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.
Belinda Bailey is involved in the equine education industry in a few different areas. She teachers others in all of these facets. She has kindly taken the time to answer some questions about her horse related career.
How much of your day/week is related to horses?
30 – 40 hours a week
What is it exactly that you do?
I am an Equestrian Coach and Coach Educator. I also work as a part time TAFE Teacher of Equine and Agriculture Courses
In this field of work, is it possible to be a full time professional and earning a liveable income?
Yes it is definitely possible to make a comfortable living in the Equine Industry.
What are the general steps taken to be employed in such a role?
Vast riding and competition experience and success to a National and International level in Eventing, with success in many other sports including, dressage, camp drafting, polocrosse, endurance riding and showjumping.
Level, and study and completion of Coach Qualifications, and other National Qualifications in the Equestrian, Risk and Safety and Assessing areas.
Favourite horse memory?
Too many favourite memories with wonderful horses over the years to point one single memory out. It would be unfair to the rest.
Goals are to deliver quality education and provide a positive environment for learning. Another is to enable people to be successful in the Equine Industry.
Best thing about your sport/profession?
The best things about the Horse Industry is that it is a very healthy environment requiring quite a lot of exercise. Also, you meet some fantastic people and develop life long partnerships with one of the nicest animals on earth.
“The horse, with beauty unsurpassed, strength immeasurable and grace unlike any other, still remains humble enough to carry a man upon his back.” – Amber Senti
The first in the Silver Creek Riders series, Back in the Saddle is a delightful read. The story takes place at Silver Creek riding camp. Katie and Jenna are excited to attend and ride all day long. As the day approaches however, things look less inviting.
Katie is nervous about riding although she’s been having lessons for awhile now. Jenna is sad and disappointed that her dream horse is no longer going to be hers. Her foul mood may ruin the whole riding camp for the both of them.
Melissa is determined to make things work; she’s new to the area and not so sure about this riding camp. It doesn’t seem as elite as what she’s used to and also, she doesn’t have friends here. Will others like her in spite of her skin colour?
Sharon has gone through a tragic accident involving her beloved horse. Things are so much harder now that she has pain in her legs and less control over them. Throw in a lot of attitude and sarcasm, and you have a very angry fourteen-year-old who just wants to be left alone.
It is proving to be difficult for Sharon to adjust to her suddenly poor riding capabilities. The last thing she needs is pity from others who can’t relate.
When the four girls find themselves as tent buddies, it looks like friendship is far from likely. It is only as they work through their differences and own insecurities that they realise their same passion – horses – is a good enough reason to be friends.
Back in the Saddle is an amusing and interesting read. It’s one that I am sure will appeal to teen readers who also love horses.
Author: Beth Kincaid
Fiction – teen
In my library? As a paperback, it is!
Want it? Get it now on Amazon.
Awhile back I wrote a post about a social networking site for horse lovers – Horse Networking. Sadly this site seems to no longer exist! I have just come across one aimed at Australian horse people and businesses, however. It is called Horsi.
Horsi – the Network for Horse Lovers – is free to use and quick to sign up to. It is designed so people have a profile, can add their equine business(es) and even add horse details.
A quick search on the site shows that they have different categories for horses businesses to advertise in:
- Arena Hire
- Floats and Trucks
- Lessons and Coaching
And there are many more. Horsi looks to be me, to be a great place to establish a presence online and connect with other horse people who may want to do business with you. Or, they may be able to help you find the horse business connection you’re looking for.
You are able to connect with people and ‘follow’ them. And of course, you can keep up to date on the Horsi news via their Facebook page.
If you’re a horse fan in Australia, then this site may be worth looking into. It seems to be just setting up, but also a great chance to connect with other Australians who love horses and are perhaps doing business in the horse field.
If you have a horse business in Australia, then it can’t hurt you to further your online presence. You can do this very quickly by signing up to Horsi.
For those who love internet marketing; perhaps there is still a niche for other horse networking sites. This is particularly so as this site seems to cater to Australians. There are plenty of other countries out there with many horse business people, horse fans and internet use. Food for thought.
Nickie adores horses. She looks forward to horse camp each year over the holidays. Unfortunately she isn’t going this year – her parents can’t afford it. Her holidays are ruined!
Miserable and moping, Nickie isn’t sure how she is going to survive the holidays. This is especially when all of her friends are away having a great time.
Their neighbour has family visiting for the holidays and Nickie meets Gail. The two soon hit it off and when Gail accompanies Nickie and her mother to the local animal shelter, the girls are surprised to find a neglected horse.
Nickie has debated having a horse with her parents many times. The answer has always been the same. When she finds this horse who will be destroyed if he isn’t adopted, she devises a plan to steal him from the shelter. She already knows where she will keep him – on the virtually abandoned property behind where she lives.
Gail and Nickie work together to ‘rescue’ the horse from the animal shelter and move him into the abandoned stables behind Nickie’s house. Once they have him, they then need to work out how they will afford to keep him, feed him and care for him.
And so starts the list of what they will need to buy whilst carrying out a job that will earn them a small sum of money. As things fall into a routine, the girls find their peace and quiet is about to be broken. What will they do when the property is no longer abandoned?
The Secret Horse is an entertaining story about two young girls who take on the unexpected care of a horse. Although they gained him in the wrong way, how the story unfolds is entertaining and things finish well.
Author: Marion Holland
Fiction – children
In my library? That it is!
Want it? Get it now on Amazon.
I believe many different careers can have a niche focus – horses. Recently I’ve been editing some horse non fiction books in return for copies of them. And I got to thinking: equine editor! I love to receive horse books to read! I learn something new, enjoy a good story and get a copy in return.
Often when reading, I pick up on inconsistencies in grammar, spelling mistakes or something else that needs editing. It is not because I am better than the person that has written the book – it is because I am a fresh pair of eyes.
In fact, the same is true for the novels that I write. Having someone else read them, means that any errors or inconsistencies are more likely to be picked up.
There are many needs for editors today. Newspapers, magazines, novels, text books and also articles online.
What if you could focus this skill on one particular area? Horses. An equine editor would presumably bring the same skills to the table that other editors would. The difference would be that they could also read horse related pieces with knowledge of horses.
In this way they may pick up on inconsistencies that non horsey people wouldn’t. A simple example is the reference to a chestnut horse as having a brown body with a black mane and tail. Or perhaps talking about a blaze on a horse’s leg.
The Equine Editor
An equine editor would be able to pick up on these issues and also correct them. Luckily, there are a lot of equine related magazines, novels, text books, articles and more out there.
If you have skills in the area of editing – a keen grasp of the English language (or other languages), good working knowledge of grammar, attention to detail and a passion for horses and knowledge of them, then perhaps this niche area is worth setting up as a business.
For many people, the idea of starting their own business is an exciting one. Perhaps you have an idea for an equine business start-up. You have the skills. You have the knowledge. You even know how you can promote your product or service. You are missing something however – funds.
I have recently been reading the Great British Entrepreneur’s Handbook. One of the chapters focuses on enterprise education. Alice Barnard writes about Tycoon in Schools. This is an initiative where students are encouraged to pursue a business idea.
For those who provide a promising looking business idea, they are provided with funding. The sum of 1,000 pounds is to make use of over a 12 week period to get their business up and running and also turning a profit. At the end of this time, students are required to pay back the loan of 1,000 pounds but they can use the left over profits as they see fit. This can be donated to a charity, further invested in their new business or spent on something else.
Equine Business Start-Up Funding
How does this relate to equine businesses? What if there was a business that provided funding to equine related start-ups? This would need to be run by people that are able to cover two areas:
- Business education and skills
It would be irresponsible of anyone to provide funding for an idea with no guarantee of a return. However, those who are starting out with a business idea often just need some funds to kick things into motion. Many however, will also need guidance about what is smart in business. If they are provided with funding and some education about how to promote their business, then they are more likely to succeed.
So perhaps here is another niche idea for an equine related business. And also one that helps to kick-start other equine careers!
The people who set up a business to provide funding for equine business start-ups could also prove to be a great boost to the equine industry. They could be the catalyst to help people launch a product like a horse text book, horse clothing or jewellery. Or perhaps a horse business that provides a service relating to competition preparation, sale presentation, education or something else.
The first in the Alex and Alexander series, The Head and Not the Heart is told from the point of view of 25 year old Alex. Alex lives and breathes horses. As the second in charge on a racing and breeding thoroughbred establishment, she is devastated by the loss of a beloved horse at work.
This is not the first time Alex has grown attached to a promising young racehorse. It’s not the first time that she’s had to deal with its death, either. Although she knows she shouldn’t let her heart get involved, it’s hard not to at times. Her boss and lover Alexander is the same.
This most recent death seems to be drawing them further apart and Alex is not keen to go on the trip to New York City that Alexander insists she must. On the flight, her gloomy mood is matched by the wet and cold city.
Alex starts to question what she is doing with her life – what it is worth. With a boyfriend who is twice her age and a life that includes ridiculously early starts, late nights, lots of manure and never ending work, she is struggling to see the positives.
Entertaining the fanciful thought of starting again, doing something valuable with her life, Alex questions if she can do this in New York. When she spies a happy, chatty trio in a bookstore, she decides to follow them.
Although she questions her sanity, the unplanned stalking leads her to a not easily located club. As she engages in conversation with one man there, she realises she is truly in love with her horse life. She also realises she wouldn’t have it any other way.
The Head and Not the Heart has a very melancholy feel to it. However, the ending is fitting and with a more positive outlook. This novel is a very realistic look into the horse world and also the characters that sell their hearts to it.
Pony Rescue is a tale about four young people who ride together at Cottonwood Farm. Sarah is the eldest. Her parents own the property and her three friends Georgia, Simon and Becca each own horses. They frequent Cottonwood Farm to ride and care for their equine friends and also spend time together.
Whilst out riding one day, Georgia spots an extremely emaciated pony. It is in the back yard of a property they often ride past. Distraught, she gains the attention of her three friends. Although Georgia is the newest to riding and caring for horses, she knows this pony needs help.
Sarah who has the most experience confirms her fears. The girls soon hop the fence into the yard and go to inspect the pony. The owner of the pony meets their concern with anger.
When the four discover that this man doesn’t want the horse – and can’t care for her appropriately – they devise a plan to buy her and rescue her. Pony Rescue details their efforts to raise funds to save the mare they name Goldie.
Goldie’s journey to recovery from malnourishment and lack of care is detailed in this children’s tale. Although a book for pre-teens or early teens, the author points out factors that need to be considered for a rescue horse. The issues of hoof and teeth care, slow changes in diet and dealing with scours are all addressed.
Pony Rescue is a short, interesting read for the younger reader. As well as being factual, it highlights the value of children working together to achieve a goal. The importance of correct horse care and knowledge are also highlighted.
Author: Wendy Elks
Fiction – children
In My Library? Indeed it is, as a paperback copy.
The College of Agriculture Food and Rural Enterprise are currently looking for people to take part in a couple of equine industry projects they are planning. The projects focus on Equine Weight Management and Equine Parasite Control.
Often projects are only made successful by the number of people able to participate. The more numbers there are, then the more accurate the results will be. Interested? Read below.
The Equine Weight Management Project
Focusing on the promotion of equine weigh tapes, weigh bridges and fat scoring as assessing horse’s weight. The project aims to promote them as viable means to maintain horses at a healthy body weight.
It is proposed that this project will aid owners in identifying whether their horse is at an ideal weight, overweight or underweight. This will then help to calculate appropriate amounts of feed and medication for that particular horse.
Project participants will submit their horses weigh tape and fat score results to CAFRE on a monthly basis via an online form.
The Equine Parasite Control Project
Focused on the horse population in Northern Ireland, this project will look at viable parasite detection methods.
Project participants will submit their results to CAFRE on a quarterly basis via an online form.
Are you interested in participating in either of these projects? Then be sure to check out the equine industry support link.
The fact that you can submit your results online means you don’t need to be at a certain place at a certain time – just able to access the internet! Doing so monthly or quarterly should also help the busy horse owner. You can make a note of results and then submit these at set times.
If you’re interested and believe you can be a part of either (or both!) of these projects, then be sure to check out the Equine Industry Projects.
The first in the Equicentral System Series by Jane and Stuart Myers, Horse Ownership Responsible Sustainable Ethical (H.O.R.S.E) focuses on sustainable horse keeping practices. How people came to manage horses and grazing today is explored. What is natural for the horse is also explained and the two methods compared.
Issues for the modern horse owner are highlighted in this book:
- Horse health and welfare concerns
- Human factors
- Horse over population issues
- Land issues
- The way forward
The need for sustainable horse keeping is raised and also discussed. Why it needs to be achieved and how it can be achieved are considered for the horse owner and carer.
A fourth chapter that covers horse behaviour and welfare compares the difference between naturally living and wild horses. How they are managed today as companion animals and performance animals is vastly different to when they were work animals or how they are in the wild.
Myers also explores welfare issues caused by domesticating horses and how we can better manage them to decrease stress. How to recognise signs of stress is also detailed.
The fifth chapter details different forms of pasture and grazing management. For those who are keen to manage their land in an effective manner then five different grazing systems are explained. The importance of protecting pasture and making sure there is biodiversity are also issues that are explored.
The final chapter in the first book in the series goes on to detail the Equicentral System. This is a management system to best help horses be horses and also protect pastures. The first in the series, Horse Ownership Responsible Sustainable Ethical sets the scene for how horses are managed today and then why horse owners and carers need to make changes to ensure a sustainable future – for horses and humans.
Author: Jane Myers and Stuart Myers
Non Fiction – horse management and land care
In My Library? An incredible addition to my non fiction collection.
Want it? Get it now at Amazon.