Volunteering Canada Horse Welfare – Lisa
Lisa was part of our partner organisation's equine welfare team in Canada for two months. Learn from her experiences what it's like to volunteer with rescued horses on the farm in southern Alberta.
Project: Horse protection in Canada
Location: Southern Alberta
Duration: 29.04.2022 - 24.06.2022
Support from the Natucate team:
Partner on site:
Animal welfare in Canada– Feedback: Seven questions for Lisa
1) Could you give us a short overview of your tasks in the project?
My day always started with the morning feeding and usually ended with the evening feeding.
- Distributing hay and mash to the horses
- Feeding the rabbits, chickens and pigs
- Cleaning and refilling the buckets
- Giving medication
- Mucking out
- Cleaning the horses
- Maintenance tasks such as repairing fences
- Exercises with the yearlings, e.g. giving hooves, letting them touch, haltering them
2) What were the biggest challenges for you during the project?
Especially in the beginning, during the introductory phase, it was very difficult for me to properly understand and implement the tasks we were given. Everything was still so new, a lot of things were introduced at once, and I didn't know the animals they were talking about. But that became easier and easier as I got to know the animals and Mike, Kathy and Astrid better and became more experienced with the daily tasks.
3) Was there anything you liked in particular? Or something that you remember particularly negatively?
I particularly liked the family atmosphere. I immediately felt welcome and in good hands. Mike, Kathy and Astrid are a really good team and being part of it for 2 months was incredibly fun. Moreover, in everything they do, you can see the passion for the animals that drives them and that they always want the best for them. Seeing how they always look for new solutions and never give up, even if it is sometimes hard, was very inspiring.
Something I don't remember so well is our bathroom, because when it rained heavily, and unfortunately it often did, it started dripping heavily. But you could get used to that and Mike tried everything to make it better :)
4) Did you have certain expectations before you travelled to the project?
I had a very good idea of what to expect through Natucate and then when I was in the project, my expectations were completely fulfilled. I expected the work to be very demanding but also very rewarding and satisfying at the same time, but I would never have thought that I would have such an incredibly good time, from which good friendships have developed and from which I will take away so much for myself.
5) Have you done anything in your free time that you can recommend to future participants?
Explore the area where you are, but talk to your hosts about your plans beforehand. I made many nice trips around the area, but first had to learn about the new dangers that the bears and pumas from this area bring.
I also went to other and bigger towns with the other volunteers, we went shopping and saw the foreign shops and way of life, which I can only recommend. If you can, go out to eat, because that gave me a deeper insight into the culture and I met a lot of nice people.
6) What recommendations would you give to other participants?
Just enjoy the time. It probably won't always go smoothly and sometimes you might miss home, but these moments are part of it and are only a small part of many positive, funny, heart-warming and beautiful moments. Also, get in touch with other volunteers who are already there and ask them any questions you have, as they may have more up-to-date information. And go shopping at Walmart. The same groceries are much cheaper there and it's really worth it, even if you have to drive longer.
7) Can you estimate how many additional costs you had on site?
I could calculate about 70 euros per week for food. The rest of the costs depend on how much you do and how much you travel.
8) Further comments from Lisa:
"Live like someone left the gate open" - this saying hung on our vet's wall and has stuck in my mind. Have fun on your journey!
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