The Improve Your Riding courses are designed for those who wish to enhance their understanding of horses and their 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 Sally Foskett, 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 Group offers a range of one-day, weekend and evening courses relating to Equine Studies – please see the Derby College Group Equestrian website www.derby-college.ac.uk/equestrian-centre.
Derby College Group also offers courses in a wide range of other land-based topics - please see the Derby College Group Part-time Prospectus for a full list and details.
Derby College student Emma Whay has ridden since childhood but never imagined she’d be starting a foundation degree in equine studies in her thirties.
Although always passionate about horses, Emma, now 34, trained as a hairdresser immediately after leaving school at 15 and hadn’t planned on an academic career.
Years later though, she started to see learning through her two children’s eyes, and, as they got older, felt she’d missed a chunk of her education by leaving school so young.
And the opportunity to put that right came when she started going to watch her elder son compete in equestrian events at Broomfield Hall.
She said: “It was through going to Broomfield with him that I saw how lovely the equine facilities were and how well run everything was. So, I decided to contact Derby College about equine courses but was concerned that not being able to commit to five days a week on site, and not having had an academic education, might limit my options. I needn’t have worried though. The staff were so supportive and some of my studying can be flexible.”
Because of her life experience and lifelong knowledge of horses, it was agreed Emma didn’t need to attend campus every day – giving her chance to continue her hairdressing business (when pandemic rules allow) and be there for her two boys, aged seven and 11.
She added: “We’ve been learning remotely because of lockdown but the tutors have still made learning interesting and we still feel supported. College is also supporting me to complete my maths GCSE. When we’re able to do so, we spend as much time as possible at Broomfield, which I love.”
Emma, who is considering a career in tutoring, horse nutrition or equine physio once she’s got her top-up degree, has her own horse, 19-year-old Venus.
Emma added: “I’ve taken Venus into Broomfield a few times, which is brilliant. There are not many courses where you can take your horse to college! Venus is on a livery yard not far from my home and I’m able to gain work experience with the yard owner, who supports my ongoing education.”
It was through going to Broomfield with him that I saw how lovely the equine facilities were and how well run everything was. So, I decided to contact Derby College about equine courses but was concerned that not being able to commit to five days a week on site, and not having had an academic education, might limit my options. I needn’t have worried though. The staff were so supportive and some of my studying can be flexible.