Riders

  • How many Academy Rider places are available each year?
    • The number of places is limited by funding.
    • In future years, depending on funding, we expect to add one or two per year reaching a total of between four to six.
  • What if I don't get accepted?
    • We know there will be more applicants than the limited number of Academy openings available. If you miss out on an Academy place, Brugs accepts a number of self-funded students.
  • How long am I committing to if I get selected as an Academy rider?
    • Following the trial periods, you will be expected to sign on for at least four more years. The agreement can be extended beyond this period if mutually agreed.
    • Once the trial period has been successfully completed, the agreement can be ended with four weeks notice by either the rider or the Academy.
  • Is this a full time job?
    • It may seem like it! But no, as an Academy student you can expect to work hard (between tea breaks) from 8am to approx midday.
    • Which days you work will vary depending on what's happening e.g., competitions at which Academy riders are competing, clinics, volunteering at Canterbury Dressage or Dressage Ashburton competitions, etc.
  • Do I get paid as an Academy rider?
    • No, you are a working student - the Academy is providing quality horses and putting you through a proven training programme in return for your labour.
  • Do I get sick leave?
    • There is no paid sick leave.
    • People do get sick and we much prefer that individuals who are sick, stay home and recuperate rather than tough it out.
    • Longer term injuries and illness (e.g. more than twenty working days) will be handled on a case by case basis, if and when they occur.
  • Where will I live if I'm an Academy rider?
    • We expect you to find your own accommodation while a student.
  • Can I live in my horse truck and use the Academy's shower, laundry and other facilities?
    • No. This is not allowed by the Selwyn District Council.
  • Will you provide a uniform and equipment?
    • Academy riders are expected to maintain a professional appearance while working at the Academy, therefore each rider will receive five summer polo shirts and five winter tops (one clean shirt per day) as well as an Academy jacket. All other clothing and equipment (e.g., breeches, boots, helmets) needs to be provided by the rider.
    • When working at the Academy or representing the Academy, for example, while grooming or writing at competitions, the Academy's professional dress code is based around three principles:
      • Can't look down it
      • Can't look through it
      • Can't look up it
    • Riders not adhering to these principles risk being ejected from the Academy.
    • All horse and barn equipment will be provided by the Academy.
  • What happens if I get selected as an Academy rider?
    • Congratulations! Following selection, there will be a trial period of three months. This is to enable you to determine if you like the lifestyle and have the dedication to continue with the training programme. It also enables the Academy to determine if you have what it takes to be an Academy rider.
  • Do I need to be an FEI level dressage rider in order to be considered?
    • No.
  • Do I need to have a good dressage competition record in order to apply?
    • No. The Academy is looking for athletic, tenacious, hard working individuals who have the talent and mindset to become an international dressage riders / trainers.
    • Event riders, SJ Riders and other equestrian riders are encouraged to apply.
  • Is riding the only skill I'll develop?
    • Because the Academy is totally dependent on sponsorship and donations, Academy riders will also need to have good interpersonal skills to enable them to maintain good sponsor relationships and find new sponsors. In addition, Academy Riders will learn horse management, coaching, and first aid (St. John's Ambulance).
  • What if I don't get selected - can I apply again next time?
    • Absolutely you can.
  • If I don't get selected as an Academy rider, will you tell me why and what I need to do to improve my chances at the next selection trial?
    • The Academy reserves the right not to give reasons for why someone is or is not selected. We expect to receive many applications for each position and we know that only one or two can be chosen each time. The Academy also reserves the right to not select a rider from each application round.
    • To increase your chances of success, applicants should be able to ride walk, trot and canter without stirrups on both reins on a trained horse on the lunge. You also need to be physically fit, able to muck out, and ride up to four horses a day (not that you will be riding this much, especially to start with).
  • Can I bring my own horse?
    • Subject to negotiation with Ryfeside Stud (where the Academy is based) you may be able to bring your own horse at your expense. This will be under standard agistment rates, terms & conditions. Your horse will not be part of the Academy and you will need to exercise / train him / her outside of Academy hours.
  • I can't drive, can I still apply?
    • A driving licence is not a requirement for application, however, it will be extremely difficult for you to participate in the programme if you can't make it to the barn under your own steam. Ryfeside Stud is not accessible by public transport and is situated at least six kilometers from the nearest bus stop at Burnham Military Camp (which is served by buses coming in from Lincoln and Rolleston).
  • Is there a minimum age for applicants?
    • Yes. 18 although we may assess talented riders as young as 16 with parental support.
  • I've applied to become a rider, what should I expect now?
    • We'll confirm receipt of your application. If you haven't received confirmation within 48 hours, please email applications@dressageacademy.co.nz.
    • Short listed applicants will be invited to a selection trial at Ryfeside Stud. This will assess potential riding ability, horse management knowledge and suitability for the training programme. The selection trial will also give applicants the opportunity to assess whether or not the Academy and the Academy Rider lifestyle is for them.
    • Following selection, successful applicants will start with a three month trial period during which either the rider or the Academy can agree to end the engagement with one week's notice.
    • Assuming all goes well during the trial period and both the Academy and you want to continue the relationship, you will move onto a long term relationship with the program. (does this mean sign a contract or does the contract at the start of the process cover this eventuality like employment contracts do?)
  • I want to attend University / Tech College while with the Academy but my classes are in the morning. Can I work afternoons instead?
    • Unfortunately no. While the Academy recommends Riders develop additional skills through university or college education, the majority of horse management activities take place in the morning and therefore Academy Riders are required to help at this time.
    • Part of the Academy training program is based on watching the other student's training sessions and by participating in training sessions requiring more than one person such as lunging skills.
    • One alternative, subject to agreement with the Academy, would be to take your two mornings off each week on week days.

Parents

  • Can I sponsor my daughter / son to be an Academy rider?
    • No. As the Academy is committed to making these opportunities available to all, selection of riders is based completely on meeting the requirements of becoming an international rider / trainer. You are still more than welcome to become a benefactor or sponsor.
  • Can my daughter /son become a rider in the programme?
    • Please see the page for rider applicants. There is a selection /trial process for individuals who would like to be considered.
  • Where will my daughter / son live if they are accepted as an Academy rider?
    • We expect you to find your own accommodation while a rider.
  • Will my child own the horse they are provided with?
    • No. The Dressage Academy horses belong to the Dressage Academy.
  • Will my child be allowed to take the horse they are training on to other competitions?
    • Maybe; Horses cannot usually leave the Dressage Academy premises. However; in certain circumstances the board of the Dressage Academy may give permission.
  • Will my child benefit in any way from the sale of the horse they are provided with?
    • No. The funds used from the sale of horses is what helps the purchase of horses for future students. Therefore students will not benefit financially from the sale of the horse that they have been trained on, or the sale of any academy horses.



Created and maintained by Tony Herstell (Based on pure JEE, JSF & Primefaces).