This week was my final week attending The Saddlery Training Centre in Salisbury as part of my apprenticeship training. It was a week of mixed emotions…
I actually completed all my compulsory exams at the beginning of the year but in order to make the most of my training I decided to try and squeeze in an extra exam! I chose to also do my Level 3 harness exam so that I could have the highest possible training in all three areas (bridle making, saddle making and harness making). In order to pass this exam I had to do a written test and a practical exam showing what skills I had learnt. We also have to have pre-made items and for this exam I had to make an entire set of show harness.
As i’m sure you can imagine there is an awful lot of pieces that make up a full set of harness and all the items had to be lined (two layers of leather) so i had A LOT of stitching to do. Therefore, in order to get it all done I had to do plenty of stitching in my own time. The week started a little stressful, trying to make sure my harness was not only complete but up to exam standard. Then on Wednesday I had to sit the actual exam which was both terrifying and stressful at the same time.
Then came the other mix of emotions. Finding out I had passed my exam, so relief and joy. With the exam passed that meant my time at college was over. This brought on an overwhelming feeling of happiness and achievement, I was not going to miss driving all the way down to Salisbury every 8 weeks. However, I also feel a bit sad about it all. Over the past two years college has been a big part of my life and I have become close with the small group of apprentices I spend the week with each time I’m down. After all, we go through highs and lows together and have shared some nice evenings as well as some rather nasty illnesses!
Anyway its onward and upwards from here and I look forward to what the future holds and am grateful for the time I spent at college and the people I got to spend that time with!