We caught up with Haddon Learner Katie Ruben to chat about her Level 2 Horse Care Apprenticeship based at Tom Jackson Eventing and her top five tips on what to expect from your equine apprenticeship.

“Hello fellow grooms!

This January I was lucky enough to win the massive British Grooms Association hamper prize, something that’s still surreal, but in all this hype I thought back to 6 months ago when I was a young, naive school leaver who would have really benefited from some tips on being a live-in groom and that’s what I’m here to offer so;

Tip number 1) Expect the unexpected. It sounds really cheesy but, if I could take one bit of advice from this experience so far it would be exactly that.
Focus more on how you can work your absolute hardest rather than try and look into the future because I can guarantee it won’t be how you think it will be.

Tip number 2) Your dietary needs will shoot through the roof, you will eat so much and you will need to!
You are working hard so don’t ignore your stomach when it’s telling you to eat and if you are buying your own food, buy more than what you think you will need and always have pasta available!

Tip number 3) Prepare for your social life to come second. This particularly applies if you are living away from home and have no mode of transport to get around. In my opinion I have to balance my life out, so my work comes before everything and then getting any written work done and then my social life.
I am not saying that you will never be able to go out again, it’s about prioritising what needs to be prioritised, this was probably one of my hardest challenges but, I have managed absolutely perfectly and having supportive friends always helps.

Tip number 4) I cannot stress enough about this one. Keep on top of your written work and get to bed at a reasonable time! If you fall behind due to the physical exertion and not getting to bed sensibly it is very hard to build yourself back up and you will have to sacrifice the precious time you have with friends to get on top of your work and sleep.
My learner-coach Helen Douglas has been such a support to me and yours will be too.

My Final Tip is;

Tip number 5) Don’t be afraid to release your emotions, for your mental well-being and in a sense your physical as well, you must be able to not bottle away what you are feeling. When I first joined Tom Jackson Eventing, I found it incredibly overwhelming due to just coming out of school and moving away from home.

My life had completely changed within a blink of an eye, but it’s most important to keep believing that you will get over all bad thoughts and that you have done the right thing. Remember those many times that you have wanted the opportunity that is on your doorstep right now!”

Don’t forget that all Haddon Training Equine Learners have access to Groom’s Minds through their complimentary membership to the British Grooms Association.

A big thanks to Katie for sharing her tips, and if you would like to find out more about Katie you can hop over to our facebook page to read our interview with her by clicking here.

We have lots of exciting opportunities available, please give us a call on 01672 519977 or send us an email to enquiries@haddontraining.co.uk.