Improve Your Riding is designed for those who wish to enhance their understanding of horses and their ability to ride. This course is tailor-made to suit the needs of participants and we find that most riders enrol from one course to another, using this as the equivalent of a weekly riding lesson.
Learners must be at least 14 years of age. You will be able to walk, trot and canter confidently. You should also be able to ride comfortably without stirrups.
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.
Riders learn how to correctly exercise a horse in walk, trot and canter, assessing and improving its way of going. You will also jump small fences and work over grid. There is a lot of focus on the riding position and rider balance.
There will be 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 – please see the Derby College Equestrian website www.derby-college.co.uk/equestrian-centre
We also offer courses covering a wide range of other land-based topics - please see the Derby College Part-time Prospectus for a full list and details.
Schoolgirl Emily Field had no idea her hobby could turn into a career until she went to a Derby College Open Evening.
Hailing from a family which is "not horsey at all ", Emily now has a string of equine qualifications at the age of just 22.
Emily was unsure what she wanted to do after her GCSEs. But as a keen rider – although she did not have her own horse at the time – the equine courses stood out.
Enthused by the open evening, she decided to pursue the Level 3 Extended Diploma in Horse Management, although she admits she was nervous.
She worried that she might be left behind because she was not from a "horsey" background and didn't own her own horse.
Instead, she thrived, and found the environment friendly and helpful.
Emily described the course as "very practical", which suited her style of learning, with most days spent on the yard. It also included more scientific areas such as equine feeding, digestion and sickness.
Emily completed her Diploma in 2013, with Passes and Merits and also took her industry qualifications BHS levels 1 and 2.
Overall, she said she "pretty much learned everything I needed to know" to put into practice as a groom when she left college.
Emily has now worked at two horse yards and is enjoying her latest job at a stud yard in Nottinghamshire. She has also gained her BHS levels 3 and 4 as well as a teaching qualification.
The Diploma was just so helpful. When I was leaving school I didn't even know you could get involved with horses as a full-time career and a proper job. It gave me a base to move upwards, I don't think I'd be able to be where I am now without it. I've been at the stud yard since September and it's entirely different to anything I've before, but I really enjoy it. I think my boss is happy with what I'm doing and I'm happy here.