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You don’t have to attend equine college!

Mature students don’t have to give up work.

Young students can work with horses and train at the same time.

You do not have to go to college to gain equestrian qualifications.

Plenty of people gain professional qualifications on a part time basis whilst still working full time.  Many young students start work at a yard where they get training at the same time.

Of the two organisations we discuss here which offer professional qualifications, the most well known is probably The British Horse Society (BHS).

The other is the Association of British Riding Schools (ABRS).

The BHS is known on a world wide basis and their qualifications are recognised by international standards enabling BHS instructors to gain International Trainers Passports for teaching overseas.

UK Coaching Certificate:

The UKCC  is a national generic sporting coach qualification – recognised by all sports in the UK and available from the ABRS.

The BHS however, have for some reason, recently decided to drop this UK Coaching Certificate element thus losing the national coaching qualification from their system altogether. It is expected that it will return.

The ABRS offers equally good professional teaching and instructors qualifications and UK Coaching Certificates. For those who intend to teach to a good all round standard in the UK, the ABRS qualifications are equally as good and in some training circumstances will suit certain people better than the BHS training route.

  • The UKCC (UK Coach Certificates) also offer the option to gain International Trainers Passports so the qualification is recognised overseas too.


Have you thought of looking for a mentor to help you through your training?  Tutor Paula Clements in our office can often point you in the right direction to find a suitable instructor and or training place locally.  If you are in the Edenbridge Kent catchment area our consultant tutor Fiona Dent is ready to advise and guide you.

College courses

Some students could opt for a college course but must be sure that this is really what they need and be sure that the course on which they are intending to enrol is in fact the route they should be taking. Many take a National Diploma at college only to find that they would have been better to opt just for the BHS Stages exams and find that on completion of their National Diploma then have to spend more time taking those BHS exams as well.  For some this is time and money wasted.  We suggest they should have taken the BHS route initially instead.

Avoiding College courses

Use our courses to gain the theory knowledge for the BHS Stages and a local equestrian centre to gain the practical skills.  Check the syllabus on the BHS website and view all local BHS and ABRS approved riding schools (look at the where to ride section of the BHS site for instance).  Have a look to see if they offer training for the BHS Stages exams – or the ABRS Initial Teaching award.  If so, ring and ask to speak to the person in charge of training.  Tell them you are aiming to take (or are already taking) a distance learning course for the theory, but would like to take the practical side of the training with them. You may need an assessment riding lesson first to see if you are ready for the riding side of the exam too.  Check out this link on our website for suitable


Check out the other articles on this topic too.

The aims of Lingfield

Life too busy for a college course

Riding Instructor qualifications

How to get qualified in the horse world

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