Help with training horses on little farm off-grid in British Columbia, Canada

  • Favourited 223 times
  • Last activity: 25 Jun 2024



 Min stay requested: 1 month or more



  • Description


    I'm a nature loving Swiss immigrant (f, 52, in Canada since 2013) living close to McLeese Lake BC off-grid on 72 ha of beautiful land with creeks, lakes, forest, hills and pastures, surrounded by crown land and no neighbours for 5 km. With me live 10 dogs, 19 chickens, 6 cats, two calves and 16 horses. I have a big garden for veggies, produce my own hay, teach riding lessons, but also have a full time job at the nearby mine. My farm is not producing in a large scale and I don't sell veggies on the market, what I grow and harvest goes into my freezers or stomach. Neighbors and friends buy some eggs from me, when I have more than I can eat.

    I need some help on the farm with training and riding (young) horses and taking care of the animals on days I have to go work (one week 5 days, the next 4 days). There will be the occasional helping in the garden, like watering or harvesting and processing. Walks with the dogs is also a task for you, especially if I am away all day.

    I'm looking for someone with (very) good riding skills, who likes horses and dogs, is responsible and reliable, and is happy to live away from civilization and other people.

    I offer in exchange for maximum 5 h of work per day: a trailer to live in (sleeps max. 4 people), vegetarian food, riding and riding lessons, the life experience of living off-grid and with basic comfort in harmony with nature, and being involved in all kind of work on a farm and with all my different species and breeds of animals.

    English is a must, but I speak also German and French.

    I do regular bi-weekly trips to Williams Lake or Quesnel and will take you with me if there is need to go shopping for yourself. You can also participate in riding clinics I teach if there is enough openings and accompany me on two day rides, if you are two helpers at the same time and no other guest riders ride with me.

    I can not pay a wage, but you will be well fed, have your trailer, can ride as much as you want and if you wish you can take riding and other horse-working lessons with me.

    How does a typical day look like?
    You will start the morning chores between 7 and 8am. You let the dogs out of their pen, feed them a few kibbles and take them with you to the chicken coop. The chickens have an automatic door, so they will be outside shortly after daylight. You clean the sand on the floor daily, fill up feed and supplements and change their water.
    Next stop is feeding the cats who are living around the tack room and feeding the old gelding who needs a little extra calories. The dogs go back to their pen where you cleaned up poop and changed the water. Then you have breakfast.
    After breakfast you go work with the horses. We will make plans for the week and discuss the evening before which horse will do what training. I will teach you how to lunge, or work in hand with them. There will be trail riding or riding in the arena, too.
    The afternoons are your free time. In summer the lakes are great for swimming!
    When I come home from work we can go for trail rides or do a lesson for you, before doing the evening chores (picking eggs, feeding dogs, mares and gelding and watering the garden and flower beds) and prepare our dinner.

    How do I get to your place?
    Having your own car is an advantage, but not a must, as there is zero public transport around here. I can come pick you up in Williams Lake if you arrive by plane (Pacific Coastal airline or Central Mountain Airline for the inland flight from Vancouver) or by bus (Ebus, also from Vancouver via Kamloops). Please arrive either in the afternoon after 5pm or on a weekend-day if earlier. There are also ride share apps like pop-a-ride, that might work for you. NEVER EVER think about hitch hiking!! It is highly illegal and often deadly, they even call a highway "the highway of tears", because lots of people disappear there.

    Can I eat meat?
    Yes, but you have to buy it yourself and prepare it on the BBQ outside. Or you order it when we go to town and eat out.

    Is it dangerous out in the bush?
    I never walk around without my dogs. We share our property with wildlife: bear, coyote, wolf, moose, elk, deer, lynx and cougar, to name a few. They might be dangerous if they don't hear you coming. I personally never met a cougar, nor did I see tracks of one on and around my place, but they are around and attack from the back if they are hungry. They hate dogs though, which is the reason I walk with the dogs as bodyguards. Everybody else usually takes off before you arrive. Coyotes might come close to the chicken coop at night, but the dogs keep them at bay. The youngest dogs are lifestock guardian dogs and they take care of that task.

    Do I have internet access?
    Yes, I share my wifi with you. Unfortunately the trailer is out of reach, there is no internet. We also have no cell phone service out here.

    Is there a washroom and a shower?
    You will take your shower in my cabin. There is a tiny little bathroom. As I am on solar power only, having showers will be on sunny days, as there might not be enough power to heat up the boiler. For number 2 you have to use the outhouse, as my septic system is basically inexistent and therefore can handle fluids only. You have no running water in the trailer, but there is a container with water for brushing your teeth. The toilet and shower in the trailer are not operable (lack of water and power).

  • Types of help and learning opportunities

    Types of help and learning opportunities

    DIY and building projects
    Animal Care
    Farmstay help
    Creating/ Cooking family meals
    Help around the house
    General Maintenance
  • UN sustainability goals this host is trying to achieve

    UN sustainability goals this host is trying to achieve

    UN goals
    No poverty
    Zero hunger
    Good health and well-being
    Quality education
    Gender equality
    Clean water and sanitation
    Affordable and clean energy
    Decent work and economic growth
    Industries, innovation and infrastructure
    Reduce inequality
    Sustainable cities and communities
    Responsible consumption and production
    Climate action
    Life below water
    Life on land
    Peace, justice and strong institutions
    Partnerships for the goals
  • Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    You will enjoy a simple, back to nature lifestyle, surrounded by animals (domestic and wild), lakes and plants, away from civilization, crowds, noise, traffic. I have internet, but no TV and no radio. Meals are homemade, vegetarian and seasonal. You can improve your riding and learn how to diversely train a horse. You will speak English or German. You will be involved in all work on the farm. There will be days that don't go as planned. There will be improvising and finding solutions. There will be repairs, assisting when I trim hooves or take care of wounds and occasionally a night alone at the farm. You will be the boss over 10 dogs (8 of them will accept that, the two others are not supposed to obey as they work independently), two yearling bovines (a steer and a heifer) and 16 horses (one stallion, 4 mares, two foals and 9 geldings), you will have to man up, keep everything under control and keep a clear brain in unforeseen situations. A stay at my place is an experience for life.

  • Help


    Riding & training horses, walking dogs, cleaning & feeding chickens, dogs and cats, helping in the garden.
    Riding: English style, classical dressage, jumping, eventing, trail rides, working equitation.
    Horse training: groundwork, lunging, dressage in hand, riding. I start horses together with well trained horses on the trail. You don't need to be a pro, but interested in learning how to work these different things.
    Dogs: they love long walks on the surrounding trails, but also enjoy being brushed and laying in the sun.
    Cats: happy with food and some cuddling.
    Chickens: they need their coop cleaned and their water changed daily, collect the eggs.
    Garden: watering, planting/harvesting, every now and then weeding, preserving.

  • Languages

    Languages spoken
    German: Fluent
    English: Fluent
    French: Fluent
    Italian: Beginner

    This host offers a language exchange
    Meine Muttersprache ist Berndeutsch (Schweizerdeutscher Dialekt, von vielen als der schönste Dialekt betitelt), Hochdeutsch ist unsere geschriebene Sprache, welche wir von Klein auf lernen. Französisch lernte ich in der Schule und rede mit Freunden und bei der Arbeit Französisch. Meine Grossmutter war Italienerin und sprach mit uns Italienisch, so dass ich mich halbwegs verständlich machen und unterhalten kann.

  • Accommodation


    Trailer: my travel trailer is stationary about 80m from my cabin. It doesn't offer running water (camping container for water available) and has a limited amount of power, no heating. Batteries can be charged with the generator if necessary. Shower is in my cabin, outhouse next to the cabin.

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    I will pick you up in Williams Lake BC or Quesnel BC. There is a bus (Ebus) from Vancouver to Williams Lake or you arrive by plane. No other or local public transport out here.
    Things to do around here: swim and fish in lakes, go for hikes, run, bike, take pictures, cut trees,...
    Places to visit: Barkerville, Williams Lake Stampede, Quesnel Rodeo, Billy Barker Days in Quesnel, Begby Summit, waterfalls in Wells Grey park, parks and lakes...

  • A little more information

    A little more information

    • Internet access

    • Limited internet access

      Limited internet access

    • We have pets

    • We are smokers

    • Can host families

  • Can host digital nomads

    Can host digital nomads

    Ich bin via Starlink (Elon Musk's Internetdienst) mit der Welt verbunden. In der Regel habe ich sehr gute Verbindung mit Upload/Download von ca. 3 Mbps.

  • Space for parking camper vans

    Space for parking camper vans

    Ich habe keinen designierten Platz. Camper kann nach Belieben auf dem Grundstück aufgestellt werden. Es gibt keinen Stromanschluss und Abwasser muss auch in einem dafür geeigneten Ort ausserhalb der Farm entleert werden.

  • Can possibly accept pets

    Can possibly accept pets

    My 10 dogs are a sworn pack, but usually indifferent with others. As long as your dog is well behaved with all my animals, doesn't chase them and doesn't fight, steel or pee on everything, s/he can come with you.

  • How many Workawayers can stay?

    How many Workawayers can stay?


  • ...

    Hours expected

    Maximum 5 hours a day, 5 days a week

Host ref number: 499829836997

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Accuracy of profile: (5.0)

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