BHS Stage 1 Care


Academic Level: Further Education Level 1
Number of units/modules: 9
Study Hours per Unit: 10
Total Hours:  90
Course Duration:  Maximum 12 months to complete course requirements
Study Week Requirements: Optional Stable Management Study Week

Specifically developed distance learning course material provides all of the information required for students to pass the relevant Care  stage examination. A work assignment is completed at the end of each course module and submitted for assessment and tutor feedback. In-text activities and in-text questions are supplemented by a Practical Skills Workbook, which details the practical skills needed to pass the BHS examination. Students record satisfactory attainment of each skill listed in the Skills Workbook and seek verification of the achievement by a colleague or friend.

Once all skills have been attained and all work assignments completed, students may choose to attend the Study Week at TOCES’ yard in Suffolk. The course will help prepare the student for the practical elements of the BHS Stage 1 Care examination, with a mock exam taken on the final day of the course.

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 and Management 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.

  • 14 years and over (please note you must be 16 years old to complete the final examination at your local BHS Centre)
  • Interested in learning more about horse care and management



Module / Unit Details

TOCES BHS examination preparation courses allows those unable to attend traditional training courses or train as a working pupil, to complete BHS Stage 1 to 4 Horse Care and management examination preparation through distance learning.

Study from home or school

Fit study in around your current commitments and while you gain practical experience in the equine industry.

Full course support

Our dedicated student support tutors are available to assist you throughout your studies. Keep in touch with fellow students too!

Module 1 – Introduction to Equine Anatomy

Colours, markings, and basic physiology of the horse. Points of the horse.

Module 2 – Principles of Equine Behaviour

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

Module 3 – The Stabled Horse

Yard routine, mucking-out, skipping-out, bedding and setting the stable fair. Building and maintaining a muck heap. Grooming. Selecting and fitting rugs.

Module 4 – The Grass Kept Horse

The paddock – fencing, watering, poisonous plants and shelter. Turning out and catching the horse. Care of the grass kept horse. Pasture management.

Module 5 – Saddlery

Care and fitting of items of tack including saddle, bridle and martingales. Parts of the saddle and bridle. Tacking up and untacking. Effects of worn, ill-fitting or dirty tack.

Module 6 – The Foot, Shoeing and Lameness

Structure of the foot. Day to day care of the foot, including recognising the need for shoeing.

Module 7 – Watering and Feeding

Rules of feeding and watering. Types and quality of fodder and hay. Feeding stabled and grass-kept horses and ponies in light work.

Module 8 – Horse Health

Signs of good and ill health.

Module 9 – General Knowledge

Safety rules and fire precautions. Accident procedure. Riding or leading on the road. Aims of the British Horse Society.

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.

Enrolment and Fees

Enrolments are accepted for all courses anytime throughout the year.

Following enrolment, you will receive access to distance learning course material and an allocated course tutor who will be available to assist you throughout your studies.

Full Payment

  • Distance learning course materials in PDF format
  • Tutor support
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The Open College of Equine Studies
33 Pages Lane
Lower Green
Bury St Edmunds
IP28 6NJ

Registered Office:

The Open College of Equine Studies
Eldo House
Kempson Way
Bury St Edmunds
IP32 7AR
Company No. 04354226