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Using Equus Education:

Christine Meunier, Equine Author and Educator
Wangaratta, Victoria, Australia.

Star of Wild Horse Canyon by Clyde Robert Bulla

Star of Wild Horse Canyon is a short read for the young horse fan. It features lovely illustrations by Grace Paull to help readers picture what is happening in the story. Young Danny enjoys his life living as a cowboy on his parents ranch, Starlight Ranch.

It’s at the start of the book that Danny’s Uncle Mack plants a seed in Danny’s mind. The pony he rides – Ginger – is getting small for him. Danny is growing into a big boy and will soon outgrow his pony. When Uncle Mack talks of a herd of wild horses that are nearby and his plan to catch them, Danny’s ears perk up. He is rapt when he and his friend Judy are able to go along with his father and uncle.

Star of Wild Horse Canyon by Clyde Robert Bulla | Equus Education

Star of Wild Horse Canyon by Clyde Robert Bulla | Equus Education

Over time Danny helps to build a trap for the wild horses. He rides with the other men, helping to drive the horses toward the yard where they will be caught. Amongst the thirty or so wild horses one horse stands out to Danny.

He is a white, proud horse and Danny is eager to have him as his own. When he voices this desire to his father and uncle, both try to dissuade him. In the end Danny agrees that a wild horse isn’t for him, but he can’t forget about the horse he’s named Star.

A surprise from his Uncle Mack is something Danny is thankful for. When he finds Star as his own, he works hard to befriend the horse. In time he is able to break him in. But even after they’ve established a bond, Danny is distraught to find his horse missing one day. Although he searches high and low, he cannot find Star anywhere. Danny has no idea where to look and questions if he needs to give up the dream of owning the white horse he first viewed in a herd of wild horses. Star of Wild Horse Canyon is an imaginative read for the younger reader. It features horses heavily and has a great theme of doing what is right.

Author – Clyde Robert Bulla
Fiction – children
In my library – it is!
Want it? Get it now on Amazon.

5 Horse Passive Incomes to Consider

If you’ve been reading Equus Education for a bit, it will come as no surprise to you that I love the concept of passive income.  In short, the idea is that you have a product that you spend the time to create once, but it generates you income repeatedly.  So I thought I’d put together a post about 5 horse passive incomes to consider.  After all, who doesn’t want to be earning money that relates to horses?  And if it’ll keep earning you money without you having to do much work beyond creating it, isn’t that even better?

  • Horse books – this one might just be my favourite form of passive income. I am an equine author and I daily make money from my various books.  Yours could be short stories, aimed at children, aimed at adults or non fiction.  It doesn’t matter, as long as you know your content and can write!  When you create an eBook today they don’t even cost you in printing!  And you only ‘pay’ the platform you sell it on when you make a sale.  They get a percentage of your sale price and you get the rest as profit.  I am making money today from books that I published back in 2013.  Perfect!
  • Horse courses – this is again about content. Perhaps you’re brilliant at turning out horses for sale or show.  Maybe you know how to ride really well and establish a good riding position.  Maybe you’re passionate about horses businesses and can talk relevantly with business owners about how to budget and market.  Whatever your topic, you can turn it into a course and people can pay to undertake it at their own pace.  It’s similar to horse books; you find a platform like Udemy to sell it on and you take a percentage of the course cost when someone purchases.
    (On a side note: interested in 21 different passive income streams relating to horses?  Check out my Equine Passive Streams course!)
5 Horse Passive Incomes to Consider | Equus Education

5 Horse Passive Incomes to Consider | Equus Education

  • Grazing rites – now this one is for the person who has land and wants to make money relating to horses. You may know it as boarding, livery or agistment but I want to focus on the simplest form of someone paying for your land: grazing rites.  All they’re doing is paying to ‘lease’ a certain part of your land; they’re paying for their horses to eat your grass.  Chances are you’ll need to provide safe fencing, water and shelter but once this is sorted, the money comes in regularly by horses being on your land and owned by other people
  • Horse related podcasts – perhaps writing and video aren’t your thing, so you’re not too into the idea of books or video courses. But talking, that you can do!  Audio files can be created on particular topics and made available for people to utilise – at a fee.  It could even be a monthly subscription fee to your ‘channel’ and you add content as the months go on!
  • Equine educational resources – there are many people who teach varying forms of horses. They could be educators at a school, riding instructors or another form.  Often they’re happy to have resources that have already been created that fit in with their topic.  You can upload educational resources relating to horses.  People can then download as a digital product at a one off cost.  They can then use it for their classroom of 1 or of 30!  It’s up to them.  Again, I have many horse educational products that I have made over the years that still get purchased today.

Although I have considered just over 20 different passive income streams in my course that relate to horses, I am sure there are others that I am unaware of.  The rule of thumb is only that the product relates to horses!  And of course that you can sell it many times over.  If you want to build up income on the side with little input from you, consider setting up various horse passive income streams! 🙂

Saddle Fitting as a Horse Career

Today there is a vast majority of horses that are utilised for sport, recreation and competition.  Because of their value to humans, a lot of money is invested in keeping them fit and healthy.  This could be in the form of professionals who tend to their needs: physical and nutritional, for example.  It is also in the form of tools to ride and care for them.  Consider saddles, bridles, blankets, leg protection – the list goes on.  A saddle is a necessity for most forms of riding horses.  So too is being able to fit a saddle appropriately to individual horses.  Because of this, saddle fitting as a horse career I believe is a viable avenue for interested people to consider exploring.

For people who are wanting to make a career of horse riding, knowing that a saddle fits their horse well is imperative.  Many horse owners who ride recreationally also understand the importance of correct saddle fit.  And so a saddle fitter – often provided through the local saddlery – is utilised to make sure a saddle correctly fits the horse it is to be bought for.

Correct saddle fit helps to ascertain that the saddle is going to be comfortable on the horse.  It needs to not hinder any movement – shoulders are a big one!  It also needs to be balanced on the horse.  When a person is in the saddle, it is important too that there are no pressure points and that the rider is able to achieve a correct position.

As a horse develops in its riding career/training, its muscle tone will change.  Because of this, the need to have a saddle adjusted over time will be imperative.  In fact, Jochen Schleese of Saddlefit4life, states in his book Suffering in Silence that saddle fit should be assessed 2-3 times a year for young, developing horses.  He goes on to suggest an annual check for horses that are around 7 years of age.  Once horses reach 16 and beyond, checking 2-3 times a year again is recommended.

Saddle Fitting as a Horse Career

Saddle Fitting as a Horse Career | Equus Education

Saddle Fitting as a Horse Career | Equus Education

If horse owners adhere to these guidelines of a certified master saddler, then there is definitely scope for saddle fitters to develop this skill as a career.  They would need to know how to assess a saddle’s fit to the horse and rider.  They would also need to be able to make adjustments.  Often this can be done on sight.  It may involve adjusting the angle of a gullet or altering flocking/padding in a saddle.

As horse owners and riders work to make themselves better educated, saddle fitting as a horse career becomes a viable option to consistently work and bring in money.  Interested in this option?  Be sure to check out the Saddlefit4life website and do some research on the term saddle ergonomist.

Suffering in Silence by Jochen Schleese

A couple of months ago I was rapt to find a new book had been sent to me for review on Equus Education. It was Suffering in Silence by Jochen Schleese. This non fiction book looks in great depth at the link between saddle fit (or incorrect fit) and physical and psychological trauma in horses.

I need to claim a lot of ignorance in this area. My first horse was a beautiful gelding with a rather obvious sway back. I bought a starters pack for beginner riders that included a saddle, bridle and saddle pad for a couple of hundred dollars. Not surprisingly, the saddle didn’t fit! I spent a long time using various risers to try to ‘balance’ the saddle on my horse’s back. It wasn’t until a couple of years after having bought my horse that I was able to get a new saddle that was fitted to him.

Suffering in Silence by Jochen Schleese | Equus Education

Suffering in Silence by Jochen Schleese | Equus Education

On top of the sway back, he was also extremely overweight and had a very, very flat wither. The gullet plate was too narrow for Pride’s back and had to be remoulded to extra, extra wide! Twelve months after the saddle was fitted to him – and he’d lost a bit of weight! – I had it reflocked. That about sums up my efforts with regards to making sure my saddle fitted my horse. After reading Suffering in Silence I realise that I should have had the fit assessed more regularly and adjusted accordingly. I believe I would now be equipped to ask more questions and to even assess the appropriate fit myself!

Suffering in Silence is an informative, practical guide on the importance of correct saddle fit for horses – and their riders! It looks at the anatomical differences between males and females and how this affects our position in the saddle. Did you know there are saddles made specifically for women?

It also highlights various lameness issues, muscle atrophies and even behavioural issues that can all be attributed to poor saddle fit. The end result is the same: an unhappy horse.

Saddle fit is explored from the point of the horse – where it should be sitting and what it shouldn’t be touching. It is then considered from the point of the rider. This also details the differences between males and females, their leg lengths, pelvis angles and how they sit to achieve the correct shoulders, hip, heel plumbline.

This book has detailed chapters, accompanying diagrams and photos and references to research literature.  Suffering in Silence is a must read for all horse owners that ride. It would be of benefit to horse health care professionals, horse riders and instructors.  And in particular those who plan to make a living from saddle fitting and creation. If you’re interested in saddle fit as a career, be sure to check out SaddleFit4Life, created by Jochen Schleese. Suffering in Silence is a horse book worth adding to anyone’s collection. Just be sure to read it!

Author – Jochen Schleese
Non Fiction – saddle fit
In my library – definitely!
Want it? Get it now on Amazon.

Equine Research Projects

I recently had the opportunity to catch up with a friend whom I studied with at the Irish National Stud.  It’s hard to believe, but that was more than 10 years ago.  She now runs her own business Ethonova.  This French based business is involved in a lot of equine research projects related to equine welfare.

Claire talked with me of some of her current projects and there seemed to be a theme that caught my interest.  There are so many things we still don’t know about horses.  And there are many things we can do better or more efficiently.  Claire’s focus is on improving horse welfare.  She has clients who have product ideas to increase the ease with which horses are handled.  The focal point is often on improving welfare of the horse by decreasing stress in situations – such as with loading onto a dark, enclosed float/trailer.

Equine Research Projects | Equus Education

Equine Research Projects | Equus Education

Equine Research Projects

A lot of these projects need funding and support from universities so that the studies can be carried out.  Once a particular management aspect or product can be proven to improve results or a horse’s welfare, then funding can be sought to promote a particular product for sale and use within the industry.

Equine research projects can be a great way to gain backing and funding for a product idea that you may have.  Being able to work within an educational institution can help to ensure that the studies are carried out professionally.  Plus they are done in as short a timeframe as possible and you can gain funding to support the project.  If you have a research idea, it may be worth reaching out to your local equine institution.  See if you may be able to partner with them on an equine research project.

The Horse Dictionary

I am currently in the process of a collaborative project with some horse book authors.  Because we are from differing countries, we have varying terms that we use to describe horse related things.  Consider the grass area where you may house a horse – what do you call it?  A paddock?  Perhaps a field?  Maybe you keep them in pastures.  There are terms we may use that are unknown to readers of our information.  But what if there was a horse dictionary you could utilise to compare various horse terms?  Perhaps it could even identify a word such as paddock and then highlight what this may be known as in other countries.

The Horse Dictionary | Equus Education

The Horse Dictionary | Equus Education

The Horse Dictionary may need to be a collaborative project. This could be between people from the US, UK, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and other English speaking countries.  Or perhaps it could be created by one person. But they have access to people in varying countries that can undertake a survey.

When it comes to creating horse information for others to read, it is important that we are able to communicate it in such a way that people understand.  I am aware as an Australian author that some terms I use are new to my readers. They are often in the United States and United Kingdom.  Although I feel it is good for them to be aware of different horse terms in other countries, I also explore different terms on my author website, explaining these concepts.

The Horse Dictionary

What if there was one place online that writers could go to as a reference point?  Perhaps they’re writing an informative article for the United States.  Or they want to promote a new horse welfare product for the United Kingdom.  Or maybe they’re to be doing a presentation of their horse services in New Zealand.  If they could adjust their terminology to match the country they’re presenting it in, how helpful would this resource be?

Learn about Horses by Kathy Mann

I recently downloaded Learn about Horses by Kathy Mann as a free download on Amazon.  This book is a quick and easy read with lovely coloured illustrations by Carol Berger to engage the younger reader.

Learn About Horses by Kathy Mann | Equus Education

Learn About Horses by Kathy Mann | Equus Education

The book starts with a reminder that horses can be dangerous animals.  If anyone is to ride them, they should seek the help of a professional to learn.  That covered, the book goes on to explain many simple concepts that need to be known by horse riders.  It talks about how horses come in different sizes and colours and how they are gregarious by nature.

Equipment to handle horses and manage them effectively is also explored.  Readers are treated to illustrations of a halter and lead rope.  They are also shown how to put it on and where to lead the horse from.  Clean stables and appropriate fencing is also covered.  This is followed by information about what horses eat and drink as well as who tends to their physical health needs.  Brushes used to groom them are illustrated and the bridle and saddle are explained with various points identified.

The statements in Learn about Horses are short and simple, easy to understand and also remember.  They are also backed up with an appropriate illustration.  This further helps young readers to comprehend the point being made.

Learn about Horses is a simple and effective read, written at an appropriate level for young horse fans.  This non fiction read would be a valuable addition to the collection for the young enthusiastic horse lover.

Author – Kathy Mann
Non Fiction – children’s
In my library – as an eBook it is.
Want it? Get it now on Amazon.

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Win Your Equinology Course Free

I recently got an email from Equinology that outlined their 2018 courses being available online for enrolment.  On top of this, they have a promotion going titled Win Your Equinology Course Free.  Now I’m assuming you’re like me and can’t pass up a free horse course?  I love to learn new things, especially when it’s not costing me!

Curious to know how you could win your Equinology Equine Body Worker Certification or Equine Owners course, free?  Head along to this link.

Some info on the linked page includes:

The Equinology® Equine Body Worker Certification Giveaway
Enrol in ANY of our scheduled 2018 Equinology® Equine Body Worker Certification Courses in Australia and New Zealand (there are three of them: February NZ, March AU, September AU) between 23.11.17 and 23.12.17 and receive:
Your EQ50 Equine Anatomy PreCourse Study FREE – Valued at $125 AUD / $140 NZD.; and

Go in the draw to win your course fees FREE. It’s sort of like a scholarship but without the hard work. It’s sheer luck. Yes you read that correctly. This prize is valued at $3,595 AUD /$3,995 NZD + your EQ50 ($125 AUD / $140 NZD);

*It is worth noting, this competition is open to people undertaking courses in Australia or New Zealand.

Win Your Equinology Course Free | Equus Education

Win Your Equinology Course Free | Equus Education

Win Your Equinology Course Free

Perhaps you’re interested in further study options for 2018.  Well you can undertake many different Equinology courses.  You can choose between online courses run at your own pace, short immersive sessions or professional qualifications with field work as a part of them.

Topics include anatomy, equine spinal dysfunction and biomechanics.  Head along to https://www.equinebodywork.com.au/2017-courses to find out more. 2018 dates are listed beside each possible course.

If you’re planning to further your education next year – and maybe even start a career – look into these courses!  They are specifically for those who want to do hands on work with horses and their anatomy system.

HECS for Horse Educational Courses

I live in a wonderful country.  In Australia it is possible to receive funding from the government to undertake further education outside of high school.  This is known as HECS – the higher education contribution scheme.  It is also possible to receive VET Fee-Help, finances for Vocational Education and Training.  Recently I was thinking about a worldwide setup for HECS for Horse Educational Courses (or HECS for HECs).

You have to be deemed eligible for HECS – it isn’t just open to anyone.  Firstly you have to be an Australian citizen.  Secondly there are parameters around how much you earn or your parents – depending on whether you live at home or are independent to your family.

HECS for Horse Educational Courses - would you Study Horses if Someone Footed the Bill Initially? | Equus Education

HECS for Horse Educational Courses – would you Study Horses if Someone Footed the Bill Initially? | Equus Education

I started my Bachelor of Equine Science as a stud hand and gained HECS.  I worked full time and studied part time.  That said, each of my subjects cost over $1,000 to undertake and I needed to complete 24 of them.  Do the maths!  Getting the education without it costing me helped a lot.  Better yet, I don’t have to pay back the money loaned to me until I earn over a certain amount annually.  The general idea is that you undertake education you couldn’t afford.  And from this, you gain a job because of your higher education that can help you to earn more.  Then you’re able to pay back what was loaned to you on an educational scheme.

When I undertook my Diploma of Horse Breeding straight out of high school, the course cost $1400 for the two years.  These days after government changes, undertaking a diploma costs close to ten times this much.  You may as well do a degree when considering cost!

There are some horse careers that you need to be qualified to undertake – a veterinarian, horse dentist, racehorse trainer and strapper are some examples.  Others aren’t compulsory, but it is better to the horses and the person involved if they are qualified!  Consider other horse trainers, farriers, instructors, massage therapists and eventers.

HECS for Horse Educational Courses

If you had someone to cover the cost of your further horse education, would you be inclined to undertake a course?  Whether it’s at certificate level or degree level, what if you could be given a loan to study horses?  Would this help you to break into the equine field and then go on to gain employment and be able to pay back the loan you received?

I can picture HECS for Horse Educational Courses being funded by some big people in the horse industry.  Perhaps those who have had the opportunity to be educated or those who offer horse courses themselves.  Or maybe large earners in the industry that are celebrities in the equine industry.  Racehorse trainers, big breeders, top riders or a myriad of others that are successful in a career with horses!

I am sure this is an initiative that could encourage further education in our wonderful equine industry.  On top of this, it’ll help workers to be better informed with regards to horses in their particular field of interest.  This in turn will positively impact how horses are managed.

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Sweet Pony Dreams: Adventures of Lulu and Bug (Camping Fun!)

Recent free downloads on Amazon included three different books by L.B. Shively.  Two of these were from the Sweet Pony Dreams: Adventures of Lulu and Bug series for children.  The third book in the series focuses on Lulu and her beloved pony, Bug.

Sweet Pony Dreams: Adventures of Lulu and Bug #3 by L.B. Shively

Sweet Pony Dreams: Adventures of Lulu and Bug #3 by L.B. Shively

Bug is a stuffed toy that Lulu sleeps with at night.  Together they travel to the land of dreams and go on many adventures.  In this particular story, Lulu travels with Bug to do some camping.  She is rapt to find that around the campfire are two of her favourite people – her grandmother and grandfather.

Lulu awakens from her wonderful dream and tells her mother all about her adventures.  After breakfast she heads off to school.  The students have been promised a reward of going to the local pool once they’ve finished their tests.  Lulu takes Bug along with her and finds a kindred spirit on the bus.  Another young girl named Misty loves ponies, too.  The two girls quickly decide to be friends.

Whilst at the pool, Lulu spies local bully Willie and decides to ignore him.  That is easy until he gets a hold of Bug and holds her out over the water.  Lulu is livid.  A silly prank soon turns into a dangerous afternoon at the pool.

Sweet Pony Dreams: Adventures of Lulu and Bug #3

This is a lovely short read for the younger horse lover.  It focuses on the bond people can have with horses whilst also teaching about doing the right thing.  When Lulu could have gotten angry at Willie for being mean to her, she instead chose to act quickly to save him.  The story is a lovely one.  One issue I had was inconsistent tenses within the story.  It switched between past and present tense regularly.

Author – L.B. Shively
Fiction – children’s
In my library – as an eBook it is.
Want it? Get it now on Amazon.

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