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5 Careers that are Hands on with Horses

5 Careers that are Hands on with Horses | Equus Education

5 Careers that are Hands on with Horses | Equus Education

There are many, many different careers relating to horses.  Want an example?  Well head along to Vocation-100 where over 170 horse related careers are explored via Equus Education.

This post is going to look at only 5 careers that are hands on with horses.  But I assure you there are many more!  Because let’s face it, sometimes it’s really nice to have a job that involves working with the animal in question!

  • Acupuncture – this particular equine career has a science background and is often carried out by veterinarians. You can find out more about an equine acupuncture course and read a profile on Susan Hamilton, an animal therapist
  • Barrier attendant – these people are often seen working hard at race meetings. Interested in the racing scene and want to work with horses in some capacity?  Find out about barrier attendants.
  • Flight attendant – want to combine horses and flying? Well here’s a unique position.  Flight attendants tend to horses’ needs as they travel from one country to another.
  • Instructing – your focus could be beginners, children, competitive riding, Western, English, racing – you name it! Working as an instructor will require knowledge in your field of focus, the ability to ride and to teach others on various horses.  You’ll also need insurance and probably an instructing qualification.
  • Stud work – now there are so many different positions within the area of breeding horses. You could be an AI technician, a stud hand, a breeder, a manager of broodmares, stallions or yearlings; the list goes on.  If you want daily interaction with breeding horses, consider the stud industry.

5 Careers that are Hands on with Horses

If you want to physically work with horses in your equine career, then be inspired by the possible number of horse jobs out there!  Why not try for something unique?  Or perhaps a job that requires a qualification to undertake it?  The choice is yours.

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Inspiritus Equine, Inc

Inspiritus Equine, Inc | Equus Education

Inspiritus Equine, Inc | Equus Education

Inspiritus Equine, Inc looks at integrated soundness solutions for the horse.  I was made aware of this site when reading Suffering in Silence.  I love the fact that there are businesses like this.  As it states on the Inspiritus Equine site, various healing methods from both Eastern and Western medicine are utilised to diagnose lameness in a horse.

Dr. Robson is able to provide insight from the veterinary chiropractic side of things as well as veterinary acupuncture.  Saddle-fit evaluations and infrared thermography are also offered.  The list is topped off by the availability of Chinese and also western herbal medicine.

On top of all these different ways to look at a horse’s well being and assess potential lameness issues, Dr. Robson also boasts helping to educate horse owners and treating the affected horse/s compassionately.

Inspiritus Equine, Inc

Most people will recognise that one person can’t do everything.  But when you have a network of capable equine professionals, much more is possible.  As it states on the Inspiritus Equine, Inc site:

“Inspiritus Equine, Inc. unites the best healing methods from both Eastern and Western Veterinary Medicine, with top industry professionals in farriery, saddlery, thermography, and classical foundation training, to create an integrated, sound equine body and mind.  Inspiritus Equine, Inc. provides a unique approach to your horse’s well-being. Dr. Robson evaluates each patient as a whole horse and emphasizes client education while providing invaluable resources.”

I have touched on the niche idea of a veterinarian with a farriery focus before.  This particular incorporation seems to take the idea of combining niches to a whole new level.  When you have access to a professional who is able to be educated in various fields, this can greatly benefit your horse.  And if they make use of other professionals in various areas, this too is a plus.

“There are strong similarities in the way horses and those with autism see the world. Horses are often born into an environment they don’t understand, with overwhelming sights, sounds, and smells, and a sense that no one understands them. And when they see someone with autism, who has much the same background, and who knows them, and knows what they need – there is a connection. Since the two share the same experiences, they both relax, and seem to talk and understand each other.”  – Valerie Ormond

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Saddle Fitting as a Horse Career

Today there is a vast majority of horses that are utilised for sport, recreation and competition.  Because of their value to humans, a lot of money is invested in keeping them fit and healthy.  This could be in the form of professionals who tend to their needs: physical and nutritional, for example.  It is also in the form of tools to ride and care for them.  Consider saddles, bridles, blankets, leg protection – the list goes on.  A saddle is a necessity for most forms of riding horses.  So too is being able to fit a saddle appropriately to individual horses.  Because of this, saddle fitting as a horse career I believe is a viable avenue for interested people to consider exploring.

For people who are wanting to make a career of horse riding, knowing that a saddle fits their horse well is imperative.  Many horse owners who ride recreationally also understand the importance of correct saddle fit.  And so a saddle fitter – often provided through the local saddlery – is utilised to make sure a saddle correctly fits the horse it is to be bought for.

Correct saddle fit helps to ascertain that the saddle is going to be comfortable on the horse.  It needs to not hinder any movement – shoulders are a big one!  It also needs to be balanced on the horse.  When a person is in the saddle, it is important too that there are no pressure points and that the rider is able to achieve a correct position.

As a horse develops in its riding career/training, its muscle tone will change.  Because of this, the need to have a saddle adjusted over time will be imperative.  In fact, Jochen Schleese of Saddlefit4life, states in his book Suffering in Silence that saddle fit should be assessed 2-3 times a year for young, developing horses.  He goes on to suggest an annual check for horses that are around 7 years of age.  Once horses reach 16 and beyond, checking 2-3 times a year again is recommended.

Saddle Fitting as a Horse Career

Saddle Fitting as a Horse Career | Equus Education

Saddle Fitting as a Horse Career | Equus Education

If horse owners adhere to these guidelines of a certified master saddler, then there is definitely scope for saddle fitters to develop this skill as a career.  They would need to know how to assess a saddle’s fit to the horse and rider.  They would also need to be able to make adjustments.  Often this can be done on sight.  It may involve adjusting the angle of a gullet or altering flocking/padding in a saddle.

As horse owners and riders work to make themselves better educated, saddle fitting as a horse career becomes a viable option to consistently work and bring in money.  Interested in this option?  Be sure to check out the Saddlefit4life website and do some research on the term saddle ergonomist.

5 Horse Careers that Utilise Computers

In such a technologically led world, it won’t surprise you to know that there are horse careers that utilise computers.  Perhaps you’re a horse lover and you’re computer savvy.  Then have you considered the idea of one of these horse related careers?  Perhaps you can combine a couple!

  • Office administration assistant – horse businesses need people to help make sure their office side of things run smoothly.  It is not unusual for horse studs and other businesses to need someone who can respond to emails, update the business website, undertake payroll and other business related finance roles on the computer.
    Some horse businesses also make use of social media to build their online presence, manage a client mailing list and other computer related tasks.
  • Horse website designer – knowing horses and what makes a good horse image (like someone leading a horse from the left hand side or a horse cantering on the correct lead) can be beneficial to horse business owners.
    As a horse person with website design skills, you’ll be able to create an awesome website for a horse business.  Plus, you’ll know what information is relevant and what photos are technically correct for the industry.
5 Horse Careers that Utilise Computers | Equus Education

5 Horse Careers that Utilise Computers | Equus Education

  • Horse programmer – perhaps you desire to create a program for horse businesses to utilise, such as Rendaivu.  Or an online game that people can enjoy playing.  Either way, there is a market out there for programmers with horse knowledge.
  • Horse book authors – now arguably this one can be done the old fashioned way.  You can write your horse story onto paper.  But in time, the book will need to be created electronically.  In the self-published world that is available now, horse authors can ultimately utilise computers to write.  They are also valuable for proof reading, publishing and promoting their books!
  • Horse editor – there are many written pieces that provide education and entertainment to others, with a focus on horses.  Whoever has written them doesn’t necessarily have the skills to make sure the text has correct formatting, grammar (and even some facts!).  For the knowledgeable horse person with a good grasp of grammar and their language, editing jobs can come in many forms.  They could be pieces for books (fiction and non), magazines, journals, educational resources and even online courses.

So there you have it!  Five ideas relating to computers and horses 🙂

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4 Horse Careers that Need Maths

Perhaps you have a passion for horses and you’re struggling with a mathematical subject at school.  You question how this topic is relevant to your future career with horses.  Or maybe you love maths and you want to be able to use it with your passion for horses.

You can do so to generate a viable career.  Let’s consider some horse careers that need maths for you to be successful in them.

  • Nutritionists – when it comes to determining what to feed horses there are many math skills required.  Working out the perfect feed for a class of horse – say broodmares that are pregnant – means knowing the correct calcium to phosphorus ratio balance in feeds.
    Various percentages of vitamins, minerals and protein are also needed.  And then of course, knowing how many kilograms of this balanced feed to give to horses based on their body weight is necessary.  There is a lot of measuring involved in developing appropriate feeds and then measuring these out for horses.
  • Equine nurses – these people are often involved in administering various medications to sick and recovering horses.  Knowing how to measure out medicines in millilitres is important.  Also, how to mix up medicines in set amounts of water, how to create the right amount of formula for orphan foals over hourly or bihourly basis are all examples of needing to use maths.
    Measurements, weights and timetables all involve making use of maths to care for horses.
4 Horse Careers that Need Maths | Equus Education

4 Horse Careers that Need Maths | Equus Education

  • Veterinarians also need to know about medicine administration.  On top of this, they need to be aware of the daily cycles of mares and stallions.  To know how to measure follicles and other masses on ultrasounds and also how to weigh animals and interpret graphs and tables.
  • Horse business finances – many horse businesses hire someone who is financially savvy to handle this side of their business.  How wonderful to have a horse person who is also in the know on mathematical procedures!
    Like how to balance books, organise payroll and manage tax details!  These all require mathematical skills and knowledge.

Whether it’s measuring out supplements, feeds or medications, determining pay for equine staff, determining a mare’s due date or when she should next be bred, maths plays a vital role in horse care and management.  You can’t overvalue this skill!

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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!

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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!

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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!

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Profile On: Alex Brown, Former Exercise Rider

Alex Brown recently released a novel relating to the horse racing industry.  As someone who was a professional exercise rider, he has fit a lot of his knowledge into his book Missionville.  He also kindly took the time to answer some questions about exercise riding as a career.

Former Exercise Rider, Alex Brown with a Fan | Equus Education

Former Exercise Rider, Alex Brown with a Fan | Equus Education

How much of your day/week is related to horses?
For now, very little, unfortunately, unless you count writing about them, and my new book, Missionville!

What was it exactly that you did?
I worked in horse racing, in the United States, on and off for more than 25 years. During this time, I mostly exercised horses as a salaried or freelance exercise rider. A typical morning would mean galloping about 7-8 horses, starting around 6, and finishing around 10 in the morning.

This gave me plenty of time to do some other stuff. During the latter years, a lot of my additional time was devoted to horse welfare issues, horse slaughter and the retirement of racehorses.

In this field of work, is it possible to be a full time professional and earning a liveable income?
Yes, an exercise rider can do quite well. My last salaried job, which was for Steve Asmussen, I was earning around about $30k salary. Because of the short working hours, I could do a little extra work, if I wanted. That might have been breaking young horses, freelancing a few extra horses at the track, or working in a role at the races (which I never did).

Missionville by Alex Brown | Equus Education

Missionville by Alex Brown | Equus Education

What are the general steps taken to be employed in such a role?
I was lucky. I’ve ridden all my life, and went to the US to ride for a racehorse trainer who had recently moved to the US too. Basically, you need some decent riding experience before heading to a racetrack, and then you need a trainer who will spend some time helping you get started. You don’t want to be thrown in the deep-end straightaway.

Riding on a track is quite different to equestrian riding. You need to learn how to ride off a neckstrap, bridge your reins, ride with shorter stirrups, and so forth. Strangely, you learn to ride longer, with more experience, but it’s important to get the balance of riding short.

Favourite horse memory?
That’s a tough one, after twenty five or so years. But it will be about a horse winning a race. It’s just a great feeling, after galloping a horse for awhile, to see it do well at the races.

Most recently, probably when Maple Time won a little race at Penn National. When I worked for Asmussen, any time Salty Langfuhn won a race.

Future goals?
Now I’m back in the UK, and retired from horse racing, who knows. I really enjoyed writing Missionville, which is in part based on my experiences at the race tracks in the US. But I’m not sure writing full-time will ever be my calling. I am fortunate to have another career in the sphere of MBA admissions, so that keeps me busy too.

Best thing about your sport/profession?
I just love horses. We owe so much to them.

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.

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