Volunteer work is one of the best ways to further your equestrian skills, and is an excellent form of continual professional development. I’ve been lucky enough to spend a fair amount of my time travelling last year, and this has provided me with opportunity to expand my knowledge of horse care, training, and riding in different countries.
Clicker training is a concept I’m sure most people will have heard of. It’s a method where the participating animal is encouraged to exhibit a behaviour using positive reinforcement, and often used in dog training. However, you’ll find it works across a variety of species, horses included!
I decided to take the plunge and study Equine Shiatsu after I had finished my two year Diploma in Equine Studies, found a full time job, and passed my UKCC Level 2. I found my mind restless. I missed studying, I missed exams (call me mad if you like!), and even though I was still learning and developing my skills working in a busy riding school, I wanted to broaden my knowledge in another sphere.
Having been around horses my whole life, I was beginning to have withdrawal symptoms after spending my first few weeks without them on a recent trip to Australia. The horsey bug, if you’re lucky enough to catch it, doesn’t go away with time – it’s rather a terminal diagnosis that leaves you calling out every horse you see in a passing field and still getting that gleeful flutter when you swing your leg over for the thousandth time.