I’ve always loved horses and wanted to travel, so last summer I decided I’m going to put these two together and go work on a horse farm in Australia. Yes, in Australia, in the Victoria area in the south of the continent, with a great family and beautiful ranch with horses, cattle and sheep. Perfect! So I’m going to try to share some of the best moments I had while working on this farm.
I found this Australian family online through a work and travel program. They were looking for some help around the farm and in their beautiful garden. The family I lived with, run their own activity-based school camp with a flying fox and lots of fun activities like playing in their own lake. Other people were also working and volunteering there. Since my job was mostly on the horse farm, I spent a large part of my time with three girls from France who were there on a horse apprenticeship. We enjoyed the time on the job so much that we also hung out in our free time.
There was a little staff house built on the farm where all volunteers and workers lived. The house had everything, except a kitchen; the farm owners were preparing the food by themselves, and that was the best part because their food is absolutely delicious. They knew how to cook and everything was fresh right from the garden, just real organic vegetables.
My job was mostly helping around the farm taking care of the horses, but we also had lots of other chores like building fences, feeding the dogs, rescuing kittens, etc. Personally, I was skeptical about working with cats. I know because I have them and noticed that they always got in some kind of trouble. I also noticed that farm work is never done. I always wanted to have a horse farm, but I never thought that it would be so much work and fun; we were painting houses, riding in tractors, riding the horses and just relaxing in the rural countryside with our visitors. It was great taking care of the animals on the farm. I spent lots of time playing with the baby horses and those were some of the best moments; they are so fragile and their deep eyes were absolutely amazing. One night, while I was there, a foal was born. Alice, one of the French girls, found out first and we all got there, standing behind the door, waiting for the newborn and witnessing the miracle of life. It was an unforgettable moment for all of us.
Aside from the work, in our free time we also had lots of things to do on the farm and in the camp. I had a chance to learn how to fish in the lake (trust me, that’s a very hard task to do). We also went canoeing and hiking in the near mountainous region. Peter and Marry organized us a trip to Canberra, the capital city of Australia, which was in the same region as we were. We once went to Sydney too, but I personally enjoyed Canberra more. Unlike other capital cities in the world, Canberra is built in a gorgeous valley and the natural surrounding is so amazing that it feels like the whole city is located inside a large beautiful park. We visited the National Museum of Australia, Capitol Hill, and of course, one of the most impressive war museums in the world, the Australian War Memorial.
Overall, I was so happy with my work experience at the horse farm last summer that I decided to repeat it once again this next summer, except that this time, instead of Australia, I’ll be heading to some European country. Being on this farm made me realize how wonderful it is to connect with nature and the “simple life”, so I guess I’ll be looking for some similar experience, like Normandy in France. What do you think?