Category Archives: Travel

The Australian Jockeys Association

Although this website is aimed at helping you to develop your horse career, I love that there are many sites that do that for individual horse related careers! Take the Australian Jockeys Association for example. As it states on their website, “our goal is to provide Jockeys with all the information needed to maximise their careers.”

The Australian Jockeys Association | Equus Education
The Australian Jockeys Association | Equus Education

You can utilise the AJA website to find information regarding insurance, about racing rules, and even how to become a jockey.  There is even what to do if you’ve had an injury or fall. The site is broken up into the different states of Australia.  Then there are resources and contacts for each of these states. Great!

So how did it come about? Back in 2001 it was determined that a national body for jockeys should be established. Before then, there was one for each state and they were unable to meet demand and resource needs effectively.

“In April 2002, representatives from all State and Territory associations met in Melbourne and agreed that a national peak body to represent the interests of all jockeys in Australia should be established as soon as practicable. It was unanimously agreed that this body should be known as the Australian Jockeys Association (AJA).”

The Australian Jockeys Association

Perhaps you’re riding as a jockey in Australia, but you want to look into riding overseas. Well they’ve got this covered, too! In fact, you can be led to links for the United Kingdom, Hong Kong, Japan, South Africa, the United States, New Zealand and the list goes on! There’s also Canada, Korea, Ireland, France and Germany. What a line up!

If you plan to ride race horses in Australia, I encourage you to check out this resource.  It aims to keep you informed and also to help you succeed.

The Bloodstock Agent as an Equine Career

The thoroughbred industry has people within it who are known as bloodstock agents.  A bloodstock agent is someone who buys and sells horses on behalf of a client.  They will do this in exchange for a commission.  Often bloodstock agents will be found at yearling, broodmare or ready to run sales, assessing horses.

They may have a client – or potential client – who is interested in a particular horse/s based on how it looks on paper.  The bloodstock agent will then attend the sale and assess the horse based on its conformation and movement.  They will then report back to the person who is interested in potentially buying said horse.  They may even bid on the horse on behalf of their client.  Or they may invest in a horse and then sell shares in this horse to other people after purchasing it.

The Bloodstock Agent as an Equine Career | Equus Education
The Bloodstock Agent as an Equine Career | Equus Education

Outside of purchasing horses on behalf of other people, the bloodstock agent is well versed on horse pedigrees.  They are able to guide and advise owners about which stallion/s to consider sending their mare/s to.  This will then result in a foal with a particular pedigree that they anticipate selling well at a sale.  Or it may have wonderful residual value for breeding in the years to come.

There is no formal qualification to become a bloodstock agent.  A working knowledge of the industry is important and many within the thoroughbred world will gain experience on studs and in racing facilities first.

The Bloodstock Agent

A bloodstock agent needs to have good communication skills as well as connections within their desired horse industry.  Of course, they will also need to know pedigrees, good conformation, results of that particular breed of horses – for racing or performance, for example.  And they will need to be able to recognise horses that have potential and guide clients accordingly.

A bloodstock agent will need to be willing to travel to sales associated with their breed of choice.  This may require interstate and also international travel.  Apparently this profession works on a 5% commission fee typically.  You can find out more at the Balance Careers.

ISES Conference in Rome, September 2018

Some of you will be familiar with the International Society for Equitation Science.  Equus Education did a post previously about their 2017 ISES Conference in November in Wagga Wagga, Australia.  The location for the 2018 conference is in Rome, Italy.

ISES Conference in Rome in 2018 | Equus Education
ISES Conference in Rome in 2018 | Equus Education

The theme for the 2018 ISES conference is equine welfare: good training, good feeding, good housing, good mental state, good health, good behaviour.  The conference is to be run from September 21 – 24.  As it stated on the media release:

“The conference offers a forum for discussion of traditional and progressive practices along with contemporary research findings with practitioners (horse-trainers, instructors/coaches & riders), equine studies students, researchers, academics and policy makers involved in Equitation Science, to develop and to promote approaches to horse training and husbandry that ensure that horses are managed in the most ethical and sustainable way possible.

The 3-day program format includes two full days of plenaries, submitted research reports for spoken and poster presentation, and another full day of practical demonstrations with discussion facilitated by internationally respected experts in equine behaviour and welfare research, education, and clinical practice.”

Some key dates to make note of include:

  • early bird registration ends July 30, 2018
  • late registration closes September 18, 2018

So why would equitation science be of interest to you?  ISES is a non profit organisation.  They aim to aid research relating to horse welfare and training horses as well as improving the horse-rider relationship.  In an age where welfare is growing in importance, as a horse owner, carer or business it’s important to stay up to speed on methods and tools available to aid in training and welfare.  Conferences can be a great way to develop contacts, learn new things and even promote yourself in the equine industry.

“When I hear somebody talk about a horse or cow being stupid; I figure it’s a sure sign that the animal has somehow outfoxed them.” ― Tom Dorrance

A Roving Equine Volunteer Setup

I recently found out about a retired husband and wife couple who drive around Australia and support churches as they’re able to.  They stop in for a short period and help with church services and tending to the congregation’s needs.  They use their passions and skills to help churches that are between pastors or need help in other ways.  And I got to thinking, why not an equine volunteer setup that does something similar?

A Roving Equine Volunteer Setup | Equus Education
A Roving Equine Volunteer Setup | Equus Education

Retired and with a caravan, these people can come and go as they please.  They are currently helping out 2 days a week at my local church.  They then use the other 5 days to explore the area.  Perhaps the equine volunteer work would run differently.  Maybe similar to tasks in the Farm Army, volunteers could make themselves available for the length of a project – like a yearling sale preparation or fencing a paddock.  In return for their labour, they are maybe provided with food and accommodation.  They get to build on their resume whilst offering their skills and energy.  And just maybe, they get to travel the state or country whilst doing so.

I would love to check out different horse properties this way!  I am sure as with many horse related activities, a waiver of sorts would need to be signed.  This would be prior to commencement of work.  But how wonderful would it be if such an equine volunteer program existed?  As a struggling or newly establishing horse business or property, you could put in a request for a volunteer/s and outline the work that would be needed.  Then for a set period of time you have some hands to help out with a horse related project!

“But what truly horsey girls discover in the end is that boyfriends, husbands, children, and careers are the substitute – for horses.” ― Jane Smiley

The Equitarian Initiative

There are some horse terms that I come across and think: is this correct?  Consider equitarian as an example.  I thought, has equestrian been misspelt?  Not at all!  The Equitarian Initiative is something that I recently became aware of.  In a phrase, it’s a philanthropic initiative that has been set up for the working horses of the developing world.

If your blessed to live in a developed country, then chances are when you think of horses, you don’t think of work.  You consider entertainment in the form of horse races and competitions.  You consider the status and wealth that is often associated with horse ownership.

The Equitarian Initiative | Equus Education
The Equitarian Initiative | Equus Education

In third world countries however, horses are often a means to live for many.  They can carry out labourious tasks with horses and donkeys.  Money can be earned from giving people transport on a horse or in a cart.  Although these equines are imperative to help some families live, they aren’t necessarily looked after as well as they should be.  This could be through a lack of finances, time or perhaps ignorance.

As it states on the Equitarian Initiative site:

“Equitarian Initiative prepares volunteer veterinarians worldwide to deliver health care and education to improve the health, nutrition, productivity, and welfare of horses, donkeys and mules, and to empower their care providers for sustainable change.”

I love this!  I learned about the Brooke Hospital years back and their foundation for helping in a similar theme.  It was all about the working horses of a third world culture and tending to their physical needs.

Equitarian Initiative Projects

Want to check out projects for this year?  Volunteers are welcome!  Head along to – there are locations and dates listed for upcoming projects.  You can check out what these guys are all about on their mission page.  Fascinating stuff!

Equidays in New Zealand

Equidays is an Equestrian Event in New Zealand | Equus Education
Equidays is an Equestrian Event in New Zealand | Equus Education

Recently I saw reference to Derriere Equestrian having had a successful time at Equidays in New Zealand.  Curious I checked out the event to find out what it was exactly.  Maybe you’re familiar with Australia’s Equitana or you know about other horse events around the world.  Well here’s another one to add to your calendars!

It’s too late for 2017, seeing as the event was run over October.  But if ever you’re planning a visit to New Zealand, perhaps you’d like to time it with the running of Equidays.  This event has an equestrian focus in particular.  As it says on their site:

“Equidays is New Zealand’s premier equine event, featuring three-plus days of exciting equestrian action.  With over 40 hours of clinics each day, elite competitions, three night shows and over 200 exhibitors, Equidays is a must for equine enthusiasts everywhere.

The four pillars of Equidays – educate, equip, empower and entertain – come together to bring you the very best in equestrian.”

The show features clinicians, dressage, show jumping and night shows.  So if you’re an equestrian fanatic, it may be worth checking out future Equidays events!  You can keep up to date on their events via Facebook  You may also be interested to know there is a South Island Edition.

Equidays Equestrian Event

If like me you love a horse event for the ability to add to your resume, then you’ll be pleased to know that they take volunteers.  The submission forms are currently closed off as the 2017 event has just happened.  You can keep it in mind for future events, however!

For those who are looking for accommodation for the event, they may be pleased to know that camping is available on site!  This may help to keep the travelling budget low 😉  Planning a trip to NZ in the next couple of years?  Why not try to date it around an Equidays event?



The Farm Army and Equine Volunteer Work

I often listen to Vision Radio and hear an advert that looks for agricultural volunteers.  The Farm Army has been created to help Australian farmers in many varying capacities.  The idea is that people with skills, enthusiasm and time can come along and help out on farms in areas that they may be able to do so.

A contract fencer for example may be able to volunteer some time to help a particular farmer to setup a new fence line.  Someone who knows how to check and feed stock can farm sit for a week whilst the farm owners have some time off.  It’s hay season and extra pairs of hands to stack bales of hay in exchange for a meal are welcomed.  A knowledgeable horse person is needed to feed stock and keep an eye on pregnant mares.  I love this concept!  So why not something similar that relates to equine volunteer work?

The Farm Army and Equine Volunteer Work | Equus Education
The Farm Army and Equine Volunteer Work | Equus Education

The Farm Army and Equine Volunteer Work

Firstly, there are some available jobs on Farm Army that do involve horses.  So if you’re an Aussie or thinking of visiting Australia for a spell, why not have a look at their website?  You can even sign up for notifications!

Secondly, any place where you can build up horse experience and skills can be great for your resume!  Plus volunteering to be available is a networking opportunity that can also land you paid work in time.  So if you are in Australia, make note of this site for potential holidays/chances to do something horsey!

And if you’re not, consider the concept and how it may be applied in your local area.  What if there was a website that focused on horse properties that needed volunteers?  This could be in exchange for a meal and somewhere to sleep.  Sounds pretty appealing to me!  Perhaps you’re the person to setup such an initiative!


Horse Country, Kentucky

I have a couple of Google Alerts that I get notified via email when people search a particular term. One such is horse country as this is the name of my debut novel. A recent alert for this term led me to check out an article about Horse Country, Kentucky.

It seems that there is one place you can go to experience Kentucky’s horse country. Perhaps you want to visit some thoroughbred studs in the heart of the Bluegrass. Or maybe you’re interested in visiting some nurseries and equine clinics. Perhaps, it’s all of the above! Whatever your desire, you can book in for tours to see each of these horse related places.

Horse Country, Kentucky

Horse Country, Kentucky is a Must see for Thoroughbred Enthusiasts | Equus Education
Horse Country, Kentucky is a Must see for Thoroughbred Enthusiasts | Equus Education

I love the tourism side of the horse industry. It helps people to explore, to dream and to learn about what’s on offer in the great equine industry. You may have a passion for racing, breeding, training or health care. Whatever it is, chances are you can be doing it as a career in the horse industry. In fact, on the Horse Country, Kentucky website there are 26 tours listed; some of these include:

  • Coolmore America
  • Claiborne Farm
  • WinStar Farm
  • Adena Springs
  • Godolphin at Jonabell (Darley stallions)
  • Gainseway Farm
  • Hallway Feeds
  • Taylor Made Farm
  • Hagyard Equine Medical Institute

So! If you’re thinking of a visit to Kentucky’s Horse Country, be sure to check out this website to book a tour or two! And if you live in an area that is considered a horse capital, then maybe you could set up something to promote local horse businesses? Food for thought.

“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

A Horse Camp Getaway for Equine Industry Professionals

Recently at a church service I found out about Tree Tops. This is a camp that is provided to missionaries who need a break between outreach programs. They can come somewhere with their family and relax, connect as a group and not worry about having to prepare meals or do house chores. And all this is provided at a base cost so that it’s truly affordable. Those who provide this accommodation are providing it as a service – and a blessing! – to those who are ministering outside of their comfort zones. So why not something similar for horse industry people? A horse camp getaway for equine industry professionals, if you will.

If you Heard about a Horse Camp for Equine Industry Professionals, would you Consider it? | Equus Education
If you Heard about a Horse Camp for Equine Industry Professionals, would you Consider it? | Equus Education

What’s the general idea? Some people work so much in the equine industry. They may be struggling to afford a break, even when the quiet season comes around as they work in an industry for love – not for good hours and pay.

This person could be a horse breeder or land owner, a stud hand or even someone who is working their way up in the equine performance world. Money can be tight, hours are long and the work is hard. But still, they do it with a goal in mind.

The Ultimate Horse Camp Getaway

What if there was one place they could go for a holiday that allowed them to still enjoy and appreciate horses, but not have to do any of the work? They can be fed, rest and go out riding / be around horses whilst on this holiday.

Is it your heart to provide a service to other people that are working so hard, but their efforts aren’t necessarily recognised? Could you provide accommodation, food and horses for them to enjoy at a small cost so they can take a break as time allows? I am sure an initiative like this could draw lots of sponsors from the horse industry – those who are making a generous living. What do you think?

Outback Governesses / Nannies

I was recently flicking through a Big W catalogue.  I noted a book that had a woman with a horse on the cover. It was titled Outback Governesses. Now call them what you will – a governess, nanny, carer – they often have similar roles. To look after children, tend to their needs, educate them and perhaps even entertain. And for those who live in rural areas – or for those where horse riding is a prestigious sport – horse care and riding may need to be added to the list! In comes the outback governess.

Outback Governesses - Could you do this as a Career?
Outback Governesses – Could you do this as a Career?

What if there was someone you could hire who alongside tending to your children’s physical and educational needs, could also fill the horse gap? They are capable riders and know a thing or two about horse care. Even better, they are able to safely supervise your child or children on their horses!

Outback Governesses

Definitely in rural Australia – the outback – such a person may be required. Many parents opt to bring in someone who can educate their children in the form of home schooling. And if said person is to look after the children when they have recreational time, then chances are they will need to know horses and riding them. This is especially true on properties where the children are old enough to carry out farm chores.  Often these can include horse work.

This is no doubt a niche area where the skills need to focus on education and care of children. But there would be many properties – or wealthy parents that have children with ponies – that could make use of someone who also has horse skills and knowledge. For those who are keen to do some travelling, this type of job may be appealing! Why not aim to be an outback governess for a spell?