Gentle Spirit Horses is happy to offer internships through South Dakota State University. High school and non-credit based internships are also available for our teens and young adults who are interested in learning more about horsemanship and running a rescue.
Internships are currently only available at our Humboldt, South Dakota location. We may consider adding an internship at the Forest City, Iowa location if there is interest.
Daily chores include feeding, cleaning stalls, picking up manure from the paddocks, scrubbing buckets, organizing/cleaning tack, checking fences, unloading hay, and other aspects of horse management. Horses also need to be groomed and handled. Our primary focus is on the adoptable horses, and depending on experience, interns will play a large role in handling, ground work training, and if applicable, saddle training and tune up rides (which may include invitations to trailer along on scheduled trail rides at local parks). A portion of the internship time will be focused on non-profit administration and management, including a brief overview of the application and approval process and requirements, bookkeeping requirements, fundraising, record keeping, website updates, and more. Interns may also be asked to work with volunteers in a leadership role, and also are eligible to participate in local shows as part of our competitive show team.
Summer interns will be largely responsible for one large fundraising or organizational project each session. This can be an individual or group project, such as arranging a fundraising trail ride or fun show, car wash, sale of goods, or any other fundraising project.
Rescue can be unpredictable, and interns will be hands on for any neglect/seizure cases, injuries and medical treatment. Interns will be expected to be available for monthly farrier visits and any scheduled vet visits, and are encouraged to be available for any emergency vet visits.
Internships are offered during summer sessions and are scheduled to begin the first week in June and end the second week of August, though we can be flexible. Non-residential summer internships require a commitment to a minimum of 9 hours per week/3 days per week for ten weeks, and allow for one week off for vacation time. This typically meets the requirements for a 1 credit internship through South Dakota State University. If available, residential summer internships require a commitment to a minimum of 30 hours per week/5 days per week for ten weeks, allowing for one week off for vacation time.
By special arrangement, internships can be offered during fall, winter, and spring sessions, though due to weather constraints they will have to be mostly inside/office administration type tasks. Winter sessions will include end of year bookkeeping and donor receipt creation, new year planning and budgeting, and other 501(c)3 administrative tasks.
Our internships are currently unpaid.
College programs differ in how college credit for internships is awarded. Students should consult with their college advisor to determine if credit can be earned through a Gentle Spirit Horses Rescue & Sanctuary internship.
GSH Internships are available to high school and college students between the ages of 16-23 who have an interest in pursuing a career in equine management, horse rescue and rehabilitation, equine veterinary services, horse training or horse advocacy. Minor students under 18 will require parent permission to enroll in an internship. Students must provide their own transportation, insurance and bring their own funds for food and necessities.
Upon successful completion of a ten week internship, interns will receive a certificate of completion and letter of recommendation, and are encouraged to include their internship time on their resume and/or college applications.
To be considered for an internship please an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please let us know why you are interested in working with GSH, your previous horse experience, your specific interests and topics you'd like to learn about, and anything you feel is important for us to know. Let us know your availability including start/stop date, any time off, and preferred days if known.