Horse & Hound
First equine welfare students graduate
A first-of-its-kind diploma caters for those working to aid horse welfare
HISTORY has been made by students in equine legislation, welfare and field skills, according to those behind the course.
The three students, who started the level three diploma last July, have just graduated, becoming the first in the country to secure this type of qualification.
Until the Horse Trust created the course, there was no regulated qualification for those who work or volunteer for equine welfare organisations.
The trust developed the course in consultation with statutory bodies, vets, nutritionists, behaviourists and welfare charities, for organisations that investigate equine welfare issues, enforce or create welfare legislation or care for and rehabilitate rescued equines.
The graduates, all field officers or staff for stables that house welfare cases, have a “vital role in safeguarding horses across the UK”, a trust spokesman said.
“It is so rewarding to see the first students achieve the qualification,” added the trust’s training manager Charlotte Launder. “We are very proud of them and they have been a brilliant first cohort, providing excellent feedback which will help us enhance the course.
“Developing the qualification has been a big commitment involving a significant amount of work, but we believe it’s vital for those who work in the UK’s equine welfare sector to be able to demonstrate their capabilities for the important work they do.”
The students used the Horse Trust website for theory and completed two weeks’ practical training with the charity.
“This qualification is so relevant,” said graduate Sally Burton of the Mare and Foal Sanctuary. “It has given me knowledge that I will use to make changes to how we do things.
“I’d recommend this for anyone working in welfare.”
Fellow student Sophie Kendrick, of equine charity
Hope Pastures, described the qualification as “excellent”.
“It covers crucial areas essential for facilitating greater knowledge of equine welfare,” she added. “It will enable us to take important steps forward to help more equines and prevent cruelty.”