Volunteer Abroad Mustang Rescue Project in Florida

Volunteering with Horses in the USA

Voluntary work in Florida

As a volunteer, you will help to protect mustangs which have been freed from abusive situations. Because some of the animals will be passed on, the facility trains them in addition to caring for the horses and providing a ranch. As a volunteer, you will help with day-to-day tasks, doing some of them independently, and learn a lot about how to interact with mustangs and train the animals. The facility also provides seminars and training sessions about the proper way to handle mustangs.

Whoever associates Florida just with Miami will be in for a surprise when confronted with the diversity of this federal state in the extreme southeast of the USA. The special geographical location between the Gulf of Mexico to the west and the Atlantic to the east dictates a tropical/subtropical climate, with over 300 days of sunshine per year. For this reason, Florida is called the sunshine state and is endowed with a landscape comprising unique flora and fauna.

Services Our Services at a Glance

Included

  • Placement in the project
  • Airport pick up and drop off
  • Assistance with travel arrangements
  • Accommodation during the project
  • Assistance with selecting travel insurance
  • All meals during the project
  • Assistance with booking flights
  • English-speaking support by long-term experienced staff
  • Pre-departure information pack
  • 24/7 support throughout the project

Not included

  • Flights
  • ESTA fee/visa fee
  • Travel insurance
  • Personal expenses and optional excursions

Low Season (01.01.-31.05. / 01.10.-31.12)

Start DateDurationCostNATUCATE-ID V.US-007
2 Weeks 1.425 €
4 Weeks 2.225 €
6 Weeks 3.025 €
8 Weeks 3.725 €
10 Weeks 4.425 €
12 Weeks 5.100 €

High Season (01.06.-30.09.)

Start DateDurationCostNATUCATE-ID V.US-007
2 Weeks 1.500 €
4 Weeks 2.400 €
6 Weeks 3.250 €
8 Weeks 3.950 €
10 Weeks 4.650 €
12 Weeks 5.350 €
Requirements

Requirements

As long as you are 18 years of age and intent on participating in this animal welfare project, then there is nothing to stop you becoming a mustang protection volunteer. If you have specific dates in mind, then you should contact us several months in advance. It is possible to register all year round, but there is usually a long waiting list which puts short-term applications out of the question. Your physical and mental contribution depends entirely on your ambitions and interests. But it goes without saying that you need a natural affinity to animals and to horses in particular. In addition to the daily care of the animals and the ranch, you will have the opportunity to learn how mustangs are trained and tamed.

Although this requires intensive contact with the animals, you should be aware that the ranch is not a pets’ corner and you need to take your tasks seriously.

You should also be aware that this opportunity focuses on caring for and ensuring the well-being of the animals. There is no guarantee that you will be able to go on any excursions, and this will not be a focus.

In certain circumstances considerable patience is required and also emotional stability, as sad situations can always arise. But if you embark on this adventure with a sense of commitment and self-confidence, you will find that working with the mustangs can give you a great deal of pleasure. And if you should have any problems or worries, the team will always have an open ear – as indeed will NATUCATE.

Details Voluntary Service in Florida

Details
Country information

    Volunteering with horses

    Like no other animal, the mustang is seen as the epitome of the American way of life: free, wild and independent. Sadly, this concept is only partially true nowadays. Apart from the roughly 15,000 mustangs still living in the wild, there are at least equally as many living in sub-standard conditions in captivity.

    You will fly to Orlando International Airport in Florida, where you will be picked up by an employee and taken to your accommodation and workplace. The team will organise your transfer to the airport at the end of your stay. As a volunteer, you will take part in this exciting project, which is devoted to protecting and rehabilitating these animals.

     

    Mustangs are rescued from abuse and find refuge on this beautiful ranch east of Orlando. They are often in a very bad state when they arrive, even at death’s door. On the ranch they are cared for, tamed and trained in professional surroundings and in compliance with horse management standards, so that at least some of the animals can be found homes with horse-lovers. The permanent team is both competent and warm-hearted and enjoys a good reputation in specialised circles. They say that the mustangs are wild at heart and can therefore not be tamed by force. But if they do manage it, it is a profound, intense and life-changing experience. To ensure sustainability of the project, the ranch offers training courses and seminars all about mustangs and their care. This animal welfare project certainly left lasting impressions on NATUCATE. You can support this scheme as a volunteer and take the opportunity to contribute to a project which is as momentous as it is worthwhile. It will be both a memorable and educational experience.


    Accommodation

    Accommodation during the project

    You will be staying directly on the ranch during your volunteer period. Apart from your room, you will have the use of a bathroom and modern communal kitchen, which serves as a meeting place for the team. The volunteers have three meals a day. Most of the tasks are on the ranch, which is starting point for rides in the surrounding area or to other animal rescue centres and information events. If you just want to relax, the swimming pool offers an ideal opportunity for refreshment and the chance to meet others and exchange experiences. Everything is taken care of on the ranch - Volunteers participate in the cooking and cleaning of the accommodations. You don’t need to bring any bed-linen, towels or other household items. As you will be spending a lot of time outside with the animals, you should bring comfortable clothes, a hat for sun protection, a water bottle, mosquito repellent and most import of all: a camera! When out riding, we would recommend long-sleeved clothes and full-length trousers.

     

    Everybody interested in volunteering abroad should be able to adjust to entirely unfamiliar standards of living in their future host country. Therefore, we would like to point out the importance of being flexible and adaptable regarding the accommodation and sanitary facilities provided by the project. Those are very basic and – depending on the project – cannot be compared to European standards. The equipment and furnishings are limited to a minimum; air conditioning is not available. Depending on your host country occasional power blackouts or water outages are quite common. Please contact us if you have further questions about your accommodation. We are pleased to provide you with comprehensive information since we would like you to feel entirely prepared for your time abroad.


    Leisure time

    Leisure time

    During the week, you will usually be working Monday to Friday, as well as on Saturdays if needed. Apart from your work on the ranch, you will have sufficient time to get to know Florida and your immediate vicinity. During your volunteer period you will become acquainted with the country and its people while out riding, or make new friends at relaxed barbecues on the ranch. Riding along the nearby beach will be an experience you will never forget. There are many beautiful nature reserves in the area, all providing opportunities for lengthy excursions: by bike, swimming, fishing, canoeing or hiking, alone or with other volunteers. We can fully recommend the nearby Canaveral National Seashore, with the longest stretch of natural coastline in Florida, or the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge. Other options include a trip to Orlando, an interesting town with inviting nightlife and just 40 minutes away. Cypress Gardens is a lush botanical garden situated between Tampa and Orlando – well worth a detour. Since the Florida peninsula is at most 260 km wide, there’s no excuse for not making a trip to the west coast on the Gulf of Mexico. Beneath the palm trees, the picturesque beaches are reminiscent of Caribbean flair. Whether inland or on the coast, you will be fascinated by the awe-inspiring landscape.

     

    Background

      Project background

      Wild Mustangs are the descendants of European domestic horse breeds, and mostly live in the wild or on private ranches. The number of mustangs is estimated at 68,000. Many of the animals which are held privately (approximately 34,000) are not being kept appropriately. They are frequently exploited and mishandled. A horse farm in Florida on the eastern coast of the USA takes in wild horses which have been physically and mentally abused. The farm cares for them and rehabilitates them in a comprehensive training programme. In order to do this, the farm requires people who have experience working with horses and a love for the animals. The aim is to pass rehabilitated horses onto a better environment where they can live without the risk of violence.

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