Apprenticeship Schemes in Saddlery

The Saddlery Training Centre delivers government funded apprenticeship schemes in Saddlery, under subcontract to Haddon Training, and have been working together since 2003.

Haddon Training are an indepedent training provider in the field of equine and animal care. The Saddlery Training Centre and Haddon Training were awarded an OFSTED Grade 1 during their last inspection.

We provide the following government funded apprenticeship schemes in Saddlery:

Level 2 Leather Craftsperson

Set within an industry steeped in tradition, the leather trade supports the pursuit of excellence in its traditional craft skills whilst also embracing innovation and technology. British leather and leather products have an international and iconic reputation and the continued success of the sector will depend on maintaining a skilled, well-trained workforce.

‘Leather craftsperson’ is a broad description of someone who either produces the leather or manufactures leather goods for a number of markets from sporting pursuits, such as equestrian and saddlery, golf and cricket applications, to high-end retail luxury goods, such as handbags, luggage and lifestyle accessories.

An employee in this occupation may work in a small enterprise producing or manufacturing specialist leather / leathergoods or in a wider factry setting as part of a production or manufacturing team producing to larger orders. they will be able to work just as effectively on their own or as part of a wider team. In both instances they will understand the impact of their role on those working around them.

The Standard is designed to give an overarching range of skills, knowledge and behaviours appropriate to both the production of leather and the manufacture of leather goods and saddlery. The former involving taking raw skin and hides and converting them through chemical and mechanical processing, to produce leather ready for a variety of applications. The latter involving taking leather and forming a finished product from it, often involving processes such as hand stitching and cutting.

Duration: The Apprenticeship would typically take 15 months.

English and Maths: Apprenctices without Level 2 English and Maths will need to achieve this level prior to completion of their Apprenticeship.

Level 3 Bespoke Saddler

Set within an industry steeped in tradition, the Saddlery trade supports the pursuit of excellence in its traditional craft skills whilst also embracing innovation and technology. The Bespoke Saddler is a fundamental occupational role in the saddlery trade and is an integral part of an industry that contributes over £8bn to the British economy. Bespoke Saddler is a broad description of someone who produces Saddles and Bridles and provides a comprehensive repair service to saddles and other equestrian equipment. All will be capable of producing a standard or bespoke product that is cut and made to a unique pattern or measurement for a horse.

Many of the skills are carried out by hand in order to produce an item that fits precisely to a customers’ requirements. Hand crafted products form the heart of the British Saddlery industry and have an internaional and iconic reputation.

Bespoke Saddlers have practical skills in the manufacture of equestrian products including measurement and pattern construction. The skills involved in Bespoke Saddlery cover a wide area of expertise that includes craft, technical, creative and design. These skills are fundamental to the Bespoke Saddlery industry and ultimately have to be employed with great precision, to high standards of excellence and within realistic time constraints.

Upon completion of this standard the apprentice will be competent in both Saddle and Bridle making.

Duration: The Apprenticeship would typically take 24 months.

English and Maths: Apprentices without Level 2 English and Maths will need to achieve this level prior to completion of their Apprenticeship.


Our Model of Delivery: As Apprentices come from all parts of England, we have found the best method of delivery is that apprentices attend our centre for a week of training every two months. This off the job training is delivered from our centre in Salisbury, in small groups not normally exceeding six apprentices.

In between training weeks, apprentices will follow an Action Plan requiring them to practice the skills they have been taught and to develop a Portfolio of Associated Knowledge.

We estimate that for the Level 2 Leather Craftsperson, Apprentices will normally attend our centre for up to 6 training weeks spread over 12 – 18 months. For the Level 3 Bespoke Saddler, Apprentices will normally attend our centre for up to 12 training weeks spread over 20 – 24 months.