Endurance Riding Internship

South Africa offers an incredible variety of riding terrains and stunning landscapes; from long canters across open hills, to exhilarating and bucket-list ticking beach riding. This newly established endurance riding work-away holiday offers all that, and more.

In association with Amra Arabians, we are delighted to introduce a new two-tiered equine experience. For those looking for a challenge, the Amra Endurance Project offers you the opportunity to train and compete on one of their home-bred competitive endurance horses. Whether you want to come for two, four or six weeks, you will spend almost every day riding out with experienced endurance riders, training yourself and your horse in preparation for a 40km race as the culmination of your experience. This is an excellent and informal introduction to the sport of endurance and to the diversity of South African landscapes.

If you aren’t the competitive type and would prefer to explore the exquisite and varied natural beauty of South Africa, there is also a programme that will suit you – plus you can mix and match! Choose instead, to spend more time exploring the mountains of Lesotho, take a weekend trail along the incredible Wild Coast, learn about yoga for horses and develop a new sense of natural horsemanship along the way.

Your hosts are friendly South African farmers, while Nicky, the Englishwoman who arrived in South Africa as a volunteer 15 years ago, will be on hand to offer you support and practical direction and guidance throughout your holiday. With her horse knowledge and volunteer experience, she will be able to answer your questions and make your stay comfortable and enjoyable.

Participants will be introduced to the sport of endurance and the methods of keeping horses in top athletic condition while living as naturally as possible. The horses are not stabled but live out in large, natural herds. You will get lots of opportunity to ride, primarily riding out around the neighbouring farms, and will also be exposed to natural horsemanship techniques and have the opportunity to herd stock from horseback.

Fun on the Wild Coast!

Highlights

  • The horses are a definite highlight – top-class, competitive endurance Arabs
  • Learning from, and spending time with horse and endurance gurus Nicky and Lauren
  • Riding across stunning landscapes with experienced endurance trainers
  • The opportunity to participate in an endurance race
  • The chance to include additional activities, such as a 2-3-day trail along South Africa's Wild Coast, with its golden beaches, or an overnight ride into the mountains of Lesotho.

Quick Facts

  • Where Combles Farm, Kokstad
  • Length Minimum 2 weeks
  • When Please see dates and rates
  • Rate 2 Weeks: £440 + £200 transfer (includes race entry and transfer to race) = £640
  • Riding Level Intermediate + and above
  • Group Size Max 6 volunteers at a time

Destination Description

Equine Endurance Experience Amra Arabians owner, Lauren, has been breeding Arabs for 15 years and her progeny dominate the local provincial endurance scene in Kwa-Zulu Natal.

Kokstad, Kwa-Zulu Natal

A beautiful area, known for it’s great trout fishing in the many rivers and dams. With three reserves, Mount Currie, Wilfred Bauer, and the Mountain Lake Nature Reserve, there a countless picturesque picnic spots. The landscapes are patterned with cattle tracks and wandering paths which provide excellent hiking routes.

South Africa’s Wild Coast

The Wild Coast is one of South Africa’s most remote stretches of shoreline. Stretching from East London in the Eastern Cape all the way north to Port Edward and the southern border of KwaZulu-Natal, the region boasts some of the most beautiful and dramatic coastal scenery in the world. It is a place of steep green hills, rugged rock faces, plunging cliffs; a land of untouched pristine white-beaches, forests, untameable waves – and numerous shipwrecks.

  • In Africa, sticking to a strict schedule is always tricky and therefore you must be flexible. However, below is a rough idea of a typical day on this project:
  • More details in the 'Logistics' tab.
  • 7:30 Breakfast
  • 8:00 The top endurance horses are brought in to be fed, groomed and checked over
  • 8:30 Participants will head out on their first training ride of the day
  • 10:00 Coffee break
  • 10:30 Second training ride of the day
  • 13:00 Lunch
  • 14:00 Afternoons will either be spent assisting Lauren with her school riding programme or schooling and groundwork, learning natural horsemanship techniques including the Mastersons’ technique, T-Touch, join up, barefoot trimming, soft backing etc
  • 16:00 Feed and check horses before finishing
  • 17:00 onwards Free time and dinner

Dates:
Dates for Endurance Programme: 2nd – 30th May, 8th Sept – 6th Oct, 6th Oct – 3rd Nov
Dates for Exploration Programme: 6th June – 4th July, 18th July – 15th, Aug 7th Nov – 5th Dec

2 Weeks: £440 + £200 transfer (includes race entry and transfer to race) = £640

4 Weeks: £880 + £200 transfer (includes race entry and transfer to race) = £1080

6 Weeks: £1325 + £200 transfer (includes race entry and transfer to race) = £1525

Included

  • Transfers and buses from East London airport to Amra Arabians at Combles Farm, Kokstad. Please note that most volunteers will spend their first and last nights at Peas on Earth Farm outside East London due to the fact that the flight times and bus times do not correlate. This is also included in the programme fee.
  • All riding (once or twice a day, up to 50km per day, depending on training needs and participant fitness and enthusiasm)
  • Accommodation: self-contained apartment with two double bedrooms, two bathrooms, living room, DSTV, kitchen
  • Transport within the programme
  • Food: 3 meals a day including tea and coffee
  • Either one 40km competitive endurance race or one overnight trail along the Wild Coast (please indicate your preference upon booking so we can check race dates and tides).
  • Transfers to and from endurance race or Wild Coast.
  • Laundry service
  • Regular trips to Kokstad for shopping and essentials

Not included

  • WiFi (WiFi is available but not free. It is highly recommended that you purchase a South African SIM card on entry into the country. You can then benefit from the cheapest data bundle rates)
  • Personal extras – drinks, snacks etc.
  • Flights
  • Travel insurance (if you wish to participate in an endurance race during your stay, please ensure that this covers you for competitive horse riding)
  • Social events or personal trips
  • Additional excursions

Endurance Riding Logistics

Equine Endurance Experience Amra Arabians owner, Lauren, has been breeding Arabs for 15 years and her progeny dominate the local provincial endurance scene in Kwa-Zulu Natal.

For this project, you will be allocated two horses dependent on your riding experience and horse preference. Nicky and Lauren will endeavour to match your personality to that of the horse to ensure a productive and comfortable partnership. Each day, you will take part in a training ride on either one of your allocated horses. As race day approaches, you will discuss with Lauren the various pros and cons of your two horses and decide which one you will enter in the race.

Each training ride is approximately 20-25km, after which we will take a mid-morning coffee break and debrief, reporting on any issues that arisen on the ride or with the horse prior to or after the ride. After a morning break, head out once again for a second training ride. Afternoons will either be spent assisting Lauren with her school riding programme or schooling and groundwork, learning natural horsemanship techniques including the Mastersons’ technique, T-Touch, join up, barefoot trimming, soft backing.

Once or twice a week, you will head up into the hills where a larger herd of horses live and are used regularly for stock work – checking fences and checking on their extensive herd of Hereford cattle. This is a full-day experience with a picnic lunch. Not only will this improve your riding fitness, it will also give you the opportunity to explore the stunning landscapes around Kokstad.

Equine African Explorer Logistics

This programme gives you the opportunity to enjoy riding calm, confident Arabian horses in a variety of landscapes from the mountains of the Drakensberg and Lesotho to the golden beaches of the Wild Coast. During the week, you will be based at Lauren Lowrens’ farm near Kokstad and the project will be similar to that detailed above for the Equine Endurance Experience.

The main difference is that, at the weekends, we will take you out and about to surrounding areas of natural beauty and incredible riding. During a two-week programme, you will visit both Lesotho and the Wild Coast for overnight trails. A four-week experience will include both these rides and more! Please note that some rides are only available at an extra cost.

Accommodation

Volunteers stay in very comfortable accommodation situated on the property. A self-contained apartment with two double bedrooms, two bathrooms, living room, DSTV, kitchen

endurance working holiday endurance working holiday