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BLOG: 9 ways to get your horse fix

Shetland pony - Labelled for reuse

 

By Jade Mariani

Don't have your own horse? There are plenty of other ways to get your horse fix!

1.    Riding Lessons.

Lessons offer the chance to spend time with horses without the expenses involved in their upkeep, and are great for people to learn more about the animal while getting their ‘horsey fix.’  A good instructor won’t just help you with your riding, but also your groundwork skills, safety, and general equine enquiries.

2.    Turn up early to lessons.  

Schedule time before lessons to help out with tasks such as grooming and tacking up. While some schools may prefer to do this themselves, it’s still a good idea to observe how it’s all done. Half the fun of lessons is getting to know the horse on the ground, and discovering all their little quirks and habits. Ask your instructor if they’d like a hand with any of these tasks! 

3.    Help out at your local riding school.

While stables chores aren’t always glamorous and you might only be mucking out stalls or cleaning tack, helping out around the barn is all experience towards owning your own horse! It might also be a great chance to meet other people with the same interests as you - you’ll learn a lot from socialising with horse owners, and you might even find a mentor that can teach you the ropes!

4.    Join online horse forums (e.g. Facebook groups) to connect with other riders.

If you’re short of horse-obsessed friends, join a Facebook group or horse forum online! While the internet can be a scary place, Facebook groups tend to be good at weeding out the ‘nasties’ to create a safe environment for people to ask questions and share their experiences. Alternatively, ‘like’ some Facebook pages to keep up to date with horse news and events.

On the topic of events, this weekend’s 2017 Boneo Classic is a great opportunity to get out there and see some of the country’s top riders in action!

5.    Subscribe to a horse magazine (such as Equestrian Life!) 

If online groups just aren’t for you, subscribe to a horse magazine instead! Not only are there plenty of pretty pictures, but they’re also filled with advice and articles written by experienced horse people. Many magazines will also advertise events and clinics, which are often open to the public to attend.

6.    Work experience.

Work experience is a great opportunity to discover the many different career paths available to equestrians. Some instructors will allow you to spend the day with them, travelling to different facilities for lessons and meeting with clients. Alternatively, professions such as the Mounted Police Force, racing stables, farriers and vets (to name a few) also provide structured programs for interested riders.

7.    Volunteer at Horse Shows.

Volunteering at horse shows is a great way to be actively involved in the equestrian community, and a fantastic opportunity to make new connections! By observing these events, you’ll also learn a great deal about different disciplines. A lot of work goes into organizing these events, so having a behind the scenes perspective will really help you appreciate the committee and volunteers who make it all happen. Club level events (e.g. Pony Club and Adult Riding Club) are run by the members themselves and extra help is often appreciated.

8.    Lease a horse.

Leasing is a great way for experienced riders to get their horse fix, without the long-term commitment and expenses involved with owning. Every lease agreement will be different, so it’s extremely important to find one that suits you. While it can be easy to rush into these things, you have to remember that you’re responsible for a living animal so terms such as vet bills and farrier bills etc. need to be carefully considered.

9.    Get an equine qualification.

If you’re really obsessed with horses and love to study, why not enrol in an equine course! There’s so many to choose from, from short TAFE and EA courses to longer degrees. The best part about the horse industry is that the opportunities are endless!

Are you a horseless equestrian fan? How do you get your horse fix?


 

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