Flo shares her story of becoming a Horse Care apprentice and how she has excelled as a British event rider. Flo is working at Rectory Farm in Wiltshire, completing her Level 3 in Horse Care.
Why did you choose the apprenticeship route?
I chose the apprenticeship route because I wanted to broaden my horizons and ensure I had the right skills for my future career in horse care. Taking on an apprenticeship and working on Rectory Farm was ideal. I have already completed my Level Two and now I’ve progressed onto a Level Three apprenticeship with Haddon Training Ltd.
Could you describe a typical day working on Rectory Farm?
We are usually on the yard by 7:30am where we catch up and start by feeding the horses and checking they are okay before mucking out the stables. I start riding at 9am with four to ride in the morning, and then it is property maintenance and general clipping, trimming and grooming of the horses.
You have quite a decorative career, tells us all about it.
My career as a British event rider has been brilliant! I event to intermediate and have been selected for Team GB’s Development Squad – for riders hoping to be selected to ride for their country at the junior Europeans. At the Pony Club Eventing Championships 2017, I won the individual eventing competition and was part of the winning team too.
How has the apprenticeship fitted into your busy schedule?
I stay organised: the apprenticeship has exposed me to the industry, working with horses and competing, while giving me an education and qualification.
How has the apprenticeship and working full time helped with your social skills?
I have met people I wouldn’t normally have and am lucky to have a strong support network and team – which is vital in this industry. I’ve made amazing friends and have top class coaching at Rectory Farm.
Rectory Farm hosts a lot of events and competitions, how do you get involved?
I’m currently studying at Level 3 Horse Care, which involves managing a yard and running events – so I get involved where I can. We ran the Pony Club Regional Championships and I supported the stable managers during this event. I also set up the dressage arenas for a regional championship and prepped the course and ground.
How has the apprenticeship helped your confidence?
Enormously – I’ve definitely matured. I used to be shy and hid away from new people, however, I now teach new staff and mentor Level Two apprentices. I have seen improvements in my speed of work as well gaining good connections into the industry.
Any advice for anyone who is interested in starting a Horse Care apprenticeship?
Be keen, be hard working and be a team player – don’t be afraid of getting stuck into whatever you get asked to do.
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