Apply for a Unique, Educational Internship
At Tomten Farm and Sanctuary

Learn valuable real-life and animal skill sets straight from the horse's mouth. And the pig's. And the cow's. And the donkey's, the sheep's, the goat's, the rabbit's, the goose's, the duck's, and the chicken's mouth, too. But most of all, you'll learn tons of instantly applicable animal and real-world skills from Jen Vickery, the founder of Tomten Farm and Sanctuary.

Talk the talk, walk the walk and learn more than you could imagine.
All the while making a daily difference and enjoying what is certain to be
one of the most memorable experiences of your life.

Here at Tomten Farm and Sanctuary, we're committed to both animals and humans. I (Jen) believe there is no better way to make the most of my lifelong career of training and teaching animal behavior than by sharing that knowledge and experience with the next generation.

In addition to those teaching skills, I think you'll agree…
my twenty years as a successful business owner, my past experience mentoring
numerous interns and my thirty-plus years spent in a wide variety
of equine environments set our internship apart from the herd.

My equine experience started well before before the founding of Tomten Farm and Sanctuary. In addition to having the honor of spending the previous ten years working in rescue, my lifetime horse experience includes meeting the tough demands of being a barn manager and the detail oriented discipline of working as a professional show groom for morgan and hunter-jumper barns on the A-circuit. I have ridden in various disciplines including saddle seat. In college, I rode stock seat and hunt seat while competing on the intercollegiate varsity team. I have enjoyed the thrill of having thoroughbreds on the racetrack and been caught up in the fierce competition of riding and competing with top barns in A-circuit horse shows. I have also found time to continue my lifelong learning ambitions in many clinics on-the-flat, over fences and in natural horsemanship.

It is that wide range of knowledge that guides me as I now dedicate much of my time
and attention toward directing and achieving Tomten Farm and Sanctuary's mission:
helping animals, helping humans and making dreams come true one life at a time
through rescue, sanctuary, adoption and education.

That mission reaches far beyond the animals in our immediate care.  It also includes a commitment to help knowledge-hungry students gain the exposure, real-life experience and confidence they need to make a difference and prepare to successfully venture forth into the rewarding world of animal-related careers.

"… I will be forever grateful for everything Tomten Farm and Sanctuary has brought into my life."

Unlike your average animal-related internship, at Tomten I had the chance to learn not only valuable hands-on skills with a variety of animals from an expert instructor, I was also mentored in the business and management aspects of running a 501(c)(3) non-profit. I was encouraged to advance my equine skills by working with various horses from sensitive thoroughbreds, to bossy ponies, to reliable schoolmasters. Each one taught me something new. In addition to the hands-on work required to physically run the farm, Jen coached me in how to maintain communication with Tomten's Facebook followers, how to help volunteers master basic equine skills and what it took to market and effectively represent Tomten at events including Down and Dirty Work Days and Public Farm Tours. My internship not only increased my confidence, it taught me valuable life skills that will surely help me in future jobs. I will be forever grateful for everything Tomten Farm and Sanctuary has brought into my life and hope to one day give back to the community like Jenifer is doing by offering this wonderful opportunity.

      ~ Aileen

If gaining knowledge and experience, making a difference in animals' lives,
learning how to handle responsibility and developing a strong work ethic
is more appealing to you than a big weekly paycheck, our unique hands-on,
volunteer (unpaid) internship program could be for you.

Here are just a few of the many experiences you will enjoy while enhancing your knowledge base:

    Your own private tour and personal tutor every day—a behind-the-scenes look and participation in the development and day-to-day workings of a nonprofit 501(c)(3) Rescue and Sanctuary.

    The chance to gain extensive animal husbandry experience working with a wide variety of livestock. From everyday chores, to hands-on animal care including, but by no means limited to, the potential to assist in animal handling and training.

    Learning how to plan, implement and promote programs, events and procedures as well as marketing, social media and various types of administrative work. Interns participate in all!

    Done right, you should leave with a solid understanding of multi-species animal care and behavior, safety -oriented handling and basic training skills, farm and barn management and the basic business savvy that will help make you an asset to any organization, no matter what aspect of the animal industry you pursue.


  • Do you have a deep, deep love of animals and a sincere desire to make a difference?
  • Do you have a strong work ethic, a thirst for knowledge a strong dedication to reaching your long-term goals?
  • Do you like to be busy? Are you flexible? Are you motivated? Do have the ability to take initiative and happily work independently sometimes and as part of a team other times? That's a must since many days you will find yourself side-by-side with our Founder, Board members and/or TF&S volunteers. Volunteering at our Public Farm Tours and other events may also be encouraged.
  • Are you willing to put down your phone and work harder than you ever expected? Tolerate heat, rain, mud, blisters, sunburn and abide by our strict no-smoking, no drug use and courtesy/respect policies?
  • Are you able to accept that 'you don't know what you don't know,' that 'there is always more to learn,' and that there are good reasons for adherence to established policies and routines?


    — You should know that riding is not part of this internship (although for the right student limited under -saddle opportunities could be available) but going above and beyond, connected animal care, handling and training of a variety of species as well as assisting in the development of our growing sanctuary is.

    — Participants can expect to hay, grain, water, muck, handle, groom animals of different breeds, ages and temperaments and gain as much knowledge and skill as their open mind and commitment allow. But that is not all....

    — We absolutely love to teach and mentor our interns and we block out several hours each week toward providing quality instruction on a multitude of levels. In exchange, we expect dedication, enthusiasm, professionalism, honesty, respect, flexibility, and hard work. We look forward to introducing participants to natural horsemanship and offering the daily opportunity to work with our equines (and other animals) via lessons and solo time.


If you are 16-years old and up, have great desire and a work ethic to match, you are eligible. Whether you are seeking an opportunity to build your resumé before you apply to college or to build it up before you graduate from college, this is for you. Consideration will also given to graduates of any age interested in gaining knowledge and know how. Upon successful completion of our internship program, letters of recommendation/competency from Tomten Farm and Sanctuary to future employers, college admissions officers, etc. will be available.

Limited animal experience is ok (everyone starts somewhere!) and we thoroughly enjoy helping others improve their skills, learn animal behavior and husbandry. BUT applicants absolutely must have a sincere passion for animals, learning, and making a difference. You can expect to have an immediate impact on approximately 50 animals and complete your internship competent, confident and proud of all you have accomplished.

Our 300-hour program can be creatively scheduled. Days are flexible but for the consistency of our animals, we cannot accept internship applications from anyone who is available less than 20 hours per week.

Send us a letter telling us about yourself:  why you may be interested in a Tomten Farm and Sanctuary Internship and what your own dreams and future goals include. Include a resumé if you have one, name and contact info for three references (teachers, past employers, riding instructors, etc.), and tell us what your desired start date and availability is. Under age 21 applicants will require signed parental approval. Successful applicants will be required to submit our standard liability release form and provide proof of health insurance. Feel free to contact us with any questions you may have.

Tomten Farm and Sanctuary
Attn: Jen
P.O. Box 85
Haverhill, NH 03765


BONUS: The more driven you are, the greater your opportunities and as a growing organization, there are many. Share your dreams and let's go after them together!

Your Teacher, Supervisor, Mentor
Tomten Farm and Sanctuary Founder, Jenifer Vickery

  • Equine Studies Major, Cazenovia College, NY
  • BA, U Mass Amherst
  • Graduate Studies, Boston University
  • Since 1998 owner/head trainer, Pawsitive Dog Training Center, Boston
  • Past volunteer & board member of a Massachusetts equine rescue
  • Author of several equine and canine media articles

Tomten Internship Alumnae!

We are excited to again offer internships. Much to our dismay, our busy site search and move to New Hampshire required that we put the program on hold temporarily. We can't wait to review your applications and welcome qualified applicants to the farm.

In the summer of 2015, we mentored two college interns majoring in equine/pre-vet studies: Kelia C. and Aileen W.

Both Kelia and Aileen loved interning at Tomten Farm and Sanctuary as they looked forward to their anticipated equine-focused career. To help build a good foundation toward that goal, they worked hard to earn their horse-time while also learning to appreciate the value of good horses pulled from bad situations, and enjoying the camaraderie of working with Jen and like -minded volunteers who gathered at the farm to learn about horses, livestock and the dark world of horse and livestock auctions where more animals end up going to Canadian slaughterhouses than to private homes.

Meet Our Past Interns...

Kelia went to Norfolk Agriculture High School where she was on the honor roll. In 2012 she was one of just 28 students to receive a scholarship from Farm Credit East, the Northeast's largest Agricultural lending cooperative. That scholarship was applied to her tuition at Randolph College in VA where she was majoring in Biology/Pre-Veterinary studies.

Fellow intern Aileen was a student at the University of New Hampshire majoring in equine studies and competing on their varsity riding team.  In addition to volunteering and interning at Tomten Farm and Sanctuary, she has also studied with Parelli Natural Horsemanship professional Dave Ellis at his ranch in California and participated in Tomten's
People Project program with rescued thoroughbred Falah. Aileen took Falah from being dangerous and unrideable to riding and later, with the assistance of some amazing trainers, competing with him on the A-circuit.

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Did You Know...

…the 12 qualities employers look for in their new hires? Understand their own path, know what they want in a career, can point to successes at work or elsewhere, know their strengths, think independently, like to problem-solve, have ambition, are proactive, are happy to learn new things, are goal-oriented and work well on a team and are responsible. All skills we teach in your Tomten Internship. From 12 Qualities Employers Look for When They're Hiring, Forbes Magazine.

Following Tomten Farm and Sanctuary on Facebook will give you a really good idea of what day-to-day activities you might do when you intern here.

Visit/Like/Follow/Share Tomten on Facebook.

Our interns enjoy their own special break rooms.

See more on Tomten Farm and Sanctuary's Instagram page.


Tomten Farm and Sanctuary
A 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to providing peace, protection and possibility to animals in need.

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PARTICIPATE: Tours | Down & Dirty Work Days | Internships & Mentoring | People Project | Community Days | Volunteer | Natural Horsemanship
CONTRIBUTE: Monthly Donation | Wish List | General Fund/Fundraisers | Doing Good
Planned Giving | Occasion Donations | Matching Funds | Artists Rejoicing in Tomten
MEDIA: Good Press | Tomten Theater
Current Fundraisers | Many Ways To Help | Wish List | Mrs. Lily Jones Fund

© Copyright 2015-2019 Tomten Farm and Sanctuary. All rights reserved.
P.O. Box 85 Haverhill, New Hampshire 03765 • 603-989-5800

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