“The love for the horse has to be the main reason why we chose to work with them.”
– Christina Wiederkehr, Swiss Eventing
We caught up with international event rider, Christina Wiederkehr, owner of Swiss Eventing, to discuss her impressive career, the benefits of equine apprenticeships and off-the-job training.
Christina says, “I was fascinated by horses from a young age. Growing up in Switzerland, an equine career was quite unusual, but I loved the idea of eventing. When I was 16, I was given the opportunity to train at Stonar School in Wiltshire.
Exceeding all expectations, I won the cup for style of riding, achieved my BHS Stage 1,2 and 3 qualifications and progressed towards my teaching qualification. Gaining confidence and feeling inspired by top riders, my passion turned into my career.
I achieved my BHS stage 4 and intermediate teaching qualification at The Talland School of Equitation, before gaining work experience with Olympic dressage rider, Jennie Loriston-Clarke and international event rider, Lucinda Green.
In 2006, I began building my own clientele and officially became Swiss Eventing, a training and competition yard, in 2012. I have since competed at international 4* level in British Eventing and Prix St. George in British Dressage. I continue to progress towards top level competitions whilst coaching others.
Supporting apprentices who are passionate about working in the equine industry is so important. Showing commitment, working hard and training to a high standard ensures they become an asset to the team. An apprenticeship provides a realistic way of learning equestrianism, facing circumstances where they must use their initiative and preparing them for all equestrian related work.
Apprentices learn the importance of respect for both horses and people, fairness and the use of the correct language when training. I enjoy watching their confidence grow while they gain more experience.”
Off-the-job training is a statutory requirement of apprenticeships in England. This is additional training received by the apprentice, during their working hours, for the purpose of achieving the knowledge, skills and behaviours to become fully competent in the workplace.
Christina says, “Having regular check ins with our apprentices is essential to ensure they are keeping on track, have clear understanding of their role and to identify areas where they may require additional support.
As part of the apprentice’s off-the-job training, we provide opportunities to meet and shadow the professionals who visit the yard, including the farriers and vets. We encourage them to ask questions. The more the apprentice learns, the more they will develop as a crucial team member and expand their horizons.”
For this role, some previous experience handling horses will necessary due to the nature of the work. There is accommodation on site if required.
If you have a desire to learn and have ambition to succeed, please get in touch.