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Making use of Equine Organisations

Recently I was made aware of the Victorian Farmer’s Federation. They were having a young farmer’s evening and I convinced my husband we should go check it out. After all, we plan to have land and work it in the near future. It was an interesting night that made us aware of a few different organisations that could benefit us as land owners and as horse owners in the future.  Generally speaking, if we have a question about farming, we could go to the VFF.  If they can’t answer it, they can point us towards someone who can. So as someone who’s aspiring to work in the horse industry, do you know of and are you making use of equine organisations as valuable resources?

Equine Organisations as Resources

Equine Organisations can be a Great Resource for Your Career

Equine Organisations can be a Great Resource for Your Career

Let’s say you’re based in the United Kingdom and you want to compete professionally, or teach people how to ride. Are you making use of the British Horse Society and their network of people to help you achieve this?

Maybe you have a passion for working with disabled people and know that horses can help them. Have you considered joining up with your local Riding for the Disabled?  Or perhaps the Equine Assisted Learning group that focuses on hippotherapy?

You’re really keen on the idea of dentistry for horses and think this could be a fulfilling career. Do you know of veterinary associations or equine dentistry organisations that could guide you on the right path to take?

Racing is your passion and you’re not sure if you want to be a strapper, an exercise rider, trainer or a jockey. Do you know the racing authority in your local region? Have you looked into what each position offers and what it requires from you?

There are many organisations out there that are set up to be a guide for you. Chances are if you have a question, so has someone else before you! And there’s probably an answer outlined on a website or able to be provided in a reply email just for you. When it comes to your horse future, be sure to look into organisations that are set up in the industry you aspire to get into. This can be your greatest resource for networking, job opportunities and education possibilities. Don’t overlook it.

The Farrier Guide for Aspiring Farriers

I have recently started a new writing gig that will be a regular thing.  As I was looking over the site, I realised it’s a resource I should be writing about here!  So how could it be of benefit to you?

Well, you have a love for horses and their feet in particular.  You’re up for a physically demanding job and love the idea of looking after horses’ health care.  And of course, correcting conformation issues and dealing with many different horses on a daily basis!  Did you know about the resource the Farrier Guide?

Working as a Farrier

This is an online resource that provides many things for those who are already employed as farriers, or for those who aspire to be.  There is a farriery guide that highlights the basics of this career.  There is also an education and employment guide for those wanting to be up to speed on the industry.

And if you’re looking to study, there’s a selection of horseshoeing schools and farrier courses that are detailed in a directory, worldwide.  To make this even more appealing, users can rate and comment on individual schools/courses to give an unbiased view.  There are even interviews with instructors and owners of schools to help potential students determine what would suit them best.

The Farrier Guide as a Career Resource

The Farrier Guide as a Career Resource

With a blog that has monthly educational posts relating to horses and the industry and a book store, the Farrier Guide seems to be a great online resource for someone wanting to get into this industry.  As with many things in the horse industry, having skills and an education is important.  If you’re interested in pursuing farriery as a career, check out this resource that provides so much to make you well-informed.

Horse to a horse owner: ‘I saved you some money; took the shoe off myself!’

7 Horse Riding Careers to Consider

So you want to make a career out of riding horses, ey? Well here are 7 horse riding careers to consider. Some offer consistent work and wages. Others will be successful only if the horse in question being ridden is successful in its given discipline.

    1. Exercise rider for racing
      This is a person who rides horses in their morning workouts. Often this will be for thoroughbreds galloping on the track in flat racing, or jumps racing. Riders are generally paid per horse that is ridden and can get work 6 – 7 mornings a week.
    2. Jockey
      You need to be qualified to ride in race work and your earnings will be based on the performance of your mount – as well as the class of race. Rides may be over weekends or during the week, depending on race meetings.
    3. Eventer
      Many of these riders need to be sponsored and the performance money is a lot less than in race riding. Still, it is possible to ride competition horses for a living. An eventer focuses on dressage, show jumping and cross country riding.
    4. Catch rider
      For the owners who have a horse that needs to be ridden, a catch rider can come in handy. They ride the horse in its competition event for a fee – and hopefully the horse receives points/ribbons in the classes it is entered.

      7 Horse Riding Careers to Consider | Equus Education

      7 Horse Riding Careers to Consider | Equus Education

    5. Educational rider/trainer
      Some horses have issues with regards to their education or the way they’ve been ridden. They may be acting up because they are in pain or fearful. Some trainers manage ‘difficult’ horses beautifully, getting to the root of the problem and enabling owners to move forward with their riding goals.
    6. Trail ride guide
      Perhaps you’re the sort of person who loves getting out and about, seeing beautiful places on horseback. You also love interacting with people and can teach beginners a thing or two.  And maybe you enjoy riding with more experienced horse people, too. Taking people out for trail rides may be a job worth considering! It will often involve matching strangers to appropriate horses, tacking up horses and taking groups out for a ride.  Then you will be dealing with the horses and putting them away again. Many trail places do 2-3 rides in a day or some overnight rides for the more experienced clients.
    7. Mounted police
      It is worth noting that if you want to get into this area, it can’t be solely because you want to ride! Mounted police officers have to serve as a police officer for a few years before they are in a position to consider the mounted department. It can also be quite competitive. Love of the law needs to be your focus, with getting to ride a bonus 😉

    The 7 horse riding careers to consider listed above touch on different disciplines and different working hours. Have you considered another? I’d love to read in the comments about other riding careers you’re interested in!

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?

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.

Profile On: Sara Mariah, Writing Dressage

Equus Education has had a few chances to guest post over at Writing Dressage.  Today Sara Mariah of Writing Dressage has taken the time to answer some questions about what she does.

Writing Dressage Logo

Writing Dressage Logo

How much of your day/week is related to horses?
Not as much as I’d like, unfortunately. I still work part-time at a department store (not ideal), but when I get off, I get to work on my sites. Half the time, when I’m at work, I’m still thinking about my sites and working on fleshing out various ideas while I’m folding tables full of clothes. I’m working on making enough money on my blogs to quit the department store job completely and go back to riding.

What is it exactly that you do?
On my business blog, Writing Dressage, I offer coaching packages for new and struggling equine entrepreneurs, as well as a selection of coaching packages for aspiring professionals.

Some of my business packages discuss developing various parts of a business, like the business plan, marketing plan, and financial goals, while others have specific purposes, like reviewing a business’s online presence or helping someone rebrand their business. I also have a few fully customizable packages available.

My packages for aspiring professionals focus mostly on developing resumes, job applications, and scholarship applications.

Stall 17, Sara Mariah

Stall 17, Sara Mariah

Currently, I’m also nearing the launch for a new business, an online boutique selling apparel and gifts for equestrians called Stall 17.

In this field of work, is it possible to be a full time professional and earn a liveable income?
I’m sure it is, but I’m not at that stage yet. I just launched my services about two months ago and I’m still working through a handful of services I’ve given away as part of the launch.

What are the general steps taken to be employed in such a role?
Know business. Like, really, really know it. I went to college to study equine business management, and after realizing that, while helpful, the degree I sought was lacking in many areas, I continued reading and researching and teaching myself using the medley of resources available thanks to the Internet, all with the primary intention of starting my own product-based business. After that, I spent a few years helping out friends in the horse industry with their various businesses, learned A LOT more, helped improve their businesses, and realized there was a market for this sort of thing. (It also helps that I have a serious mind for business plus a creative streak a mile wide.)

Sara of Writing Dressage and her Horse Sunny

Sara of Writing Dressage and her Horse Sunny

Favorite horse memory?
Literally any show I ever took Sunny to. He was always such a gentleman. He minded his manners perfectly, always picked up the correct leads, put on his happy face, and we kicked butt. (Except that time we had to walk past the cattle pen at the 4-H state show… That was bad.)

Future goals?
Diversify my business ventures so that I’m not relying on any one income stream. Do some business coaching, speak at events, make and sell quirky equestrian apparel and gifts, branch out into breeches and show clothes eventually, and be able to offer scholarships for college and for showing.

Sara (right) and Sunny, Writing Dressage

Sara (right) and Sunny, Writing Dressage

Sponsor riders. Travel a bit. Ride horses on the beach and across the African savanna and the Egyptian desert. Have a nice upper level dressage horse (or two) that I can show. Try jousting and polo and maybe reining again. Maybe start an equestrian entertainment company and publish books, maybe a magazine, and who knows what else. I don’t know. Just do what makes me happy.

Best thing about your sport/profession?
I get to do what I love and I get to share it with people who are just as passionate about it as I am.

Horse Business Coaches

Recently I have been reading Take the Reins, a book by Shari Jaeger. It focuses on mindsets and skills that can be utilised to be a successful leader. The focus is specifically on mindsets for business leaders – how they can lead a team, close a sale and increase profits. The horse focus comes into practice by the way she leads individual and team workshops.  And this got me thinking about horse business coaches.

How does it work with Shari?  Often a person – or team of people – is asked to achieve a task with a horse moving free in an arena. They need to cause the horse to carry out a particular task without touching it.

Horse Business Coaches - would they Benefit you?

Horse Business Coaches – would they Benefit you?

As people carry out these workshops, they learn to better communicate with each other and to move with intention. This got me to thinking about horses businesses in general and how they could all benefit from coaching. What if there was one place you could go to as a horse business owner, to gain coaching in a number of areas? It could be a local organisation you could engage the use of to gain horse business coaches in varying areas.

Horse Business Coaches

These areas could depend on the expertise of the coach in question. It could be motivation, brain storming ideas, management of staff, increasing profits, managing finances or even simple accountability to follow through on planned tasks.

The people made available could provide sessions in person, via Skype, over the phone or even through email communication. The difference with those on offer to horse businesses is that they would know the equine industry and horse people. Perhaps they’ve worked in racing and marketing, or they own racehorses and have a financial qualification. Maybe they have performance horses or ride for pleasure.

Whatever it is, they have a skill they can coach in and a working knowledge of what horse people want. In this way, they will be better equipped to understand and aid horse businesses. What do you think?

Mapping Equine Qualifications

A recent chance to profile Adrienne Tomkinson, had me thinking once again about different horse careers around the world. I know of someone who is currently in the process of working in the racing industry to map qualifications internationally. Mapping equine qualifications could work worldwide in all equine industries.

The idea is that all racing qualifications around the world are able to be matched against each other. How is this of benefit? Someone who receives a certificate or other racing qualification in Korea, can then come to Australia.  When they do, their skill level can be matched against Australian qualifications. It’ll make it a smoother process for working internationally in an industry that is qualification controlled.

Adrienne indicated in her profile that if you choose to follow her career path, the steps you need to take could differ. This depends on where you plan to pursue your career.  Which country you’re in will depict what process you undertake.

Mapping Equine Qualifications

Mapping Equine Qualifications on Equus Education

Mapping Equine Qualifications on Equus Education

Differing equine industries are able to govern what qualifications are needed to pursue a particular career. E.g. as a horse racing trainer, jockey, horse riding instructor or equine veterinarian. What if there was a group of people who determined what qualifications in varying countries were equivalent to others? In this way, horse skills and certificates can be matched appropriately.

Now this is a massive job considering all the countries that offer horse related work. And of course you need to take into account the different industries – equestrian, performance, veterinary, farriery, etc. Chances are, there’s enough work for various people in the different industries to map out qualifications!

Governing horse bodies would need to be involved, of course.  In this way, they can help make sure things are regulated for each and every country.

How would you feel knowing that the qualification you had gained could land you a job and also be easily compared with others internationally? Would it help you to travel and work with horses?

Profile On: Adrienne Tomkinson, ImPuls Methode

Adrienne Tomkinson from ImPuls Methode was kind enough to answer some questions about what she does!  See below.

How much of your day/week is related to horses?
I work during the week with horses, in stables, massaging or training horses (riding or ground exercises). Probably I spend most of my time in someway related to horses, as this is my business. I am a Vaulting trainer so spend 2 evenings a week training children in Vaulting. On some weekends I run courses in conjunction with a government training institute (WIFI – wifi.tirol.at Pferdeenergetiks), teaching people how to perform a basic massage, clear and balance their horses energy and perform gymnastics exercises. Other weekends I go to competitions to watch clients, for my Vaulting Team or because I sponsor events at specific competitions. I write blogs for an international Horse Portal (EQWO.net) on a monthly basis. Almost every day I do something related to horses! Most of the time I live horses and often dream about them too!!

The ImPuls Methode

The ImPuls Methode

What is it exactly that you do?
I am self-employed as a Massage & Energy therapist, Sport Coach and Trainer (Sport and Fitness Conditioning). The Massage is self explanatory, instigates relaxation and improves muscle function. The energy work helps clear and balance energy for the horse. It helps with behavioural issues, such as anxiety/nervousness, fixing bad habits that stem from previous bad experiences (perhaps injuries, surgery or mis-treatment) and ‘re-fueling’ the vitality of horses (lethargy caused by over-work or strenuous competition schedules).

I perform active gymnastics training, either on the ground or ridden to help strengthen specific areas and build up flexibility and muscle mass. I have developed my own method, ImPuls Methode™. This method encompasses the three important techniques to help optimise a horse’s performance. After many years of experience and learning and trying new hand techniques I found that my routines give the best results!

Adrienne Tomkinson, ImPuls Methode

Adrienne Tomkinson, ImPuls Methode

Basically I am like a personal trainer but instead of training the people I train the horses and also provide regular massage to help maintain healthy muscle function and homeostasis within the body. I have written and teach courses for riders, owners, trainers and stablehands how to perform the basics of the ImPuls Methode™ on their own horse. In conjunction with a government training facility we deliver this to students in Austria, Germany and Italy (link in German).

In this field of work, is it possible to be a full time professional and earning a liveable income?
Sure! But at the start it is not easy, it takes some time to build up a sufficient, regular client base. The results from the Sport Conditioning take time. The massage has an almost immediate effect, however regular sessions combined with the energy work and conditioning really demonstrate the effectiveness and benefits of including such a program to a horse’s training regime. However, once the owners/trainers can see the benefits of the “investment”, in performance, recovery, and reduction in the risk of injury, it is much easier!

This of course does take time! Word of mouth recommendation is generally the best advertisement as the referrals come from those that have already ‘been bold’ and seen how great the results can be!

What are the general steps taken to be employed in such a role?
That depends in which country one wishes to pursue this career!!! I started in Australia and now live in Austria. In Australia / England / USA and Germany the industry and mindset is a few years ahead. The rules and regulations dependent on each country vary. This is important to know so that one can look for the right education and get the right experience. Not all countries have the same regulations and thus the opportunities vary. Generally one must have an interest and then complete a course/degree to learn the Theory, and at the same time get enough practical experience.

Adrienne Tomkinson, ImPuls Methode

Adrienne Tomkinson, ImPuls Methode

Favourite horse memory?
Ohhh, that’s your hardest question!! I do not know as I have too many! We had a stud so watching foals being born (or when necessary helping) was amazing. But successes in competitions, riding and swimming at the beach and playing with my horses are all also favourites! I guess anything to do with enjoying the connection I have had with my horses are all my favourites!

Future goals?
At the moment I am working on developing a Professional Training Course in Austria. Naturally this involves also vets and other professionals so that people can learn not only how to perform the role, but also how to use the information and skills to be an excellent practitioner.

ImPuls Methode

I would like to see my ImPuls Methode™ taught internationally and have a great network of highly qualified and quality controlled professionals performing my method. I would also like to have a huge facility where I can have enough place for horses to come to me for various programs and students come to me to complete a Practicum.

Best thing about your sport/profession?
I get paid to do what I love!!! What is better than that? I love going to different stables, seeing different people and horses and the results from my work over time. Also, I get to travel internationally, for example to Italy, for client appointments. I enjoy keeping updated in horse health and never stop learning!

The Muleteer as a Horse Career

So recently I’ve had the opportunity to consider another in the equine species – the mule.  Or more specifically, the role of the muleteer. This was on account of the Equine Spirit by C S Purdy. It was followed up by reading Brown Sunrise of Sawdust Valley by Marguerite Henry which will be reviewed in the future.

The Muleteer as a Horse Career

The Muleteer as a Horse Career

For those who are unaware, a mule is a foal that results from a horse and a donkey being bred. More specifically, the female is a horse (mare) and the male is a donkey (jack).

Something that fascinates me is that a mule is infertile. You cannot breed two mules and gain a baby mule. This is because donkeys have an extra set of chromosomes to the horse and so the resulting mule ends up with one chromosome not being paired. Interesting!

Mules have a lot of appeal to those who own them and handle them. They can be quite large, depending on the horse influence. Mules are sturdy, surefooted and hard workers. They also keep well, unlike some breeds of horse that require a lot to stay in good condition.

The Muleteer

Whilst reading Marguerite Henry’s novel about Brown Sunrise, reference was made to one of the gentlemen being a muleteer. I’m not sure I’ve read this word before! I assumed it related to the care of a mule, but I thought I’d do a little investigating. A muleteer can simply be described as “one who drives mules.”

A definition that I feel is a little more comprehensive details:

“A muleteer, or more informally a muleskinner is a person who transports goods using pack animals, especially mules. In South America, muleskinners transport coffee, maize (corn), cork, wheat and myriad other items. They remain common in the Paisa Region of Colombia. In California, muleteers work out of pack stations. In Europe, there are still muleteers in the south of Portugal and the southwest of Spain, in the cork producing area. Their role is now limited to transporting the cork with their mules, out of the Mediterranean oak forest to more accessible routes, where modern means of transport are available.”

Perhaps you have an interest in training and working with the equine species. But maybe donkeys and mules appeal to you more. Or the idea of working with pack horses in general! Being a muleteer could provide you with the chance to train, travel and get a lot of exercise!

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