BHS Horse Owners Certificate Stable Management Courses

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BHS Horse Owner Certificate Course

Levels 1-2 – 6 x 90 minutes Sessions£100. Levels 3-4 – 8 x 90 minutes Sessions - £120.

These are offered at four levels of knowledge with regard to the care and management of the horse specifically aimed at the first time horse owner, or parent of horse owners. Each level will be assessed in the form of a written paper which should be completed under examination conditions with an adjudicator present. The person who takes overall responsibility for the training of such courses must be a member of the British Horse Society Register of Instructors. The examination papers will be set and marked by the instructor in charge of the course. The Instructor will forward marked papers to the British Horse Society for moderation, for which a charge is made. We recommend the instructor includes this charge within the course fees. The pass mark for each Level is 60% and successful candidates will receive certificates from the BHS following moderation.

Level One
  • Knowledge of horse types, uses, colours and markings.
  • Elementary stable management.
  • Knowledge of care and maintenance required to keep a horse healthy and comfortable in a stable.
  • Stable routine and safety in the stable. Safe handling of both the horse and equipment necessary for his well-being. A knowledge of substances in common use which require particular care and/or storage.
  • Identification of items of tack in common use and naming of the parts.
  • Basic care of tack. Ability to take to pieces, inspect for safety, clean and re-assemble.
  • Reasons and principles of grooming. Knowledge of the items in a grooming kit and their use.
  • Basic knowledge of shoeing and care of the foot.
  • Recognition of signs of health and ill health and when to call a vet. Temperature, pulse, respiration and the signs of health.
  • Preventative treatments - worming, flu-vac etc. A basic knowledge of the need to worm and vaccinate.
  • Elementary principles of watering and feeding. Rules of feeding and watering.
  • A knowledge of buying a horse. Points to look for. The need for a vet to assess the horse before purchase.
  • Elementary rules for preparing a horse for a ride; riding out on the roads; returning from a ride; riding dress.
Level Two
  • The reasons for shoeing and recognition of when shoeing or re-shoeing is required. A knowledge of the basic structure of the foot. Blacksmith’s tools and use. How to remove a shoe safely in an emergency.
  • Recognition of common injuries and basic first aid. Arresting bleeding and treatments for different types of wounds.
  • Knowledge of watering and feeding of the stabled horse and the horse at grass. Feeding in all seasons. Feeding for light work.
  • Care and maintenance of grassland. To include the maintenance of fences, gates, shelter, watering etc. Care and improvement of the grassland to include a knowledge of harmful weeds and their control.
  • The care of saddlery, to include inspection for soundness of saddles.
  • A knowledge of the fitting and use of more items of equipment i.e. martingales, breastplates, boots etc.
  • The necessity of insurance to cover all aspects of the horse and its use.
  • Stable Routine for two horses. To include all the extra jobs that need to be undertaken e.g. drains, guttering, paintwork, cleanliness of yard etc.
  • Bedding. A knowledge of the different types of bedding and their management. To include different systems e.g. deep litter.
  • The Highway Code.
  • The Country Code, including the correct and courteous use of bridleways. (Volunteers to help with bridleways work, are encouraged to contact their county Bridleways Officer).
Level Three
  • The recognition, treatment and care of common injuries and ailments, further to Level Two.
  • Changes from management in the stable to management at grass and vice-versa. The procedures for getting a horse up from a period out at grass e.g., teeth, worming etc. and the procedures for roughing-off a horse.
  • Clipping, trimming and plaiting.
  • Care and maintenance of horse transport; to include both horse boxes and trailers.
  • A knowledge of the law regarding the transit of horses. Weight ratios for trailers and legal requirement with regard to towing.
  • Preparation of the horse for travel. A knowledge of equipment needed with regard to the length of journey and the climatic conditions.
  • The care of the horse trekking and in competitive events.
  • Understand fitness and condition, and the maintenance of both.
  • Knowledge of good and bad stable construction. Different types of stabling. Basic requirements of planning regulations.
  • Layout of stable yard to include handling and disposal of the muck heap.
  • Knowledge of horse clothing and bandaging. Care and maintenance of both.
  • Recognition of good and bad forage. Knowledge of different grasses found in hay samples and ability to identify weeds and poor grasses.
  • Storage of forage
  • Have a working knowledge of the costs involved in keeping a horse.
Level Four
  • Knowledge of the main systems in the horse (Respiration, Reproduction, Digestive, Immune, etc.), their function and common problems associated with these systems, (COPD, Colic etc.)
  • Knowledge of various grasses, conditions for growth and beneficial properties.
  • Procedures for improving pasture i.e. drainage, cross grazing, re-seeding, fertilisers etc. Calendar of management for grassland. Haymaking - types and methods.
  • Vitamins/Minerals - difference between them and why they may be deficient in the diet. Name main vitamins/minerals and their uses. Weights and types of feed available for: Riding School horses, Hunters, Competition Horses, etc.
  • Knowledge of structure of the tooth and ageing characteristics. Description of structure of the mouth and common problems that may result from poor conformation of this.
  • Name and structure of different types of remedial shoes. Give description of the condition under which these shoes may be used and the way in which they affect improvement/relief.
  • List the basic principles of sick nursing and the reasons/conditions for implementing these. Describe the way in which these principles may help to reduce severity of a condition/injury and any problems that may arise as a result.
  • Outline the basic principles of fitting various saddles (dressage, jumping, cross country, general purpose) and bridles (snaffle, double bridle). Describe the uses of specific .bits. and gadgets, (draw reins, balancing reins, Market Harborough, De Gouge, etc.) and the way in which they work.
  • List common stable vices and their possible causes. Also suggested ways to stop such vices and the preventative steps that can be taken to limit these.
  • A general knowledge of the BHS and its Departments, Structure etc. Awareness of the BHS qualifications system and BHS Register of Instructors.
  • Action to be taken in the event of an accident. A knowledge of RIDDOR and legal obligations of an Instructor.

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