Equine Apprenticeships programmes at CAFRE

February 9, 2022

My name is Sarah Orr and I am from the Moy in County Armagh. I was a pupil at Drumglass High School, where I studied up to GCSE level. Whilst at school I developed an interest in horses and the equine industry.

Set on a career in the equine sector I started working a couple of days a week for Lesley Johnston at Lodge Equine Stables. It was there that I first learnt to ride and developed an insight into the aspects of caring for horses.

When I completed my GCSEs in June 2019, I saw an advert for a job at Smith Brothers Eventing. I initially thought I would try it for the summer, to gain great practical experience. I had considered studying on a full-time course at the College of Agriculture, Food and Rural Enterprise (CAFRE), Enniskillen Campus. As September drew closer, I decided to continue working as I was learning so much, while having the best time and gaining friends from all over the world.

Two and a half years later I am still working with the team. During my time here I have completed lots of lessons and my riding has really improved. I have been lucky to have the opportunity to ride an older 4* horse, and have got to practice movements such as half passes and flying changes. I have also travelled to many different national and international events. I have improved tremendous amounts and my knowledge is growing so much.

In September 2021, I was offered the opportunity to apply for a Level 2 Apprenticeship with CAFRE at Smith Brothers Eventing. I leapt at the chance! I am now a couple of months into the programme and loving it. It consists of online classes. I am improving my knowledge of horses, such as knowing all the bones and muscles. The college organises visits to other equine businesses. These give an insight into how other yards operate, which is so important to see.

As part of the Level 2 Apprenticeship programme I get the opportunity to complete the British Horse Society Stage 2 qualifications. When I finish the programme I hope to continue to study for the Level 3 Apprenticeship in the Equine Industry. It will enhance my knowledge, skills and qualifications further.

If like me you have a passion for horses and want to gain practical skills whilst gaining a formal qualification an Apprenticeship programme offers the perfect combination. Better still you earn as you learn. Transform your career with an Apprenticeship qualification through CAFRE.

For course information click here.

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