Michelle's specialty is teaching Natural Horsemanship to enhance performance - specifically Eventing (Dressage, Stadium Jumping & Cross Country). Her program continually develops each horse online and always transfers those skills into
the saddle effectively for horse and human. Working students who do not event are welcome as well, but focus and activities are often focused on the Eventing discipline.
In the heart of Eventing country, Avalo Farm, just outside of Aiken offers endless horsey activities all year round with great weather. There is not only Eventing, but Polo, Dressage, Hunter/Jumper, Steeplechase and Thoroughbred racing. Olympians winter
here and there is plenty of opportunity to get involved.
Avalo offers short and long term stays from weekends to summers to 6 month or more visits. There is no salary involved. Skill level will be assessed prior to stay and evaluated periodically throughout the students stay to also determine what tasks a student is safely and competently able to complete. Students may bring their own horse, upon approval, but will also be expected to work with Avalo's horses. Based on their skills, students work for their keep and lessons but are expected to cover their own and their horse's food expenses.
A typical day at Avalo involves feeding horses each morning and night, playing with assigned horses throughout the day with a stop for lunch and any chores or projects needing doing once horses are finished. Projects usually are things like painting, tack cleaning, organizing barn/tackroom, mowing, dragging pens, barn laundry, garbage trips, fixing fence, rolling hay and whatever else might come up!
During competition season show preparation of the horse and rider is a must (braiding, bathing, packing equipment etc) and volunteering at Event sites to set up for the 3 Phases. Regular outings to XC school, trail ride locally and at State Parks, watch local lessons and learn from others is also an opportunity. Schooling shows and non-recognized Events are available on Avalo's horses if the student and horse together are ready, included in the students stay. Any show, schooling or travel fee with a student's own horse is the responsibility of the student. Details will be discussed on a person-to-person basis.
Accommodations available are shared in a bunkhouse (can be single or up to 3 students) with living room, bedroom, bathroom (shower) and kitchen; a small cottage
(suitable for one person) with living room, bedroom, bathroom (no shower - must
shower in main house) & bedroom with a lovely screened in porch; and three
private rooms in the house with access to shower, kitchen, living room. Internet access/laundry facilities are included. There is no vehicle provided but we do makes trips often to town for food and entertainment!
Avalo is currently booking through Spring of 2014 with students of various lengths
of stay. Time is still available and subject to change. Contact us now to see if you
have what we're looking for to join our team!
Click here to meet our Working Students:
NOTE: Avalo Farm also has a Cat Sanctuary and while you don't have to love cats,
there are cats in every accommodation set-up, room, barn etc so being kind and
accepting of the cats' home here is a must!