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help exchange   Host 18237
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Help Exchange

All Year: Yes
Area (ha): 200
Persons: 2
Category: Other
Host ID: 18237
Country: Italy

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Last Updated: November 5, 2014

**** Places available from now. If you are not afraid of VERY HARD WORK and can ride horses read on....****

We are a small horse riding stables in Tuscany making rides, lessons and holidays for tourists and locals alike. During the high season (April - August) we work a lot and need people who really know horses and have experience working with horses. During the low season however (September - March) we can accept helpers who maybe don't have experience with horses but would like to learn.

If you DO have experience then great! You can spend a lot of time riding our lovely mannered horses. If you DON'T have experience, then in exchange for your help I can give you lessons in horse care and riding.

Typical days are 8 hours (including riding). You need to be phyiscally fit as the work is labour intensive and we have a weight limit of 90kgs for riding (this is because the horses we have cannot carry more than this weight without suffering).

Example day:
8am arrive to the yard, give hay and water to the horses - this involves lifting heavy water buckets (up to 20 litres) and giving each horse about 5-10kg of hay for 12 horses.
8.30 bring horses in from the field - walking at horse speed also up hill, catching horses from field and walking them, you need to be aware of whats going on around you to stay safe. You need to listen to instructions and carry them out well. Good english is required.
9am lessons/riding out - again listen to instructions and stay safe around these large animals
12- give more hay and water to horses, break for lunch
2pm return to yard, give hay and water
3pm lessons/riding out
6pm put hay and water in the fields - more difficult as pushing/carrying heavy loads to the fields
7pm put horses out
7.30 muck out - very heavy work! Must be done well and fairly quickly (5-10mins per stable)
8-8.30pm finish for the day

you can see this is an intensive 10 hr day (the example above includes 6 hrs of riding, usually it would be no more than 3 hrs but still that is 7 hrs of physical activity) if you are in anyway unsure about your ability to do this then we suggest this is not the place for you.

In return for your help in the stables and your fair share of chores at home (whoever cooks doesn't wash up!) you will receive room, board, training in horse care (as required) and horse riding (amount of riding depends on your ability). We are also interested in hosting people who are able to help build fences, paint, mend leaky rooves etc!

You will stay in a stunning area of Tuscany (on the edge of Chianti) close to Volterra and San Gimignano and an hour from Florence, Siena and Pisa. Accomodation has all necessities but is basic. There is no heating/air con.

We are a smoking household and have 2 friendly but exuberant dogs! If you can't stand smoke or dogs this is not the place for you, sorry! Please be aware that our house is very small and when we don't have guests the dogs have access to all the rooms including the spare room. If the idea of a dog having slept in the room (before you were there) is gross to you, the you should not apply. If like us you love dogs then you are welcome here =)

Happy helping!

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