Field Reports Animal welfare US Lisa-Kristin

Volunteering US

My time on the mustang horse ranch in Florida, USA were quite busy but wonderful. Each day started by some routine work: cleaning the paddocks as well as feeding and watering of horses and other animals like chickens, pigs and dogs (there were more than 15!). The afternoons are quite diverse. Once a week we went for a ride, mostly accompanied by other trainers or we supported Diane, who is the owner of the ranch, or Malice, the vice president, in completing different work like setting up fences or raking the yard. On weekends we got one morning and one afternoon off. Most of our free time we spent on shopping, doing ziplining or on the beach.

 

Sometimes Diane took us to different events and festivals where we learned a lot about Native American culture and bought some souvenirs from local traders. Two times we visited Disneyland and the famous Universal Studios. If you announce trips like that early enough in advance, Diane and the other staff members can even help you organizing it.

In the evenings we went out for dinner sometimes, which was usually quite funny as we were a cool team.

    When not having dinner outside Diane and two of the volunteers who were in charge of the kitchen service, prepared meals for the group. Additionally there was a food storage were we could get any kind of snack we wanted, preferably brownies, ice cream or nachos.

    The other volunteers came from all over the world, especially from Europe. The number of volunteers varied between 6 and 14 persons (I preferred a number of 8 people). All in all I had an amazing time on the ranch. Once you get used to the Southern States mentality, you get along with the local people very well and they will welcome you sincerely. In the end the volunteers and the ranch-staff was even like a little family to each other. The time there passed so quickly and I would have loved to stay longer.

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