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

Profile On: Nathan Harvey, Para Equestrian

Para Equestrian Nathan Harvey was kind enough to answer some questions about his love of horses and his riding career.  Read on!

How much of your day/week is related to horses?
Every day I am with my horses. They are a full time job because I also go to farms and Horse Studs to volunteer my labor in return for a contribution to my fund-raising to compete to Boneo Spring Championships. After my volunteer work, I come home to work both my competition horses, I spend a lot of time with my horses besides riding, and I love hugging them both in their paddock. Dom and Flip have very loving personalities.

Para Equestrian Nathan Harvey Riding Kiteroa Dominic

Para Equestrian Nathan Harvey Riding Kiteroa Dominic

What is it exactly that you do?
I ride both Open Official competition Dressage as well as Para equestrian Dressage which is much more difficult – I am Grade V which is equivalent to Elementary Medium movements.

I love riding Open official, I don’t feel disabled, my horses are my eyes, I train in an arena all the time so I memorize every inch. My Mum calls the test in a way so I know when the next movement and letter is coming up. I just love the sport and I love my horses.

In this field of work, is it possible to be a full time professional and earning a liveable income?
Eventually I want to make an income from what I love doing.  I stick pretty well to a horse, and have been taught from the best – Tor Van den berg – Tammy Stephenson – Sue Hearn – Brett Parbery – Sue Cunningham – Linda Treur – and my regular coach Nicole MaGoffin.

Para Equestrian Nathan Harvey Riding Aquabatic

Para Equestrian Nathan Harvey Riding Aquabatic

What are the general steps taken to be employed in such a role?
I want to train horses and I also want to become an Instructor. Up until now this was impossible because I could not see the work for the theory – now my eye-sight has deteriorated to B1.

Consequently, I now qualify for a grant to buy an Electric magnifying digital screen, this allows me to see the letters of a document and be able to do courses and may go to university. But nothing beats training and teaching.  This is what I want to do and like anything – if I work hard I will succeed.

Nathan Harvey Riding Kiteroa Dominic

Nathan Harvey Riding Kiteroa Dominic

Favourite horse memory?
My favorite horse memory is the Pony Club Camps when we were kids, I used to sneak to the stable with my sleeping bag and sleep with my horse. I loved jumping when I had sight – but most of all, now I don’t have sight I can feel so much more of what my horse is capable of and I know what they are thinking. I am achieving better results this year.

Future goals?
My goals are to achieve high scores in para Equestrian FEI tests, Open tests against able bodied riders.  I would also like to get my horses to Intermediate and ready for Big tours; that would be fabulous! My ultimate goal is to ride internationally for my beautiful country. I have an 8 year plan.

Best thing about your sport/profession?
The best thing about my sport and profession is the support from my sponsors: Kieffer, Noble Outfitters Australia, Peter Williams Riding Apparel, ShowStoppers Equestrian Apparel, Earlwood Equine, Prestige Horse Transport and Euro Horseware.

The best thing is having people wait for me at Dressage Events, I have met so many people who have disabilities that come especially to watch my horses and I perform. I have made lifelong friends.

Accessing Equine Grants – Funds for a Horse Endeavour

A recent look at the Equine Career Network website provided interesting information about the two creators. One of these women was responsible for creating a couple of websites that related to equine non profits and equine grants.

Although the equine grant website link appears to no longer be around, it got me thinking about this topic. A quick search online (just type in equine grants) brings some interesting results:

For someone who is planning to set up a horse business, it is quite possible that funding can be acquired in the form of a grant.  Maybe even two! This is particularly if the setup is essentially a non profit and/or providing great benefit to the local community. Perhaps the horse related venture is meeting a need, like with Riding for the Disabled. Or maybe it’s reaching out to a group of at risk teens as is done with the Running with Mustangs program.

Accessing Equine Grants - Finding Funds Online for Your Horse Endeavour

Accessing Equine Grants – Finding Funds Online for Your Horse Endeavour

Accessing Equine Grants

Whatever it is, it can be great to know that you can gain finances from willing businesses or organisations. If you desire to setup such a venture in the future, keep equine grants in mind. In fact, you may even be able to utilise their grant criteria to help shape how you will setup and run your idea.

Some may not be equine grants specifically.  However, you can gain funding for establishing other horse beneficial items on a property. This may include safe waterways, specific fencing and native bush plantations. Be sure to do your research, there may be a few options available to you with regards to finances on offer!

My Life at Sweetbrier by Deanie Humphrys-Dunne

Children’s book author Deanie Humphrys-Dunne recently contacted me about reading and reviewing her latest release, My Life at Sweetbrier A Life Changed by Horses. Now this book is quite different to her other children’s fiction horse books. My Life at Sweetbrier tells Deanie’s story with horses as she grew up.

My Life at Sweetbrier A Life Changed by Horses by Deanie Humphrys-Dunne

My Life at Sweetbrier A Life Changed by Horses by Deanie Humphrys-Dunne

Her life started out in an unexpected way, with having difficulty learning to walk. Eventually the doctors concluded that she wouldn’t be able to walk, due to having cerebral palsy.

Deanie’s dream as she grew up was to ride horses but it looked like mastering walking would be her first challenge. Her father refused to acknowledge the doctor’s conclusion. He eventually decided to teach Deanie to ride horses to strengthen her legs. And so the long journey began!

Between lots of falls and persistence, Deanie learned to ride on ponies. In time she decided she wanted to jump; this led to a lot more falls and her father deciding to wait a further year before continuing with jumping on horses.

This story is a beautiful one of persistence and never giving up on your dreams. The fact that it is based on her real life is sure to inspire readers. As it says in My Life at Sweetbrier, Deanie wants children to remember never to give up on their dreams because anything is possible if you don’t give up. This book is an updated edition of Tails of Sweetbrier.  It includes some great photos of the people and horses in the book.  My Life at Sweetbrier is a delightful read that is sure to inspire and encourage.

Author – Deanie Humphrys-Dunne
http://childrensbookswithlifelessons.com/
Non-fiction – motivational, biography, children’s
In my library – as an eBook, yes!
Want it? Get it now at Amazon.

Equine Career Network

I can’t remember what it was I was searching online, but recently I stumbled across the Equine Career Network. ECN is run by Kelsey Sullivan and Kaitlyn Zeleski. As it says on their website:

“Equine Career Network was built to connect job seekers, employers and entrepreneurs in the equine industry. Our focus is not on jobs within a barn, but rather on careers with horse related companies and organizations. Our goal is to be a resource for those on the hunt for a job in the industry, while also providing experiences and perspective from those that are shaping it today.”

The Equine Career Network links Students, Job Seekers and Horse Companies

The Equine Career Network links Students, Job Seekers and Horse Companies

Curious about the 2017 goals for the ECN? It’s simply covered in three points.  They all related to the support of:

  • College students and college advising offices
  • Job Seekers interested in joining the equine industry
  • Companies in their search for top talent

You can read more about these goals by clicking the above link. I love to discover horse career related sites online. Especially those that are aimed to help you in developing yourself and your horse career!

The Equine Career Network

Why not head along to the Equine Career Network site and see what they have to offer. There may be something there specifically for you! A quick glance at their jobs page has positions listed relating to sales, administration, finance, project management, education and events – all horse related, of course! Most appear to be in the United States and one listed is for the United Kingdom, but keep your eyes peeled for other places around the world!

You can also take a look at their blog, which has posts relating to career insights, bits and pieces and entrepreneurship. And of course you can sign up to their mailing list for regular updates.

Profile On: Henrietta Purvis, Purvis Feeds

Henrietta Purvis, of Purvis Feeds in New Zealand was kind enough to answer some questions about what she does.

How much of your day/week is related to horses?
Every day of my week is related to horses.

Henrietta Purvis of Purvis Feeds

Henrietta Purvis of Purvis Feeds

What is it exactly that you do?
My husband and I started Purvis Feeds Ltd in 2005 and we make lucerne (alfalfa) chaff which is primarily for the equestrian market. We supply the main retailers in the south island of New Zealand.  We grow our own lucerne and also buy in from Central Otago which has an amazing climate for growing premium quality lucerne.

In this field of work, is it possible to be a full time professional and earning a liveable income?
Year on year our business has grown. My husband also pregnancy scans sheep, cattle and deer and as sales of chaff increase, he downsizes the amount of scanning he does.

What are the general steps taken to be employed in such a role?
We are passionate about our product and are always looking at ways to keep up to date with the new innovations in Europe/Australia/Canada.

Henrietta Purvis of Purvis Feeds

Henrietta Purvis of Purvis Feeds

Favourite horse memory?
We own 3 Quarter Horses and compete in rodeos countrywide. My husband is a team roper and I barrel race.  I have consistently been in the top 4 during the past 10 seasons. My favourite horse memory was winning 5 barrel races in 5 days!

Future goals?
Our aim is to grow our feed business further and maybe look at cutting other products such as Timothy grass and Oats. We employ one man on average 2 days a week to help with packing and tractor duties.

Best thing about your sport/profession?
It is awesome to be able to go to rodeos and see bags of Purvis Lucerne Chaff in competitors’ trucks.  This is also a great way of keeping in touch with our customers.

The Ugly Pony by Angharad Thompson Rees

Doing my typical online search for free kindle books under the category of horse, I recently came across another book in the Magical Pony Adventure series by Angharad Thompson Rees. This particular short children’s book is titled The Ugly Pony.

The Ugly Pony by Angharad Thompson Rees

The Ugly Pony by Angharad Thompson Rees

The Ugly Pony is a wonderful retelling of the children’s tale the Ugly Duckling. Except this time the animal in question is a pony instead of a swan. This young pony grows up on a stud farm where ponies are bred for the show ring. They are recognised for their beautiful coats, rich colour, high stepping trot and pleasant conformation. These are all things that this particular pony seems to be lacking.

She has unusual – or even horrible – conformation. She is a dull white colour and has a funny bump on her forehead. As she grows older, these things don’t lessen, but instead seem to increase in visibility. The other ponies on the farm make fun of her.  In fact, even her mother is embarrassed by her appearance.  This in turn leads to the pony concluding that she doesn’t belong on the farm.

The Ugly Pony has a unique twist to it as well as a wonderful moral: that we need to appreciate our own uniqueness. Author Angharad Thompson Rees encourages all readers to embrace the person that they are and to love themselves. This is a great lesson for young readers as well as older readers! The Ugly Pony is a lovely retelling of the classic that is sure to captivate young readers and horse fans alike.

Author – Angharad Thompson Rees
Fiction – children
In my library – as an eBook it is.
Want it? Get it now on Amazon.

“There is no better place to heal a broken heart than on the back of a horse.” ― Missy Lyons

Equestrian Journalism – a Horse Writing Career

Recently I provided details on an internship at the Irish Field that related to equestrian journalism. In particular, it was focused on equestrian pursuits. In my head, a lot of horse related journalism pertains to racing. But at the end of the day, many people want to read about other horse riding pursuits, too!

There are Olympic equestrian events and of course great horse events around the world that focus on Dressage, Showjumping and Cross Country riding.  Or what about polo or polocrosse tournaments? For the person who loves to write and who loves horses, the idea of equestrian journalism may be appealing.  So why not consider it as a career possibility?

Equestrian Journalism could Cover Racing, Olympic Events or other Horse Events

Equestrian Journalism could Cover Racing, Olympic Events or other Horse Events

So what would you need to do? Having skill for writing is one thing; being qualified in the area of journalism is another. You can undertake a journalism degree which will take you four years at the likes of Melbourne University, Australia.

In this way, you can choose any undergraduate degree and then go on for a fourth year to focus on journalism.  If this is the case, be sure to choose a degree that links in with your horse focus – equine science or agriculture, perhaps.

Other options include undertaking a Diploma level qualification, as offered on the Morris Journalism Academy.  The course can be as short as 12 weeks, up to 2 years and done via distance.

Equestrian Journalism as a Career

Once you’re qualified, what then? Well if you want to focus on horses, it is best to make contact with newspapers or magazines that cover horse events. Reach out to places that are local to you.  Alternatively, look for places that you can write for online and provide pieces this way.

“A horse which stops dead just before a jump and thus propels its rider into a graceful arc provides a splendid excuse for general merriment.” ― Philip, Duke of Edinburgh

Internship at the Irish Field

So this one has an application date that is fast approaching! I just recently saw this posted on Twitter and wanted to share. I love finding out about career opportunities in different countries. Currently applications are being taken for an internship at the Irish Field.  Note though: applications close on May 16!

So this position is one for journalists who are passionate about equestrian sports. The Irish Field internship runs from June 2017 until April 2018. So this position is for 10 months and is on offer in the editorial department of the Irish Field. As it says on their website:

“The intern will gain a broad range of experience and activities will include:

  • writing and editing equine-related stories and features, news gathering
  • updating social media channels
  • attending events representing The Irish Field
  • General support to the Irish Field team

This is a paid internship, based in Bluebell, Dublin 12. Full-time hours.”

For those who are interested, you can find out all the details here. There is an email address you can send your application to; be sure to make a note of the requirements for your resume and cover letter!

Would you Consider an Internship at the Irish Field? Applications Close May 16!

Would you Consider an Internship at the Irish Field? Applications Close May 16!

An Internship at the Irish Field

This sounds like a great opportunity for that person who wants a journalism career relating to horses. And if you’re someone who loves to write and who is interested in equestrian sports, then this may be a career you should look into. Journalism degrees are available to those interested. This qualification can lead to a career that focuses on writing about horse related sports/disciplines.

“My troubles are all over, and I am at home; and often before I am quite awake, I fancy I am still in the orchard at Birtwick, standing with my friends under the apple trees.” ― Anna Sewell, Black Beauty

Dude Ranch by Bonnie Bryant

Dude Ranch is the sixth book in the Saddle Club series by Bonnie Bryant. In this novel, Stevie, Carole and Lisa are off on an adventure. They have been invited to visit Kate Devine’s family dude ranch.

Dude Ranch (Saddle Club 6) by Bonnie Bryant

Dude Ranch (Saddle Club 6) by Bonnie Bryant

Here the girls will put away their English style of riding and embrace western saddles, herding cattle and also roping stock. It’s a trip they’re all looking forward to. There is one downside for Stevie however – she’ll be missing her normal birthday celebrations with her twin, Alex.

Although Stevie is disappointed by her friends’ lack of sympathy for her birthday situation, she is delighted to learn many new things in the saddle and to even meet some new friends. Kate is made an out of town member of the Saddle Club and the three girls find themselves unexpectedly befriending another local who rides – but always without a saddle.

When you mix herding cattle, five horse crazy girls, a surprise birthday party and a run in with a rattle snake, you get the general idea of this book. Stevie, Carole and Lisa once again show their passion for horses and their joy for riding and learning.

Dude Ranch is an enjoyable read in a different setting to the usual Pine Hollow stables. The western focus helps to enlighten readers about another type of riding. On top of this, it’s nice to see a couple of other young women added to the story.  This is in the form of Kate and Christine who make future appearances in the series.

Author: Bonnie Bryant
Fiction – pre and early teenage years.
In My Library? Along with many others in the series!
Want it? Get it now on Amazon.

Brookhurst Risk Solutions – Equine Insurance

I believe it was a recent follower on Twitter that made me aware of Brookhurst Risk Solutions.  Founded by Laura Upton, this is an equestrian insurance company.  They also provide commercial insurance, but of course it’s the horse part that interests me!

It’s always good to know about horse businesses that are run by horse people.  Laura is a horse owner and an equestrian insurance specialist, making her the sort of person you’d want to ask about insuring your own horse.  It could be that you have horses as a business, a hobby or as an investment.  Either way, there are times when they need to be insured and it’s great to know you can go through someone who knows horses.

Brookhurst Risk Solutions - Equine Insurance by Horse People

Brookhurst Risk Solutions – Equine Insurance by Horse People

Brookhurst Risk Solutions

What interests me in particular with this business is how it came about.  As a keen amateur rider, Laura is noted to compete in various horse disciplines, but mainly in Showjumping.  As it says on the website:

“With an expansive knowledge of Rural businesses and working in Insurance for nearly 20 years, Laura decided to follow her hobby with her business acumen, to establish Brookhurst Risk Solutions.”

I love this!  It’s a given that I tend to enjoy horse books more when they’re written by people in the know – and that this is what I try to do with my novels, too.  I love to see how a horse passion and other skills can be combined to create a unique, successful business.

So in what area might you be looking for insurance for a horse?  Various options are listed on their website:

  • Horse and Pony Insurance with Vets fees up to £10,000
  • Bloodstock and Stud Insurance
  • Livery, Riding Schools and Farms Insurance
  • Freelance Grooms and Instructors Liability Insurance
  • Horsebox and Trailer Insurance with Breakdown Cover
  • Personal Accident for Riders, Grooms and yard owners

That’s quite a list!  If you have insurance needs with regards to your horses, riding or career, then be sure to look into it!  Otherwise, if you have a passion for horses and knowledge in working in insurance, then perhaps a career change in the future could lead to a business that combines the two?

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