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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?

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 to claim a discount / find out more.

A Horse History Theme Park

So recently I’ve taken a little journey in the area of horses and history. More specifically, the learning has occurred with regards to horses in the United States of America. That said I have learned about other horse history events around the world. This has led me to think about the possibility of a horse history theme park.

What would it entail? How would it work? Some of you may be familiar with the Living Horse Museum in Chantilly, France. This museum focuses on the impact of the horse throughout history around the world. There are over 30 rooms that show statues, mythical creatures, paintings, poems, little figurines and even life size dummies displayed in a myriad of horse riding apparel.

On top of this, they have a display of various living horses that cover different breeds. Demonstrations are also provided with live horses.

A Horse History Theme Park could offer Carriage Rides

A Horse History Theme Park could offer Carriage Rides

So it could be something like this. But instead, the sections of the park would focus on different events or aspects in horse history. For example, there could be an area where ponies or draught horses are used to log trees. As people travel around the park, they can do so via horse and carriage, driven by someone who works at the park.

A few times a day, messages could be handed to riders on their equine member of the pony express, and this message could then be raced around the park’s perimeter to see how quickly it can be delivered by the team. A channel that meanders through the park could have a boat on it that is pulled by a team of working mules as was the case with the Erie Canal in the US.

A horse racing event could be held in the middle of the day to highlight the world’s interest in horse racing still today. Ponies of similar stature to those used for mining could be paraded for people to inspect.  And history fact sheets could even be provided to onlookers. There are many possibilities!

A Horse History Theme Park

If there was a place you could go to learn about how the horse has left its hoof print on our history, would you? I think this could draw a lot of interest from horse fanatics and history buffs alike. What do you think?

Marcus Minds Weekend in June

Good ole’ Facebook pointed out an event that was occurring near me recently. Because I know the college in question offers horse courses, I wandered over to have a look at their event.  This then led me to their website.  The event is titled Marcus Minds Weekend.

Now in all honesty, I would not consider this event ‘near’ me! It is over 3 hours drive away. But, it still may be of interest to some of you! Marcus Oldham College offer a Diploma of Horse Business Management.  This is one that I looked into well over 15 years ago when considering study options. For those who love the idea of working on the land, they also have a course that focuses on Agribusiness.

Marcus Minds Weekend

Marcus Minds Weekend - where you can Experience Life as a Future Student

Marcus Minds Weekend – where you can Experience Life as a Future Student

On Friday the 23rd of June through to Sunday the 25th of June, Marcus Oldham College are running an event for prospective students. On this Marcus Minds weekend, the idea is that you come along and experience the facilities and see life from the eyes of a student.

I love the idea that those who are seeking out where to study, can experience what their life will be like if they enrol at a particular educational institution. I remember many years ago looking at this particular venue and being impressed. The cost of the course I was interested in however was well over $20,000.  Even with a scholarship (that covered about half of this), it was going to be a steep investment.  And one that at that time I couldn’t afford.

I have since heard wonderful things about the course and from students who have undertaken it.  For those students who can afford this financial investment, it is worth looking into. Though I may be biased, thinking all horse courses are worth looking into! 😉

“Yet when books have been read and reread, it boils down to the horse, his human companion, and what goes on between them.” ― Walter Farley

Equine Authors: an Online Resource for (Would-be) Horse Book Authors

Are you are horse fanatic? Do you have a story in you? Could you combine these two things and generate a fabulous horse story? Then you may be interested in this new site of Equus Education creator, Christine Meunier. If you are a horse book author or desire to be, you’ll want to check out Equine Authors.

This website has been established by equine authors, for current horse book authors and future equine authors. It contains a blog with articles that are helpful to establishing your presence online. Posts include:

Equine Authors Logo - the Online Resource for Horse Book Authors

Equine Authors Logo – the Online Resource for Horse Book Authors

Equine Authors – the Online Resource for Horse Book Authors

If you’re already an equine author – you can contribute a guest post! And of course, you may just learn something to benefit your career with current articles on the site. Guest posts are needed for Equine Authors in the form of how-to articles, highlighting great tools for horse book authors and other forms of advice about how to make it a viable career.

If you’re a horse book fan, be sure to bookmark this site. The equine author directory is added to regularly and will continue to grow. You may just pick up a new favourite horse book author!

This directory lists horse book authors, their websites and provides opportunities to purchase their books. Future plans for the site include adding how-to articles. Focus points will include adding books and author pages to Goodreads, Authorgraph, FictFact, Amazon; the list goes on.

People write about horses because they know and love them. An added bonus is that it can become a viable residual income earner. You only have to write the book once, but it can be sold many, many times over. Have you considered a career as an equine author?

Forageplus – Forage and Soil Analysis for Horse Environments

Recently Equus Education received a new follower on Twitter – Forageplus. Curious, I had a look at their profile. Set in North Wales, it turns out that these guys focus on welsh horse supplements, forage and soil analysis as well as managing horse environments.

As it states on their website, the Forageplus team mission statement is:

“To promote whole horse health using the ideas of the leading horse educators around the world. To create value and make a difference to equines and their horse owners through good science and information that works.”

I love that we live in a time where science and education is being used to better horses lives as much as possible. Whether it’s to do with saddle fit and function as in equine ergonomics or better nutrition practices after studying the horse’s digestive system – it’s all good! We’re continuing to learn and better understand this great species. Consequently, we’re able to more effectively meet their needs and this will continue to improve.

Forageplus - Forage and Soil Analysis for Horse Environments

Forageplus – Forage and Soil Analysis for Horse Environments

If you explore the Forageplus website, you’ll see that they offer many services, including:

  • Soil analysis – what’s in the soil on your property affects the types and quality of grasses. This in turn affects your horse’s digestive system.
    • Knowing what’s in the soil and what’s missing means that property owners can make adjustments that are better for the land and their horses.
  • Forage reports – this looks at the varying minerals in the forage you’re feeding your horse as well as the nutritional make up. It’s a great way to see what you’re really giving your beloved equine and what may be lacking.
    • Everything needs to work in balance; too much of one thing can affect the right amounts of another.

It’s great to see another business that has a passion for horse nutrition and health. The website offers many products for horses as well as free articles relating to horse health and digestion. Why not check it out?

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.

Profile On: Alexa Frye, Regional Client Services Manager, Schleese Saddlery

How much of your day/week is related to horses?
I am happy to be able to say that the vast majority of my week, both professional and personal, is related to horses. When I’m not traveling to barns for my job as a Regional Client Services Manager for Schleese Saddlery, I am working from home and spending most of my free time riding my own horse.

Alexa Frye, Regional Client Services Manager, Schleese Saddlery

Alexa Frye, Regional Client Services Manager, Schleese Saddlery

What is it exactly that you do?
I am a Regional Client Services Manager for Schleese Saddlery. I travel to different territories on regularly scheduled Saddle Fit Clinics.  We provide saddle fitting services to new clients seeking an optimally fitting saddle for horse and rider and to our existing clients in need of routine saddle fitting adjustments.

My primary role is to create and maintain lasting relationships with our new and existing clients and with equine professionals to promote Schleese Saddlery and our saddle fit philosophy of pain free riding for horse and rider. I travel with a teammate who is a Certified Saddle Fit Technician, and together we provide thorough assessment, education, and offer solutions to saddle fit needs.

In this field of work, is it possible to be a full time professional and earning a liveable income?
Yes! We work hard and love what we do, and we are fortunate to be able to make a sustainable income doing something that is really a lot of fun.

What are the general steps taken to be employed in such a role?
Saddlefit4Life is a non-profit organization that provides education and certification in the assessment of saddle fit for horse and rider. I encourage anyone interested in assessing and fitting saddles to research Saddlefit4Life, the fitting philosophy, and upcoming courses and events. Saddlefit4Life offers a range of educational opportunities from introductory seminars to intensive courses for those interested in learning more about pain free saddle fit.

Favourite horse memory?
It’s safe to say that most of my favorite memories are horse related! Personally, my favorite memory with my own horse was showing our fourth level freestyle test that we prepared. The whole process of choreographing the test and arranging the music with a wonderful clinician, to schooling the test and finally culminating the experience in showing the test was a wonderful goal that we achieved together.

I also have many wonderful work related horse memories. One that particularly sticks out in my mind is when we were consulted on a horse that refused to move forward in his current saddle. The saddle was restricting his shoulder movement and literally blocking him from moving forward. We identified the problems and provided him with a well-fitting saddle. The immediate, drastic difference in the horse under saddle was incredible. He became a completely different animal; moving forward freely, happily and relaxed. I am lucky to have many other memories just like this in my job.

Alexa Frye Riding

Alexa Frye Riding

Future goals?
My goals focus on continuing to promote pain free saddle fit for horse and rider. I look forward to continuing to provide educational opportunities to Equine Universities, groups and events to reach those in the equestrian community that are in search of safe and comfortable saddle fit.

Best thing about your sport/profession?
The best thing about my profession is that it allows me to spend every day in the barn with horses.  I can’t imagine a better place to spend my time! We get to provide helpful, integral, important information and solutions to riders who want their horses to be happy, healthy and also comfortable in their saddles. We have the opportunity to watch our clients and their horses grow and progress in their training together and to be a witness to their journeys.



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?

Free Equine Courses at CAFRE: Health, Nutrition and Behaviour

Well my favourites for providing free equine courses are at it once again!  A recent tweet from one of the equine industry trainers alerted me to this fact.  CAFRE have upcoming free courses in equine health, equine nutrition and also equine behaviour. Ready to sign up? 🙂

Perhaps you’d like further details:

  1. Clinical equine nutrition – running from April 12, enrol by April 5th!
  2. Introduction to Equine Health – May 24th, register by May 17th
  3. Managing Equine Health – July 5th, enrol by June 28th
  4. Equine Behaviour and Welfare – August 16th starting date, enrol by August 9th
Free Equine Courses - what Topic would Interest you?

Free Equine Courses – what Topic would Interest you?

Free Equine Courses at CAFRE

All of the free equine courses are run online over a four week period. I have undertaken many CAFRE courses online and the layout is generally the same.

You’re provided with some interesting and informative PowerPoints that often have a voiceover on them. Learning objectives are outlined, discussed and summarised. For each topic there is a test that you have three chances at completing. The idea is to gain the best score you possibly can.

For everyone who undertakes all of the tests successfully, you are issued an electronic certificate.  This is to indicate that you undertook the course. Perhaps you’re looking to increase your knowledge and also gain some horse related certificates. Or maybe you want a refresher course. Perhaps, you’re looking to connect with other horse people who are also interested in these topics.

Whatever the reason, these courses are great to undertake! You have access to the materials and can do them in your own time, as long as you complete the tests by the specified date. For someone who is raising two young children, I have found I could dedicate enough time to complete the courses before the end date. And I’ve always learned something!

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