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    I'm thinking of taking a gap year after my VetMed application was unsuccessful this year.
    Despite my efforts I was only able to secure 8 weeks of placements, including:
    2 days at a smallholding (intending to do lambing but unfortunately none arrived)
    1 week boarding kennels (also did work with sheep whilst here)
    4 days rescue centre and shelter medicine (I have continued to volunteer here for 3 hours a week since)
    4 weeks small animal vets
    4 days equine vets
    I know there are gaps in my application is there anything in particular that you think I should focus on over the summer before reapplying?
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    Some time spent on horse husbandry would be beneficial, but even more than that I would strongly suggest going to a commercial farm (i.e. dairy or lambing, as lambing on a commercial farm will teach you more than at a smallholding). Poultry or pig work will help you stand out but it is more difficult to get.
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    (Original post by Little Tail Chaser)
    Some time spent on horse husbandry would be beneficial, but even more than that I would strongly suggest going to a commercial farm (i.e. dairy or lambing, as lambing on a commercial farm will teach you more than at a smallholding). Poultry or pig work will help you stand out but it is more difficult to get.
    That's why I struggled. I did a day at a riding school but it was possibly one of the most patronising days of my life and I couldn't bare to go back after being taught to tack up by 12 year olds.
    Poultry and pig wise I didn't really know who to contact... I don't know anyone within the industry or anywhere nearby with a livestock farm. Is it normal to contact random farmers?
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    (Original post by AmyElizabeth99)
    That's why I struggled. I did a day at a riding school but it was possibly one of the most patronising days of my life and I couldn't bare to go back after being taught to tack up by 12 year olds.
    Unfortunately this is often the case with riding schools. 'Horsey people' do have a bit of a reputation. It's tricky as well that if you're still quite young/inexperienced the staff/adults on the yard may treat you as one of the helpers, while the helpers will see you as older and as one of the staff. I would suggest sticking it out for a bit longer next time (try a different yard), deciding for yourself which group you want to associate yourself with (grooms/helpers) and being more assertive about that.

    At the end of the day the kids... are kids. Kids can be rude (and let's be honest, horsey kids are more likely to be privileged spoilt brats than most ) and for some of them that have literally grown up around it and in horsey circles, they genuinely may find it weird that you don't know how to tack up (which, obviously is not weird I think I was about 15 when I learned). You just have to not rise to the bait. One tip would be to ask them about their horse/how long they've been riding for etc etc. Often these people like nothing more than talking about themselves and you might be surprised that they warm up to you a bit

    Poultry and pig wise I didn't really know who to contact... I don't know anyone within the industry or anywhere nearby with a livestock farm. Is it normal to contact random farmers?
    Yeah, few people know any farmers unless they are from a rural background. I certainly didn't! Contacting 'random farmers' is they way forward and is likely what you will have to do when you get into vet school too. You won't be the first person to call up to ask for a placement, just explain you're a hopeful vet and they'll understand. It might get easier once you get your foot in the door; if you make a good impression then farmers may be willing to suggest friends/family with other types of farms that might consider taking you on for a placement.
 
 
 
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