01/05/2016 Volunteer to Vet

Here at The Horse Trust’s Home of Rest for Horses we receive many applications for work experience or volunteering – and we try our best to accommodate as many of these requests as we can.  For health and safety reasons we cannot offer work to anyone below the age of 16, and our volunteers need to be comfortable working in a predominantly outdoor environment.

We were recently able to offer Lucy the opportunity to work at the Home of Rest while she was resettling into civilian life after a career in the Royal Air Force.  Lucy was hoping to get into Vet School and, as competition for places is incredibly high, she needed a varied array of work experience as well as high academic qualifications.  She contacted us whilst she was deployed in Afghanistan, and we offered her a 2 week work placement on her return to the UK.

Lucy also had the opportunity to visit the Defence Animal Centre in Melton Mowbray, whose role is to source, train and deliver animals and veterinary staff for the Ministry of Defence.  Lucy was able to see the transition of horses from working within the military to retiring at the Home of Rest – a prime example being Zepce, a beautiful black mare who was under treatment at the DAC when Lucy visited.  After a long and successful career as a Trooper with The Blues and Royals Squadron of the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment, “Zippy” is now retired and being cared for by The Horse Trust.

Lucy enjoyed her 2 weeks work placement here and learned a huge amount about caring for horses.  She says “The team at The Horse Trust were really friendly and were more than happy to answer my questions and teach me what I needed to know.  It was lovely to see how well the horses are cared for and it was a pleasure to work in such a beautiful setting”.

 In fact, she loved it here so much that she decided to give up her own time and volunteer for 4 days a week during her final period of leave from the RAF. 

Lucy worked with us for 2 months in total, and during that time she attended an interview at the University of Nottingham Veterinary School.  She was offered, and has accepted, a place on their Veterinary Medicine and Surgery course.  Lucy is certain that she would not have been able to achieve this without the experience and knowledge that she gained at The Horse Trust.

Lucy says that her time here has been immensely rewarding.  She can now identify most of the horses by sight (and there are well over 100 of them!) and she says her favourite is Big Klyde.  Lucy has learnt the daily routine so that she is able to work with less supervision and, although the work is physically demanding (and slightly less fun in bad weather!), she has thoroughly enjoyed her time with us and will be sad to move on – although she is understandably very excited about her future!

Lucy says “I would definitely highly recommend volunteering at The Horse Trust to anyone who can spare the time and who loves working with horses”.

We wish you all the best for your future, Lucy, and thank you for the time you have given to us.  Our volunteers are incredibly important to us, and we are delighted to think that we have helped you as much as you have helped us.

If you want to find out more about volunteering for The Horse Trust, please click here.