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Author Archive

Take the Reins by Shari Jaeger Goodwin

I was able to download this book for free in June and was interested to read another non-fiction book that had a horse focus. In Take the Reins 7 Secrets to Inspired Leadership, business coach Shari Jaeger Goodwin shares tips and processes to be a successful leader in business. She puts a unique spin on this in her Alpha Horse Leadership Training for HUMANS.

If you are familiar with the behavioural habits of horses, you may know that there is often an alpha horse or mare in a herd. This is the head horse that makes decisions about what is best for the herd’s survival. This horse needs to be sure of what they want and to display this to the rest of the group.

Take the Reins! 7 Secrets to Inspired Leadership by Shari Jaeger Goodwin

Take the Reins! 7 Secrets to Inspired Leadership by Shari Jaeger Goodwin

Likewise, humans who are in management or leadership roles need to be assertive about what is expected of their team. If they cannot lead with confidence, conflict and issues will arise; also the team will not meet its performance goals.

Shari uses workshops with a horse roaming free in an arena. Individuals or teams are then asked to complete a task – a small obstacle course – getting the horse to move through it. The catch is they have to do it together and they also cannot touch the horse. For the teams who are made up of individuals that know their respective roles and work together, the task is often successful. For those who are less sure or who don’t communicate effectively, they may struggle with the task.

Take the Reins!

Whether or not the task is completed successfully, team members are able to reflect and identify their weaknesses. This is key, as they can then address the areas that are causing them to fall short. In Take the Reins, Shari uses examples from her workshops.  This is combined with helpful points to guide the reader on how to better engage individuals, project what their goals are and also achieve personal and business goals. The book is an interesting and informative read.  It is sure to inspire many to go out there and achieve the goals they so desire in life.

Author – Shari Jaeger
Non Fiction – adults and management
In my library – electronically!
Want it? Get it now on Amazon.

The Horse Small Business

So August 2017 in North East Victoria is a time where the government is focusing on small businesses. They want to help equip business owners – or those with a great idea! They are providing workshops, one on one consultations and many resources to help small business owners get established and succeed. Of course, I got to thinking about the horse small business! And in reality, that’s what I am. And perhaps many of you reading this blog.

I make money through online horse courses I have created at Udemy, through horse educational products at TeachersPayTeachers, through horse book sales at Amazon and even through affiliate links with Amazon. I am a sole proprietor who just happens to be able to cash in on her horse addiction! Why couldn’t you do the same?

What's your Horse Small Business Idea?

What’s your Horse Small Business Idea?

A small business is on that employs under 15 people and generates returns under $2,000,000. It could be a sole proprietor – like me, or a partnership, or you employ a handful of people. I have worked in many horse small businesses:

  • as a stud hand
  • at a racing stable as a stable hand
  • as a stable hand at a riding school
  • instructing at a riding school

There are many small horse businesses out there and no doubt, each one of them wants to be successful. So what makes a business successful?

  1. Generating a product or service that is needed and being able to sell it to those people in need.
  2. Having a consistent cash flow so that expenses can be paid, wages can be delivered and savings can be generated.
  3. Earning a profit.

The Horse Small Business

In line with small business month here in Victoria, Australia, why not think about your potential horse small business idea? Look for resources that are on offer to you from your local, state or national government. What about free online resources (you may want to check out Writing Dressage for some equine business tools!)?

There are many people who are unemployed in Australia. A lot of these have a great business idea, but no education or funds to help them see it to fruition and to become a success. Don’t be one of these statistics! Work hard, educate yourself and hey, even take the leap of starting a business 😉

Need a hand with potential horse business ideas? I have a passion for passive income relating to horses! Invest in the Equine Passive Streams course over at Udemy to find out about 20 different horse small business ideas – some of which will cost you no money to start up.

RFID Tag Reader by Anitar

Recently I was contacted by some people in Iceland about a new horse technology that is seeking funding through Kickstarter.  It is an RFID Tag Reader by Anitar.

You may have seen the post on Equus Education about Megasus Horserunners. It may also excite you to note that they well and truly reached the funds needed to get this venture off the ground.  Well here’s another project!

I love to learn about different horse technologies that have the power to improve horse care or make managing horses easier. It seems that the RFID (radio-frequency identification) animal tag reader by Anitar could be one such product!

Using the ANITAR RFID for Microchip Information

Using the ANITAR RFID for Microchip Information

The Icelandic startup, Anitar, just launched a Kickstarter to fund the first production run of a sleek, easy to use, RFID tag reader that fits right into your pocket.

As someone who has worked in the Australian thoroughbred industry, I am well and truly familiar with microchips in horses! At this point in time, I believe we still make use of colour, markings and brands to determine we have the right horse to breed, medicate or pregnancy test. But in time I know that will change as microchips become the main way to determine who a horse is.

Karl Mar Larusson, the founder of Anitar, says: “As dedicated riders, we keep a couple of horses at a farm nearby where they free range with horses of other owners. It’s not uncommon for people to confuse them. I wanted to have a solution to make sure anyone entering a stable has easy access to the microchip data: the idea for Anitar was born. Now, two and a half years later, we finally have a working prototype and are ready to go into production.”

The RFID Tag Reader by Anitar

So what can help to get this project off the ground? Firstly, 250 people who are willing to pre-order the Anitar tag reader. Apparently the device links directly between the animal in question and various databases. The WorldFengur Studbook is one such example. At the time of writing this post, just over $13,000 of an aimed $40,000 had been raised.

Note that this project will only be funded if it reaches the financial goal by Friday September 8th, AEST.

This device isn’t only for horse owners. It will be of benefit to breeders, vets, other horse professionals, farmers and even horse rescuers. Perhaps you’re interested in the idea of providing some funds to back this project? Head along to http://kck.st/2tj1N7P

You can pledge any amount you desire, but there are set figures that guarantee you something in return. Head along to the above link to find out more about this device and the development of it.

Team Up by Elizabeth Alexander

Recently I was contacted by Elizabeth Alexander to see if I would review a copy of her young adult equestrian fiction, Team Up. No surprises on my answer!

Team Up by Elizabeth Alexander

Team Up by Elizabeth Alexander

Team Up follows the lives of a group of young teenage show jumpers in Australia. Most of them ride because they love their horses, the thrill of jumping and being able to compete and challenge themselves. This is definitely the case for Hetta, JJ, Marcus and Theo. It could even be said of their close friends Chance and Ruby. However, Savannah’s motivations to ride appear to be from another world. Horses are all about prestige and blue ribbons.

This wouldn’t be an issue for the others.  Except of course that there is a limit to four people on the school’s show jumping team. And it seems that Savannah is determined to get on the team.  This is in spite of her lack of ability or a suitable mount.

The likelihood that she will succeed in qualifying is of no concern to the others.  Why should it when they’ve been on the winning team twice, qualified as the emergency rider or been on the second team representing their school. This year however, the rules have well and truly changed and Savannah’s determined to get her wish.

As the qualifying rules are changed and Savannah acquires a new mount, Hetta and JJ find some things don’t add up. When show horses start getting stolen and sold on to unsuspecting new owners, they find another mystery in the show jumping competition world. Team Up is a great look at teenagers working together for a common goal, dealing with bullying and learning to find the whole story. An added bonus is the authentic horse information as the story unfolds. The story has a wide cast of adults and teens and features horses heavily.

Author – Elizabeth Alexander
Fiction – young adults
In my library – as an eBook it is.
Want it? Get it now on Amazon.

 

The Girl and Her Pony by Angharad Thompson Rees

A heads up! Angharad Thompson Rees has a collection of six short stories for children that feature horses. The collection of tales from Magical Adventures & Pony tales will be free for download this month! Head along to Amazon on August 16th and 17th to acquire your free copy 🙂  Included in the six tales are The Painted Pony, The Girl and Her Pony, The Galloping Pony, The Runaway Pony, The Desert Pony and The Wooden Pony.

I have most recently read The Girl and Her Pony, which is the second tale in this collection. Young Franny is a poor labourer’s daughter. She delights in watching the royal procession as it parades through town. The horses are gorgeous – proud moving, shiny and sleek as they make their way past the commoners of the town.

The Girl and Her Pony by Angharad Thompson Rees

The Girl and Her Pony by Angharad Thompson Rees

One day Franny is out walking in a field with grass not much shorter than herself. Whilst out exploring, she stumbles across a pony running wild and free. Ever patient, Franny notices the pony’s timidity. She resolves to sit, waiting to see what the pony will do. In time – after a number of hours – the chestnut mare is standing before Franny, nuzzling her hair.

It is with delight that the young red headed girl runs home, knowing the day is at its end. Little does she realise that the red headed mare is following her.

Franny’s father desperately seeks the owner, knowing that as each day passes, the bond between his daughter and the beautiful pony strengthens. It is finally determined that the pony is of royal breeding, but was considered unrideable. In time however, the king’s daughter recognises the beautiful mare and Franny’s ease at riding her. She determines to have the pony for herself. It seems the King will not refuse her, either.

Franny is devastated to learn that her beloved mare Sonnet is to be renamed and rehomed – with the spoilt princess. When she learns the news, Franny races to the paddock where Sonnet is kept. She arrives in time to see the spoilt princess ordering the pony to be tacked up. But Franny has never ridden with a saddle or bridle! The ensuing battle between the proud young princess and the fiery chestnut mare results in the best possible outcome for all.

The Girl and Her Pony

The Girl and Her Pony is a delightful short tale for horse enthusiasts. It looks at the bond between a horse and their rider and how correct care and love can overrule prestige and money. A delightful read.

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

Profile On: Linda Finstad, Equine Photographer, Author and Educator

Interested in becoming a horse photographer, author of horse books or educator of equine things? Find out how Linda Finstad combines the three to make a career!

Linda Finstad, Equine Photographer, Author and Educator

Linda Finstad, Equine Photographer, Author and Educator

How much of your day/week is related to horses?
I have made a good living as a ‘Horse watcher’ for the past 20 years. I am the official show photographer every weekend from April – Oct. Writing books came from a desire to share what I had learned over the years.  To be honest it is also a good excuse to cozy up to the computer during the cold winter months.

What is it exactly that you do?
As far as job description goes it is a little tricky because my income comes from a variety of sources, which means life is never boring.  I am:

  1. An equine photographer.  I work as the official show photographer at horse shows and events every weekend from April – Oct plus work with private clients and their horses. Show photography is my bread and butter however my fine art photography is the jam.  It is also probably what I am best known for.
  2. An author of horse related books.  I have published 7 books so far and there are at least two more itching to get out.
  3. Also an Educator.  I teach classes and workshops on equine behaviour and communication. This is an area I try to encourage other riding instructors to add to their lesson programs. I have developed easy to follow materials (lesson plans and discover cards) to help them expand their businesses.

I know that sounds a lot and kind of diverse but in reality they are all intertwined, and dependant on being an expert in “Horse Watching” which is something that everyone with an interest in horses can learn – I offer a variety of workshops that help you develop all of these skills.

Linda Finstad, Equine Photographer, Author and Educator

Linda Finstad, Equine Photographer, Author and Educator

In this field of work, is it possible to be a full time professional and earning a liveable income?
I feel extremely blessed to earn a (good) living doing what I love. I really do not consider myself to be anything special – anyone with a passion for horses can do what I do and make a good living having fun.

What are the general steps taken to be employed in such a role?
Like anything you need the educational background on which to build your business. I am a British horse society instructor; this formal training gave me my equine knowledge.

I also studied photography in college for a year to learn the technical skills needed to produce quality images. Writing books came from a desire to share what I had learned over the years.

Teaching equine behaviour is very liberating and also seemed a natural progression from teaching horse riding. Mainly because the study of equine behaviour has nothing to do with equine disciplines or specific breeds. The focus is purely on the horse and how he naturally interacts with both other horses and humans.

Favourite horse memory?
It’s hard to think of just one favourite horse memory.  I guess it should be of my very first pony – a Welsh Cob called Peggy who taught me not only to ride but also a lot about humility and perseverance. But it was that feisty pony that started my addiction to horses.

Future goals?
My burning desire is to unravel the mysteries of Equine Body Language – this is a project I have been working on (conducting field research and experiments) for the past 3 years, and finally I have the break through needed to move forward and make progress. The book is scheduled for release April 2018. This work has been the most challenging yet the most rewarding research of my entire career.

Once the book is released, the goal is to develop talks and mini workshops that I can share with pony clubs and 4H groups to encourage the next generation of horsemen and women to have more empathy and understanding of the horses they ride.

Best thing about your sport/profession?
The obvious answer is, I get to work with horses.  But the truthful answer is, that I create the life I want to live, I book horse shows that I want to attend.  I also meet some amazing horsemen and women as I travel the country doing field research for books. But the best part is I get to share my knowledge and experiences with other like minded “horse lovers” in workshops and classes. There is no “bad day at the office” the worst thing that ever happens is that we get rained out at a horse show.

Outback Governesses / Nannies

I was recently flicking through a Big W catalogue.  I noted a book that had a woman with a horse on the cover. It was titled Outback Governesses. Now call them what you will – a governess, nanny, carer – they often have similar roles. To look after children, tend to their needs, educate them and perhaps even entertain. And for those who live in rural areas – or for those where horse riding is a prestigious sport – horse care and riding may need to be added to the list! In comes the outback governess.

Outback Governesses - Could you do this as a Career?

Outback Governesses – Could you do this as a Career?

What if there was someone you could hire who alongside tending to your children’s physical and educational needs, could also fill the horse gap? They are capable riders and know a thing or two about horse care. Even better, they are able to safely supervise your child or children on their horses!

Outback Governesses

Definitely in rural Australia – the outback – such a person may be required. Many parents opt to bring in someone who can educate their children in the form of home schooling. And if said person is to look after the children when they have recreational time, then chances are they will need to know horses and riding them. This is especially true on properties where the children are old enough to carry out farm chores.  Often these can include horse work.

This is no doubt a niche area where the skills need to focus on education and care of children. But there would be many properties – or wealthy parents that have children with ponies – that could make use of someone who also has horse skills and knowledge. For those who are keen to do some travelling, this type of job may be appealing! Why not aim to be an outback governess for a spell?

The One (Wilde Brothers #1) by Lorrhaine Eckhart

In The One (Wilde Brothers #1), Margaret Gorden has returned to her home town after losing her job as a surgeon.  She now just wants to lick her wounds and enjoy spending time with her horse. The Egyptian Arabian is the only honest thing in her life. However, it seems the bond with her horse is known in town. Margaret is amazed to find an old crush turn up on her doorstep, demanding that she look at his son’s unmanageable horse.

The One (Wilde Brothers #1) by Lorhainne Eckhart

The One (Wilde Brothers #1) by Lorhainne Eckhart

At one time Margaret may have convinced herself Joe was the one.  His looks and physique completely captured her attention as a teen. But his ruthless teasing of her left her feeling inadequate, embarrassed and a social loner.

It seems that fifteen years later, Joe hasn’t changed. And Margaret’s reaction to him hasn’t either. The fact that he is still able to manipulate situations to get what he wants is a frustration also. Margaret finds herself agreeing to assess the horse and even take it on. This is in spite of the fact that she doesn’t like the idea of being around the extremely attractive but bullying hulk of a man.

In time, Joe and Margaret discover that their attraction is mutual.  However, this doesn’t seem to change the way Joe speaks to Margaret. She learns to stand strong and get her point across in challenging situations and this seems to endear her further to him.

Although this story is an interesting romance, with a focus on horses and how they read people, it seems to be lacking a few things. Margaret’s childhood and incessant teasing from Joe are touched on a few times. And yet, this is not discussed or resolved as they are drawn together as adults. It seems too, that Joe’s gruff attitude toward her could be explained further, so that he doesn’t come across as an angry bully who takes what he wants.  Book one in the Wilde Brothers series was enjoyable, but with a few gaps.

Author – Lorrhaine Eckhart
Fiction – adult
In my library – Yes, as a Kindle version 🙂
Want it? Get it now on Amazon.

Acting with Horses as a Career

Recently I have had increased interest in my Free Rein series, a horse book series for 8 – 12 year olds. It just so happens that in July a television series named Free Rein was released. This television series features horses and appears to be aimed at teenagers. And I got to thinking – why not acting with horses as a career?  Surely there is the possibility for an acting career with a focus on horses?

This I believe is a niche market, but there are plenty of horse movies out there with young and mature aged actors. Riding may be necessary, or ground work with horses in the movies.

Of course here in Australia, there was the televised version of the Saddle Club, and now it seems a new series in Free Rein is on offer via Netflix. And even shows like Australia’s McCleod’s Daughters featured horses and riding.

Consider too, classic horse movies that have shown on our screens over time:

  • National Velvet
  • Phar Lap
  • The Silver Brumby
  • The Man from Snowy River
  • The Black Stallion
  • War Horse
Acting with Horses as a Career, would you Consider it?

Acting with Horses as a Career, would you Consider it?

Acting with Horses as a Career

If you have a love of horses and enjoy acting, then perhaps it may be worth considering combining the two. Obviously acting skills would be required, but to have skills in the area of riding horses and handling them would also be beneficial.

There is nothing more annoying than watching a show with horses in it and to have the acting or the horse riding appear unrealistic! For someone who can act and act capably around horses, that would be appealing for horse related movies and series.  And of course, there is always the option of going into work as an equine stunt rider in movies.  This is a unique way in which you could turn riding horses into a career.

SPOGA Horse Autumn 2017 September

September of this year marks an international horse event that may be of interest to horse business owners! In Cologne, Germany is the SPOGA Horse Autumn festival of 2017.  It is recognised as the international trade fair for equestrian sports.  SPOGA runs from the 5th to the 7th of September.

Horse festivals are a great way to promote a product or service for the horse industry. They also raise business profile awareness and can generate international customers as well as many product sales! Equus Education has also featured details about Equitana, which is a similar horse event here in Australia.

Derriere Equestrian recently emailed me about their involvement in the SPOGA 2017 event. If you are a budding equine entrepreneur, perhaps you’d be keen to check out this event for future business promotion ideas! Or as someone who loves to travel and to see what new horse businesses have to offer, perhaps the idea of a trip to Germany in September appeals to you.

SPOGA Horse Trade Fair in Cologne, Germany

Have you Heard about the SPOGA Horse Event?

Have you Heard about the SPOGA Horse Event?

Either way, it would be worth making note of the SPOGA Horse event which happens on a regular basis. You may even want to create your own calendar of horse related events to keep an eye on – and attend! – as the years pass.

One event where myriads of horse people, riders, businessmen and women come together to promote themselves, their products and services and learn about others is a great networking opportunity.

Being able to attend and participate would be worth it! Or as is the case with Equitana each time it is held, you can volunteer your time and take part in helping the event to run smoothly. Perhaps this is an idea for your horse resume in the future?

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