For those who don’t want to travel the A’ level route into the equine industry, Otley College offers a Modern Apprenticeship in Equine Studies.

Eighteen-year-old Zia Roshier decided that was the way she wanted to go so left her A’ level studies to join the course.

She has been working as a trainee at one of the college’s satellite centres, Hawkins Farm, a busy 38-horse riding school.

Abi McClure, Zia’s key skills assessor, says that Zia not only gains experience in dealing with the public, vets, farriers and food merchants, but also studies on the key skills programme, which complements the practical training, providing a foundation of business, communication, numeracy and literary skills.

Duties range from stable management through to preparing cost proposals for saddlery in the form of a spreadsheet with charts.

Zia’s typical week consists of at least two hours’ riding tuition throughout the week, two hours training for her BHS Stages exams and one to two hours for her NVQ programme.

She works five days a week at Hawkins Farm, teaching, escorting hacks and advising other on aspects of stable management. She plans to do her NVQ3, BHS Stage III and Preliminary Teaching Test next year, and follow that with an equine degree.

For more information on the course (tel: 01473 785543) or visit www.otleycollege.ac.uk