Ranch Apprenticeship Program

Are you passionate about horses and farm animals?  Are you ready for real work experience?  If you are prepared to work hard, get dirty, and spend your Sunday afternoons as part of an awesome team being mentored by a terrific instructor, apply to the Sienna Ranch Apprenticeship Program!


Schedule, Times and Dates

School Year Schedule:  Sundays 12:30-4:00PM

Session 1, Fall/Winter: 9/9/2018 – 10/28/2018

Session 2, Winter/Spring: 1/20/2019 – 6/2/2019

 ***Animal Care Apprentices train with us during the school year in anticipation of assisting in a minimum of 4 weeks of Summer Camp Programs.  Please email our Director Chris Lauf (chrislauf@siennaranch.net) if you have any questions. 

Who can apply?

  • Teens ages 12-18 are welcome to apply to the Animal Care Apprentice Program.
  • Available to fulfill the minimum 40 hour requirement each session
  • Loves hard work and getting dirty
  • Takes direction well (follows the Apprentice Rules and Sienna Ranch Staff Communication Principles)
  • Team player
  • Capable of working independently

Our apprenticeship program gives youth, ages 12 to 18 an opportunity to experience the satisfaction, education, and tangible work experience which comes from working at a small, family-owned ranch.  Each week, the Apprentice team will work under the supervision of our Animal Care Manager to complete routine & special horse and livestock care and ranch management chores such as:

  • Mucking stalls and cleaning pens
  • Cleaning tack and equipment
  • Hay moving
  • Animal handling techniques
  • Routine animal maintenance
  • Animal behavior observations
  • Grooming
  • Trimming & hoof care
  • Minor wound care
  • Animal exams
  • Fence mending
  • Assist farrier (horse specialization)
  • Exercise horses (horse specialization only)
  • Tack Room and Animal Care Shed organization
  • Horse Program Assistant Training (horse specialization only)
  • CIT training (livestock specialization only)
  • And much more…

Ranch Apprentice Specializations

Any Ranch Apprentice can choose to specialize in either Equine or Livestock.  Each has distinct responsibilities and associated benefits.

Equine Specialization

Many people, when they think of horses, think of the majestic beauty of the horses in the movies, or the athletes in the Olympics. They may think of riding the horses that trail companies use to offer guided trail-riding tours, or a favorite lesson pony. They probably don’t think of what happens behind the scenes to keep those horses healthy and in proper condition. That is what the equine specialty for the Sienna Ranch Apprentice Program offers – horse care as it applies in the real world.  The equine specialty is not a work-for-rides program; it is workplace training where individuals gain professional experience with horse care and management. Equine specialty Apprentices who excel in the program will be given the opportunity to assist at birthday parties and participate in specialized horsemanship lessons the mornings before apprentice time. For summer camp, equine specialists will help with the Sienna Ranch Equestrian camps.

Livestock Specialization

Livestock, or production animals, are an important part of daily life, but many people don’t have the opportunity to see what happens behind the scenes. Sienna Ranch has many different kinds of livestock: chickens, sheep, goats, bunnies, and more! Livestock specialists will learn about these different animals in detail.  For their summer camp requirement, Livestock specialists will assist with camps that work with the Sienna Ranch livestock. Livestock specialty apprentices will assist at Family Day, educating the attendees about care and safe interaction with various types of livestock.

What if I don’t want to specialize?

You totally don’t have to! A non-specializing apprentice still holds the Ranch Apprentice title, and will have split responsibilities, depending on experience and capabilities. Apprentices can also wait to specialize until they feel ready, and until then they will be treated as all-rounder ranch apprentices.

Why apply to be an apprentice?

Our apprentice program is more than just a fun way to volunteer– it is workplace training where individuals can gain valuable professional experience. All apprentices are expected to follow the Sienna Ranch Staff Communication Principles, and adhere to professional expectations including attendance, appropriate clothing and language. Our goal is to give apprentices a solid foundation in animal care, as well as preparing them to excel when faced with the many challenges of being a professional in any field. Apprentices who reach 80 hours of service are eligible for a letter of recommendation written by their supervisor.

Is the Apprenticeship Program right for you?

In the ranching business, there is no such thing as a lazy day. Expect to work hard and get dirty. The apprenticeship program requires dedication, maturity, professionalism, and responsibility. All apprentices are expected to follow the Sienna Ranch Staff Communication Principles, and adhere to professional expectations including attendance, work ethic, appropriate clothing and language.

  • Rain or Shine, at least an hour of your day will consist of mucking & pen cleaning.
  • Participation is mandatory—don’t let your fellow apprentices do all the work.
  • Tardiness is not acceptable.
  • Attendance is mandatory. Excused absences require 24 hours notice and hours missed should be made up.
  • Those who do not fulfill the minimum 40 hour requirement during each session will not be asked back to the program.
  • Attendance will be taken and hours recorded at each work day.
  • Apprentices must follow all Sienna Ranch rules.
  • Apprentices must follow the Sienna Ranch Communication Principles.

How to Apply:

Our application process is designed to help us select applicants who will enjoy, benefit from, and excel in our program. Priority will be given to returning apprentices in good standing.  All applicants must be able to take direction well and be able to work independently and as part of a team. The application process begins with an online written application.  If the written application is accepted, the applicant will then be asked to attend a working interview at the ranch. After the working interview, a decision will be made as to whether or not the applicant will be accepted into the program.  This decision will be communicated to the applicant via email.

Session 1 Application Timeline:

Mid August: School Year Timeline Published, Application Pool Opens

Late August: Applications Due

Early September:  Email sent informing applicants they have been chosen for interview

Mid September:  Working interview/Orientation 12:30pm to 4pm.

Within one week of working interview:  Email sent informing applicants of final decisions

Session 2 Application Timeline:

Early January: Applications Due

Mid January:  Email sent informing applicants they have been chosen for interview

Late January:  Working interview/Orientation 12:30PM to 4PM.

Within one week of working interview:  Email sent informing applicants of final decisions