Week 3/26: Tools of the Trade
In the '90's I was living in France and at one point found myself out of my regular seasonal employment. The ASSEDIC (Unemployment Office) offered me a chance to go for retraining. They said that I could pretty much do any course I wanted and asked me if there was something that particularly interested me.
Of all of the options in that book of courses they gave me to peruse, there was only one choice for me. I had always loved horses. I asked if I could go to agricultural college to train in horse management, breeding and nutrition. I could not believe it when they agreed. So I was paid to attend the college in Montmorillon, my lodgings were paid for as was my weekly travel home on the train. The course was intense, far more than I expected and the material covered was in depth and developed and approved by the state performance horse breeding program, and the agronomic research program INRA. As a part of this course we were given riding lessons. Although I had ridden, mostly self taught, this was where I learned to jump horses.
Although I was never employed in this field, I did own and breed a couple of Hafflinger mares in France and was self-employed as a horse nutrition consultant briefly in Canada. These saddles are now dusty and unused for a number of years. But at one time they were among the tools of my trade.
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