Nervous about buying your first horse? African Horse Safaris will teach you everything from horsemanship, to stable duties, to veterinary care.

Taking the plunge and buying your first horse can be daunting- especially if you didn’t come from a horsey family. Owning a horse is a big commitment; whilst there are countless books and magazines available that will teach you the theory around caring for horses, few prepare you for the actual reality. That’s where African Horse Safaris comes in.

Discover How to Care for Horses, Using Hands-On Experience from a Working Riding Holiday with African Horse Safaris.

Students enrolled on our Working Riding Holiday programme are involved with the horses from their very first day.  They will learn under the expert supervision of our Stable Managers how to look after their equine friends, as well as ride them. A typical day will focus on stable duties before breakfast, followed by activities that will improve your riding and horsemanship. Enjoy the unique and potentially once-in-a-lifetime experience of riding alongside plains game, horse swims under the African sun and learning new disciplines, such as jumping and polocrosse. Even if you have previous experience, discovering life in a South African or Zimbabwean stables will give you a unique perspective on working with horses, which your horse back home will benefit from.

Learn How to Manage a Stable in Zimbabwe, or South Africa

Being in Africa, tack and supplies aren’t always readily available, so you will quickly learn to improvise! Suddenly, anything becomes a lead rope or halter; so when you return home, even the most destructive horse will seem manageable. You’ll learn that, whilst your horse might not always have the prettiest attire, it is always possible to keep it safe and secure.

Your daily routine at the stables will help you to identify and clean different bits of tack, as well as learning their uses. You’ll start to understand why certain horses need certain bits, and how to keep your saddle in good condition for as long as possible.  Mucking out the stables every day will ensure you leave Africa understanding different bedding, cleaning techniques and everything else you need to keep your horse back at home safe and comfortable. You’ll be able to improve your understanding of equine behaviour, as well as practise catching and turning out horses of all personalities.  Even the naughtiest, more reluctant pony will be no match for you!

Pick Up Some Basic Veterinary Care on Your Working Holiday

As well tacking up and stabling, you’ll be able to learn alongside the vet, as and when problems occur. By the time they leave, volunteers are confident enough to keep calm during problems, to check the horses for injuries, dress wounds and administer injections. All of this is fantastic experience if you’re a little nervous doing similar things to your own horse. If your stay corresponds with a visit from the farrier, you’ll also be able to get involved with shoeing, trimming and clipping the horses. With over 30 horses, there’s never a shortage of things to be done.

Discover the Life of a Jockey with the Harare Horse Racing Internship Programme

It’s almost impossible to get racing experience in the UK. Regardless of whether you are an aspiring jockey or just a curious amateur, becoming a racing intern provides a rare and invaluable insight into the racing world. Under the tutelage of a veteran Thoroughbred trainer, experience firsthand the adrenaline rush of galloping a sports horse, as well as getting involved with running a large racing yard and on-site equine clinic. Interns learn daily stable duties, as well as exercising the horses, handling yearlings and dealing with sports injuries. Essentially, everything you could possibly need to know about keeping horses at their healthiest. These are crucial skills for any horse owner to know, and offer a huge advantage should you ever consider competing, even at minor level.

What you can gain from participating in one of our programmes, and working abroad with horses, is truly limitless. Not only are you taking an incredible holiday in Africa, but you have a chance to expand your knowledge- and passion- for horses as you go. Whether your stay lasts six weeks or two, you are guaranteed to leave brimming with confidence about becoming an owner, and will have experienced how working with horses differs from country to country. You never know; you may even leave us wanting to pursue an equestrian career!