Becoming A Scholar

If you have been following my journey, you will know that back in November 2020 I was awarded a Scholarship with the Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust (QEST).

I wrote a blog about Becoming a QEST Scholar here. You may want to read it before reading this update.

Since being announced as the ‘2020 QEST Saddlers’ Company Scholar’ I have not been able to do any of the practical training I planned, due to National lockdown restrictions.

Online Training

However, I have been able to purchase a couple of new tools I need for when I do start training and I’ve been doing some online training with QEST and the British Equestrian Trade Association, more commonly known as BETA.

The training masterclasses with QEST have mainly been for an administrative and promotional aspect, particularly focusing on social media and PR.

Whereas the training with BETA was more of a practical theory aspect, where we looked as different types of bits, their uses and the correct fitting of them all. I can’t wait to get some field experience in this area of expertise too; I just need to find a willing mentor.

Practical Training

1:1 practical training is still off limits for me at the moment as we are only just (in April) starting to have the national lockdown restrictions lifted.

I have however, pencilled in some dates for the summer with the Master Saddlers I’m going to train with. Fingers crossed these can go ahead.

Learning To Become A Bit Specialist

In the meantime, I hope to undertake some further training (online) in bits and bit fitting, with a view to sitting an assessment in order to become a fully certified Bit specialist.

I don’t plan to stop there either, I want to undertake further training with specialist bit companies so I can learn the benefits and the fitting of their bits which will enable me to become an around bit specialist who will be able to offer my customers a choice of bits rather than just one brand.

Bridle Fitting Qualification

Another exciting course I will be undertaking, (hopefully this year) is the Society of Master Saddlers (SMS) Bridle Fitting Qualification. This is an actual qualification, similar to my C&G Saddler qualifications that requires intense training, field experience and continued professional development. It is THE qualification to have if you want to be a certified bridle fitter. That way you are continually updating your skills when things change in the industry and being part of the SMS you have continued support and guidance to back you up.

Waiting Patiently…

So, that’s all I can tell you about my scholarship so far. I’m waiting patiently to commence practical training but in the meantime I am gearing up to start 1:1 bridle consultations starting in May.

I already have dates booked out for then so if you’re interested in having a bespoke bridle made, or have an existing one checked for fit and altered if necessary then send me a message and we’ll get you booked into the diary.

Until next time, take care and #StaySafe.

Clair xxx

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