BEVA Launches Back in the Saddle Coaching for Veterinarians

Applications are now open for BEVA's new Back in the Saddle program.
BEVA Back in the Saddle program
Courtesy BEVA

The British Equine Veterinary Association (BEVA) has introduced a new coaching program specifically designed to support members who are seeking career support but are more than five years qualified and, thus, not eligible for BEVA’s Leg Up coaching. 

Back in the Saddle offers new group-style coaching to support those who are either returning to work or wish to change tack in some way. It has been developed in response to numerous BEVA members reporting periods of feeling lost or adrift in their career as life progresses after graduation, particularly following a career break. 

The six-month program is led by a team of individuals who have experienced the challenges of working in equine practice and have all undergone extensive coaching training. It delivers monthly online group sessions for participants to discuss, learn, and share knowledge in a workshop style environment.

“Back in the Saddle provides a safe, supportive, and encouraging environment to help individuals understand what it is they want from their career following a break, for example, for parental leave or injury,” said Lucy Grieve, Veterinary Projects Officer at BEVA. “By reflecting on their career achievements, learned skills, and professional needs, in the context of their life as it is now, it enables them to prioritize appropriately, create achievable goals, and find their place in the profession again. 

“Our coaches are professionally trained, friendly, and empathetic, and the nature of group coaching means peer support opens up to all involved. This helps counter feelings of isolation and self-doubt and enables a sense of purpose and confidence to return and develop further.” 

Clinical equine vet Kate Blakeman, BVSc, CertAVP, MRCVS, is one of the five coaches and one of the program’s founders. Having experienced the return to work following maternity leave, Kate is passionate about helping others navigate the transition back to work while accounting for the necessary changes that take place. 

“Returning to work from maternity leave was really challenging for me,” she said. “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. The second time round it was no easier, just different!”.

“My daily pattern had altered, and I was working fewer hours, which meant I needed to organize myself and manage my expectations differently,” she said. “I undertook a career coaching program 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.”

The launch of Back in the Saddle follows the success of BEVA’s Leg Up program, which provides one-to-one career coaching for equine vets in their first five years of graduation. Both initiatives support the association’s continued work on recruitment and retention, by directly addressing requirements specified by members in a survey conducted in 2022.

The first Back in the Saddle program starts on June 11, 2024. Applications are now open and will close on May 17, 2024. To apply please visit

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