At a glance
- Assist disabled children with their horse riding sessions, so they can achieve their therapy goals and improve their overall wellbeing.
- These sessions are part of their rehabilitation, helping them to develop mental, physical, and social skills.
- Our partner organisation, which runs these therapy sessions, is entirely dependent on interns like you.
16 or over
You need to speak basic English
What will I do on this project?
You can take on different roles on this project, which makes for a very interesting and broad experience. Tasks you will get involved in include:
- Lead the horses and their riders during therapy sessions
- Help to communicate instructions to the rider
- Groom and care for the horses
- Learn different equine therapy techniques
Lead the horses and their riders during therapy sessions
One of the roles you can take on during the therapy sessions is that of “leader”. As the name suggests, you will direct and guide the horse during the therapy session. You’ll give instructions to both the horse and rider, and ensure the animals do what is required of them.
Help to communicate instructions to the rider
Another option is to act as a “side-walker”, which is the term for someone who acts as a helper between the rider and the horse. Your role here is to relax the rider and provide support.
You will reinforce the instructions from the leader, and help the rider understand what they are being asked to do. In this way, you’ll build up a rapport with the rider and help to build their confidence.
Groom and care for the horses
After a day of riding and helping their patients to improve their skills, the horses will need some care too. You will help wherever is necessary, for example, with feeding, grooming, and mucking out stalls. It’s a great bonding experience with these beautiful creatures.
Learn different equine therapy techniques
Through both observation and practical work, you’ll get to learn more about the different equine therapy techniques. As an intern, you’ll be able to ask questions and learn from the supervisors at the centre. It’s a great way to see first-hand how these different techniques are implemented.
Our partners in South Africa
We have partnered with the South African Riding for the Disabled organisation (SARDA), which was established in Cape Town in 1973. The centre’s aim is to provide people with disabilities the opportunity to take part in therapeutic and recreational horse riding. This kind of therapy has a multitude of physical, mental and social benefits. SARDA works with children aged six and over, as well as adults. With the help of our volunteers, SARDA serves around 200 riders per week.
Where in South Africa will I work?
You will be based in Cape Town, South Africa. Your placement is located in a leafy green suburb. You’ll be picked up and dropped off each day by our trusted transport partner.
There is so much to explore during your free time. Cape Town is a vibrant city with amazing views and a rich cultural heritage. You can try out the local restaurants, visit famous historical monuments, or spend some time taking in the natural wonders.
We set out the aims and objectives of our projects in documents called Management Plans. We use them to properly plan the work you’ll do. They also help us measure and evaluate our achievements and impact each year.
Ultimately, our Management Plans help us make our projects better. This in turn means you get to be part of something that makes a real impact where it’s needed. Read more about our Management Plans.
Measuring our impact
Our projects work towards clear long-term goals, with specific annual objectives. Every volunteer and intern we send to these projects helps us work towards these goals, no matter how long they spend on our projects.
Every year we take a step back and look at how much progress we've made towards these goals. We put together a Global Impact Report, which documents our achievements. Find out more about the impact our global community of volunteers, interns and staff make, and read the latest report.
Leisure activities and free time
Known as the Rainbow Nation, South Africa has a diverse mix of cultures. Our projects are based in Cape Town, a region filled with an exciting variety of activities to do during your free time.
You can catch a wave at Muizenberg beach or just relax in a seaside restaurant. There’s plenty of local cuisine to try, including delicately spiced Cape Malay curries and the creamy milk tart dessert.
South Africa has a difficult past, which you can learn more about at the District 6 Museum and Robben Island.
For an awe-inspiring experience, you can spend the day getting lost in the towering silos that make up the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Arts Africa. Finally, no trip to Cape Town would be complete without a cable car ride up iconic Table Mountain.
We run many different projects in South Africa, so there’s sure to be other volunteers in the country with you. So if you want to travel with a group, you’re sure to find like-minded people who’ll join you on your adventures.
Safety and staff support
Your safety and security is our prime concern. We have many procedures and systems to ensure you have the support you need to enjoy your trip with peace of mind. Our Projects Abroad staff are available 24 hours a day to help, and will be on-hand to make sure you settle in well at your accommodation and placement. If you encounter any problems, they will be available to help at any time.
Find out more about safety and backup.
This placement is fully researched, safety audited, and risk assessed in accordance with the British Standard BS8848 for the Adventure Travel Sector.
Meet the team in South Africa
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