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Horse Volunteer

longer term stays & hands on expirience

In a nutshell

Accomodation & Meals included
Groundwork and Riding Lessons
Support rescue and rehabilitation animals
Work voluntary to help with animals, farm or local community (optional)
learn Spanish (optional)
Weekends off for tours

Arrival Sunday - Departure Saturday
Ideal Program for longer term stays during sabbatical, gap year or digital nomads


 

Feel the flow...

Surround yourself with the pure nature of our stunning Costa Rican mountain setting where a freely living herd of mixed horses from rescues to home bred, youngsters to shetlands is living in peace together. Learn how to connect with horses using body language, psychology and energy. During the horse connection and liberty clases you will not only learn to understand horses but will also learn a lot about yourself

Within the horse connection lessons you can learn about the natural behaviour, herd behaviour, horse language, horses needs and how to become a great partner for your horse. 

Within the study of Classical Horsemanship you learn about the horse's anatomy and how to use flexion, mobilization, lateral movements, lunging, balance, using aids in order to help your horse to balance and improve his  strength. You will learn how to use your seat correctly in order to help the horse. You can help with the rescue horses for them to become happy, self confident and strong again. 

The first week of your stay you will mainly work with the horses on the ground to build a relationship. Please consider the longer you are able to stay the more you will be able to learn and develop. When you are an experienced rider you can help us train the horses from the saddle. Beginners might also get a chance to ride, but will be more working on the ground with the horses, learn confidence and get the first contact with horses. This program is not only about riding but about growing an equal relationship towards an equine friend. Some of our horses are in rehabilitation and cannot be ridden at all at the moment. But putting time and the correct training in, we hope to rehab all of them. 

You will be assigned one or more horses or ponies to care for and help with their daily care and training.  Depending on the length of your stay and the skills you bring with you, you might get the opportunity to help with the training of a young or a rehabilitation horse.

Please consider that training will be on the ground and riding. Expirienced riders can ride daily. Beginners will be riding under supervision.

With your stay at Finca Soley you will support our horse welfare program, foster rescue dog project and live an absolutely unforgettable experience combining self growth, education and a vacation in one of the most beautiful countries on our planet. 

As an equine volunteer you can be part of our team. You can be involved in the daily care of our natural herd. Mucking, grooming, hoof care, equine massages, energy healing work (touch for health) and training.

 

In the afternoons you have time to take use of our horse library, observe the horses in their pasture, take a tour, book onside Spanish lessons or just relax and chill on our peaceful mountain farm. You can also get involved socially and give back by teaching English and engaging in the local community or help with projects around the farm like: building, gardening, fruit harvest, cheese making or taking care of a foster dog. 

Please consider: We do not require any work from our volunteers! All work done is on a voluntary basis, you can also do the program without doing the work, in case you need to work online or just take time for yourself. If you do like to join the working tasks you need to sign up to them in the weekly meeting.

Is your help needed? YES, but it is always voluntary and usually there are enough volunteers that are able to help, that is why we are saying it that clearly.  

Meals are prepared together and the volunteers are required to help with the preparation, service and dishes according to the plan. 

Finca Soley is a family run project established in 2014. We love to put our hands on and have built all the structures here. The farm has 3 houses, a 20x40m riding arena, a paradies paddock with shelter space for the animals, plenty of fruit trees, jungle with waterfalls, pastures and incredible views. Next to the horses our family consists of dogs (including some foster dogs), cats, chickens and cows. We try to keep our surroundings organic and natural and live a simple lifestyle in respect of nature and in harmony with the animals. 

This is a great opportunity to learn new things to take home and experience real Costa Rica. Our main goal is to keep our horses happy and healthy and to share with you how to form a relationship with horses and learn how to ride with the finest aids in order to reach perfect balance.  

Includes

Prices

  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Supper, Water (from the tap) , home made Juice, fresh milk, Tea, Coffee 

  • Accommodation in our selfbuilt Volunteer House, with private bathroom  & awesome community spaces

  • Access to horse library 

  • Lessons in Horse Connection, Liberty and Classical Horsemanship

  • Equine Activites: hike with horses, equine massage, touch for health 

  • Daily Contact with our freely living herd

  • Community life on a sustainable farm with horses, cows, chickens, dogs and cats. 

  • Be more sustainable: make bread, make cheese and yogurt, organic gardening, jams and more

  • Social Engagement in the community: give back to the locals by teaching English or offering your skills 

  • No mandatory work: work voluntary in the area you like or take time for yourself and breath in the peace and tranquility of our stunning mountain ranch

  • 2 weeks 1280$ 

  • every following week 600$ US

  • week 5 till 12: 550$ per week

  • week 13 till 24: 450$ per week

  • Airport Pickup/Drop off: 110$ per transfer

  • Private Room Option: +25$ per night

  • Semi private Option: +12,50$ per night

Spanish Course Options:

  • Basic: 50$ per week (3 lessons)​

  • Standart: 130$ per week (9 lessons)

  • Intensive: 400$ per week (30 lessons)

  • 1 lesson equals 40 mins of learning

All Prices include VAT. 13%

More insides into the horse training

In our work with the horses we follow the principles of natural horsemanship (Parelli, freedom based training, positive training) and the classical art of riding, baroque style riding (academic art of riding and vertical). Our principles are connection, education and progress.

As an equine volunteer, you get lessons from isa our onsite trainer, or one of her assistants. All horses are trained here and are educated by isa and her students. Training is done from the ground first before there is riding. Experienced riders will have plenty of chances to ride as well. Beginners will also get riding lessons but for shorter times. This program is designed for you to learn about horses (and about yourself =) and not just for people to sit on a horse without connection. We see our horses as equal partners and want them to enjoy riding as well as we do. Therefore we put our horses’ needs first!

 

The lessons are held on the ground: on rope and liberty and riding: in a bitless halter or for advanced riders with a bit for better physical training. In the theory lessons we deepen the new learned information and put the philosophical frame around it. There is also a library with DVD's and books to which you have access. The lessons are held in English.

We want to bring our horses to a high level, keep them physically fit and mentally healthy. The relationship with our horses is our primary focus. For students who begin with natural horsemanship here, our horses are excellent teachers and you can learn a lot and progress fast. If you already bring experience, you can bring this to a higher level and have lots of fun with our horses.

The maximum weight for riders is 80kg. You can also join if you don’t fall under this, as you can work our horses from the ground.

Please visit our social media accounts for more details about our training. 

If you have any questions, please feel free to ask. 

Example Day

6-8 am: work together with costa ricans in the barn, mucking out, feed animals, grooming and milking cow (voluntary)

8 am: Breakfast

10 am - 1pm: Equine Activities according to weekly schedule includes: horse connection, classical riding lesson, lunging, hike with the horses and ponys, equine spa, horse massage etc. 

12pm: Lunch & Siesta

2 pm: Afternoon Activities  depending on your choice. Like: Spanish course, volunteer around the farm or teach English to the locals 

6:30 pm: Dinner and Social time 

 

Saturday & Sunday are off to explore the area, relax or practice with your horse (only saturdays after receiving the permission)

Activites you can get involved in

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Horse Sessions

  •         hoof care,

  •         equine massages,

  •         Natural Horsemanship training,  

  •         lunging,

  •         classical training,

  •         liberty training,

  •         hike with horses,

  •         seat lesson,

  •         Riding with finest aids, using your energy, breath and  focus

Sustainable Farm Work 

  • organic gardening

  • milking the family cow

  • cheese making

  • bread baking

  • jam making

  • recycle projects

Milton
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Social Engagement

Get involved in the small town of Tucurrique and teach English to the locals. You can teach at the local school, small groups of adults or help out with the English courses that are offered in Tucurrique.

 

You can also help with kids riding lessons. 

Animal Rescue

Help the stray dogs that came to Finca Soley and offer them a bath, take the dogs on a walk or teach them some tricks so they have a better chance of being adopted. 

The dogs are mainly sponsored by volunteers, if you feel like supporting one of the dogs please contact us. 

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Spanish Courses

  • Spanish courses offer a free placement exam to determine the person's level.

  •  Copies are also included for practice exercises.

  •  A certificate of participation and recognition of the level approved is offered according to the classes taken (the student must request it).

  • Spanish classes are taught by a professional in teaching.

  • The courses that are taught meet the standards for learning and teaching a foreign language according to the Common European Framework and the American Framework for Communication, jointly developing the 4 essential skills (speaking, listening, writing and reading).

Culture Exchange

Latin dance classes, costa rican cooking class or tandem partner to practice Spanish. We like to encourage our volunteers to get involved in the local community.  

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Accomodation

Volunteers will be most likley accomodated in Casa India.

Casa India

casa india

Casa India is an octagon building with 3 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms. Each room has an individual entrance. 2 bedrooms have a built in loft to provide extra space and privacy, sharing one of the rooms with a loft is a great semi private option and you will feel very comfortable here. All showers have hot water. There is a washing machine that can be used. Casa India has a big kitchen living area to be shared by the 3 rooms. Here you find our horse library and DVD area.

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retreat house in the jungle
bed

Requirements: 

  • Previous Horse expirience is a plus but not a must

  • Positive Attitude!!!

  • Animal lover

  • Teamspirit & kind personality

  • Ability to adapt to a new environment and the acceptance of another culture. Things are different here and we are the guests.

I am thankful to have been able to stay as a volunteer at Finca Soley for 2 weeks this summer. The picturesque views from the pasture alone are enough to make this trip worth it, but the farm is home to 10 amazing horses that I was able to work with every day, and were truly the highlight of my trip. I was assigned my own horse for the week, Navajo, who I bonded with over the course of 7 classes, 2 trail walks, and 2 trail rides. The farm has other animals as well, and I was especially glad to make friends with the 2 cats and three dogs who were so sweet. Isa and Milton were wonderful hosts who helped make my stay extra enjoyable. They arranged for me to go on three additional adventure excursions in the area and helped me with all of my transportation needs. The information I gained from Isa during our classes on natural horsemanship will stay with me and will be beneficial as I continue to work with horses back home. She truly has a gift for working with horses and I was lucky to have gotten to learn from her. Traveling to Finca Soley was my first international solo trip and I couldn’t have asked for a better experience. It was the perfect combination of work, relaxation, adventure, learning, and self discovery. I owe this to Isa and Milton, the other volunteers who I became so close with, the natural beauty of Costa Rica, and the patient animals on the farm. If you’re looking for a unique volunteer opportunity, I highly recommend Finca Soley. You won’t be disappointed.

Sarah, 2022

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