Working with race horses sounded cool…

Melbourne, AU

Working at a racing stable sounded cool.

Really, it did.

First off, horse racing is a big deal and a major piece of Australian culture.  Heck the entire state of Victoria has a national holiday for their version of the Kentucky Derby: The Melbourne Cup.

The rest of the country is also glued to their TV sets to watch “The Cup” every year.  There are fashion contests at most major races and everyone is expected to dress in nice clothes at the minimum but two piece suits or cocktail dresses are more the norm.

So it’s a piece of Australian life that really isn’t part of American life. (We bet you can’t name the date of the Kentucky Derby off the top of your head or who won it last year.  Aussies can for the Melbourne Cup.)

Also, horses!  Tiffany loves horses and she’s done volunteer work with them in the past.  Greg’s a rider and likes horses well enough so why not?  We may never do this again so let’s go work with horses…

Then we found out that our work did not involve glitz, glamour or even much gambling.  Usually this is because races are typically held in the evening and the staff is way too tired to attend.  “Working with horses” is code in the industry for “showing up to work at 03:45 AM to shovel horse poop.”

There see?  We learned some lingo!

That’s pretty much what Greg did full time and Tiffany did part time.  The horses became more of an industrial system really, like a bank for money or a factory for cars.  Greg’s primary concern was not so much the horses themselves but more of what the horses required for poop production:

And, of course, ‘harvesting’ what came out:

Also, as in any factory job, we had to develop personal safety measures.  When one is working in a confined space with unrestrained two-year old half-ton race horses that are constantly on a forced sugar high and bred for generations for their unique ability to completely freak out at the slightest imagined provocation (heard of the fight-or-flight reflex?  Guess which one’s stronger in these guys…), one becomes very conscious of self-preservation:

Then there’s the “fun stuff” which Tiffany got to do…

Overall, we’re pretty sure we were better off working with luxury sailing yachts


About the authors

Greg and Tiffany are traveling around the world on sailing yachts and keep a video blog of their (mis)adventures.  If sailing to Tahiti on a 44 ft sailboat, 3-day delays for wine tastings, getting pooped on by seagulls, opening coconuts with dull machetes, sailing past tornadoes and ukulele Christmas carols are for you, then check them out at!

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6 Responses to Working with race horses sounded cool…

  1. Ronni Norte says:

    I really enjoyed the videos and I thought you were in the “lap of Riley” touring the world.

    • Greg says:

      uh…lap of Riley? Why am I picturing myself sitting in my brother-in-law’s lap right now?

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