Working Rider

The Working Rider Internship is for South African’s Only

The Working Rider Internship programme is designed for advanced riders, aged between 21 and 35 who are looking to gain valuable experience in the equine industry by assisting with the variety aspects it takes to manage a successful stable yard in the African bush.

Unlike the Equine and Wildlife Holiday programme, you will become part of the African Dream team and tasked with extra responsibilities around the stable yard. Please see working rider tasks below for an idea on what these responsibilities will entail.

The programme exposes one to all the aspects of managing an equestrian centre, with emphasis being placed on learning in a relaxed and fun filled environment.

The owner of African Dream Horse Safari is Traci Thomson who is a devoted guide, accomplished competitive rider and dedicated conservationist.  She is also qualified in both FGASA Level 1 and Level 2 as well as Advanced Trails guide and facilitator. Her team is made up of Shannon, who manages the stable yard and works with the horses; Ryan, who is the administrator and conducts game drives on the Big 5 reserve, which is part of the Greater Kruger.

 African Dream Horse Safari  is situated in the Lowveld of the Limpopo Province of South Africa on the outskirts of the tourist town, Hoedspruit (430km north east of Pretoria and in close proximity to the Kruger National Park). The climate is sub-tropical with a mean summer rainfall of 475 mm and dry winters. Temperatures range between 8ºC – 26ºC in winter and 18ºC – 40ºC in summer. The area is considered a low risk malaria area, but you should please consult your doctor in connection with malaria medication.

Interns can either catch a shuttle or a flight from Johannesburg’s international airport, O.R Tambo, to Hoedspruit (Eastgate Airport) and then ferried to their new home in the bush. The Equestrian centre is situated within a 700 hectare residential wildlife estate, known as the Hoedspruit Wildlife Estate. The estate has Leopard, Hyena and many other herbivores, carnivores, omnivores, reptiles, snakes, primates, smaller cats, eagles, vultures, birds, insects and their relatives that you find in the Savanna biome. During the game drives and outrides we offer, we almost always see a variety of animals.

 Besides the day to day activities which make up the program, you will be given enough free time to explore the many beautiful spots in the area, including the Blyde River Canyon (the largest green canyon in the world), the world famous Kruger National Park, God’s Window in Graskop and many more. Other excursions include hiking along courses of waterfalls and visiting one of the many animal rehabilitation centres in the area. We are also situated close enough to the town of Hoedspruit for those who like to get out and enjoy an evening at one of the local restaurants.

There are no specific dates but a minimum stay of 4 weeks is required.

Please note that the Working Rider Internship programme is limited to two interns at a time and a CV, registration form as well as a video submission of you riding is required before an applicant will be accepted.


Although completely flexible and depending on your tasks and duties, the day starts early with self-service breakfast at the accommodation, after which you will make your way to the equestrian centre for horse checks and other stable tasks. On certain days, there will be an opportunity to go to a neighbouring nature reserve to view some of Africa’s incredible wildlife. A fair amount of free time is also made available, which one can use either to catch up on their personal requirements such as emails etc, or simply to take in the beautiful sights and sounds of their surroundings. Weekend schedules are less rigid, giving one the opportunity to do sightseeing, some shopping, to go on an excursion or simply to relax.


African Dream Horse Safari is home to around 50 horses, which need continuous care and an equestrian facility which requires constant maintenance and management.

There are many aspects to running a successful stable yard, so if you have a love for horses, are wanting to improve your riding ability, enhance your knowledge, as well as gain invaluable experience, then our Working Rider Internship is for you.

 Some of the aspects which you will be exposed to, include:

  • Horse care
  • Tack care
  • Management of staff
  • Monitoring of feed
  • Monitoring of sawdust
  • Removal of manure
  • Basic stable maintenance
  • Assisting with trails
  • Organising of farrier
  • Working horses
  • Giving and receiving riding lessons
  • Natural horsemanship
  • Lunging


Interns will have an opportunity to go on excursions, which will allow one to see more of the Lowveld and its surrounding area:

  • Picnic spot
  • Mariepskop mountain
  • Jessica the hippo
  • Baobab restaurant
  • Moholoholo rehabilitation centre
  • HESC
  • Panoramic route
  • Kinyonga reptile park
  • Zip-lining
  • Protrack obstacle course
  • Waterfall hike, climb and swim
  • 24 Degrees South
  • Kruger national park
  • Franklyn park hike
  • Selati Sleepout


Every Thursday, the Equine and Wildlife Holiday volunteers do outreach work in the surrounding community.

Should there be extra space in the vehicle, then there is an opportunity for you to join in on the outreach work, assisting dogs in need and giving them medical care in partnership with HALO (Hoedspruit AnimaL Outreach).

An opportunity may also come up to lend a helping hand to other non-profit charities in the Hoedspruit area, such as Nourish and Hoedspruit Paws.


Accommodation is provided on the Hoedspruit Wildlife Estate, overlooking the African Dream Horse Safari stables. Each room can accommodate up to 4 interns and have a bathroom en suite. There is a common living area with an open plan kitchen, which will have a fully stocked fridge and all the necessary equipment that the students may require.

Breakfasts and suppers are self-service and lunches are prepared for everyone at the stables. A boma/fireplace and swimming pool in front of the lodge give students an option to cool off on a hot day and relax around a nice African fire after a long day.

The interns will have access to unlimited wifi and will be within walking distance from the town of Hoedspruit, where they can do shopping, eat out or go to gym. Hoedspruit Wildlife Estate, where the accommodation is situated, has cycling and walking paths, a dam with a hide and various plains game for students that wish to do some exploring.