A unique volunteer learning experience for those interested in the practical application of science-based equine management, behavior modification, and positive reinforcement training.

WHERE:  Silver Moon Iberian Farm — Breeding, training and education facility in Ocala, Florida.

HORSES:  About 15 Iberian (Andalusian & Lusitano) horses, including breeding stallions, mares and geldings in training, broodmares, young-stock and babies.

WHEN:  One-week to three-months, year-round availability.

YOU:  Applicants should have basic horse handling skills (leading, grooming, etc.), feel comfortable working with unfamiliar horses, physically able to work outside all day.  Previous experience with R+ training preferred, but not mandatory (we can teach you). Priority given to those able to stay four weeks or more. We can accommodate up to two people at a time.  Opportunity for under-grad or grad students to design/conduct small-scale equine research projects.

DAILY:  Time is split between assisting with general chores (farm, barn, horse care), and ground training with the horses (observing, assisting, applying techniques).  Goal is a 50/50 split on average, but actual time will vary and there are no guarantees. Discussion of learning theory, behavioral science and equine ethology interspersed throughout real-life horse farm application.  Occasional opportunities to accompany Sharon on private off-site behavior consultations. (Note this is a non-riding position.)

FINANCIAL:  There are no fees or tuition costs; this is an unpaid, volunteer, temporary learning opportunity.  

HOUSING:  Optional housing on the farm (shared small mobile home with kitchen and internet) is available at $100 for the first week; no charge after that.  You are responsible for transportation and food.

INTERESTED?  Send a brief email (1,000 words or less) to EquiLightenment@gmail.com, subject line “Work & Learn Volunteer.”  Include the following:

  • General information about yourself
  • Your past experience with horses
  • Your educational background (include behavior courses or conferences)
  • Why you want to do this, any specifics you’d like to learn
  • How many weeks/months you’d like to come, and when
Working with Sharon has not only given me a deeper understanding of training and behavior techniques, but under her guidance I have been able to experience the real-life application of those skills. Sharon is innovative, smart, and constantly working to stay up to date with the newest science. She doesn’t train according to the latest fad, but instead uses science and facts to increase the effectiveness of her work. The hands on experience I have gained has been invaluable, and I recommend her as an expert, a teacher, and a person.  – S.H.