Frequently Asked Questions

If you cannot find an answer to your question, please feel free to telephone Paula in the office on 01398-371177 or email Paula on If the phone/email is not manned we will respond as soon as possible.

Email generally gets a quicker response, especially if we are closed for a bank holiday or holiday break – someone usually checks the mail regularly.

Q. Which standard course suits me best?


Suggestions for Novices

If you are a weekly rider and are just looking for a general interest course to learn a little more about horses but are unlikely to own one then we suggest Level 1 would suit you. You do not need to own a horse to take our courses.

Before you register on Level 1 however, take a look at the Intermediate Diploma programme. It is much better value because of the subsidised fees.

The Intermediate Diploma subsidies were introduced for career students who are training and not earning a great deal.  This enables them to gain the theory knowledge for their professional exams – but it’s open to everyone.

The ID programme contains both Level 1 & Level 2 courses and is only a few pounds more a month if you are paying in instalments too.

Once you have completed Level 1 (£210), as a horse owner you are very likely to want the detail provided by Level 2 (£372). With the Intermediate Diploma you get Level 1 and Level 2 for just £348 – to us that’s a no brainer.

If you are a motivated novice wanting all round equine knowledge, we would strongly suggest the Intermediate Diploma as being the ideal programme.  You can take your time and work through the courses at your own speed – and your tutor is always there for you if you have any questions or need something explaining in more detail.


Suggestions for Experienced people

The Intermediate Diploma programme is ideal offering a fast track option for experienced people.

If you are experienced and have a specific interest in feeding, psychology, livery yard management, first aid, riding & competing with more confidence or are aiming for the BHS professional exams, look at the Specialist Course section.

If you decide that you are interested in a Specialist Course but would also like to update your general equine management knowledge and skills we suggest you look at the  Intermediate Diploma programmes containing your specific interest course.

Fast Track option

This is for Experienced people (and some motivated novices) on the Intermediate Diploma programmes.  Taking the Fast Track option means you can work through a good portion of the Level 1 course more quickly than the average student.  You can wiz through topics you are familiar with and take your time over those you need to take more detailed notes on, or research more thoroughly.  There is a required minimum of 10 days between receipt of files,  with the Fast Track option however, you can request files at 7 day intervals up to 5 of the 7 modules in the Level 1 course.


Q. Which course is for me?


If you are looking to increase / update/ broaden your all round equestrian knowledge or aiming one day to gain professional status within the industry, we suggest:

the Intermediate Diploma programme on subsidised fees.

Novices & Experienced people – for suggested options see ‘standards’ question above.


Q. Do I get a Certificate or Diploma?


Yes if you wish.  They are however all optional.

The final written assignment is the one you send in for checking by your tutor. All other assignments you keep on file in case your tutor asks for them at the end of your course.

If you want to achieve a certificate, providing the final assignment is successfully completed, and you pay the small admin fee (see below), your tutor will award you a Lingfield Equine Certificate.

If you successfully complete all the elements of the Intermediate Diploma programmes you can opt to gain an Intermediate Diploma. Occasionally, should a tutor feel any answers need more work, they send the assignment back to you with advice and help on how to rework the relevant answer/s.

There is a small administration fee of £15 / £19 Paypal or overseas.  This is to help cover the tutors time and admin for checking your final assignment and providing feedback if and when necessary.

Q. What happens if I want to take a long break? Suppose I have family or work commitments?


You can take a long break of up to 18 months to 2 years without even contacting us.  The Equine First Aid course however, is slightly different offering only 6 months break and a maximum of 1 year with no contact.

For the majority of courses, providing you contact us every 18 months to two years the course will remain open for you. However, you must have contacted us and requested at least one course file within the last 18 months/2 years.

If you leave it longer than 2 years, we will require a re-instatement fee to set it running again.

After 3 years without any contact we assume the course has been terminated by the student. More information on the How the Courses Work page.

All it takes to keep your course up and running is a quick contact to say you are still keen to complete it but busy right now.

Q. SHARING: Can we share a course?


Yes the Level 1 course can be shared providing you work at the same speed and use just one email address.

  • The main course person is permitted to send one copy of the course material on to the 2nd sharer.
  • The main course person only may request files (Study Packs) from the office
  • The main course person must always confirm with their sharer prior to requesting files that they are ready for the next file.
  • The main course person must confirm when requesting files that both students are ready for the next file.
  • As from Feb 2017 any student who is under 16 or who is working via an educational facility/organisation must work through an ‘appointed person’ / ‘responsible adult’ who will be the main contact person for the Lingfield office.
  • The appointed person must oversee the course personally and must use the correct procedures – the studentsmust work through this person if they wish to request files and send in work.
  • The appointed person must confirm that each student is ready for files prior to requesting them.  This must be confirmed with the office in the request.
  • The appointed person must follow procedures for admin fee for certification and assignments.

No other courses are available for sharing at the moment – but why not ask us if any changes have been made to the sharing option.

The fee for the Level 1 is just £50 for the 2nd sharer – this can be paid by direct bank payment.

How to enrol:   One person must pay the full fee – or instalments and enrol online in the normal way – this is the ‘main sharer’ and their email address will be used for all course material.

The ‘2nd sharer’ must also enrol online on the course and should – tick that they are paying by direct bank payment.

Both sharers must email the office personally at the same time (during the same 4 hour period) listing both names and addresses,  and the course on which you are enrolling.

How to pay the sharers fee:

  • Use the bank information on the standing order details form to send a direct payment of £50 – or email to arrange to pay over the phone.
  • Use the main persons name as a reference.
  • If wishing to pay the sharers fee by Paypal add £4 for administration.

Q. No internet access? Can I still do an email course?


Yes, all we need from you is an email address to which we can send the course material. This address must be the one you complete on the student details when you enrol.  A friend or relative may help perhaps?   However, whoever allows you to use their email address, should be prepared to assist you when it comes to typing up and sending in the course assignments – they may be required to access our cloud file sharing system (Dropbox).

Ask the friend or relative first if you can have course material sent to them by email.  Use their email address as the ‘students’ when you complete the enrolment form.

They can receive the course files for you.  You must use that email address when you request course material in future.

You can then save the course material to a little USB memory stick (cost just a few pounds) and put it on any computer or device with the free Adobe Reader app you have access to. (You can carry the whole course around in your pocket on one of those little things)

If you have restricted access however, review the Course Information page for more details under the sub heading  ‘How to Work with the Course Files’.

  • You will require internet access when you research.
  • You could use the computers at your local library totally free of charge.

Q. I'm not in UK. Can I take a course?


Yes we have students all over the world.  Providing you write English to a reasonable standard and fit other criteria for the relevant course we are happy to have you on board.


Q. I want to run a Livery Yard.


Our Specialist Course 8 covers a great deal of useful information relating to setting up a livery yard and provides vital information you need to know when it comes to the business management side of running a yard.

Be aware that licensing of Livery Yards may be introduced into UK at some time in the future. In which case all yards will have to submit to legal requirements and welfare specifications – all of which are provided in this SC8 course.

We suggest that the Intermediate Diploma programme (ID8) which includes the SC8 course, would provide comprehensive all round coverage of both the equine management and the business management side of running a yard.

Q. Can I qualify as an instructor without going to college?


You do not need to go to college to become a riding instructor.

Yes – there is another option to college – the commercial equestrian centre.  It is entirely possible to train at an equestrian centre.  For more mature people who have a life and family etc. often train at equestrian centres/riding schools on a part time basis and use distance learning to gain the theory knowledge for some of that training.

The other thing you need to consider is:  Do I need the National Diplomas Levels 1 – 3, an Apprenticeship or the BHS Stages 1 – 3.

As a young person however, the route you take needs some thought

i.e. College? or  Equestrian Centre?

If looking at colleges for training and your ultimate aim is to become a coach / riding instructor,  ask the college outright ‘which qualification route gives me a teaching/coaching qualification’.

Equestrian centre Training : This is more like going straight into work.  You won’t get the long holidays like you did at school and like the college kids get – but let’s face it, ‘working with horses’ as an adult is what you are aiming for !

  • In the real world horses don’t let you take long holiday!

Maybe you or your parents, prefer that you opt for the protective enclosed world of the college environment rather than training in a real life commercial environment?  –   but ……. will you get the qualification you actually need at college and will you get the job you want and deserve in the end?  It honestly does need serious consideration – parents should take heed and not try to protect for too long.

You need to decide what your ultimate aim is.  For instance, do you want to be a groom and maybe one day manage a yard,  or do you want to train people and their horses and become a coach. The two paths are slightly different and taking one route does not always lead to another – they may be separate training routes.  If you take the wrong one you may have to go almost back to the beginning of the training again to get a coaching qualification.

For some youngsters going away to college can be daunting and they are better off working nearer home at an equestrian centre.  Getting youngsters to and from work early in the morning and at weekends could be a problem for parents but it might be better than living away full time.

Many employers have told us that they would rather take on a new employee from a commercial equestrian centre than a college course.  They are more attuned to working in the industry and understand the work ethic.  Many prefer them to have started on the professional BHS Stages exam route rather than the Levels 1 – 3 National Diploma which the colleges offer.

Equine College courses:

Do you need a Diploma to become an instructor – or do you need an Coaching qualification? 

In fact many young people are pushed towards a college course believing that this is the only route to gaining Instructors and coaching qualifications.  The Levels 1 -3 National Diplomas alone will not offer instructors qualifications – you also need to take the BHS Stages.   For some the Levels 1 – 3 Diploma is entirely the wrong route.

Part Time Training:

Plenty of people do not have time to go to college, they have to work and sometimes that work is not connected to the equine industry. Others have families and work as well so they need part time training.

We get hundreds of questions a year from all age groups about qualifications and what is the best route for gaining them.  It is different for everyone and depends on you and your circumstances – but whichever route you take we can help.

We have an article here giving more detail about colleges and part time training

and another about Working with Horses here
If opting for an apprenticeship, please check that you can & will gain the qualifications you really need for the career you are aiming for.  Ask about ‘Mature Apprenticeships’  (Some employers may not yet be aware they are newly available).

Q. How long do I get to complete the course?


We have no time limits at all.

To our knowledge we are the only course provider offering NO TIME CONSTRAINTS to course completion.

All our courses allow you to work at your own speed and to complete entirely at your convenience. 

Take a break whenever you need it.

All we ask is that you contact us now and again to maintain your course as active on our system.

Once your course has started we promise not to rush or hassle you in any way and you can take as long as you like to complete a course.

There is more information on the How the Courses Work page.

Q. Are the files you send out very big?


Nobody has ever found them to be too large even on slow connections.

Q. My WORK Email address? Is that OK to use?


Usually yes. However, some companies / government offices / finance companies / educational email addresses / solicitors and large or national organisation’s computer networks / nhs / block certain types of protected files for security purposes.  The may for instance block files with a password – often called encrypted.

Before enrolling you should ask your IT department if password protected pdf files requiring Adobe Reader app are accepted.

If your company say they do block such files, we can send the material to any address you name for receipt of the course material.

If not, then use or set up another free email address for the course (e.g. ….@gmail) and use that email address at the time of enrolling/registering.

Q. How does an e.mail course work?


The files are password protected for security and you will be provided with the password on enrolment

To work with our files you will need the free app Adobe Acrobat Reader.

You can print it up yourself or work on it on your the computer or with an app on an ipad.  A separate keyboard for ipads is recommended (blue tooth)

You can save the files to a little USB memory stick (cost just a few pounds) and put it on any computer you have access to. Some devices using Windows 8 and above have only a basic pdf reader see All Courses page for Adobe links.

Q. Do we offer professional qualifications?


All professional qualifications in UK (enabling you to work hands on with horses) are examined as practical exams. The Lingfield courses are distance learning only, used alone therefore, they cannot provide a professional qualification.

We offer courses specifically related to preparing candidates for the exam day for 2 professional exams:  the BHS Stage 1 and the BHS Preliminary Teach Test Certificate exam.

Our Levels 1 & 2 – (and therefore the Intermediate Diplomas)  provide the majority of the theory knowledge on which those taking professional Stage 1 & 2 exams would be questioned.

From as early as 1999, the BHS provided a link from their training/education section directly to our website as a provider of quality distance learning courses and their Horse Owner’s Certificates.

Plenty of students use these courses as a way of gaining that theory knowledge – thus avoiding going to college or weekly lectures.

Q. Are the courses recognised?


It depends what you mean by ‘recognised’.  Lingfield Correspondence a Member of The British Equestrian Trade Association  & is registered with the UK Learning Providers Register.  hotcourse UKRLP Advant home stbeta

Lingfield is a long established course provider – for over 20 years we have been running lectures and courses on equine management to students throughout the world but especially in the UK. Tutors via their professional qualifications retain membership of many professional bodies within the industry.

From as early as 1999, the BHS provided a link from their training/education section directly to our website as a provider of quality distance learning courses and their Horse Owner’s Certificates.

We belong to and fully support the British Grooms Association and offer subsidised membership for our Intermediate students.

The courses, authors and tutors are well known in the equine industry for providing very comprehensive and good quality professionally produced information. Those who complete the equine management courses are recognised to have gained a good overall theoretical knowledge on equine care and management.

All the instructors in the Lingfield Instructor Group are qualified. The BHS issued certificates to those who passed the BHS Horse Owners Certificate exams with us – up until the BHS’s national withdrawal of HOC’s in 2015 we had a 100% pass rate covering an 18 year period.

Lingfield Equine Certificates & Intermediate Diplomas:

All our courses offer optional Certificates / Diplomas

Q. Is there someone on whom I can call for help and advice during my course?


Yes, every student has their own course tutor on whom they can contact by email or telephone – this is a totally free service.

There is also a Full Tutor Support system for those who really struggle with reading and writing. We have a Facebook page where students can comment and ask for help and advice.

Occasionally, study partner arrangements are set up between students too. You are not alone so you can use all the help and advice facilities we offer.

We have a learning system in place which enables tutors and students to have ‘one to one’ contact throughout the course – you may call on them at any time.  Students also have assessments via interactive documents which may be worked on either on or off line.  These are assessed by your tutor and feedback provided via your own private access work folder.

The app for this special folder is available for ipad, imac or windows etc.

Students can access documents and learning aids via a Lingfield only restricted access research folder.

Q. I haven't studied for years / I was not good at school.


Deciding to study at home for a new skill or to expand your knowledge, will most probably affect your family life in some way, especially if you have children.

It is important to get the family on your side to be sure you get time to study without neglecting the family.  The best way to do this is to talk to them about your plan to complete the course and or achieve a certificate and ask for their help.

Explain to the family that you are doing this course so that you can improve your knowledge and maybe your work too so that you can all enjoy a better life together.  This way, they are more likely to understand when you shut yourself in another room to study or ask them to sit quietly for a while to give you time.

Given a good explanation of what is going to happen, when you start your course, even quite young children will understand.

For those already at school, it sets an example and shows that you also have ‘homework’ to do.  Sometimes if homework is an issue for children – perhaps they try to avoid it, it will help them if you can study at the same time and in the same room.

I am worried about studying – I left school a long time ago!

Taking your studies in small achievable steps is always a good plan.  Set aside a small amount of time every week to achieve each small step.

Where you study is important:

It is better to choose a place that is quiet – not the centre of the house (not the living room with TV on, or kitchen).  Avoid places in the house where everyone passes by and stops and chatters or is making a noise or doing things around you. Turn your phone OFF.

It is often better to choose a bedroom if necessary – or even an outbuilding or shed in warmer weather.  Close yourself away and get your head down for just half an hour at a time – that is best.

Rewarding yourself in some way when something has been accomplished helps to keep you motivated.  Give yourself a special treat for small achievements – an extra or special ride/lesson – or favourite cake a chocolate bar.

Rewarding yourself for your hard work and your family for their co-operation will help to keep you on track and your family firmly on your side!  When you complete an assignment, why not take a trip to the family’s favourite restaurant – or get that special take away or DVD.

Q. Is there any funding available?


We are not able to access funding directly for you.  However, there are often government funds available to people with specific needs.

Check ‘‘ on google.  Apply to us in a letter/email with your full details for the CDL funding for your course – we will then be eligible to apply for registration on the government list.

There are organisations you can approach. UK Government careers service can often help if the you are looking for help with training for a career or to gain employment in future.

If you believe you might be able to get funding, you must contact us by email or telephone as soon as possible, we will need you to complete an enrolment form rather than your funding agency.  We can provide an invoice.

If you intend to become an instructor or run a livery yard you may well be working as a self employed person.  You would be be starting your own business.  In some areas of the country it is possible to get financial help for a start up business.  You might therefore,  be eligible for funding to start your business.

The first port of call for gaining access to this sort of funding is often via UK Government information.  For those aiming to work alone and become self employed there is information here.

The book for sale on this web site:  Guide to How to Get Qualified is very helpful too.

Other places to try for funding are local Citizens Advice Bureau who occasionally know of local organisations and charities which help people get back into work by funding training courses.  There are also organisations scattered around the country which help people with disabilities gain access to training.  Contact your local CAB in your area for help and advice.

The moneysaving website is also a mine of information relating to courses and grants etc.

Lingfield is not a government accredited educational organisation. We do not offer A level or degree/higher education academic courses so cannot offer funding.


Q. Are there any discounts?


Occasionally we have special offers, especially on newly released courses – check our Facebook pages for news.

  • However did you notice the subsidies we offer!
  • The Intermediate Diploma programmes are all subsidised.
  • The ID programmes also offer subsidies on British Grooms Association membership.

Our website takes the either the fixed full fee or the first instalment.

To pay for advertised discounted courses, email us and quote the code given in the advert :

You can pay by Paypal to  by direct bank payment – to the bank on the standing order details form or by phone 01398-371177 during office hours (10.30 – 3.30 most weekdays) – email first to check if available.

Q. Can I pay by Paypal? Cheque, Direct Bank payment or Phone?



  • Our website takes paypal payments – either the first instalment or in full.
  • Or pay direct to our bank and let us know by email.
  • Or email us to arrange a time for phoning with card details.

Paypal instalments (recurring payments):

  • Be aware that Payapl offer a maximum of 4 payments only in this way
  • If wishing to pay in instalments by paypal, you may pay the first instalment by Paypal via the website in the normal way.
  • Then email us and ask for a recurring payment to be set up for the balance.  

Q. Can I pay by instalments?


Yes, by standing order, or with post dated UK bank account cheques.

  • You cannot pay by debit or credit card on a monthly basis.  It must be a standing order – and you must follow instructions on the order email about emailing us a list of dates once the standing order is set up.

You may pay all instalments on standing order or pay the first instalment via the website with credit card or Paypal and the balance by standing order.

Q. How do the courses work?


On enrolment you are sent the first course file of your course.  When you have worked through this first module, completed the assignments, research and set work, you send for the next one and so on. (If you are paying by instalments it delays delivery of subsequent course files.  They are in this case available only at the rate of one a month). When on an ID programme you must complete to specific sections of the equine management courses prior to requesting section 2 of your short course.

There are assignments to work on throughout the courses but most of these you do on your own. It is only when you reach the end of the course that you send in any work for your course tutor to check. Tips on fitting the course in and around a busy life will be found later in this FAQ list.

Completion and Delivery

  • In line with most distance learning courses the files are pdf documents.  Our files are password protected. They will therefore require a free app ‘Adobe Reader’ to view and work with them on ipad or computer.
  • See All courses page for Adobe links, plus full details on delivery and completion.
  • The first file is by download from an automated email – so you can start any time of day or night.
  • Subsequent files are sent attached to emails.
  • Full details will be found within the Course Info pages or email the office.