Sunday, June 30, 2013

HORSE COUNTRY By Christine Meunier

 Horse Country Excerpt
Lise Hemmingway smiled to herself, studiously reading the available jobs listed on the sheet in front of her.
She silently thanked whichever genius had decided to start a company that focused solely on advertising jobs in the equine industry and lining up capable people to take on these jobs anywhere across the globe. At nineteen years of age, the slim brunette already boasted a strong love of horses and had proven herself capable of handling and caring for excitable Thoroughbreds many a time.
Just recently, she had finished up a six-month stint at a large stud in the Hunter Valley, working with weanlings and previously foaling down mares. Now in February and barely scraping the surface of what the year had to offer her, she had traveled to South Australia with a friend, helping out with a few yearlings for the Magic Millions Adelaide Yearling Sale to earn a bit of extra money before moving on to Victoria.
Having given up on school at the age of sixteen Lise had quickly learnt what hard work was involved in working in the thoroughbred field. This was now especially true, with the equine industry quickly adopting the idea of employing those who had taken the time to learn the theory and gain the piece of paper.
Eager to improve herself though, she had delighted her past employers by asking lots of questions, often volunteering for tasks others shied away from and consistently turning up early or staying behind late. It was obvious to others that she was aware that working with horses wasn’t at all a nine to five job, but rather, a lifestyle.
***
Listen to the author read the below Horse Country Excerpt
Glancing out of the school window across the green oval the bored sixteen-year-old sighed, admitting to herself that it would be a lot more exhilarating racing her palomino gelding around the emerald surface than sitting in a stuffy room while their teacher marked the role.
Calling her name he gained her attention, marking her off before addressing the class.
“Morning everyone. Over the next fifteen minutes or so, I want you to have a think about what you’re going to do after year twelve.
“Because you’re in year eleven, I know most of you have already picked subjects that coincide with what you plan on studying in University. But, today I’d like you to have a think about what you want as a job after your studies and list five different possibilities for me. This year you’re going to do two bouts of work experience, so we will try and line these up with your preferences,” a balding fifty something pedagogue informed the general consensus of bored teens before him.
She smiled to herself, mentally correcting the teacher as she stared at the blank piece of paper in front of her. She didn’t want a job – she wanted a career.
***

Christine Meunier considers herself introduced to the wonderful world of horses at the late age of 13 when her parents agreed to lease a horse for her. She started experiencing horses via books from a young age and continues to do so, but recognises that horses cannot be learnt solely from books.
She has been studying horses from age 16, starting with the Certificate II in Horse Studies and is currently undertaking her Bachelor of Equine Science via distance education.
She has worked at numerous Thoroughbred Studs in North East Victoria before following her passion for breeding horses over to the Irish National Stud in Kildare.
Christine at the Melbourne Premier Yearling Sales, 2009. Photo by Kathie Thomas
She then gained experience in a couple of Melbourne based horse riding schools, instructing at a basicv level before heading off overseas again, this time to South Africa to spend hours in the saddle of endurance and trail horses on the Wild Coast.
Particularly passionate about the world of breeding horses, she teaches equine studies focused on breeding, at TAFE.
Other Writings
Christine writes about horses online at Suite101.com.
Christine also writes a blog about equine education – EQUUS.