FAQs Residential Opportunities

Summary of Responsibilities and Privileges.

Paying Students Working Students Volunteers Employees
Internet Access yes yes yes yes
Provided with room & board yes yes yes yes
Do housekeeping and chores yes yes yes yes
Have school work yes yes no
Do gardening, construction, etc. no
yes no
Help with mustang marketing no
yes yes
Private room yes
Get paid money no
Small Stipend at end of commitment no
Our Working Student (WS) program is very popular. It requires an 8 week commitment and comes with free tuition and a $500 stipend at the end. It usually fills up before the end of the previous year. Our Paying Students (PS) pay $1500 to come for a week-long workshop and then can stick around and train horses with us for the rest of the month or longer. It's like this: for the first week, I have to babysit students. They take all of my time. In the second week, they start being able to fly on their own a little bit. In the 3rd week, they start actually getting horses trained. The second month someone is here, they generating income for the non-profit. Many older students simply can't come for more than a week. A student on a Equine Shelter scholarship will get treated as a working student. 

The definition of internship is: the position of a student or trainee who works in an organization, sometimes without pay, in order to gain work experience or satisfy requirements for a qualification. The student is what makes it an internship or not. We are merely the organization providing the experience. Yes, you will get a lot of experience here! 

FOR INTERNSHIPS and VOLUNTEERS: We do not accept smoking interns, volunteers or employees. We do not allow anyone to bring a gun onto our property without our written consent. Please do not just land us with everything you own in a box and your backpack and intend to live with us for the rest of your life. Have an exit planned.

Q. What is a typical day like?

A. We get up and have tea, coffee and cinnamon toast. Then we feed the animals when the sun lights up the Navajo ruin on the hill. If the world is not snowy, we muck the pens. John makes breakfast. We eat breakfast and assign chores. There is a little free time before the trainers and interns meet in the classroom. We formulate training plans for each animal and review the progress from the previous day. We spend an hour on classwork. Then we start training. John might call us for lunch or we might forage in the kitchen on our own. We continue training. After each session, we write notes on the session. When the light is on the top of the ridge to the east, we feed the animals their dinner and tidy things up. Just after dark, someone will call us for dinner. After dinner, everyone takes care of their homework and checks their email. Things get really quiet because everyone is tired.

The volunteers, instead of participating in classwork and training, have four hours of work. It could be doing anything that needs done at the moment. They coordinate with John or Patricia. They can assist in training on their free time.

You can see more about our location on the LargoCanyonSchool.com website.

Q. What will the weather be like?

Q. Can I come do an internship without actually intending to become an animal trainer?

A. As a paying guest in the 1 week program, yes, but the benefit you will have from the experience is directly proportional to the energy you put into it. Some people come and just want to try out their own ideas and dabble around with the animals. It takes a lot of energy for me to keep them from setting back the training program and afterwards I am left wondering why they wanted to give me $1500 and not learn anything.

Q. What happens to the horses after they graduate from Mustang Camp?

A. We get them adopted. During your stay, you will probably see multiple sets of horses come and go. You can adopt one if you fall in love. It can be a bit stressful and sad if your trainee gets adopted, but learning how to say goodbye is healthy.

Q. What is the failure rate for the internship program?

A. We have had an early termination rate of about 15% for the month-long internship when the program was free. This has declined over the years as we have gotten experience in recognizing problematic individuals and filtering them in the application process. Preventing that is the reason I talk to people on the phone in the screening process. No one will fail the workshop. Click here to learn more about who thrives and who fails.

Q. What are the reasons for early termination?

A. Creation of drama, inability to follow directions, not taking responsibility for personal actions. The second two are just passive ways of creating drama.

Q. Can I make a living training mustangs?

A. The Mustang Heritage Foundation has a program for people who want to earn money training mustangs. We will endorse you if you complete our program and we feel you are qualified. You can study the economics of the process while you are here. It's not exactly a lucrative undertaking.

Q. If I don't have much experience with horses, will that be a problem?

A. No, if you are patient, calm, and follow directions well. Few people come with the experience with our methods.

Q. What do I need to bring?

A. Work boots, gloves, sunscreen, a hat. Please do not plan on exposing a lot of flesh to the sun during your work hours. In the winter, you need to be prepared to go out in both mud and severe cold (zero Fahrenheit, -18 Centigrade). Warm gloves are essential in the winter. 

Q. Can I bring my own animals?

A. If you bring a dog, it may have to be leashed or kenneled during training hours. There is too much of chance of someone getting hurt with dogs running around. If you bring a horse, you have to pay for feed and it has to live in the yard unless there are available pens (usually they are full and we need to keep them full to be profitable).

Q. Can I bring my boyfriend / husband?

A. We don't like people to be here that don't actually WANT to be here, so if your partner is reluctant, then no. If your partner wants to be here, let's talk about it. Most couples end up with tension between them because the partner is bored out of their minds.

Q. Will I need riding gear?

A. We do very little riding here. We have had to reduce the number of riding horses we have because of feed prices. If the work is all done in the late afternoon, I usually give riding instruction, but the future of this is not certain. Every time we pick out mustangs for our own riding use, the perfect person with the perfect home comes along and wants to adopt them. If you are keen to do some riding horse training, it's possible in the weeks outside of the workshop schedule.

Q. Do you use Natural Horsemanship methods?

A. We do not use pressure/release for much of our training. We don't try to dominate our animals or force them to "respect" us. We just train them to do what we want.

Q. How many other people are there?

A. This varies seasonally. A lot of the time, there is just John and Patricia. During the 1-week class, there are maybe a dozen.  Most of the summer there are multiple interns. The limit is 4 interns. Some day we will find people who want to stay on as permanent trainers.. But... you never know.

Q. How much classroom time do we do?

A. One hour a day. Then you have reading and DVDs to watch. You are assigned to take photos pertaining to many training or behavior related concepts. You are expected to keep a journal as well.

It is very important for you to realize that Mustang Camp is extremely disciplined in a very informal way.