Equine Gala Evening

Tuesday 27 May 2014

Equine drill

Shuttleworth College hosted a very special Equine Gala Evening on Thursday 22 May.

Riding performances and practical demonstrations were put on at the British Horse Society- approved training centre.

The aim of the evening was to introduce those interested in studying the Level 2 Horse Care or Level 3 Horse Management to the various elements involved. The students took centre stage throughout the night, with members of staff on hand to offer support and answer any questions visitors had. The team put on three sessions throughout the evening and each one was well attended.

After some welcome refreshments in the classroom, the first audience took their seats for the ridden demonstration. One of the two indoor arenas was filled with the music of Olly Murs, as six students showed off their riding skills in a drill ride. They rode in great harmony performing impressive formations, such as the pinwheel where the horses line up side by side and then the whole formation rotates around the end rider in a circular motion. The riders towards the outside of the circle have to ride at a faster pace than those in the middle. This not only showed how each rider had a great partnership with their horse, but also real teamwork, as they all had to be aware of the other horses around them.  

The demonstration concluded with the ridden elements that are assessed during the first and second years. The tutors explained that the focus in the first year is on the rider and developing a good seat through various exercises in the saddle. In the second year, the focus shifts on to the horse’s way of going, through lateral work and introducing the scales of training where riders think about straightness, suppleness and rhythm.   

After the riding, visitors rotated around four practical areas. There was a ‘Have a go’ area with activities such as identifying different types of feed and pieces of a grooming kit. A Biology talk involved students painting bones and muscles on to horses to illustrate their anatomy.  In Rehabilitation and Fitness Testing, the focus was on potential injuries, as well as keeping horses at a healthy weight and fit enough to do the work needed of them. The final stop was Plaiting and Show Preparation where visitors were shown how to plait a mane and how quarter marking helps to enhance the horse’s shape.  

Throughout the demonstrations it became clear that every part of the course programmes is relevant to, and sets students up for, working in the equine industry.

As well as the full-time Level 2 and Level 3 qualifications, Shuttleworth College offers part-time professional BHS courses, which take place over a number of weeks. There are also a number of short courses for the leisure rider/owner, each one lasting 3-4 hours.

For more information on our Equine courses visit www.shuttleworth.ac.uk/equine