Frequently Asked Questions

If you cannot find an answer to your question, please feel free to telephone or email Paula in the office on 01984-656339

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. How do these courses work?


All Lingfield course files are sent by email.  You do not need to be online therefore to work on the courses.  This is a bonus for many living in rural areas with slow or limited connectivity.

The files are password protected for security and you will be provided with a password on enrolment. You will need the password every time you open the files.

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

You can print your course files up yourself or work on them on your computer ipad.  A keyboard is recommended for completion of your assignments.

You can if you wish, save the files to a little USB memory stick (cost just a few pounds) and put it on any computer you have access to.

Q. What to do about my horse during Covid 19


We have the latest information for horse owners

We also offer advice on feeding.

Check out this self isolation link

Q. Which standard course suits me best?


You do not need to own a horse to take our courses.


We suggest Level 1 would suit you if you are a novice or feel you might be a little out of date with current trends and methods of equine management.

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.

In fact 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.

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 available with the Intermediate Diploma for Experienced people (and some motivated novices).  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 time over, or research more thoroughly.  There is normally a required minimum of 10 days between receipt of files,  with the Fast Track option however, up to 5 of the 7 modules in the Level 1 course can be requested at 7 day intervals.


Q. Do I get a Certificate or Diploma?


Yes if you wish – you simply send in the final assignment for checking by your tutor.  Certificates are however, entirely 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, you pay a £15 admin fee which goes towards payment of the tutor for their time in checking your work.  Providing the final assignment is successfully completed, you will be awared a Lingfield Certificate.


Q. Can I take a break from studying the course?


You can take a long break of up to 12 months but we do ask that you contact us every 6 months to let us know that you still wish to continue with your course..  The Equine First Aid course however, is slightly different offering only 6 months break.

For the majority of courses, providing you contact us every 6 months the course will remain open for you. However, you must have contacted us and requested at least one course file within the initial year of enrolment.

After 1 years without any contact we assume the course has been terminated by the student.  If you leave it longer than 1 year year for one calendar month only you may reinstate by paying a re-instatement fee to set it running again.  All it takes to keep your course up and running is a quick contact every 6 months to say you are still keen to complete it but you are busy right now.

Q. SHARING: Can friends/family/staff share a course?



Yes, the Level 1 course can be shared by two people providing you work at the same speed and use just one email address for receipt of course material.

The First Aid and Ailments course can also be shared – see the relevant page.  Other course shares will be given consideration.

  • To be considered for a shared course, provide full full details of both students by email and both students must email personally, from their own email address.
  • This must be undertaken by both students the same morning/afternoon/evening so that we can tie their names to the same enrolment


Note however that all sharers must abide by the following sharing procedures:

  • Only the main course person is permitted to request files (Study Packs or Sections) from the office. They must distribute the file to the sharer.
  • Prior to requesting files, the main course person must always confirm with their sharer that they are ready for the next module/file.
  • The main course person must confirm when requesting files that both students are ready for the next file.
  • The main course person is permitted to send one copy of the course material on to the sharer.
  • 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 students must 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.

The fee for the Level 1 is just £50 for the 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 ‘sharer’ must also enrol online on the course and should – tick that they are paying by direct bank payment.

We repeat:

Both 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.

Should you be offered a block training booking for a group.   All students must email the office initially with names and addresses and name of main contact person.


Group/block/training on any course is subject to strict procedures which must be adhered to.  If they are not adhered to the booking is not viable for us.  We will then terminate the group booking and will require payment for each student on an individual course.

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.

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. 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. 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. Do we offer professional qualifications?


No.  All professional qualifications in UK (enabling you to work hands on with horses) are examined as practical assessments (used to be called exams).  The Lingfield courses are distance learning only, nor are we a BHS Approved Riding Centre – we do not have horses here.  This means our courses cannot provide a professional qualification.

We offer courses specifically related to preparing candidates for the assessments for 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 qualifications 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.

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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 professional quality distance learning courses and provider of their Horse Owner’s Certificates.

We belong to and fully support the British Grooms Association and offer subsidised membership for our Intermediate students. We are members of the UK Rural Skills and are one of their Approved Providers. 

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.

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.

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 – any offers are usually available vis the course pages or the Lingfield Equine Distance Learning course facebook page.  Like it, Follow and get notificatioins of offers.


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



  • Or email us to arrange a time for phoning with card details.  We need to be in the office to take 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 on a UK bank account

  • 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 and the balance by standing order.

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


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

This is a common question and is not simple to answer.  Basically however, Yes – there is another option to college. This is via 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. training at a college is not always suitable.

  • Colleges run courses – these are structured to strict time tables and timescales.
  • Equestrian centres/riding schools on the other hand are more flexible and viable – it just takes longer.
    • The reason it takes longer is that you are training on a part time basis but you can of course use distance learning to gain the theory knowledge for some of that training before you even start your practical training.

Decide which route to training you need.   Do you need

  • the National Diplomas Levels 1 – 3
  • The British Equestrian Federation Coaching Certificate to become a qualified instructor / coach,
  • an Apprenticeship
  • the BHS Stages 1 – 3 and Teach awards to become a BHSAI.

All are options but most lead to different pathways in the industry.

  • Decide WHAT you want to do in the end and then you can work out what route to training you need.

We have full information on all the different routes to training in a blog in the Articles and Advice section called ‘I want to work with horses’

As a young person, the route you take needs some thought & discussion at home first

College is not necessarily the best place to train.  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 Ccentre 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 holidays or weekends off!

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 in a school environment.  College is not at all like school and many just do not cope with it.

You need to decide what your ultimate aim is.  For instance, do you want to

  1. be a groom and maybe one day manage a yard,  or
  2. do you want to train people and their horses and learn how to manage a yard as well.

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 route 1 and then decide it would be better to go for route 2, you may have to go back and start at the beginning of the training again to get a coaching qualification.

For some young people, going away to college can be daunting and not at all what they expected.  Tehy may be better off working nearer home at an equestrian centre – even if they have to live in.  Getting young people who cannot yet drive, to and from work early in the morning and at weekends could be a problem for parents but it might be better than them 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 or the ABRS Levels 1 route via the BEF, rather than the Levels 1 – 3 National Diploma which the colleges offer.

Equine College courses:

Do you need a National Diploma – 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 dozens and dozens of questions a year from all age groups about qualifications.  People simply want to know 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

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 ‘Adult Apprenticeships’  (Some employers may not yet be aware they are newly available).

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.