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Horsekeeping Days for Working Students in JANUARY and FEBRUARY 2017:

Jan 14: 1:00-6:00 PM

Jan 28: 1:00-6:00 PM

Feb 11: 1:00-6:00 PM


Owning a horse is a big commitment. We want our students to understand just how much time, effort, dirt, and money are required to keep horses safe and happy. We also believe that owning horses is a privilege that should be earned. That's why we created a unique program that lets prospective horse owners learn firsthand whether or not they're ready for the challenges of horse ownership.

We use the Horsekeeping Levels Program to help parents know when their child is ready for their first horse. In general, we prefer to see a student achieve their Blue Level Horsekeeping ribbon (or higher) before they become responsible for a horse. The Working Student Program is a great way for parents to make sure that their child is ready for this commitment!

At HorseSense we teach the REALITIES of living with horses: mucking stalls, feeding, maintaining the fences and pastures, grooming and health care, emergency care, stable cleaning and maintenance, financial planning. Working students get invaluable hands-on experience and personalized horsekeeping instruction -- all good stuff to know even if you don't plan to own a horse!

And if your future plans include a career with horses, we have that covered:  our exclusive HorseSense Internship Program includes equine business instruction.

Who is eligible to be a Working Student?

stall cleaningThe program is open to adults and children aged 8 or older who want to learn about horse care -- you don't have to be enrolled in a riding program here at HorseSense to participate. You do, however, need to be physically fit enough for manual labor. A strong work ethic and a willingness to do whatever is needed (e.g., picking up rocks in the pasture or rearranging the manure pile) will also be required.

Attitude is everything here. Domesticated horses can't take care of themselves and will suffer if we are not willing to take responsibility for their well-being. Students need to understand and accept that the commitment to taking care of horses doesn't revolve around their own comfort:  our horses rely upon us to do the work even when the weather is miserable, when we don't feel good, when it's a holiday and everyone else is home celebrating. 

Some of our working students come to us with something to prove to their parents. In fact, it's one good way for parents to find out if a child is ready for the responsibility of horse ownership. (But please, ask our opinion before you go buy that horse!) We even have a few students who are working to convince their parents that they are ready for a commitment to riding lessons.  

How much does it cost?

Well, in monetary terms, nothing. We don't charge a fee. However, we do require that you make a commitment: we expect you to show up when scheduled, to do the work assigned cheerfully and thoroughly, to ask questions and be an active participant in the learning process. We also require you to to continue learning on your own by reading and researching. There's a lot to learn, and you will need to make time to learn it.

How does the Working Student Program work?

group working studentsWorking Students may join our occasional Saturday horsekeeping group or may schedule private after-school sessions or on weekdays. Our Saturday sessions begin with supervised barn chores, including feeding, turnout, and stall cleaning. Students then time working on their Horsekeeping Levels with individual instruction as required. 

Working students are strongly encouraged to study at home in addition to the hands-on work at HorseSense.  We offer inexpensive Study Guides for each level that students can purchase to help them learn.


How do I sign up for the program?

Call and make an appointment to talk to us. We usually take new working students on a trial basis at first, to make sure that students are able and willing to handle the work. After the trial period we'll require that you make a commitment to the program and to learning all that you can about horses.