Hartpury College? Equine Business?

SaddleUpSin

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Hi! I was thinking about aiming to take BSc in Equine Business Management after the completion of Level 3 Extended Diploma in Horse Management, but I'm really curious to hear peoples opinions on the college or about the course itself!

Also, I worry that I'm aiming too high, will it be possible for me to get in if I havent been riding/owning horses since the age of 4 (if you know what I'm saying)? I'm currently on Level 2 Diploma in Horse Care, working at Distinction Level (aiming for distinction overall) I have GCSE Grades good enough to get in (English Lit: A, English Lang: A* Maths: A, Biology: B, Chemistry: B. I assume these would be the most relevant? ) but I'm scared that my horse handling and over all riding skills won't cut it :/ On top of these thoughts (I know its a long way off, but time flys around horses it seems xD) I recently had to give up my horse who I hadn't had long, and it throws me back to feelings of being inadequate in the equine world.


Some opinions or advice would be amazing! Thank you!
 

Woolly Hat n Wellies

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I don't know about the college or the course, so I can't really offer you anything specific, but I'm in my 7th consecutive year at uni, so I've done quite a few course applications!

The website should tell you what subjects are most relevant, which grades/subjects are necessary and which are not necessary, but desirable. Voluntary work in something related to the course always goes down well, as it shows your commitment to the subject. Have you looked at offering your help at local Riding for the Disabled groups? Pony Club? Riding Club shows? Local groups and events are often desperate for willing helpers, and the experience will add that something extra to your CV, as well as putting you in contact with local horsey people who might be able to offer you further opportunities, experiences, or just advice. Of course people who have been around horses all their lives will have an advantage, but there is a lot you can do to show your interest, and to demonstrate that you will go out and get experience off your own back.
 

Elbie

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I did Equine Science degree at Hartpury a number of years ago (graduated 2005 and the thought of that makes me feel SO old!). It depends on what modules you take as to whether you will be on the yard handling horses or not. Horse riding wasn't a mandatory module for us and I don't imagine it would be for business management. Really we had minimal contact with horses. The only time I can remember having to be really hands on was when we did a vet science module and we did a practical taking temperature, heart rate etc. Other than that it was mainly lab or lecture room based.

I wouldn't worry about not being too 'horsey'. When I went I had been riding for about 10 years but mainly at a riding school level. Loads of people in my class were horse owners with a number having competed to a high level. Didn't really bother me! Everyone has to learn, no need to feel inadequate! Everyone starts somewhere. There is a yard on site and so maybe you don't take a horse module but you can ask to assist to learn more? I took riding lessons while there to improve my riding.

Having said that though...I didn't really like the college. I have various reasons but mainly found the whole organisation side really pants! The lecturers were great but basic admin and management sucked. Example, going into my 3rd year the college hadn't preparred the lecture plans in time for start of term. This made it rather difficult to choose my modules without knowing what my timetable would look like. Another example was I had an issue with bullying to which the staff member I spoke to basically couldn't give 2 hoots about unless I was actually physically assaulted while on college property.

I could go on! I'm sure other people will be able to fill you in and some may have had better experiences. It obviously was a while since I was there and things may have changed. All I will say is since graduation I've met 4 other people who studied there through work and they all had a rather similar opinion to me!
 

_GG_

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I did Equine Science degree at Hartpury a number of years ago (graduated 2005 and the thought of that makes me feel SO old!). It depends on what modules you take as to whether you will be on the yard handling horses or not. Horse riding wasn't a mandatory module for us and I don't imagine it would be for business management. Really we had minimal contact with horses. The only time I can remember having to be really hands on was when we did a vet science module and we did a practical taking temperature, heart rate etc. Other than that it was mainly lab or lecture room based.

I wouldn't worry about not being too 'horsey'. When I went I had been riding for about 10 years but mainly at a riding school level. Loads of people in my class were horse owners with a number having competed to a high level. Didn't really bother me! Everyone has to learn, no need to feel inadequate! Everyone starts somewhere. There is a yard on site and so maybe you don't take a horse module but you can ask to assist to learn more? I took riding lessons while there to improve my riding.

Having said that though...I didn't really like the college. I have various reasons but mainly found the whole organisation side really pants! The lecturers were great but basic admin and management sucked. Example, going into my 3rd year the college hadn't preparred the lecture plans in time for start of term. This made it rather difficult to choose my modules without knowing what my timetable would look like. Another example was I had an issue with bullying to which the staff member I spoke to basically couldn't give 2 hoots about unless I was actually physically assaulted while on college property.

I could go on! I'm sure other people will be able to fill you in and some may have had better experiences. It obviously was while since I was there and things may have changed. All I will say is snce graduation I've met 4 other people who studied there through work and they all had a rather similar opinion to me!

That's made me feel super old then as it was 95-97 for me, lol.

I can't fault the college personally.
 

SaddleUpSin

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Thank you all for the responses :)
I feel quite a bit better now!
Volunteer work sounds like a good idea! Or I might try get some part time work over the summer on a yard or something to boost my experience (and also it would be nice to have some money for once!) and add to my application. :)

I would like to do the more practical modules involving the horses if I do manage to get in at Hartpury, if they're available to me, even though I'm not the best at what I do I still enjoy it! I looked up the modules available to choose on the Business Management course and there's some very interesting ones such as Stud Work and Rehabilitation which really appeal to me and others not so much (Accounting, no thank you) but the choice is good!
And Elbie, sorry to hear you had bullying problems and that they weren't much help, that's pretty shoddy in my opinion.

How did everyone find the facilities and horses (they had when you were there) and did you find that having a qualification from Hartpury opened up more job opportunities for you? Thank you! :)
 

Stroppy Mare

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It depends on what modules you take as to whether you will be on the yard handling horses or not. Horse riding wasn't a mandatory module for us and I don't imagine it would be for business management. Really we had minimal contact with horses. The only time I can remember having to be really hands on was when we did a vet science module and we did a practical taking temperature, heart rate etc. Other than that it was mainly lab or lecture room based.

I wouldn't worry about not being too 'horsey'. When I went I had been riding for about 10 years but mainly at a riding school level. Loads of people in my class were horse owners with a number having competed to a high level. Didn't really bother me! Everyone has to learn, no need to feel inadequate! Everyone starts somewhere. There is a yard on site and so maybe you don't take a horse module but you can ask to assist to learn more? I took riding lessons while there to improve my riding.

Having said that though...I didn't really like the college. I have various reasons but mainly found the whole organisation side really pants! The lecturers were great but basic admin and management sucked. Example, going into my 3rd year the college hadn't preparred the lecture plans in time for start of term. This made it rather difficult to choose my modules without knowing what my timetable would look like. Another example was I had an issue with bullying to which the staff member I spoke to basically couldn't give 2 hoots about unless I was actually physically assaulted while on college property.

I could go on! I'm sure other people will be able to fill you in and some may have had better experiences. It obviously was a while since I was there and things may have changed. All I will say is since graduation I've met 4 other people who studied there through work and they all had a rather similar opinion to me!
I also graduated from ES a while back. I have friends who did EBM too, hartpury will pretty much take anyone, they have no limits as to the max students. Make sure it's what you want to do as job prospects are extremely limited afterwards.

I was also bullied, as were a few of my friends, while I was there. Only I wasn't bullied by other students, but by yard staff. Yes, yard staff. When I went to the lecturers to voice my concerns (as speaking to yard manager got me no where), I was told to suck it up and it was 'normal' for a bsc student to get bullied. I was also told 'you know where the door is if you don't like it' by both yard and lecture staff.

I also found structure and organisation very poor, and wouldn't be paid to go back there. Sorry. It's tainted my confidence considerably, and I honestly regret going so much, I'm constantly being told by people at my new uni that I don't give myself enough credit - it's probably something to do with double standards at harts.

One word of advice - if you want to do well, suck up to the lecturers, some even enjoy a night out with the students. Then you'll do better. Good luck!
 

spacefaer

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What do you want to do when you leave? Are the extra qualifications going to take you there (even if only part of the way)

Is there another route you can take to achieve the same end?

If that college course at that college is the only way to achieve your goals, then go for it!

However, don't stick to the one idea if by looking elsewhere, you can do better
 

SaddleUpSin

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Stroppy Mare I'd like the hear some opinions from your friends on the course, because often courses can be very different from what they appear to be. This thread is the first I've heard of bullying at Hartpury, and frankly I'm kind of disappointed that such a prestigious college with such a good reputation has this sort of behaviour from the STAFF. I guess at my current college the staff aren't always very nice either, they talk about the students and slag them off and have favourites who get put on their favourite horses more etc. so by bringing down my opinion of the college I've stopped putting it on a pedestal quite so much and feel more confident in myself with applying etc.

And spacefaer I kind of wanted to end up running and managing a specialist yard, be it breaking and backing/showing/rehabilitating/competition training etc. I don't quite know what I'd like to go in to yet, I'm interested in most aspects of the equine world (except I can't see myself going into racing) so I would like the knowledge of the EBM at the very least, even if the qualification doesn't help me get anywhere, it would be good knowledge to have.

Hope that made sense! :) I try to keep my options open
 

Elbie

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I suppose it's weighing up experience gained through a degree vs practical experience learnt on a yard. To be honest, if you were more interested in doing hands on stuff you may be better off working on a yard (be it rehab/breaking/stud) and gaining and growing in practical experience and doing a part time course in business management just to grasp the basics. Also I think some places do offer course in rehab etc so you could just do that. I think that the degree is a lot more lecture theatre based so really its weighing up whats more valuable in the long run.

Stroppy Mare, glad it wasn't just me! I found they very much had double standards and if they didn't particularly like you you were screwed. For example, they washed they hands of my bully because it wasn't going on on campus. But when some girl accused my friend of pushing her down the stairs in a night club they tried to suspend her. It was only until we went to the senior staff and pointed out what I'd been told that they back tracked.

I sent a letter of complaint to the principle once I graduated voicing my grievances and he did write back saying sorry to hear it and he'll raise it with the staff. Doubt he ever did though! It's a shame as I loved my lecturers and the actual lessons its just everything else I had an issue with!
 

Polar Bear9

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I have no experience of Hartbury or Equine degrees but I am in the last 3 weeks of a Evolutionary Biology Bsc at the University of Exeter.
I have also heard of lots of bullying there and one of my very good friends quit a degree there because of it but I have no idea how it really is so cannot comment.
BUT never feel you can't do something. If you want it then go for it, the people who achieve things in life are those who think that nothing will stand in their way. If you've got this far with horses then you can go further. Theres no harm in at least applying.
What I will say is that I am coming out of a prestigious degree at one of the top 10 universities in the country with good marks and I feel very much like I've wasted a hell of a lot of money achieving something which has become pretty mainstream. The majority of people have degrees now so experience is the thing that counts which is something I personally don't have. I couldn't even get a part time job in a supermarket with 4 A-levels at A grades because I didn't have experience. I feel like this means I will not get the job I want, despite my qualifications.
My sister left college with mediocre A-levels, went to work on a small private yard and is now looking for her next job at a larger competition yard abroad. And she will get that job because she has the experience to back it up despite having exactly zero equine qualifications.
So I suppose what I'm saying is be sure its what you want, its a lot of money to spend. But if it is what you want then go for it. And GET EXPERIENCE. Really really get experience. That's a bit of a garbled story of my life and probably isn't much help, sorry!
 

Ella19

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I went to Warwickshire Moreton morrell way back in 2004-2008 and loved it! I did a degree in equine and human sports science. Have a good look round at other colleges, there are lots to choose from. Actually go there and get a feel for the place, ask lots of questions of both staff and current students. What suits one won't always suit another.
 

SaddleUpSin

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Yes, I agree that it is a good idea to look around at other places too, I guess the facilities kind of got me a little starstruck if that makes sense, just overwhelmed! Its just a case of finding where does EBM courses, as of all the Degree level courses I've found I feel like that would be the best suited to me:)
 

whp94

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Hi

I am currently studying at hartpury a few of my friends are on the equine business management course and it is very business based - only 2-3 modules per semester are horse related such as equine therapy, stud management, vet sci etc
as others have mentioned hartpury have very poor organisational skills and little hands on experience mainly lectures - I no in the 2nd year you have to do 150 hours work exp but it has to be 'businessy' and not neccesarily equine related. Personal opinion? Hartpury is no where near as good as it makes out - although I haven't looked at any other equine colleges/uni - a lot of people I no don't have many good things to say about the place. If I knew the 'real' Hartpury then I wouldn't of done my degree there.
 

SaddleUpSin

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Thank you all for the responses! It really has opened my eyes in terms of the standards of the staff they employ and the structure of the courses/general organisation!
 

Laafet

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The high staff turnover is always a big indicator of problems. I went there for a taster weekend before I made my UCAS choices and was glad I did. I decided that a 'proper' university was more my thing, so I ended up going Oxford Brookes, that was 10 years ago now but time and time again I hear so many things about Hartpury and rarely elsewhere. TBH having it on your CV IMO won't make your employer want you any more than any other college. It usually boils down to practical experience, by the time I finished I had worked for the two largest TB studs both here and abroad and rode out for a top racehorse trainer, this was a bigger bonus than where I went to uni and in fact, some employers did admit at interviews that the fact I had done so much outside of Uni gave them a far better initial opinion of my skills than my 2:1 in Eq. Sci.
 

Elbie

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SaddleUpSin - I know what you mean about feeling starstuck! I had the exact same thing when I went to view Hartpury. I was all very sparkly and showy and they wowed us with all the facilities but in reality when you get there you don't really get to use them that much!

Depending on where you want to go, i.e. location, I looked at Writtle and Moreton Morrell and liked them too.
 

SaddleUpSin

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See, I've never heard of these other places! Guess they're less well known! But come to think of it, I'm wondering if its worth working for a while BEFORE contemplating taking a uni course. Obviously, if not I'd need a student loan as is quite a hefty sum of money for someone with no job etc.
 

Elbie

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See, I've never heard of these other places! Guess they're less well known! But come to think of it, I'm wondering if its worth working for a while BEFORE contemplating taking a uni course. Obviously, if not I'd need a student loan as is quite a hefty sum of money for someone with no job etc.

I'm assuming you are a young whipper snapper (compared to me!) and you have PLENTY of time! How much uni costs these days is ridiculous so def worth not rushing into things.

As someone else has said, the equine business course (even the equine science course) is mainly theory based, You're not doing much practical stuff. There are plenty of short courses you can do in rehab, training, welfare, all sorts! And some of these can be done as distance learning.

To be honest, if I was going to send my horse somewhere, I would rather have someone looking after it that had done 3 years work on a yard, working every day with the horses and learning from the professionals than someone who had done 3 years at uni without barely touching a horse.

If you do really want to go to uni to learn then defo go for it but you need to assess what's best for your career direction. It took me a couple of years after graduating to get a job using my degree and that was pure chance! I took my degree because I wanted to but in hindsight if I could do it all again I would choose a degree that qualified me for something instead of a generic one
 

SaddleUpSin

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I am at the stage where it's not an imminent choice, but pretty pressing as time seems to go way too fast. My current course only has about 7 weeks left yet it feels like only yesterday it started which is pretty mad. There's always so much to do around horses that time seems to go twice as fast as it should and all of a sudden everything's different and what happened already! If you know what I'm talking about xD
 

GreenEyedMonster

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I go to Hartpury at the moment and I love the atmosphere of the equine yard, I do A Levels at the moment so can't say much about the lifestyle but it is indeed very bitchy but what do you expect?
You've got some very wealthy girls with top class horses, mixed with girls who've produced their own horses through hard work and girls who have never ridden outside of a riding school. There is really quite a mix of characters! and its the horseworld...

Your best bet is to set yourself up well so you CAN'T be the cause of bullying, i.e. dress smartly, be modest and try to get involved in what you can!
(I'm hoping to sign up for equine business too here when I'm done and if I make the grade!)
 

_GG_

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I go to Hartpury at the moment and I love the atmosphere of the equine yard, I do A Levels at the moment so can't say much about the lifestyle but it is indeed very bitchy but what do you expect?
You've got some very wealthy girls with top class horses, mixed with girls who've produced their own horses through hard work and girls who have never ridden outside of a riding school. There is really quite a mix of characters! and its the horseworld...

Your best bet is to set yourself up well so you CAN'T be the cause of bullying, i.e. dress smartly, be modest and try to get involved in what you can!
(I'm hoping to sign up for equine business too here when I'm done and if I make the grade!)


Fabulous attitude!
 

misskk88

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Believe me when I say that a lack of organisation seems to be a running theme with Colleges at some point in their life- I have worked with and for many, and at any one time there has been at least one course at each widely known for its lack of efficiency, staff, timetables etc!

I think the best thing you can do is definitely shop around (as another one to add to the mix, there is Reaseheath College in Cheshire http://www.reaseheath.ac.uk/further-education/courses/equine/fe-equine-faqs/) Google the course you want to do and research the Colleges and universities that offer it. Really think about what you want to do upon completion (you mention a specialist yard/rehab etc- that is great as it gives you some focus when looking at options). Definitely ask the Colleges what employment rates are likely for people after finishing course with them (and not just any employment- do they move onto jobs in their chosen qualification!). You would be surprised how many Colleges boast great figures, but actually, very few students move into their chosen industry.

Don't be scared to visit and take a look at the facilities. You could be at a place with fabulous facilities, but if the staff don't turn up, don't teach to a decent standard, or the atmosphere is poor etc, you won't get the most out of it for yourself.

Sad to hear about the experience of some previous students surrounding bullying, and even more disappointed at the attitudes of the staff! Sorry to hear you went through it to those that posted about it. All I can say is, set yourself up to succeed, don't get involved in the gossip or bitching (on horsey yards it happens almost everywhere), so learn what to take with a pinch of salt, and learn what needs addressing as more serious. College/University is a great time when you do meet a diverse mix of people, so use it as a chance to meet friends (or subsequently learn the qualities you don't want in one!), find out a bit about yourself and get involved with whatever opportunities you can! Essentially embrace the learning curve!

Also do not be put off by what you perceive as a lack of experience. The whole point of studying is to increase your skills and knowledge, so if you find something that you feel really suits what you want to do, go for it! I am sure whatever you do, with the right attitude, you will succeed and enjoy it :)
 

teddypops

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I did Equine Business Management and I wouldn't recommend Hartpury at all. I am not surprised at the bullying, the yard staff were dreadful! Totally unorganised and only interested in money, often had too many people on a course ie in our therapy group apparently there were too many of us to have practical sessions so just had lectures, well that is not the fault of the student! I also lost so much confidence going there and if you are not in the 'in crowd' no one is interested!
 

ihatework

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Hartpury is certainly very impressive when it comes to facilities. But they (along with many equine higher education colleges) probably have a fairly tough task - they will have a huge variety of students with varying capabilities in practical/academic/work ethic - and at the end of the course many will be churned out with not much greater chance of employment than when they went in, plus will have some added debt too.

The horse industry is incredibly tough, so you will need to REALLY want to do it to make an equine college course really worth your while.

My advice would be to take a year out in equine industry before embarking on the course. Not only will it give you valuable practical experience but it should give you a clearer idea if this is a path you really want to take. Good luck.
 

MrSpam

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I go to Hartpury at the moment and I love the atmosphere of the equine yard, I do A Levels at the moment so can't say much about the lifestyle but it is indeed very bitchy but what do you expect?
You've got some very wealthy girls with top class horses, mixed with girls who've produced their own horses through hard work and girls who have never ridden outside of a riding school. There is really quite a mix of characters! and its the horseworld...

Your best bet is to set yourself up well so you CAN'T be the cause of bullying, i.e. dress smartly, be modest and try to get involved in what you can!
(I'm hoping to sign up for equine business too here when I'm done and if I make the grade!)

This is not a fabulous attitude at all - it is very sad indeed. To expect a place to be bitchy, is simply to condone and collude with bullies. To set yourself up so you can't be bullied shows you are relieved when another is victimised. All workplaces and educational establishments should be free from all forms of bullying. There are laws against it and the college must have a policy of dealing with bullying and intimidation. The policy has failed.
I am shocked by what I have read - I have visited Hartpury and was hoping my son might apply, but he chose a different route.
From this thread one can only assume that the college clearly has a reputation for and a long standing issue with bullying that has not been addressed. This is a major failing on their part.
Nobody should ever accept that bullying is OK or part of an industry, you do a disservice to all sections of the equine industry to suggest this is in any way acceptable.
 

JustKickOn

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I did my degree in EBM (graduated 2013) at Moreton Morrell, Warwickshire College and loved it there. They've got their annual general open day on 16th may this year, but you should be able to have a look at what they offer on their website.

I looked round Hartpury and they were very science orientated, and one of their lecturers even said "what is the point in doing business? Do science instead". I upped and left not even 2 hours into the open day.

If to have any questions about Warwickshire College, PM me :)
 

EventingMum

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My son went to Hartpury and did Equine Dental Science. He had a good time there, there was the odd minor niggle re the organisation but nothing major. He had friends who did EBM and most of them have found good jobs afterwards but not all in the equine field. Some used their degree as an applied business management qualification and moved onto graduate training schemes in a variety of fields. He certainly wasn't aware of any bullying but his course was quite small although they did share some lectures with other courses. It's a lovely campus and a nice area to live in too.
 

laura_nash

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Volunteer work sounds like a good idea! Or I might try get some part time work over the summer on a yard or something to boost my experience (and also it would be nice to have some money for once!) and add to my application.


I can't help with Hartpury College specifically, but as regards your riding / handling worries I did an equine course many years ago at a great college that is sadly now closed down. I came from a very non-horsey background, started riding at a RS aged 12 and then got my own well-behaved pony on full livery, so I was way behind most of the other students in terms of riding and handling experience.

I spent the summer working at a huge trekking centre and show-jumping / breeding yard (100+ horses). I didn't get paid but did get board and lodging for me and my pony, lessons and a chance to compete. We were in the saddle 6-7 hours over all terrain on all sorts of different horses and ponies. It made a huge difference to me and my second year was a very different experience as I was able to get involved in the practical side and volunteer to help exercise horses etc. I would definitely recommend something like this even if your not getting paid.
 
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