Ruth Kennerley

Qualification & subject:
Honours and Integrated Masters Degrees BSc (Hons) Equine Science
Profession:
Soft Tissue Specialist (riders and athletes)

What I do

I work as a soft tissue specialist in a private physiotherapy clinic, working with professional athletes and members of the public. I use a range of sports massage techniques to achieve the manipulation of soft tissues, which helps improve circulation, movement and flexibility, prevents injuries and reduces pain and tension. I work alongside two physiotherapists, a strength and conditioning coach and a hypnotherapist.

The best bits about my job

My Equine Science course, the equine academy and my job at the Equine Therapy Centre at Hartpury all inspired me to become a soft tissue specialist and I absolutely love my job! There is no better feeling than seeing your clients improve and achieve things that they never thought they could.

How Hartpury helped me get where I am now

Hartpury was the catalyst in inspiring me to work hard to make my dreams come true. On my course, I gained an intrinsic knowledge of human anatomy, physiology and all the elements needed to achieve peak performance. I was a member of Hartpury’s Elite Development Equine Academy, which gave me weekly access to my own strength and conditioning coach, sports therapist, nutritionist and psychologist. That inspired a passion for sports performance. I also worked within the Equine Therapy Centre, independently carrying out therapies and making decisions about the best rehabilitation programme. I was also a barn mentor at Hartpury, which gave me skills that now help me to run my own business.

Why I chose to study at Hartpury

As a competitive dressage rider, I did not want to give up riding but I knew I needed to get a degree to go into the field of work that I wanted to. To be able to do both and have my horse stabled in such a fantastic facility made the decision to study at Hartpury the easiest decision I’ve ever made. My degree enabled me to combine my two passions; dressage and rider performance. The outstanding learning facilities and approachable tutors meant that I always felt like I had the very best support and I achieved a First Class Honours degree. Plus the equine facilities are unrivalled. I felt so lucky to have access to the Equine Therapy Centre and to ride daily in international arenas. Hartpury’s international competitions give students opportunities to build contacts with Olympic equestrian athletes and I even data collected for my dissertation at the Hartpury Festival of Dressage.

My ambitions

I was proud to be a member of the elite academy and I’m ambitious to compete at Grand Prix level. I would not be the rider I am today without the support and expertise that Hartpury provided. I’m studying on an Equine Sports Massage course so that I can become a member of the Equine Sports Massage Association (ESMA) and treat both horse and rider - my dream job! I’m very excited to be part of the Road2Rio sponsorship programme. The Sports Massage Association (SMA) is offering support for unfunded British Athletes in the run-up to the Olympic and Paralympic Games in Brazil. I’m excited to have the opportunity to help British athletes to fulfil their potential.