Draft Horse Management Internships
Because there is a shortage of places where people can learn the skills of working with draft horses, especially those who are new to the draft horse world, we have developed a Long Term Internship Program. The goal is to improve the opportunities for those wishing to pursue a career in the field of draft horse management and to improve the educational opportunities for personnel involved in the care and management, ownership, and support structure of this industry. This program will also provide industry professionals with knowledgeable employees capable of making significant contributions to their operation.
- Reproduction: February 1 – June 1
Application Due: October 1
Broodmare care, foaling, breeding, collecting, and stallion management
- Farming: April 10 – September 30
Application Due: January 1
Planting to Harvest – Experience harnessing and driving – using the horses to drill oats, plant corn, harvest hay, combine grain, and tillage work.
- Shows and Sales: July 10 – October 31
Application Due: April 1
Fitting, grooming, and preparing horses for national shows and sales
The attendance dates can be flexible
The internship program immerses its participants in the heavy horse industry. This requires highly motivated inters with strong work ethics and sincere interest in draft horses. Interns develop a broad base of skills through on-farm experience. The internship program will provide the experience and skills needed to pursue a career in the draft horse industry.
Before the start of the internship period, interns and their families are invited to meet with The Farm’s management to help acquaint interns with the mechanics of the program and farm employment.
The program is a physically, mentally, and emotionally challenging commitment. Interns work as full time farm employees to learn the day to day operations of a working draft horse farm. Farm management will determine individual responsibilities for each intern based on both the needs of the farm and the qualifications and interests of the intern. Students will be assigned tasks involving hands on experience with draft horses in addition to other livestock.
Interns will work a minimum of eight hours per day, five days per week during the internship period. A large portion of the work day will be spent completing routine farm chores.
The Reproduction Session covers intensive management practices of operating a draft horse breeding operation. On a day to day basis, interns will be involved in the care of pregnant/foaling mares, halter training foals, care of neonatal foals, mare and stallion management, collecting semen, and breeding mares. Interns must be prepared to participate in foal watch during the evenings and nights.
The Farming Session involves all aspects of field management on a horse powered farm. Interns will learn the benefits and limitations of horse drawn agriculture. Interns will be involved in plowing, tillage work, drilling oats, planting corn, harvesting hay, and combining grain. Interns will be expected to groom, harness, and hitch horses every day.
The Shows and Sales Session teaches interns how to prepare horses for commercial auctions and competitive shows. Students will learn how to groom and fit horses of all ages. Students will learn what factors affect the value of a horse including pedigree, conformation, and movement. Students preparing horses for shows and sales should expect to work extended hours during these events.
Interns are encouraged to spend additional time shadowing a professional in their field of interest; ie: veterinarian, farrier, etc. While this time may sometimes coincide with a student’s regular workday, it will usually require the student to schedule the activity on his or her day off. Management can help students arrange additional learning experiences on their day off.
Internships are unpaid positions.