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Equine Industry: Interviews with Empowered Women

We interview empowered women working in the equine industry. We talk about their amazing accomplishments with horses in a male dominated country. We want to show women around the world the different types of jobs they can do with horses, because we need more women “holding the reins” and being in charge for a change! 

Author: Hebe Webber

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Today’s article is a takeover by Adriana Pires Neves in Brazil. Adriana is a Brazilian veterinarian and endurance rider. She has even competed in the famous Marcha. The Marcha is a 750km endurance race held annually in Brazil.

Hello Adventuresses! I’m Adriana. I’m talking to you about an event that our university is promoting. It is Vi Equus Do Pampa, Ediçãoequus Mulher. We have speakers that are only women, that stand out in the equine industry. Here we are presenting women that have social programs with horses, are farriers, reining riders and more.

The flyer for the university event for Equine Industry: Interviews with Empowered Women
The flyer for the university event Vi Equus Do Pampa

I am with Joana Azevedo, she is a reining rider. She was a champion of many competitions and now she has a project of her own.  

So Joana, what have you been up to in the equine industry?

Joana: It’s a pleasure for me to be here. I ride reining horses, working cow horses and also Paleteada which is a sport right here from the south of Brazil (competition where two horses conduct a cow or ox and can’t let it escape along a marked track).

We will talk about all of my history in the equine industry. From when I was younger and now that I’m 30 years old. It’s a pleasure for me to be here, congratulations for everything Adriana and I hope you guys like it.

Adriana interviewing Joana Azevedo (on right)
Adriana interviewing Joana Azevedo (on right)

What have you accomplished in the raining sport?

Joana: Last year I won the futurity here in Brazil. It is the most important horse show that we have. I’ve been riding in the reining sport for 15 years now and that is the most important prize I have ever won. So it was a special time. 

I have been riding in the United States, I went to Chile to take the sport over there, so people will know about it.

Now I’m here with Rafaela Esteves, who besides being a Marcha rider and veterinarian, also works with equine dentistry which in Brazil is a relatively new branch of veterinary medicine.

 
Rafaela, say something about your work in the equine industry for us.

Rafaela: So as Adriana said, equine dentistry in Brazil is a relatively new area. It’s growing, because it’s extremely important for the animal’s general health.

Adriana (left) with veterinarian Rafaela Esteves (right)
Adriana (left) with veterinarian Rafaela Esteves (right)

Why did you get interested in equine dentistry?
Rafaela:
It is an area very linked mainly to performance animals. I like to ride horses a lot and it was one of the areas and that caught my attention. Orthodontics is linked to training performance animals, it’s not just to do with basic health.

Although it is very important for this too. So, because I enjoy horse riding this field caught my attention and from there I started studying and realized how fascinating this area is. 

So we know that equine dentistry is a relatively physically demanding job. How do you see women working with equine dentistry?

Rafaela: Yes, it demands a lot from our body physically, but there are a lot of good equine dentists that are women. So it’s not only strength that matters, but technique.

Here I am with Josi Martins, she has a project called “Inclusão de Ouro” (Golden Inclusion), which means to include people with physical disabilities and to do competitions like the Freio de Ouro (Golden Bit) but without cattle. So this includes disabilities such as limb impairments, visual impairment, Down Syndrome and so on.

Adriana with Josi Martins for Equine Industry: Interviews with Empowered Women
Adriana with Josi Martins (on right)

The Freio de Ouro is the biggest Crioulo competition in the world. It happens in the state of Rio Grande Do Sul, in the city of Esteio. It is a series of competitions that simulate the tasks a Crioulo horse would have to perform whilst working on a farm. It is judged on the horse’s beauty, temperament, conformation and its ability to perform these tasks.

Now I ask Josi, where are you from, what do you do and how is your project?


Josi: I am from the state of Rio Grande Do Sul, which borders with Uruguay and Argentina. I come from a small town, as it is far from the large cities, we decided to search for the inclusion of people who did not have the chance of riding so they can feel that they are participants of the Crioulo horse breed competitions.

Now I am talking with Daniela, who has a very important social program. 

So Daniela, where are you from, what do you do?

Daniela: Hi I’m Daniela and I’m from Itajai, in the state of Santa Catarina. I work with my parents at their bakery and I have a project called Jovens Crioulistas (Young Criollo Fans) which aims to help people with traumas, depression and even autism, to try and improve their lives and help them emotionally.

Daniela on the right and Adriana on the left.

So, what do you think about women in Brazil working in your field and how can we help them?

Daniela: I think it’s beautiful, wonderful. It is very important to have women working in this field; I would like to support everyone who needs it.

Now I am speaking with Carla Bertevello, she is a farrier which is a very rare profession for women in Brazil. She is here at the Equus event to give a lecture and show a practice about farriery. 

Farrier Carla Bertevello on left and Adriana on the right.
Farrier Carla Bertevello on left and Adriana on the right.

So Carla, tell us about what you do!

Carla: I am a farrier. I shoe horses, I have worked with my husband for some years now. This profession demands some skill and strength. It is not easy, as the people at the Equus event saw yesterday during my practice.

Farrier Carla Bertevello demonstrating her work. She stands next to a brown horse holding farrier tools whilst three men stand by.
Farrier Carla Bertevello demonstrating her work.

It’s a profession not so ‘delicate’. But we also have our ways to not forget being a woman… even though I am shoeing horses, I try to keep my nails trimmed and polished! But it’s a profession that I’m passionate about, I always dedicate myself to it 100%. And the more I can do to bring women into the equine industry, as well as to farriery, the better. It’s very satisfying too.


Adriana is a veterinarian from Brazil. Listen to our “Ask Your Vet” podcast episode where she answers some commonly asked questions and shares some stories from her life.

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