“I would like to thank the Holywood Trust greatly for the funding given to help pay for education, in the quest to make my dream come true of owning my own Saddlery Business.
Ever since I was a child I was interested in horses. My mother made the fatal flaw of taking me to our local riding school when I was six years old, which then quickly led to my own pony and an empty bank account!
As I grew older and started learning more though the Dumfriesshire Hunt Pony Club and I became more interested in the tack and welfare of the horses just as much as riding.
People told mum that my interest in horses would be a faze, but I always knew that I wanted to work with horses even after I left school, so when it came time to leave I applied for various jobs in the Equine Industry.
My goal would have been to study at the British Racing School and then travel to America to work at one of the biggest stud yards “Coolmore Stud”, but in my head that was a long distance dream that I thought would never come true.
I thought that if I didn’t try then I would regret, so bravely I applied for the British Racing School not thinking I would get a reply. But after a few written forms, an interview, and a gruelling fitness test which I had trained for months for, the results came back…
I had been accepted…my dream had came true, and not only that, there was a chance to travel to America when I had finished. It couldn’t get much
Disaster struck the week before I was due to start my course at the British Racing School. I collapsed and was taken into hospital and the hole plan was later cancelled. My dreams… washed down the drain.
Three years of battling with a ‘mysterious’ illness that tied me to regular hospital visits and test upon test. I struggled to hold down a full time job. It was very frustrating because I have always been an active and hard working person, never able to sit still and my illness was forcing me take it easy, whether I wanted to or not!
Late 2016 I was finally diagnosed with a rare Auto-immune disease called Auntiphospholipid syndrome which attacks my blood, not a great diagnosis but a relief to know that it could be managed. After starting medication and beginning to feel better I was able to peruse my interested in saddlery and when well enough booked myself into my first saddlery course at the start of the year with financial help from family. After this I knew this was the path for me.
Its a true passion, I love working with my hands, love design, and I love the horses. Making bespoke pieces which are proudly gifted to peoples equine friends.
I quickly was asked to do a lot of repair leather work. This is when I asked for Hollywood Trusts help. They were absolutely brilliant and paid for my Saddlery repairs course where again, I learnt a lot and met some lovely people along the way.
I have now made the step forward to becoming a small business going by the name of “Amy Coupland Saddlery”, and I cant wait to expand. I feel that it is such a great opportunity to be able to make my passion into my work, and its been greatly helped by the Hollywood Trust who has provided education for me, which otherwise I wouldn’t have been able to afford.”