Course studied: BSc (Hons) Equestrian Psychology and Sports Science
The course tutors are really supportive, motivating and encourage you to develop yourself as a person and scientist
More about Emily
“When I applied to university I was developing an interest in the therapeutic uses of the horse, but wanted to study a broader equine degree. This course is the only one I found to offer modules in the therapeutic uses of animals.
“Aside from this, the facilities of Brackenhurst were what I was looking for: a quiet rural campus, still connected to a town or city (Brackenhurst has both Southwell and Nottingham accessible by a bus directly from campus) with good, modern equestrian facilities that were used actively throughout the course.
“This course is really applied so lots of the content is taught in context of the relevant discipline or aspect of the equine industry, with visits from guest speakers where applicable. The psychology aspect includes aspects of sports psychology and equine welfare, behaviour and cognition and builds on these core modules through optional modules such as performance analysis, sports injury and therapeutic use of the horse.
“I enjoyed the second year module “Therapeutic Use of the Horse” and am looking forward to the third year module “Animal Assisted Interventions” as this is where my interests lie. Our lecturer really encouraged discussion and debate and it raised some interesting issues and questions. I also enjoyed our second year research project and “Analysis of Equestrian Performance” module as we got to use some of the technology that Brackenhurst has and apply it practically after being taught about it in previous modules.
“The Equestrian Centre has brilliant facilities and technology available and modules are assessed in a variety of ways. The lecturers are also really research active so know what is going on in the industry and will always be talking about the latest research papers, and probably wrote them themselves!
“I chose to split my placement year into three placements, spending six months on a high end livery yard working on my equine handling and husbandry skills, six weeks at The Horse Boy Foundation in Texas and the remaining six weeks at New Leaf Triangle (NLT), a UK based Horse Boy and Outdoor Learning Centre in Leicestershire.
“The time I spent at NLT introduced me to the Horse Boy Method and confirmed my wish to pursue a career in animal assisted therapies (specifically equine) and outdoor learning. During my time in Texas I began my Horse Boy training, learning a phenomenal amount about autism as well as classical dressage and how they use it to train the horses. I am very excited to be returning to New Leaf Triangle to work this summer. I am looking forward to putting all I have learnt into practice and becoming a member of their team as they continue to develop the centre.
“If you have any doubt about whether you should do a placement, do it! Initially I wasn’t convinced, but it is the best thing I ever did.
“I love being a student here. Brackenhurst is a beautiful campus at which to study and live and everyone is really friendly. I think it’s a lovely location as its rural but still only half an hour from Nottingham city centre by car, with regular buses. Everything you could possibly want is really accessible. There’s several sports teams based at Brackenhurst and the bar runs a variety of events so there’s something for everyone. If you fancy experiencing the night life that city has to offer, there’s a variety of bars and clubs and a night bus that runs back from the city centre at the weekend so it’s definitely affordable!”