Equine Care & Rehabilitation Internship

The Equine Care and Rehabilitation Internship at Days End Farm Horse Rescue (DEFHR) gives participants a unique opportunity to work with neglected and abused horses seized by animal protection authorities.

Interns in this program can expect to gain significant equine husbandry experience, learn how to recognize equine cruelty and neglect, as well as receive training in basic rehabilitation and horse psychology.

This program is tailored to those seeking careers in equine management, equine veterinary services, equine rescue and rehabilitation, or equine advocacy. Riding and training is not the primary focus of this internship, although opportunities to ride may be available. If your desired focus is riding and training, click here to find information about DEFHR's Training Internship.

Please be aware that this is a physically demanding program; interns will be expected to assist with the completion of barn chores on a daily basis (including but not limited to: mucking stalls and paddocks; carrying and cleaning buckets of water; lifting bags of feed and bales of hay).

Applicants must be at least 18 years old.

Interns will develop teamwork and leadership skills by caring for a population of 50-90 DEFHR horses, learning from a knowledgeable DEFHR staff, coordinating enthusiastic DEFHR volunteers, and educating the community through DEFHR's outreach programs.

Opportunities for both residential and non-residential Equine Care & Rehabilitation Internships are available. Click here to learn more about available housing and compensation for DEFHR internships.

Upcoming Program Dates:

  • Spring 2017 Session: January 8, 2018 through May 4, 2018 (Applications due: October 31, 2017)
  • Summer 2017 Session: May 14, 2018 through August 24, 2018 (Applications due: January 31, 2018)
  • Fall 2017 Session: September 10, 2018 through December 21, 2018 (Applications due: May 30, 2018)
  • Intensive learning for 9 days over Winter 2018-19 session will be considered from December 27 - January 5

Click here to download an internship application. Please indicate on your application if the dates that you are able to participate in the DEFHR internship are different than the dates for your intended session as designated above.

Questions? Click here to contact Nicky Wetzelberger, DEFHR Community Outreach Director.

Intern: My time at DEFHR as an intern was a challenging but highly enjoyable and rewarding experience. There was an abundance of opportunities to learn about horse care and rehabilitation and we were encouraged to watch and assist through vet and farrier visits. I have learnt so much and know this will help me with my aspiration to work with horses in the future. All the staff and volunteers made me feel so welcome and I have come away with some great friends. I would definitely recommend the internship to anybody who has a passion for horses. Thank you to everybody who welcomed me into the DEFHR family.

Intern: Spending my summer working at Days End Farm was the best decision that I've made so far in my 20 years. Not only did I meet some of the most knowledgeable, hardworking, and amazing individuals, but I learned more about caring for and handling horses over the course of the summer than two entire years at Virginia Tech. This internship also helped restore my confidence in handling horses, as well as reaffirming my desire to turn working with these resilient and extraordinary creatures into a full-fledged career. There's nothing greater in this world than watching a scared, emaciated, and abused horse renew their joy in being a horse, being alive, and being loved.

Intern: The Days End Internship Program has been one of the most rewarding experiences in my pre-veterinary career path. It provides the unique opportunity to completely immerse yourself in the day-to-day operations of a horse rescue facility and become well-versed in the care required to handle and rehabilitate neglected and abused horses. The experiences I had with the horses I cared for and the great friends I made at Days End I will cherish forever.

Intern: Days End Farm Horse Rescue's internship program is one of the most unique and extensive learning experiences a student can have. The staff's vast and extensive knowledge and compassion makes working fun and there is something new to learn every day. It's a once in a lifetime opportunity.