Our farm is a 63 acre farm where I train carriage driving horses. The farm also has 20 acres in hay. I'm a full-time emergency nurse at our local hospital and run the farm in addition to that work. At present, my "family" includes 1 lovely dog and a very friendly cat, along with four of my own horses, my very sweet pony and 2 other horses belonging to my boyfriend, who is on the road much of the time but is on the farm between trips. I go away for periods of time varying from a few days to a few weeks to attend shows or to teach driving clinics around the province; I'm also a provincial driving judge and a Instructor evaluator so that keeps me busy! I love to drive my horses and work with my young horses but being alone on the farm makes this difficult. I hope to host "horsey" people who are interested in learning about carriage driving.
Help in the house
A volunteer staying with me would be asked to assist with occasional fence maintenance, haying (including some stacking of bales - hard work but rewarded with magnificent meals!!) and if capable, some minor tractor maintenance, and daily feeding of horses (minimal most of the time as they are pastured). If you are an experienced rider, you can lunge/exercising horses both on the ground and under saddle. You will learn to assisting me with training my own horses to drive, and perhaps head to a show with me as my "navigator" (you get to ride on the carriage with me during competition - a really fun and thrilling experience - I take part in "Combined Driving" - Google it!!). Other work includes minor light gardening and lawn/yard/light building maintenance (i.e. perhaps painting a shed or something like that - nothing huge) and helping care for my house pets.
You will also be asked to farmsit when I am away from home so a self-starter/self-motivated person is essential. My trips away vary from a few days to a couple of weeks, so you must be comfortable on my safe and secure farm on your own. My wonderful, friendly neighbours are always close by to help out in a pinch or to get you to town if I am away. While you are staying with me, I hope that you will treat my farm as yours, make yourself at home, find things to work on independently (with some direction, of course), and be happy to work alongside me as well. I don't work on a regular "5 on/2 off" work pattern; the work is varied with one often being able to decide on what they will work on, when to take their own breaks, and when their day is done, rather than a strict "5 hours per day/5 days per week" set-up. Some days, your "work" might consist of a long trail ride in the beautiful hills, and then a nice dinner and an evening watching some telly while other days we might work a longer day on firewood gathering. So 5 on/2 off isn't really the way it works but many days are extremely light in terms of work. You can expect to do at least a little bit every day but many days that might only include a ride!
Private bedroom in the house where I reside. Shared bathroom; all other house areas shared with me. Comfortable; wood heat with NG back-up; modern up-to-date kitchen.
Due to the fact that the accomodations are shared (aside from a private bedroom for a workawayer), I would be comfortable with females or couples only applying at this time. You must be comfortable working around larger horses (I have German Warmbloods) and should have a very good working knowledge of horses. If you wish to ride, you must be comfortable schooling 16.2 HH powerful but well-behaved horses, so very solid, strong and formal english riding experience is a must if you want to ride the younger stock. There are a couple of older, settled horses available for hacking if you aren't a highly skilled rider though you must have some riding experience to do so. I live a 15 minute drive outside of 100 Mile House; there is no public transportation into town but I go into town regularly and neighbours are also around to get you in/out of town if I'm not available. You may be asked to stay on the farm for periods of time without me present (i.e. while I'm at work and while I'm away teaching clinics) and must be willing to take on the care of the farm for that time (easy as horses are pastured, not stabled during the summer.
I do not allow smoking in my home or in the barn areas and would prefer people not smoke at all on the property. Most of the work involved on the farm is light physical work but during haying season it can get heavy for a day or two.
My dog and cat live in the house with me though of course do go outside as well. Those with pet allergies should not apply. I eat a regular diet with few restrictions and would find feeding a vegetarian difficult. I enjoy a glass of wine with dinner from time to time and a beer on a hot day but do not wish to have anyone stay on the farm who drinks alcohol to excess. I do not allow the use of recreational drugs on the farm. i welcome people from all walks of life!
I'm basically a pretty quiet individual who likes the peace of a rural setting. My home is generally a calm and settled enviornment; I do best with someone who would describe themselves as organized and calm in nature.
My farm is located in the middle of a beautiful, lake-dotted area of BC called "The Cariboo". It's a popular recreational area, and wildlife abounds. Moose, deer, coyotes, sandhill cranes and many other animals and birds are seen regularly, with lucky visitors catching a glimpse of bears, cougars, lynx or bobcats on occasion. Summer months are popular for horseback riding, swimming, fishing, hiking, ATV touring and many other activities. In the winter, we have both a cross country ski area and a small downhill slope; there are many places to snowmobile and ice fishing is also popular. We're a short drive from some of the best downhill ski slopes in North America. Plenty to see and do in the Cariboo!
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
If improving your English is a goal, you will be immersed in an English-only environment as my knowledge of other languages is, at best, very minimal!! You will have the opportunity to live day-to-day in an environment as close to being "your own home" as possible. Learn and experience what it is REALLY like to live as a Canadian in a rural setting does!
Average of 5 per day but I don't run a Mon-Fri operation so this varies.