Join us in defense of horses, donkeys, mules and hinnies!
We are engaged every day on many fronts: reporting mistreatments, checking reports, support the police, promoting laws and regulations to protect horses, psychophysical recovery of animals rescued from from mistreatment and slaughter, spreading scientific knowledge, fundraising to support activities in favour of horses (IHP does not receive public money and is financed only by donations).
There are many ways in which you can help us. So what are you waiting for? Download the application form and start making a difference!
VOLUNTEERING AT THE RESCUE CENTRE: a unique, passionate and engaging experience
Read testimonials from our volunteers!
The Italian Horse Protection Association runs the first Rescue Centre in Italy for horses that have been abused and legally seized. Horses here live free in herds in wide open spaces.The Centre, which is recognised by the Ministry of Health in a Decree of 2009, at the present time looks after 40 equids, many of which have been legally seized.
IHP welcomes volunteers from all parts of the world. We are looking for people to help us in the daily care of the horses: preparation of feeds for horses with special dietary needs, checking our equine guests carefully, cleaning and maintenance of stables, pastures and other spaces. The work is entirely voluntary and therefore unpaid, and most of it is outdoors, with co-volunteers often from other countries.
We require a minimum (and even zero, subject to an interview) experience in horse management and handling, a gentle approach, total flexibility in working hours and shifts, a strong sense of responsibility and adaptability. The minimum age is 16.
A minimum stay is 2 weeks, preferably Saturday to Saturday, which allows IHP staff to organise a single first meeting with fresh volunteers.Our volunteers become a part of our permanent team, respecting the work procedures and the timeframes set for the carrying out of duties.The daily routine is mainly conenctrated on the very early morning, and late afternoon (with obvious variations according to season and daylight). A shift would normally last around 3 hours in the morning and approximately 2 hours in the afternoon/evening, leaving the middle part of the day free to relax. However, in emergencies there are no fixed work periods.
We need to underline that the work will involve carrying buckets of feed (weighing some kilos), and that these will then need to be washed, therefore contact with water, and that there are sizeable distances to walk, sometimes up and downhill. The work is almost all outdoors, whatever the weather, be it very hot, freezing cold, or pouring with rain.
WHAT WE OFFER
Initially there is the shadowing of our staff to learn the basics of the activities of the Rescue Centre, where the volunteers can interact with the horses, learn their backstories, and observe groups of horses living at liberty. In addition, there are many educational sessions, either indoors or quite literally out in the fields, where volunteers learn about the natural system of horse management, the management of senior horses, approach and relationship building on the ground, leading horses, nutrition, barefoot management, and the five senses.
WHERE WE ARE BASED
From July 2021 IHP is in Montaione (FI): 50 km. from Florence, Pisa and Lucca, 70 km. from Siena
Coordinates: GPS: 43°35'04.8"N 10°52'29.8"E
Google Maps: https://goo.gl/maps/BhirEvAYTy2uNYz49
The nearest railway station is Castelfiorentino
IHP provides volunteers with accommodation near the rescue centre; this is shared with other volunteers and some members of staff. We generally have two volunteers at a time, and in some exceptional cases three. The room can be shared with one or two other people. The lodgings offer bedding in the bedroom and, in the other areas, a well-equipped kitchen, washing machine, clothes drying rack, hair dryer and First Aid Box.
On request we can provide sheets and towels. We take care of a weekly food shop – N.B. all our food is vegan.
Volunteers are requested to keep the bedroom clean and tidy, and to take part in a rota with the other house members, cleaning and tidying of the communal spaces.
TRANSPORT TO AND FROM THE CENTRE FROM THE APARTMENT
Daily transfer to and from the apartment at HQ to the Rescue Centre (morning and evening in sync with the routine of the horses), is organised by the IHP staff. Anyone arriving by public transport needs to coordinate arrival and departure times with the staff.
LENGTH OF STAY, AND FINANCIAL CONTRIBUTION TO LIVING EXPENSES
The minimum length of stay is two weeks, for which we require a contribution to expenses of €100 a week (this covers food, lodging, and training). For a 3rd or 4th week, we ask a further contribution of €50 per week towards expenses.
For longer stays, there is no further contribution but extension of the period is subject to evaluation by IHP, so each request for a longer period will be evaluated on a case by case basis.
HOW TO APPLY
Complete the request form and email it to firstname.lastname@example.org
Once we have your completed form, we will either respond immediately or set up a video call to talk things through. If your request is successful, you will be asked to sign an Agreement, having read carefully through our Regulations, and to transfer € 200 to our account within five days.
You can withdraw your application, and receive full reimbursement, up to 7 days prior to your agreed starting date: if you withdraw in the week prior to your arrival, the contribution will not be refunded. Should you wish to leave sooner than the agreed end date, we will decide a partial refund on a case by case basis
We are often working with horses that have been badly abused or neglected, and therefore some of them are in very poor condition, needing medical care. We have some horses which are over 30 years old, who need to be very carefully observed and tended to.
IHP does not approve of any means of work for animals. IHP is against the commercial use of equids for whatever end, for example in competitions, and more generally any form of use that does not respect their ethological needs and their dignity.
Our philosophy is that each individual horse should be able to live while s/he is able to participate in social life with other horses, and so long as s/he can do so without suffering. For this reason we are againste the sending to slaughter of horses no longer able to fulfil their roles in sport or other work: our horses live their lives out, for as long as they can enjoy good health, their freedom, and their social lives.
For further information about the aims and philosophy of IHP, click here
FAQ ABOUT THE WEATHER
As far as weather is concerned, winter here can be very wet, and therefore muddy out in some of the fields. Snow is uncommon. Temperatures can go below zero, especially at night December through February, while summer can be hot, especially in July and August, when temperatures can go to 30C and above. However, the climate is mainly mild, we are on a hill, about 300m above sea level.
All volunteers have to conform to covid regulations and where necessary/requested, wear a face mask. The lodgings areas are well supplied with hand gel, masks and gloves, but we do recommend you come already stocked up with your own. Blankets and duvets and other bedlinens are disinfected with the appropriate products by IHP before they are issued.
CONTACT US FOR MORE INFORMATION: write to email@example.com