Horse rescue centre takes equestrian tourism to new level

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A past volunteer enjoying some one-on-one time with Crystal at the Easy Horse Care Rescue Centre in Spain. © Koren Helbig
A past volunteer enjoys some one-on-one time with Crystal at the Easy Horse Care Rescue Centre in Spain. © Koren Helbig

A horse rescue centre in Spain has come up with an innovative way to help its horses,  and those who want to learn about equine care at a rescue operation. 

The Easy Horse Care Rescue Centre in Costa Blanca is offering a handful of eight-week internships, with participants helping cement the operation’s future stability, both by lending a hand with day-to-day equine care and bringing in crucial funds to support facility upgrades.

During the internship, participants will be invited to help care for more than 90 rescued equines, going deeper than being a tourist to make a positive difference at the frontline of animal welfare in Spain.

Easy Horse Care co-founder Sue Weeding said the non-profit rescue centre – located south of Alicante near the township of Rojales – would accept a maximum of just four interns at once, who will be guided through a comprehensive eight-week work and study program designed to teach crucial equine handling and care skills.

A key focus will be caring for horses, ponies and donkeys with complex medical and psychological needs as a result of past abuse and neglect. Interns will be paired one-on-one with a special-needs horse and taught how to develop a mutually trusting relationship.

Sue Weeding and Oscar, the horse once dubbed a "walking skeleton".
Sue Weeding and Oscar, the horse once dubbed a “walking skeleton”.

The program also covers basic veterinary skills, equine facility management, non-profit fundraising strategies and key animal welfare issues.

An optional four-week extension offers the chance to progress to riding, after building a solid relationship with a horse.

“A lot of people need the experience that only a place like us can offer, because they may want to work with animals but need practical knowledge before they can apply for jobs,” Weeding said.

“We have many horses, ponies and donkeys here with specialist medical needs, some of which are rarely seen in other stable yards, so this really is a unique chance to gain knowledge while working for a good cause.”

Interns who successfully complete the base eight-week program will be awarded certificates and a professional letter of recommendation.

Equine experience is not essential and Spanish language skills are not compulsory, as rescue centre management staff largely communicate in English.

Weeding said interns would greatly contribute to Easy Horse Care’s future stability, both by lending a hand with day-to-day equine care and bringing in crucial funds to support facility upgrades.

“We are very excited about this program because we think it may help solve some of our ongoing problems with manpower, while bringing in fresh new people and ideas, which will make a huge difference to what we are able to achieve here at the centre,” she said.

“We urge anyone who is interested in taking part to visit our website, download our comprehensive information pack for further details, and apply.”

Each eight-week internship costs €800, including simple shared accommodation at the rescue centre and basic weekly food supplies. The fee helps cover the program’s running costs and acts as a donation to help Easy Horse Care continue its vital animal welfare work.

For full program details, including the information pack and application form, visit easyhorsecare.net/how-to-help/intern.

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