We are seeking young motivated people from France, Germany, and Portugal to come to our horse ranch in the mountains and help us provide free therapeutic riding for children with disabilities and care for the horses. Money for food, pocket money, also money for transport to the placement is included. The project is done with the support of the European Solidarity Corps
Through the project ‘’Volunteers and Horses Make a Change for Children with Disabilities’’ volunteers will be assisting the team of Paint and Quarter Horse Foundation Bulgaria in the Program ‘’Free Therapeutic Riding for Children with Disabilities’’. Volunteers will receive training upon arrival on how to interact with the horses and how to be in assistance of the instructors during the therapeutic riding sessions.
The young people will be also helping take care of the horses and the facilities. The horses at the ranch are raised as close to their natural environment as possible. Their home is the pastures that need maintenance together with the creek where they drink water. There are no stables to clean and upkeep.
Here is what Thibaud P., 24 years old, from France, shared about the experience of being a volunteer in the project ‘’Volunteers and Horses Make a Change for Children with Disabilities’’:
Did you like the ranch and the surroundings?
Of course. I wanted to be in a natural place with animals, it was perfect for me.
What do you think about the horses at the ranch? Are they calm? Are they well-trained? Were you able to connect with them or it took time?
It was a bit difficult for me to understand them. I'm not used to live and work with these animals so it took some times. But they are calm, friendly and trained, perfect for a real first experience with horses.
I love them!
What did you do as a volunteer?
A lot of things, like helping during the lessons with the disabled children, keeping the pastures clean, taking care of the horses for example.
Where did you sleep during your volunteering service? Was the place clean and well-maintained? Was the place close to the ranch? During the volunteering, l slept in a house with two other volunteers. It is not so far from the ranch in my opinion, like 15min by walk. The house is pretty old and not so well maintained but l can deal with it without big problems, l'm not complicated.
Did you have internet access? Was it enough to cover your needs?
At home, we don't have internet access. At the ranch, yes. And enough internet to do everything l wanted to do.
Was it difficult to work with the children in the Program Free Therapeutic Riding for Children with Disabilities?
It was not so difficult, l was not alone with them so it was ok.
Was it difficult to work with the instructors? Did they give you information and instructions you needed to complete your tasks?
It was not difficult either, l had enough information to do everything required.
Did you do any hard physical work at the ranch? Was it difficult?
Yes, l had to clean the pastures by cutting bad grass and bushes. And the sun was not helping me.
Did you travel around Bulgaria? Did you like it?
Yes l travelled a lot. Plovdiv, Sofia, Burgas, etc... it was amazing.
Did you meet with the locals? Did you like them?
I met locals from the village where l lived and they were very kind. I met people in Sofia too, very welcoming and helping. I'm gonna miss all of them.
Is there anything else you would like to share? Something exciting happened?
A 1 hour ride with an other volunteer and our tutor in the mountains during the last week. Perfect.