Straight from the horse’s mouth

Published Friday, 10th May 2019 in Study at SRUC news

Eily Andrews at the Scottish Borders Donkey Sanctuary
Eily Andrews at the Scottish Borders Donkey Sanctuary

Equine Studies students got a chance to learn straight from the horse’s mouth on a study tour of the Scottish Borders.

Seven HND students, from SRUC’s Oatridge campus in West Lothian, visited Floors Castle Stud in Kelso, the Borders Donkey Sanctuary in St Boswells and the James Ewart Racing yard near Langholm as part of the two-day trip.

The tour also took in Geoff and Elspeth Adams’ pre-training yard at Rhymer’s Ha near Melrose, where horses are prepared for going into training at a racing yard; Kevin Jardine’s business which rehabilitates and rehomes race horses  at Solwaybank Farm, near Canonbie; and foxhounds at the Buccleuch Hunt.

Equine lecturer Gillian Turnbull said: “The aim of the study tour is to let students see how various different types of yard in the industry function, some of which tie in with the units they have learned about on the course.”

HND student Emily Stewart said: “The trip was really interesting. It showed how much work there is to do with horses in Scotland.”

The Borders trip follows an earlier study tour to the Netherlands by a group of HNC Equine Studies students from Oatridge.

Students try out a horse simulator at Wellant College in the Netherlands

Students try out a horse simulator at Wellant College in the Netherlands

After a visit by Dutch students to SRUC in November, the students were invited for a tour of Wellant College’s Houten campus and equine yard – including a state-of-the-art riding simulator that does show jumping, cross-country and dressage.

They also visited the KWPN Studbook headquarters, where they learned about the history of the Dutch Warmblood Studbook and its aim to produce the best competition horses in the world; the Netherland’s National Equestrian Centre; and Waldman Horses – a yard that produces internationally-renowned show jumping horses.

In addition, the 10 students joined their Wellant colleagues in an Equine Anatomy lesson and visited the college’s Dordrecht campus to take part in a practical lesson on assessing the suitability of horses for dressage and show jumping. 

Louise Bulmer, Equine Programme Leader at SRUC Oatridge, said: “The visit highlighted some of the future employment opportunities available for equine students.”

HNC student Laura Graham said: “The Netherlands trip was the experience of a lifetime and one I will never forget. We've all come back with some very good knowledge and understanding of how different it is over there.”

SRUC offers a range of Equine and Horse Care courses, from National Certificate to HND level, at Oatridge.

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