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Archive for the ‘Career’ Category

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!

Equestricare 25% Off EOFYS

This time of year can be great with regards to end of financial year sales (EOFYS). Often you can pick up something at a discounted rate and be able to claim the amount against your tax. Perhaps you are able to get a product for your horse business cheaply. Maybe you can acquire the services of a horse professional at less than you would normally have to pay. Or, it may be that you’re able to put money towards a qualification that will help you start your equine career. This could be the case with the Equestricare 25% off end of financial year sale!

Equestricare 25% off EOFYS

Equestricare 25% off EOFYS

Equestricare offer courses and products relating to equine massage around Australia. It states in their recent email newsletter that anyone who books in for courses and pays before the end of June, will receive a 25% discount. Great!

Equestricare 25% Off EOFYS

How has the first half of your year been? Are you progressing towards your horse business goals? Are you interested in a horse massage career and need to take that next step to get yourself upskilled or qualified? This EOFYS may be just for you!

Yet if it’s not, do you know of a friend who is interested in this area as a horse career? Maybe they need that little bit of encouragement from you – in the form of passing on information – to get themselves moving forward.

Whatever the reason:

  • spending a bit more in relation to the business before tax time
  • wanting to take advantage of a good deal

You can look into the discounts they have on offer for their courses that are booked and paid for before the end of June. This covers certificates, online courses and a tour they have titled the Horses Inside Out Tour. Equestricare are set up in Australia and offer workshops in various states. You can head along to their website or email them at info@equestricare.com.au to claim a discount / find out more.

Equine Career Network

I can’t remember what it was I was searching online, but recently I stumbled across the Equine Career Network. ECN is run by Kelsey Sullivan and Kaitlyn Zeleski. As it says on their website:

“Equine Career Network was built to connect job seekers, employers and entrepreneurs in the equine industry. Our focus is not on jobs within a barn, but rather on careers with horse related companies and organizations. Our goal is to be a resource for those on the hunt for a job in the industry, while also providing experiences and perspective from those that are shaping it today.”

The Equine Career Network links Students, Job Seekers and Horse Companies

The Equine Career Network links Students, Job Seekers and Horse Companies

Curious about the 2017 goals for the ECN? It’s simply covered in three points.  They all related to the support of:

  • College students and college advising offices
  • Job Seekers interested in joining the equine industry
  • Companies in their search for top talent

You can read more about these goals by clicking the above link. I love to discover horse career related sites online. Especially those that are aimed to help you in developing yourself and your horse career!

The Equine Career Network

Why not head along to the Equine Career Network site and see what they have to offer. There may be something there specifically for you! A quick glance at their jobs page has positions listed relating to sales, administration, finance, project management, education and events – all horse related, of course! Most appear to be in the United States and one listed is for the United Kingdom, but keep your eyes peeled for other places around the world!

You can also take a look at their blog, which has posts relating to career insights, bits and pieces and entrepreneurship. And of course you can sign up to their mailing list for regular updates.

Internship at the Irish Field

So this one has an application date that is fast approaching! I just recently saw this posted on Twitter and wanted to share. I love finding out about career opportunities in different countries. Currently applications are being taken for an internship at the Irish Field.  Note though: applications close on May 16!

So this position is one for journalists who are passionate about equestrian sports. The Irish Field internship runs from June 2017 until April 2018. So this position is for 10 months and is on offer in the editorial department of the Irish Field. As it says on their website:

“The intern will gain a broad range of experience and activities will include:

  • writing and editing equine-related stories and features, news gathering
  • updating social media channels
  • attending events representing The Irish Field
  • General support to the Irish Field team

This is a paid internship, based in Bluebell, Dublin 12. Full-time hours.”

For those who are interested, you can find out all the details here. There is an email address you can send your application to; be sure to make a note of the requirements for your resume and cover letter!

Would you Consider an Internship at the Irish Field? Applications Close May 16!

Would you Consider an Internship at the Irish Field? Applications Close May 16!

An Internship at the Irish Field

This sounds like a great opportunity for that person who wants a journalism career relating to horses. And if you’re someone who loves to write and who is interested in equestrian sports, then this may be a career you should look into. Journalism degrees are available to those interested. This qualification can lead to a career that focuses on writing about horse related sports/disciplines.

“My troubles are all over, and I am at home; and often before I am quite awake, I fancy I am still in the orchard at Birtwick, standing with my friends under the apple trees.” ― Anna Sewell, Black Beauty

Gate to Great – Retraining Racehorses

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.”

Gate to Great - Retraining Racehorses

Gate to Great – Retraining Racehorses

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?

The Saddle Fitter and Saddle Ergonomist

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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

The Saddle Fitter and Saddle Ergonomist

The Saddle Fitter and Saddle Ergonomist

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.

The Equine Ergonomist – Saddle Fit and Function

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.

The Equine Ergonomist Assess Saddle fit and Function

The Equine Ergonomist Assess Saddle fit and Function

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?

Strides to Success, Equine Assisted Learning

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:

The Logo for Strides to Success, an Equine Assisted Learning Non-Profit Organisation

The Logo for Strides to Success, an Equine Assisted Learning Non-Profit Organisation

“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

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