This Palomino miniature pony named Mr Cheddar visits elderly residents.
The friendliness of the pony brightens up the routine of their day, often helping bring back memories from their childhoods. The feel of their fur has been shown to help elderly citizens think back to their earliest memories.
Mr Cheddar also loves the attention; being groomed, brushed and petted by the residents.
Read more: 15 of the world’s cheekiest horses.
How To Earn Money In The Horse Industry
Working with horses is, most often, about the love of it. Those of us willing to dedicate our careers to the wonderful animals aren’t necessarily in it for the money.
But what does it take to support yourself while working with horses? How difficult is it to work in the equestrian industry?
A few points always come up:
- Working with horses requires long hours.
- Working with horses can be hard work.
But anybody who is passionate about horse work knows this. In fact, it’s part of the reason the equestrian industry is so attractive. Spending all day throwing yourself whole-heartedly into good, hard work is a great thing to do.
So let’s look at some of the different professions, how they make their money, how they’re involved with horses and what it takes to get there.
A farrier, as most of you will know, shoes horses. This can be a lot of work and can be quite difficult, but if you are confident you can build up a solid client base after you’ve become qualified, it can be a very solid profession.
Income: Average $42K per year. Range from 30K to 68K.
Professional Eventer –
Trying to make a living off prize money is very, very difficult, particularly for those in Australia. The Adelaide International is the biggest of such events, and has a total prize pool of only $120,000 (spread across all events).
To double the difficulty of making money this way, transporting, training and keeping horses costs a lot of money. Eventing is usually supported by teaching classes, training horses or other side professions.
Income: Some events in America (such as the Kentucky events) can earn an eventer 70 – 80,000. But that’s for first place.
The prize money for horse racing is a lot richer – and the industry is much healthier in Australia. The Melbourne cup is not only a popular Australian event, but is large by world standards.
An important thing to remember is that winnings are split up between a lot of people, including investors, and the jockey may only be paid an agreed wage.
Income: Winning the Melbourne cup earns $3.6 million.
Trainers prepare horses for events. Respected trainers have usually proven themselves with a strong performance record.
Income: Approximately $43,000 per year.
Equine Veterinarian –
Equestrian vets are specialized and go through large amount of study and qualification. Because of this, they can earn relatively high salaries but require at least 4 years of study.
Income: Average $62K up to $89K per year for senior vets.
Mounted police officer –
Mounted police officer positions are relatively limited but offer a very stable way for people to move into a profession that involved working with horses very closely.
A mounted police officer has a primary horse for which they are responsible, but also does general stable maintenance work as well. Being in the police force, it can involve relatively interesting and intense work, as well as allowing opportunities to meet new people and expand your life experience.
Income: During training, you’ll receive an income of $45K, which then goes up to $62K.
Equine Dentist –
Similar to a vet, this requires about 4 years of study and involves specialising to horse dentistry after a broader study of veterinarian science.
Income: $42K per year.
10 Tips to Help You Focus When Riding
All horse riding disciplines require one thing more than any other; focus. From the moment your step into the arena, you’ll be thrown into an intense period of high focus.
So what can you do to make sure you maintain that focus and don’t get distracted?
Here are 10 great tips:
1. Meditate beforehand.
If you find yourself getting increasingly nervous before a test, slow down. Close your eyes. Take some times to let your thoughts settle down. Try to make sure that your thoughts patterns are simple. That way, you can avoid cluttering yourself and stumbling when you are out on the arena.
2. Start with routine.
It’s nice to have a small set of simple tasks you complete before going out to compete. It can be as simple as filling a bottle of water or packing a few things up. It needs to be simple and small.
It can take your mind of the stressors and get you into a more neutral space.
3. Listen to music.
Music can put you into all sorts of moods and you can use that to your advantage.
It all depends on what works for you: music that relaxes you, inspires you, or pumps you up.
4. Don’t be negative.
Whatever is happening before a test, bring a positive interpretation. If something goes wrong during a test, remember the value of learning & growing that comes with error.
Negative thinking leads to more negative thinking, and can throw you into a hole that it hard to climb out of.
5. Body scan.
This is a neat little trick. Close your eyes and begin by focusing on the top of your head. Focus on what you are feeling – allow sensations to come and go.
Then, slowly move your focus down your body, to your neck, your shoulders, your chest etc. All the way down to your feet. Doing a body scan will help you release any tension that has been building up.
6. Enjoy your nervousness.
If you can do this trick, it will work excellently for you. Instead of being afraid of your nervousness, embrace it. Sport and competition is all about the intensity of the experience, including your nerves. Feel the fire in your belly and use that energy to propel yourself onwards.
7. It’s not about complete control.
A common mistake it to aim for total control while riding or competing. This never works; mistakes are always made. It’s unavoidable.
Instead, focus on stacking the odds in your favour. There will always be a certain chance something will go wrong.
Focus on making that chance as small as possible. If it does go wrong, don’t worry. You’re still in control, because you’re controlling the chance things will go well and not the absolute certainty that they will. It’s a small change in psychology, but will help you overcome your emotional response to small errors.
8. Maintain pressure.
You should always be alert. To avoid having your focus slip, aim for a constant level of pressure you apply to the competition. Never pull back or relax mid-ride, but don’t overdo the focus either. Consistency is key here.
9. Practise mindfulness.
Mindfulness is all about being aware of your thoughts without being judgemental of them. Take some time before a test to step aside, relax and listen to your brain. Be aware of all the thoughts you’re having. Try to clear your mind, but don’t fight the thoughts that come up. Let them come and then go.
If you’re thoughts are negative, that’s okay. Don’t try to change them, just allow them to move on and be aware of how your brain is working. This can do wonders for your mind when you do go out and ride; you’ll be clearer and more focused.
10. Use your training.
All those hours spent preparing for the moment of competition are still there with you. You don’t have to prove yourself every time you ride; you’ve already done that with the countless hours you’ve spent training.
Make sure that you trust your training and make use of it. If you practised a certain movement hundreds of times, allow your training to take control. Don’t overthink things.
Read more over at the blog.