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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.

Profile On: Erin McElwee, Facilities Administrative Manager, MJC

Erin McElwee

Erin McElwee

Erin McElwee is the Facilities Administrative Manager at the Maryland Jockey Club, home of the 143rd Preakness Stakes!  She has kindly taken the time to answer some questions about what she does!

How much of your day/week is related to horses?
100%. I am based at Laurel Park in Laurel, Maryland and we offer live racing three days a week and simulcast all week long. Our sister properties in Maryland include Pimlico, Rosecroft, and five Off -Track Betting locations.

What is it exactly that you do?
This is a great question because I am approaching my third month in this position. Every day is a new adventure and I am continually discovering new aspects of my job. My main responsibility is to assist Rick Allen, Vice President of Facilities and Backside Operations for the Maryland Jockey Club and the divisions he oversees.

I supply the administrative backing for capital projects, assist with preparations concerning our department for the Preakness Stakes, procurement, and fiscal reports. I supply logistical support for the building, turf, track, mechanics, and backside crews regarding projects and renovations.

The Maryland Jockey Club

The Maryland Jockey Club

In this field of work, is it possible to be a full time professional and earning livable income?
Absolutely. I am very blessed to work for the Maryland Jockey Club owned by the Stronach Group who have an incredible commitment to this industry and all of their employees. They recognize the passion and hard work it takes to run operations this big and their support exceeds industry standards.

What are the general steps taken to be employed in such a role?
This is the entertainment industry and there are an incredible amount of moving parts.  Having a passion and understanding for the thoroughbred horse racing industry is definitely a plus. When you do something you love it always works out one way or another. I landed here with a little bit of luck and a lot of love for these horses.

Erin McElwee, Maryland Jockey Club

Erin McElwee, Maryland Jockey Club

Favorite horse memory?
When I first started owning racehorses in 2009 I was very lucky to be supported by my family. As a 29 year old this was a gigantic financial commitment and risk.  To save on hauling costs, I bought a truck and trailer for when they would run at tracks other than Penn National. I had a stallion named Special Union who was on the smaller side but had a big heart. I would load him on the trailer after training and take him to my grandmother’s house. He would stand in the front yard eating grass and all the neighbors would come visit with him. It made me so proud to see the joy he brought my grandmother and the children.

Future goals?
Professionally: I recently moved from Pennsylvania where I was born to follow my dreams here in Maryland. Since I was a young girl I have had a one track mind to make a substantial contribution, improve, and market the various aspects of horse racing. I work one day at a time preparing myself to hopefully be a President or CEO at a racetrack in the future.
Personally: I dream about owning a horse that has the opportunity to run in a Stake Race. I came close but this is something I keep my fingers crossed for every time I claim.

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.

Profile On: Linda Finstad, Equine Photographer, Author and Educator

Interested in becoming a horse photographer, author of horse books or educator of equine things? Find out how Linda Finstad combines the three to make a career!

Linda Finstad, Equine Photographer, Author and Educator

Linda Finstad, Equine Photographer, Author and Educator

How much of your day/week is related to horses?
I have made a good living as a ‘Horse watcher’ for the past 20 years. I am the official show photographer every weekend from April – Oct. Writing books came from a desire to share what I had learned over the years.  To be honest it is also a good excuse to cozy up to the computer during the cold winter months.

What is it exactly that you do?
As far as job description goes it is a little tricky because my income comes from a variety of sources, which means life is never boring.  I am:

  1. An equine photographer.  I work as the official show photographer at horse shows and events every weekend from April – Oct plus work with private clients and their horses. Show photography is my bread and butter however my fine art photography is the jam.  It is also probably what I am best known for.
  2. An author of horse related books.  I have published 7 books so far and there are at least two more itching to get out.
  3. Also an Educator.  I teach classes and workshops on equine behaviour and communication. This is an area I try to encourage other riding instructors to add to their lesson programs. I have developed easy to follow materials (lesson plans and discover cards) to help them expand their businesses.

I know that sounds a lot and kind of diverse but in reality they are all intertwined, and dependant on being an expert in “Horse Watching” which is something that everyone with an interest in horses can learn – I offer a variety of workshops that help you develop all of these skills.

Linda Finstad, Equine Photographer, Author and Educator

Linda Finstad, Equine Photographer, Author and Educator

In this field of work, is it possible to be a full time professional and earning a liveable income?
I feel extremely blessed to earn a (good) living doing what I love. I really do not consider myself to be anything special – anyone with a passion for horses can do what I do and make a good living having fun.

What are the general steps taken to be employed in such a role?
Like anything you need the educational background on which to build your business. I am a British horse society instructor; this formal training gave me my equine knowledge.

I also studied photography in college for a year to learn the technical skills needed to produce quality images. Writing books came from a desire to share what I had learned over the years.

Teaching equine behaviour is very liberating and also seemed a natural progression from teaching horse riding. Mainly because the study of equine behaviour has nothing to do with equine disciplines or specific breeds. The focus is purely on the horse and how he naturally interacts with both other horses and humans.

Favourite horse memory?
It’s hard to think of just one favourite horse memory.  I guess it should be of my very first pony – a Welsh Cob called Peggy who taught me not only to ride but also a lot about humility and perseverance. But it was that feisty pony that started my addiction to horses.

Future goals?
My burning desire is to unravel the mysteries of Equine Body Language – this is a project I have been working on (conducting field research and experiments) for the past 3 years, and finally I have the break through needed to move forward and make progress. The book is scheduled for release April 2018. This work has been the most challenging yet the most rewarding research of my entire career.

Once the book is released, the goal is to develop talks and mini workshops that I can share with pony clubs and 4H groups to encourage the next generation of horsemen and women to have more empathy and understanding of the horses they ride.

Best thing about your sport/profession?
The obvious answer is, I get to work with horses.  But the truthful answer is, that I create the life I want to live, I book horse shows that I want to attend.  I also meet some amazing horsemen and women as I travel the country doing field research for books. But the best part is I get to share my knowledge and experiences with other like minded “horse lovers” in workshops and classes. There is no “bad day at the office” the worst thing that ever happens is that we get rained out at a horse show.

Profile On: Sara Mariah, Writing Dressage

Equus Education has had a few chances to guest post over at Writing Dressage.  Today Sara Mariah of Writing Dressage has taken the time to answer some questions about what she does.

Writing Dressage Logo

Writing Dressage Logo

How much of your day/week is related to horses?
Not as much as I’d like, unfortunately. I still work part-time at a department store (not ideal), but when I get off, I get to work on my sites. Half the time, when I’m at work, I’m still thinking about my sites and working on fleshing out various ideas while I’m folding tables full of clothes. I’m working on making enough money on my blogs to quit the department store job completely and go back to riding.

What is it exactly that you do?
On my business blog, Writing Dressage, I offer coaching packages for new and struggling equine entrepreneurs, as well as a selection of coaching packages for aspiring professionals.

Some of my business packages discuss developing various parts of a business, like the business plan, marketing plan, and financial goals, while others have specific purposes, like reviewing a business’s online presence or helping someone rebrand their business. I also have a few fully customizable packages available.

My packages for aspiring professionals focus mostly on developing resumes, job applications, and scholarship applications.

Stall 17, Sara Mariah

Stall 17, Sara Mariah

Currently, I’m also nearing the launch for a new business, an online boutique selling apparel and gifts for equestrians called Stall 17.

In this field of work, is it possible to be a full time professional and earn a liveable income?
I’m sure it is, but I’m not at that stage yet. I just launched my services about two months ago and I’m still working through a handful of services I’ve given away as part of the launch.

What are the general steps taken to be employed in such a role?
Know business. Like, really, really know it. I went to college to study equine business management, and after realizing that, while helpful, the degree I sought was lacking in many areas, I continued reading and researching and teaching myself using the medley of resources available thanks to the Internet, all with the primary intention of starting my own product-based business. After that, I spent a few years helping out friends in the horse industry with their various businesses, learned A LOT more, helped improve their businesses, and realized there was a market for this sort of thing. (It also helps that I have a serious mind for business plus a creative streak a mile wide.)

Sara of Writing Dressage and her Horse Sunny

Sara of Writing Dressage and her Horse Sunny

Favorite horse memory?
Literally any show I ever took Sunny to. He was always such a gentleman. He minded his manners perfectly, always picked up the correct leads, put on his happy face, and we kicked butt. (Except that time we had to walk past the cattle pen at the 4-H state show… That was bad.)

Future goals?
Diversify my business ventures so that I’m not relying on any one income stream. Do some business coaching, speak at events, make and sell quirky equestrian apparel and gifts, branch out into breeches and show clothes eventually, and be able to offer scholarships for college and for showing.

Sara (right) and Sunny, Writing Dressage

Sara (right) and Sunny, Writing Dressage

Sponsor riders. Travel a bit. Ride horses on the beach and across the African savanna and the Egyptian desert. Have a nice upper level dressage horse (or two) that I can show. Try jousting and polo and maybe reining again. Maybe start an equestrian entertainment company and publish books, maybe a magazine, and who knows what else. I don’t know. Just do what makes me happy.

Best thing about your sport/profession?
I get to do what I love and I get to share it with people who are just as passionate about it as I am.

Profile On: Nathan Harvey, Para Equestrian

Para Equestrian Nathan Harvey was kind enough to answer some questions about his love of horses and his riding career.  Read on!

How much of your day/week is related to horses?
Every day I am with my horses. They are a full time job because I also go to farms and Horse Studs to volunteer my labor in return for a contribution to my fund-raising to compete to Boneo Spring Championships. After my volunteer work, I come home to work both my competition horses, I spend a lot of time with my horses besides riding, and I love hugging them both in their paddock. Dom and Flip have very loving personalities.

Para Equestrian Nathan Harvey Riding Kiteroa Dominic

Para Equestrian Nathan Harvey Riding Kiteroa Dominic

What is it exactly that you do?
I ride both Open Official competition Dressage as well as Para equestrian Dressage which is much more difficult – I am Grade V which is equivalent to Elementary Medium movements.

I love riding Open official, I don’t feel disabled, my horses are my eyes, I train in an arena all the time so I memorize every inch. My Mum calls the test in a way so I know when the next movement and letter is coming up. I just love the sport and I love my horses.

In this field of work, is it possible to be a full time professional and earning a liveable income?
Eventually I want to make an income from what I love doing.  I stick pretty well to a horse, and have been taught from the best – Tor Van den berg – Tammy Stephenson – Sue Hearn – Brett Parbery – Sue Cunningham – Linda Treur – and my regular coach Nicole MaGoffin.

Para Equestrian Nathan Harvey Riding Aquabatic

Para Equestrian Nathan Harvey Riding Aquabatic

What are the general steps taken to be employed in such a role?
I want to train horses and I also want to become an Instructor. Up until now this was impossible because I could not see the work for the theory – now my eye-sight has deteriorated to B1.

Consequently, I now qualify for a grant to buy an Electric magnifying digital screen, this allows me to see the letters of a document and be able to do courses and may go to university. But nothing beats training and teaching.  This is what I want to do and like anything – if I work hard I will succeed.

Nathan Harvey Riding Kiteroa Dominic

Nathan Harvey Riding Kiteroa Dominic

Favourite horse memory?
My favorite horse memory is the Pony Club Camps when we were kids, I used to sneak to the stable with my sleeping bag and sleep with my horse. I loved jumping when I had sight – but most of all, now I don’t have sight I can feel so much more of what my horse is capable of and I know what they are thinking. I am achieving better results this year.

Future goals?
My goals are to achieve high scores in para Equestrian FEI tests, Open tests against able bodied riders.  I would also like to get my horses to Intermediate and ready for Big tours; that would be fabulous! My ultimate goal is to ride internationally for my beautiful country. I have an 8 year plan.

Best thing about your sport/profession?
The best thing about my sport and profession is the support from my sponsors: Kieffer, Noble Outfitters Australia, Peter Williams Riding Apparel, ShowStoppers Equestrian Apparel, Earlwood Equine, Prestige Horse Transport and Euro Horseware.

The best thing is having people wait for me at Dressage Events, I have met so many people who have disabilities that come especially to watch my horses and I perform. I have made lifelong friends.

Profile On: Henrietta Purvis, Purvis Feeds

Henrietta Purvis, of Purvis Feeds in New Zealand was kind enough to answer some questions about what she does.

How much of your day/week is related to horses?
Every day of my week is related to horses.

Henrietta Purvis of Purvis Feeds

Henrietta Purvis of Purvis Feeds

What is it exactly that you do?
My husband and I started Purvis Feeds Ltd in 2005 and we make lucerne (alfalfa) chaff which is primarily for the equestrian market. We supply the main retailers in the south island of New Zealand.  We grow our own lucerne and also buy in from Central Otago which has an amazing climate for growing premium quality lucerne.

In this field of work, is it possible to be a full time professional and earning a liveable income?
Year on year our business has grown. My husband also pregnancy scans sheep, cattle and deer and as sales of chaff increase, he downsizes the amount of scanning he does.

What are the general steps taken to be employed in such a role?
We are passionate about our product and are always looking at ways to keep up to date with the new innovations in Europe/Australia/Canada.

Henrietta Purvis of Purvis Feeds

Henrietta Purvis of Purvis Feeds

Favourite horse memory?
We own 3 Quarter Horses and compete in rodeos countrywide. My husband is a team roper and I barrel race.  I have consistently been in the top 4 during the past 10 seasons. My favourite horse memory was winning 5 barrel races in 5 days!

Future goals?
Our aim is to grow our feed business further and maybe look at cutting other products such as Timothy grass and Oats. We employ one man on average 2 days a week to help with packing and tractor duties.

Best thing about your sport/profession?
It is awesome to be able to go to rodeos and see bags of Purvis Lucerne Chaff in competitors’ trucks.  This is also a great way of keeping in touch with our customers.

Profile On: Julia Dixon, Saddle Fit Technician

How much of your day/week is related to horses?
The awesome thing about this question is there is rarely a day that goes by let alone a week that isn’t related to horses in one way or another. I can be on the road working as a Certified Saddle fit Technician for Schleese Saddlery from early mornings till late at night.  Still somehow I end up at the barn where I board my horse even if it is just for a quick brush or ride.

Julia Dixon, Saddle Fit Technician

Julia Dixon, Saddle Fit Technician

I am also a Registered Equine Massage Therapist.  When I am not fitting saddles or with my own horse, I might just be found at another barn treating a horse.

What is it exactly that you do?
Being a Certified Saddle Fit Technician, my role is creating the optimal saddle fit for horse and also rider. So there are certain territories that I travel along with a client success manager.  In Ontario I take on both those roles. I am responsible for booking all my appointments in Ontario and servicing the saddles.  Some are refitting existing saddles or helping new clients find the right saddle for their horse(s) and themselves. I spend most of my time on the road travelling from barn to barn.  I also work trade shows and do lectures in barns. The lectures are on the areas where a saddle should sit and also where it needs to stay clear from to allow for optimal long term riding to prevent any long term damage.

In this field of work, is it possible to be a full time professional and earning a liveable income?
This has most definitely become my full time profession. I would say “yes” you can earn a liveable income.  It is just like anything, the more you put in well of course you can see the more comes out!  My response to this question as it is the same for Alexa and myself, is the same answer.

Julia Dixon, Saddle Fit Technician

Julia Dixon, Saddle Fit Technician

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.  This is from introductory seminars to intensive courses for those interested in learning more about pain free saddle fit.

Favourite horse memory?
When the Obrigado model came out and I was able to take it for a test ride.  I can’t really put into words what the feeling was like, I will try though… It is like that feeling when you just become one with your horse. With the shorter pommel sitting over the horse’s strongest point of their back lets you feel like you can lift them up so lightly with every stride and just float.

I feel blessed to have a technical feeling when it comes to saddle fit. Horses can feel a fly land on their skin.  So when I can make what might feel like a small adjustment, to them it feels so big. I have such a large box of great memories.  Especially during every saddle fit appointment when you can see that horse moves more free, taking that bigger stride, and the rider saying the “shoulders feel so much freer” just makes my day!

Julia Dixon, Saddle Fit Technician

Julia Dixon, Saddle Fit Technician

Future goals?
I am always looking for ways to better myself and learn ways to help horses. My goals are to help as many people suffering with lower back pain, something I have had in the past.  Knowing what I know about how saddles can help with that, drives me to help anyone that has maybe stopped ridding and could possibly ride again. Which in turn follows our saddle fit 4 life in protecting as many horses and riders from long term damage as possible 🙂

Best thing about your sport/profession?
Working with the horses and people I get to. Most people may think “horse people” are sort of their own breed.  They may not be far off, but I wouldn’t change for a minute to people I have met over the years.  And seeing their horses change in positive ways over the years.

Every time I measure a horse and get to go over the numbers with the owner is such an added bonus. Most times it shows how well the owner has ridden the horse.  And how positive the changes are and with that is its weight in gold. The smile on their faces, knowing how well all their hard work has paid off is just an awesome feeling.  I am so lucky I get to share that with them.

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.

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Profile On: Bob Bilger, Horse Trainer

Horse trainer Bob Bilger was kind enough to answer some questions about the work he does at Horse Training with Bilger.  You can find his answers below.

How much of your day/week is related to horses?
All of it, and many weekends as well.

What is it exactly that you do?
Education and truth about working with the horse and also how to quickly be respected and a leader by any horse.

Bob Bilger of Horse Training with Bilger

Bob Bilger of Horse Training with Bilger

In this field of work, is it possible to be a full time professional and earning a liveable income?
Yes, especially if you are an expert at what you do, a good listener and also a great teacher.

Bob Bilger, Horse Training with Bilger

Bob Bilger, Horse Training with Bilger

What are the general steps taken to be employed in such a role?
Apprentice with someone that is a true expert in their field. This is not something to be learned from our educational systems in place today.  Or from the Internet, CD’s, DVD’s, Etc..

Favorite horse memory?
Last ride in championship jackpot sorting cattle against the clock, 2 men, 10 cattle, 34 seconds start to finish, in order, to win the whole thing! Best part, was riding my favorite paint mare out of the pasture, bareback with spurs on and sand flying 🙂 !

Future goals?
STOP the USA Bureau of Land Management from removing, traumatizing, killing and stockpiling Wild Horses and Burro’s that Federal Laws were passed to protect!

Best thing about your sport/profession?
The rewards every day of working with a horse and also developing a true partnership that allows the horse to choose to respect the human as a leader.  This makes a safe and excellent learning experience for both!

“When I bestride him, I soar, I am a hawk: he trots the air; the earth sings when he touches it; the basest horn of his hoof is more musical than the pipe of Hermes. ” ― William Shakespeare

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