I have found volunteering at the Cavalier Centre very enjoyable, there is so much time spent with the horses and the staff are all extremely helpful and lovely. I have learnt a lot during my time here and learned so much more and so much more than I could have learnt from a textbook.
I have volunteered for a total of three weeks over a period of 5 months at the Cavalier Centre. This was to gain experience around horses for my university degree. I started with limited knowledge of horse care and in the three weeks I have volunteered I have learnt how to do many things, including how to pick a horse’s hoof, how to tack up a horse and what the feed requirements can look like for different horses with different needs.
The day-to-day routine includes morning poo picking in the paddocks and corrals, during which the horses often come over to be fussed, checking the hay nets are all full and the stables have a hay net and a water bucket in and bringing in any horses that are needed in the morning who are then groomed. Towards the end of the day, the horses that are in the stable are turned out into the fields again and the fields are quickly checked for more manure. Then sweeping is done of the stables and the yard.
With regards to hands on experience with the horses themselves, I have been able to catch horses from the fields to bring them into the stables for lessons and for other reasons like to apply medication and to work them. Furthermore, the horses are groomed before every lesson. This is something I have been taking part in. I have been taught the different uses of the different brushes. The horses are all very calm and this allows novices to feel confident with them when they are being groomed. Before lessons, the horses are also required to be tacked up. This is also something that has been taught to me and, along with tack cleaning, I have become familiar with the different pieces of equipment and what each piece does.
I have also taken part in a lesson, side walking with the horse and its rider. Horses are brought in from the fields periodically throughout the day which means that this is a frequent job. Another interesting job I have taken part in is, as mentioned earlier, applying medication to the horses. This has included salves and solutions being applied to the legs, the fetlock and the neck.
I have found volunteering at the Cavalier Centre very enjoyable, there is so much time spent with the horses and the staff are all extremely helpful and lovely. I have learnt a lot during my time here and I have found it very valuable to my degree and my future career. I feel like I have learnt so much more and so much more than I could have learnt from a textbook.