Volunteer Description

Volunteer Description

The organisation

As an organisation we are dedicated to providing Equine Supported Development and Therapy to those in need. Our mission is to offer a unique experience that strengthens and enriches lives. The Horse Sense facilitators partnered with horses create opportunities that promote well-being and positive behaviour changes.

Our efforts reflect the Treaty of Waitangi principles which puts participants at the centre of teaching and learning, asserting that their experience is engaging, forward-looking and inclusive, and affirms New Zealand's unique identity.

The three “P’s”, as they are often referred to, are the principles of partnership, participation and protection. These principles are the underlying tenets of the Treaty as well as being fundamental to Horse Sense.

We are located on the Kāpiti Coast, just north of Ōtaki and we are on a mission to developing a sustainable, supportive and holistic centre, for horses and humans, sharing the amazing 360° views over the Tararua Ranges and the beautiful coast line, creating a space of healing and growth for people in need.

Volunteer positions

We are looking for volunteers to support our team with a variety of activities, turning our new property into a place where composting, recycling and sustainability come to the forefront of the scene.

Relocating to this property has given us the opportunity to create our vision for the Horse Sense location. We aim to build from as much recycled materials as possible, as well as creating a self-sustainable framework for the property.

Current projects are:

  • Making a stone wall

  • Building a composting toilet

  • Renovating the buildings on site

  • Building a vegetable garden

General yard duties are:

  • Stable and paddock maintenance

  • Weeding

  • Painting

With a mixture of these innovative projects and general yard duties, the volunteer program is suitable for people from different backgrounds and skill sets, giving the team insight and valuable hands-on experiences in many areas of expertise. Based on the weekly focus of work, together we will create an environment of helping, sharing, learning and laughter.

Who we are looking for

  • Considerate team player with a can-do and motivated attitude

  • Respectful and careful work ethic and behaviour

  • Willingness to learn

  • Physically strong and able to work outside in various weather conditions, lifting, walking, etc.

  • Building skills desired

  • Experience with using recycled materials, composting and sustainable building is a bonus

  • People with an interest of the horse/human connection and personal development

  • Demonstrates the willingness and ability to

    • Follow all barn safety rules

    • Complete given tasks independently or in a team effort

    • Treats all volunteers, staff and animals with dignity and respect


You will be part of a team who meets once a week on a Thursday. The day starts at 9 am and finishes at 4 pm, including morning/afternoon tea and a lunch break.

Location: 242 Taylors Road, 5512 Ōtaki. Own transport preferred.

We are looking for a minimum of a two-month commitment, preferably long term. If you are looking for a volunteer program/ work experience as part of a study, we are willing to discuss options in support of that context.

A drug test might be required. On-site training is provided. References can be provided on request.

The volunteer applicant is asked to participate in an initial trial day, meeting the team, making sure of the suitability and expectations of this position. Further agreements follow from here.

What do you get in return

  • Becoming part of a supportive team environment, sharing a common goal

  • Learning new hands-on skills in sustainability, composting, building, recycling

  • Strengthening team and communication skills

  • Personal development

  • Learning about the Aotearoa based Equine Supported Therapy modality

  • Based on suitability, volunteers can apply to support the Horse Sense Team during workshops and retreats, gaining insight into Equine Supported Therapy in a workshop setting

If you would like to be part of our volunteer program, fulfilling all the requirements, please send us your CV and motivation letter via email.

If you have any question and inquiries, please feel free to contact us.

We look forward to hearing from you.

Ngā mihi

The Horse Sense Team

Email: horsesensetrust@gmail.com