We are a preservation, research and educational organization for the Spanish Mustang horse in Buffalo Gap, South Dakota, USA.
We are in centered around the "Castle in the Gap." This three storied sandstone houses the visitor center, volunteer residence, resident family and public areas. In addition the 50+ acre complex house the training center and pastures. There are training and ambassador horses that are housed adjacent to the house, the remainder in nearby pastures. We do public tours during the "season" as well as camps and training sessions.
Cooking / shopping
Help with Eco project
Help in the house
Help with Computers / internet
The Black Hills is the heart of the Lakota native culture and there are opportunities to learn about native culture through tours, shops and museums.
The Hills have a large historical impact on South Dakota history. The resident family stems in part from pioneer stock for South Dakota. It is small town America. Most of all we want you to have a great workaway experience and share in the culture of our area. A lot of the women who have stayed with us have gone home with my grandmothers pioneer recipes for biscuits, scones, bread, fry bread, etc. home with them. I’ve taught people how to make butter, yogurt AND milk a cow.
If you want to learn construction, woodworking,gardening, even rudimentary veterinary care there are possibilities.
We are a working farm at the edge of a small town in South Dakota as well a rare breed preserve for the Spanish Mustang horse. We recently acquired adjoining acreage as well as another small house so we are in a frenzy of historical house restoration.
We need help with inside and outside help anything from painting and staining to fence building and repair. In the summer months horse experience and helpers are highly desirable. The horses of the preserve are in various stages of training. Many however have never been handled by humans which takes a special kind of management. If the expectation is galloping across the prairie on a fiery steed, 99% of the volunteers we have had do not have the skill set for that with this kind of horse.
This said there is always something to do. From gardening to carpentry. Do you want to learn about pioneering. Cooking, growing things, history, Native American culture? Then this might be your place.
We look at our volunteers as a cultural exchange and most of our volunteers have become long time friends. Some have returned for more than once. We want it to be a mutual respectful relationship.
Our location is a distance form the next larger town so most of our visitors elect to save their off days to several in a row to travel in longer stretches away from the ranch for site seeing but that is entirely up to the volunteer. We can work that out.
We ask for non smokers because we have barns and hay. It’s a safety hazard. We also have a zero tolerance drug policy. Food allergies etc if you let us know sometimes its no issue. Vegans will have a hard time. If you have no problem fixing your own suppers then fine.
We cook and eat together as family. Our outside work is done as a team. No one person is left alone while the others who may have finished ahead leaves one alone. Helping with animals is always done with at least one other person. Range rules apply. Close all gates. Always let someone know where you are going. Never drink the last cup of coffee in the pot without making another.
Volunteers have their own space downstairs approximately 1200 square feet of living space as well as their own bathoorm. Laundry facilities are available. Bedding and towels are provided. The common area upstairs is available to all and everyone is welcome. Volunteers are expected to keep their area clean as well as their bathroom.
Winters ARE COLD! So be prepared. We do however have a ski resort less than two hours from us, with some fairly decent skiing. In the winter.
The Black Hills has a rich cultural history with the Lakota people as well as Buffalo Gap has quite the root in” tootin” shootin’ History of its own.
2018/19 we began phase III of our program.
WINTER OF 2021 WE Will BE LOOKING FOR A VOLUNTEER THAT IS LOOKING FOR A PLACE FOR THE WINTER. WINTER VOLUNTEERING IS LIMITED TO FEEDING LIVESTOCK MORNING AND NIGHT AND WATERING. SO IF YOU ARE WRITING YOU NEXT GREAT NOVEL AND NEED A PLACE. GIVE IT SOME THOUGHT!
We are small town America. Not a mile from the main road it gives the best of both worlds, the countryside and access to nearby towns. Volunteers stay in the ground floor area of about 1200 square feet. There is WI-Fi and telephones. There is however no cable or satellite television. There are shared laundry facilities.
Non-smokers only. There is no vehicle for volunteers our insurance does not cover you. We can arrange day trips or get your to a rental car pick up point. Please be aware and plan accordingly. The closest large town is 50 miles away. We have no shopping malls closer than that. Please plan accordingly.
The southern Black Hills of South Dakota has many tourist opportunities, mainly from May 15- October 1. Our place itself is on the way to Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. The Crazy Horse Memorial and MT. Rushmore monuments are near by, along with several large caverns that have caving possibilities. If you are looking for the usual tourist adventures the above mention months may be better for you. This is rural America plan accordingly. Transportation arrangements can be made. Do not expect to go to the city everyday it is a 100 mile round trip
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
More than two
really depends on the volunteer and what feel they can do. max 25 hours, 5 days a week