (or longer), I get to learn from a person who I consider good with horses and knowledgeable. The type of people who usually take on interns can be instructors, breeders, trainers, farriers and other equine professionals of any disciplines. Committing to an internship can be a lot of work, however it can bring upon these opportunities:
• Doing groundwork, in-hand and riding horses of all different kinds.
• Having questions answered, some that may be complicated.
• Learning management techniques of properties and stables.
• Networking, making friends and learning from people like Vets, Farriers, Clients, Body workers, other Interns, the list goes on.
• In-depth conversations about both horses and life.
• Access or participation in clinics, shows and events, fence sitting or participating depending on the situation.
• Some fellow interns have brought their own horse and receive lessons with them.
• Traveling and exploring places wonderfully unexpected.
• Accessed educational books and videos that are rare or super expensive.
• Usually food, accommodation and occasionally transportation (Not flights though) are payed for. Some places will make you pay for your own food/accommodation – it depends on how much you want to commit to and learn from them. (I saw one place that wanted the interns to pay to work for them – I backed out of that, although if that’s what you want, go for it.)
Just a side note: Every place is different. Some will demand more work of you and some less. Don’t be afraid to take on challenges and do more than asked, but use your common sense too, if they are not holding up their end of the deal, leave.
The next write up will be on what kind of work I do in exchange for learning and what it takes to be an intern.
Hope you enjoyed,