Equine Experience


Ultimate OE – Equine Program

The Ultimate OE equine program has been running for 7 seasons and it is the only one of its kind in the world. Over the years we have placed over 200 young kiwis into hunting based employment in Canada. Our unique model of train before you go has allowed us to build close relationships with our employers in Canada who look forward to their new Ultimate OE cadet every season. If you are passionate about horses, the outdoors, adventure and have a good work ethic then the equine program is for you. Taking people on treks through the mountains on horseback and being immersed into the world of western riding and culture.

Please note in order to submit an application you must submit a short video of yourself riding (including a trot) as well as a recent photo of yourself on a horse.

What will I be doing?

Firstly you need to understand that you are there to work. This is a paid work placement so you will be expected to work for your pay cheque.

You will be involved in the equine industry in some capacity. Whether you start as a wrangler or a full time trail guide or something in between, you will be working in for a respected guest ranch owner in Canada. Our employers offer everything from 2 hour trail rides to week long pack trips into the mountains. They offer everything from advanced riding to basic trail rides. Larger resorts have a range of different employment options if riding everyday doesn’t suit you personally.

We customize each placement for each graduate. We are not going to place you in a situation where you are out of your depths or somewhere where you have no interest. Some applicants maybe more suited to more of a working ranch type placement (farming) but still based around horses, we can discuss this option during the training course.


Standard Package

$5500 +GST

A standard package includes the course and a placement on a guest ranch in Canada This will give you approximately* 4 – 6 months paid work. We have a large range of different guest ranching jobs available. Where you are placed will be determined by your level of riding experience, your level of maturity and what you hope to gain out of the experience. We try to place the most suitable graduates with the most suitable employers in Canada. The standard package also includes a professional visa service to help streamline the process in obtaining your Canadian working visa.

We have placements to provide for the most experienced riders to those with limited riding experience. You should be prepared to work hard and have a passion for horses in both cases.

* These are approximate dates; weather and often snowfall can dictate the length of the riding seasons. This can result in seasons being cut short or extended. Our outfitters are based throughout Canada and as a result they are all affected differently by weather and snow conditions.

Where and when is the training course?

The training course will start at 12pm on the 12th of December 2017 and  will finish on the 20th of December 2017. Our training will be based in the south island out of Gunn’s Bush Camp which is located ten minutes out of Waimate, New Zealand.

Applications for 2018 are now open! Places in 2018 will are limited in number and applicants will be accepted as we receive suitable applications throughout the year.

What will I learn?

The course will be a mix of practical and theoretical skills tailored around what you need to know in order to hit the ground running in Canada. For the equine-based training course we concentrate on the guiding aspects and other practical training, such as chainsaw, first aid and fencing. We also spend a large amount on time on the western riding discipline, western tack, packing horses and guest ranching specific skills and ideas essential to being an effective and professional employee in Canada.

The curriculum is made up of all the practical and theoretical elements Ultimate OE and/or employers in Canada deem important. A more detailed summary of the course content is available on request.

We have a large range of different guest ranching jobs available. Placements will be determined by level of riding experience, maturity level and individual goals. We place the most suitable graduates with the most suitable employers in Canada based on your previous experience and what we see from you during the training course.

We have placements for everyone in the program from the most experienced riders to the least. You should be prepared to work hard and have a passion for horses in both cases.

Additional Placements

Winter ski resort placement – Full time work at a Canadian ski resort. If you wish to remain living and working in Canada over the winter this additional placement is a great option. It fits particularly well with the end of the guest ranching season and will give cadets the opportunity to continue working though the Canadian winter. We have access to a huge range of jobs with a large number of popular ski resorts in Canada. Previous Ultimate OE cadets who have completed this placement have work in everything from ski patrol too driving snow making equipment on the mountain. These placements are a great way to see a different side of Canada – we describe this placement as more “social”. You don’t need to have any previous skiing/boarding experience. The cost of an additional ski resort placement is $850 + GST and will add 6 -7* months of paid employment to your OE in Canada.


Applications for the 2018 season close on the 1st of December, 2017. Once we receive your application we will be in contact regarding the outcome. If you don’t hear from us advising you of the outcome of your application within two weeks please email us to confirm that we have received it.

IMG_1588See more Testimonials

Cherie McGaveston

Experience: Equine

“Leaving NZ to see the big wide world is a hard thing to do alone, having employment waiting in Canada along with help to plan everything made it easy. My horse experience was everything I could have ever wished for, I was placed on a ranch that suited me more than words can describe, it wasn’t a job it was heaven.”

Hannah Gibson Signature

Common Questions

What is a Wrangler?

In a guest ranching situation the term wrangler is used widely to describe an employee who deals with horses and clients on a day to day basis. Depending on where you’re placed the roll of a wrangler will differ slightly, but daily duties could include a mix of the following: catching horses, saddling horses, mucking out stables, guiding on horseback, training horses, offering basic horse riding instruction to clients, socializing with clients and basically all other ranch based jobs that need to be completed on any given day.

Why do I need to do the course?

The training course is compulsory to ensure we can secure the best possible jobs in Canada. We have developed strong relationships with quality employers in Canada based on our guarantee that all of our graduates have a strong basis of skill and knowledge. We concentrate on aspects that are unique to Canada such as the western discipline and professional guiding techniques. We also cover important safety aspects such as chainsaw operation, backcountry first aid and of course how to avoid incident with our furry Canadian friends known as bears.

Is this paid employment?

Yes – all of our placements are paid employment and offer either free or discounted staff accommodation. How quickly you climb the pay ladder will depend on each individuals work ethic and performance. The faster you prove yourself as a valuable employee the faster your wages will increase. Most of our cadets also receive tip money on top of their wages, yet we can’t guarantee how much or how often you will be tipped. This is not a get rich program but you should have a reasonable chance in recouping your costs – and have the experience of a lifetime in the process.