The Improve Your Riding courses are designed for those who wish to enhance their understanding of horses and ability to ride.
There are three different levels, which you can access depending on your previous experience, confidence and ability. The new starter level is designed for riders who can confidently walk, trot and canter.
This is a fun course, tailor-made round the participants, which is designed to build rider balance and increase riding skills.
Candidates must be at least 14 years of age and will need to be able to walk, trot, canter and be independent from the rein, i.e. happy to ride with a light rein contact so that they do not balance their body weight on the horse’s mouth. Please ring Stephanie Meadows, Centre Manager, to have a chat prior to the course to ensure that it is right for you. Tel: 07970 726830.
We do not accept beginner riders, but can recommend approved centres where you could start riding.
In order to ensure the welfare of our horses, we operate a personal weight restriction of no more than 13 stone. All riders will be weighed prior to the start of the course.
We work on improving the balance technique and competence of the rider. This will involve riding without stirrups to enhance balance and co-ordination. Towards the end of the course, we introduce work in the light seat over poles and jump small fences.
We have a great range of horses at the College, but as their welfare is paramount, you will only be mounted on horses which suit your height and weight.
This could narrow down the selection of horses we can offer you.
There is no formal assessment, although you will receive verbal feedback during and at the end of each lesson and will be set targets for improvement.
You will be required to supply your own:
Derby College offers a range of one-day, weekend and evening courses relating to Equine Studies – please see the Derby College Equestrian website www.derby-college.ac.uk/equestrian-centre.
Derby College also offers courses in a wide range of other land-based topics - please see the Derby College Part-time Prospectus for a full list and details.
Former horse management student Ruth Orrell-Stokes returned as a lecturer to Derby College Broomfield Hall because she knew it was a "nurturing and driven" campus. She said she never walked away from a lesson "without learning something new" and "an amazing" team had supported her.
Ruth found a three month work placement with horses in California between the first and second years of her Level 3 National Diploma in Horse Management. That meant taking some time out, but Ruth and her lecturers found a way to minimise the disruption. Having successfully completed the National Diploma, Ruth went into higher education elsewhere, gaining a range of qualifications including a Higher National Diploma, and a BSC in Equine Performance Management.
She was awarded a Federation of Animal Welfare award for her final year dissertation. While studying, staff spotted that she had a talent for teaching and she went on to gain a Postgraduate Certificate in Education. After a part-time teaching job and agency work, Ruth applied and returned to Derby College, Broomfield, lecturing on maternity cover.
She has now been appointed to the staff full-time in the post which one of her former lecturers – who has gone into higher education – used to hold.
I love it. The reason I came back is because I knew that when I was a student here, it was a nurturing and driven college that really pushed me.
It was an amazing team that supported me.
While I was here I was always stretched and challenged.
I'd come from a jumping background and it was Jon, my line manager now, who taught me for jumping.
There was never a lesson I walked away from that I hadn't learnt something new, from really delicate techniques to things which were out of the box. That was true across the board.
Despite having a lot of previous experience the level 3 course was really challenging but it opened up my eyes to opportunities in the industry.