Archive for the ‘Career’ Category
Perhaps you have a desire to train horses as your equine career. Recently I was made aware of a setup that focuses on retraining racehorses. It’s known as Gate to Great. Once the horses have finished racing, they can be unsuitable for riders of other disciplines – especially those who are inexperienced riders.
That said, I know of a long list of people waiting to take on ex-racehorses local to me! A previous employer at the local track always has people asking him about horses he needs to re-home after racing.
Gate to Great appears to be a setup where horses are taken in, retrained and then re-homed. Love the idea! Perhaps a similar setup could appeal to you for a business idea?
It states on their website:
“Under the program name of “Gate to Great Geldings”, we provide a rehabilitation process that gives Thoroughbred geldings a chance to recover from the rigors of a racing career and time to develop new skills outside the backside environment. Relying on our experience using Thoroughbreds for ranch work, we expose former racehorses to tasks necessary for success in new vocations, be it on the range or in the arena.”
Like humans, horses don’t need to be made redundant after they’ve finished a particular career. Especially a horse that has raced. Often this profession is short lived and horses can find themselves retired even before they’ve fully matured. If they aren’t to be used for breeding, then they should be considered for a new riding career.
Gate to Great Training Program
There are many people who love to take on off the track thoroughbreds and then retrain them. It’s great to see a program that is set up and follows a particular philosophy for their horses. What great OTTB retraining program or trainer do you know of?
Perhaps like me you’re aware of people who work under the profession of saddle fitter. It wasn’t until recently that I became aware of the phrase equine ergonomist. As it turns out, there are actually three professions relating to saddles and horses that I had thought were one.
With a bit of help from Saddlefit4Life, here are some definitions. This can be especially helpful to those considering a career relating to saddle fit and horse function.
The Equine Ergonomist is not trained to actually adjust a saddle at this stage. They however are acting as advocates of the horse with an unbiased analysis of the situation to supervise the proper adjustments made.
Saddle Fitters have traditionally been trained either through ‘ad hoc’ apprenticeships working with professional fitters. Or at various ‘schools’ in North America, certification through the Society of Master Saddlers in England or through the Qualified Saddle Fitter process in the US. For most saddle fitters, saddle fitting consists of reflocking. Or in cases where the flocking has been changed to air panels, they will be able to adjust the air levels to change the fit. There is usually no requirement for ongoing professional development and re-certification.
Saddle Ergonomists have been highly trained in all subjects in the philosophy of Saddlefit 4 Life ® global network of equine professionals working together. This is to protect horse and rider from long term back damage resulting from poor saddle fit. Certified Saddle Ergonomists have studied human and equine anatomy and biomechanics in depth. They are skilled in both static and dynamic fit for onsite adjustments. Also, they are able to measure both horse and rider and offer solutions in saddles that will work for both.They will be able to diagnose and evaluate fit issues and make suggestions for solutions.
Saddle ergonomists are unbiased, not working with any one company. They have the ability to make decisions to determine the best solution for horse and rider knowing what the market offers. Certified Saddle Ergonomists are to be considered the pinnacle of holistic saddle fit experts. Working with a Certified Saddle Ergonomist will ensure that you have a highly trained, well-connected individual. Their education is based on current scientific findings. They aim to care for you as well as your horse’s comfort and well-being.
Equine Ergonomsts, Saddle Fitters and Saddle Ergonomists
Feeling better informed? If you have an interest in saddle fit and horse performance now you know of three possibilities. This can help you to better decide on where you would like to focus your energy.
Recently I had the opportunity to send a variety of horse industry professionals’ questions to be profiled on Equus Education. One such person indicated they could provide answers for any of four professions. One of the professions listed was an equine ergonomist.
Perhaps you’re familiar with this term already! I wasn’t, so hopped onto trusty Google to do a search! As it turns out:
“Equine ergonomics is the applied science of equipment design, to maximise performance by reducing horse and rider fatigue and discomfort. It is the study of the relationship between horses and the environment in which they work, and the application of physiological, psychological and engineering knowledge to the problems involved. ” – From Ergon Equine
Saddle fit is important. Especially in a time when horses are ridden for recreational use, competition and even for work. It’s not just about how a saddle fits a horse. It’s also about how it functions and therefore affects the horse and rider. This is where the equine ergonomist comes in.
The Equine Ergonomist
Through considering the horse, the rider and the saddle, they are able to assess the whole picture. Utilising proper ergonomic design should help to prevent injuries that could develop over time. This in turn could result in an equine eventually becoming unusable as a riding horse. Have you dealt with a horse that has issues with being saddled? Or has been sore because of a poor saddle fit?
This is where the equine ergonomist should be utilised. A vet or an equine massage therapist may be able to indicate where a horse is sore. They can also determine that a poor fitting saddle is the culprit. An equine ergonomist however, can help to address this issue and find a solution.
It’s exciting to think that further studies are being done on varying equine fields. I love too that gaining a qualification to work with these incredible animals is becoming an increasing possibility. If your passion is saddle fitting and function, then why not a career as an equine ergonomist?
Recently Blair McKissock, the Director of Education for Strides to Success was profiled on Equus Education. I wanted to take a closer look at this horse educational organisation. Strides to Success have a simple motto:
“Learning. Leading. Living.”
A non-profit organisation, Strides to Success is a facility that is accredited through PATH. This facility works as a resource for many: families, individuals, organisations schools and mental health professionals.
It provides information for anyone who is seeking to utilise authentic learning experiences. There is a focus on character development and leadership qualities.
Strides to Success, Equine Assisted Learning
I love that horses can be used to help with this! Set in the United States, Strides creates custom programs for those in need. The sessions incorporate equine assisted learning. There is also the option for workshops to be held at their facilities and for online learning.
If you’re interested in the events they offer, then there is a page for this on their website. Perhaps you love this idea and want to help it move forward, then you can donate.
If you’re in the United States and interested in pursuing an equine assisted learning career, then it may be worth looking into Strides. Maybe you’re close enough to volunteer your time and also your enthusiasm. Or perhaps you can inquire of their skills and knowledge to gain ideas for your future horse career. There are often people who have gone before you in the horse industry that can make your career journey that little bit easier. Make the effort to reach out, connect and also learn all you can! It will only benefit you.
“For many young girls, having a horse of their own ranks high on the scale of importance, right up there with breathing.” ― Kim Meeder
There are many people today who are looking to buy a horse. Perhaps their first horse or their fifth. Likewise, there are a lot of people who are advertising horses for sale. There is a particular person who acts as the go between for these two types of people. It is the equine sales agent.
An equine sales agent matches potential buyers with sellers. After finding out what a person is looking for in a horse, they then research possible matches. At the end of the day, the ideal is that the agent is able to pair up a seller with a buyer. The job in itself may require many hours of:
- researching the horse market
- determining distances between buyers and sellers
- organising transport for purchased horses
- organising necessary accommodation for travelling buyers
The Equine Sales Agent
The position as a whole can entail quite a bit and be a lengthy process. Upon a successful sale, the equine sales agent is paid for their time and effort. This could be a percentage of the sale price, based on the hours invested or predetermined another way.
For those who love to research horses for sale and determining the logistics of a horse viewing and potential buy, this position may be of interest. It would require knowing a lot about varying disciplines, horse movement and conformation, soundness and the places to look for horses. It would also require knowing where to look for potential buyers. This could be a great way to bring in income without having to generate a product to sell.
“Simon’s horse was defective, or possibly a genius that had worked out that Simon could not possibly control it. It went off for a wander in the woods, with Simon on its back alternately pleading, threatening, and offering bribes.” ― Cassandra Clare
I was made aware of a website online awhile ago that offered part time / casual work for mentors. If you were to be mentoring people, then you made yourself available via Skype or online to be able to talk with mentees at a time that mutually suited. Mentoring could be in relation to study, career choice or other life choices. And this got me to thinking – why not mentoring for a horse career?
So there are two options I believe for this to be a horse career:
- Someone could set up and provide a place online where people are able to mentor others with regards to horses
- People can become a mentor with regards to horses for those in need
So this perhaps raises the question – what would someone need a mentor for? And what that relates to horses?
Take your pick! People could provide mentoring in the areas of :
- Buying your first horse
- Choosing a horse career
- Help with organisation of a horse business
- Assistance with regards to studying horses / completing a horse course
Mentoring for a Horse Career
I am sure there are many people with a wealth of skills, knowledge and qualifications regarding horses. It’s quite possible that they could couple this with a desire to help others. If there was a place online that linked capable mentors with those seeking guidance, I believe this could be another way to earn income in the horse industry.
Whether you’re just starting out with horses or in the horse industry, or whether you’re a season pro – what area do you think you could have had the assistance of a mentor in?
“For many young girls, having a horse of their own ranks high on the scale of importance, right up there with breathing.” ― Kim Meeder
Whilst reading Spike by Alyssa Knee, I saw a reference to online horse video subscriptions. The trainer referenced was Warwick Schiller. With trusty old Google, a search online quickly brought up some relevant results.
Warwick Schiller has a focus on performance horsemanship. Much can be learnt from horse trainers. With the ability to access videos online, we can specifically see an idea being acted out with a horse and the results. The trainer can also provide feedback as they carry out the task, or later as a voice over.
Warwick has on his website horse video subscriptions. There is the chance for anyone to subscribe to these on a monthly basis, or even annually. Now this can have appeal for many reasons:
- You can sign up for the monthly subscription. Then you can watch as much as you possibly can in that timeframe (there are over 400 videos)
- You can take your time over a yearly subscription From here, set yourself a goal of watching a certain number of videos a week/month to improve your horse knowledge
- You can try out concepts discussed in these videos with horses that you work with
- This is another great example of passive income. The videos are made once and paid for by subscribers so that they can be viewed over and again
Horse Video Subscriptions
For many well known trainers and horse people out there, video subscriptions have a great following. Videos can be created by horse people in the know on training, riding, presenting, feeding, trimming feet – the list goes on!
If you want to learn more about horses in a particular field, have a search online for videos that relate to this. If you want to share your wealth of knowledge and earn an income from it, consider videos that people subscribe to view. Horse video subscriptions work both ways.
I have recently posted about the Horse Sense – Running with Mustangs program. This was the first time I was made aware of the Horse Sense Business Sense website and all that they offer. For those who are interested in Equine Assisted Practices, then this website will be of use to you, I am sure!
I first became aware of equine assisted practices through a friend who wanted to get into this field. It was back in 2008 or so. She was already a qualified occupational therapist and she had passion for horses. It was her desire to somehow combine her passion with therapy to assist others.
The Horse Sense Business Sense website has been set us as an aid to professionals in various fields across Equine Assisted Learning. The Horse Sense OTC Family works to provide workshops, training, conferences, various programs and curriculums as well as a working student program.
Horse Sense Business Sense Assistance
I love this! It’s perhaps your one stop shop to learning how to get into the equine assisted learning field. Or maybe you’re ready to set up your own facility or business – why not gain resources and assistance? Perhaps you want to offer a place for working students in your local area – why not offer your property as part of their program?
As it says on their website:
“We are eager to help other Therapeutic Horsemanship, Equine Assisted Psychotherapy and Equine Assisted Learning programs make it, and make a difference, in their community.”
They also have a Horse Sense Vets-for-Vets certification that is being set up for release in 2017. This will be taught over a 12 month period, by leaders in the field of therapeutic horsemanship – how exciting!
‘Why give a horse to a man who cannot ride?’ ― George R.R. Martin
I recently came across Steve Halfpenny’s site, Light Hands Equitation. I signed up to his email list late last year. This was to be able to gain access to some of his resources for free. You can find details on that and many others on the Equus Education Free Horse Resources board on Pinterest. Do a search for light hands equitation, as it’s toward the end of the pins on this board.
Steve is able to make use of technology to teach people around the world, from his home in South Australia. A recent article highlighted the course that Steve offers. It stated that he had developed:
“a six week online program that showed the process from start to finish of how to develop your horsemanship using ‘Light Hands Equitation’ methods to bring on a horse in a relaxed, soft, light and sympathetic manner.”
This is now known as the Light Hands Equitation six week masterclass. There is also a monthly membership that students can make use of. In this way they have consistent access to Steve and his teachings. For those keen to make use of this, it states in a recent article:
“From now until Jan 30th 2017, you can enjoy your first month’s access to Steve’s monthly membership program for just $1 using this coupon code: ONEDOLLAR.”
This is another example of being able to make use of your knowledge and skills with horses to bring in an income. With course fees and monthly memberships, it looks like it could even become a residual income earner.
Are you looking to improve your riding this year? Then Steve’s Light Hands Equitation site may be just what you’re looking for. Sign up today for the freebies and see what you think!
“When I hear somebody talk about a horse or cow being stupid; I figure it’s a sure sign that the animal has somehow outfoxed them” ― Tom Dorrance
‘to provide hoof care and equine care guidelines that are based upon research and the practical experiences of successful equine care professionals from around the world.’
As it states on the Equine Lameness Prevention Organization website, they consider themselves a community.
‘Welcome to a Community that is dedicated to the treatment and prevention of lameness in horses. This social network was designed to be a place where horse owners, horse enthusiasts and equine professionals can go to get help, offer assistance to others, exchange ideas, and socialize about the health & soundness of their equine companions.’
I love this concept! How wonderful to have a place online where people can meet, discuss ideas or raise concerns. They can help each other to learn to be better stewards of the animals in their care. In particular, in the area of hoof care.
You can become a member of ELPO for a fee. The result is that you help to fund evidence based studies as well as gain access to videos, articles, blogs and discussion forums to help aid your learning.
For those interested in ELPO events, there is an event calendar on the site. This includes details on barefoot trimming courses, as well as courses in identifying lameness and gaining certification. The education page also provides some .pdf resources for those who are after some more reading!
For those who are interested in learning more about how to care for their horses feet, check out ELPO. If you’re pursuing farriery as a horse career, then be sure to look at the Equine Lameness Prevention Organization, too!
“He moved like a dancer, which is not surprising; a horse is a beautiful animal, but it is perhaps most remarkable because it moves as if it always hears music.” ― Mark Helprin