Polocrosse Internship in Zimbabwe

3 weeks: From USD $2200GBP £EUR €ZAR RAUD $ per person sharing


What’s more rewarding than helping retrain your own racehorse into a polocrosse horse, taking part in chukkas and tournaments, and developing a horse-rider bond?

Explore the thrilling world of polocrosse and immerse yourself in the behind-the-scenes of life on an authentic Zimbabwean equestrian smallholding. For those passionate about transforming the lives of ex-racehorses and eager to learn more about the exciting sport of polocrosse whilst developing your horsemanship skills, this programme is for you! This equestrian internship is designed for small groups of up to 4 volunteers at a time for an intimate and personal experience. You’ll be working alongside Andy Taylor and his family, retraining racehorses and giving them an opportunity to excel in another life, whether this be polocrosse, polo, or showjumping.

During your time at this Zimbabwean homestay, you will be taught the basics of the sport, join in with friendly games and tournaments, explore the local area on horseback, go on a 3-night horseback wildlife camping safari, and much more. You will also have the opportunity to assist with the rehabilitation of physically and mentally disabled children through the interaction with horses, help out in the local community, and really delve into life in Zimbabwe. Weekends in the polocrosse community are a highlight, with sociable braais at the polocrosse club after Sunday practices, and an opportunity to experience Bulawayo’s nightlife and restaurants. The facilities and accommodation are simple, yet it’s incredibly rewarding for those who wish to experience the equestrian world in Africa.

As a volunteer, you’ll be able to fully immerse yourself in the vibrant Bulawayo Polocrosse scene and make great new friends. Whether you’ve been riding all your life and are wanting to sharpen your horsemanship skills, or an intermediate rider wanting to gain an insight into the equestrian lifestyle in Africa – Andy can help you achieve your goals whilst making unforgettable memories.


At the current exchange rate. Please note final quote might vary slightly



There are no set dates for this working holiday, arrivals are on Mondays. There is a minimum stay of 3 weeks, however we recommend 4 weeks or longer to develop your skills. The competitive Polocrosse season is from March to August with 1 tournament per month.

2024 RATES


From: USD $2200GBP £EUR €ZAR RAUD $ per person sharing


From: USD $2700GBP £EUR €ZAR RAUD $ per person sharing


From: USD $3260GBP £EUR €ZAR RAUD $ per person sharing


From: USD $3800GBP £EUR €ZAR RAUD $ per person sharing


From: USD $4880GBP £EUR €ZAR RAUD $ per person sharing


From: USD $5960GBP £EUR €ZAR RAUD $ per person sharing


From: USD $7040GBP £EUR €ZAR RAUD $ per person sharing


Price Includes:

  • Accommodation in a shared furnished cottage
  • 3 meals a day (Self Service Breakfast & Lunch + Cooked Dinner)
  • Tea, Coffee, Water & Cordials
  • Group Transport within the programme + use of shared vehicle
  • All equestrian activities (Riding and Polocrosse lessons, Polocrosse Practices, Outrides, Horsemanship Schooling and Backing Lessons, Seasonal Horse Swims, Basic Veterinary Care and Stable Management)
  • One Matopos Farmhouse 3-day wildlife horseback camping safari (including entry into Matopos National Park)
  • Laundry + Basic Cleaning
  • WiFi

Price Excludes:

  • International Flights to Bulawayo
  • Visas
  • Comprehensive Travel & Medical Insurance
  • Transfers outside of the itinerary
  • Polocrosse tournaments & local showjumping shows, should you wish to take part (approx. USD $100 – $200)
  • For longer stay volunteers – additional Matopos Farmhouse 3-day wildlife horseback camping safari (approx. USD $300)
  • Soft and Alcoholic Drinks purchased locally
  • Snacks purchased locally
  • Drinks or meals in town
  • Extra Excursions & Activities
  • Items of a personal nature


Location: Bulawayo, Zimbabwe
Airport: Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo (Bulawayo) International Airport
Month: Open All Year
Duration: 3 - 12 Weeks
Group Size: Max 4
Skill Level: Intermediate and Above
Weight Limit: 90kg / 200lbs
Accommodation: Cottage on smallholding
Solo Traveller Friendly: Yes, no single supplement if willing to share


  • Beginner
  • Novice
  • Intermediate
  • Intermediate Plus
  • Advanced
3 weeks: From USD $2200GBP £EUR €ZAR RAUD $ per person sharing


At the current exchange rate. Please note final quote might vary slightly



  • The chance to experience life at an authentic Zimbabwean homestay
  • Develop your horsemanship skills through the retraining of racehorses and learning the thrilling sport of polocrosse
  • Create bonds with your string of horses as you work closely with them each day
  • Take part in local polocrosse tournaments, practices and showjumping competitions
  • Enjoy a 3-day horseback camping safari into the Matopos World Heritage Site where you can ride alongside a variety of wildlife, go hiking to see ancient rock engravings, and go out on a walking safari to see rhinos


Each volunteer will have a string of 2 horses to work each day during your stay. These horses will be available for you to compete at weekly polocrosse practices at our local club, any showjumping shows in Bulawayo, and polocrosse tournaments countrywide. Weekends will include a braai/barbecue at the polocrosse club after Sunday practice and the opportunity to experience Bulawayo’s nightlife and restaurants. During your stay, you will go on a 3-night horseback wildlife camping safari in Matobo Hills.


During your stay you’ll be learn the following skills:

  • General Horsemanship
  • Developing your own Horsemanship language
  • Stable Management in Africa
  • Basic Veterinary Care
  • Basic Horse Anatomy
  • Polocrosse lessons and competitive play
  • Showjumping novice horses
  • Retraining and reschooling horses
  • Tack fitment and care


Depending on the stage of each horse, the time of year and your riding ability, the following tasks will be done:

  • Grooming and Feeding Horses
  • Assisting with basic veterinary work
  • Assisting the team where needed to clean stables/paddocks
  • Offloading feed and grass when delivered
  • Tack maintenance and cleaning
  • Fitness training for the horses
  • Schooling of youngsters and guest horses
  • Riding lessons, including show jumping and pole work
  • Trail riding among wildlife on safari
  • Swimming on horseback in the dam (seasonal)
  • Polocrosse stick and ball skills training
  • Practice Chukkas
  • Tactical play/rules of the game
  • One-on-one coaching on your style of play
  • Polocrosse practice at Country Club (Sundays)
  • Assisting at the Healing with Horses Centre


Riders of all levels, aged 18 and above, can join the programme. Andy is enthusiastic about teaching less experienced riders, helping them build confidence both on the ground and in the saddle. However, less experienced riders may have some limitations when working with younger horses and might struggle with the fast pace of the sport. The riding style is a fusion of Western and English, making it adaptable for all riders. The focus is not on how you ride but on learning effective communication between horse and rider. Whether you’re an experienced rider or just starting out, there is plenty of work to be done with the horses.

This programme focuses on time in the saddle and is designed for those whose number one priority is to spend time adding value to horses. Besides re-educating thoroughbreds into a second career, Andy assists other horse owners with correcting vices and backing young horses. Training the horses in Polocrosse is his main method for ensuring a safe, obedient, mentally stable horse. You will have the chance to learn and play a fun and competitive sport which also provides a great social environment with other riders.


Polocrosse requires a good horse-rider bond, subtle horse-rider communication based on weight shift and neck reining, fast responses, alertness, good balance and athleticism from both horse and rider. These are all the things you will be working on every day with the horses and can start bringing it all together in the form of a game. You will be taught the basics of polocrosse, rules of the game, use of a stick and ball and tactics. As your skills grow you can have friendly games with others and join games on a Sunday at the country club polocrosse field just down the road.

The equestrian scene in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, is vibrant and dynamic, with a strong emphasis on both polocrosse and showjumping. The city hosts several key events that attract riders and enthusiasts from across Zimbabwe and the neighbouring countries. You’ll get the chance to compete or go along as a spectator for a great day out. Should you wish to ride at competition level whilst interning, there will be some extra fees, but Andy and the team will assist with all the logistics. It’s a great way to put what you learn into practice and bond with your horse.


Andy Taylor has had a passion for horses his whole life. As a young adult he decided to pursue it as a career, training horses of all breeds and disciplines. He has worked with horses in Australia, the United Kingdom, Dubai and Zimbabwe. He has represented the UAE and Zimbabwe in polocrosse and continues to play the sport competitively.

His career highlights include backing polo horses for a polo breeder in England whilst working for low and high goal polo teams. He backed and trained Arabs for endurance and desert rides in Dubai under the personal request of Sheikh Mohammed Bin Faisel Al Quasimi. Despite introducing polocrosse to the United Arab Emirates as well as a successful career there, the open horizons and warm winds of Africa called him home in 2011. Back in Zimbabwe Andy ran a busy 40 horse stron trail riding stable on a wildlife game reserve, training the horses whilst overseeing a breeding program, before going into retraining racehorses for polocrosse fulltime.


A four-hour trail ride will take you to the Free to be Wild Wildlife Sanctuary, where you can ride alongside giraffes, zebra, and kudu. This is part of the thoroughbreds’ desensitising programme before they head to wilder areas. During your time, you’ll have the chance to go to the Matopos for a 3-night horse safari. The wildlife reserve has large herds of wildebeest, zebra, giraffe, and many antelope species. This is a great opportunity to ride alongside unique African wildlife, and you can choose to do other activities in the reserve, such as guided walking safaris to see rhinos, cave painting tours, game drives and visits to World’s View. These are at an additional cost, and there may be the opportunity to upgrade to rooms at the lodge if you prefer that to camping. If you stay longer than 3 weeks, there may be opportunities to go back to the Matopos with newer volunteers – this is encouraged, but it will be at an extra cost.


You will have an opportunity to assist at the Healing with Horses Centre, which focuses on rehabilitating physically and mentally disabled children through interaction with horses. This centre uses equine therapy to help improve the children’s physical abilities, coordination, and emotional well-being. As a volunteer, you’ll support therapeutic sessions, ensuring the safety and comfort of the children and horses. It’s a rewarding experience that significantly impacts the lives of the children and their families. While this isn’t mandatory, it’s encouraged and is often a highlight for interns.



Just 45 minutes away, you’ll find Matobo National Park, a World Heritage Site and wildlife haven. The park is famous for its dramatic granite hills and balancing rock formations, locally known as kopjes. These ancient formations date back over two billion years, providing a striking backdrop for a horseback camping safari (included in the programme). Besides riding, you can enjoy a range of activities, including game drives, walking with rhinos, hiking, and guided tours of the rock art sites. Should you wish to visit the Motopos more than once during your stay, this can easily be arranged (at extra cost)


Those who want to spend more time in Zimbabwe can visit Victoria Falls, one of the seven Natural Wonders of the World. Known locally as “Mosi-oa-Tunya” or “The Smoke that Thunders”, this majestic waterfall spans approximately 1,700 metres wide and plunges over 100 metres into the Zambezi Gorge. Here, you can enjoy a variety of activities, including guided tours, helicopter flights, white-water rafting and bungee jumping. A five-day trip can be arranged for you, including a stop at Hwange National Park and the Wild Dog Centre. The cost depends on the number of people interested.


Within Bulawayo, visitors can explore two remarkable wildlife orphanages: Free to Be Wild and Chipangali. These sanctuaries are dedicated to the rescue, rehabilitation, and release of injured, orphaned, or abandoned animals. Both facilities provide a unique opportunity to learn about wildlife conservation and witness the incredible work being done to protect Zimbabwe’s wildlife species.



You will be staying with the other volunteers in a self-contained cottage on Taylor’s equestrian smallholding, 10km out of town and 5km from the local Polocrosse club. This area consists of other small holdings focusing on agriculture and borders on the Hope Fountain tribal trust lands, which makes for great outrides. There is stick and ball field for polocrosse schooling, which can also be set up for jumping. They have a large round pen for free lunging, schooling and backing horses. Andy and his wife, Karen, have 4 young children. It is a warm family environment with a family who has a strong passion for horses and horsemanship.


The cottage has a large bedroom with twin beds, a small lounge, a kitchen and a bathroom. Your room is equipped with fans, sockets to charge all your electronics, and a small storage cabinet. A basic cleaning and laundry service will be provided for you. The cottage has its own private garden overlooking one of the orchard paddocks with an outside lapa and braai/barbecue area. The kitchen is stocked with ingredients for you to make your own breakfasts and lunches. Dinner will be cooked for you which you can enjoy outside at the Lapa area. You’ll be able to shop at the local supermarket for any of your own extra snacks and drinks. And should you wish to spend some time in Bulawayo, there are a few local restaurants and bars in town.



Bulawayo, Zimbabwe’s second-largest city, is known for its rich cultural heritage and historical significance. Known as the gateway to Matobo National Park, home to the Matobo Hills, a UNESCO World Heritage Site renowned for its unique granite formations and ancient rock art. The smallholdings just outside Bulawayo are well-known for their vibrant equestrian community. The Bulawayo equestrain community frequently organizes events and competitions, fostering a strong sense of camaraderie among local riders. Additionally, the proximity to Bulawayo ensures that these smallholdings benefit from the city’s infrastructure while offering a peaceful countryside lifestyle.

Andy Taylor - Polocrosse players in Bulawayo, Zimbawe
Man and girl with a horse in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe


Our horseback adventures are hand-picked for the quality and care of their horses. Here’s how the horses in Zimbabwe are kept in tip-top shape. Our horses are on top of the hierarchy and receive very special care:

  • The horses spend their days in large paddocks with ample space to stretch their legs and be horses
  • They have a rest period between their racing careers and their training for polocrosse, starting the training slowly as they progress
  • The horses come in to stables or shelters in the evenings
  • They are groomed daily and and checked for injuries, sore muscles or sourness from overtraining
  • The horses are fed a high performance diet to keep them healthy for the work they do, with 2 to 3 meals a day
  • Fresh grass/hay is provided day and night in their pastures and stables
  • A balanced work schedule every week is drawn up for the horses to keep them physically fit and mentally stimulated

Please let us know if you have any more questions about this.


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