NEW BHS Certificates
During 2015, the British Horse Society phased out the Horse Owner’s Certificates. They introduced a new format certificate providing a more structured and unitised approach. The BHS Essential Horse Knowledge Certificates.
This is more in line with the professional Stages syllabus rather than the more relaxed approach offered by the amateur qualification offered by the Horse Owner’s Certificate. The courses are split into units.
The initial level of the new certificate, offers accreditation towards 1 unit of the BHS stage 1 exam – further Levels gain 2 units.
Comment from Lingfield about BHS EHK Certificates
JULY 2016: We have sadly as far as the BHS is concerned, had insufficient interest – (0%) – in the new BHS Certificates ‘Essential Horse Knowledge’, we therefore had no alternative but to withdraw the courses we offered owing to viability.
However, our own Equine Care & M’ment courses are more comprehensive than the BHS Essential Horse Knowledge Certificates and have been well and truly booked up since inception.
The old BHS Horse Owner’s Certificates were integral to our courses in the past and had been running successfully for some 20 years. During that time they have helped a vast number of ordinary, everyday owners and riders, gain more knowledge. They have offered the opportunity for them to gain a certificate without having to become a BHS member. The Certificate was proof of their achievement, but even better as far as we are concerned, those taking the courses had learned to put in place good equine management practices to improve the lives of their horses.
We believe many who achieved the HOC certificates were happy to take the associated courses because,they were offered on a more relaxed basis than new BHS unitised, formal training courses.
It will be sad if the new certificates system loses this informal approach which appealed to the everyday grassroots rider/owner most of whom just wants to learn more about caring for horses. All they generally ask for is a certificate from a recognised organisation as proof of their achievement rather than a professional qualification.
Horses and their welfare should be at the for-front of all charities such as the BHS. However, there are always running costs to consider with any educational programme an organisation offers. Sadly, we have to realise that not all programmes offer sufficient funds to make them viable and sustainable.