Back in the Saddle Career Coaching | BEVA
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Back in the Saddle

Our Back in the Saddle coaching scheme offers group coaching sessions for members wishing to evaluate their career paths. This scheme aims to assist those wishing to evaluate their career development and might need impartial guidance to facilitate this. Change can necessitate a re-evaluation and change can take many forms. Commonly changes occur when starting a family, or when an injury has been acquired, or simply when someone finds themselves uncertain of their future path for whatever reason.

Whilst coaching can help in a fire-fighting situation to help get 'back in the saddle' professionally, we also hope to encourage members to utilise it in a pre-emptive way, enabling challenges to be navigated smoothly and changes to be seen as opportunities.


How it works

Back in the Saddle is a six-month programme led by a team of individuals who have experienced working in equine practice and the challenges it presents, and have undergone coach training. Coachees will attend monthly online sessions where they carry out development exercises, share their experiences, learn from others and explore the options available to them, in a workshop-style setting.

Applications have now closed for our summer intake, with the first session starting on Tuesday 11th June.

Keep an eye on this page and our socials for details of future intakes.



Our coaches
Kate Blakeman
Kate Blakeman
"Returning to work as a clinical equine vet following maternity leave was a really challenging time for me. Everything seemed to have changed despite returning to the same job, the same team and the same clients and it was a big shock to see how much I struggled to deal with it all. My daily pattern had altered, and I was working fewer hours which meant I needed to organise myself and manage my expectations differently. I undertook a career coaching programme to help me figure things out properly, with impartial assistance, rather than trying to ‘wing it’. The skills I developed during this training helped me greatly and I hope Back in the Saddle will deliver similar benefits for those who need it.” Kate has worked in equine practice for over 15 years both in the UK and multiple stud seasons in Australia. She joined council in 2020 determined to represent the ambulatory equine vet. Her husband is a farm vet and they have young children. As well as Back in the Saddle, Kate has been involved the continue development of the leg up scheme for new graduates.
Gemma Dransfield
Gemma Dransfield
"I really wanted to be able to support people coming back to work after a career break. This was a time in my life that I really struggled and would have loved coaching support. I really hope I can provide help to others who are finding the return to work tricky too. The coaching sessions have really made me realise we are not there to solve people's problems but to help them think differently to solve their own problems and work out what is best for themselves. It has been such a valuable learning experience for me to be part of." Gemma graduated from Cambridge University in 2005. She worked in equine ambulatory practice in Sussex before joining the team at Minster in 2008. Gemma is experienced in all aspects of equine work, however her main interests lie in equine stud medicine. In 2011, Gemma gained an RCVS Certificate in Equine Practice and became Clinical Director in September 2015.
Sophie Eaden
Sophie Eaden
"Navigating my return to work, after extended time off with a chronic illness, often felt pretty overwhelming. I really appreciated the support I got from a coach at the time, so much so that I trained as one myself. My experiences as both a coachee and a coach have shown me just how valuable and empowering the coaching process can be and I'm really excited to support others facing similar challenges." Sophie has spent the majority of her career in ambulatory practice in Devon and has always had a keen interest in communication and mentoring junior colleagues. Developing myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME/chronic fatigue syndrome) in 2020 added a new set of challenges to work in equine practice. Being forced to work part-time, Sophie enrolled on a coaching diploma; this lead to accepting a teaching position at Surrey Vet School. Having been elected on to BEVA Council in 2022, Sophie is passionate about supporting the well-being of equine vets and improving equality, diversity and inclusion within the equine profession.
Claire Goodban
Claire Goodban
"After many years working hand in hand with equine vets I have seen the pressures that they are increasingly under from both management and clients and trying to keep a good work life balance can be challenging, often causing stress and resentment to the job. Being at BEVA I am seeing first hand the difficulties the veterinary industry has with retention and I think Back In The Saddle is a key component to help vets find the best way of working for them." Claire works in the BEVA office supporting David, BEVA's CEO and all of BEVA Council. Prior to this she spent many years working in an equine veterinary ambulatory practice so has seen first had the stresses and issues equine vets face.
Lucy Grieve
Lucy Grieve
"I have experienced the benefits of both one-to-one and group coaching in the past, and wanted it to be both something I could maintain in my own life, but also share with others. It has helped keep me in a growth-mindset and taught me how to work with different people and their wonderful variety of brains!" Lucy practised as an equine vet in Newmarket for fifteen years, and spent 10 of those years also on BEVA Council. In August 2022 she joined the BEVA team in a permanent role, as Veterinary Projects Officer.
Your questions answered
Who can apply for the Back in the Saddle coaching programme?

Back in the Saddle coaching is available to all BEVA members more than 5 years qualified (i.e. six years and over) and is a free member benefit.

When do the coaching sessions take place?

Coachees will attend six virtual coaching sessions taking place on:

  • Tuesday 11 June at 7:30pm (UK time)
  • Wednesday 3 July at 7:30pm (UK time)
  • Wednesday 14 August at 7:30pm (UK time)
  • Wednesday 4 September at 7:30pm (UK time)
  • Wednesday 9 October at 7:30pm (UK time)
  • Wednesday 6 November at 7:30pm (UK time)
How could I benefit from the coaching scheme?

Whether you are in need of a change, predicting the need, or simply not sure where your career is going, coaching can provide the support needed for individuals to grow and develop a sustainable future in the profession. This group style of coaching will allow you to openly discuss your experiences in a safe, non-judgemental environment, with trained coaches who understand your situation and can guide you through a process to achieving positive outcomes.

Typically those who find coaching to help, would be those encountering changes in work-life balance, for example starting a family, or finding themselves unable to work in their current role through injury. Some people may have simply lost their way in their career, or are struggling to find the enthusiasm and drive they perhaps once felt. There doesn't need to be a particular 'reason' to start coaching though, the benefits can be felt by one and all, regardless of their current situation!