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International Society for Equitation Science

The International Society for Equitation Science is Holding a Conference in Australia in November

The International Society for Equitation Science is Holding a Conference in Australia in November

I’m rapt to be able to catch up with a friend next month as she’s visiting Australia.  She lives in France and we met whilst studying at the Irish National Stud!  Now many years later she is attending the Equitation Science Conference.  This is held by the International Society for Equitation Science.  It will be in Wagga Wagga, New South Wales from November 22 – 25 of 2017.

I thought I would head along to the ISES website to find out a little more about this non profit.

As it says on their about page:

“The idea of founding a society devoted to Equitation Science had first been raised during discussions at the Havemeyer Foundation Workshop on Horse Behavior and Welfare in Iceland in 2002. The following year, a satellite meeting on horse welfare was held at the International Society for Applied Ethology Congress in Italy. In 2004, the first workshop, solely devoted to Equitation Science was held at the Veterinary School of the University of Edinburgh.

As a direct result of the growing interest in Equitation Science, the 1st symposium was launched at the Australian Equine Behaviour Centre (AEBC) in 2005, where 8 peer-reviewed scientific papers were presented. The 2nd Equitation Science symposium (2006) was hosted by the Veterinary Faculty of Milano (Italy) with 16 peer-reviewed papers, 11 posters and practical demonstrations held at the Stable Rosenthal (Carpiano).

In August 2007, the 3rd symposium took place at Michigan State University, USA. This was a historic event for ISES as the Society was founded and the first general meeting held. The Symposia were then transformed to conferences.

The 4th conference, ISES Dublin 2008, took place at the Royal Dublin Society (Ireland), attracting 100 peer-reviewed scientific abstracts.

The following 5th conference at Sydney University in Australia tackled some highly topical issues.  Including the sustainability of horse sports and the concept of ethical equitation, including contributions from 200 delegates representing 15 countries.”

The science behind how we use horses, communicate with them and respond to their welfare needs is an interesting one.  As horses come into higher demand for entertainment and sports, it’s an area that I am sure will grow.  Interested as a practitioner in your particular field?  You can sign up for membership and benefit from future research projects and conferences.  There are even research funding opportunities and student travel grants available – cool!


Horse Farm Property Maintenance

My husband and I were recently making a trip back from my parents place to our home.  We take a beautiful scenic drive that allows me to look at lots of cattle, sheep and also horse properties along the way.  One property had a sign posted in the corner of the paddock saying Small Property Maintenance with a contact number.  And I got to thinking: why not horse farm property maintenance?

A Horse Farm Property Maintenance Team; would that be of Benefit to you? | Equus Education

A Horse Farm Property Maintenance Team; would that be of Benefit to you? | Equus Education

The very first thoroughbred stud I did work placement on (Swettenham, then Collingrove) was big, beautiful and well maintained.  There were three staff that were employed to keep it that way.  Broken fences, bust water troughs, leaves that needed raking, mowing…

You name it; they did it to keep the place looking good for clients.  But a lot of small horse properties perhaps don’t have the budget to employ someone to do this regularly.  But what if they could hire a team on the odd occasion to do so?

The Horse Farm Property Maintenance Team

What if there was a horse farm property maintenance team of people that could be hired out?  They could come to your farm and fix it up after a storm, before an open day or competition or before fire season, etc.  As a small property owner, you could contact an agency that has a collection of staff with various skills.  Some may be good at building and have a chainsaw licence to cut down fallen trees.  Others may be great on a tractor and can harrow, spray weeds or even bale hay.  Still others could rake up areas, prune back plants and weed.

What if there was one place you could go to find a handful of people that could come in on a given day or week of the year to help get your horse property in top shape for clients?  A horse farm property maintenance agency!  This could provide people casual work for people with particular farm skills whilst also helping out horse property owners.  What do you think?



Rodeo Rider (Saddle Club #12) by Bonnie Bryant

Rodeo Rider is the twelfth book in the Saddle Club series by Bonnie Bryant.  The reader is once again taken for a visit to the Bar None ranch.  This is where the girls’ friend Kate Devine lives.  The ranch is in trouble and it seems the Saddle Club needs to step in and help!

Rodeo Rider (Saddle Club #12) by Bonnie Bryant | Equus Education

Rodeo Rider (Saddle Club #12) by Bonnie Bryant | Equus Education

When the opportunity arises for them to visit, the girls are delighted to find that the local rodeo will be on whilst they’re there.  Eager to help raise the social profile of the Bar None, the girls sign up to the rodeo.  And so they are entered for the barrel racing event.  But there’s one problem – for a group of English riders, they have no idea what barrel racing is!

Local wrangler Eli Grimes comes to the girls’ aid.  Newly informed, Stevie, Carole, Lisa, Kate and their friend Christine work hard to learn the ins and outs of barrel racing.  Whilst this is occurring, Eli is also working hard for the rodeo events he will compete in.  It is his desire to secure a full scholarship to be able to study.

In between practices, the girls take a trip to a competition ranch to see just what it is that is drawing customers to them, rather than the Bar None.  They come up with one conclusion: the Bar None needs to be more visible to potential customers.  And it seems that the rodeo is just the way to do this.

Throw in some apparent unrequited love, a non-helpful rodeo aide for Eli and a desire to win in spite of the odds, and Rodeo Rider is another great read in the series.  It again shows how the girls can work together to overcome obstacles whilst also having fun.

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

Science and Horses: 5 Horse Careers with a Science Background

Perhaps as you go through high school or even university, you question the value of scientific subjects.  There are some horse careers where it’s necessary for you to have a science background – even at degree level.  Let’s explore the idea of science and horses relating to careers:

  • Anthelmintics – horses suffer from worms; they can affect their digestive system and overall health as they steal nutrients meant for the horse to digest.
    To be able to educate people about the correct use of worming products or to help create these products often requires a science background.
  • Veterinarians – being able to effectively treat horses requires knowing a lot of science. You need to know about the horse’s respiratory system, reproductive system, urinary system, anatomy, physiology, and also nutrition.  The list goes on!
    This means being comfortable with biology, chemistry and biochemistry.
Science and Horses: 5 Horse Careers with a Science Background | Equus Education

Science and Horses: 5 Horse Careers with a Science Background | Equus Education

  • Reproductive technicians – whether you have a passion for mares, stallions, artificial insemination, reproductive technologies or live cover, it doesn’t matter!
    Science is important to know the reproductive physiology of the mare and stallion.  It’s also important to know about aspects in the mare’s pregnancy.  Plus, what can improve chances of conception and healthy pregnancies leading to a live foal.
  • Nutritionists – perhaps you want to advise people about the best horse feed types for their horse.  Or you want to develop a particular food product for horses.  Either way, science is imperative. Knowing what happens in the digestive system of the horse as well as how particular feeds can affect this comes down to biochemistry.
    Being able to develop a horse feed that has the right levels of vitamins and minerals that is palatable to the horse and easily consumed is also a question of biochemistry.  Knowing how to best produce and store hay also needs science!
  • Medicines and additives – if you want to create something that can heal, prevent or diminish an ailment in horses, science will be needed. This could be an oral medication, something to be injected or even a supplement given in feed.
    Knowing how it will get into the horse’s system and affect it will require knowledge of biochemistry and anatomy at least.

So here are five general career topics that show just how important science and horses are.  Science impacts on the areas of horse health and welfare, reproduction and nutrition.  Science is important to many horse careers!




The Schleese AdapTree

I am currently reading Suffering in Silence by Jochen Schleese. I am learning a lot more about saddle fit and the implications for horse and rider if things aren’t correctly fitted! Nearly halfway through the book, there have been a few references to the AdapTree for saddles.

As it says on the Schleese website:

Caring from the inside out, the Schleese AdapTree® is the first tree which adapts to the horse’s bio-mechanical movements. Through the calculation and implication of the rider’s weight, the AdapTree® is fitted and infinitely adjustable at any time by one of our authorized Certified Saddle Fit Technicians or Saddle Ergonomists.

Do you have an AdapTree in Your Saddle? | Equus Education

Do you have an AdapTree in Your Saddle? | Equus Education

The AdapTree

The gullet plate within the tree of the saddle is adjustable. This means as your horse puts on muscle or loses tone around the withers, it can be adjusted to fit its shape.  This will also improve saddle fit, decreasing the chance of discomfort to the horse. The tree is made out of polyurethane which is flexible.  Schleese indicate on their site that this “provides complete freedom of motion and comfort, flexing with your horse’s lateral movement to improve connection and communication.”

Now this particular idea is new to me, but I believe an important concept in a saddle. The tree points tend to be forward facing in saddles. They often sit just above the shoulder blades, but if incorrectly fitted can restrict shoulder movement. In the AdapTree, the tree points are rear-facing, so that this doesn’t impact the shoulder blades in a negative way.

Another new idea to me highlighted in Suffering in Silence was that saddles are made by men, for men. Anatomically, they’re not correct for females and limit their chance to achieve the best position and centre of gravity whilst in the saddle. The middle of the AdapTree has a padded cut-out area that removes pressure from the front pelvic area. This means women can sit correctly without having associated issues that can arise from too much pressure in this area. Apparently it’s not uncommon for women to gain back pain and even health issues because of too much pressure whilst in the saddle or poor positioning.

I love when horse related products are created out of a need or a desire to make something even better. I believe the Schleese AdapTree® is one such product!

Summer Circuit by Kim Ablon Witney

I downloaded a copy of Summer Circuit recently for free over at Instafreebie as a part of the Equestrian Horse Book Giveaway. Of all the books on offer, it was the only one I hadn’t yet read! Summer Circuit was a great look into the show jumping world from an interesting point of view. Hannah Waer is an eighteen-year-old who is used to the comfort that money brings. It’s how she got her horse Logan and is a part of the show jumping world.

As someone who is used to having her horse handed to her, getting on and riding and handing him back to a groom, things are drastically changing. Feeling that she needs to learn to assert herself, Hannah’s father has indicated that she will be doing the 7 week Summer Circuit before university. And she’ll be doing it alone. She’ll still have a trainer to oversee her classes.  But when it comes to preparing her gelding and cleaning up after him, she is suddenly his groom.

Summer Circuit by Kim Ablon Whitney

Summer Circuit by Kim Ablon Whitney

Aside from the unappealing smells and the physical work of caring for a horse that she isn’t used to, Hannah isn’t sure how she’ll manage.  After all, she has no idea how to muck out a stall, much less tack up a horse.

And so starts an incredible journey for the young woman.  In time she learns to fend for herself, look after her horse and develop a backbone. Hannah is rapt to have a close friend in talented rider – and competent groom – Zoe. Although she can’t work out why Zoe is so nice to her, she is glad to have a friend who knows the ropes – and the people – in the horse showing world. Zoe introduces her to people and helps her to feel a little less like a fish out of water. One of these people is a knowledgeable groom named Mike. Hannah instantly recognises the genuine person Mike is and her learning journey regarding horse care begins.

Although caring for her gelding Logan has the potential to improve over time, Hannah doesn’t see how her riding performances can. Logan is uncontrollable and her trainer is far from helpful. On her first day of the circuit, Hannah is dismayed to nearly crash into top show rider, Chris Kern. And if that isn’t enough, Zoe is insistent on introducing her to Chris at the pub when the showing world is letting loose for the evening.

What has the potential to be a very embarrassing meeting turns into an unexpected opportunity for Hannah and her horse Logan. And in time it’s this opportunity that helps Hannah to learn to ride competently.  She also learns to stand up for herself and to even belief in herself – as a rider and a young woman.

Summer Circuit is a great introduction to the world of caring for horses and competing on them. Because Hannah is having to learn from the ground up, the reader is able to learn alongside her. That said there were some terms I felt could be explained further. The novel is an entertaining and educational read and moves at a good pace. Although Hannah’s character seemed to recognise Zoe’s need to value herself as a person, I felt the sexual side of the story was a bit crude at times. Aside from that, Summer Circuit is a really good read.  Hannah’s character showed real maturity as she dealt with what was thrown at her.  Recommended.

Author – Kim Ablon Whitney
Fiction – young adult
In my library? – as an eBook, yes!
Want it? Get it now at Amazon.

BHS Career Pathways

There are some incredible resources available to you as you seek your ideal horse career. On such is BHS Career Pathways. The British Horse Society has created a section on their site that is specifically for a person who is seeking a career in the equine industry. Awesome!

BHS Career Pathways offer some Great Horse Careers | Equus Education

BHS Career Pathways offer some Great Horse Careers | Equus Education

If you head along to their website (linked above), you’ll find that they are keen to guide and support you on your career path. The first step is to determine what area you want to focus on. And what do they offer help with? The following career pathways:

  • Groom
  • Professional rider
  • Coaching
  • Complete horsemanship
  • Equine tourism

On the same page, they also have a link to professional development and inspiring career stories. I love this focus on various ways to get qualified and employed whilst also working with horses!

They also highlight the areas where the British Horse Society is found. This includes in Ireland, Scotland, Wales and England. If I was located in the United Kingdom, I’d be very tempted!

As it says on their website:
“Our world-leading BHS Equine Excellence Pathway offers you the opportunity to progress your career and learn practical, real-world skills within a structured platform. As part of the journey we’re here to guide, advise and support you through every stage of your development.”

They also promote a qualification unique to the BHS – a Coach in Complete Horsemanship. This pathway is quoted to be “celebrated world-wide as the leading equestrian coaching award.”

BHS Career Pathways

If you want to gain a qualification for your horse skills and knowledge, why not check out the BHS? You can then pursue a career in one of five broad terms as listed above. Don’t forget, if you’re a professional rider, this doesn’t restrict you to one discipline! Likewise, as a groom you can work with performance horses, trail horses, endurance, stud stock, polo ponies and more. Consider the possibilities!


Microcurrent Therapy for Horses – ArcEquine

Recently on twitter it was suggested that I follow a horse related account. Curious about any horse products and sites, I headed along to find out what ArcEquine was all about. It seems it’s a website that promotes microcurrent therapy for horses.

A look at the website indicates that this form of therapy could be used to successfully treat many issues.  The likes of broken bones, reduction of pain, reducing scar tissue, swelling and bruising.  And then there’s the stifle, sarcoids and the sacroiliac region in the horse. As it says on the site:

“ArcEquine mimics the body’s natural electrical currents and reintroduces them from an external source. This kick-starts and accelerates many processes involved with correct cellular functioning, resulting in faster healing and promoting optimal health.”

Microcurrent Therapy for Horses

Microcurrent Therapy for Horses | Equus Education

Microcurrent Therapy for Horses | Equus Education

The use of this technology was introduced to the horse world several years ago.  This was in the form of a study being done on racehorses that had substantial injuries. These were the kind of injuries to end the horse’s racing career and even potentially to threaten their life. Ian Thirkell who has created ArcEquine used microcurrent therapy on these horses.

It resulted in the average return to racing time frame for these horses to be 30 weeks. This is pretty incredible when you consider a diagnosis of not being able to race again!

What I find further encouraging is that there were no repeat performances in the area of breaking down with the same injury after being treated. This is exciting stuff! If you have an interest in rehabilitation of performance horses, then perhaps ArcEquine has piqued your interest.

It’s a wonderful thing to know about and be able to use services and technologies that can help keep our horses sound or resolve a soundness issue.  And to be involved in such an industry as a career can be just as incredible.

“I’ve often told people who ask if there is a God: Get around enough people with horses and see what happens. See how they survive in spite of all the things they do, and you’ll become a believer!” ― Buck Brannaman



The Swallow’s Storm by Ruby Loren

I downloaded this short mystery for free recently on Kindle. I love the idea of the story – a horse comes back riderless from being ridden out in the woods. The horse is physically and emotionally damaged. It’s up to horse psychologist Hayley Argent to determine if the horse can heal and go back to his eventing career. Or, if he is to stay unmanageable and dangerous. The Swallow’s Storm is an interesting and entertaining mystery.

The Swallow’s Storm by Ruby Loren | Equus Education

The Swallow’s Storm by Ruby Loren | Equus Education

This novel is a quick and easy read that focuses on an inter stable championship. It seems that when everyone gets competitive, their worst natures come out. Hayley is determined that Hadrian, a beautiful dapple grey gelding isn’t the monster he’s made out to be. And his rider’s death she is sure has a hidden story behind it.

As Hayley works to help Hadrian and solve the mystery, she comes across some nasty characters in the riding world. Thankfully, there are also some genuine horse people, too. The Swallow’s Storm is a short mystery that is wrapped up nicely, with the added bonus of focusing on horse psychology.  There is a hint of romance thrown in and the potential for relationships to develop further in future books.

Unfortunately the horse information is only provided on a superficial level; it isn’t incorrect, but doesn’t show a lot of insight into the horse world.  Also, the reference to a white horse and a horse ‘snickering’ rather than nickering didn’t ring true for me.

Hayley at times was also referenced as Holly, making me question the editing of the novel. That aside, the Swallow’s Storm was an easy and enjoyable read.

Author – Ruby Loren
Fiction – adult
In my library – as an electronic copy it is!
Want it? Get it now on Amazon.

Horse Country, Kentucky

I have a couple of Google Alerts that I get notified via email when people search a particular term. One such is horse country as this is the name of my debut novel. A recent alert for this term led me to check out an article about Horse Country, Kentucky.

It seems that there is one place you can go to experience Kentucky’s horse country. Perhaps you want to visit some thoroughbred studs in the heart of the Bluegrass. Or maybe you’re interested in visiting some nurseries and equine clinics. Perhaps, it’s all of the above! Whatever your desire, you can book in for tours to see each of these horse related places.

Horse Country, Kentucky

Horse Country, Kentucky is a Must see for Thoroughbred Enthusiasts | Equus Education

Horse Country, Kentucky is a Must see for Thoroughbred Enthusiasts | Equus Education

I love the tourism side of the horse industry. It helps people to explore, to dream and to learn about what’s on offer in the great equine industry. You may have a passion for racing, breeding, training or health care. Whatever it is, chances are you can be doing it as a career in the horse industry. In fact, on the Horse Country, Kentucky website there are 26 tours listed; some of these include:

  • Coolmore America
  • Claiborne Farm
  • WinStar Farm
  • Adena Springs
  • Godolphin at Jonabell (Darley stallions)
  • Gainseway Farm
  • Hallway Feeds
  • Taylor Made Farm
  • Hagyard Equine Medical Institute

So! If you’re thinking of a visit to Kentucky’s Horse Country, be sure to check out this website to book a tour or two! And if you live in an area that is considered a horse capital, then maybe you could set up something to promote local horse businesses? Food for thought.

“When I bestride him, I soar, I am a hawk: he trots the air; the earth sings when he touches it; the basest horn of his hoof is more musical than the pipe of Hermes. ” – William Shakespeare

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