Senior Horsemaster’s Course 1


The Course is designed to provide:

  • expand upon the subjects covered in BSM. It is not mandatory to complete BSM before starting SHM1.
  • the preparation for Senior Horsemaster’s Course 2 (SHM2). It is not mandatory to complete SHM 1 before starting SHM2.

SHM 1 is ideal for:

Course Details

Academic Level: Further Education Level 2 and 3
Number of units/modules: 9
Study Hours per Unit: 10
Total Hours:  90
Course Duration:  Maximum of 12 months to complete course requirements
Study Week Requirements: Optional Stable Management Study Week

The course is divided into modules which consist of:

  • Detailed illustrated text.
  • In-text questions for you to answer and in-text activities to complete as you work through the material. Separate answer sheets are provided at the end of each module.
  • One work assignment per module.
  • Referring to the course material, you complete the work assignments at your own pace and submit each in turn for marking and assessment. Your work is carefully checked by qualified tutors, graded where appropriate and returned to you with detailed feedback.
  • English speaking
  • aged 14 or more – there is no upper age limit
  • interested in learning more about horse care and management


Module / Unit Details

This is a TOCES Certificate course. You will be awarded a graded TOCES certificate upon completion of the course. This will be of value to prospective employers as well as to you personally as it reflects your commitment to study. Please note that although TOCES Certificate courses do not result in a validated qualification, the course material is of the same high standard as our validated programmes through BTEC, the BHS and City and Guilds.

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!

Learn while you earn

Continue to work full, part time or volunteer!

Module 1 The Stabled Horse

Yard routine,stable construction, bedding, grooming, clipping, trimming, clothing, boots, bandages, behavioural abnormalities. Conformation.

Module 2 The Grass Kept Horse

Care at grass, fencing,shelter, watering arrangements, grasses, fertilisation, pasture management. Ailments affecting the horse at grass: laminitis, mud fever, cracked heels,sweet itch.

Module 3 Equine Nutrition

The digestive system, digestion, constituents of feedstuffs, calculating feed rations, rules of feeding, hay. Internal parasites. Colic.

Module 4 Horse Health

Signs of good and ill health, vaccinations, maintaining health, hygiene, inherent behaviour. Teeth, ageing and care of the teeth.

Module 5 Saddlery

Fitting, care and uses of different items of tack. Bits, bitting. Problems caused by ill-fitting saddlery.

Module 6 The Foot, Shoeing and Lameness

Anatomy of the lower leg and foot, reasons for shoeing, procedure. Recognising lameness, identifying and treating the cause.

Module 7 Anatomy and Physiology

Skeletal structure – bones, joints, tendons, ligaments. Muscular structure and function. Cardiovascular, respiratory systems,structure and function. Urinary, nervous,sensory systems.

Module 8 Fittening the Horse

Fittening programmes, interval training. Lungeing. Care before, during and after a competition. Travelling, loading, unloading.

Module 9 Safety

Accident prevention in the stable, yard, field, when loading, travelling, whilst riding. Fire prevention and action. Manual handling. Personal protective equipment and clothing. Accident Report Book. Health and Safety at Work Act 1994.

Enrolment and Fees

Enrolments are accepted for all courses anytime throughout the year.

Following enrolment, you will receive access to online course information and course material.

Full Payment

  • Online access to all course materials
  • Tutor support
Enrol now

Interest Free Finance

  • Deposit on enrolment £87
  • Online access to all course materials
  • Tutor support
Enrol now

Payment options:

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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