DEFHR is an equine rescue facility located on 58 rolling acres in Woodbine, Maryland. Woodbine is a rural area, with gorgeous country views and farms as far as the eye can see. Within a couple miles of DEFHR, you can find a grocery store, fast food restaurants, a gym, and a general store. Even though DEFHR is located in a rural area, it is close to more urbanized areas with plenty of things to do. Baltimore is approximately 30 minutes away, and Annapolis and Washington, DC are approximately 45 minutes to an hour away.
It is important to bring clothing and footwear suitable for the time of the year that you will be interning. You will need clothes to keep you warm and dry in the winter and cool in the summer. Rain gear is also important as you will be working in wet conditions. Pack a couple pants and sweatshirts in the summer or t‑shirts in the winter, since the weather can be unpredictable. Sturdy, waterproof footwear is extremely important as you will be doing a lot of walking while you work. Riding apparel will also be needed (ie-boots, helmets, chaps, etc.) if you are approved to ride and required if you are joining DEFHR as a training intern. A professional/dress attire outfit should also be brought for attending events such as group tours, clinics, and other outings. Casual clothes should be brought for your days off. Please try to bring at least a week’s supply of clothes to cut down on the amount of laundry that you will be doing.
Sunscreen and a water bottle are advised year-round to prevent sunburn and dehydration, as most of your work will be performed outdoors. Make sure to bring extra money with you, since residential interns (excluding our intensive winter internship) only get $75 per week, most of which will be spent on food. A camera for documenting your time with us is also recommended. Bring either phone cards or a cell phone for making calls, as our phones are off-limits for anything other than business-related calls. Our computers are also off-limits for anything other than work-related things, so please bring your own laptop if you plan on checking emails or browsing the internet during your time here. Wireless internet is available in the house. Things such as bed and bath linens, an alarm clock, CD player/radio, VCR/DVD players, and any other such items should be brought with you if you choose to do so.
Your Release Form will be sent to you via email prior to your arrival. Please make sure to fill it out in its entirety so you can hand it in when you arrive. You need to have your social security number handy so you can fill out your W9 and start receiving your stipend. Please also bring a valid driver’s license.
At this time, housing accommodations are available for Equine Programs internships only. Two residential interns are housed in a private bedroom in our main office farmhouse. The kitchen and bathroom facilities are communal spaces, shared among interns and select staff. DEFHR requires that your living quarters, both private and shared, are kept clean during your stay with us. DEFHR provides furnishings, including table and chairs, beds, a TV with Amazon Firestick streaming apps, dressers, as well as basic cooking supplies. A washer and dryer are available for your use in the office’s laundry room. All other items are up to you to bring, as mentioned in the section above.
Food is not provided by DEFHR. Residential internship positions (excluding our intensive winter internship) include a weekly stipend of $75, which is intended to cover living expenses. A grocery store is close by and weekly trips will be available. A convenience store is within walking distance, which has a full service restaurant.
No – DEFHR only requires that you be at least 18 years of age and possess an interest and enthusiasm for learning about the life-saving work taking place at DEFHR.
The day prior to your starting day is move-in day, which will allow you to get unpacked and settled before starting work the next day. You are encouraged to arrive at DEFHR between noon and 4pm on the day prior to your internship start date so that you can be oriented to your living quarters by a staff member.
You do not need a car, although you are welcome and encouraged to bring one. Keep in mind that there is no public transportation available in the area. Your staff supervisor will arrange for transportation to and from the airport if necessary. DEFHR vehicles are available for trips to the store for essentials needs only.
No – DEFHR is limited in space and manpower, so we strictly reserve spaces in our herd for horses from Animal Control.
Residential Applicants: Generally, you will be working from 8am – 5pm Monday through Saturday with a one hour lunch break each day, however, emergencies may arise and you are expected to be available to assist. This means that you may have to work beyond your scheduled hours and possibly on your days off, should it be needed. Equine Rehabilitation interns are also responsible for feeding in the evenings if/when it is needed.
Non-Residential Applicants: Your schedule can be very flexible. You are required to work at least three hours each time you come to DEFHR. Keep in mind that the amount of time that you put into the internship determines the amount of experience you will gain. In order to complete the internship and receive a certificate at the end, you will need to work at least 300 hours during the spring, summer, and fall session and 100 hours during the winter session.
Training interns can expect to work 40+ hours a week and equine rehabilitation interns can expect to work 50+ hours per week. More hours may be required during emergencies and impoundments.
At DEFHR, you will be working closely with staff, volunteers, interns, and equine professionals.
Yes – the vet and farrier are typically scheduled weekly and the vet is often out more frequently during impoundments and emergencies.
Yes – Education is a core component of DEFHR’s mission and as an intern you will have many opportunities to educate the public on proper equine care and treatment. Volunteers gain valuable hands-on training from our interns.
Hopefully – Training is a large portion of the rehabilitation process, however the extent of the training that you will be doing during your internship is based on your experience level and the availability of our staff trainer. While we put great effort toward educating our interns about the training practices we use at DEFHR, training is not a key component of the internship program. If the main reason for wanting to apply is to train, please consider applying as a training intern and not an equine rehabilitation intern. You should consider any time you get training horses on the ground, and especially under saddle, as a bonus. You are primarily here to get hands-on in the barn and learn about equine rescue, critical care rehabilitation, and management.
Maybe – DEFHR has a strong partnership with Animal Control agencies throughout Maryland. Impoundments and rescues are sporadic and often unexpected, so there is no guarantee that you will be able to participate in one during your time with us. However, should one arise, we will make every effort for you to be able to come along and observe/assist.