Is an Equine Therapy internship in Argentina right for me?
Do you love horses? Enjoy working with children? Want to learn about a unique kind of rehabilitative therapy? Then this internship is ideal for you.
This internship is open to anyone who is passionate about helping others. It’s also a great option if you’re planning a career related to psychology or occupational therapy.
You will have a supervisor for the duration of your placement, who is also the owner of the centre. She has been running classes for over 20 years. You’ll be taught everything you need to know about interacting with patients and working with the horses.
In order to join this project, you need to have an intermediate level of Spanish. This is because you will be communicating with the supervisor and patients in this language.
It is also preferred if you know how to ride horses. This means that you’ll be able to actually participate in the therapy sessions, working with the horses. Otherwise you will take on a less active role during classes.
This project is available year-round, although it quietens down from the end of December to the end of February. You need to join for a minimum of two weeks, but our start and end dates are flexible. This means you can choose a time that suits your schedule.
What will I do on this project?
There’s lots to do on this equine therapy work experience placement in Argentina. Your tasks will be varied and interesting. Duties will include:
- Work with riders and horses during equine therapy sessions
- Care for the horses on a daily basis
- Learn more about the theory behind this therapy
Work with riders and horses during equine therapy sessions
Assisting in the therapy sessions is your main role on this placement. You’ll help the patients to get dressed in their riding gear, which includes helmets and riding vests. Depending on the physical ability of your patient, you will either ride on the horse with them or alternate between walking alongside them and leading the horse.
With many of the patients, you’ll need to help them stay focused during these sessions so that they don’t become anxious or distracted. This can be done through making conversation, singing, setting up obstacle courses, or playing musical instruments, for example.
You’ll only actively assist in these sessions after the first three or four days, once the supervisor is confident that you are ready to cope with the work.
Care for the horses on a daily basis
The dedicated therapy horses also need attention and care each day. You’ll help to look after them by feeding them, grooming them, and keeping their coats and hooves clean. You’ll also need to muck out the stalls and clean the outside area where the horses stand during the day.
Before classes, you’ll need to warm up the horses by taking them on a ten minute ride, and ensure that they are saddled up and ready for their riders in the arena.
Learn more about the theory behind this therapy
This project also gives you the opportunity to learn more about the theoretical and practical aspects of equine therapy. You may attend classes which teach you about the theory and how to apply it when working with patients.
The owner of the centre will also take you through everything you need to know about working with the horses in this context. You’ll be taught how to ensure the therapy sessions remain playful for the children, so that they can achieve their therapy goals while still having fun.
Where in Argentina will I work?
You will be based at an equine therapy centre situated around 40 minutes from the city Córdoba. The centre caters for both adults and children who have a range of physical and mental conditions.
Córdoba is located in the centre of Argentina, and is the second biggest city after the capital Buenos Aires. It has good public transport links, both local and long-distance, which makes it convenient for you to travel.
Córdoba is famous for its stunning architectural monuments dating back to the Spanish colonial period. It also has plenty to offer tourists. If you enjoy nature, you can take advantage of the many hiking trails, national parks, and ancient ruins. For culture fans, check out the local museums, art galleries and historical landmarks.
A typical day on the Equine Therapy project
After enjoying breakfast at the home of your friendly host family and spending the morning in the city, it’s time to head to work. You’ll travel here via bus - it’s around a 40 minute ride from the city centre to the stables. On your first day, our staff will accompany you to show you the way.
A typical working day on this project runs from 3pm - 7pm, Monday to Friday. You’ll have your evenings and weekends free to relax or travel.
In the afternoon, you’ll spend your time actively assisting in the therapy classes, helping the children and adults learn to ride. You’ll interact with the patients, supporting them during their sessions and getting to know their stories. The horse riding classes are supervised by the founder of the centre, who has been teaching here for over 20 years.
The number of children participating in the sessions varies according to the time of year. Classes usually start at 4pm, and run for thirty minutes.
The horses also need daily care, so you’ll make sure that they are fed and groomed, and that their stalls are cleaned. You’ll warm them up before classes, saddle them up and take them back and forth between the riding area and their stables as needed.
Once you’re done for the day, it’s time to relax. You can spend time getting to know your host family over a delicious Argentinian-style dinner. Barbeques are a particularly popular option! We also organise regular social events for our volunteers and interns. This is a great way to make new friends and get to know the local staff while taking part in fun cultural activities.
What are the aims and impact of this project?
The aim of this project is to assist patients with their recovery from physical or emotional issues through horse riding sessions. We also want to create an environment where you can learn new skills and gain experience.
A number of studies have shown that equine therapy can help people with physical and emotional issues to improve their conditions. A trained horse enables patients to focus on movement, spatial orientation, muscle control, posture, and language. Horses can be very effective at mirroring the attitudes of the person they are working with, and are non-judgemental animals. This helps set the patient at ease during their session.
Equine therapy is a kind of specialised treatment and there are not many places which offer it. The centre we have partnered with works with patients who have a range of conditions, from autism or Down’s Syndrome to physical mobility issues. With your help, the centre will be able to rehabilitate even more patients.
Together, we can make a long-term, positive impact in their lives and improve their overall wellbeing.
Measuring our impact
Our projects work towards clear long-term goals, with specific annual objectives. Every volunteer and intern we send to these projects helps us work towards these goals, no matter how long they spend on our projects.
Every year we take a step back and look at how much progress we've made towards these goals. We put together a Global Impact Report, which documents our achievements. Find out more about the impact our global community of volunteers, interns and staff make, and read the latest report.
Leisure activities and free time
Argentina is a vibrant South American country bursting with colour and rich heritage. Along with contributing to worthwhile projects, a trip with us to Argentina means you can explore this fascinating country.
Enjoying a coffee at the Plaza de San Martin, with its street performers and iconic statue of General Jose de San Martin, is the perfect way to spend an evening. It’s located in Cordoba, where our projects are based, so you don’t have to travel far for this experience.
For thrill seekers, you can take a weekend trip to La Cumbre where you can go paragliding off lofty cliffs. The surrounding nature is breathtaking and a horse ride around nature trails here is well worth it.
There are also enriching cultural experiences, like the Evita Fine Arts Museum or the Teatro del Libertador General San Martin. You can also learn more about the country’s history at local museums.
There will likely be other volunteers in Argentina with you. So you can choose to explore solo, or with a group of volunteers from different projects.
Safety and staff support
Your safety and security is our prime concern. We have many procedures and systems to ensure you have the support you need to enjoy your trip with peace of mind. Our Projects Abroad staff are available 24 hours a day to help, and will be on-hand to make sure you settle in well at your accommodation and placement. If you encounter any problems, they will be available to help at any time.
Find out more about safety and backup.
Meet the team in Argentina
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