Finding the perfect balance article with Hughes Dressage discussing apprenticeships with Haddon Training

As a leading provider of equine apprenticeship in England and Wales, we are privileged to deliver apprenticeship training to many prominent employers, including international dressage riders Rebecca and Gareth Hughes at Hughes Dressage.

In conjunction with National Apprenticeship Week, we spoke with Rebecca to find out her thoughts on apprenticeships and why they work so well for their team.


Rebecca says, “We choose to employ apprentices because it brings new people into our yard that are eager to learn our trade; it really enables us to have a superb balance of senior members of staff who can pass on their expertise and apprentices who are enthusiastic to develop and learn as they begin their careers.

Equine apprenticeships offer a hands-on experience and the reality of working in an established yard. It gives an apprentice a real feel of our environment that you wouldn’t acquire if undertaking a college course. Apprenticeships also provide an opportunity for people to gain excellent testimonials to take forward in their careers which can enable them to go into future job roles at a higher level and with better prospects.

As an employer there are a wealth of benefits to having an apprentice if time is dedicated to support their training. When employing an apprentice, we gain a commitment from them that they are here to learn and improve in order to progress in the industry. We return that commitment by investing the time to share our knowledge and enable the apprentice to excel. We benefit from having someone who is keen to succeed and passionately wants to progress, and the apprentice benefits from learning skills and behaviours from staff who are very experienced in the industry. Working alongside such a well organised training provider we have found it extremely easy working with their Trainer Coaches to support our apprentices too.

Apprentices don’t just develop yard skills either, they learn life skills that can be carried forward with them. For me, one of the most valuable things an apprentice can learn from our team is an excellent work ethic. We find that this provides a foundation for enhancing other areas of their personal and professional development, such as confidence and capability. Having these abilities make them very employable to other equine employers in the future too.

At Hughes Dressage, choosing the right apprentice ensures that we have the correct team around us; every employee provides an integral role in our business and that only works if we are all focused on the same goals and benefitting from one another. When employing an apprentice, we look for someone who is eager to learn, keen to improve and demonstrates a desire to be fully involved in all aspects of our work. They need to take the commitment to the apprenticeship seriously and be focused on learning; they need passion and drive to succeed. If they can do that then the sky is the limit in terms of what they can learn.”


Hughes Dressage will be looking to employ a new apprentice in April and applications are now open!

If you would like to apply, please contact our team to find out more, or head to our vacancies page and search Hughes Dressage.