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The Confident Rider Project

Recently I discovered this group on Facebook and thought I’d take a look.  It’s an online group that is set as a challenge for riders in the year 2018.  The Confident Rider Project is aimed to be an online community to help people ride their horses, boost their confidence and achieve more in life.

From Dressage Music to Confidence Coaching

As the creator of this project has stated:

“My business has evolved over the last 5 years, from my dressage schooling music; ‘The Musical Ride Company’. Which still exists and is designed to help riders in a variety of ways (fitness, something interesting to do on those dark winter nights and confidence building.) Now I have expanded to create a support group /community and website for horse lovers all over the world to help with confidence building and equestrian lifestyle.”

If you’re interested in taking part in this project, I encourage you to look at the website and if you’re up for some freebies, be sure to check out the free tools, guidance and resources.

Want to read specifically about the Confident Rider Project?  You can find out about this six month program here.  If you sign u

The Confident Rider Project for 2018 | Equus Education

The Confident Rider Project for 2018 | Equus Education

p via this post, you can get the first month free.  You can check out the Facebook page via https://www.facebook.com/confidenthorseriderproject/ and join the group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/theconfidentriderproject/.

If you’re someone who wants to boost their confidence in riding horses, whilst working with them and in life in general, then perhaps you’d like to check out the Confident Rider Project.  It seems like a great initiative for 2018.

“He’s of the colour of the nutmeg. And of the heat of the ginger…. he is pure air and fire; and the dull elements of earth and water never appear in him, but only in patient stillness while his rider mounts him; he is indeed a horse, and all other jades you may call beasts.” ― William Shakespeare

Rides that Way by Susan Ketchen

The fourth book that follows Born That Way by Susan Ketchen is Rides that Way.  The story sees fourteen year old Sylvia further developing as a teen.  As someone recently diagnosed with Turner Syndrome, Sylvia is struggling with the many things that make her different from others.  What she doesn’t seem to realise is that many of the things she is struggling with, other ‘normal’ teens are also struggling with.  She attributes a lot of what she is navigating in life to Turner Syndrome, when much of it is perfectly normal for a growing teen.

Rides that Way by Susan Ketchen | Equus Education

Rides that Way by Susan Ketchen | Equus Education

Sylvia finds her peace in riding her pony Brooklyn and is rapt to have taken him in her first one day event – and survived!  She is an unstoppable athlete.  Sylvia is also a young female who isn’t sure she wants to deal with developing into a woman.  Because of her syndrome, Sylvia needs to take oestrogen to further develop.  If she doesn’t, she will stay with a boyish figure.  As she watches people around her managing male attention and working out how to best present their figures, she is not sure it’s at all what she wants.

Then there’s Logan Losino.  He might be Sylvia’s favourite person but when she learns how he explains her syndrome to others, she questions if he is like everyone else.  Too many people seem to think she’s a freak and she’d rather just fly under the raidar.

Rides that Way has a lot to offer.  The book takes a look at family dynamics with some very humorous insights from young Sylvia.  Issues of peer pressure and unwanted attention by males is also covered.  From a horse point of view there’s lots of riding, caring for horses that are sick and considering what is best for the horse’s welfare.  Rides that Way is a unique and entertaining read.  Highly recommended.

Author – Susan Ketchen
Fiction – teens
In my library – it is as an eBook!
Want it? Get it now on Amazon.

Asana: a Free Planning Tool for Your Horse Business

I have recently been taking part in a Goals with Intention Challenge by Melyssa Griffin.  This is to help people plan out what they want to achieve in 2018.  And of course after the planning part, action needs to happen!  Melyssa promoted a free tool that she uses known as Asana.  And I got to thinking about Asana and how it could work as a free planning tool for your horse business.

Asana: a Free Planning Tool for Your Horse Business | Equus Education

Asana: a Free Planning Tool for Your Horse Business | Equus Education

So how does it work?  You create a free account and once this is done, you can get to work.  You’re able to create projects online and break these down into smaller tasks.  So how could this apply to the horse industry?

Let’s consider a yearling sales preparation.  The manager could create a project Melbourne Premier Yearling Sales, for example.  Then they could create individual tasks that need to be completed.  Some of these may be daily (feed horses, muck out stalls, exercise, groom).  Other tasks may be introduced throughout the preparation.  These might include lunging for the first time, introduce to being hosed and washed, teaching to parade for clients.

The great thing about Asana is that you can apply dates to each task so you know when they need to be complete by.  And of course you can mark them off as complete.  As a manager of a project, you can also assign particular people to carry out certain tasks.  So if you have tech savvy staff, they can mark things off at the end of the day that have been achieved.

Whatever your horse related project is, you could make use of Asana to map it out and mark it off.  You can also see your calendar of events and know what tasks need to be completed for each day.  And if one day is looking pretty hectic, you can reschedule some tasks or let staff know that you need to start earlier / work longer for that particular day.

If you’re a lists person, I encourage you to check out this project planner.  After all, it’s free.  What horse related projects for 2018 could you use Asana to help you plan, complete and mark off as achieved?

Save

Pony Up Daddy Saddles

How many of you as children rode around on your father’s back? Or perhaps as a parent you’ve played this game with your children? Well someone has gone and cashed in on the idea, creating the Pony Up Daddy Saddles. This is a unique horse related idea that I think many parents will appreciate. And to top it off, I am sure the kids will love the idea of Pony Up Daddy Saddles, too.

Pony Up Daddy Saddles | Equus Education

Pony Up Daddy Saddles | Equus Education

As it states on their website:

“Pony Up Daddy Saddles have revolutionized the living room pony ride. Anyone that has played the part of the pony knows how important a handle is for the child to hold onto. Without the Pony Up Daddy your child will be tugging on your shirt, your hair, ears, neck chains, or anything else they can get a hold of. These were the exact issues we faced when designing the first Pony Up Daddy for our own kids. We needed something other than “the pony” for the kids to hang onto. We set out to make an easy to use, durable, comfortable, high quality saddle that could take anything the children could throw at it. The Pony Up Daddy has been designed by parents for parents. We hope your family will enjoy our saddle as much as we have.”

Now these saddles that are designed to fit mums or dads come in a variety of colours and designs. There are solid colours of red, pink, blue or black. Or if you’re after a pattern, you can get one in camouflage or even leopard. If you head on over to their website, you can see photos and even videos to display the toy at work.

Now this is another unique idea that’s been turned into a saleable product. Do you have an idea that might benefit others that you can cash in on for 2018? Interested in one that generates passive income?  Consider looking at my Equine Passive Income Streams course that explores over 20 different avenues to bring in residual income relating to horses.

Star of Wild Horse Canyon by Clyde Robert Bulla

Star of Wild Horse Canyon is a short read for the young horse fan. It features lovely illustrations by Grace Paull to help readers picture what is happening in the story. Young Danny enjoys his life living as a cowboy on his parents ranch, Starlight Ranch.

It’s at the start of the book that Danny’s Uncle Mack plants a seed in Danny’s mind. The pony he rides – Ginger – is getting small for him. Danny is growing into a big boy and will soon outgrow his pony. When Uncle Mack talks of a herd of wild horses that are nearby and his plan to catch them, Danny’s ears perk up. He is rapt when he and his friend Judy are able to go along with his father and uncle.

Star of Wild Horse Canyon by Clyde Robert Bulla | Equus Education

Star of Wild Horse Canyon by Clyde Robert Bulla | Equus Education

Over time Danny helps to build a trap for the wild horses. He rides with the other men, helping to drive the horses toward the yard where they will be caught. Amongst the thirty or so wild horses one horse stands out to Danny.

He is a white, proud horse and Danny is eager to have him as his own. When he voices this desire to his father and uncle, both try to dissuade him. In the end Danny agrees that a wild horse isn’t for him, but he can’t forget about the horse he’s named Star.

A surprise from his Uncle Mack is something Danny is thankful for. When he finds Star as his own, he works hard to befriend the horse. In time he is able to break him in. But even after they’ve established a bond, Danny is distraught to find his horse missing one day. Although he searches high and low, he cannot find Star anywhere. Danny has no idea where to look and questions if he needs to give up the dream of owning the white horse he first viewed in a herd of wild horses. Star of Wild Horse Canyon is an imaginative read for the younger reader. It features horses heavily and has a great theme of doing what is right.

Author – Clyde Robert Bulla
Fiction – children
In my library – it is!
Want it? Get it now on Amazon.

5 Horse Passive Incomes to Consider

If you’ve been reading Equus Education for a bit, it will come as no surprise to you that I love the concept of passive income.  In short, the idea is that you have a product that you spend the time to create once, but it generates you income repeatedly.  So I thought I’d put together a post about 5 horse passive incomes to consider.  After all, who doesn’t want to be earning money that relates to horses?  And if it’ll keep earning you money without you having to do much work beyond creating it, isn’t that even better?

  • Horse books – this one might just be my favourite form of passive income. I am an equine author and I daily make money from my various books.  Yours could be short stories, aimed at children, aimed at adults or non fiction.  It doesn’t matter, as long as you know your content and can write!  When you create an eBook today they don’t even cost you in printing!  And you only ‘pay’ the platform you sell it on when you make a sale.  They get a percentage of your sale price and you get the rest as profit.  I am making money today from books that I published back in 2013.  Perfect!
  • Horse courses – this is again about content. Perhaps you’re brilliant at turning out horses for sale or show.  Maybe you know how to ride really well and establish a good riding position.  Maybe you’re passionate about horses businesses and can talk relevantly with business owners about how to budget and market.  Whatever your topic, you can turn it into a course and people can pay to undertake it at their own pace.  It’s similar to horse books; you find a platform like Udemy to sell it on and you take a percentage of the course cost when someone purchases.
    (On a side note: interested in 21 different passive income streams relating to horses?  Check out my Equine Passive Streams course!)
5 Horse Passive Incomes to Consider | Equus Education

5 Horse Passive Incomes to Consider | Equus Education

  • Grazing rites – now this one is for the person who has land and wants to make money relating to horses. You may know it as boarding, livery or agistment but I want to focus on the simplest form of someone paying for your land: grazing rites.  All they’re doing is paying to ‘lease’ a certain part of your land; they’re paying for their horses to eat your grass.  Chances are you’ll need to provide safe fencing, water and shelter but once this is sorted, the money comes in regularly by horses being on your land and owned by other people
  • Horse related podcasts – perhaps writing and video aren’t your thing, so you’re not too into the idea of books or video courses. But talking, that you can do!  Audio files can be created on particular topics and made available for people to utilise – at a fee.  It could even be a monthly subscription fee to your ‘channel’ and you add content as the months go on!
  • Equine educational resources – there are many people who teach varying forms of horses. They could be educators at a school, riding instructors or another form.  Often they’re happy to have resources that have already been created that fit in with their topic.  You can upload educational resources relating to horses.  People can then download as a digital product at a one off cost.  They can then use it for their classroom of 1 or of 30!  It’s up to them.  Again, I have many horse educational products that I have made over the years that still get purchased today.

Although I have considered just over 20 different passive income streams in my course that relate to horses, I am sure there are others that I am unaware of.  The rule of thumb is only that the product relates to horses!  And of course that you can sell it many times over.  If you want to build up income on the side with little input from you, consider setting up various horse passive income streams! 🙂

Saddle Fitting as a Horse Career

Today there is a vast majority of horses that are utilised for sport, recreation and competition.  Because of their value to humans, a lot of money is invested in keeping them fit and healthy.  This could be in the form of professionals who tend to their needs: physical and nutritional, for example.  It is also in the form of tools to ride and care for them.  Consider saddles, bridles, blankets, leg protection – the list goes on.  A saddle is a necessity for most forms of riding horses.  So too is being able to fit a saddle appropriately to individual horses.  Because of this, saddle fitting as a horse career I believe is a viable avenue for interested people to consider exploring.

For people who are wanting to make a career of horse riding, knowing that a saddle fits their horse well is imperative.  Many horse owners who ride recreationally also understand the importance of correct saddle fit.  And so a saddle fitter – often provided through the local saddlery – is utilised to make sure a saddle correctly fits the horse it is to be bought for.

Correct saddle fit helps to ascertain that the saddle is going to be comfortable on the horse.  It needs to not hinder any movement – shoulders are a big one!  It also needs to be balanced on the horse.  When a person is in the saddle, it is important too that there are no pressure points and that the rider is able to achieve a correct position.

As a horse develops in its riding career/training, its muscle tone will change.  Because of this, the need to have a saddle adjusted over time will be imperative.  In fact, Jochen Schleese of Saddlefit4life, states in his book Suffering in Silence that saddle fit should be assessed 2-3 times a year for young, developing horses.  He goes on to suggest an annual check for horses that are around 7 years of age.  Once horses reach 16 and beyond, checking 2-3 times a year again is recommended.

Saddle Fitting as a Horse Career

Saddle Fitting as a Horse Career | Equus Education

Saddle Fitting as a Horse Career | Equus Education

If horse owners adhere to these guidelines of a certified master saddler, then there is definitely scope for saddle fitters to develop this skill as a career.  They would need to know how to assess a saddle’s fit to the horse and rider.  They would also need to be able to make adjustments.  Often this can be done on sight.  It may involve adjusting the angle of a gullet or altering flocking/padding in a saddle.

As horse owners and riders work to make themselves better educated, saddle fitting as a horse career becomes a viable option to consistently work and bring in money.  Interested in this option?  Be sure to check out the Saddlefit4life website and do some research on the term saddle ergonomist.

Suffering in Silence by Jochen Schleese

A couple of months ago I was rapt to find a new book had been sent to me for review on Equus Education. It was Suffering in Silence by Jochen Schleese. This non fiction book looks in great depth at the link between saddle fit (or incorrect fit) and physical and psychological trauma in horses.

I need to claim a lot of ignorance in this area. My first horse was a beautiful gelding with a rather obvious sway back. I bought a starters pack for beginner riders that included a saddle, bridle and saddle pad for a couple of hundred dollars. Not surprisingly, the saddle didn’t fit! I spent a long time using various risers to try to ‘balance’ the saddle on my horse’s back. It wasn’t until a couple of years after having bought my horse that I was able to get a new saddle that was fitted to him.

Suffering in Silence by Jochen Schleese | Equus Education

Suffering in Silence by Jochen Schleese | Equus Education

On top of the sway back, he was also extremely overweight and had a very, very flat wither. The gullet plate was too narrow for Pride’s back and had to be remoulded to extra, extra wide! Twelve months after the saddle was fitted to him – and he’d lost a bit of weight! – I had it reflocked. That about sums up my efforts with regards to making sure my saddle fitted my horse. After reading Suffering in Silence I realise that I should have had the fit assessed more regularly and adjusted accordingly. I believe I would now be equipped to ask more questions and to even assess the appropriate fit myself!

Suffering in Silence is an informative, practical guide on the importance of correct saddle fit for horses – and their riders! It looks at the anatomical differences between males and females and how this affects our position in the saddle. Did you know there are saddles made specifically for women?

It also highlights various lameness issues, muscle atrophies and even behavioural issues that can all be attributed to poor saddle fit. The end result is the same: an unhappy horse.

Saddle fit is explored from the point of the horse – where it should be sitting and what it shouldn’t be touching. It is then considered from the point of the rider. This also details the differences between males and females, their leg lengths, pelvis angles and how they sit to achieve the correct shoulders, hip, heel plumbline.

This book has detailed chapters, accompanying diagrams and photos and references to research literature.  Suffering in Silence is a must read for all horse owners that ride. It would be of benefit to horse health care professionals, horse riders and instructors.  And in particular those who plan to make a living from saddle fitting and creation. If you’re interested in saddle fit as a career, be sure to check out SaddleFit4Life, created by Jochen Schleese. Suffering in Silence is a horse book worth adding to anyone’s collection. Just be sure to read it!

Author – Jochen Schleese
Non Fiction – saddle fit
In my library – definitely!
Want it? Get it now on Amazon.

Equine Research Projects

I recently had the opportunity to catch up with a friend whom I studied with at the Irish National Stud.  It’s hard to believe, but that was more than 10 years ago.  She now runs her own business Ethonova.  This French based business is involved in a lot of equine research projects related to equine welfare.

Claire talked with me of some of her current projects and there seemed to be a theme that caught my interest.  There are so many things we still don’t know about horses.  And there are many things we can do better or more efficiently.  Claire’s focus is on improving horse welfare.  She has clients who have product ideas to increase the ease with which horses are handled.  The focal point is often on improving welfare of the horse by decreasing stress in situations – such as with loading onto a dark, enclosed float/trailer.

Equine Research Projects | Equus Education

Equine Research Projects | Equus Education

Equine Research Projects

A lot of these projects need funding and support from universities so that the studies can be carried out.  Once a particular management aspect or product can be proven to improve results or a horse’s welfare, then funding can be sought to promote a particular product for sale and use within the industry.

Equine research projects can be a great way to gain backing and funding for a product idea that you may have.  Being able to work within an educational institution can help to ensure that the studies are carried out professionally.  Plus they are done in as short a timeframe as possible and you can gain funding to support the project.  If you have a research idea, it may be worth reaching out to your local equine institution.  See if you may be able to partner with them on an equine research project.

The Horse Dictionary

I am currently in the process of a collaborative project with some horse book authors.  Because we are from differing countries, we have varying terms that we use to describe horse related things.  Consider the grass area where you may house a horse – what do you call it?  A paddock?  Perhaps a field?  Maybe you keep them in pastures.  There are terms we may use that are unknown to readers of our information.  But what if there was a horse dictionary you could utilise to compare various horse terms?  Perhaps it could even identify a word such as paddock and then highlight what this may be known as in other countries.

The Horse Dictionary | Equus Education

The Horse Dictionary | Equus Education

The Horse Dictionary may need to be a collaborative project. This could be between people from the US, UK, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and other English speaking countries.  Or perhaps it could be created by one person. But they have access to people in varying countries that can undertake a survey.

When it comes to creating horse information for others to read, it is important that we are able to communicate it in such a way that people understand.  I am aware as an Australian author that some terms I use are new to my readers. They are often in the United States and United Kingdom.  Although I feel it is good for them to be aware of different horse terms in other countries, I also explore different terms on my author website, explaining these concepts.

The Horse Dictionary

What if there was one place online that writers could go to as a reference point?  Perhaps they’re writing an informative article for the United States.  Or they want to promote a new horse welfare product for the United Kingdom.  Or maybe they’re to be doing a presentation of their horse services in New Zealand.  If they could adjust their terminology to match the country they’re presenting it in, how helpful would this resource be?

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