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Saddles for Women

There are some niche areas within the equine industry that I love having my eyes opened to.  One such is the focus area of saddles for women.  Perhaps like me, you consider saddles more to be for horses.  Yes, I know that bigger people may need a bigger saddle to sit in – much like a larger framed horse needs a larger saddle to encompass its frame.  But I genuinely hadn’t considered the idea of saddles being specific to the rider’s gender.  That is, not until I was introduced to Jochen and Sabine Schleese.

Schleese Specialise in Saddles for Women | Equus Education

Schleese Specialise in Saddles for Women | Equus Education

Now these two – and their staff – are incredibly passionate about educating the horse industry on correct saddle fit.  This is both for horse and rider.  I am currently reading Suffering in Silence and Jochen goes to incredible lengths to explain why a saddle needs to fit properly.  This is to the benefit of both horse and rider.

Saddles for Women

When you take into consideration the physical anatomy of a male and female, they are somewhat different.  This affects their posture and how they sit in the saddle.  Consequently, different saddles are advised for each of the sexes, to allow them to achieve the most correct riding position and to best benefit the horse.  Schleese have created saddles specifically for women to use in their riding careers and overall riding life.  They label themselves as the female saddle fit specialist.

If you have a desire to spend many hours in the saddle – whether for pleasure or competition – I encourage you to consider the value of saddle fit for yourself and your horse.  And if you’re a female, do the research and find out what is different about these saddles designed specifically for the female gender.  You may learn a thing or two and improve your riding position ability whilst you’re at it!

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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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The Schleese AdapTree

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

As it says on the Schleese website:

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

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

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

The AdapTree

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

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

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

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

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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Museums for the Horse Industry

Hearing about a museum recently on the radio, I got to thinking about some museums I have visited. Some of these had horse aspects to them – did you know you can view Phar Lap’s heart? Others are entirely horse focused, like the Living Horse Museum. In time my thoughts moved along to setting up museums for the horse industry.

I know the Irish National Stud was establishing a horse racing museum whilst I was studying there back in 2006. A lot of their money comes from visitors and tourism, as well as their stud. So if you have a passion for a particular sport or theme within the equine world, why couldn’t you set up a museum around this topic? The idea would be that people pay to move through the rooms of your museum and learn the history of your chosen topic.

Museums for the Horse Industry

So what are some examples of museums for the horse industry?

  • Perhaps horses in history and the roles equine species have played in history. Did you know about mules being used to pull people down a canal? Or ponies that were used in mines to gather coal. Or horses used in war?
  • What about various breeds of horses? The Lipizzaner horses have an interesting history as I’m sure many other breeds do! There could be a focus on new breeds (those established in the last 100 years, for example). And of course, you could look at the breeds of horses that have greatly influenced others, like the Arabian.
  • Equestrian sports. Perhaps different sports that can be carried out on horseback could be explored. There are those sports people do for fun, those that have been banned in certain areas (like foxhunting) and those that are done up to Olympic level.
  • Famous horse people. Whether it be jockeys, Olympians, breeders, trainers or educators, the role that celebrity horse people have played in society and our lives could be explored.
Museums for the Horse Industry | Equus Education

Museums for the Horse Industry | Equus Education

There are many topics within the horse world that could provide a great muse for a horse related museum. If you have a passion for a particular area and know a lot of the history and facts within it, could you set up an area that portrays this so others can learn? Of course, a fee could be charged for people to come through the museum.

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!’

Profile On: Beth Chamberlin, Zoopharmacognosist at Equinepharmacognosy

Beth works in the area of equinepharmacognosy.  She was kind enough to take the time to answer some questions about her profession.

Beth Chamberlin of Equinepharmacognosy

Beth Chamberlin of Equinepharmacognosy

How much of your day/week is related to horses?
The majority of my day is related to horses.  Whether it be my own, working with clients’ horses, preparing remedies or planning for future lectures and demonstrations.

What is it exactly that you do?
I work with horses using Applied Zoopharmacognosy (self medication). Zoopharmacognosy is the practice in which wild animals self medicate using an evolutionary adaptation in which their innate instinct enables them to communicate and relate with medicinal plants within their environment, to bring about health and well being.

Unfortunately domestication and captive environments has restricted the opportunity for animals to use their instinctive knowledge to select nature’s medicines. Applied Zoopharmacognosy takes this practice into domestic and captive environments by allowing the animal to self select plant extracts that have been offered whilst always allowing the animal to walk away from a remedy when not needed.  Animals with the same symptoms may choose to select a different remedy which is why this approach highlights the fact that this is individualized medicine.

In this field of work, is it possible to be a full time professional and earning a liveable income?
With time and effort I do believe it is possible to be a full time professional in this career. With successful cases, recommendations from clients often bring in new work. Promoting the subject through lectures and demonstrations also has provided new opportunities.

Beth Chamberlin of Equinepharmacognosy

Beth Chamberlin of Equinepharmacognosy

What are the general steps taken to be employed in such a role?
Enrolling with the Ingraham Academy of Zoopharmacognosy.  Then learning the science behind animal self medication and building up a portfolio of case studies are the first steps to be taken.

Favourite horse memory?
My favourite memory is the journey I took with my own horse using Applied Zoopharmacognosy and seeing the results with his recovery.  I was so fascinated by the subject I then went on to train at the academy. If it wasn’t for my horse Thomas I may not have ended up where I am today.

Future goals?
My future goals are to be able to provide a service whereby clients are able to bring their animals to where I am based. I would also like to take my work overseas and to expand to working with other species of animals.

Best thing about your sport/profession?
The best thing about my profession is seeing the results of the animals recovery. It is so rewarding.

The Horse Small Business

So August 2017 in North East Victoria is a time where the government is focusing on small businesses. They want to help equip business owners – or those with a great idea! They are providing workshops, one on one consultations and many resources to help small business owners get established and succeed. Of course, I got to thinking about the horse small business! And in reality, that’s what I am. And perhaps many of you reading this blog.

I make money through online horse courses I have created at Udemy, through horse educational products at TeachersPayTeachers, through horse book sales at Amazon and even through affiliate links with Amazon. I am a sole proprietor who just happens to be able to cash in on her horse addiction! Why couldn’t you do the same?

What's your Horse Small Business Idea?

What’s your Horse Small Business Idea?

A small business is on that employs under 15 people and generates returns under $2,000,000. It could be a sole proprietor – like me, or a partnership, or you employ a handful of people. I have worked in many horse small businesses:

  • as a stud hand
  • at a racing stable as a stable hand
  • as a stable hand at a riding school
  • instructing at a riding school

There are many small horse businesses out there and no doubt, each one of them wants to be successful. So what makes a business successful?

  1. Generating a product or service that is needed and being able to sell it to those people in need.
  2. Having a consistent cash flow so that expenses can be paid, wages can be delivered and savings can be generated.
  3. Earning a profit.

The Horse Small Business

In line with small business month here in Victoria, Australia, why not think about your potential horse small business idea? Look for resources that are on offer to you from your local, state or national government. What about free online resources (you may want to check out Writing Dressage for some equine business tools!)?

There are many people who are unemployed in Australia. A lot of these have a great business idea, but no education or funds to help them see it to fruition and to become a success. Don’t be one of these statistics! Work hard, educate yourself and hey, even take the leap of starting a business 😉

Need a hand with potential horse business ideas? I have a passion for passive income relating to horses! Invest in the Equine Passive Streams course over at Udemy to find out about 20 different horse small business ideas – some of which will cost you no money to start up.

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?

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