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Getting ahead in the equestrian industry means proving that you can offer the complete package.

Employers need people who can fit into a team but show the initiative to work alone, and who can back up equestrian knowledge with practical experience.

The right training underpins these skills and it is important to research the options before you invest your time and money.

Course: New entrants training scheme

  • Content: a practical training course leading to City & Guilds bridle and saddle-making qualifications, which can be further developed into SMS qualified saddler status. Students attend six intensive training weeks at the centre each year, developing their skills at their home workshop in the two months between each session. The modules cover leatherwork techniques including hand stitching, bridle making and saddle repairs
  • Venue: the Saddlery Training Centre, Wilts
  • Duration: 3 years part-time
  • Cost: £475 per week, plus any materials as required
  • Entrance ruirements: some basic skills are required
  • Applications: ongoing
  • Contacts: tel: 01722 341144, email: info@saddlerytraining.com, www.saddlerytraining.co.uk

Course: Cordwainers’ diploma in saddlery

  • Content: this is the only full-time training available in saddlery and hand-sewn leathercraft, including both traditional craft and modern factory-based production methods. The college-based course provides a foundation in bespoke saddlery and harness manufacture, preparing students
    for separately accredited diplomas in harness, bridle and saddle-making
    required for industry recognition as an SMS master saddler
  • Duration:  1 year full-time (certificate); 2  years full-time (diploma)
  • Cost: 19 years and over: £1,291 per year, 16-18 years: free
  • Entrance requirements:  Level 2 vocational qualifications or four grade C-plus GCSEs, including an art or craft subject (or equivalent). Other qualifications or work experience may be considered
  • Applications: from November to start the following September
  • Contacts: tel:  08456 122122,   email:  enquiries@capel.ac.uk, www.capel.ac.uk

To read the full feature on equestrian training courses see the current issue of H&H (26 July 2012)

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