My professional equine career started in 2002 when I joined the army aged 17 to become a gunner in The King's Troop Royal Horse Artillery. Unfortunately, due to a number of injuries my army career was cut short. Following my time in the army I studied for an HND in Equine Studies at The Univeristy of Wales, Aberystwyth. After completing my course I worked within many disciplines of the equine industry such as driving, dressage and stud yards. A move to Warwickshire allowed me to follow my passion for equine welfare by working with Redwings Horse Sanctuary at their Oxhill site. Here I had the opportunity to work with a broad spectrum of horses, ponies, and donkeys, with all manner of physical and psychological problems. I learnt how important it is to treat every animal as an individual, patiently building up a bond of trust, to allow me to give them the best care and treatment they required.
From here I moved on to work for The British Horse Society at their headquarters in Stoneleigh, Warwickshire. I thoroughly enjoyed my time at the BHS but was longing to work outdoors again and directly improve the quality of life for equines. Getting away from all the sandwich vans was probably a good idea as well!
My next milestone was at The American School of Equine Dentistry in Virginia. Here I studied equine anatomy and got my first taste of rasping/floating teeth. Like many dental courses in the states, it's purpose was to give me an introduction into the art and science of treating horses teeth before going on to study further. I chose to follow this back in the UK where I was lucky enough to secure an apprenticeship with Alex Jessett. Alex is extremely knowledgeable and a great teacher and I can't thank him enough for all the help and support he provided me over four years. Under his tuition, in 2015, I passed the BEVA/BVDA Equine Dental Technician's exam. This is a very rigorous exam process made up of 3 parts. Before even being considered for the exam candidates are required to attend the 2 day advanced theory course run by BEVA/BVDA.
The first component of the exam process is to compile a case log of 300 dental cases of which 40 must be advanced cases and signed by the attending vet. Next is the theory exam which is further broken down into 2 sections.
The first section is a multiple choice exam to test our knowledge of dental anatomy, treatment and general anatomy of the horse.
The second section is to chart 2 cadaveric skulls noting all pathology and putting together a treatment plan.
Both of these sections must be passed in order to sit the third part of the exam - the practical. I had 1 hour to examine, treat and compile a treatment plan for one horse. During the hour, the candidate must demonstrate good health and safety, good horse handling skills and demonstrate proficiency in both manual and power tools.
After passing this exam I set up on my own business. In 2018 I relocated from the Midlands to my home county of Perthshire. I have clients stretching the length and breadth of the UK and continue to treat all sizes and ages of horses, ponies and donkeys across every discipline.