How do I become a yard manager?

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Ever wondered what is takes to become a yard manager? Here, we explain what the job entails.

"Being a yard manager is the most satisfying job I've ever done," says Kate Clement, who works as a yard manager for the RSPCA equine centre at Gonsal Farm in Shropshire. 

Kate has always worked with horses, leaving home at 16 to follow her dream. She did everything she could to develop her skills and experience with horses, even working for free at times to get experience.

At 17, she started on the British Horse Society training ladder and is now a BHS Intermediate instructor. 

She's worked as a manager on many yards, including studs and liveries, so is used to turning her hand to anything and everything. 

Why I love being a yard manager 

"Working with all horses is great, but working with those who haven't had the best start in life is just the best. Seeing them bloom and watching their personalities develop is what drives me.

"Of course there are occasions to be sad when we have a case that we can't help, but at times like that we just pull together and focus on the ones that we can help.

"And, when they eventually get re-homed, we feel so proud of what we've achieved. Staff here are all training with me and for their BHS qualification, another aspect of the job I love."

How to train as a yard manager 

You can train through the BHS, or there are diplomas and distance learning courses in livery yard management that might suit some people better.

Kate recommends a route that gives you the most hands-on experience and says the BHS stable management course is a good base to start. 

Find out more at www.bhs.org.uk

Kate's top tips

  1. You need as much different experience as possible, so you're able to handle everything that comes your way.
  2. If you know the type of yard you'd like to manage, tailor your experience to suit - on a competition yard, you many need to manage the rider's diary, book lessons, turn horses out to a high standard or drive a horsebox. 

Pros and Cons

PRO There are lots of opportunities to consider. Many competition riders need yard managers, as do big competition yards. There are also racing studs, veterinary practice yards, riding schools, studs abroad and Western studs.

CON Being a yard manager requires hard work and an ability to multi-task. If you're not able to do this, you'll find this job stressful.