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Technically Speaking, I Mean, Writing

I’ve recently come back from Residential School – a week of uni that requires I attend lectures and partake in exams for the two subjects that I am currently undertaking part time as a Distance Education student.

As is the case any time I find myself in a new environment that is horse related, I met a lot of interesting people and had my eyes opened to many other things I wasn’t aware of with regards to horses.  I was also made aware of people that are well known with regards to starting and bringing on horses and left with a list of names to look up online.

One of our lecturer’s mentioned the fact that they had carried out some technical writing with regards to a horse section on a show that aired weekly.  Another writing job that relates to horses that I hadn’t considered!

A foal with an angular limb deformity: carpus valgus, where the horse is knock kneed with toes pointed outwards.Wikipedia has a rather broad definition of a technical writer or technical communicator, the key phrase standing out for me being “produces technical documentation for… consumer audiences.”

So when I think of consumer audiences, and ones that specifically led to me teaching more people about horses and riding, I think of the Saddle Club.

There were a large number of preteens and early teens that decided to take up horse riding a couple of years back when I was instructing at a lower level.  Why?  Because they’d seen the Saddle Club and the interest in the show suddenly turned into an interest in learning to ride.

It may be a wrong assumption, but I would guess that there are people that know how to make a children’s show or one for any other demographic for that matter that want to focus it around horses.  This doesn’t necessarily mean that they know enough about horses to be able to make the show realistic.  This is where a Technical Writer may come in.

Think of the likes of Burke’s Backyard with an animal segment, the Saddle Club, Heartland, movies such as Flicka or the Black Stallion.

There are a number of books and movies out there that don’t seem completely believable with some of the aspects but that’s the joys of poetic license, I guess.  This doesn’t take away from the fact that some texts, movies, or shows may employ a person or persons to either resource information from those in the know, or have someone in the know write the information in a technical manner that can be put to use.

Just because you know horses however, doesn’t necessarily mean you’re equipped to be a technical writer with regards to them.

MyFuture has a page focused on such a career – and also lists the sort of courses you would expect to have to complete to be qualified to take on such a position –

No surprises as to what they focus on – writing skill.

Perhaps if your skills do lie in the writing field and you have a love of horses and a sound knowledge base then this may be a path worth considering.

“Bread may feed my body, but my horse feeds my soul.”

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5 Responses to “Technically Speaking, I Mean, Writing”

  • Technical writing is often much broader than your definition suggests. Much technical writing is for technical readers. A technical journal may contain articles on a a variety of technical subjects for people who are in the same general field but lack expertise in more than a couple of technical areas.
    Many technical writers prepare educational materials for print. Some may write scripts for videos or multimedia. Tech writers also prepare directions for installation and operations manuals.

    A few people, like myself, are writers who work with technical material, but but most technical writers are first technical experts who become writers. It’s usually less difficult for a subject matter expert to learn to write competently than for a competent writer to master technical content.

  • It certainly is preferable for anyone writing or making tv or horse movies and the like to do the homework. Particularly since if they go too far with the liberties its downright insulting to the audience. After all if one is making a horse movie who is first in line to watch it? Horse lovers. And horse people know if you ignorantly switched equipment mid ride or faked the horse organizations. Even the horse mad girls who have yet to mount one. It can turn a great horse story into a mediocre flop. (A movie does come to mind…)
    But those of us who are horse crazy know. There is no such thing as too many horse stories. True or otherwise.

  • Hi Linda!

    Thanks for your feedback and addition/classification of information. It’s great to hear that an expert in a particular field or subject matter can indeed find it possible to take on such a position with regards to their knowledge.

    T.A Paxton,

    I agree that a horse movie or television program is that much better when it’s believable to horse people in the know and hope that those out there qualified to write the technical side of things with regards to horses get the opportunity to do so.

    Thanks for your thoughts,


  • Sam:

    I love this! Thanks for the post! 😉

  • Well .:EQUUS:. » Blog Archive » Technically Speaking, I Mean, Writing was interesting. Not exactly what I was expecting to find when searching for technical documentation services but worth a few minutes of my time anyway. You’ve clearly been busy lately!

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