Article called: Advice when considering an apprenticeship from Trainer Coach Rowan Flindall-Shayle of Haddon Training

Are you thinking about taking an apprenticeship in equine or animal care? Here, one of our fantastic Trainer Coaches, Rowan Flindall-Shayle, shares her love of apprenticeship education, and advice for anyone considering beginning an apprenticeship.


“From an early age I’ve always been fascinated by animals. I’ve always owned cats and dogs and developed a very early love of horses. From the age of sixteen I spent my school holidays working at a large, Cumbria pony trekking centre. I went on to gain my BHS PTT and Stage 2 equine qualifications at College. I taught riders of all levels at riding schools in the North of England and participated in dressage, showing, western riding and endurance with my own Appaloosa horses. I later gained my BHS Stage 3 Care and Lunging.

I gained more experience with animals and people as I progressed my career in animal care. This included collaborating with dog trainers and animal rescues, organising dog shows and farm events, running farm-based therapy and education sessions, and working with alpacas, sheep, cattle, and free-range chickens; just a few of my animal experiences!

I developed a love of educating others with animals in a practical setting. To be able to offer people real-life experience of working with animals, so that they could grow their skills and confidence, is fantastic. It was for this reason that, in 2018, I was thrilled to become part of the Haddon Training team delivering apprenticeships in Wales. Becoming a Trainer Coach was brilliant – no two days are ever the same, and my apprentices work with everything from spiders to primates, dog day care to multi-species animal rescue, vets to falconers. The employers and learners are always so passionate about what they do, and I find it really rewarding to be a part of their learning journey.


If you’re considering an apprenticeship in the equine or animal care industry, my advice is to remember you’re applying for a job, and this could be your future career. Make sure you understand the requirements of the job and, if you’re unsure of anything, ask questions! Whether you ask a potential employer or our team at Haddon Training, we are all here to help! Our expert team can also offer you resources to support you with preparing for an interview and provide advice on what roles are suitable for you based on your location and existing knowledge.

If the apprenticeship requires some experience, you can look for structured volunteering experiences, or in England we offer traineeship programmes in equine and animal care. These are a fantastic opportunity to experience the industry before committing to an apprenticeship. Many animal rescues will also welcome reliable and enthusiastic volunteers.

Remember that apprenticeships last between 18 and 24 months and are a combination of study and practical learning. Your employer will allow time for your studies as part of your working day, and you must use this time to learn from your peers and Trainer Coach. You will also be supported to develop your maths and English skills if these are needed as part of the apprenticeship.

Apprenticeships are an amazing way to continue your education and achieve nationally recognised qualifications. You may find the work more challenging and insightful than college courses, and you will be gaining practical experience in a real job, earning a wage, and learning from others who are in the industry.”



If you would like to know more about how to apply for an apprenticeship with us in England or Wales, just get in touch with our expert team today! They are here to offer exceptional information, advice, and guidance to help you begin your dream career!