We caught up with former Haddon Training Apprentice dressage rider and trainer Joe Bright to talk about his career and why he now employs an apprentice himself.

Could you tell us a bit about yourself and your yard?
I am 24 years old currently riding at every level from Novice to Grand Prix, UKCC Level 2 Coach and member of the BEF young professionals programme 2018/2019.

Our yard based in Kent comprises of 18 stables with indoor and outdoor riding facilities which has been wonderful this winter! Our horses range from young colts all the way through to our Grand Prix horse Wodan. I love producing horses over time to the point where they are ready to be sold, it’s a really rewarding process.

What are your experiences of being a Haddon Apprentice?
I finished my Haddon Apprenticeship 5 years ago. At this time I was managing a yard of 14 horses. The Apprenticeship offered me guidance and time to think about ways I could make sure I could make a difference to the horses I looked after. This was in ways such as looking at what was fed on our yard and completing a module on feed and nutrition. I believe being an apprentice enhanced my role within the business.

Why do you feel it is important to offer Apprenticeships to people?
An apprenticeship is an opportunity. I got to train with people I couldn’t have afforded lessons from due to my work as an Apprentice. In my first apprenticeship I was able to groom at shows in Europe and sat on a horse that had been to WEG, these opportunities may not have been there if I was a freelance groom at the same age.

What qualities do you look for in a prospective apprentice?
Grit, drive, determination, spirit, can do approach and the desire to be a better person today than you were yesterday. If someone wants to learn and is willing to put the work in, the possibilities are endless to what they can achieve and how they could grow in our business far beyond their apprenticeship.

What advice do you have for anyone thinking about a career in horses?
The equestrian world is like many other businesses – tough. Do it because you are obsessed by it, because you love the animals you get to work around. Not everyone is suited to working in a yard, there are many roles in the equine industry that are worth exploring.

In your opinion what should an apprentice be looking for in a placement?
An environment that has open communication between staff, where learning is encouraged and where knowledge is shared.

If you’d like to become and apprentice then please give us a call on 01672 519977 or send us an email to enquiries@haddontraining.co.uk.