British Horse Society CEO Visits Equine Centre | Bridgwater & Taunton College

Bridgwater & Taunton College (BTC) welcomed James Hick, the CEO of the British Horse Society (BHS). This was a part of a wider tour of BHS provisions within the Southwest, and James was accompanied by Julie Garbutt, the Southwest Regional Manager of the BHS.

The BHS is a membership based equine charity, who aim to protect and promote the interests of all horses and those who care about them. The BHS is committed to promote the use, breeding, and wellbeing of horses for the public’s benefit.

James was given a full tour of BTC’s fantastic equine facilities, located at the Cannington Campus’s Equestrian Centre. This included the horse walker, solarium, arenas, and cross-country training area. James then went on to have discussions with BTC students about their work with BHS’s Changing Lives Through Horses Program, which is an educational and character-building journey for young people.

The Changing Lives Through Horses Program is aiming to improve the lives of young people who, for various reasons, may need additional support. The program provides an alternative and complementary learning environment, through using horses as an inspiration for change.

Due to BTC’s incredible facilities, teaching staff, and a supportive environment for growth, they are able to offer a Stage 3 BHS approved exam and commercial training centre alongside Equine courses. All this combined provides students with a well-rounded, real-life work environment, and BTC are one of the very few colleges who are eligible to offer this.

Julie Garbutt, Southwest Regional Manager of the British Horse Society, said,

James was very impressed with the staff and equine facilities at Cannington Campus, especially how BTC are integrating student life with the Changing Lives Through Horses Program. The students are a real credit to the Centre, as well as the College, and if they are the future of the equine industry, it will be in good hands.

Leo Pickard, one of BTC’s Equine Level 3 students, said,

I started working with the Changing Lives Through Horses Program students as part of my supervisory duties. The tasks included basic yard duties and other tasks such as grooming, horse colours and markings.

I have noticed that each time the young people came to the yard, they are able to complete more tasks, more confidently and more independently. I have found the experience extremely rewarding and have noticed the development in my own confidence and coaching skills.

For more information about our Equine study programmes at BTC and our upcoming events, please visit, or get in touch with our Information & Advice Team at You can also follow us across social media, including Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.

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