Why bother with an equine college course ?

JFTDWS

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I have no experience of the equestrian courses, but it is sad to read such negativity towards young people.
No - so much negativity towards some young people who have chosen a certain path and been poorly prepared for the workplace, and given unrealistic expectations by their "education".

I'm not remotely negative towards young people in general - I'm always impressed by the dedication and skills of those I work with (non-horsey).
 

Pearlsasinger

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I know someone whose (novice) mother ran a DIY livery yard, daughter went to an well-known Yorkshire college to do an Equine course, cam out with a Frst and applied to do a veterinary degree - needless to say, she was turned down. She went back to 'teach' at the college, apparently. I think that she is still there, possibly working with students with learning difficulties. It really doesn't say much for the standard of education there. And I agree wholeheartedly with EKW's character assessment, too!
 

Rowreach

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I know someone whose (novice) mother ran a DIY livery yard, daughter went to an well-known Yorkshire college to do an Equine course, cam out with a Frst and applied to do a veterinary degree - needless to say, she was turned down. She went back to 'teach' at the college, apparently. I think that she is still there, possibly working with students with learning difficulties. It really doesn't say much for the standard of education there. And I agree wholeheartedly with EKW's character assessment, too!
That's exactly what happens at the college I worked at. They just re-employ their own graduates :oops::( It's a thoroughly unhealthy system.
 

Elf On A Shelf

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I have no experience of the equestrian courses, but it is sad to read such negativity towards young people.
It's not negativeity to young people who want to work, who want to make a life for themselves and go in from the bottom and work their way up the hard way. I have far more respect for these people. I was one of them. Now I see loads of kids come into the yard that barely last a winter season because they "cant work in the rain or snow" pull sickies when the weather is a bit dodgy, are lazy and self entitled. The racing school gives you no illusions. Equine colleges do. They tell you are wonderful and amazing because you can fill up a water bucket at the end of your first year and by the end of your second you can tie up a haynet!
 

wispagold

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She gets 10 pounds a hour in a private practice. And double time for Saturdays plus if you want to go on the out of hours rota, it’s 20 pounds if you don’t get calked in and 50 pounds if you do. It’s not amazing salary. But, my point is that after two years doing an animal management diploma, the only jobs on offer were grooms work at min wage.
Thanks, that is a lot better than what my sister is paid! All the dental practices in our area seem to pay a similar amount which is just over minimum wage with no paid over time (they get TOIL) weekends are same pay as week days. They have to buy their own uniform half the time and have to pay for their own registration! But I agree it is a career, which is why she went for that option rather than the equine college route.
 

Chuckieee

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When I first read this post, I thought OUCH, someone is going to get offended.

But I’m afraid that I couldn’t agree more and I hope that no one is offended.

There are so many of these courses that lead to little by way of a career. I think colleges and universities have a lot to answer for in terms of causing young folk to wrack up unnecessary debt taking courses of limited use. Although to be fair, no one holds a gun to these students’ heads...........
 

Otherwise

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We had a couple do their summer work experience placement with us, none of which I'd rate. It was a two year course generally so they'd done a year at college before they came to us. One girl we had couldn't put travel boots on a horse, couldn't work out which was a front and which was a hind and had put the tail guard on upside down and underneath the tail. So after a year at college she would have failed her BHS stage 2 care whilst a lot of riding schools would help you get your 3 in that time. Another I taught to plait as the way they'd been taught was for a group to watch someone do it and that was it, plaiting section signed off. On the other hand we had one who had been a working student at Talland for a year and one that had done an apprenticeship, the difference in knowledge, speediness and work ethic between them and the college kids was vast. I think it's partly self selecting, those that are serious about it go out and learn on the job, the others just want an easy time.
 

windand rain

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Offered as much riding as possible to a young lady on one of these courses. Arranged a meeting and handed her the tack she looked at me blankly so I tacked up the pony and got her on board she refused to go on a walk round a private road without a lead rein and her boyfiend as a foot soldier bearing in mind my at the time 3 year old granddaughter rode said pony off lead in an open field I was horrified so no I dont rate them much either
 

Gloi

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I'm afraid I don't consider the courses more than a way to keep non-academic teenagers in the statistics for being in education for two years.
 

Littlefloof

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Offered as much riding as possible to a young lady on one of these courses. Arranged a meeting and handed her the tack she looked at me blankly so I tacked up the pony and got her on board she refused to go on a walk round a private road without a lead rein and her boyfiend as a foot soldier bearing in mind my at the time 3 year old granddaughter rode said pony off lead in an open field I was horrified so no I dont rate them much either
Which prompts the question - who enrolls on these courses? Surely the target audience is young people who want to work with horses; or at least, young people who want to play ponies for a couple of years? These stories of reluctant riders who can't sweep a yard or tie up a haynet suggests that the students have little to no previous experience, which seems... odd.
 

bubsqueaks

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My daughter is currently studying equine management at Writtle & as somebody posted above it is to stay in education until 18 with a view to gaining a level 3 qualification to keep options open to apply to either further education or vet nursing as its virtually impossible for an under 18 to get a job placement in vets due to H&S & Insurance.
Not sure why anybody would ever send their horse there as yes it is very much like riding school horses as speaking from experience the level of students riding ability is very average - the majority of horses sent there are ones with issues to start with.
The lecturers are very supportive & knowledgeable but unfortunately now there aren't any horses for the students to ride!
Yes it is a very limiting course which really is a stepping stone for many who really are unsure where their futures are.
 

SEL

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Reading this thread makes me quite sad. I know a few good kids who've gone to college at 16 to do equine studies. Mixed feedback. The girls who went to Hartpury enjoyed the facilities - but one did tell me she wasn't learning anything new. I thought she was being a bit of a princess but now I've read this she's probably not! Those two would have been / will be an asset to any yard because they already had the right work ethic.

Berkshire did a cracking job of giving another 16yo her confidence back after having it destroyed a secondary school. I think she'd have struggled with an apprenticeship on a yard straight out of school but is flying now. She did tell me there were a lot of inexperienced students on her course.

I wonder if any of these colleges keep stats on what & where their students end up doing after the course.
 

exracehorse

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Reading this thread makes me quite sad. I know a few good kids who've gone to college at 16 to do equine studies. Mixed feedback. The girls who went to Hartpury enjoyed the facilities - but one did tell me she wasn't learning anything new. I thought she was being a bit of a princess but now I've read this she's probably not! Those two would have been / will be an asset to any yard because they already had the right work ethic.

Berkshire did a cracking job of giving another 16yo her confidence back after having it destroyed a secondary school. I think she'd have struggled with an apprenticeship on a yard straight out of school but is flying now. She did tell me there were a lot of inexperienced students on her course.

I wonder if any of these colleges keep stats on what & where their students end up doing after the course.
What a wonderful idea. I’d love to know
 

exracehorse

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Yes
As an aside, what exactly do they get taught/meant to learn at equine college?
Do they follow a certain syllabus like BHS/PC tests?
not equine but my daughter completed the two year animal management course and basically, she spent 80 % chatting in the library and the rest was cleaning our cages.
 

Goldenstar

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I am another with grave misgivings about the college system .
What I know is after two years they do not turn out a groom who could care for a few horses on a private yard with supervision .
Now it may be that that’s not what they are intending to do , I don’t know .
The old riding school system could produce most students to stage three in two years and these students did have the experiance to go out and get a proper grooming job .
I have no problems with training people if it’s needed I am trained to do it it’s easy for me but I stick to older people with years in the industry under their belt .
I hope the students get out of their courses what they want but the courses imo are not turning out what employers want .
 

windand rain

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I am not knocking the kids themselves just the system that makes them think they are better than they are. Unfortunately it seems that many are taught without thought to the work they will do. In all courses not just equine ones you will find kids that are totally unprepared for independant thought and living 16 year olds driven to and from school or courses that have never walked or taken a bus anywhere in their lives are suddenly expected to become adults capable of thinking through problems and making their own plans and choices. I have had an open door policy for the kids and their friends and have seen how encouraging them to earn their own money, learn how to spend and manage it and respect for others. Most young people are hard working if a little naive on the world at large but a lot are never given the support and education they need to survive in a dog eat dog world it seems to be turning into. I guess what I am saying is the age old "one generation not understanding the needs of the next". Getting to be an old fuddy duddy. In horsey circles the majority of kids are a bit different to their peers in that a living being has to come before them so they do learn a lot of lifes lessons growing up with horses and to a lesser extent with other pets
 

ester

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Which prompts the question - who enrolls on these courses? Surely the target audience is young people who want to work with horses; or at least, young people who want to play ponies for a couple of years? These stories of reluctant riders who can't sweep a yard or tie up a haynet suggests that the students have little to no previous experience, which seems... odd.
My friends daughter did a two year course, she had very little experience as had only started riding about 6 months previously at a riding/therapy centre locally then she used to help out. Cantering was a bit problematic as they weren't the sort of ponies that did much of that.

She then had a crash course elsewhere in order to pass the riding test to start. Obviously she was never going into it to be a rider of any sort, but that doesn't prevent the care side.

In a lot of ways it was the making of her though as she has ASD and had friends with a similar interest for the first time in her life. Unfortunately she hasn't been able to carry it on now but I suspect she will go back to it in future.
 

Chippers1

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Slightly different as I did an equine degree but having observed the college students where I was I would say it depends on the person. As degree students we only did yard work once every two weeks but were also able to do all BHS exams (I did stage 1, couldn't afford to do the rest although left riding at a stage 3 level - gone down hill since then :p - and I had come straight from a riding school) and these were available for everyone, the college students could take a free one each year they were on the course and many of these were taken up on. I think it depends on the college as they were all allowed to clip and plait at mine! You will get lazy people in all walks of life and I think it's difficult to decide on what career you want to do at 16 so many will just choose the thing they like doing the most. I know this was the case for me although I did a levels rather than the college route. I have a good job now but it took a while to get here!
Most of the students I knew were hard working and knew how to use a broom - it was some on degree course who thought they were above it...
 

Rowreach

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For a lot of students it's a last minute decision when they either don't get to do what they were originally planned or want something to fill some time. And the colleges are all about "bums on seats" because they get more money that way. Many of the students have not got the first clue about horses, and they come in on what used to be NVQ courses, do a year, sometimes then stay on for a Foundation "degree", then after that go onto the actual degree course. Each course pretty much repeats the previous one, so some students stay in college for five years (yes, you read that right) covering a lot of old ground, and then doing a dissertation (see my previous comment about questionnaires!!) on something fairly wishy washy, and these days, because students are "customers", they will generally walk away with a piece of paper saying they passed with flying colours.

In terms of the riding, some of these students can barely sit on a horse. Generally they are assessed in the first couple of weeks of the first term, and if they are deemed to be too novice, then they get put on a non-riding course.

Honestly it's doing the industry no favours at all.
 

BOWS28

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Yes, you probably had a lot of fun, but I rather thought the purpose of education is to actually teach you to be useful at something?
I mentioned in my comment I learnt a lot! To be honest, I'm not sure you're comment is totally fair. I look after my own horses and many people on my course are doing extremely well for themselves within the equine industry. Maybe I look your comment in the wrong way...
 

ShowJumperL95

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I went and did an Equine Course at college and learnt so much. I only had riding experience from being at a riding school and obviously learning to groom, tack up etc. So going to do an equine course really helped my knowledge! My riding improved hugely, it was very hands on learnt to care for different type of wounds, assess lameness, different types of bandage stable or exercise, clipping, plaiting. We also did every two weeks on the yard so we would be given set horses in our care we had to be mucked out and swept by a certain time and it was up to industry standards. In our lectures we learnt about nutrition for the horse, exercise, history of the horse, learning about the different types of affiliation. I really enjoyed my time at college and it was definitely a good choice for me. It is a shame some colleges aren't up to scratch with education and when students come out they have no knowledge. While I was in college they also helped me through my BHS Stage 1, 2 and 3 and I passed all of them very easily with all their extra help and tuition.
 

Tiddlypom

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Not sure why anybody would ever send their horse there as yes it is very much like riding school horses as speaking from experience the level of students riding ability is very average - the majority of horses sent there are ones with issues to start with.
The lecturers are very supportive & knowledgeable but unfortunately now there aren't any horses for the students to ride!
Many owners put their horses on working livery for a while because of time or money constraints eg a job change, uni or relocation. I'm sure that they imagine that whilst some of the students may be novicey, they will be very well supervised and the staff will be experienced and knowledgeable. They will feel that their horse is safe and in good hands, and any issues will be promptly dealt with. They certainly expect the staff to recognise poor foot balance, dental and lameness issues and to deal accordingly, after all are they not responsible for teaching their students to do the same?

I did not own my horse when she was on working livery, I bought her very soon after she finished. It is interesting that the college no longer has horses of its own, I wonder who's decision that was, and was it a forced one.

I had a horse on working livery many years ago at a very well respected riding school. His care and stable management whilst he was there was excellent. Hence I wasn't at all worried that my mare had also been a working livery just before I bought her, as I imagined that she would have been cared for similarly well. My eyes have been opened since then.
 

LaurenBay

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Just to add on my course there were a few very good riders who went on to do good things, So it does work for the right person. I would say only a small percentage though.

Regarding Writtle owning Horses, they had more owned Horses then working livery when I was there, although the working livery Horses were always the nicer Horses and everyone always asked to ride them. 3 of the owned Horses were PTS when I left so I guess they just dwindled over the years and they used working livery to replace them. Perhaps in case the Horse did break down they were able to hand back to owner rather then foot the bill for vets?

I can't say I learned nothing, I learned some stuff, but I have learnt a hell of a lot more owning my own and being on this forum.

I think it's a real shame that they didn't have nicer instructors or Horses at the time I was there, I would have stayed on gone to do my BHS level 2 and 3 and who knows where I would have ended up and where I would be working now.
 

JFTDWS

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I can think of one person from Writtle who seems to have an excellent career now - working in the middle east with some serious horse power - but she was an exceptional rider with lots of competitive experience going into the course. There are exceptions to the mediocrity of these students, of course - but they are uncommon.

I have been on yards with several of their instructors and lecturers, and some of them are frighteningly ignorant. Some of them are probably better, but I haven't encountered them if they are. As for the horses, I've ridden a few, and known more - they've all been pretty dull, low level RS type horses, and I'm not comfortable with the management I've seen and heard of there (some very concerning and directly from owners).
 

ester

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Many years ago (like 16ish) as a teen myself I went to a Mary Wanless demonstration at our local college.
Her first question was who taught you to use each leg alternately in walk, every stride. I did feel a bit sorry for the student who had to say that it was the instructors there. So I hope they learnt something that night too!

The second horse they brought out was pretty lame, but it took Mary to request another.
 
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