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Welcome to Equus Education!

This blog is designed to aid you in developing an equine career.  Want to work with horses?  Be sure to look at the horse related careers that have been explored, horse courses on offer around the world and profiles of those making a living related to working with horses.  I hope you find it useful.

Christine Meunier, Wangaratta, Victoria, Australia.

Profile On: Rachel Annan, Equine Industry Trainer

Rachel Annan is an equine industry trainer with the College of Agriculture, Food and Rural Enterprise (CAFRE).  She has kindly taken the time to answer some questions about her horse related profession and experience.  Find out more about being an equine industry trainer below.

How much of your day/week is related to horses?
My entire working week is related to horses in some way or another.  Or more precisely, all my work is related to training and educating people about horses.  I also exercise Racehorses in my spare time!

What is it exactly that you do?
Equine Industry Training.  I educate people who work in the equine industry in Northern Ireland about horses, equine business, Health & Safety, etc. We run seminars, evening courses and conferences.

Equine Industry Training

Equine Industry Training

I am also involved with Knowledge and Technology Transfer work in the equine Industry.  This is to enhance equine welfare, business profitability and environmental impact for equine businesses in Northern Ireland, through Technology and improved Knowledge.

Equine Industry Trainer: Rachel Annan

Equine Industry Trainer: Rachel Annan

In this field of work, is it possible to be a full time professional and earning a liveable income?
Yes. I’m doing it!

What are the general steps taken to be employed in such a role?
I have an Equine Managemnet Degree, Level 3 NVQ in Racehorse Care and professional marketing qualifications. I also have extensive experience in the Racing industry throughout the world.

Favourite horse memory?
Winning races on Eglish – A small racehorse with a big heart!

Future goals?
Continue to expand my experience in the industry.

Best thing about your sport/profession?
The people in the equine industry!

“In the steady gaze of the horse shines a silent eloquence that speaks of love and loyalty, strength and courage. It is the window that reveals to us how willing is his spirit, how generous his heart.” – Author Unknown

Profile On: Ann Pearce, Equine Agent

Ann Pearce is an equine agent, researching the right horse for customers to buy. She was kind enough to answer some questions about this work she currently does part time.

How much of your day/week is related to horses?
I would guess that my day is between 50 and 60% horse related, either working for someone else freelance, being with my own semi retired hobby horse and brood mares or teaching my three year old daughter on the lead rein.

Equine Agent: Could you help Others find their Dream Horse?

Equine Agent: Could you help Others find their Dream Horse?

Then in the evening it’s hours of searching through the internet for the ideal horse/ponies as an equine agent to my customers. Usually from the UK and USA looking to come over here to Germany but also I have some regular customers from Sweden.

What is it exactly that you do?
I help people find their perfect equine partner. I simply use my contacts to find as many suitable horses as possible. I then arrange videos, hotels, transport and appointments to come and try them, help correspond with vets and arrange transport and quarantine if required. I can even book restaurants and arrange nights out. The main aim is to not only find my customers the perfect horse but make the whole experience as fun and stress free as possible.

In this field of work, is it possible to be a full time professional and earning a liveable income?
I do know some agents who do this full time and manage to make a living out of it. They usually work for one yard and get their commission from that yard. I work totally independently. Not tied to any yard or seller, I work for the buyer.

For me it just isn’t possible to do this full time. I find that the amount of time I actually put in finding horses and reputable yards/sellers is just too huge. I would rather have one or two customers a month who really know what they need in a horse that I can really commit to, rather than one or two a week, just rushed through. Also being a single mother to a perpetually energetic three year old means that at this point in time I could not work as an independent agent full time.

What are the general steps taken to be employed in such a role?
I think the general steps taken to be employed in such a role apart from having experience in the horse world and a good basic knowledge of law regarding sales, is to be friendly and approachable. People want to work with someone who takes the role seriously and has an excellent reputation. Word of mouth has always been my favourite form of advertising.

Favourite horse memory?
My favourite horse memory is probably hunting as a child. Back in the days when I knew no fear.

Future goals?
My future goals are two fold. I have just moved to France and my main business goal is to build up a great network here while continuing to source horses and work with people in Germany. As for my personal goals I would love to get back to my original passion and what first brought me to Germany almost 10 years ago, breeding. I have a couple of very special mares at the moment and hope to have a few dressage foals on the ground in the next 18 months either for private sale or auction.

Best thing about your sport/profession?
The best thing about my profession is the people and horses I get to meet. Being based in Warendorf for the last 7 years has been a truly amazing experience. There are just so many talented people in this town. Everyday you can learn something new.

I also love it when people send me pictures and updates of the horses I have helped them to find. That’s a great feeling.  Ann can be contacted via ann1.pearce@web.de

A Horse Called Butterfly

Susan is so young to be finding life a struggle. After the loss of her parents, she now lives with her grandparents and only slightly older aunt and uncle. The pre-teen is angry at the world and upset that her birthday was forgotten by the family.

A Horse Called Butterfly by Thurley Fowler

A Horse Called Butterfly by Thurley Fowler

When she finds this to be untrue, she is devastated to discover they have purchased her a pony. Not just any pony, but a pony named Butterfly. Butterfly is beautiful – just ask him! Susan despises the pretty and smug pony.

As she is forced to care for him, she finds exercising him to be a chore.  Plus, he’s always playing tricks on her.  Being thrown off or nudged into water are just a few of the things he does to cause irritation.

Susan soon devises a plan to sell Butterfly. The plan seems foolproof, but Butterfly is soon returned. Over time Susan finds different opportunities to part with her pony and gift him to someone else. Each one fails and eventually the young girl is forced to decide if she wants him gone from her life forever, or if she’ll choose to love something again.

A Horse Called Butterfly is a great tale of a young girl’s struggle with the loss of her close family. A bad attitude, issues at school and seemingly unsympathetic family are all things Susan must battle with.

As Susan gets to know her aunt and uncle better, she realises they aren’t all bad.  Like her, they are struggling with things in life and trying to do what is best for everyone.  Susan knows that her grandparents love her and have her best interests at heart, but she struggles to see it at times. In A Horse Called Butterfly, Susan learns to love again – a pretty palomino pony and her family members.

Author: Thurley Fowler
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/400447.Thurley_Fowler
Fiction – children
In My Library? One of the first I put in my collection!

Parasites and Your Horse – CAFRE Free Course

Parasites and Your Horse: Free Online Course

Parasites and Your Horse: Free Online Course

Well CAFRE are once again offering a free online course!  I love these!  This one focuses on parasite management (Parasites and Your Horse) and you need to register by July 15th.

Here are the details that were emailed out to me:

Parasites and Your Horse – Online Course

CAFRE has launched a new online short course covering parasites in horses. The course will cover common parasites affecting the horse including life cycles, infestation and control methods.  The course will be delivered completely online allowing flexible study at a convenient time. The course is aimed at participants who care and manage horses at all levels, for example private owners, leisure riders, grooms, instructors, coaches, stable staff and non-equine vet nurses are all potential participants.

Two lectures will be available from 20th July until 31st August 2016.  For more information and to register for this course on the CAFRE website by following this link www.cafre.ac.uk/equine-short-courses/  Registration closes 15th July 2016. This is a free course.

As I always say, you can’t go wrong things that are free!  And you should always be working to educate yourself.  Whether this is an area you’re familiar with or not, why not sign up?  You can learn a lot or refresh your memory!

Parasites and equines is an ongoing issue – we will never be rid of them fully.  As horse owners and horse carers, it is important to find out what the latest research indicates with regards to managing parasites and our horses.

You may find that management recommendations save you money by helping you to target parasites at the right time of year.  It will also benefit your horse’s health by reducing worm burdens.  If you manage other people’s horses as well as your own, they will thank you for keeping your knowledge current and putting it into practice.

Profile On: Katherine Bloomquist, Equine Law

Katherine Bloomquist practices law and focuses on the niche area of equine law.  She was kind enough to answer some questions here on Equus Education about Bloomquist Law and in what way her work relates to horses!

Ms. Bloomquist is recognized as a leader in animal law and equine law. She is a frequent speaker at the National Equine Law Conference in Kentucky, the Equine Law Conference in California, and is regularly published on this subject.

What is it exactly that you do?
I am an equine lawyer. I handle matters and cases involving horses. On the corporate side I create entities for horse businesses and draft contracts such as releases, boarding, breeding, purchase and sale, etc. I also handle land use ( zoning and feedlot and Conditional use permits) as well as litigation involving horses!

In this field of work, is it possible to be a full time professional and earning a liveable income?
Yes

Katherine Bloomquist; Equine Law

Katherine Bloomquist; Equine Law

What are the general steps taken to be employed in such a role?
I completed 4 years of college and 3 years of law school. Thereafter I developed a focus in equine law!

Favourite horse memory?
Competing at Morven Park at a preliminary horse trial one star – long format!

Future goals?
I much enjoy how I continue to learn about the nuances of the differences of the various sport horses and the people in those different disciplines.

Best thing about your sport/profession?
Barn visits – being out of the office and at a horse farm to see my clients do their thing!

“His is a power enhanced by pride, a courage heightened by challenge. His is a swiftness intensified by strength, a majesty magnified by grace. His is a timeless beauty touched with gentleness, a spirit that calls our hearts to dream.” – Author Unknown

The Tagger Herd: Wade Tagger

The second book in the Tagger Herd series, Wade Tagger focuses on soon to be 10-year-old Wade. Wade is keen horse rider and handler who loves doing things around the ranch with his father.  Unfortunately he finds himself suddenly restricted by a badly broken arm.

Being in pain and not being able to ride is bad enough. Dealing with the secret of how he broke his arm adds another layer to his misery.

As Wade finds himself able to do less and more often dozing, he becomes privy to some conversations he shouldn’t. Wade questions what is going on with his parents and why they are always fighting. What will the outcome be? Will they choose to not stay together?

The Tagger Herd: Wade Tagger

The Tagger Herd: Wade Tagger

As he battles this idea, he also wrestles with the thought that his father will never forgive him if he finds out how he broke his arm. Add to this concern for his favourite recently rescued horse Rooster and he is wrestling with a lot for a 9-year-old boy.

Rooster has bone issues and is consistently in pain. The Tagger family are eager to have him operated on to relieve this pain. Unfortunately, the operation isn’t guaranteed to be a success and if not, euthanasia is the most humane second option.

Because he is officially Wade’s horse, it is up to the young boy to decide if he wants the operation done or not.  Such an event that could heal his horse or result in his death is a big choice for Wade.

The second book in the series, Wade Tagger’s story is a heavy one for a 9-year-old. It focuses on family issues, keeping secrets and the rescue and rehabilitation of neglected horses. An interesting read and although it features a child as the main character, perhaps a bit heavy for the younger reader.

Author: Gini Roberge
http://www.amazon.com/Gini-Roberge/e/B00MIBZT8C
Fiction – any
In My Library? As an eBook, yes!
Want it? Get it now at Amazon.

Save

Save

Mirrors for the Horse Industry

I was reading a Blog recently that had a recommendation for some mirrors for their riding arena. I wasn’t sure that there would be a market for equine mirrors specifically, but it seems that this company does a good job of catering to that!

Mirrors for the horse industry may be most commonly recognised in the equestrian side of things. For those who practice dressage, being able to see their position on a horse is important. Recognising how a horse is moving – how something looks and feels – can be achieved with the use of mirrors lining a riding arena.

Mirrors for the Horse Industry: a Mirror can aid Rider Position

Mirrors for the Horse Industry: a Mirror can aid Rider Position

If you can see what is correct and what is not, it can help you as a rider to pinpoint ways to improve. Mirrors help students and horse riding instructors to identify issues and resolve them.

Aside from this, some advocate the use of smaller mirrors in stables for horses. Horses that are consistently confined can develop stereotypies. Some may be bored or lacking a companion and a mirror could help to alleviate this issue. If a horse can see themselves in a mirror, this could gain their interest and lower boredom levels. Of course, if horses are able to interact with other horses or have less stable time, this is a better option!

For those who are interested in providing a product to horse owners, perhaps this avenue is one of interest. Mirrors for the horse industry would be provided to a select market. Clients could involve those who teach horse riding or compete at a high level and those who have a lot of stabled horses. There are probably other uses within the horse industry, but these two come to mind immediately.

Mirrors for Training provide mirrors for the horse industry and other non horse related training avenues.

“Horses change lives. They give our young people confidence and self-esteem. They provide peace and tranquility to troubled souls. They give us hope!” – Toni Robinson

Profile On: Vivien Gorham, Touch of Gold

Equestrian author Vivien Gorham was kind enough to answer some questions about her writing career and future books!

How much of your day/week is related to horses?
Every weekend I ride a half-blind former show hunter called Lukas. He is my equine soul mate, a sweet and gentle bay with a crooked stripe down his face. He gets excited when we jump (just like me!), and he always comes to greet me at his paddock gate. (Which I’m sure has nothing to do with the carrots, apples, and mints in my pocket!)

On weekdays I either research or write about horses and riding every day. Right now I’m working on another children’s horse novel, set at a horse camp in my home province of Nova Scotia, Canada.

What is it exactly that you do?
I am a full-time writer and author, as of last week! Before that, I worked in a medical library and wrote in my spare time. But now I get to spend my workdays doing what I love best – writing equestrian novels!

A typical day for me consists of getting up early and walking my dog, Niska, then writing, researching, and editing until about 3:00pm. After that I connect with my readers and other writers through email or social media. And if I’m in the midst of publishing, I’ll fit in working with my editor to polish the novel, and then working with my publicist to promote it, both before and after publication. It’s a busy and fulfilling profession!

Vivien Gorham and Lukas Touch of Gold

Vivien Gorham and Lukas Touch of Gold

In this field of work, is it possible to be a full-time professional and earning a liveable income?
I think it is possible to be a full-time equestrian writer and live off what you earn, but it takes a great deal of time, work, stamina, and dedication. Lots of support from fellow writers, editors, reviewers, and publishing professionals is important, and help from family and friends to get the word out makes a difference.

A little luck goes a long way too. So yes, it is possible to support yourself as an equestrian author, if you’re willing to put in the time and effort and keep working. I’m not there yet, but that is my goal!

What are the general steps taken to be employed in such a role?
First, you have to write a top-notch, compelling book that lots of people will want to buy and read. This will require studying the art and craft of writing, completing multiple drafts of your story, tons of editing and revising (with help from trusted readers), and plenty of patience!

Then you have to research the market and get it published (either on your own or with a traditional publisher), and promote it to the widest possible audience through reviews, events, and online publicity. And you have to keep learning and writing more great books, challenging yourself to get better and better.

You can also supplement your income by writing shorter pieces like print or online magazine articles, or even editing or proofreading other writers’ books. (You may need extra training to do this.)

Favourite horse memory?
Oh, there are so many! Learning to jump at age 11 on my favourite school horse, a tall, handsome buckskin called Peanuts (still my favourite horse colour). Winning my first blue ribbon (first place in the United States, where I grew up) in dressage on Robin, a feisty strawberry roan mare. Watching the champion show jumper Peppermint Twist (who inspired the horse of the same name in my book Touch of Gold!) kick up her heels after clearing the scariest jumps in Open Jumper classes.

Working at the Circle 8 Guest Ranch in Montana one summer at age 19, spending my afternoons exploring the Rocky Mountains on my trusty sorrel (western for chestnut), Jackson. We ended that summer with a 3-day pack trip into the Bob Marshall Wilderness Area, definitely a highlight of my horseback riding career!

Future goals?
My future goals are to finish and publish my current children’s horse book, and write at least three more books: a sequel to Touch of Gold, a young adult novel set on a Rocky Mountain guest ranch (can’t resist that setting!), and an adult novel spanning the West, North, and East of Canada (lots of research required!).

Touch of Gold by Vivien Gorham

Touch of Gold by Vivien Gorham

Horses, of course, will feature prominently in all of these novels! I’m also working on ideas for an equestrian memoir and a short story about three sisters on a trail ride. (I’ve promised my two sisters it’s not necessarily about us!) Lots to keep me busy – and happy – for many years to come! Of course, my ultimate goal is simply to write books that readers will love and return to, the kind of books I’ve cherished throughout my life.

Best thing about your sport/profession?
The best thing about my favourite sport of horseback riding is having this amazing relationship with another animal, where you virtually become one being: moving, thinking and feeling together. It is incredibly special, and just so much fun!

And the best thing about writing and publishing a book is connecting with my readers. The greatest thrill for me is to receive a letter, email, Facebook post, or tweet from a reader or reviewer who has really enjoyed my book. So if you read my book Touch of Gold, or any future books of mine, please get in touch via my website, my Facebook profile, or my Twitter account (@viviengorham), and let me know what you think!

And if you feel like spreading the word by writing a review like this one of Touch of Gold (thank you, Equus-blog!) that would be terrific. Happy trails!

Profile On: Rachael Loucks, The Essential Equestrian

Rachael is involved in educating people with regards to equine science and other horse related tasks.  She kindly took the time to answer some questions about her new venture, the Essential Equestrian.

How much of your day/week is related to horses?
About a 1/3 of my day is dedicated to horses during the week. Weekends more. If I’m writing curriculum or teaching, I’m *thinking* about horses a lot but I might not be physically with a horse (except for my barn chores)

What is it exactly that you do?

  1. I design equine science curriculum for a local technical college
  2. I teach some basic equine science courses at a local technical college
  3. I teach others how to use essential oils with their horses, dogs, and family through my business The Essential Equestrian
  4. I do some show judging
  5. I scribe dressage and western dressage shows
The Essential Equestrian: what is Essential to you for your Horses?

The Essential Equestrian: what is Essential to you for your Horses?

In this field of work, is it possible to be a full time professional and earning a liveable income?
I do not yet make a liveable income off of my work with equines. I’m in a bit of a transition period and am in the process of slowly building my business while slowly decreasing my non-equine work.

What are the general steps taken to be employed in such a role?
I read a ton, attend as many clinics as possible, and have offered to volunteer many places in order to gain knowledge. I haven’t been afraid to go out on a limb and share my big dreams/goals with people (which, interestingly enough, do not involve any sort of big equine events).

Favourite horse memory?
I had a pony, named Misty, who would really allow me to just be a nut around her. She was tolerant and forgiving to the rider.

Future goals?
We’d like to open a Veterans program on our property and start an agriculture based charter school for high school students.  (Long term-BIG goals 😉 )

Best thing about your sport/profession?
I love when I see the “light bulb” click on for someone. I like watching them grow in partnership with their horse.

Touch of Gold by Vivien Gorham

I received a copy of Touch of Gold to review recently and really enjoyed this story aimed at teens!

Thirteen-year-old Jamie has discovered a palomino mare in a field within riding distance of her new home. The mare appears hungry and lonely. Jamie quickly concludes she needs a friend as much as the shy thirteen-year-old does.

Touch of Gold by Vivien Gorham

Touch of Gold by Vivien Gorham

As Jamie visits the mare, feeds her snacks and grooms her, she starts to build a rapport with the golden equine. She decides to call her Peach. As she voices this thought out loud, an older gentleman informs her that Peach is a perfect name for her.

Startled, Jamie soon comes to know the gentleman as the owner of ‘Peach’. A sad, lonely widow, Sam tells Jamie about Peach, or Goldie as she is known. Jamie develops a friendship with Sam and makes an effort to visit the palomino mare as much as she can outside of school.

Over time Jamie becomes attached to the mare that is wasting away from loneliness. Sam’s decision to move her to a better home where she’ll be well looked after is met by a devastated thirteen-year-old.

It is only as Goldie moves to Tamarack Stables that Jamie learns to overcome her shyness. As she discovers others who love horses – including the amusing owner’s son, Nick, she finds people who can teach her about horse care and riding. Her desire to be a top rider seems ridiculous initially with her lack of experience. In time however, Jamie learns to be assertive with her riding – and in life – and she develops into a capable rider.

Touch of Gold is a great coming of age story where horses feature heavily. Jamie seems a typically shy teenager who breaks the rules at times but learns to be responsible for her actions and the care of horses. An interesting and entertaining read.

Author: Vivien Gorham
https://viviengorham.com/
Fiction – teen
In My Library? As an eBook, yes!
Want it? Get it now at Amazon.

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