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Become a pony-au-pair for Icelandic Horses!

Location: Schlüsselfeld, Germany
We are Xenia (43 years old, horse-saddlefitter) and Markus (50, architect). Together with our 12 Icelandic horses, 3 Mini Shetties, 4 dogs and 6 rabbits we live on our newly built horse farm in Northern Bavaria / Germany. The private farm is about 4 hectares and our aim is to provide and improve horse keeping in a near-natural environment. Our Ponies enjoy their day on their paddock trail which has about 850 metres of walking trails and several open spaces. At night they relax in their huge loose boxes inside our modern and airy round horse stable.
As there are some allergic horses as well, we are fully equipped with a professional dust removal machine, equine hay steamers, a salt water box, an equine treadmill and a horse vibration plate in order to make life easier for them.
Our ponies are between 4 and 24 years old, mares and geldings, from youngsters to experienced riding and carriage horses.
Our philosophy is to keep the horses in a near-natural environment, to treat them fairly and to see them as partners, not as pieces of sports equipment – their well-being is our highest aim. Horseback riding is definitely NOT the main concern on our farm, and we treat every pony individually, considering their special needs and character. We do not care about athletic success, but try to find appropriate activities such as ground work, liberty training, lunging, trick training, Equikinetik, Intrinzen, etc. for every horse.
We are looking forward to welcoming our new horse au-pair who is willing to contribute her / his ideas and participate actively in our daily life with the ponies.

Your main task as a horse au-pair on our farm would be any activity concerning the treatment of the ponies: horse grooming, health-treatments (massages, training with the equine treadmill, the horse vibration plate, etc.) and – depending on your experiences and interests – the training of the horses (e.g. ground work, Intrinzen training, lunging, taking the ponies for a walk,…). You would also assist our groom with feeding and cleaning stables an paddocks. In case she has a day off, you would have to substitute her.
If you are interested it would also be possible to set up an individual project like designing and building a special installation or area on the horses‘ paddock trail or intense pursuit with Intrinzen horse training, etc.
We can talk about your interests and tasks personally and in agreement with us you will of course have the opportunity to arrange and organize your farmstay according to your wishes. You will have the possibility to improve your skills, follow your interests and make new experiences.

You will benefit from many years‘ experience in keeping (Icelandic) horses as well as from my professional knowledge as a saddlefitter. In addition we have a seminar centre here on the farm and provide courses and workshops about different issues concerning horses (feeding, training, animal communication, etc.) – as our guest you are certainly invited to attend these trainings and courses if you wish.
If you are interested you will also have the possibility to accompany me on my saddle tours and visit my customers with me in order to gain even more knowledge of the horse world in our region.

We are located in a rural area in Northern Bavaria with lots of beautiful forests and lovely nature surroundings. Unfortunately there are poor offers of public transport but if you have a valid driver’s license we can provide you with our e-car from time to time or you can borrow a bike. In the nearby village (about 2 kilometres away) you get everything you need (supermarket, pharmacy, bakery, etc.). The towns of Bamberg, Nürnberg, Erlangen and Würzburg are not too far away and offer numerous possibilities for shopping and going out. The airports of Munich and Frankfurt are within a 2-hour-reach.

If you want to become a member of our farm team you should already have appropriate experience with horses and ponies and you should be aware that they need care and treatment regardless of which weather we have. You should also have a good physical constitution because it’s farmwork, even if it will not be too exhausting as we work with machines. We attach importance to good communication – so you should speak German or English.

WORKING ARRANGEMENT

In exchange for accomodation and food we expect you to work about 5-6 hours a day (not more than 30 hours a week) and you will have 1.5 days off per week. For every full month you have lived here you will get two additional days off. Your support will also and especially be needed on weekends. As an au-pair in Germany you will get 280,- Euros per month (= 70,- Euros per week). Integration in the host family and cultural exchange is obviously a fundamental basis for an au-pair job :-)
The ponies‘ daily life usually starts at around 08.00 a.m. and ends with sundown when they return to their stable. How you organize your tasks over the day is mainly up to your interests and wishes.
We can talk about all these things in person, considering your ideas as well.
According to our horses‘ needs we are looking for a pony au-pair who is interested in a profound experience and an intense relationship to the horses. This is the reason why we can only offer farmstays from between 4 to 12 months (the longer, the better).

LIVING ARRANGEMENT

On Aarhof you will live in a newly built wonderful tiny house that you might have to share with another horse au-pair. It provides a proper bathroom, a kitchen, living area and two separate sleeping areas. So you will live right in the middle of the farm but there is still sufficient space and opportunity for privacy and relaxing. We will usually have dinner altogether in the main house and of course you are gladly invited you to share the meals with us. By the way: we usually eat vegetarian food, from time to time also fish.
We share our house with 4 dogs (3 Chow Chows and a medium German Spitz). They are all really nice but can be a little loud from time to time. So you should like dogs and should not be afraid or allergic to them.