Martyna Iruretagoyena

Student blog

FdSc Equine Performance student blog


Hi, I’m Martyna, an international student from Spain in my second year of the FdSc Equine Performance degree at Hartpury University.

Reality even better than the pictures!

I’ve wanted to come to Hartpury since I was 13 years old, because it was a way to turn my passion for horses into a career.

My favourite thing about the university is that reality beats the pictures and for me it is a dream come true.

Everything I have experienced at Hartpury would not have been possible anywhere else and it will make me stand out once I go out into the industry.

Life at Hartpury is never boring

Being at Hartpury certainly never gets boring, and it’s amazing only having lectures about something you love.

I have about three lectures a day lasting 90 minutes – my earliest start is 8.30am – and on Wednesdays I get a free day, as do most students.

For practical sessions, we’re able to utilise the Equine Yard, the Equine Therapy Centre and the laboratories, which all feature impressive facilities and the newest technologies.

Environment is inspiring

Alongside my studies, I volunteer to work at the Equine Therapy Centre on site, which I absolutely love. Having the opportunity to work in such a professional environment is really inspiring and I have gained so much knowledge in regard to the therapy sector from the brilliant team there.

After I graduate I would like to apply for a job in some of the businesses that have visited Hartpury for the Big Careers Events.

We’ve also had many inspiring guest lecturers from NAFThree Counties Hospital and the Hong Kong Jockey Club, which have opened my eyes to all the possibilities in industry.

Although, I would love to be involved with the practical aspects of the industry, it’s really reassuring to see that there are so many other options for which my degree at Hartpury will qualify me. For example as a researcher, which I have really developed a passion for here.

Eventually I would like to end up in the equine psychology sector, and I am very excited for my next year at Hartpury since there is a module specifically about this.

Gaining confidence for the future

I believe I’m gaining information on best practice in the equine industry, based on the latest research. The level of knowledge of all lecturers is impressive.

Advanced Equitation is an exciting module. We have lots of lectures in the arena and are able to observe subtle changes in horses to find the ideal way to train them. It is a great continuation from last year’s Equitation module, in which we had the chance to ride the brilliant Hartpury horses.

Diagnostics and Therapy focuses on techniques for rehabilitation and treatment of injuries in horses, while Equine Biomechanics is all about the physics of movement of horses, which is really important for optimal training.

Finally, Equine Nutrition offers essential knowledge, as nutrition is such a big part of equine management. From the research we’re exposed to, I feel confident in managing a horse’s day to day nutrition.

Dreams do come true

In between lectures and assignments, I work as a Student Ambassador. This is a paid scheme on campus, where I participate in campus tours, open days and so much more. I love this job because it is my opportunity to show other people that their dreams can also come true at Hartpury.

When I get some free time I like to go to the Hartpury gym, ride the horse I was able to loan just outside campus, grab a coffee and pizza at Red & Black café with my friends after making use of the outstanding riding simulators.

Sometimes we will decide to spend the day in Gloucester, eating out and shopping.

Always felt safe on campus

The Covid-19 pandemic has undeniably changed things, but I’ve never felt like I’m missing out on my education because the lecturers are going the extra mile to make sure we feel supported and still get all the material we need.

We’re informed in advance about the Covid-secure measures that were being put in place on campus and I’ve always felt safe.

Meet Martyna

Martyna has filmed sneak peek into a day in the life of her Foundation Degree in Equine Performance. Watch her vlog to discover more about her experience of her course, volunteering in the Equine Therapy Centre, and using our world-class facilities to prepare for the future.

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