AFRICAN HOOFBEATZ

African Hoofbeatz runs two seperate Intern Programs in Zimbabwe, the first being a chance to Intern in the Zimbabwe Racing Industry, doing morning track work with the thoroughbreds in training and learning all about the management and training of thoroughbred race horses from mucking out stables, dealing with sports injuries and misty morning gallops around the track to keep them fit.

Our Second Internship is the Journey to Horsemanship program centred around backing horses for the first time, fixing problem horses, and competing at local shows and tournaments. We use and teach various forms of natural horsemanship and horse sense to fix and train our clients horses as well as offer confidence building courses to nervous riders. Interns on this Program work and learn alongside the trainer to gain practical experience in natural horsemanship skills.

 

AFRICAN HOOFBEATZ RACING INTERNSHIP

Very few creatures can run as fast as a thoroughbred. There is an old Arabic saying that says “the winds of heaven are those which blow between a horse’s ears”. This is a very rare opportunity for you to experience the adrenaline rush of riding on the back of a race horse.

 

A TASTE OF THE ACTION

Work and ride in the heart of Zimbabwe’s horse culture, an Internship program based at the evergreen grounds of Borrowdale’s Thoroughbred Racetrack, in Zimbabwe’s capital city, Harare. As an Intern, you will gain experience in the daily running and management of a large racing yard under the tutelage of a veteran thoroughbred trainer. Also on site is an equine clinic that caters to the veterinary needs of the horses in training as well as horses from all around the country.

Interns will assist with all aspects of the daily running of the yard as determined by the trainer, from exercising the horses on the track in the mornings, walking them out in the afternoons, grooming, veterinary, and even mucking out the stables. Whilst assisting around the yard, interns will also spend time with the trainer of the yard, and can use this time to gain valuable knowledge on the logistics of keeping horses at the peak of their performance.

Should there be any races taking place during your internship, you may be asked to assist with the care of the horses at the race day, in addition to being able to attend as a spectator to watch the athletes you care for compete on the track against each other.

The longer you spend on this program the more responsibility will be given to you in your daily role. The opportunity to learn and develop your skills as a horseman are in abundance here as you will be dealing with yearlings fresh from the annual sales right up to veteran race horses, who have had a few seasons on the track already, as well as hands on experience dealing with sports injuries. All this will stand you in good stead in any career or interaction with horses in future.

 

LEVEL OF RIDING EXPERIENCE

This internship program caters only for competent riders as most horses in training have very high levels of energy and require a knowing hand to control them. In our opinion a competent rider is someone who has had many hours in the saddle, must feel completely comfortable in a gallop as well as on a horse that will not stand still. We recommend that you also send us a video clip of you riding so that your trainer knows in advance that you are suitable for this internship.

Your riding whilst on the program will be at the sole discretion of your trainer. This is for safety reasons as well as to protect the privilege the owners have given us of riding their horses. It is imperative you have an appropriate skull cap and body protector for riding in. Please bring this with you as these are not readily available in Zimbabwe.

Note: due to the fact that this is a racing internship, there has to be a weight limit of 75kgs (165 lbs) for all interns. Please respect this requirement.

 

A TYPICAL DAY

When you work with a racing yard work starts when the sun rises and goes on like that all week long. As an intern your days off will be organized with the trainer of the yard once you arrive at the project as they work 7 days a week, but a typical week would be 6 days’ work and one day off.

A rough guideline of how your day may go is as follows:

6.00          Track work (exercise the horses on the sand or turf, each horse has a different training regime to work too, this in itself is a WOW experience that you will NEVER forget)

7.00          Wash horses down and feed them

8.00          BREAKFAST

9.00          Start mucking out stables, tack care, vet care, turn horses out, assist trainer with the young stock if there are any in the yard during your stay

12.30        LUNCH

14.00        Take the horses out for a walk ride to stretch their legs, feed and groom

17.00        Meeting to discuss following days duties for each intern

 

NOTE: Daily activities will vary depending on what is needed at the time. The above is simply an indication.

There is a shopping mall called Sam Levy’s Village about 5 minutes’ drive from where you will be working. It has an array of shops for you to browse, restaurants for your culinary enjoyment after work hours and should satisfy all your daily needs.

 

ORIENTATION

Your first few days at the project will be spent familiarizing yourself with the horses you will be working with and the role you will play in their training, as well as an introduction to Zimbabwean culture.

 

TRAVEL INFORMATION

Being that our yard is based in Harare, interns should organize to fly into Harare Airport and a representative of the project will meet you upon arrival and transfer you to the project. Likewise, we will take you to the airport for your departure.

 

AGE LIMIT

The minimum age in order to intern with us is 18 years old. We do not have a maximum age limit, but you do need to be physically fit.

 

LENGTH OF STAY

Our minimum stay is 2 weeks, with no maximum stay. Obviously the more time you spend with us the more knowledge there is to gain, and the more responsibility we can entrust to you. We highly recommend that you come for at least 3 weeks in order to ensure that you are present for at least one race meeting. In addition to this in theory only in your second week will your trainer have vetted you to do track work.

 

ACCOMMODATION

You will be staying in a semidetached part of the trainers house, and will have all your meals provided for by his family

 

AFRICAN HOOFBEATZ JOURNEY TO HORSEMANSHIP PROGRAM

Passion for horses is still very much alive in the hearts of most people around the world today. This modern age we now live in however, no longer makes demands on the horse as the working animal it used to be but rather as a luxury creature for our pleasure and sport.

As a result we now have a world of horse riders with a fast decreasing community of horsemen and women. With the decrease in true understanding of these animals comes the increase in the problems and vices they develop.

 

A TASTE OF THE ACTION

As an intern with African Hoofbeatz, you will have the opportunity to work with quite a few horses which have rider issues and through working with these horses your journey to horsemanship will begin. You will be working alongside and under the supervision of an experienced horse trainer.

Our work is varied from starting horses under saddle for the first time, identifying and solving issues of problem horses, schooling young horses for the competition circuit, be it polo, polocrosse, showjumping and so forth and on occasion working with riders who have confidence issues. You will get to work with many of the various horse breeds such as Arabs, Thoroughbreds, Friesians and Warmbloods.

In addition to the offsite clinics we do with other owners’ horses we also run a small dealing yard of Thoroughbred horses mainly for the polo and polocrosse community. As an intern with African Hoofbeatz you will spend a portion of your time each day schooling or fitness training the Hoofbeatz horses in preparation for competitions or instructing riders in basic horsemanship.

Our lessons differ slightly to the typical lesson one would receive at a normal riding school as we also encourage our students to try develop an understanding of the signals given off by their horses. In short we not only develop riding skills but try to also build a partnership between horse and rider.

Recently we have affiliated ourselves with one of the small animal veterinary clinics operating in Bulawayo and you will have the option of spending some of your placement with the clinic helping the resident vet on call outs or at the clinic itself.

There is a lot of knowledge to be gained from spending time with this veterinary clinic as Africa is home to some very interesting diseases and ailments. Although the patients they deal with are mostly of the domestic variety, on occasion some of our wilder residents also pop in for a checkup or need attention from fighting or poaching.

 

LEVEL OF RIDING EXPERIENCE

We can accommodate riders of any level in our project, however your level of experience does dictate the amount of responsibility we can entrust to you on a practical level. This will be at the sole discretion of your trainer. For example less experienced riders will be limited on the amount of work they can do with the younger horses we work with.

We welcome both Western and English riding disciplines however the style we use is a fusion of both, namely Stock riding. The focus is not on how you ride but rather learning about communication between horse and rider. Regardless of an intern’s experience, there is a lot of work to be done with horses, and time in the saddle is what we all need to become better horsemen and women.

 

ABOUT YOUR TRAINER

Andy Taylor has had a passion for horses his whole life. As a young adult he decided to pursue it as a career, training horses of all breeds and disciplines. He has worked with horses in Australia, the United Kingdom, Dubai and Zimbabwe. He has represented the UAE and Zimbabwe in polocrosse and continues to play the sport competitively.

Andy uses the newer styles of backing and training horses with a focus on creating a working relationship with the horse based on trust. He is driven by the desire to help more men and women truly know and understand the horses they ride.

 

A TYPICAL DAY

As an intern your work load will vary from day to day, but on average we work Monday to Friday with Saturday and Sunday being rest days. Most Sundays we take our horses to play polocrosse at the country club which is a good opportunity to improve your riding skills against other players. It is a very relaxed and social atmosphere with a BBQ and good times in the Bar after practice.

A typical work day:

6.30          Feed the horses, check them over for injuries, groom them and turn them out for the morning

7.30          BREAKFAST

8.30          Backing young horses/ working problem horses/schooling horses (this usually takes a few hours depending on which yard we go to and how many horses they have for us to work on)

11.00        Tack maintenance (tack care is vital as we need to trust our equipment when using it on the horses we are training)

12.00         LUNCH

14.00        Schooling or fitness training the African Hoofbeatz horses/ lessons/spend afternoon at veterinary clinic

16.00         Feed horses and turn them out for the night

17.00        Meeting to discuss the day and arrange everyone’s roles for the following day

18.30        DINNER

 

NOTE: Daily activities will vary depending on what is needed at the time. The above is simply an indication. The volume of horses that we are contracted to train varies on the time of year and demand. Should there be areas of particular interest to you which you would like to focus on we will try and accommodate you.

 

NATIONAL EQUINE COMPETITIONS

We encourage and assist our interns to compete in any horse competitions (showjumping or polocrosse) around the country whilst on their placement with us. We see it as a good method of measuring your growth as horsemen and women.

Should you wish to ride at competition level whilst interning with African Hoofbeatz it shall be at your own expense to pay the nominal horse hire fee, horse transport and entry fees into the competitions of your choice, as well as your own transport & accommodation costs should the competition be away from Bulawayo. We will gladly assist you with all the logistics of entering and getting to competitions.

 

ORIENTATION

Your first few days at the project will be spent familiarizing yourself with the horses you will be working with and the role you will play in their training, as well as being introduced to the owners of some of the horses we work with, and an introduction to Zimbabwean culture.

 

TRAVEL INFORMATION

Being that our Business is based in Bulawayo, interns should organize to fly into Bulawayo Airport and a representative of African Hoofbeatz will meet you upon arrival and transfer you to the project. Likewise, we will take you to the airport for your departure.

 

AGE LIMIT

The minimum age in order to intern with us is 18 years old. We do not have a maximum age limit, but you do need to be physically fit.

 

LENGTH OF STAY

Our minimum stay is 2 weeks, with no maximum stay. Obviously the more time you spend with us the more knowledge there is to gain, and the more responsibility we can entrust to you.

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