Pre-Professional Programs

I love nothing more than helping folks along the path to their dreams.

There is always work to be done at a barn.

Put these together, and we have a lot of opportunities to work together!

Do we have a program that works for you?

Volunteers

If you really, really, really just want to have an excuse to hang out around the barn (or need service hours), I’m happy to find things for you to do!

Volunteers help keep things tidy. As volunteers, you can generally set your own hours, and pick the tasks you prefer. Examples include sweep aisles, raking up hay, and mucking public spaces such as the round pen and wash rack.

Volunteers are welcome to shadow (see below), or express interest in being put on the substitute or interested list for paying jobs at the ranch, such as feeding and stall mucking.

Volunteers can be an age, but minors may be required to have supervision. Teenagers may remain at the barn unsupervised during working hours on a case by case basis.

Shadows

I welcome shadows (observers) any time I am working with training animals. I’ll happily chat about what I’m doing, though I do sometimes have a schedule to keep!

I am also quite happy to have shadows for riding lessons; however, these are at the discretion of the student (their comfort and safety are paramount!), and I may not be able to chat while I am teaching.

As with volunteers, shadows of any age are welcome, but minors may need to BYOS: Bring Your Own Supervision.

Working Students

I will gladly take on as many working students as our mutual schedules allow. However, I encourage all applicants to regularly evaluate if the program is working for them, and the communicate with me!

Our industry often takes advantage of unpaid or underpaid labor. I do not want to contribute to this. I do, however, want to make the skills and experiences I can offer available to all, regardless of income.

I generally require that all working students complete at least five lessons with me. This is to ensure that we are a match, that we have a common vocabulary, and that we have established basic safety skills. Some exceptions may be made for experienced horsefolks, especially adults.

I consider working students a labor-for-labor exchange. I will teach you what you need to know to be a part of my training program, and any additional help you provide I will compensate with additional lessons in groundwork, or eventually in riding (or dog handling, or any other thing you’d like to work on).

Like volunteers, working students may set their own hours, which the exception that they are generally within my working hours. Do as much or as little as you like, we’ll work together when we’re both available.

Working students are generally 16 and up, but some exceptions are made. Working students are welcome to place themselves on the substitute or interest list for Moon Dance Ranch jobs, and are also welcome to discuss apprenticeship with me.

Apprenticeship & Employment

Paid.

Yes, Paid.

Because these are paid, I have limited availability. I will offer what I can, when I can.

I usually reserve paid positions for students that I consider apprentices (you can pick whatever title you like). If you want to soak up every aspect of barn life, or if you are considering (or starting) an equine or animal career, let’s chat.

I have had students of this type go on to be barn owners, trainers, instructors, dude ranch wranglers, veterinarians, and more.

I got my start with Morgans, who “do it all.” I don’t know if I liked them so much because they fit me, or if they rubbed off on me, but I’m happy to show you a million pathways you can take. When you find the one for you, I’ll help you move on to where you need to go next– whether that’s with me, with another of the fab professionals at Moon Dance Ranch, or half way across the world.