BHS Stage 1 Care

    The course is designed to:

    • Provide a straightforward introductory course suitable for anyone wishing to establish the foundation of stable management principles
    • Prepare students for the BHS Equine Excellence Pathway ‘Groom Pathway’ Stage 1 Care 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 1 Care is ideal for:

    • Inexperienced students from the age of 14 years
    • Students at the start of training with little or no experience of horse-care who would like to further enhance their knowledge in the care and management of horses
    • Students who wish to complete the BHS Stage 1 Care examination

    Course Accreditation

    Academic Level:

    Further Education Level 1

    Number of units/modules:


    Study Hours per Unit:


    Total Hours: 


    Course Duration: 

    Maximum of 12 months to complete course requirements

    Study Week Requirements:

    Optional Stable Management Study Week

    Upon enrolment students are provided with access onto our online E-Learning Centre where they will find all of their course material, assignments and other helpful study resources.


    The course is divided into modules which consist of:

    • Detailed illustrated text.
    • In-text questions to answer and in-text activities to complete as students work through their course material. Separate answer sheets are provided at the end of each module.


    Over the course of the programme you will have 1 assignment to complete per module (9 assignments in total). Referring to the course material, you complete the work assignments at your own pace and submit each in turn for marking and assessment. Student work is assessed by qualified tutors, graded and returned to you with detailed feedback.


    You are also provided with a Practical Skills Workbook, which details the practical skills needed to pass the BHS examination. You record satisfactory attainment of each skill listed in the Skills Workbook and seek verification of the achievement by a knowledgeable colleague or friend.

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


    *Additional fee payable for the study week.


    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 qualification you must take the examination at a BHS Examination Centre. Structure and content of the range of BHS Courses may be subject to amendment to reflect changes in the BHS examination structure.

    • Aged 14 or more – there is no upper age limit
    • Interested in learning more about horse care and management

    Course Accreditation

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    Module/Unit Details

    • Module 1 Introduction to Equine Anatomy

      The aim of this module is to introduce learners to:

      – Colours and markings of horses
      – Basic physiology – this includes the skeleton, joints, muscles, tendons and ligaments
      – Points of the horse and conformation
      – Teeth and ageing

    • Module 2 Principles of Equine Behaviour

      The aim of this module is to introduce learners to:

      – The nature, instincts and behaviour in horses in the wild and in captivity
      – The nature, instincts and behaviour in horses in the field, in the stable and when ridden

    • Module 4 Care of the Grass Kept Horse

      The aim of this module is to introduce learners to:

      – The paddock e.g. fencing and safety
      – Suitable watering arrangements
      – Poisonous plants
      – Suitable shelter
      – General care
      – Common ailments e.g. laminitis, sweet itch, cracked heels and mud fever

    • Module 5 Saddlery

      The aim of this module is to introduce learners to:

      – The care and fitting of various items of tack
      – Bits and bitting
      – Tacking up and untacking
      – Health problems associated with ill-fitting tack

    • Module 6 The Foot, Shoeing and Lameness

      The aim of this module is to introduce learners to:

      – The structure of the foot
      – The shoeing procedure
      – A well shod foot
      – Types of shoes and studs
      – Causes and treatment of lameness

    • Module 7 Watering and Feeding

      The aim of this module is to introduce learners to:

      – The digestive tract
      – Basic digestion
      – The rules of feeding
      – Types of feedstuffs
      – Food preparation including hay
      – How much to feed
      – Sample feed charts
      – Feed related disorders
      – Internal parasites

    • Module 8 Horse Health

      The aim of this module is to introduce learners to:

      – Signs of good and ill health
      – Preventative medicine and vaccinations
      – Sick nursing
      – The isolation procedure
      – The equine first aid kit
      – The administration of medicine
      – When to call the vet

    • Module 9 General Knowledge

      The aim of this module is to introduce learners to:

      – Safety rules and fire precautions
      – Accident procedures
      – Riding and/or leading on the road
      – Aims of the British Horse Society

    • Module 10 Optional Study Week

      Practical application of the knowledge gained through studying the course modules and completing the work assignments will be demonstrated and assessed. A mock BHS Stage 1 Care examination will be taken on the final day.


    Full Payment


    • Online access to all course material and assignments
    • Tutor support

    Pay as You Learn

    £85 Initial Fee

    • Four further payments of £35