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Equine Behaviour Affiliation Accredited Behaviourist and consultant Sharon Smith MSc BHSAPC
Although Sharon always loved horses, the opportunity to get her own horse and become seriously involved in the horse world only presented itself after leaving school. Her horse, Sam, was the catalyst for a professional interest in equine behaviour, pursued in parallel with a varied science, engineering and management career in the water industry. There, she attained Civil engineering qualifications, a first-class BSc(Hons) Water and Environmental Management and became a high-profile NVQ Assessor and Verifier; consulted by the sector Skills Council wither regards to operational training standards.
After completing Equine Behaviour Consultant professional training, she was invited back as an examiner for the course and committee member for the Society of Equine Behaviour Consultants. She used her experience in the water industry to complement her equine consultancy and write the SEBC quality management system, gaining ISO9001 accreditation. She honed her horsemanship skills further through the British Horse Society – becoming an Accredited Professional Coach. Sharon then developed and delivered her own evening courses to help dispel myths about horse behaviour. In more recent years, she has written and delivered workshops for horse owners on equine neuroanatomy and how to critique scientific publications and claims.
In 2014, Sharon left the water industry to study MSc Applied Equine Science at the Royal Agricultural University. She graduated with distinction and two University prizes. A self-confessed equi-geek, Sharon still loves hearing from equine specialists and soaks up information at talks and lectures on a wide range of subjects whenever possible. She continues her association with the RAU through collaboration with post-graduate students; co-authoring papers on behaviour, energy expenditure and equine weight estimation.
Sharon is driven by a desire to close the gap between academia and practice, so she formed ‘Horse Logic’ following success in the RAU Enterprise society and through the RAU business hub, Farm491. Her dissertation and academic collaborations have led to developing the first independent ‘pasture-first’ equine nutrition and ration formulation website for the UK; an Innovate UK grant to develop a patent-pending electronic device for horses, as well as consultations with owners.
With a strong environmental management background and keen interest in grasslands and water courses, Sharon is a supporter and member of the Wiltshire Wildlife Trust and the Woodland Trust. She subscribes to the idea that environmentally sustainable equine management is better for horses, the bank balance, and the rural economy.