Hi, I’m Taira and I’m just finishing my first year of the BSc (Hons) Equestrian Sports Science degree at Hartpury University.
Hartpury has been my university of choice since I was about 14 years-old. I've always wanted to work with horses, so when I heard a past pupil from my school talk about Hartpury University, with its amazing yard and equine life, I knew it was the place for me. To say I had high expectations is an understatement – however, Hartpury really delivered!
Being an international student
I’m an international student from Mozambique, so I had to move my whole life from one continent to another. Hartpury made the whole process so much easier. Everything from enrolling and moving in, to finding accommodation off-campus for my second year, was a breeze.
I moved into the on-site accommodation and I’m so glad I did. It gave me the opportunity to meet so many new people I wouldn’t have interacted with otherwise. I settled in quickly and made new friends. It also helped to arrive a few days’ early for the international orientation, which was another good way to meet people and make friends when I arrived.
A day in the life of an equine student
A typical day starts with me waking up early around 6am or 7am to either go to rugby or football training, or to take care of a friend’s horse. Then after a quick breakfast at one of the on-site eateries, I pop back to my accommodation to prepare for the academic day.
I typically have one or two lectures a day, with one day off a week. I tend to schedule in three or four hours a day to study or get ahead on my lectures. I have a quick lunch in my accommodation then head back to my lectures. In the afternoons, I like to pop into nearby Gloucester city centre on the Hartpury shuttle bus to do some shopping – and on weekends me and my friends head into town for dinner or to watch a movie
In the evening, I go to the gym and then back to my room to do some yoga and meditation. I finish the day with some dinner and rounding up any work I have left for the day.
The lecturers are so knowledgeable and engaging
My favourite module is Equine Functional Anatomy, taught by Kirsty Lesniak, who is also my favourite lecturer for her fun and engaging personality. I really enjoy this module because I find learning the inner workings of a horse fascinating. The Biomechanics module is a close second though, because I’m crazy for physics and maths.
The academic community at Hartpury is amazing. The facilities are outstanding (lecture rooms, library and study spaces) and the lecturers and academic support team are always friendly and available to help.
Join as much as you can
There are also many opportunities for activities and groups outside of lecturers. I’ve found fun and team building in playing football and rugby – I've even been on trips to a few football away matches! I’ve also set up a yoga class for students, which I teach one evening a week. The amazing Hartpury Active project supported me to get this up and running.
I love making a different to student life in my role as Deputy Chair of the Hartpury Students’ Union Forum. I think it’s important to represent the student voice on important issues.
I like to help my friends take care of their horses whenever I can. I couldn't bring mine with me, but this means I can still spend plenty of time on the yard – which I love!
I’d love to run my own equine yard someday
After Hartpury, my plan is to work on some professional competitive yards and eventually open up my own. Thanks to all of the practical experience I’m gaining in Hartpury’s on-site yard and through my course, I’m feeling confident about the future.