Natural Horsemanship Internships
Our Natural Horsemanship Internships are great for horse enthusiasts, ready to learn how to read their horse and develop honest leadership skills. Our main focus is teaching natural leadership skills which translates to clear and honest communication between horse and handler/rider.
Learning about Herd Dynamics, Leadership, Communication / Body language skills, enjoy a ride on our scenic trails, listen to the river, relax at the pool or Saloon / Games-room, sleep like a baby in one of the bedrooms of the beautiful Log-home on the property. Be part of the ranch family creating beautiful healthy meals and experience work and play. Pair all of that with Bernadette’s passion and patient natural horsemanship instructions, and you’ll be sure to go home with skills that you can use for the rest of your life!
For small groups of up to three students max.
2 weeks NHS Internship Stay: $ 1,250 p.p. CAD excl taxes
4 weeks NHS Internship Stay: $ 2,000 p.p. CAD excl taxes
(Incl. all learning see internship program, 3 meals a day and accommodations)
Deposit 50% of Internship Fees payable at time of reservation
Balance Internship Fees are payable 30 days before arrival through Etransfer (Canadians) or PayPal (Internationals). email adress: email@example.com
The Internship learning experience is offered between June 5 2023 until October 16 2023. (min. age 18yrs)
2 week stay (10 day sessions) or 4 week stay (20 day sessions)
To make a natural connection with the horse it is obvious that we need to communicate with him on his level. For this to be possible we need to raise our awareness especially of our unconscious actions as we are continually giving him signals whether we mean to or not. The horse reads our body language and emotions which of course are both related to our thoughts. As we become more in touch with all our senses we can respond with appropriate sensitivity and timing. So often problems arise in training horses just because we are doing too much. Natural Horsemanship is about the horse teaching you about yourself!
Connection and Awareness become knowledge:
Knowledge Leads to Confidence! If we are not aware of ourselves we cannot expect the horse to understand us or feel good being in our company.
While learning to connect with a horse, who is a purely intuitive being, we will learn to be quiet and still in the present moment and authentic in our communication. Luckily for us, horses are extremely tolerant of our human clumsiness which allows us to learn from him along the way if we pay attention to the feedback.
The horse has no hidden agenda and asks us to become more natural and take total responsibility and grow confident around them!
Our Natural Horsemanship Internships program offers so much more than just a line item on your resume. It will be a life-changing experience that profoundly expands your vision of who you can be and what you can accomplish. In all of our ranch internships, we challenge our interns to clearly identify and continuously re-evaluate their interests, goals, and purpose. You will benefit immensely from the Total Horse Care and Natural Horsemanship Philosophy (leadership and body language training and personal development).
This is not a job, and it is not a vacation. It is an internship geared for talented people who have a background with horses and a strong desire to learn natural horsemanship plus share our love for a Healthy Ranch Lifestyle.
‘NON SMOKING RANCH’
Content Internship program:
The first day is all about settling in. How to organize your energy in this new environment etc.
In the early morning we let the horses out and return to the house to prepare breakfast and eat together. After clean up we go find/meet our herd of horses in their natural setting and explain herd dynamics etc. and demonstrate/learn how to ‘catch’ the horse.
While handling/training horses and humans we emphasize the holistic care for the horse and teach barefoot trimming and general hoof care.
We use the ranch indoor and outdoor arenas, where we go over Leadership “passive, assertive and dominant” roles. Communication, Energy use, Lightness, Rapport and Connection. Simulations with other students, groundwork /games with horses (This teaches how to interpret body language).
After Lunch clean up and depending on progress of the morning exercises, we ride either in the arena or out on the trails and practice what we have learned!
Services / Amenities:
- Daily delicious fresh home made meals and private room in Log-home on the property
- Wireless Internet at the ranch
- Fully equipped Games room (Pool table, Darts & Fusball Table)
- Saltwater Pool
- Pick up/Drop off fee: $150 per ride to and from Airport or E bus station or Hotel in Kamloops (per vehicle max. 3 students)
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I don’t even know where to start… My 2 seasons at the ranch with Bernie and the herd has changed my life with horses for good. Never Ever did I expect to leave with so much more knowledge and insight into the horse world and the philosophy around it.
Before I came to the ranch in summer 2014 I had no experience whatsoever with Natural Horsemanship. I had been around horses all my life but was “schooled” the English way. Bernie knew this and was happy to teach me the NHS ways. Sooooo much love, patience, time, care and energy she put into teaching me – and the other volunteers. It opened up a whole new world; it made me realize I had been blind for so many things that the horses in my life had always wanted to tell/show me. Because of Bernie I have now developed a way to communicate WITH the horse and understand why he or she is acting in a certain way. I realized it is not about me. And what I want from a horse. It’s about creating that relationship to develop a connection in which you can be partners with your horse and do things together. That journey is sooo much more fun! And rewarding.
And the journey never ends…. like Bernie has always told me; the learning is never over. Each and every day and each and every situation is different, so there’s always more to learn with the horses.
So when I had to leave the ranch after two seasons I needed to continue this journey.
My husband (I met him at the ranch! haha it was meant to be) and I now live in Australia and together with our friend Sarah (yes, also another volunteer from the ranch – every thing was life changing that year) we decided to rescue 3 ex-race horses that were supposed to be put down.
The horses live with us now and will stay with us forever, giving them the best life they can have and deserve.
Everything we do is Natural Horsemanship based and in the best interest for the horses. All 3 of them have had traumatic life experiences and working with them – on the ground and in the saddle – can be challenging sometimes. But we won’t give up on them and in the last 2,5 years they’ve been with us we have been able to make so much improvements. .
Our horses are barefoot and we do most of the trimming ourselves now. When I’m unsure or just need some advice I can still always call or message Bernie with photos and questions and she ALWAYS helps – even from such a distance.
We ride bitless and most of the time bareback. When we go on longer rides we use our barefoot and treeless western saddle.
When it comes to feeding we also still take advise from Bernie – to make sure our horses are in the best shape possible.
Not a day goes by that I don’t think of the ranch, Bernie and the herd.
I feel very blessed that I was able to be part of their life because now they’ll always be a part of my life.
For now I just enjoy the journey with our 3 horses and keep learning every day.
My ultimate dream would be to rescue more horses and create a Therapeutic Horse Farm for peoples from all walks of life that would benefit from being around horses. I am a care worker for peoples with a brain injury and it is just heartwarming to see how my clients light up when they are interacting with horses. So hopefully one day I will be able to combine the two; Help horses to have a better life so they can help peoples to have a better life 🙂
Thanks for this informative text. My readings on natural horsemanship made me realize how little practice I’ve had at acting like a horse around horses. As someone who agrees with the belief that “all horses are born perfect” — or at least, with all it takes to become a balanced member of the herd who feels safe & knows where it stands — I think NH is the most ethical and rewarding way of life we can offer to a horse with whom we share our land. As a soon-to-become volunteer, I can’t wait to test myself out in the new, challenging environment that your ranch will be!
See you soon!
This is so well written!
I’m so greatful for the two seasons I worked here. If you open your self up for learning and new ways of thinking you will get so much back for it!! It was not always easy especially in the beginning but slowly on I felt more confident (with natural horsemanship) and I was able to read horses better, that created a safer place for me, the guests and for the horses.
Not only did I learn a lot about natural horsemanship I also developed my personal skills.
Back home I noticed how much I have changed especially around horses. I’ll try to look at everything from a horses perspective , try to listen to what they want to tell me and I constantly ask myself the question “why”, why are you doing something? When you’re going to work at this place be prepared for this question;)
But I also noticed changes in my daily life, at my work or with friends or things I would never do before I came here.
This place can change your life in a positive way!
My internship at Campbell Hills was through and through very special. I had close to no experience with horses or working the ranch lifestyle, so Bernie, Martin and all the volunteers took their time and patience to teach and guide me. There were fun times, adventures, animal sightings, challenges and peaceful times. So the whole package with many moments that I will carry with me for the rest of my life. After all the trail rides, cleaning horse boots, cleaning dirty horses, looking for horses that were nowhere to be found and chats with other interns I can remember so many details, I can still see it like it was yesterday. It brought us close together and with most interns I am still in touch, we have a special connection after spending so many days so close together.
The horses shared their wisdom with us, each and every one in their own way and they all have a special place in my heart. Not only did they do an incredible job on the trails with the guests (and us) but the connection in between was so magical.
All in all it was a brilliant experience that I wouldn´t trade for a thing!
Thank you for everyone I got to meet through Campbell Hills!
Natural horsemanship- communication course
After arriving at Campbell hills guest ranch I was keen to expand my knowledge in Natural horsemanship, something I previously knew very little about. As part of this journey Bernadette hosted a four day communications course at the ranch. The course focused on building our knowledge of how to work with your horse, using clear communication that the horse is able to read and understand based on his natural instincts. During the course we learnt the theory behind the Natural horsemanship philosophy, and were then supported to put this into practice with the horse we had been paired with in the arena.
Prior to the course I didn’t appreciate that natural horsemanship is not a way of handling your horse, but a whole shift in the mindset of the human that allows you to build a level of communication that is clear for your horse to understand. The course really opened my eyes to the small nuances in human behaviour, a step back, a look, or a shift in weight that your horse will interpret and respond to. Despite many years spending time with horses, I had never really considered the impact of my actions on the horse, instead placing more focus on his behaviour. I was paired with Thor for the course, and to begin with I didn’t realise that subconsciously I would step back and yield to him when he came into my space. As a result he did not see me as a leader. Bernadette helped me to see the importance of this in gaining Thor’s trust and confidence in me. I found it amazing to see as the course progressed that once I was able to tune in to focusing on my behaviour and how this affects him, a more respectful realationship formed between me and my horse and he became lighter and more responsive to me. I also loved learning about different horsenalities, and how raising your awareness of this can help you to be more in tune with your horse.
After grasping the basics of this philosophy by playing games on the ground using obstacles in the arena, we were then able to translate these concepts into riding our horses both in the arena and out on property. I particularly enjoyed seeing how we could apply exercises that we had learnt in the arena out on a trail ride. Not only did this allow us to take in some of the amazing scenery in which the ranch is set, but also learn how to maintain a good connection with your horse whilst keeping things fun and engaging out on the trails. I can’t wait to try some of these exercises out on rides with my horse at home.
Overall I feel that the course has increased my confidence on working with horses both on the ground and in the saddle, and has really opened my eyes to how much more there is you can do with you horse rather than riding round the arena in mindless circles. Although I still have so much to learn I now understand the importance of clear communication with your horse using feel, timing, energy, and clear intention. I was really able to see how this can be applied with any horse in any circumstance once the philosophy is embedded in your way of working and can’t wait to continue along my path in natural horsemanship. Thanks Bernadette for an amazing course!!
“Riding has always been one of my greatest passions, but due to lack of time, it wasn‘t possible for me to stay in contact with the incredible four-legged friends for a long time. After graduating from school, I decided to pursue my passion again, but riding lessons in a commercial and traditional english stable was no longer an option for me. I started researching and finally found the Campbell Hills Guest Ranch in British Columbia. A Guest Ranch that works according to the Natural Horsemanship philosophy. Half a year later I found myself in the middle of my Natural Horsemanship Journey. The first day of the Natural Horsesmanship course started with a basic explanation of what Natural Horsemanship is. Bernadette helped us to get into the role of a horse with the help of simulations to feel and understand what a horse needs. Based on this, I realized that my relationship with my horse could never work if I continued to act as a ,,predator” because my horse will react permanently out of fear. The goal is to be a ,,leader” for my horse, so that it doesn´t react out of fear but can respond to me. In our first training session we basically dealt with basic exercises such as Hind Quarters, Front Quarters, Sideways etc. to internalize and become familiar with the horse. Bernadette showed us the exercises several times with her horse and afterwards we had enough time to implement the exercises. Bernadette supports us at all times and draws our attention to any ambiguity regarding our communication with the horse. I was more than satisfied after the first day and I didn’t know at that point that my progress would multiply over the 4 days. On the second day we refined our exercises and finally in the afternoon we lined them up in a park course. It was not only our task to complete the package but also to watch the other participants and learn from each other. After the second day I felt much more confident in dealing with my horse and that in turn helped my horse to trust me and to see me as a leader. At this point I became aware of the meaning of the phrase ,,The horse as a mirror of man”. Never before have I learned so much about myself and my body language. On the third day there was no more room for anger, frustration or sadness. I was aware at that time that all these emotions would only get in the way of me, my horse and the whole learning process. The key is the good intention with which I meet my horse at all times. Horses want to live in harmony with us, horses want to cooperate and do things for us, but they can only do that if we can understand them and answer them correctly. By the third day at latest, Rocky, my course horse, and I were a mini herd. I had no longer the feeling of manoeuvring him through the Parcours, we were a team. Our work was based on ,,suggestion”; and ,,answer”. After a ground work session in the arena, we went off-road in the afternoon. The last day of the course began with a ground work session and finally we finished it off with a bareback ride in the arena. The goal of the bareback training session was to improve our ,,independent seat”. In summary, I can say that this course was an eye opener for me. I got to rediscover my horse all over again, learned to read and understand him. I may not have learned the entire horse language in this short time, but I have understood the first letters. And much more I have learned about myself. I am so much more aware of my own body language, my thoughts and my feelings. Thanks Bernadette for this incredible experience!”
“What a Brilliant few days participating in the Communications Course. Having only being introduced to the Natural Horsemanship Philosophy during my short time at the ranch so far I had a lot to learn and improve on during this course. Bernadette has a wealth of knowledge in this area and this course was a fantastic opportunity to develop our natural horsemanship skills. Bella, the horse I work with is also relatively new to many of the exercises which provided a fun and challenging experience for us both. We discussed the importance of intention in how we work with our horses and how to be an effective leader while keeping your horse’s dignity and your relationship in tact. This was something I myself particularly had to learn, as in fear of jeopardising my relationship with Bella I was often being too soft and not effective in my leadership. However, once I began to master this and became a more effective leader the improvements in our exercises were incredible and our relationship was strengthened. We played many games on the ground with our horses to incorporate the skills we had been taught and it was incredible to see how in just a few short days both horse and handler were mastering games and skills which had been new to us both. It was also amazing to see the trust build between horse and handler, with Bella managing to put both feet on the teeter totter by the final day, something which she had been incredibly scared of. We also learnt how to translate all the skills we had learnt on the ground into the saddle, working on similar exercises while riding bareback. This course was incredible and I learned a lot about how to be a firm leader while maintaining your horses dignity. I look forward to continuing my natural horsemanship journey and learning more about the psychology of the horse and how our energy affects them. This course was a brilliant introduction to Natural Horsemanship and has only deepened my interest in this way of working with horses as I believe this philosophy allows us to be much more in harmony with the animals that are so important to us.”
Thanks Jessie for taking the time to write about the NHS Course. It was a pleasure watching you becoming more aware and settled in over the 4 days. I believe you and Thor (Fjord gelding 8 yrs) turned out to be the right match for one and other. Loved the fact you were soaking in all the new learned horse-knowledge and was able to practice it with flair. Your passion will help you to become a wise Horsewoman. Good luck and all the best in your Natural Horsemanship Journey.
Thank you Krissi for writing such a detailed review about the Communication Course. For me it was quite fascinating seeing a young woman getting out of her comfortzone and at the same time trying her very best. You proved to be very capable of becoming a well balanced horse woman in the future. Keep in touch and all the best in your Natural Horsemanship Journey. Warmest, Bernadette
Thanks Claire for writing a review about the past Natural Horsemanship Course. You can be proud of yourself jumping into the world of horses and the sometimes for humans complex body language. After day 3 you had established leadership on the ground, which is not an easy task with Bella the ultimate ‘left brain introvert’. Look forward to hear about your continuation NHS Journey. You now know that knowledge leads to confidence and excellence. Wish you all the best in your future. Warmest Bernadette
After visiting your ranch, I can say with an honest heart, that I so wish every horse could live as they do at Campbell hills. The love, respect and generosity shown to those amazing creatures is admirable, and should be set as a standard to all horse owners. Although you can not be responsible for the actions of all humans, please continue to spread the word and lead by example….there are so many wonderful horse owners that unfortunately, although they love their horses, could be doing things so differently to ensure the happiness of their loyal companions….I hope that when shown the way, they will make the necessary adjustments to the life styles of their horses and see what a difference it can make to their overall standard of living, and quality of life. Thank you for leading the way, thank you for caring enough to try and make the world better for these extraordinary creatures…never stop, never give up….you’re an inspiration, you have changed my life and my relationship with horses forever….you’re an incredible teacher. Thank you Bernadette!