Students are being given first-hand experience of caring for abandoned and neglected horses to help them get ahead in the equestrian industry.
Equine students at Bath College are being given the chance to turn their love of horses into fulfilling careers with weekly on-the-job experience.
The College’s Somer Valley Campus is working in partnership with HorseWorld in Bristol, which is the UK’s leading charity caring for horses, ponies and donkeys.
Students spend at least one day a week helping to rehabilitate the rescued horses. Each animal has an individual programme of rehabilitation, including veterinary care, dentistry, farriery, as well as handling and training to improve their chances of being re-homed.
Equine lecturer Lil Ough said the students played a hands-on role at HorseWorld to make a real difference to horses in need.
She said: “We’re very lucky to have such a close working relationship with HorseWorld as it greatly benefits the students.
“There are hundreds of horses needing rehabilitation which puts students on the front-line in the equine world.
“The work is hard and varied, but students learn to build up relationships with the horses to improve any fitness and behavioural issues.
“It gives students a real feel to what it’s like to work in the industry. Students get to leave College with the practical skills and knowledge to follow a rewarding career in the equine industry.”
Horse Care students at Bath College’s Somer Valley Campus study the anatomy and biology of horses, including handling, feeding, health, welfare and grooming.
The Equine Management course covers stable management, coaching skills and the leisure and tourism-related aspects of the equestrian world.
Students progress into employment within the equine industry, including horse breeding on stud farms, grooming, teaching at riding schools, or in one of the many career opportunities available in the horse racing industry.
Aaron Boniface, a Level 2 Equine Studies student, said he looked forward to working with the rescued horses each week.
The 18-year-old from Chew Magna said: “I’m really enjoying everything that I’m learning. The course combines classroom teaching with practical experience at HorseWorld.
“I’m hoping to go into equine dentistry. It would be great if I could get an apprenticeship to continue my on-the-job experience.”
Level 1 Equine Studies student Ella Boyce, 17, of Bristol said: “I’ve always loved horses, so I’m studying what I love.
“Being at HorseWorld is the best part of the course as it’s so hands-on, you learn while out in the field.
“It’s been great being in a working environment and it’s made me realise I’d like to work in grooming.”
Find out more about Bath College’s Equine courses at its Somer Valley Campus Open Evening at South Hill Park, Westfield. Prospective students are invited along on Thursday, May 14 between 5pm and 8pm to talk to staff and students, tour the facilities and find out which course is right for them.
Pictured above: Equine students from Bath College’s Somer Valley Campus with the rescued horses at HorseWorld.