09 May 2022

Hartpury’s amazing facilities

the centre

Hello, my name is Skaiste-Justa Masiukaite – but most people just call me Skye! I’m in my second year of BSc Bioveterinary Science here at Hartpury. My interests include horse riding, walking, and most recently, 3D Kinematic analysis of horse riders’ posture in research involving side-saddle and English saddle riding.

I’m here to share my experience of using Hartpury’s amazing facilities – inside and outside of my course.

Why Hartpury?

What I love about the university is how supportive and friendly the staff are. When I’m on site, I love going to the café with my friend to get a donut and hot chocolate before morning lectures. The manager is so friendly, she always greats us with a huge smile and says, “How are you, my donut girls?”

I also love being able to walk Ralph, our campus dog, in between lectures, and seeing Hartpury’s diverse collection of over 70 animal species.

Another reason I chose Hartpury is the large rural campus; it’s perfect for beautiful country walks.

Animal facilities – great for learning lab techniques

There are so many opportunities for me to improve my knowledge. From the topics studied in the classroom – such as animal management, husbandry, and improving welfare through enrichment and nutrition – to being able to interact with over 70 species in the animal collection and explore my research interest through my dissertation.

Since starting my degree, I’ve gained a lot of lab skills. I’ve learnt how to dissect a horse’s leg and even grown my own bacteria, which I thought was amazing.

Agriculture facilities – opportunities to get hands on

Having access to 400-hectares of farmland provides plenty of opportunities to gain hands-on experience of lambing, calving, milking, and rearing, as well as being able to shadow on-site veterinary procedures. The Agri-Tech Centre is great for data driven research too, as it has lots of smart farming technology.

This year, I was able to help with lambing for the first time ever. This included mucking out, feeding, moving newborns to pens, and cuddling some lambs in between!

If you’re interested in getting involved, you can speak to Hartpury’s shepherd. All the lambs are born at Okle Clifford Farm nearby, and then moved to Hartpury’s Home Farm on site.

Through my Animal Production module, I’ve also enjoyed gaining hands-on experience with the cows at Hartpury; learning about their care and making a cow friend!

Sports facilities – packed with high-tech equipment

The Sports Academy at Hartpury features unique sports technology that’s among the best in the UK. Our sports students are able to develop their expertise and collect research in practical sessions, while our sports academy athlete use it to reach peak performance – some of whom go onto become international sports professionals!

I’ve used some the biomechanics laboratory as part of my learning, which has some really cool and complex equipment like speed sensors and 3D cameras.

Equine Facilities – perfect for developing skills

The equine facilities are world class – including equine and canine therapy centres and some of the most advanced riding simulators in the industry.

During my first year, I volunteered at the Equine Hydrotherapy Centre, where I got to see horses on the water treadmill and anti-gravity treadmill, as well as mucking out and feeding horses. This was my first time doing this and I thought it was awesome.

I’ve also taken show-jumping and side-saddle riding lessons on the riding simulator; taught by some of the best trainers and judges, and used it to improve my riding posture. I’d highly recommend it to anyone who rides horses or simply wants to try it out!

If you wish to bring your horse to Hartpury, there are 150 stables available for on-site livery. But don’t worry if you don’t have a horse, you can join the Equestrian Club for riding opportunities. If you have a basic ability, you can take discounted lessons at Hartpury – or if you’re starting from scratch, there are plenty of local riding schools

A final piece of advice for you

Get to know as many people as possible! It’ll benefit you in the long run and you’ll make so many new friends.

Creating connections with lecturers and building links with future career opportunities has helped me a lot with my studies and opened a lot of exciting new pathways for me.

For example, by volunteering to assist a PhD student with their project, I learned how to use 3D cameras and met people who were able to help me write my dissertation proposal. It’s an experience I’ll treasure forever.

Good luck – and I hope to meet you in September!

Female student with laptop
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