BHS Stage 4 Care and Management

    The course is designed to:

    • Prepare students for the BHS Equine Excellence Pathway ‘Groom Pathway’ Stage 4 Care and Management examination (Please note that TOCES do not hold these examinations and it is not mandatory to complete this assessment following the completion of this programme).

    BHS Stage 4 Care and Management is ideal for:

    • Students who have completed the BHS Stage 3 Care examination or have comparable experience who would like to further enhance their knowledge in the care and management of horses.
    • Anyone who is looking to progress in their career with horses.
    • Those aspiring to manage an equestrian business.

    Course Accreditation

    Academic Level:

    Higher Education Level 4

    Number of Units:


    Study Hours per Unit:


    Total Hours: 


    Course Duration: 

    Maximum 18 months

    Study Week Requirements:

    Optional Higher Education Study Week (Additional fees apply. Please see Study Week page)

    Upon enrolment you are provided with access onto TOCES’ online E-Learning Centre where you will find your study guide, study planner, Course Advisor and tutor information, course material, assignments and other helpful study resources.

    Course material consists of:

    • Detailed illustrated text in pdf format which you can print or download.
    • Online learning resources including in-text questions and activities.
    • Pre-recorded webinars, online lectures and videos.
    • You will complete five work assignments. Referring to the course material, you will complete the assignments at your own pace, within the maximum study period, and submit online for marking and assessment.  Your work is assessed by a qualified tutor, graded and returned to you with detailed feedback.
    • Upon completion of the course you will receive a graded TOCES certificate.


    To supplement the theoretical learning, you will be provided with a Practical Skills Workbook which details the practical skills needed at this level. Satisfactory attainment of each skill listed in the Skills Workbook is recorded and verified by an experienced colleague or friend.


    You may choose to attend the optional study week at TOCES.   The study week will help prepare you for the practical elements of the BHS Care examination, with a mock exam taken on the final day.


    Please note that you cannot train for the riding section of the Stage 1 to 4 examinations through distance learning and that in order to attain a BHS Care and Management qualification you must take the examination at a BHS Examination Centre. Structure. BHS course content may be amended to reflect changes in the BHS examination structure and syllabus.

      • Minimum age 16 – there is no upper age limit
      • Studied and/or qualified at BHS Stage 3 or equivalent level


      If you intend to complete the BHS examinations, the BHS require you to complete these in order from Stage 1, however you can choose to complete a higher level BHS preparation course with us for your own interest.

    Course Accreditation

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    Module/Unit Details

    • Unit 2 Assessing Conformation and Health in Horses

      Upon completion of this unit, learners will be able to:

      – Analyse a horse’s static conformation and evaluate its potential use.
      – Identify a horse’s strengths and weaknesses, assess it for soundness and identify potential causes of lameness.
      – Apply specific foot problems to remedial shoes.
      – Judge the development of muscles, tendons and ligaments of a horse,
      summarise common forms of injury and describe procedures for their repair.
      – Provide equine first aid – including accident and illness prevention, bandaging
      and splinting, wound treatment. Health and disease, signs of ill health, bacterial, viral and fungal infections. Managing the sick horse. Treatment of miscellaneous ailments.

    • Unit 3 Principles of Nutrition and Fittening Horses

      Upon completion of this unit, learners will be able to:

      – Describe and explain the nutrients and feedstuffs in the equine diet.
      – Describe and explain the equine digestive system and digestion.
      – Perform ration calculations for a variety of horse types.
      – Appraise the fitness of a horse.
      – Develop fittening programmes.
      – Categorise levels of fitness for horses in a variety of work, develop programmes and plans to fitten and maintain fitness in horses, including critically comparing
      suitable diets for horses.
      – Describe and summarise the causes of dehydration in horses and how this may
      be prevented.

    • Unit 4 Principles of Managing and Equestrian Business

      Upon completion of this unit, learners will be able to:

      – Manage an equestrian business, including insurance requirements, accident and
      incident reporting, relevant health and safety legislation, yard security, yard and
      stable construction and design.
      – Develop a plan to maintain yard facilities and develop annual grassland maintenance programmes and supervise staff effectively.

    • Unit 5 Principles of Horse Physiology

      Upon completion of this unit, learners will be able to:

      – Describe and explain the skeletal structure including the composition, formation and functions of bone, tendons and ligaments.
      – Describe and explain the circulatory and respiratory systems.
      – Describe and explain the nervous, sensory and endocrine systems.
      – Describe and explain the urinary system.
      – Describe and explain the reproductive systems.
      – Discuss the disorders of the systems of the horse.
      – Select breeding stock.
      – Care for and manage breeding stock.
      – Describe and explain the reproductive systems including covering, pregnancy, foaling.
      – Care for young stock.
      – Understand behaviour, instincts, vices and know how to minimise stress in the horse.
      – Understand the physiological systems of the horse and how different regimes will affect its behaviour at various stages of its development.
      – Analyse the well-being of a foal pre and post birth and be able to differentiate the health requirements for horses of all ages, including the brood mare.
      – Classify the information required when taking charge of mares during gestation.


    Full Payment


    • Online access to all course material and assignments
    • Tutor support
    • Enrolments are accepted at any time throughout the year.
    • Additional fees apply for Optional Higher Education Study Week

    Pay as You Learn

    £75 Initial Fee

    • Initial fee: £75 Access to Unit 1 and first assignment marked.
    • Second payment: £50 Access to Unit 2. Second assignment marked.
    • Third payment: £50 Access to Unit 3. Third assignment marked.
    • Fourth payment: £50 Access to Unit 4. Fourth assignment marked.
    • Fifth payment £50 Access to Unit 5. Fifth assignment marked, certificate awarded.


    • Enrolment and Fees

      Enrolments are accepted for all courses anytime throughout the year

      Following enrolment you will be provided with access onto out online E-Learning Centre where you will find all of your course material, assignments and other helpful study resources.

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