Help look after rescued
horses in

Look after 400 animals at a sustainable eco sanctuary

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  • Duration
    1-10 Weeks
  • Minimum age
  • Start dates
    Every Monday
  • From
  • Duration
    1-10 Weeks
  • Minimum age
  • Start dates
    Every Monday
  • From

Tenerife Horse & Animal Rescue Centre

Do you have a passion for horses or just animals in general? Then come and join the local team and help in a fun and fast paced 6,500 acre eco horse sanctuary in Tenerife. With over 400 animals to look after, including 22 horses, 3 donkeys, goats, pigs, dogs, chickens, cats, Guinea pigs and more, you can be sure no two days will be the same.

As a volunteer you will be involved in all aspects of horse care, from feeding to grooming, health checks, exercising and learning about fore free training and strengthening the bonds between volunteer and horse. Everyone will spend time with a mentor where they can learn how to handle and be with the horses, learn about equine welfare, develop communication and positive reinforcement skills and more!

The sanctuary is located close to the beautiful town of El Medano and you are just a short bus ride away from the capital of Santa Cruz. Tenerife is bursting all year round with fun things to do and places to visit! Whether that’s relaxing on the nearby beaches, going for a trek, snorkelling or scuba diving, learning how to windsurf or just relaxing in one of the local towns at a traditional restaurants, there really is something for everyone.

Had A Really Great Time

Had a really great time in Tenerife volunteering for The Mighty Roar back in the summer

Ella StephensFebruary 2023

Amazing Centre

Amazing place with amazing people! They dedicate all they have to rescue animals and change the world for the better. Everything is built out of recycled materials and sustainability is very important for them. Animals have number 1 priority and everyone works to give them their best lives possib... Read More

Gwen SillcockMay 2022

Background to the animal rescue centre

Tenerife is a popular tourist destination for English and many other European countries and with year round sunshine and plenty of activities to get involved with, it’s easy to understand why.

However, the big downside of the island is that animal welfare is often poor, with many animals being neglected or abandoned. If you look beyond the big resorts and pristine beaches, horses are kept in garages and being ridden with old saddles and bleeding withers for the benefit of unsuspecting tourists, there are cats with deadly diseases and parasites that could be fixed with simple vaccines and puppies left tied to fences.

This of course does not happen everywhere and there are a significant and growing number of people on the island that are dedicated to the welfare of animals. Along with the horse sanctuary who are trying their hardest to create a lasting change as well as rescue animals, there are many people spending their lives trying to spread awareness and to educate others to break this horrible cycle.

The horse sanctuary may be small in comparison to problems on the island, but they are growing every day. To be able to continue to grow and have the chance of rescuing and looking after even more animals in need, we need yours and other volunteers help!

Where will I be volunteering?

The eco horse and animal sanctuary started in 2018, where a couple with a dream to create a small self-sufficient horse sanctuary became reality. Today, this once distant dream is now a registered charity with over 6,500 acres, hosting volunteers from all around the world and looking after a family of over 400 animals, including 22 horses and 3 donkeys.

The local team aim to give a voice to animals who cannot speak for themselves and a safe refuge in a sustainable eco-sanctuary. The team believe that every horse, pony, donkey and other animal has the right to a happy and healthy life, free from fear and neglect.

The programme rescues abandoned, mistreated and neglected animals from across the Canary Islands, adopting them into the family and giving them a safe place to live out the rest of their life as well as essential veterinary treatment, rehabilitation and lifelong care.

Where possible horses will be retrained and animals will be re-homed if the local team feel that they have the potential for a fulfilling life outside of the sanctuary.

On top of this, the programme provides education and collaborates with like-minded associations, with the view of changing the future of animal welfare on the island forever.

What is my role?

You and other volunteers play an incredibly important role to the sanctuary. Not only are you providing a much needed pair of extra hands to help look after the animals and to maintain the sanctuary, but the funds you pay are vital for covering the ever increasing bills.

With so many animals on the sanctuary to look after, your days will be very fulfilling, varied and a little dirty! You will be responsible for preparing food, feeding all of the animals, ensuring everyone has clean drinking water, cleaning their enclosures, grooming, providing general care, keeping on top of the food donations and maintaining the overall sanctuary by gardening and construction.

The programme maintains a healthy balance between working, learning and playing with all of the animals. On top of the above tasks, you will be able to spend large parts of your days interacting with the animals and giving them some stimulation – our favourite part!

If you’re a more experienced horse person, then you will also be able to help train and rehabilitate some of the newer horses and provide light exercise for the older and / or sick horses with in hand walking or occasionally accompanying the horse sharers on riders.

You are not just here to work with horses, but to learn about a whole new way of being with horses, how to live sustainably and how to look after a vast array of animals.

What will a typical day look like?

You will generally be working from Monday to Friday, with the weekends off so you can explore everything the island has to offer. If preferred, you are more than welcome to work the weekends and take some weekdays off.

Although the working week can vary, a typical day will see you starting at 9am and stopping for breakfast around 11am before continuing to work until the early afternoon – finishing around 3pm.

The morning activities will generally comprise of soaking breakfast buckets, giving out hay and straw, re-filling the hay, picking up poo, preparing and feeding breakfast, checking water bowls and cleaning any baths that need it, providing general care, giving any medications required, hoof cleaning and soaking and providing exercise.

Then after lunch you will be involved with providing exercise, interacting with the animals, preparing hay nets, preparing and feeding lunch, giving out hay and providing general care.

For those that wish to do so, the evening activities will generally include soaking the buckets, giving out hay and straw, checking water bowls, re-filling hay for the morning, feeding the small animals and giving any further medication to those that need it.

As the programme cares for many animals around the clock, you should also expect to help out on an ad-hoc basis during the evenings and early mornings – whenever it may be required.

Where will I be staying?

The sanctuary is based just outside of the small seaside town of La Jaca. You will find all of your everyday essentials here as well as a pretty and quiet beach, perfect for relaxing or swimming! You have the beautiful town of El Medano on our door step, which is known as the European capital of wind surfing, with many amazing competitions that you can visit and watch with a jug on Sangria from one of the beautiful local bars.

You can easily hop on a bus and get to the capital city, Santa Cruz, a city dazzling with culture and many beautiful restaurants and museums, venture over to Puerto De La Cruz to experience their world famous Botanical Gardens, or experience the atmosphere in Los Christianos and the chic night life!

While volunteering in Tenerife you will either being staying within the Yurt or the Cave House. Both options are located within the sanctuary grounds and offer private accommodation for up to two people (if you are coming along with a friend or partner). You can read all about each option and see photos by clicking ' Accommodation and Meals'.

Other things to consider

Sustainable living - In addition to being a horse rescue and animal sanctuary, the team are dedicated to being a sustainable living community that is run on the principles of reducing, reusing and recycling. The meals are provided by supermarkets from food that would have been otherwise been thrown away (it is still perfectly edible), the vast majority of the accommodation has been built using recycled materials and therefore you should expect to be living in basic conditions and the water and power is sourced from wind and solar power on the farm - so expect this to be intermittent. 

Hard working attitude - Working with the horses is often physically hard and although we welcome people from all ranges of professional or non-professional backgrounds, a hard-working attitude will take you further here than a lot of previous experience that you might have.

Accommodation - When applying to volunteer, you are more than welcome to specify which accommodation you would like to stay in (Yurt or Cave House). However, this will ultimately depend on availability at the time and you could be assigned to either.

Observing whales and dolphins in Tenerife

  • January 2020
I spent 2 weeks in Tenerife observing whales and dolphins in their natural habitat - an amazing experience! I am already planning to return as soon as possible and take part in even more activities there.

Rhion's story

Marine Conservation in Tenerife

  • April 2019
In April, I chose to do the Tenerife Dolphin and Whale Conservation programme with TMR because I’m currently on my gap year and I wanted to try something completely different and related to marine conservation.

Phoebe's story