All posts by Christine

I'm a 1984 Australian female who is passionate about horses and education.

Extension Horses Free Courses

I am currently undertaking a free course by My Horse University and there was a link to eXtension’s HorseQuest Learning Lesson: Equine Pasture Management.  I’m always up for more free horse courses!  Checking out the link, it turns out that there are about half a dozen free horse related courses that are on offer through eXtension Horses.

To undertake any of these courses you’ll need a Moodle account and Flash.  Further educating yourself about horses and their care and management is always worth investing in.  Doing so with a short course that you can put on your resume or maybe even gain a certificate from is that much more appealing!

Extension Horses Free Courses | Equus Education
Extension Horses Free Courses | Equus Education

Free Horse Courses through Extension Horses

You can check out the different lessons through the eXtension Horses page.  They cover:

  • horse management:
    • manure management strategies
    • second chances for horses
    • sales fraud in the horse industry
    • horse’s best chance during disasters
  • horse diseases: EHV-1
  • horse diseases: pasture associated laminitis
  • preparing to become a professional horse show judge

These topics cover quite an array of different horse areas.  In whatever capacity of the equine industry you are working – or plan to work – gaining further knowledge in areas can be beneficial.  Of course, if the topics above link with your desire to learn more about managing horses, horse health, equine pastures or competition horses, then the above will be even more beneficial.

As an added bonus, for those who complete the courses with a minimum score, they will receive a certificate as well as a digital badge for their Mozilla Backpack.  Of course, certificates and course completion dates can look great on a resume!  I always love free horse stuff, so why not benefit from this resource that I’ve recently come across?

“Great dressage demands more than skill; it engages a rider’s inner wisdom and his ability to communicate with a mount in the silent language of horsemanship.” ― Elizabeth Letts

Carousel Horse Christmas by Danni Roan

I recently downloaded Danni Roan’s Carousel Horse Christmas for free on Kindle.  This novella is a sweet, romantic read with horses featuring throughout.  Party planner Audrey Alberton is surprised but pleased to find she has received an anonymous gift for Christmas.  The beautiful horse figurine is stunning and beautifully crafted.  It brings a smile to Audrey’s lips.

Carousel Horse Christmas by Danni Roan | Equus Education (Click to buy)
Carousel Horse Christmas by Danni Roan | Equus Education (Click to buy)

What’s surprising about the gift is that Audrey has a run in with her friend Lisa with a horse that looks exactly like the gift she has received.  The owner of the horse – an attractive cowboy named Holden Bays – ends up chasing up Audrey to make sure she wasn’t hurt by the car accident.

In time, Holden is the only person that Audrey knows to be able to help a client with a horse party request.  As Audrey explores the attraction that seems to be mutual, she questions whether a relationship with a cowboy that lives hours away is something she could feasibly fit into her life.

Carousel Horse Christmas is an entertaining read that has a nice horse element to it. Although there is minimal horse information, there are plenty of horse scenes with the two main characters.  The interest between the two main characters also builds nicely although the happy ending to the story occurs over a very short timeframe.  For those looking for an enjoyable, quick read with a Christmas focus, Danni Roan’s novella will do the trick.

Author – Danni Roan
Fiction – adult / romance
In my library – on Kindle

“A horse which stops dead just before a jump and thus propels its rider into a graceful arc provides a splendid excuse for general merriment.” ― H.R.H. Prince Philip

The Purple Hills by Alissa Callen

I downloaded this novella recently on Amazon after a search for some more horse reads.    The main characters of Alissa Callen’s The Purple Hills are an audiologist returned to her country town due to an ailing father and a single father, horse chiropractor.  I enjoy reads set in the country, I guess quite often because that’s where the horse stories are.  And of course, reading stories about people who have horse careers always interests me!  Then add in the promise of romance and I’m sold on the idea of the book in question.

The Purple Hills

The Purple Hills by Alissa Callen | Equus Education (Click to buy)
The Purple Hills by Alissa Callen | Equus Education (Click to buy)

The Purple Hills had all of these appealing qualities and was an enjoyable, short read.  Horses did feature in the story, but not in quite enough detail for me.  I loved how the first chapter started with a miniature pony streaking past a window.

But although this pony Jelly Bean was a constant in the story, there didn’t appear to be a lot of horse focused moments.  And even though the main female character has a horse Cloud, he only really features in one scene.  Add to this the fact that the main male who is a horse chiropractor, I think this story had a lot of potential to feature horses in a way that wasn’t just a reference to them.  As a horse fanatic, unfortunately I cannot say that this was the case!

That said, the story is an enjoyable read and the characters realistic and easy to come to like.  The Purple Hills is a novella worth reading and I believe could have only been built on by making the horse aspect a descriptive part of the story, rather than a simple addition.  The story focused more on the human relationships – which were enjoyable to read – but I would have enjoyed additional information in the story about the horses, especially from the side of Hugh whose profession was that of horse chiropractor.

Author – Alissa Callen
Fiction – adult / romance
In my library – as an eBook it is.

Hobby-Horsing as a Sport in Finland

Whilst reading Jean Halley’s Horse Crazy, there was a reference to hobby-horsing.  Apparently this sport has built from fantasy horseback riding.  It now appears to be a sport where people ride around on props that are essentially sticks with a horse head on top.  And these are utilised with riders going over jumps and even carrying out dressage tests.  How unique!

Hobby-Horsing as a Sport in Finland | Equus Education
Hobby-Horsing as a Sport in Finland | Equus Education

Even more incredible is the fact that a horse business has arisen from this hobby sport.  Eponi creates and sells custom made stick horses that sell for 100-300 euros in price.  This is equivalent to $160 – $480 Australian dollars.  The collection online is incredible!  https://eponi.hobbyhorse.fi/#/

I had never heard of hobby-horsing before reading this non fiction works.  And yet, exploring a little online and I am amazed.  I love that a sport can be created by horse enthusiasts that don’t necessarily have a horse of their own.

And I especially love that from this, a new horse sport has developed and people are able to establish a horse business to help cater to this sport.  The equine industry really is exploding in so many areas that I am amazed at.  If you have a passion for horses and want to make a career out of them, be sure to think outside the box.  Many people have made their passion much more than a hobby and are living from an income they have earned through a unique horse business.  Incredible stuff.

Saving Grace by Amanda Wills

I recently downloaded a copy of the short story Saving Grace by Amanda Wills.  This story features Poppy McKeever of the Lost Pony of Riverdale series.  In this novel, Poppy finds a black and white cob filly on the side of the road, hit by a car and left for dead.

Poppy is relieved when the vet comes to tend to the filly but this relief soon turns to dismay.  The vet will not treat the filly unless she knows that someone will cover the bill – and it won’t be a cheap bill.  How can a teenager raise thousands of pounds to help save a young horse?

Saving Grace is a great story that is wrapped up nicely.  Poppy works with the whole community to try to save the horse.  She learns about setting up and running an event and the novel highlights all that is involved in running a horse show.  It also focuses on the issue of equine flu and how an infectious horse disease can impact a whole community where horses are kept.

Saving Grace features many of the Lost Pony of Riverdale Series' characters | Equus Education
Saving Grace features many of the Lost Pony of Riverdale Series’ characters | Equus Education

Poppy’s best friend Scarlett features in the novel as well as Poppy’s family and other friends.  For those familiar with the Lost Pony of Riverdale series, they’ll enjoy this short story that encompasses the usual characters.  Saving Grace is an enjoyable read that is also factual about horses and horse care.  Highly recommended.

Author: Amanda Wills
Fiction – teen
In My Library? As an eBook!

TeamViewer for Horse Client Computers

I recently had an issue with my author email and control panel of my site.  I could update my website, but not login to the panel to see if I could problem solve the email account issue.  And so I went to my webhost to see if he could fix the problem.  He suggested I download TeamViewer so that he could look into the issue for me.  And after this experience, I wonder if this free program could be a beneficial tool for someone wanting to manage horse clients that utilise computers.

Once I’d downloaded a copy of TeamViewer, I was able to give my host a login name and number that correlated with my particular computer.  Over the internet at the same time, he could then login and access my computer.

TeamViewer for Horse Client Computers | Equus Education
TeamViewer for Horse Client Computers | Equus Education

I could watch as he edited settings on the email account that wasn’t working.  It wasn’t too long before he’d resolved that issue and emails were sending and being received.  Then he was able to reset the contact details for the control panel of my site so that I could then receive the email regarding resetting the password and he left me to it.  Easy!

So I got to thinking, why couldn’t someone utilise the likes of TeamViewer and the internet to carry out tasks for clients on their computers?  Many things they could do remotely, but others they could do… remotely on their computer.  It may be a handy tool for those who do computer work for equine businesses.  Food for thought.

“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

Horse Crazy by Jean Halley

Pony books for horse crazy girls are an incredible genre.  I write within this genre in the twenty first century, having both a series for middle grade readers as well as one for young adult readers.  I also write various novels for adult horse book fans and find that all of these books are read, though the middle grade series is the most read.  And it seems this has been the case for many young girls since the 1930s, as Jean Halley’s book Horse Crazy explores.

How the horse-girl relationship can empower children, young adults and even adults is explored throughout the chapters of Halley’s book.  What I found alarming – and cannot say that I relate to here in Australia – is the large amount of women that appear to struggle in the US and find their freedom often in horses.  Horses are an incredible animal that provide freedom to those who struggle with disability, a lack of social skills, language barriers or other issues.

I was surprised to find that Halley was referencing or quoting texts that put women as more likely to fall into poverty than men in the US.  There was reference to them earning 79 cents for every dollar than men earned.  And for the single mother, life was harder as she worked to earn for, support and keep the family functioning.

Horse Crazy by Jean O'Malley Halley | Equus Education (Click to buy)
Horse Crazy by Jean O’Malley Halley | Equus Education (Click to buy)

I’m not sure if it’s my ignorance in these areas in Australia, or if this is a more wide-spread issue in the US.  But one thing is certain; horses can provide a freedom from these responsibilities and problems like no other thing can.  That was the theme throughout this book.

This book explores the frailties of humanity and shows how horses can be an escape from that.

Halley pulls examples from her own life where her childhood was filled with fear and violence and her pony was her only escape.  In the latter chapters of her book, the devastating world of slaughterhouses and the process involved is explored.  This was an eye opener for me with regards to the process carried out… the book is perhaps lightened well in the final thoughts focusing on men who love ponies and a group of adult men known as ‘bronies’ who love My Little Pony.

Horse Crazy is a topic that has horses well and truly at the heart of peoples’ lives and things that they hold dear.  It is a book that appears to address a lot of issues that many may not be willing to think or talk about.  I feel very blessed – and perhaps sheltered – as a tomboy who grew up loving horses to not have felt like a minority or someone who was being pushed to conform to what society considered ‘acceptable.’  To me, a love of horses has been a gift from God and one that was encouraged throughout my childhood, became my career and is something I am now involved in teaching others who have the same passion.  Horse Crazy is an interesting, somewhat controversial and enlightening read.

Author – Jean O’Malley Halley
Non Fiction – sociology
In my library – as an eBook

Learn About Horses, a Child’s First Guide to Horsemanship by Kathy Mann

Kathy Mann has a well illustrated, effective book for young horse fans.  It is titled Learn about Horses, a Child’s First Guide to Horsemanship.  I downloaded a free copy of this book on Kindle and have finally gotten around to being able to read it!

I have really enjoyed reading this book for many reasons.  Firstly, it’s practical and factual.  Secondly, it is simply explained so that young readers will understand as well as learn about horses.

It discusses horse housing – whether in stalls or paddocks.  It looks at the importance of closing gates as well as using a head collar and holding it appropriately.  It also explores safety of horsemanship and the different parts of the head collar, bridle and saddle.

In amongst each point made about horses and their care, illustrations add to the points made.  Kathy also explores the horse’s gaits, their need for fresh water all the time and the fact that they eat grass regularly.

The roles of horse trainer and horse riding teacher are explored.  In amongst this, the author provides images and descriptions of a rearing and bucking horse and why these need further training or help from an experienced person.

Kathy sums up the book in one simple statement: ride safe and have fun.  This final sentence outlines the whole focus of this book – to help horse fans to be safe around them and whilst riding them.  The safer they are and the more informed they are about what horses need, the more likely they are to have fun.  Learn About Horses, a Child’s First Guide to Horsemanship has a lot of valuable information, all of which will benefit the child learning about horses.

Author – Kathy Mann
Non Fiction – children’s
In my library – as an eBook it is.

Sweetbriars: Tabby’s Big Year by Hollie Anne Marsh

I was recently contacted by Hollie Anne Marsh to see if I would be interested in reading and reviewing the next book in the Sweetbriars series.  You can read the review of the first book on Equus EducationTabby’s Big Year focuses on the life of twelve year old Tabitha alongside her close friends Cate and Violet.

Tabby’s life appears to be an incredible roller coaster for such a young person.  She is keen to see her beloved horse Bliss come back to full health – and able to be ridden – after an injury.  She feels guilt for Bliss having hurt himself and is anxious to know what the vet will say in regards to his future as a riding horse able to compete.

Sweetbriars: Tabby's Big Year by Hollie Anne Marsh | Equus Education (Click to buy)
Sweetbriars: Tabby’s Big Year by Hollie Anne Marsh | Equus Education (Click to buy)

On top of this, Tabby is battling a sense of isolation with her father not around, her sister distant and living elsewhere and her mother more often than not missing in her life.  As she tries to juggle work, studies, horse riding and also keeping her dysfunctional family a secret, she is dismayed to find something else thrown into the mix.

A mare that she used to ride is to be sent off for slaughter.  And to make things even worse, it is at no fault of the horse in question.  Tabby passionately seeks out a solution and finds that in doing so, extra pressure is piled on top of her young shoulders.

Sweetbriars: Tabby’s Big Year

Tabby’s Big Year looks at family dynamics, the incredible joy – and pressure – of trying out for the British Young Rider’s Squad as well as nursing horses back to health from different ailments.  It is an enjoyable read and full of horses.  I have no doubt it will be enjoyable for pre teens as well as other age readers.

Author – Hollie Anne Marsh
Fiction – middle grade / teen
In my library – as an eBook it is.

Merck Manual for Horse Owners

I have been working on the next unit of online resources for some of our equine students at work.  They are looking at physiology of the horse across its various systems.  Digestive, integumentary, reproductive, endocrine, etc.  One website that we have referenced and guided students to a few times is the Merck Manual Veterinary Manual.  The Merck Manual for Horse Owners is a great resource!

It covers many other species of animal, but you can read and learn a lot about horse care as well as the various systems in the horse.  For the different systems within the horse, you can see a diagram that outlines where it is in the horse’s body.  You can also read about ailments that commonly affect said systems.  A valuable online tool!

Whether you are an equine veterinarian, aspire to be or just want to further your knowledge of horse anatomy and physiology, the Merck Manual for Horse Owners looks to be a great online resource.  Be sure to check it out!

Different topics covered include:

  • Description and Physical Characteristics of Horses
  • Selecting and Providing a Home for a Horse
  • Routine Care and Breeding of Horses
  • Behaviour of Horses
  • Blood Disorders of Horses
  • Bone, Joint and Muscle Disorders in Horses

There is much to be explored in the above topics, but that’s not all that is available on the site.  Why not head along to the above link to get caught up in some horse related reading and learning?

“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