Painted Bar Stables is proud to offer our apprentice internship program. This Program is fast paced and filled with educational opportunities only gained by working in the industry.

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A leader in the trail riding industry in the Finger Lakes Region, Painted Bar Stables is a 125 acre ranch and stable located on Seneca Lake in the beautiful Finger Lakes Wine Country. We maintain roughly 30 head of well trained and versatile trail and lesson horses along with mares, babies and our stallion.

Internships will be catered to the interest and future goals of each intern. Focuses could include: Equine Schooling and Training, Instruction and Lesson Planning, Tourism Industry and Client Care, Public Relations and Marketing, Breeding and Young Stock Handling, Veterinary Care, etc...

As an intern you will have the opportunity to work in the training, breeding and general management divisions of the farm. Every day duties will include feeding, checking horses, saddling and warming up horses for training, grooming, guiding trail rides, teaching novice lessons, helping to head Girl Scout and 4-H camp programs, and maintaining a clean professional working environment.

Depending on the ride schedule and time of year, interns will be involved with trail rides, clinics, hunter paces, overnight guiding, horse sales prep, foal handling, routine medical care such as worming, vaccinations, farrier and dentist scheduling. If the opportunity aligns with breeding season, Interns will be able to foal out a mare and participate in the care of the mare and foal after parturition. They will also be able to assist with the breeding activities of our stallion such as live cover breeding on the farm as well as semen collection at Cornell University. Additionally, interns will see office and client management, record keeping and marketing practices as well as become familiar with required legal and insurance logistics associated with owning and operating a stable or ranch. And above all else, Interns will be able to further develop their own riding and training skills while riding available horses at the ranch.

Typical Seasonal Jobs

  • September - November
    Foliage and wine tourists, boost in our lesson program, organizing for winter

  • December - February
    Schooling and training of horses, incoming training clients, winter maintenance, winter trail rides as requested, lessons focused on bareback riding and technical riding .

  • March - May
    Reboot of our lesson program, usually a spring horse show, steady increase in trail riders, breeding of our stallion.

  • June - August
    Summer Camps, tourism trail rides, youth programs

Because Summer (July - August) is our busiest season as well as the highest demand for internships, we usually do specific interviewing for internships at that time in March. All other seasons have lower demand for internships because most students are at university.

This is a full time commitment. We provide shared furnished housing on the farm in our intern apartment and a weekly food stipend of $125.


  • Individuals must be quick and proactive learners, energetic, optimistic, reliable and professional.
    Capable of interacting with clients and the public on a regular basis, extroverts preferred
    Must be 18 years or older.
    Must be able to lift an 80# bag of grain unassisted.
    Must have a valid drivers license and we suggest having a vehicle of your own
    Must have a cell phone with text and email capability.
    Computer skills required

Preferred Skills and Abilities include: experience in tourism businesses, public speaking, marketing and public relations, driving manual transmission automobiles, operating tractors, advanced computer skills, and experience designing and implementing projects.

Minimum Commitment: 4 Weeks

Riders of all skill levels accepted as riding skills can be taught and improved; however, assigned duties with the horses will vary based on proficiency with horses. Preference is for accomplished riders as a main benefit of the internship is the opportunity for unlimited schooling.

We do not allow personal horses to accompany interns as past experiences have proven them to be a distraction from the learning benefits of working with a multitude of different horses within our stables.

For More information about our program please contact Erika Eckstrom by email

If you would like to apply, send a resume, references and a short video of you riding and/or pictures by email. You can also follow us on our Painted Bar Stables facebook page.


Internship Q&A


Our stable is a bit different than many East Coast stables. We are a very relaxed and casual community. Our community dress code ranges from western casual (jeans, cowboy boots and a t-shirt) to breeches and tall boots and the goal for every rider is just as different and far ranging. Everyone here is treated as equals and employees and clients are also friends. It's not just about the money and the hierarchy. Erika is always the boss-lady, but it is more like visiting a friend out of town - it's their house and you need to follow their rules, but everyone is an equal person at the table.

Interns are given a lot of freedom but also a lot of responsibility in the barn. The goal of the internship is not just to do chores and school horses (though that is a part of it) but to also participate in what it would be like to run a barn of your own. The only way to do that is to have the freedom to try, fail, succeed and figure it out.


At our stables, things do ebb and flow depending on the season but some things remain the same:
Morning chores are at 8:00am (unless there are no clients and we decide horses are getting a morning off in the fields).
Finish any stalls that were not finished the evening before, Feed Horses Grain, Fill Water Troughs, Check Horses (wounds, sickness and lameness), Turn out any horses on daytime turnout, Fill water buckets, groom horses
If multiple people do tasks simultaneously this can take just an hour or just a little more.
Afternoon chores are done around noon.
Feed hay in stalls, Afternoon grain, check water buckets, make sure arena manure buckets aren't full
Evening chores are usually done around the start of the last lesson or trail ride of the day.
Check hay levels in field, fill water troughs, turn out horses, clean stalls, empty arena manure buckets, sweet aisles, tidy up
The seasonal extras change a bit. Right now in the winter, for instance, we don't have a lot of trail rides. Our interns are working on projects and keeping the horses working and schooling. We are also starting to train some of our younger horses how to "ride" (meaning walk and steer with a rider, they are too young for much else). We also have a couple horses that were injured that are getting back to work as well.


While Painted Bar Stables is not a seasonal business, there is a seasonal shift:

Schooling, Training, Weather-Proofing Barn, Rehabilitation and Care of Older or Injured Horses

Increase in Lesson Program, Fitness Training, Foaling & Breeding, Increase in Weekend Trail Riders

Trail Riders, Summer Camps, Lesson Program, Membership Riders

Trail Riders, Adult Camp, Overnight Riding, Hunter Paces, Construction Projects

In the Spring the lesson program gets going much more and eventually the trail riding program catches up. When these get going a big part of an intern's day (and my day) is taking care of clients, readying horses for trail riders, helping students ready their own horses, guiding trails, assistant teaching, and making sure everyone cleans up after themselves! In July we have summer camps for children for a couple weeks - those are the hard weeks, but also the fun weeks. We school in the summer too - but it's mostly to give our horses a break from the beginner riders and have fun, as well as touching base with our horses so they don't lose too much training.


Projects start to pick up in the warmer weather too. The goal of our stables is to always be improving and to come up with new ideas that will make better opportunities for our riders, living conditions for our horses and ease for our employees. For instance, we want to construct a novice level cross country course as well as a trail obstacle course at one of our properties.

Interns live in the farm house which is only about 100 meters from the barn. I have split the house into two. My partner and I live on one side with out dogs, and interns live on the other side. There are 4 beds in the intern apartment with shared bedrooms, kitchen and bathroom. It's a dormitory, but very comfortable.

While it is shared living space, we have never had any issues with people not getting along or fighting. I have always been good at being a mediator and stepping in if someone needs more privacy. I have no problem telling people obvious things that they forgot to notice were... obvious.

Interns shop for their own food, keep the living space clean, and do their own cooking. Often everyone cooks together or takes turn cooking and shares meals, because it is cheapest and most fun. The washing machine and dryer are available for use as well.

There is usually at least one intern with a car, but Erika is always willing to take anyone to town to do their shopping while she runs errands as well.





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We accept cash, check and credit cards
Gift Certificates are available.

4093 Lake Street (Rte. 79) Burdett, NY 14818