Below you will find a selection of interviews from past AASE students from across eventing, dressage and showjumping.
- Abbie Jackson - Dressage (2019)
We spoke to 19-year-old AASE student Abbie Jackson to find out what she thinks about the programme.
Abbie has been in riding for as long as she can remember, focusing on dressage aged just 13 with help from the British Dressage Youth programme.
How have you found the AASE program so far?
It has been really enjoyable, I’ve already made lots of new contacts. The training has been fantastic, I’ve learnt a lot in terms of tactical goal setting and with my riding as well.
Has AASE been what you expected?
It has been more than I expected training-wise. I didn’t expect to be training with such prolific people. There is a lot more paperwork than I realised, but it’s definitely been beneficial; I’ve come on a lot with my riding because of the goal-setting that has been involved.
What are you looking forward to most?
I’m looking forward to making new friends, to see an improvement in my riding and my horse’s way of going.
What do you hope to get out of AASE in terms of your career?
I’d like to push forward, ride for more well-known people. I would like to be able to grow my own business which is training, backing and breaking young horses. I offer to go to people’s yards instead of them having to come to me. AASE has really improved my communication and time management skills which has been really helpful in starting my business.
- Lucy Pintus - Dressage (2018)
“The AASE programme helped to develop my business skills and gave me a different perspective. I liked that other people on the course had the same interest, the same motivations and we learnt about the business side with it. In my experience, people want to ride but they don’t know how to run a sustainable business, and the AASE programme teaches you all that. In addition, you meet people you can learn from and get ideas from, and there has been lots of support even since completing the programme.”
- Morgan Wyatt - Event Rider (2019)
21-year-old event rider, Morgan Wyatt is an event rider and an AASE student. We asked him how he has been finding the programme so far.
How are you finding the AASE programme?
I’m really enjoying AASE so far. I had a great cross country training session with Gary Parsonage which was really useful.
I enrolled on the AASE programme as I would really like to get out of it some really good, constructive feedback on how I can go forward in the equine industry and how to manage a business properly.
Has AASE been what you expected?
Not really, I thought it would be a lot more riding based and a lot more physical. But it’s a lot more -about the whole equine industry in relation to yard maintenance, physical and mental wellbeing. It’s been a lot more rounded than I thought it would be.
What are you looking forward to most?
I’m looking forward to learning lots from the great coaches they have on the programme. Being able to ask them lots of questions about their experiences is so helpful – I’m probably being a bit nosy!
What do you hope to get from AASE in terms of your career?
A really good fundamental grounding as to where I can progress my career within the industry, outlining the route I want to take with making an equine business and achieving my goals as an event rider.
- Deia White - Showjumper (2019)
Deia White is an 18-year-old Showjumper who graduated from the AASE programme in 2019. Find out what she thoughts about being an AASE student and how it benefitted her.
What are your overall thoughts on the AASE programme?
It was really good! I gained a lot of things from it. There is so much you can take away from it both in and out of the saddle.
Was AASE what you expected?
No – but in a good way. There is a lot more that you learn apart from just the paperwork. All the training is really helpful and the contacts you make are amazing and go beyond the course.
What did you enjoy most about AASE?
Probably the course walk with Mark, because it was really in-depth and helped me to understand all of the details and take into account everything to do with walking a course well. This has really changed how I would walk a course.
What was the most beneficial thing you learnt?
I think probably the contacts I have made; I still train with Targa Hammond and I still talk to Dee about the horses, so that’s been a great thing to take away from it, knowing that I have a big support network.
What advice would you have for future AASE apprentices?
Stay on top of the work, listen to what everyone is saying around you, really concentrate on the training advice and focus on it, so you can work on your goals and keep updating them.
- Emily Seal - Showjumper (2019)
Emily is a 28-year-old showjumper who joined the AASE programme in 2019/2020.
What level do you compete at?
Last summer I competed in my first Area Trial which was around 1.50m, and I compete at 1.40m indoors. I hope to continue jumping bigger tracks this summer.
How have you found AASE so far?
It has been really interesting and we have covered many different aspects to do with your career as a rider, including the mental health and performance aspects. I found the goal setting really useful. I never normally write my goals on paper, but it was really beneficial to set some goals at one of our camps and then go out and actually managed to achieve more than a few of them. I found this exercise to be a really good thing for me and that’s just one of the things we have learnt.
Has AASE been what you expected?
Yes, but it also helps to broaden your understanding of your chosen discipline to help you continue to grow as a rider and to develop your business as well. It covers everything that goes into being a show jump, dressage or event rider, or whoever you want to be.
What are you looking forward to from the AASE programme?
I’m looking forward to being more enriched and having a deeper knowledge of how to be successful within the sport. I’m looking forward to having a more professional overlook and way of representing myself.
What do you hope to get from the AASE program in terms of your future career?
I hope to continue to develop my career. To keep improving is all I strive for really. Obviously I’d like to gain better results and consolidate at a level and then continue to step up. I’d love to succeed with an equestrian business – if we can manage that then I think we are doing alright!
- Nyah Milward - Showjumper (2018)
Nyah Milward Show Jumper on why she loved Haddon Training’s Advanced Apprenticeship in Sporting Excellence (AASE) programme and why she wishes she could do it again.
Tell us a little bit about yourself?
My name is Nyah Milward and I am 18 years old. I joined the Haddon Training/British Showjumping SESP (now the AASE) programme in 2018. I have grown up with horses as my Mom has always had them. We have always brought youngsters to produce myself which I love doing, it is so rewarding.
This has led me into competing with British Showjumping in age classes on my current two horses. With Robbie, I am jumping 6-year-old classes this year which is very exciting.
My passion is showjumping and my mentor, Rosemary Tillson has been a great support. I am now based with Rosemary and have my own freelance business offering competition schooling, breaking and sales services.
What inspired you to apply for the programme?
My dream is to be as successful as I can be in the world of show jumping so I was excited when I saw the SESP (AASE programme) advertised. I felt it would give me an amazing starting point in my career and would be a fantastic recognition of the high standard of elite training I received to enable me to stand out in the competitive horse world to potential clients in the future.
Was the application easy?
The actual application form was easy to follow and complete with all of my personal information, level of riding and show jumping results. Haddon Training clearly explained all aspects of what the course involved from the training camps, coaching, mentors and theory work.
How has it helped to develop you and your career?
The training programme has given me so much more confidence and a boost to my career. Corinne Bracken, Chris Hewlett, Targa Hammond and David Prior were, and still are, a huge support.
I received amazing training at the camps from top trainers Andrew Saywell (Show Jumping) and Heike Holstein (Dressage/Flatwork) and even when at a show the support and encouragement were there.
The programme is by far the best thing I have ever done, I wish I could do it again! Having the backing of my family, friends and this programme has allowed me to now go “freelance” and turn my passion into a career.
What have you enjoyed the most about the programme?
The most enjoyable aspect was attending the training camps during the year, catching up with everyone and receiving the amazing training with my own horses. It was just priceless.
What reservations did you have?
My only reservation when initially joining was the theory-based work as I did not think it would be enjoyable and no way did I ever think I would be able to stand up in front of everyone and talk…… but I did! The theory work was constructed so it was enjoyable and included talks from vets, physios, plus a talk on prohibited drugs (both competitors/horses) to name a few.
The support from everyone was outstanding including my fellow graduates.
How has the support from Haddon Training been?
Haddon Training support has been incredible all the way through, anyone thinking of applying you will not regret it. To be able to receive this type of support network, training and qualification is the best opportunity. I highly recommend it.
I would like to say a huge thank you to Haddon Training, British Showjumping and everyone involved in helping me graduate and have so much fun along the way. I have made some lifelong friends and having an on-going support network.
The AASE programme is open to riders competing at British Dressage, Para-Dressage, British Eventing, British Showjumping and Para-Showjumping. If like Nyah you would like to apply to be on the AASE programme click here.
Image by kind permission of www.topshots.org.uk.
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