Western horseriding experience

High­lights Require­ments What's Included Dates & Fees Rev­iews
Agency
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founded in 1989
Freda
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Coordinator | Freda
Coordinator | Freda

High­lights

Wild Horse Training Program for learners as well as experienced riders
Acquire true horsemanship skills as a horse handler, learn to tame wild horses and learn a lot about yourself while working with our horses
Participate in outback Cattle Rounding - youre gonna feel like you´re in a western movie
Lead daily outrides into the namibian Savannah and observe the wildest life in the bush
Our terrain is rough - visit the lost wild horse herds and watch the ferrals survive the deserted lands
This project is for adventure seeker that want to experience a piece of the wild & untamed Africa, all whilst being able to follow their passion for horses and riding! This volunteer program is especially suitable for:
Age 18+
Singles
Couples
Groups
50+

Are you an adventure seeker, outdoor enthusiast & want to experience a piece of the wild & untamed Africa, all whilst being able to follow your passion for horses and riding? Then we have just the right spot for you!

Whether you are taking a gap year, a break from your busy job / career or just lust for something new, we can accommodate you into our program & guarantee a once in a lifetime experience!

Our Volunteers are part of the day to day Ranch life here in Namibia. They gonna get a hands on experience with the wide range of exciting activities:

  • Ranch drives to our wild & free living horse herds roaming around on the farm lands.
  • Help out with the weaning process of the foals, halter - taming & marking.
  • Learn about the traditional way of colt starting & fine art of horsemanship.
  • Or do ground work and learn the basics of western riding.
  • Take part in a daily training and schooling routine up at the cowboycamp.
  • Cattle working: driving, sorting, roping, doctoring & branding!
  • Join in on our cowboy trail or star tours.
  • Help us to keep our horses healthy and be there when there is a need.
  • Sometimes of course you have to work from the ground, but 80% of your tasks will be directly related to horses.

What´s the emphasis of this program?
The emphasis of volunteer duties rely mostly around working with the wild horses - assist with training and take part in general ranch work.

Where will the volunteers work?
The volunteers will word at the so called 'Cowboycamp'. The name comes from the former cowboy who used to life here. Now the caravans are renovated for the volunteers to spend their lunchbreak or just relax a little between the training sessions. The Cowboycamp has many paddocks where the horses stay during the working days. It also has a big riding arena and 3 roundpens. There are enough possibilites to bend your horse up for cleaning and saddling and were having a a small tack room with enough western saddles, bidals, halters and so on. If we have tour guests one task of the volunteers is it to help them to saddle up their horses, teach them what to pay attention to and of course to accompany the tour. Even if we have big tours for over a week, the volunteers are welcome to participate every ride.

With whom will the volunteers be working with? 
Your gonna work with Freda and Imanuel. Freda is 32, from Germany and a fomer volunteer herself. She has been here many times and since the beginning of 2020 she is responsible for the volunteers and guides the riding tours. She trains the horses with you and will give you support whenever you need it.
Imanuel is native Namibian and working on Koiimasis since 3 years now. He is training the young horses when they come in the first time. You will learn a lot from him.

How old is the volunteer program?
Ranch Koiimasis has been accommodating volunteers regularely for the last 10 years.

How many volunteers may participate at once?
Up to 7

How much may the volunteers ride?
As much as you possibly can & want. Most of the work gets done on horseback, some days more, some days less. You will ride a variety of different horses and will be able to learn a lot during your time.

What other tasks can wait for the volunteers?
  • Feeding horses and give them water
  • Cleaning & brushing them
  • Cleaning, oiling and repairing riding equipment, like bridals, saddles or pads
  • Sometimes cleaning the paddocks, normally the native worker do that.
  • Assist with medical emergencies like colics, eye infections or wounds.

Who are we looking for? What do we expect from our volunteers?
The minimum age is 18 years. As the volunteers are self-sufficient in their accommodation, i.e. cooking, washing etc. you should be able to do this yourself. Otherwise, you should be open-minded and adventurous to fully engage with life here. And you should definitely be "horse crazy".  You don't have to be a horse trainer or successful tournament crack to get by here. Nevertheless, you should have a certain basic experience, be safe in the saddle and not be afraid. You also don´t have to be a western rider. We teach you all you have to know about riding in western style and ranch working on horseback.

Why pay for volunteering?
Your payment funds go straight back into the program but mostly the horses, this way the ranch can afford to keep a unique program like this going especially during years of bad drought and thus ensure volunteers have an experience of their lifetime! Also horseriding isn`t real work for a real horsemen is it?

What to take along & what to leave at home?
Here is a small, certainly not quite complete, packing list:

  • Clothing: Practical & sturdy clothing & solid shoes. If you do visit between the months of May - October don`t forget to pack something warm, the desert nights are known to drop down to chilly temperatures.
  • Riding clothes: Jeans / riding pants, boots, riding helmet / cowboy hat. Long sleeved shirts.
  • Optional: small pouch for camera or phone.
  • International travelling insurance (!)
  • Hats: any kind of hat(s) that will cover most of your face & preferably ears too. The desert sun is harsh!
  • Toiletries & other hygene products
  • Handy travelling medical aid pack
  • Swimsuit / trousers & swim towel in case you want to take a dip in the lodge pool.
  • Sunscreen (can be bought in Windhoek too but it`s cheaper at home!)
  • Sleeping bag
  • Mosquito net & Mosquito spray
  • International plug (south african compliance)
  • Torch
  • Something to read, as there is no TV in your accomodation and only limited internet access.
  • A good pair of sunglasses that will stay on your nose whilst galloping through the middle of nowhere.
  • Any other optional items eg: Camera, laptop, music box, powerbanks etc.
  • Unfortunately any Hair driers, hair straighteners or any other high power consuming devices won`t work on the ranch & might as well be left at home.


Typical day

The focus of your tasks is the work with the horses. You help with education and training and do real "ranchwork" - i.e. work from the back of the horse. 80% of your daily routine take place from the saddle - one day more one day less. You will be able to ride a lot of different horses and will certainly learn a lot.
If you ask us about a typical day, the answer is very difficult: In principle there is no everyday life, you will experience, learn and discover something different every day. A "normal" day could look like this, for example:

  • You drive down to the Cowboycamp at 7 a.m. in your farm car, which is provided by the ranch.
  • Halfway there you pick up the feed for the horses. When you arrive at the stable (=Cowboycamp), all the horses are looking forward to your arrival and you will help feeding them.
  • Then you will do small daily tasks like watering the horses troughs.
  • After the ponies have been fed, you start with your first horse for the day. Usually you have several horses for which you are responsible during your time. You clean and saddle your horse and go with it to the riding arena, the roundpen or just outside.
  • At noon you have a break of about two hours, this can vary depending on the season - in summer the break can be longer because it is too hot otherwise.
  • For your break you ride with one of your horses to your accommodation, unsaddle it, put it on the paddock and check if it has enough water.
  • Lunch time is at your free disposal, you can cook something to eat, sleep, read, lie in the sun... Afterwards you ride back and the horses get their lunch snack.
  • Now you take care of your remaining horses, move and train them.
  • At the end of the day you go back home with your car and fall into your bed tired.
The next day you might drive cattle to the next watering place. Afterwards you help to sort out the animals for sale and assist with branding etc. Maybe you will go for a ride with some guests in the afternoon, or help Imanuel to bring in "fresh" horses, you will stack hay bales, or you will drive to the next town. In between you practice roping, or take care of the maintenance of the saddle. I could go on for hours ... as you can see, no two days are alike. It's always, everything can do, nothing must. If you wanna take a day off, that's okay too.

Free-time activities

On Saturdays you will work only half a day, usually Saturdays are reserved for cleaning & maintaining Tack, repairing things in the Cowboycamp & restocking on the feeds.

Thereafter you have the rest of the Saturday & Sunday to your own leisure. You may chose to relax at the lodge pool, hike into the mountains or plan something fun with the other volunteers. On Sunday evening the family usually comes together for a big "Braai" (BBQ) as they call it, have some drinks & plan for the upcoming days.

If more than one volunteer is at the ranch, and if there are no other tour guests, you can take little guided trips with several nights out e.g. to Lüderitz.

Sightseeing
Climbing
Safari/
Zoo
Hiking
Riding
Yoga/
Meditation

Require­ments

In order to join the program you need to be at least 18 years old on the program start date. There might be exemptions if you can provide the permission of your legal guardian(s) or if your are accompanied by your parents.
Language Skills
You need to speak English (intermediate level) or German (intermediate level)
Required Documents
Complete CV sufficient and including horse riding skills and experiences
Nationality Restrictions
No restrictions. Helping hands from all over the world are welcome.
Other Skills
Self-sufficiency is to be an expected advantage.
Basic riding and horsehandling experiences.
Our guides and horsetrainers speak German and English, so you should know at least one of these languages.
Time Commitment
Your helping hand will be required on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 07:00 - 18:00

What's Included

Services by Ranch Koiimasis
  • Accommodation
  • Free water, meat, eggs - the rest must be bought by yourself
  • Guided Riding / Training 
  • Educated assistance
  • Horse Equipment/Tack
  • Horsefood - normally the horses of the volunteers are self-sufficient and have to be fed during the time
Accommodation

Our volunteers life in the so called "Caste". The Castle is about 2 km from the Cowboycamp and 1 km from the farmhouse and your guides flat. When you are there for the first time, you will get a different relationship to distances - believe me.
In the castle there is a big bedroom with three beds and again two smaller rooms, each with two beds. Two bathrooms with shower and a kitchen with fridge, oven and stove.
Outside you have the possibility to wash your clothes (by hand!) and hang them up. There is also a small pergola under which you can enjoy your meal or watch the dassies jumping around.
You might also see the pair of eagles, which have their nest nearby. Or you get a surprise visit from the ponies.

If you were really adventurous, you can also stay in the Cowboycamp during your time.

Dorm Room Bedroom (Double)
Food & Beverages
We provide free tap water (don´t mind, the water is really good and clean), meat (mostly self hunted Oryx) and eggs (from our very own chicken) - any other foods you may aquire yourself.
Before you go to the ranch you will go food shopping in Windhoek. If you forget something that`s no problem. We have a wholesaler coming around once a week to bring pre-ordered food.
Mostly every Sunday the family comes together for a Braai (=BBQ). This meals are also free for you. If you are vegetarian we always have a delicious alternative for you. But please note, farmers are real carnivores.
Internet Access
Limited access at the project site
What's NOT included?
Visa, flights, travel insurance or vaccinations are NOT included in the program fees. An airport pickup isn't included within the program fees either.
Flight Tickets
The nearest airport is Hosea Kutako International Airport (WDH) in Windhoek. We assist you to find cheap flights to Namibia.
Travel Insurance
Going abroad is an adventure and it is always best to be prepared. Sudden illness or injury, cancellation or theft - a travel insurance for Namibia provides security and is a plus to have.
Vaccines
If you are intending to volunteer in Namibia you should seek medical advice before starting your social journey. Check your required vaccinations for Namibia.

Dates & Fees

NO CREDIT CARD FEES

Details on arrival

The length of the stay can range anywhere between 4 weeks and 3 Month. A working Visa is needed for stays longer than 3 month. A min. of 4 weeks is recommended to acquire functional Cowboy Experience and to become a part of our daily routine.
Arrival destinations are either over Windhoek (Airport international) or Luderitz (local) if travelling by plane, or Mariental if travelling by Bus and may be pre-arranged by agent.

Date of Arrival at international airport in Windhoek, we reccomend to stay over one night in town. On the next day we, collect provisions and drive down to the south to our destination. The trip will take about 9 hours.
For a lift from Windhoek to the Ranch and back we count 150€ (round trip) in total per person or you organize it by yourself.

Our main season is from March to November, as December-February are much too hot.

Availability
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Duration
4 - 12 weeks

Program fees

Costs: Prices in EUR (USD)
4 weeks (min. stay)
€1,400 ($1,554)
5 weeks
€1,650 ($1,832)
6 weeks
€1,980 ($2,198)
7 weeks
€2,310 ($2,564)
8 weeks
€2,640 ($2,930)
9 weeks
€2,790 ($3,097)
12 weeks (max. stay)
€3,720 ($4,129)
Average fees
€330 ($366) /week

Please note that the above shown program fees are estimated and subject to exchange rate fluctuations. Ranch Koiimasis will let you know about the final price during your application process.
Deposit (15%)
The deposit is simply to reserve your volunteer placement. Payments are handled by PayPal, our trusted global payment provider. If you don't have a PayPal account, you can also pay using a credit card.
Final Payment (85%)
Your final payment will be agreed with Ranch Koiimasis during the application process. Common solutions are either via bank transfer or a cash payment at the project site.

Why book with Volunteer World

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Flex Option
Change your reservation at no extra costs
Refund Guarantee
We refund your fees if Ranch Koiimasis cancels your trip
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All program fees are charged directly by Ranch Koiimasis.

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  Africa Southern Africa Namibia  Helmeringhausen, Farm Koiimasis # 5

Western horseriding experience

This project is for adventure seeker that want to experience a piece of the wild & untamed Africa, all whilst being able to follow their passion for horses and riding!

$330/week

from 1,400€ ($1,554)
see price table
Availability
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

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