Horse Sanctuary Group Experience

Time and Space Equine Education Sanctuary
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Coordinator | Clare
Coordinator | Clare
Book with Flex Option! Choose new departure dates or change to a different volunteer program at no extra costs.

High­lights

Have fun being productive and learning new skills.
Experience the Spanish way of life and enjoy daily summer siestas.
Challenge and push yourself through your comfort zones.
Look at the needs of nature, the land, and the horses and learn to problem solve to ensure sustainability.
Make memories you'll never forget during your trip with your fellow participants.
This programme is designed for pre-organised groups arriving together of eight or more people who would like to work in the countryside around the horses.
This volunteer program is especially suitable for:
Age 14+
Groups

Group Experience Programme

This programme will give an opportunity for your group to be in the countryside, working alongside horses who are being handled with force-free techniques, whilst helping with day-to-day sanctuary maintenance and farm work.

Your group will receive day-to-day guidance through the tasks, learning how and why we carry out each one. Each member can have the opportunity to learn how to make contact with the horses, and be with them without presenting as a threat. During your stay, as well as the day-to-day helping hands, your group can take part in one force-free theory workshop and one scratch class per week to ten days. We look at how the horse perceives the human, and how we can change this to help us 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.

Group projects usually involve planting, clearing, or building which form an essential part of our centre to aid sustainability, preventing erosion, and encouraging wildlife.


About Us and Our Volunteers

We are a small association aiming for self-sufficiency and working with the land and animals in harmony. We look after a herd of seven horses on site and others off site at various times. We rely on help from nature and animal lovers so that our project can grow.

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.

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 is a native Spanish speaker and runs the gardens and building projects. Clare oversees the horse training sessions, often with the help and support of other volunteers.

Work is often physically hard and although we welcome people from all experiences. A hard-working attitude fits best here. Please let us know before booking if you have specific needs or disabilities so we can discuss the possibilities. You will be joining a family with animals and children. It is essential that you like these as they all join in every area of our lives!

We are always looking for helping hands whether with general care and maintenance; helping us keep our horses happy; or helping with promotion – there shall be something you can bring your skills to. 

Work hours normally are up to 25 hours per week.


What to expect:

One reason many volunteers decide to take this experience, aside from what they may learn on our actual programmes, is to have the opportunity to experience a different culture and a different way of life to that in which they are used to. 

Apart from the fact that each family functions differently from home to home, here we also try to live as sustainable as possible, both as a family and as a project. This is a good opportunity when experiencing the world and new cultures, and we hope you can also embrace this. For example -

In the village:

The accommodation may/may not be basic compared to what some are used to. There are beds, bedding, towels, heating, electric fans, a bathroom with a modern toilet, shower, and bath, running hot and cold water, and a kitchen with a washing machine, stove top and fridge. However, the electric is not very powerful so it may cut out for a few moments if too many appliances are being used at the same time. 

There is WiFi available in the village just a minute walk away from the accommodation, in a family friendly bar. There is also a free internet building, but the opening times are sometimes a little sporadic. If you want to use the internet in the accommodation, then I suggest checking with your service provider before you leave. It is also possible to buy a Spanish SIM card if this is a better option for you. You would need to tell us before your arrival, or wait until the weekly shop or your day off to go into town. Vodafone has a very good signal and I use my unlimited mobile data to connect via hotspot to my laptop. I can not vouch for the availability of service/coverage/signal of other companies in the village. The same for making phone calls. Some people are easily able to make calls/Skype calls from the accommodation, and others have to walk out.

The tap water in the accommodation is drinkable, and there is also the option to bottle your own water from a natural source in the village. We do not provide bottled water. You can buy this yourself in the weekly shop if you still feel it is necessary.

Volunteers on our Group Experience programme are provided with accommodation, but food is not included, and shopping is the group's responsibility - see "Services Fees and Extras" for more information.

Any other details such as pharmacy opening hours, bus times etc can be found in an information folder which we leave available in the accommodation, and encourage you to read before you start on the project.

On the project site:

You must take your own water bottle which can be refilled from the natural source we have there. The main area of work is a little further down the land, so you may have to walk back up to the source to refill (especially in summer). Bear in mind this is not far, but it is a steep hill. You can also refill plastic bottles which we can provide to take down to refill, but someone will need to be responsible to change this each day.

There is no smoking on the project site due to fire risk.

The bathroom on the project site is in nature. This means that you can pee anywhere you like, and there are plenty of hidden spots. We have a compost toilet for solids. This is in the form of a wooden shed with a large wooden box and a toilet seat to sit on. Everything goes into this box then you throw some compostable material on top to cover it which is there beside the toilet. Any tissue and sanitary products go into the bin provided. The box is left aside covered when full, until it is composted. Then it is totally safe to be emptied onto the land (don't worry, we don't ask volunteers to do this!) - which is why you must only use it for solids or it would fill too fast and be impossible to move. 

All volunteers and visitors are asked to refrain from touching the horses unless/until they are trained in this. There are very specific and important reasons for this request which we will be happy to share with you.

Other details such as start and finish times can be found in an information folder which we leave available in the accommodation, and encourage you to read before you start on the project.

Typical day

The following is just an example. Routines change seasonally and can also change daily, depending on what other commitments we may have. 

First thing in the morning, volunteers take a pretty fifteen minute walk from the village to the site. As you approach you will hear the horses calling for their breakfast as they sense the volunteers arriving.

You can breakfast early before you leave or take a break later for a picnic breakfast (you prepare this yourself). We are flexible!

First we decide the objective for the day, and split the group if necessary depending on size, then we can get to work. The horses are fed and the usual day-to-day chores such as filling water and pooh-picking are completed. Then we will either start training and working with the horses or do any other jobs or projects around the farm that we may have on the agenda.

There is an on-site outdoor kitchen so there are options for catering. In winter, volunteers may stay all day, but starting a little later and finishing earlier. In summer, when it’s too hot to work, we either go home for lunch and a siesta, stay and have a picnic and maybe a dip in our ‘alberca’, or visit the village pool.

In the afternoon and on days off you can rest, organise your own activities, use the internet, read, socialise, go to the bar, listen to music, cook…..there are many options.

Spring and autumn are generally the most pleasant months weather-wise, 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, finishing and eating late.

It can be very wet in the winter, but nice and sunny at midday. Temperatures can drop to close to freezing at night. You should be prepared with warm layers and waterproofs.


An approximate Calender In the Gardens (your group may or may not be involved with):

Winter -

• December, January, and February we harvest olives and process them to make organic olive oil. We also clear the land of overgrown vegetation in preparation for new growth and as protection against wildfires, which is required by law in this part of Spain. When this is complete, we can plant garlic, beans and other early field crops we choose to grow that year.

Spring -

• March, April, and May we prepare the ground in the vegetable gardens before planting. Weeding also needs to be done now around the crops which were planted earlier.

Summer -

• June, July, and August  we start to harvest tomatoes, peppers, garlic onions etc, and various fruits.  We can eat them fresh, cook with them, and process and store them for use later in the year.

Autumn -

• September, October and November we will still be watering the plants and planning and creating other projects around the finca.

Our projects are seasonally, financially and volunteer dependent. There are seasons to plant and seasons to harvest. Building and maintenance continues all year round.



Free-time activities

Your stay here will provide you with memories and skills you will never forget! As well as those featuring nature and 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 Pa lo-Christian 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. Trips can be arranged at an extra cost on your days off, eg to the coast or other cities such as Málaga and Sevilla.

Transport: You can hire a car from Málaga, or there is a bus leaving every weekday morning from Atajate to Ronda, and returning 0n the afternoon. From Ronda there are regular buses to all major cities and many smaller villages. It may also be possible to hire a driver locally as a taxi service.

Climbing
Concert/
Music
Hiking
Museum/
Opera
Shopping/
Souvenirs
Sightseeing
Sports
Swimming
Water Sports
Yoga/
Meditation

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) or Spanish (basic level)
Nationality Restrictions
No restrictions. Helping hands from all over the world are welcome.
Other Skills
You are not required to have previous experience with horses or farm work, but you will need a hard working attitude, and the skill of being able to open your eyes to different ways of life and experiences.

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 Sunday from 07:00 - 12:00

What's Included

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.

There is no set start and finsh day, and the amount of time you stay for is flexible.

Flights, transport, food, days out, eating and drinking in bars are your own financial responsibility and not included in the fees. We recommend you provide your own personal accident insurance suitable for the type of activities you will be taking part in.

We request that after the 15% deposit/booking fee that is paid to Volunteer World, that groups pay another 15% of their fees immediately, but directly to Time and Space, specifically for booking their accommodation. The details of this will be communicated via email after booking.

The final amount of the fees will be due to be paid in full before four weeks of their arrival in order to purchase necessary materials. 

We are happy to accept installments. 

Payments can not be refunded should you not arrive or need to leave the project early.

Accommodation

Volunteers either sleep in a village house or the hostel, depending how many volunteers are here. The rented accommodation has a shared kitchen and living room and either an open fire or electric heating in the winter months. These sleep one or two people per room. Towels and linen are provided, but please bring a pool towel if you plan on using it. There are shared washing machine facilities.

There is WiFi access in the local bar.

For prices, accommodation, and organising discounts, we shall refer to these categories depending on your group size:


Group size A: 1 - 7 people


Group size B: 8 - 22 people


Group size C: 23 - 32 people


Group A: Please check out our Equine Sanctuary Supporter programme or our Sustainable Sanctuary Programme.


Group B: You will all have your own bed, but some rooms may be shared with twin beds.

Please note all other discounts for group sizes are already included within our calculations, hence this Group Experience programme which is approximately half the price to that of the programmes available for individual travellers. We can only give further discounts in very special circumstances as we are a non-profit organisation relying on donations to run the programmes and to carry out our work.


Group C: You will receive an extra discount after application because it is necessary for some members to share a bed when there are 23 people or more. Please let us know with your accompanying message should you request this as it is not automatic.


For groups, accommodation often has to be split between different providers, but we will organise that for you. One of the options will be the Meson de la Sierra village hostel, which we usually use for our volunteers, including groups. They have various apartments and rooms, but within the same main building. Many of the beds are double, but there are some singles. Large groups we have had in the past usually didn't have a problem sharing a bed, but this may be different with your group. Please note our group size categories.


This is a rough description of their setup:


There are four houses, each with a bathroom and kitchen:

  1. One has three double rooms (sleeps six), 

  2. Another house has two double rooms and one twin room (sleeps six), 

  3. Another has one double room (sleeps two), 

  4. And another has two double rooms (sleeps four). 


A supplementary camping bed is also available. 


The Meson also has six apartments with bathroom only, so the kitchen will be shared in one of the other houses. These consist of two double rooms, two single rooms, and two twin rooms. 


Other accommodation:


There is another house available that sleeps four in two twin rooms (single beds). This also has one bathroom and a kitchen and is a two minute walk from the Meson.


All accommodation availability is pending previous bookings and a deposit would be needed to secure the accommodation should you wish to go ahead with the booking.

Bedroom (Double) Bedroom (Single)
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. 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.
Vaccines
If you are intending to volunteer in Spain you should seek medical advice before starting your social journey. Check your required vaccinations for Spain.

Dates & Fees

NO CREDIT CARD FEES

Details on arrival

The programme is available all year round any start date, and any number of days.

Availability
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Duration
1 - 50 weeks

Program fees

Costs: Prices in USD
1 week (min. stay)
$269
2 weeks
$538
50 weeks (max. stay)
$13,462
Average fees
$269 /week

The organization charges its fees in EUR. The price table in USD is subject to currency fluctuation. Time and Space Equine Education Sanctuary 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 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.

Why book with Volunteer World

Extra security layer by Volunteer World
Volunteer World is the world's leading comparison platform for international volunteer opportunities. We guide you through a safe and easy application process - including all necessary payments. Planning your next meaningful trip with Volunteer World gives you free access to our:
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.

What are people saying about Volunteer World?

Horse Sanctuary Group Experience

This programme is designed for pre-organised groups arriving together of eight or more people who would like to work in the countryside around the horses.

$247/week

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