You will gain a good grounding in the principles and practices of equestrianism and horse husbandry. The course involves a mixture of theory and practical work, including riding a variety of horses, learning about horse anatomy and all aspects of horse care and management.
You will study 9 mandatory units:
- Equine structure, form and function
- You will study the biological basis of equine locomotion through the study of the anatomy and physiology of the equine musculoskeletal system. Further analysis of the anatomical and physiological structure of equine circulatory, respiratory, reproductive, excretory, thermoregulatory, endocrine and nervous systems will help you understand the control and balance of horses more.
- Equine diet and nutrition
- In this unit you will explore the skills and knowledge needed to be able to manage the diets and feeding regimes of leisure and performance equines. You will study the underlying anatomy and physiology of the gastrointestinal tract, the importance of providing the correct nutrient balances and ration formulation, through to the dietary management of equines suffering with nutrition-related disorders.
- Managing equine disease
- You will study the pathogens and parasites that cause common diseases and how they develop and replicate. You will learn the varying routes of transmission and how to identify diseases, disorders and parasites from their signs and symptoms. This will help you plan for the management of them and explore their prevention and treatment strategies.
- Work experience in the equine sector
- In this unit, as well as investigating employment opportunities, you will examine how good communication and employability skills can improve your prospects in gaining and staying in employment, and learn how and where to access information about employment vacancies and further courses of study. You will learn how to develop your curriculum vitae (CV) and adapt it for specific vacancies, and how to develop good communication, interview and customer service skills. You will apply for and take on available work experience roles in the sector and reflect on your own progress.
- Horse tack, equipment and rugs
- In this unit, you will develop the knowledge and skills needed to follow safe working practices and to have a confident and adaptable approach to horses. You will learn about the tack and auxiliary equipment that is commonly used when preparing horses for ridden work in everyday situations, and will practically apply this learning in the fitting and maintenance of tack and equipment. You will select, fit and maintain a variety of horse rugs with an understanding of the role of rugs in supporting the wellbeing of horses.
- Equine health and husbandry
- You will learn how to perform health checks through the recognition of the indicators of good health, how to manage common equine illness and injury, and the procedures involved in the daily management of equine health. You will gain the knowledge, understanding, skills and behaviours required to maintain a safe and suitable equine environment, this includes working independently, and as part of a team, to manage equine health, welfare and performance.
- Preparation and presentation for competition disciplines
- In this unit, you will investigate the requirements of pre-competition preparations, including transportation, selection of tack and equipment, grooming, bathing and plaiting. You will develop an understanding of the importance of post-competition care, including exercise, transport, tack, rugs and auxiliary equipment. You will need to think about ways to promote equine health and welfare, the legal requirements of transportation and health and safety.
- Equine behaviour
- By examining the evolutionary and domestication history of the horse you will discover how the range of modern breeds has developed and how horses are still affected by instinctive desires to carry out specific behaviours. You will learn to recognise and interpret a range of equine communication methods and investigate the different ways that equines can learn. This knowledge will help you to understand how and why equine behavioural problems happen and how they can be treated or prevented.
- Managing an equine yard
- In this unit, you will learn how to manage an equine organisation successfully. You will learn about the impact of the standards and practices expected in the industry, and the importance of ensuring organisations are financially viable. You will explore the principles and impact of good customer service, along with the daily management activities necessary to ensure the smooth running of a yard, including the management of staff, horses, resources and accommodation.
You will also study 6 of 17 optional units, including:
- Horse fitness
- Riding horses in the open
- Estates skills and grassland management
- Introduction to equestrian coaching
- Equine stud management
- Managing equine injuries and rehabilitation
Hargate Hill Equestrian Centre boasts very good facilities and a wide variety of horses to ride and work with, including an outdoor arena, indoor school and cross-country course.
The centre is situated on the outskirts of Glossop in Derbyshire, with an impressive span of modern buildings catering for over 150 horses at any one time.
The course involves a six week work placement, either locally or anywhere in the UK. If you are willing to travel you stand a much better chance of going to a big, professional yard.
A minimum of 5 GCSEs with the following grades:
- English at 4 or above and Maths at 3 or above, and
- three other GCSEs at grade 4 or above
You will also have a riding assessment.
Experience with horses is desirable and as this is a physically demanding course you must be prepared for a physical fitness test.
You will be assessed with written assignments and practical tests.
On completion of this course you can go on to study the Higher National Diploma in Animal Management level 4/5 with Kirklees College.
You could go into employment as assistant instructors, do competition grooming, or work in saddleries, with feed companies or in breeding, nutrition and more.
Fees & Funding
If you’re a full time student under the age of 19 you will not usually need to pay any course or examination fees. Students aged 19+ should contact the information office on 01484 437070 for fee information.
You may need to pay for some essential costs. Help may be available for students in financial difficulties, contact financial support services on 0500 162100.
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