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Blog Tales from the LOPE Ranch

LOPE Summer 2019 Internship


LOPE is a nonprofit organization devoted to preparing at-risk racehorses for new careers, while inspiring young people through horsemanship education. We have launched a new summer internship for young adult horsemen and horsewomen who aspire to become professionals in the horse industry.

Description and Duties

  • 35 hours per week (includes weekend duties)*
  • 4-8 weeks during summer*
  • Assess and restart ex-racehorses under saddle (hard work but worth it)
  • Foundation horsemanship and ground work principles
  • Prepare ex-racehorses for specific careers besides running wildly on a track
  • Feeding and other horse care duties (this won’t be glamorous)
  • Barn/facility management assistance (this will involve manure pitching)
  • Assist in rehabilitation program for injured horses (also not glamorous
  • Assist in teaching junior interns (get ready to repeat yourself a lot)
  • Ride/school horses at local shows, trail rides and clinics
  • Marketing of horses for adoption via videos on social media
  • Represent organization at local horse events
  • Interact with top-notch horse industry professionals (veterinarians, surgeons, horsemen, teachers and so on).
  • If interested, assist in nonprofit management duties (this is optional)

Candidate Requirements

  • Must be age 18 or older
  • Experience in colt starting and/or restarting ex-racehorses
  • Riding skills (independent seat, soft hands, use of lateral aids)
  • Ground work skills
  • Green horse experience
  • Understanding of vaquero and/or foundation horsemanship principles
  • Good work ethic
  • Energetic, optimistic, reliable and professional

Top consideration will be given to:

  1. Candidates in collegiate equine studies or colt starting programs;
  2. Candidates with experience in vaquero horsemanship; and
  3. Candidates with background in ex-racehorse retraining.


Internship may include weekly stipend and/or housing credit depending on experience and qualifications of the candidate.

How to Apply

To be considered, please gather and email to hello [at]

  1. Resume;
  2. References;
  3. A short video (as link or file under 15MB) that demonstrates your riding and horsemanship skills

The deadline to apply is May 15, 2019.

About LOPE

LOPE helps at-risk racehorses find second careers, while inspiring young people through horsemanship education. We are inspired by the classical horsemanship philosophy practiced by Tom Dorrance, Ray Hunt and all who follow in their footsteps. Learn more about our values.

LOPE’s education work includes our ongoing teenage internship program for aspiring young horse professionals as well as our First Step Program for at-risk youth. Students and interns have the opportunity to work with ex-racehorses who have retired after unusually long and successful track careers. Known as Racing Warriors (or “warhorses”), these former track athletes provide exceptional learning opportunities for interns interested in restarting horses under saddle, sports injury rehabilitation techniques and foundation horsemanship in general.

Since 2003, LOPE has helped over 1500 ex-racehorses transition into new careers after the track. We are accredited by the prestigious Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance (Lexington, KY) and our work has been featured in national media outlets (New York Times, The Today Show, Oprah Magazine, Cowboys and Indians, to name a few).

The LOPE facility is in Driftwood, TX (a small town in the Texas Hill Country). Our location is convenient to downtown Austin, TX (35 minutes), as well as other popular Texas destinations (San Antonio, Fredericksburg, San Marcos, Marble Falls).


* We are open to adjusting the number of weeks/hours to accommodate an ideal candidate’s summer schedule needs between school semesters.

** If candidates don’t require housing, weekly allowance will be increased

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