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Archive for the ‘Horseriding’ Category

Horse Riding Camps

I have been reading a children’s horse book – Izzy’s Chance by Doreen Bairstow.  In it there was a reference to Scripture Union. Being a horsey book, I thought perhaps it was a horse riding camp with a Christian focus. Although horse riding is available, the focus isn’t on horse riding camps.

But this got me to thinking. Why not horse riding camps as a horse related career?

When I was teaching horse studies at Box Hill TAFE, once a year we had an intensive practical camp.  This was held over a couple of days for the Certificate II in Horse Studies students. They got to ride twice a day and other sessions involved practical classes relating to horses.

Horse Riding Camps - Would you set one up?

Horse Riding Camps – Would you set one up?

Horse Riding Camps

Having a property set up with the specific focus on horse riding and care I believe could be a great niche. It could cater to educational facilities that offer horse courses. If they’re looking for a place where their students can ride and do practical sessions, I am sure a camp would appeal!

For the parent with a horse crazy son or daughter, knowing they can book them in for a riding camp over the holidays would also be appealing. Offering weekend camps could be of benefit too. It would just be a question of marketing the property so that people know what it could be used for. There may be certain times of the year that are more in demand – school holidays, weekends for example.

However, if other times of the year are marketed correctly, horse riding camps could bring in income all year round. For example, they could be marketed to equestrian teams with professional equestrian riders holding workshops and making use of the property and its horses. Horse riding camps – why not?

Poudre Wilderness Volunteers

I am learning about so many different pony related tasks in Jenifer Morrissey’s book, the Partnered Pony! The most recent reference that I just had to look up was to the Poudre Wilderness Horse Patrol. A search online lead me to the Poudre Wilderness Volunteers website.

Poudre Wilderness Volunteers - Would you mix your Love of Trail Riding with Volunteer Work?

Poudre Wilderness Volunteers – Would you mix your Love of Trail Riding with Volunteer Work?

If you’re trying to build up your resume – why not consider a volunteer position that affords you the chance to do something with horses, too?

This particular opportunity is for those who can get to an area in the Northern Colorado Wilderness. If you’re a fan of hiking (or horse riding!) the trails, then it is possible to become a Poudre Wilderness Volunteer. Potential members are recruited throughout the year, with the application process closing at the end of March. Mandatory training for new members is carried out in May. Many members actively patrol the trails, but volunteers are also sought in the areas of fundraising, committee work, website development and maintenance, and office support.

Poudre Wilderness Volunteers

Of course, if you want to be able to do something that relates to the trail and horses, then patrolling of trails would be the way to go. Poudre Wilderness Volunteers range from 18 – 80, according to the PWV website. They boast a broad spectrum of professions, knowledge and skills. It states on their site:

“What we have in common is our love for the wilderness and a dedication to learning and teaching Leave-No-Trace principles. We make a commitment to “hike and ride with a purpose” at least six days during the summer months. We wear a uniform shirt and name badge and serve by assisting and educating the public and protecting and conserving the resource. Other tasks that we perform while hiking: keep records and report observations and violations to the USFS; report sign and other trail-safety issues; deal with illegal/improper campsites, fire rings, and trash; report downed trees blocking trails (if can’t remove by ourselves) and noxious weed infestations; perform minor trail maintenance; and make new friends, get some exercise, and visit beautiful places.”

Alongside the positions being volunteer-based, those participating also cover the cost of their own travel, supply their own equipment and horses. There are those volunteers who go out for a day at a time, whilst others do extended stock packing patrols in the high country. If this type of volunteer work appeals to you, check out their website!



Free Riding with Alycia Burton

The joys of the internet means that you can become known for your horse passion – without even meaning to! This was the case for free rider, Alycia Burton. She promotes riding horses without saddles or bridles – free riding – and even jumps her horse Goldrush like this.

Free Riding

Free Riding - would you Ride without a Saddle and Bridle?

Free Riding – would you Ride without a Saddle and Bridle?

Do you dream of riding your horse capably without a saddle and bridle? Alycia’s claim to fame came from a photo and then video shown online of her free riding her gelding. Now she has DVDs and does riding tours, promoting her way of riding.

Although she does use tack judging by some photos on her site, her passion is promoting riding without the aids of a saddle and bridle. And it seems that with her horse she is able to soar over some decent sized jumps.  All of this she does on her pinto gelding Goldrush – without the help of a saddle or bridle!

There is a shop on her website to sell related resources.  It seems that sponsors also help to get her message around. This shows that if you have skills and a passion for a particular area of the horse industry, you can promote this.  And you can even have it support you financially.

Products in her store include ‘tack’ that she uses to ride with, clothing, training DVDs in hard copy and online streaming, and tickets to her shows. In fact, she is doing an Australian tour, soon! For this 28 year old New Zealand woman, it looks like she’s doing a great job of getting to follow her passion and promote it as a possibility to others.

“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

Garrocha – a Horse Discipline

There are a number of different disciplines related to horses that are known to many around the world. Consider the likes of dressage, show jumping, cross country, racing, western disciplines and polo and polocrosse. I recently stumbled across one that I hadn’t heard of before – garrocha.

It was whilst reading the Outback Equines website, that I discovered they offered lessons in garrocha. I was intrigued!

As it turns out:

The Garrocha is a lance or pole, it comes in different lengths depending on what it is being used for. Centuries ago it was used as a weapon during the wars. In Spain it is used by the vaquero (cowboys) on farms to move cattle around rather than roping and to help bring stock in. It is used to keep the bulls off the horses while riding around the pastures stock checks.

It is also a competition where two men on horseback chase a bull and the rider with the Garrocha needs to get the bull with a single clean knock-over, as marks will be lost if more than one attempt is made.

You can read more about it here.

Garrocha as a Career

What Discipline do you Love on Horseback?  Garrocha is one!

What Discipline do you Love on Horseback? Garrocha is one!

There are two common ways to earn money relating to a particular horse riding discipline if you’re keen to turn it into a career. The first is to go professional. Often this requires a deep commitment of time and money. Many horse riding sports require one or more mounts as well as entry fees and special riding gear.

The second option is to teach. Once you’ve experienced a sport – and even found success with it – then you are in a position to enlighten others. You can charge a fee as you teach them about the riding discipline, it’s rules and how to do it effectively.

If you want a horse riding career, then consider the varying disciplines that are out there. You may first gain a career through riding and competing in that particular discipline. This can be followed up by teaching others to do the same thing in future years. Garrocha is one such possibility!

“There is no better place to heal a broken heart than on the back of a horse.” ― Missy Lyons

Equine Stunt Trick Rider

I am currently reading Love, Sweat and Tears by Zelie Bullen.  This woman has had an incredible life as an animal trainer, horse rider, stunt rider and fill in, in many movies.  She often found work as an equine stunt trick rider.

I hadn’t considered the possibility as a horse rider, to be someone who doubles in films and helps out with trick riding.  But it is indeed possible!  Perhaps you have a passion for horse riding and want to consider avenues in which you can earn income.

Have you considered stunt riding or trick riding of horses?  It may be worth looking into!  It seems to be a job that would have you consistently travelling and learning new things.  But best of all, you would be riding many different horses, doing many different things!

Equine Stunt Trick Rider: can you Ride with or Without a Saddle?

Equine Stunt Trick Rider: can you Ride with or Without a Saddle?

Zelie’s book details her trips to Africa, France, around Australia and in the United States.  Her skill as a rider had her in demand around the world but as a casual job, she indicated that she didn’t know where her next lot of work (or pay) was going to come from.  It sounds incredible, but not reliable as a financial source.

If you plan to make a career horse riding, be mindful of the possible need to:

  • travel
  • accept many different employers
  • be able to ride many different breeds and types of horses
  • learn a different language
  • ride in different types of gear, or without any saddle on a horse

Have you considered a career riding horses?  You may also like to think about event riding or track riding.  There are many opportunities to ride horses and earn a living.

“A good rider can hear his horse speak to him. A great rider can hear his horse whisper.” – Author Unknown

Profile On: Brandon Phillips, Polo Player

Professional polo player Brandon Phillips has kindly taken the time to answer some questions about his career.  Thinking of a horse riding career?  Perhaps polo is worth considering!

How much of your day/week is related to horses?
Pretty much every day is related to the horses. Some days are a little “lighter” then others, but it is safe to say that every day of every year is related to the horses somehow. It’s a complete lifestyle…

What is it exactly that you do?
Days can consist of riding, practicing, games, or just being at the barn organizing the next day’s activities, talking with the grooms, going over plans for each horse.  Also a big part of our job is the buying and selling of horses.  So I’m constantly looking for horses for certain clients as well as looking for myself. Always trying to find that “diamond in the rough”.

Brandon Phillips, Professional Polo Player.

Brandon Phillips, Professional Polo Player.

In this field of work, is it possible to be a full time professional and earning a liveable income?
I have been a full time professional polo player for 21 years. So yes, its very possible to make a livable income.

What are the general steps taken to be employed in such a role?
Simple, to be a successful polo professional you need to be very good. You need to be in the top 1% in each handicap level to be successful . There is no written rule, but like anything, the better you are the more success you will have.

Favourite horse memory?
The best memories are when any of my horses win a best playing pony award for a tournament. For any of them to be recognized as being the best preforming horse is a great accomplishment for both myself and my grooms.

Future goals?
My future goals are simple. Keep improving. The sport gets tougher every year with regards to stronger competition, better horses, faster pace.  The sport is advancing rapidly; if you don’t keep improving and growing with the sport then you will get left behind.

Best thing about your sport/profession?
Easy question! Best thing about this sport is being with horses every day!

“A stubborn horse walks behind you, an impatient horse walks in front of you, but a noble companion walks beside you.” – Author Unknown

Olivia Inglis Eventing Scholarship

If you’re up to date on equestrian news in Australia, you will have heard about the tragic death of Olivia Inglis.  This occurred whilst she was eventing recently at a competition in New South Wales.

Want a career riding horses – specifically eventing?  This new scholarship in Australia may be just what you’re looking for.  In memory of Olivia’s life and riding career, a scholarship has been established to help future eventers realise their dreams.

The Olivia Inglis Eventing Scholarship will provide emerging riders with funding to support their training and competition…

At the Awards Night, Blair Richardson, President of Scone Horse Trials said:
“We are delighted that Equestrian NSW in conjunction with the Australian Sports Foundation will administer this fund.  The scholarship will be awarded… to help young riders in the sport of Eventing. These riders can use the funding to obtain extra lessons, or schooling, to help them in their career over the coming years.”

Olivia Inglis Carries a Surname that is Well Known for those in the Thoroughbred Sale World in Australia

The Inglis Name is Well Known in the Thoroughbred Industry in Australia

The idea of the memorial fund scholarship is to provide finances that will achieve:

  • the opportunity to honour a life that was ended too quickly
  • easing the pain that is felt from the loss of Olivia Inglis’ life
  • bringing about something good from the loss
  • helping to finance the next generation of Australian’s who go on to be Olympic level riders

Do you have a passion for eventing?  Do you want to pursue it as a horse riding career?  This may be a scholarship worth keeping an eye on!  Especially if you’re Australia based.

Eventing can be a difficult sport to get into.  Consider the cost of a good horse, horse care and riding lessons.  Gaining funds through a scholarship can make the difference for establishing riders.

For those who are interested in donating to the fund, they can do so via this link.  Donations are tax deductible.

“In riding a horse, we borrow freedom.” – Helen Thompson

Worldwide Horse Riding Holidays

I’ve found another one!  I am sure there are many out there, but it’s lovely to find another business that focuses on providing horse riding holidays around the world for the equine enthusiast!

Equus Journeys (love the look of their site!!) provide details on horse riding holidays that are:

  • centre based
  • safaris
  • trail rides
  • pack trips
  • instruction
  • ranches and cattle drives

Depending on your experience, your desire to learn and do something different, it seems they cater to all types of holidays!  All look incredible to me!

Where would you ride if you could go anywhere?

“I’ve spent most of my life riding horses. The rest I’ve just wasted.” – Author Unknown

Horseback Winery Tours

3 Hour Ride with Horseback Winery Tours

Is there anything you can’t do or anywhere you can’t go on horseback?  I’m sure there is, but these guys offer a great chance to explore and dine with their horse business!

Horseback provide winery tours, equine education and fun for the kids.  It says on their site:

Welcome to Horseback Winery Tours where unique equine experience blends with the best produce the Mornington Peninsula has to offer.
Take one of our two, three or all day Horseback Winery Tours throughout the Mornington Peninsula Hinterland and drop into some of Australia’s finest wineries for vino tastings or a gourmet indulgence.

Perhaps you’re interested in running a horse business where people get to ride, but it has a niche twist to it? Horseback Winery Tours are an example of one such possibility.

“No hour of life is wasted that is spent in the saddle.” – Winston Churchill

Profile On: Brooke Purcell, Pony Magazine Australia

Brooke Purcell

How much of your day/week is related to horses?
Most of it! I feed and exercise the horses at work in the mornings, treadmilling, swimming or saddling them up, then I am either working my own horse and/or chasing or writing stories for the magazine during the day, and then back to work to feed up again in the afternoon!

And if I’m not with horses, you can guarantee I’m still thinking about them.

What is it exactly that you do?
I work with Endurance Arabians as my ‘main’ job; feeding, exercising, health care, pre-ride care etc. I have always loved the Arabian breed, so it is like my dream job, they are unsurpassed in their intelligence and just such a joy to work with! Previously I’ve worked in racing stables and establishments and have to say that the horses are like chalk and cheese, such difference in intelligence and personalities.

My background in racing and my marketing experience through my magazine have also landed me another position managing the marketing and public relations side of a new company, Colts and Fillies Labour Hire which deals with employment in the racing and stud industries.

On top of this I also produce a magazine, Pony Magazine Australia. I have been freelance writing for a number of equine publications all over the world for over ten years and it has been a long-time ambition of mine to start up a magazine that catered for the pony industry, where breeders and owners could promote their ponies as performance animals.

Some Covers of Pony Magazine Australia

Self-publishing has meant that the magazine is very much my own work, I have full control over what is in there. It has also meant a huge amount of work on my part, as I do everything myself from sourcing the articles, interviewing, researching and writing, to advert design and general layout design. It has been a steep learning curve, my qualifications and background in writing made writing and researching the articles relatively easy, however the design and marketing side of it all was something quite new and somewhat of a challenge!

Mastering all of the various software, getting people involved in the magazine (everyone loves to read them but it’s much harder to get them actively involved), and also producing an entire magazine by yourself within a few months are some of the challenges I have faced.

Brooke Riding

In this field of work, is it possible to be a full time professional and earning a liveable income?
The endurance industry is quite an active one, I am sure there are plenty of jobs in endurance. Some are probably seasonal, but the horses need to be cared for twelve months of the year, and it is quite a long road getting a horse to a ride. It doesn’t take months like racehorses, it takes years to leg them up and ensure that their bodies are properly prepared for the tracks, which can be over quite challenging terrain. They are like the marathon runners of the horse world.

As for writing in the equine industry, as a professional I believe it would be relatively hard to make a living as a freelancer, with the exception of specialising in the racing industry. Most of my writing was done on a volunteer basis. There is the option of trying to get a staff job in some of the bigger equine magazines, and I also did find that some of the overseas magazines paid quite well, but to make a living as a freelancer it would be of benefit to also branch out into other areas, I believe. As for self-publishing, it is a huge amount of work, but highly rewarding!! I don’t believe that it is for all people, but if you are motivated, disciplined and dedicated, and have a passion for something, it is worth having a go at.

What are the general steps taken to be employed in such a role?
As with any job working with horses, passion goes a long way! There are early mornings, it can be messy work, in some instances there is a lot of poop scooping, not all performance horses are a joy to work with (anybody who has had to deal with a sour racehorse will vouch for this), you really need to love the animals and love your job. Most people will start at the bottom, mucking boxes, sweeping, filling waters, etc. but be patient, horses are large animals and can be unpredictable and dangerous. If you aspire to work with performance horses but have no experience, perhaps volunteer at a local riding school where the horses are generally quieter, they are chosen for their ability to deal with beginners. Learn all you can, read, study etc.

With writing, obviously it helps to have a good understanding of the English language. Read a lot, you will find that it helps, also write a lot, practice, practice, practice. You will find the more you write the easier it generally gets. There are plenty of courses on writing and journalism, I would highly recommend completing one of these, there is so much to learn, not only about the writing and researching side, but also about getting published and the legal side of things. Offer to volunteer your services to get your name out there and published, this can help a great deal, plus some editors are fantastic and will offer you plenty of advice!

Favourite horse memory?
I have lots, most of them involve my second pony Jemma (Willawick Celebrity). Our first gymkhana together was pretty memorable, we placed in all our classes which was a big achievement. Also our first show jumping round, which was at the Zone Championships, we flew around the course. She loved to jump and was such a handy pony. She taught me so much, she was not always the easiest horse to ride but this made me learn a lot! Also when I first laid eyes on my first pony Comet, I fell in love instantly! That love was often challenged, he was so naughty and I fell off so many times, but I always got back on again. I have very fond memories of doing stockwork with my dad on the ponies, mine were never as well behaved as his but it was a lot of fun.

Future goals?
I plan to keep going with the magazine, getting bigger and better as I learn more. I’d love to become more involved in the industry, sponsoring a few shows and perhaps a few ponies and riders. I’m hoping to eventually print. I’m currently looking at printing an annual each year, the costs are the main hurdle at the moment as I self-fund the whole magazine and not printing decreases the overheads by a huge amount.

I’d love to also self-publish a few books, I have a few in the pipeline at the moment. As for my horse-related goals, I would love to get back into competing again! I’ve done a few shows and competitions over the last few years but I’d like to get my horse out more. He’s an absolutely gorgeous pure Arabian named Besure with the most charming nature, but he can be a difficult ride at times.

Best thing about your sport/profession?
The horses of course! Their loyalty and intelligence, just getting to spend time with them every day. I absolutely love working with Arabians for their responsiveness, they are so light to handle and so smart (this can work against you on the odd occasion though).

With the writing, I have been lucky enough to interview a few of the big personalities in both the Arabian and pony worlds, which has been great! I love talking to people about their beautiful horses and ponies.

“Who among us has not as a child asked Santa Claus to bring us a pony on Christmas day?” – Author unknown

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