Once a month I like to do a short post on a term that comes up in the Free Rein series. It may be one that is specifically Australian, as has been the case for the word agistment. Or, it may be a word that is specifically horsey.
This month’s term is agistee. As a recap, the word agistment refers to boarding for the horse. In Australia it is common for people to pay a fee to keep their horse on a property. This is often known as agistment. It may include keeping a horse out in a paddock 24 hours of the day, with other horses. They have access to grass, water and companionship.
It may also include keeping a horse separately in a paddock, in a stable – or both at different times of the day. An agistee is someone who pays the fee for their horse to stay elsewhere. Generally the agistee is the horse owner.
Although the horse is being kept on someone else’s property, it is often the responsibility of the agistee to tend to the horse’s needs. This includes feeding, feet care, rugging, riding and on some properties, even picking up manure.
Although some places do offer to feed, exercise and rug horses – for an extra fee – it is generally the agistee who does all this. This is the case in the Free Rein series. Geordie and Hannah, Jacqui’s friends groom their ponies, ride them and care for them. Jacqui’s family makes sure there is safe fencing, grass and water, but otherwise the care is generally left to the agistees.
Being an agistee means you can have a horse, even if you don’t have your own land. It can be a great way to get a pony without having to buy a place to keep it.