Lambach - Austria
The agricultural school abz Lambach was founded in 1946. Since 1991, in addition to agricultural studies and housekeeping, the school offers a four-year educational programme as a horse groom (grades 9-12).
In 2010, a school cooperation with HAK Lambach was initiated, which provides pupils the opportunity to become a horse management technician and at the same time obtain a high school diploma. This branch, called Horse Management & Economics (HME), combines the key areas of agricultural, equine and business studies in a six-year programme (grades 9-14). Pupils attend three years of classes at abz Lambach and then switch to HAK Lambach, where, after another three years, they graduate with a high school diploma.
HAK Lambach is a private Catholic Business College run by a Benedictine monastery and was founded in 1971. One of three branches offered is Horse Management & Economics (HME), which is unique in Austria as it is a combination of equine and business education ending with the common final exam called "Reife-und Diplomprüfung", which is equivalent to the A-levels.
Pupils come from all over Austria, Southern Germany and even Northern Italy.
The team of horse riding and carriage-driving instructors in Lambach currently consists of 11 professional equestrians, who, besides teaching, engage in and represent various areas of equestrian sports: they compete in both national and international riding and carriage-driving tournaments, train young horses, fix problem horses, engage in breeding and the husbandry of stallions, take up leading roles in breeding associations, work as farriers, etc. In addition to the main disciplines dressage, show jumping and cross country, the school also offers courses in carriage-driving, veterinary education, as well as horse husbandry and breeding, in both theory and practice. As a part of the programme, pupils have to complete several months of internship in different stables and horse businesses across Austria and abroad. Practical courses are held in the neighbouring Stadl Paura Horse Service Center (www.pferde-stadlpaura.at) and the riding stable Reitstall Berger (www.reitstall-berger.sta.io).
A highly-motivated, dynamic team of teachers led by innovative headmasters focusses on entrepreneurship education, foreign languages and personal development, as well as putting a premium on the use of modern technologies. Practical work is a key priority. The pupils are encouraged to take part in projects to make use of the skills acquired in theoretical education.