Paige Goulding’s update from Croft End

Hello! Welcome back to my blog. During the last month at Croft End, we have had a careers week, where certain individuals came in and spoke to us about their experiences. We had a visit from Jayne Boden, who used to be a student at Croft End and spoke to us all about working in different sectors across the Equine industry; Gillivers Vets, racing and showing. We also met Claire Huyton, who was a former member of staff at Croft End and is now running her own tack shop business. It was interesting to hear about her experience of being self-employed and how she manages her income and expenditures. Caroline Booth, the Equine Manager at Reaseheath College, also came to visit. She talked about how she started volunteering as a teenager at local yards and explained how she has moved up and tried different things in the equine industry. She also helped to set up elements of the Reaseheath college Equine Yard and has qualified as a behavior therapist. Finally, we also had a visit from Rob Icke, the Careers Adviser from Reasheath College who talked to the class about progressing on to university and what qualifications we will need to do this. The week as very useful and helped to inspire myself and the rest of the group to work hard!

As the Be Ready lessons progress, we have being looking at improving our CV’s; adding certain subheadings and keeping it short but informative. We have been doing this because this is our last year at college, so we are preparing for the working world.  We have also been carrying out mock interviews so we can make sure we present ourselves in a correct manner and be well prepared. At Croft End, we have two Student Representatives – Jordan Blanchard and Jade Pickup. They help the students to have a ‘learner voice’ and they communicate with the staff to advise them on things that may concern us as students. I believe having student reps is a great idea because they also talk to the college staff about things that as students we believe would improve the college and make our learning environment as good as possible.

To improve our employability, we have been set certain targets to ensure that we achieve the best possible results. My targets are to increase my speed on the yard and to maintain my attendance at a acceptable level. Becoming quicker, but still efficient on the yard will help me for the future; when I eventually progress into the equine industry. I will do this by increasing my fitness level and my knowledge in the equine sector. To maintain my attendance I will make sure I have plenty of early nights so I am fresh for the duties that await me. Keeping organised is key. To help me keep on top of my work, Lisa sharp kindly handed me a journal to keep track of homework and my blog. This has helped me to keep track of my weeks making sure I hand everything in on time and making sure nothings late. I believe having a journal is a great idea and everyone should invest in one as it makes life much easier as you know where you are up to with all your assignments and duties.

During our weekly riding sessions, with instructor and lecturer Danielle Haughton, we have been looking at light seat. This is where we have to maintain a jockey position throughout walk, trot and canter, introducing us to the jumping stage. We also have been looking at improving our aids and when using them making sure they are efficient. Danielle also filmed us so we could observe our position and see where there is room for improvement.

Unfortunately, after failing my math’s for the second time, I have to retake Math’s GCSE in 2019. Our tutor, John, who is based at Burrows Lane, kindly travels all the way to Croft End to teach those who need to retake. We have been working hard on covering the basics such as, rounding, fractions and percentages. We also do a quiz at the start and end of each lesson to see what we have learnt and assess our progress. We have recently done two milestone papers which I found difficult, but I’m doing 5 nights of revision a week, to hopefully pass my Math’s GCSE once and for all!

As a bit of a reward for our work so far, our Course Manager, Lisa Sharp and lecturer, Danielle Haughton took those of us that were interested, to Haydock Park. They used their own cars to transport us back and forth, which I thought was very generous. At Haydock, we were shown around by two guides from a racing college and we got a behind-the-scenes tour of the centre. They also showed us the kind of clothing and boots jockeys wear, to ensure they are as light as they can be. The racing industry has never been something I had a particular interest in, as I worried the horses were overworked. However, after seeing that some of the horses only race a couple of times a year, it made me see the racing industry in a different perspective and now may even be a career option I would like to take.

Finally, we all went on a Christmas bowling trip on the 11th Dec which we loved! See the picture below (I am the 1st on the left)! Thank you for reading! I will be back soon.

About The Author

Hello, my name is Paige. I have progressed from the Level 2 Diploma in Equine to the Level 3, and I am now in my third year at the outreach centre. My long term goal is to work as a live-in groom as I feel that living on site means that you are able to build a really close bond with the horses.