In this new series, we spend a few minutes ‘In The Barn’ chatting with different people from Ryders Farm and around the equine industry. Learn more about the horses in their life, their career journey and some interesting facts you might not have known before!
Becky Schofield is a BHS Stage 2 Coach at Ryders Farm Equestrian Centre and currently training towards her Stage 3 qualification. Becky has her own horse, Chesney, and has a life long passion for horses and the equine industry. Find out more about Becky’s life and horses in our interview:
Firstly, what is your role at Ryders?
My job at RFEC is Equestrian Coach and Stable Assistant. At the yard you will usually find me teaching group lessons in the arena on a Friday, Saturday and Sunday, as well as teaching groups I also teach privates during the day. You will also see me on the yard caring for the horses and preparing the horses for lessons.
What does a typical day at work look like for you?
The first thing we do when we open up in the morning is feed all the horses haylage and their feeds. We will then bring in the ponies that have stayed out at night, after doing this we take all the rugs off if they are wearing them. The next task to do is mucking out and bedding down. This is a really essential and important job to ensure the horses have comfortable stables as they work hard. After this it’s time to sweep the yard or blow the yard (I prefer to blow the yard with the leaf blower as it’s quicker 😉). Then we split the rest of the jobs between the team, I usually skip out empty stables when the horses go into lessons and make sure the yard is tidy. This is why you will usually see me with a sweeping brush in my hand!
What does Ryders mean to you?
I started riding at Ryders Farm as a client in 2009, and ever since that day I never wanted to leave. Riding really gave me the confidence I was lacking and social skills, which has helped me throughout my life. I then started my studies at Eccles Sixth Form Centre in 2013 on the Equine Studies course which is based at Ryders Farm. These two years taught me a lot about myself and what I wanted to do as a career. The horses helped me gain confidence through my time at college – especially Buster as I was terrified of jumping (I mean I used to cry when I saw a pole😂!) After lots of encouragement from Sarah, along with buster, the team at Ryders really helped me to gain my confidence back.
After college I went on to study my BSc in Equine Science at Myerscough College University Centre and worked part time at Ryders Farm. From this I went on to study my Post Graduate Certificate in Education as in the future I would love to be a college tutor, I did my placement at Salford College so had the chance to see the industry from a different perspective which was a great experience and helped develop my coaching skills. That takes us up to now, which as you all know l am at Ryders Farm, I’m loving learning new skills and teaching the best clients on our fabulous team of horses.
On a day off, where will we find you?
On my day off, you will probably find me in stable thirteen on Ryders Farm. As many of you already know I recently bought Chesney off the riding school. I love spending time with him, grooming him and riding him. I also own another pony who is on full loan so I enjoy visiting him to see how he is getting on.
Growing up, were you brought up around horses as a child?
My family have always been into football but I really didn’t like it. When we were younger we used to visit Heysham quite a lot and near where we stayed was a local pub. In the back garden of the pub lived a horse named Bonnie, she was a big, friendly Clydesdale horse. Ever since then I found a love for horses so when I heard about Ryders Farm I begged my mum and dad to take me and the rest is history.
When did you know you wanted to work with horses? What advice would you give to someone wanting to start their horsey career?
I knew as soon as I started college that I wanted to work with horses, as I just couldn’t keep away. The best advice I was given was to stick with it, if you love something so much then no matter how hard it gets you will find a way for it to work out, so never give up. One important thing I would say to someone starting their career is to start your British Horse Society (BHS) exams as soon as you can, these will really help you develop your practical skills and knowledge and are widely recognised and esteemed in the equine industry.
Best advice you have been given:
The best quote I have ever been told was from my Great Uncle; “There are three choices in life, give up, give in or give it all you have got.” He grew up with horses and wanted to pursue a career in the equine industry but he was told ‘there was no money in it’ so was forced to do something else.
What is your favourite discipline and why?
Over the years of owning horses I have done a lot of showing at county and local level. I really enjoy showing as I love the real buzz you get when your hard work pays off when you are commended or awarded in the class. In the future I would like to start competing Chesney and taking him to various shows, I would like to focus on Working Hunter classes which consist of jumping natural fences and a short ridden show.
Who have been the special horses in your life?
I have two special horses one being my recent loan pony Charles, he really was the best pony anyone could ask for. He helped me gain my confidence and have a good understanding of what caring for a horse is like. He taught me to never listen to what people think of you and to never give up. The second horse who has been so special to me is our very own Buster, he helped me with my confidence so much when I had no one else to turn to. I really didn’t think I would be where I am today when I had low confidence in my riding and abilities, and he is one very special pony and showed me I could do anything I put my mind to.
What are your goals for the next five years?
My goals for the next five years are to continue to learn new things, carry on with my BHS exams to gain my Stage Three qualification. I would also love to run some clinics, especially for the younger children as I believe the more fun and knowledge they gain the more likely they are to gain confidence and recognise the opportunities available to them in the equine industry.
Find Becky (and Chesney) on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/life_of_a_ginger_pony/