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Zoopharmacognosy and the Equine Species

Zoopharmacognosy and the Equine Species

Zoopharmacognosy and the Equine Species

So recently I’ve been made aware of the area of zoopharmacognosy. As with most things for this horse obsessed person, I got to thinking how it could relate to horses. Zoopharmacognosy and the equine species!

So what is this mouthful of a word? The section of the word pharm may have you thinking about pharmacies, pharmaceuticals and medication. Zoo relates to animals. Generally speaking, this term relates to animals self medicating on plants in their environment. They are able to choose to eat what they need to assist with particular maladies.

Like other animals, horses can do this if appropriate plants are available to them in their environment. Horses are typically seen as grazers – eating little and often in the form of grasses. They are also browsers and will eat various shrubs in their environment if these are palatable to them.

Zoopharmacognosy and the Equine Species

Equus Education has recently profiled Beth Chamberlin in this unique horse career area.  Why not read the profile to find out how she has turned equinepharmacognosy into a horse career?  As it states on her website:

‘Equinepharmacognosy is a hollistic approach to health and well being based on Applied Zoopharmacognosy.  The practice of animals self selecting plant extracts for environmental enrichment and homeostatic behaviour.  Unlock your horse’s innate ability by giving the choice to self select natural remedies.’

Reading how Beth offers horses the chance to choose between various herbal products, has me questioning if we can take this a step further.  What it we could put particular plants into our horses’ environment to allow them to eat these when needed?  I love the fact that as horse owners, we could potentially provide things in our horses’ environments to assist their health, naturally.

Surely we can specifically plant things, knowing that if a horse needs to ingest this plant, it can choose to do so!  Brilliant.  If not, being able to employ someone to provide various plant products to ailing horses so they can choose what they need is great.

A Chance to Come True (Copperhead Creek – Australian Romance #1) by S M Spencer

A Chance to Come True is the first book in the Copperhead Creek series.  In this, Caity Jones finds herself chasing a sea change. With a job that is stressful and unenjoyable and an ex-boyfriend who refused to commit to marriage and a family, Caity purchases a small acreage in country Australia and moves from her busy life in Werribee.

A Chance to Come True by S M Spencer

A Chance to Come True by S M Spencer

Willows is a tiny town, but it seems perfect for Caity. She can pursue her dream to write, have her horse on her property and enjoy the company of her cats. Dropping into the local feed store in preparation for her gelding’s arrival, she meets the owner Tom. The attraction is instant, but Caity isn’t sure it’s reciprocated. And besides, she moved to Willows to get away from men and to focus on writing.

In time Caity learns about Tom’s children and realises that he’s a married man. She strikes up an unlikely friendship with his eldest son, Porter and is soon giving him the chance to ride her horse Rocky. As Caity meets the rest of Tom’s children, she comes to develop a friendship with them and enjoys their company. Her interest in Tom doesn’t wane. In fact, it grows as she learns of his availability. It seems the attraction isn’t one-sided, also.

A Chance to Come True is an entertaining romance set in rural Australia. The characters are realistic and battling typical issues – insecurities about themselves and life. One aspect of the story I struggled with was Caity’s ex-boyfriend. At one point, his behaviour was incredibly inappropriate and it amazed me that she would allow him to leave without having to account for his actions. The topic of spousal abuse is touched on and I felt shouldn’t be left without police intervention. Otherwise the story is a nice romance with realistic issues in life.

Author – S M Spencer
Fiction – Adult
In my library – as an eBook it is.
Want it? Get it now on Amazon.

5 Horse Innovations You may not Know

Many people choose a career with horses because they have found a particular industry they would love to work in, or because they love any job that relates to horses! Others see a gap and are motivated to fill it. In come the entrepreneurs of horse inventions. Here are 5 horse innovations that you may not know about. I think they’re totally cool!

  1. Megasus Horserunners – Equus Education put together a post on this nifty looking horse shoe earlier in 2017. It was followed up with the opportunity to profile one of the people involved in this horse shoe campaign. Have a read!
  2. Most recently I was contacted about another initiative that was looking for funding backers. They were keen to know if I could put together a post. The Anitar RFID is another great horse innovation. It is a tool that reads microchips, can fit in your pocket and is even hooked up to the Norweigan Studbook for locals who purchase and use the chip reader.
  3. The Equilume is used on studs around the world as a tool to increase artificial daylight for mares in a bid to get them cycling earlier. This can lead to earlier conception and therefore earlier foals the following season!
  4. The Cornell Collar has been designed specifically for horses that have issues with soft palate displacement. There’s always room for more products that aid in horse management and welfare in my books!
  5. Now this one appealed to me greatly. The Eco Rocker, a sustainable rocking horse! Who wouldn’t be interested in that, seriously?
5 Horse Innovations You may not Know | Equus Education

5 Horse Innovations You may not Know | Equus Education

5 Horse Innovations You may not Know

So what do you think of these 5 horse innovations? Pretty cool, huh? What I love is that the above horse innovations cover the areas of sustainability and the environment as well as entertainment, horse welfare and horse management. I have no doubt there are many more great horse related products that will be created in the future. The question is, will you be one of the people to create them or to help provide finances for them to get off the ground? Think on it.

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.

Take the Reins by Shari Jaeger Goodwin

I was able to download this book for free in June and was interested to read another non-fiction book that had a horse focus. In Take the Reins 7 Secrets to Inspired Leadership, business coach Shari Jaeger Goodwin shares tips and processes to be a successful leader in business. She puts a unique spin on this in her Alpha Horse Leadership Training for HUMANS.

If you are familiar with the behavioural habits of horses, you may know that there is often an alpha horse or mare in a herd. This is the head horse that makes decisions about what is best for the herd’s survival. This horse needs to be sure of what they want and to display this to the rest of the group.

Take the Reins! 7 Secrets to Inspired Leadership by Shari Jaeger Goodwin

Take the Reins! 7 Secrets to Inspired Leadership by Shari Jaeger Goodwin

Likewise, humans who are in management or leadership roles need to be assertive about what is expected of their team. If they cannot lead with confidence, conflict and issues will arise; also the team will not meet its performance goals.

Shari uses workshops with a horse roaming free in an arena. Individuals or teams are then asked to complete a task – a small obstacle course – getting the horse to move through it. The catch is they have to do it together and they also cannot touch the horse. For the teams who are made up of individuals that know their respective roles and work together, the task is often successful. For those who are less sure or who don’t communicate effectively, they may struggle with the task.

Take the Reins!

Whether or not the task is completed successfully, team members are able to reflect and identify their weaknesses. This is key, as they can then address the areas that are causing them to fall short. In Take the Reins, Shari uses examples from her workshops.  This is combined with helpful points to guide the reader on how to better engage individuals, project what their goals are and also achieve personal and business goals. The book is an interesting and informative read.  It is sure to inspire many to go out there and achieve the goals they so desire in life.

Author – Shari Jaeger
Non Fiction – adults and management
In my library – electronically!
Want it? Get it now on Amazon.

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.

RFID Tag Reader by Anitar

Recently I was contacted by some people in Iceland about a new horse technology that is seeking funding through Kickstarter.  It is an RFID Tag Reader by Anitar.

You may have seen the post on Equus Education about Megasus Horserunners. It may also excite you to note that they well and truly reached the funds needed to get this venture off the ground.  Well here’s another project!

I love to learn about different horse technologies that have the power to improve horse care or make managing horses easier. It seems that the RFID (radio-frequency identification) animal tag reader by Anitar could be one such product!

Using the ANITAR RFID for Microchip Information

Using the ANITAR RFID for Microchip Information

The Icelandic startup, Anitar, just launched a Kickstarter to fund the first production run of a sleek, easy to use, RFID tag reader that fits right into your pocket.

As someone who has worked in the Australian thoroughbred industry, I am well and truly familiar with microchips in horses! At this point in time, I believe we still make use of colour, markings and brands to determine we have the right horse to breed, medicate or pregnancy test. But in time I know that will change as microchips become the main way to determine who a horse is.

Karl Mar Larusson, the founder of Anitar, says: “As dedicated riders, we keep a couple of horses at a farm nearby where they free range with horses of other owners. It’s not uncommon for people to confuse them. I wanted to have a solution to make sure anyone entering a stable has easy access to the microchip data: the idea for Anitar was born. Now, two and a half years later, we finally have a working prototype and are ready to go into production.”

The RFID Tag Reader by Anitar

So what can help to get this project off the ground? Firstly, 250 people who are willing to pre-order the Anitar tag reader. Apparently the device links directly between the animal in question and various databases. The WorldFengur Studbook is one such example. At the time of writing this post, just over $13,000 of an aimed $40,000 had been raised.

Note that this project will only be funded if it reaches the financial goal by Friday September 8th, AEST.

This device isn’t only for horse owners. It will be of benefit to breeders, vets, other horse professionals, farmers and even horse rescuers. Perhaps you’re interested in the idea of providing some funds to back this project? Head along to http://kck.st/2tj1N7P

You can pledge any amount you desire, but there are set figures that guarantee you something in return. Head along to the above link to find out more about this device and the development of it.

Team Up by Elizabeth Alexander

Recently I was contacted by Elizabeth Alexander to see if I would review a copy of her young adult equestrian fiction, Team Up. No surprises on my answer!

Team Up by Elizabeth Alexander

Team Up by Elizabeth Alexander

Team Up follows the lives of a group of young teenage show jumpers in Australia. Most of them ride because they love their horses, the thrill of jumping and being able to compete and challenge themselves. This is definitely the case for Hetta, JJ, Marcus and Theo. It could even be said of their close friends Chance and Ruby. However, Savannah’s motivations to ride appear to be from another world. Horses are all about prestige and blue ribbons.

This wouldn’t be an issue for the others.  Except of course that there is a limit to four people on the school’s show jumping team. And it seems that Savannah is determined to get on the team.  This is in spite of her lack of ability or a suitable mount.

The likelihood that she will succeed in qualifying is of no concern to the others.  Why should it when they’ve been on the winning team twice, qualified as the emergency rider or been on the second team representing their school. This year however, the rules have well and truly changed and Savannah’s determined to get her wish.

As the qualifying rules are changed and Savannah acquires a new mount, Hetta and JJ find some things don’t add up. When show horses start getting stolen and sold on to unsuspecting new owners, they find another mystery in the show jumping competition world. Team Up is a great look at teenagers working together for a common goal, dealing with bullying and learning to find the whole story. An added bonus is the authentic horse information as the story unfolds. The story has a wide cast of adults and teens and features horses heavily.

Author – Elizabeth Alexander
Fiction – young adults
In my library – as an eBook it is.
Want it? Get it now on Amazon.

 

The Girl and Her Pony by Angharad Thompson Rees

A heads up! Angharad Thompson Rees has a collection of six short stories for children that feature horses. The collection of tales from Magical Adventures & Pony tales will be free for download this month! Head along to Amazon on August 16th and 17th to acquire your free copy 🙂  Included in the six tales are The Painted Pony, The Girl and Her Pony, The Galloping Pony, The Runaway Pony, The Desert Pony and The Wooden Pony.

I have most recently read The Girl and Her Pony, which is the second tale in this collection. Young Franny is a poor labourer’s daughter. She delights in watching the royal procession as it parades through town. The horses are gorgeous – proud moving, shiny and sleek as they make their way past the commoners of the town.

The Girl and Her Pony by Angharad Thompson Rees

The Girl and Her Pony by Angharad Thompson Rees

One day Franny is out walking in a field with grass not much shorter than herself. Whilst out exploring, she stumbles across a pony running wild and free. Ever patient, Franny notices the pony’s timidity. She resolves to sit, waiting to see what the pony will do. In time – after a number of hours – the chestnut mare is standing before Franny, nuzzling her hair.

It is with delight that the young red headed girl runs home, knowing the day is at its end. Little does she realise that the red headed mare is following her.

Franny’s father desperately seeks the owner, knowing that as each day passes, the bond between his daughter and the beautiful pony strengthens. It is finally determined that the pony is of royal breeding, but was considered unrideable. In time however, the king’s daughter recognises the beautiful mare and Franny’s ease at riding her. She determines to have the pony for herself. It seems the King will not refuse her, either.

Franny is devastated to learn that her beloved mare Sonnet is to be renamed and rehomed – with the spoilt princess. When she learns the news, Franny races to the paddock where Sonnet is kept. She arrives in time to see the spoilt princess ordering the pony to be tacked up. But Franny has never ridden with a saddle or bridle! The ensuing battle between the proud young princess and the fiery chestnut mare results in the best possible outcome for all.

The Girl and Her Pony

The Girl and Her Pony is a delightful short tale for horse enthusiasts. It looks at the bond between a horse and their rider and how correct care and love can overrule prestige and money. A delightful read.

Author – Angharad Thompson Rees
Fiction – children
In my library – as an eBook it is.
Want it? Get it now on Amazon.

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.

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