Embracing Excellence in Equine Education

At BSET Academy, the quest for of knowledge is met by the fun and learning of practical experience in the world of equine care and management. This past month was particularly interesting, filled with insightful sessions and hands-on opportunities that highlight BSET’s commitment to excellence.

Farrier Day with Jacques Kruger

On 15th June, BSET students were treated to a session with Jacques Kruger, a qualified farrier. Jacques began with a PowerPoint presentation contrasting the merits of barefoot hoof management versus traditional shoeing. Through his detailed case studies, he outlined the pros and cons of each approach, sparking thoughtful discussions and questions from the BSET students.

The highlight of the day was undoubtedly the lower limb dissection. The students learned about the anatomy of tendons, ligaments, and the intricate structure of the hoof capsule. This hands-on exploration provided invaluable insights into equine biomechanics, enhancing their understanding beyond any textbook.

Jacques also demonstrated his expertise by trimming a hoof on-site, showcasing the art of achieving hoof balance through meticulous adjustments. Jacques was able to point out the transformation before and after the trim, and emphasized the principle that less can often yield more – a lesson that will stay with the students.

Polo Clinic

Later in the month, BSET lecturers and students attended a local polo clinic where lectures were given to youngsters by Robyn, Demi, and Koni, supported by the BSET first-year students as their assistants. The clinic catered to both junior and senior participants, tailoring content to their respective levels of expertise.

For juniors, the focus was on foundational equine health. Topics ranged from general equine health looking at temperature, respiration, pulse signs of good and ill health, to basic bandaging techniques, equipping them with essential skills for primary care scenarios. The seniors engaged in advanced discussions about assessing equine athletes using ETT and SUMCHI methods and encompassed assessing contour, stance, demeanor. Practical demonstrations included palpations and trot-ups highlighted the eye needed for evaluating polo ponies and outlining common health issues and strategies to ensure peak performance before, during and after tournaments.

Rehabilitation and Care

An example of BSET’s practical approach unfolded in the on-site rehabilitation center, where students managed a horse’s recovery from a bad leg wound. From initial assessment to daily wound care and monitoring, the BSET students dealt with the complexities of wound management with diligence and compassion. Special attention was given to the horse’s compensatory limbs, ensuring balanced and comprehensive care during the healing process – a testament to BSET’s holistic teaching philosophy.

Academic Reflections

Beyond “out-in-the-field” sessions, academics are also focused on in a practical and interesting manner for Equine Studies and Entrepreneurship and Business Ventures (EBV). A reflective essay explored the pivotal role of communication in organizational success, while the second-year students further developed a customer persona to enrich their business portfolios – a crucial step towards becoming well-rounded equine professionals.

Looking ahead, first-year students eagerly anticipate their Cathsseta business modules, which commence in July. These modules will explore essential topics such as business types, leadership, management, and budgeting, laying a solid foundation for future ventures in the equine industry.

Embracing the Future

Beth’s words, “study, learn, feel, see, listen – there are worldwide opportunities,” encapsulate the ethos of BSET Academy. Each day, students are engaged in a dynamic learning environment that stimulates curiosity, refines practical skills, and grows a deep appreciation for the art and science of equine care. We all look forward to Beth’s visit to South Africa in mid-July. She will share her journey and insights with the BSET students after an incredibly successful racing season in Hong Kong.

BSET Academy’s commitment to excellence is evident in its balanced approach to theoretical knowledge and practical application. As BSET students take on the daily challenges of running a yard, they also embrace opportunities and will ultimately emerge not only as skilled professionals but as compassionate stewards of equine welfare.


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