Time and Space Equine Education Sanctuary

Horse Sanctuary Group Experience

Atajate, Spain show on map
Time and Space Equine Education Sanctuary
Coordinator | Clare
Coordinator | Clare
An opportunity for your group to be in the countryside and gain real experience with horses whilst helping with day-to-day sanctuary work such as building and maintanance This volunteer program is especially suitable for:

About Us

We are an English-Spanish family, and you are invited to join us and take part in a fusion of at least two languages and cultures. Clare and partner Chico have a wide variety of experience and skills between them. Chico the native Spanish speaker runs the gardens and building projects. He also enjoys the horses and is relatively recently self- and horse-taught. Clare runs the horsemanship classes and has worked with horses for over 25 years in racing, showing, teaching, and now natural horsemanship. They have both learnt so much from their herd of horses and love to share their stories. Hopefully you will come and create your own. 

We live in a village of 150 people in the mountains. It is friendly and intimate. Even if you don't speak any Spanish, you will be welcomed as if you do.  The horses are just a short walk away down a track.

The Sanctuary
Clare comes from a traditional English riding background. She arrived in Spain in 2010 to work with a free-roaming herd who taught her a completely new way of relating to horses. At the same time, she was deeply moved by the plight of many of the horses and horsemanship practices. She saw horses hobbled, confined in tiny dirty stables all day, every day, and ridden in the extremely harsh serraton bridle. These two extremes represented the very best and worst of horse management and inspired the project. The sanctuary is in its infancy having moved to new premises in February 2016. There is a lot of work to do and your help is important to get this exciting project off the ground.

Our Aim
  • Inspire horse lovers and owners through open days, project partnership programs and workshops
  • Train the sanctuary's horses sympathetically, naturally, barefoot and bitless
  • Promote good horse care by creating an enriched environment for our own herd
  • Raise awareness of the requirements for a happy, healthy, emotionally and physically well-balanced horse.
  • Be in a position to work with owners and their horses to explore and share knowledge of horse behavior and welfare
Group Experience Program 
Volunteering your time is a great way to be in the countryside, experience our horses and get a sense of what we’re trying to achieve within the sanctuary. We are always looking for helping hands whether with general maintenance and building within our Paddock Enhancement project or horse care - there shall be something you can bring your skills to. You could choose to focus on one specific area or try your hand at different things. 

Your group will receive day-to-day guidance through the tasks and each member will learn how to handle and be with the horses throughout their time with us. Natural Horsemanship is what we are about and during your stay your group can take part in one horsemanship workshop and one group walk-lead-and ride out per week to ten days. We look a lot more at the horse and human psychology and body language to help us learn to communicate and understand each other by responding appropriately rather than using force. This inevitably builds confidence in both horse and human and leads to more beautiful results.

Typical day

First thing in the morning we take a pretty 15 minute walk with the dogs from the village to the horses. You can either breakfast early before we leave, or take a break during work for a picnic breakfast. We are flexible! Usually when walking, on our approach we will here the horses calling for their breakfast as they hear us arriving.

First we feed the horses and do the usual day-to-day chores such as waters and poo-picking. Then we will then start working with the horses and other jobs we may have on the agenda. There is grooming, hoof care, gardening and farm maintenance/building - depending on where you choose to spend your time.

In summer we then go home for lunch and a siesta, or stay and have a picnic. In winter we may stay all day, but start a little later. We have a  similar routine on the afternoon.

On the evening at home we can rest, use the internet, socialise, go to the bar, listen to music. In summer there is a pool in the village. The group can either appoint chefs or use a rota basis for cooking and this can either be carried out in our small outdoor kitchen at the farm, or in your accommodation in the village. The bars are also very reasonable.

Spring and autumn are generally the most pleasant months to work in, but if you are visiting during the summer months be aware that temperatures can reach 45 degrees, and work needs to be started very early at day-break (or before) and continued in the evening. We fit into the Spanish way of life by taking siestas and eating late into the night. It can be very wet in the winter, but also sunny at midday!

Details on Arrival

The program is available all year round any start date, and any number of days, but please be prepared for weather! We can advise on suitable clothing closer to the time.

You would arrange your own transport to Atajate and there are reliable buses and trains which can bring you from the airport in Malaga. We are happy to help you plan this and we will send more information after booking. Some groups hire vehicles and others drive here from their home country. This way it is also easier to get the shopping regularly

Free-time activities

Your stay here will provide you with memories and skills you will never forget! As well as those featuring the horses, there are festivals and parties that take place in all the villages. The big water fight in Atajate is in August; there is a German beer festival in Jimera de Libar in October and mushroom festivals in November. In summer there are music and horse festivals, foam parties and more! The beautiful local ‘white villages' vary from 2000 inhabitants down to a population of less than 200 and are well worth a visit.

As well as the villages, there are towns to visit. Ronda is around 25km away and is on a main coast to city train route. It boasts a spectacular viaduct as well as many other historic sites and a variety of shops. After exploring these, the huge variety of cafes and bars will offer welcome refreshment.

If, however you prefer a break from civilisation then you will be in your element. The surrounding mountains, forests and river are beautiful, peaceful and watched over by soaring eagles. Close by there are natural sites to visit such as the Canyon of the Vultures. There are guided walks to vast caves with ancient cave paintings. A Palo-Christiano church is tucked away off the beaten track and an Arab tower is hidden in the countryside with not a tourist in sight.

The beach is approximately 1½ hours’ drive away, and cities including Malaga and Sevilla are within a couple of hours

Water Sports

Program Requirements

In order to join the program you need to be at least 14 years old on the program start date.
Language Skills
You need to speak English (basic level) and Spanish (basic level)
Nationality Restrictions
No restrictions. Helping hands from all over the world are welcome.
Other Skills
You are not require to have previous experience with horses or farm work, but you will need a hard working attitude.

We are flexible and do like to make this opportunity available for everyone as we enjoy seeing people learn and develop. If you are an experienced horse person, then you will already know that you can never finish learning and that the horse is the best teacher of which we have plenty.

If you are under 16 then we can accept you with permission from a legal guardian.
Time Commitment
Your helping hand will be required on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday

Included Services

Extra security layer by Volunteer World
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Quality Assurance
High ethical standards & transparent social impact
Flex Option
Change your reservation at no extra costs
Refund Guarantee
We refund your fees if Time and Space Equine Education Sanctuary cancels your trip
Support & Mediation
We cover your back no matter what happens
Our services are free of charge!
All program fees are charged directly by Time and Space Equine Education Sanctuary.

Before your journey

Profound consulting and ongoing support (free)
Time and Space Equine Education Sanctuary (your host organization) provides consulting and is keen to answer all your questions. Once you reserved your spot, you will receive the contact details of your volunteer project.
Online preparation course (optional, from $49)
Prepare yourself and become a confident and well informed traveler. Global Travel Academy takes you on a journey before you leave home, helping you to become one of the world's greatest travelers. Our trusted partner for online learning offers courses in "International Volunteering", "Travel Health & Safety" and "Travel Safety Abroad".

On-site services

Services by Time and Space Equine Education Sanctuary

Fees are per person and cover a donation to the project in which we use to feed the horses, maintain and improve their living conditions, pay insurance, offer support and run programs etc. We include for free: Support and training plus one natural horsemanship workshop and a group walk-lead-ride out. Your fees and deposit are calculated in American Dollars to book your place. As we work in euros in Spain, your remaining fees (after deposit) are due upon arrival and are set at 140€ per week per person to allow for fluctuation in exchange rates.   

Flights, transport, food, accommodation, days out, eating and drinking in bars are your own financial responsibility and not included in the fees. We can help you find accommodation locally which at the moment is between 8€ and 17.50€ per person, per night. We recommend you provide your own personal accident insurance suitable for the type of activities you will be taking part in.

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. Please arrange your own accommodation. Food, snacks or beverages are at extra costs.
Flight Tickets
The nearest airport is Malaga Airport (AGP) in Malaga. We assist you to find cheap flights to Spain.
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 Spain provides security and is a plus to have.
If you are intending to volunteer in Spain you should seek medical advice before starting your social journey. Check your required vaccinations for Spain.
Costs: Prices in USD
1 week (min. stay)
$ 175
2 weeks
$ 350
3 weeks
$ 525
4 weeks
$ 700
8 weeks
$ 1,400
16 weeks
$ 2,800
50 weeks (max. stay)
$ 8,750
Average fees
$ 175 /week

You can volunteer at the project site in Atajate/Spain between 1 week and 50 weeks. Please note that the above shown program fees are estimated and subject to exchange rate fluctuations. Time and Space Equine Education Sanctuary will let you know about the final price during your application process.
Crowdfunding Service
Generally, volunteering abroad involves certain costs. In case you need financial support, we will assist you to fundraise your volunteer program in Spain.
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 Time and Space Equine Education Sanctuary during the application process. Common solutions are either via bank transfer or a cash payment at the project site.

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Join our team looking after the horses, improving the sanctuary and promoting equine welfare whilst working on your natural horsemanship skills with a project horse.
The project site is open in: Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

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