BHS coach

BHS Ridden Exams - What does it take to pass?

In May this year our two British Horse Society Accredited Coaches, Ross and Lorna attended the two day BHS Conference in Cavan. One of the many talks presented was by Alex Copeland and Tim Downes and centred around how candidates are assessed for ridden examinations and what is required to pass.

The pair explained that the pass criteria varies through the exam structure.

  • At Stage 1 level, all marks (100%) are available for the riding and 70% is required for a pass to be achieved.

  • At Stage 2 level, 80% of the marks are available for the riding and 20% for the oral section. 70% overall is required to pass

  • At Stage 3 level 70% of the marks are available for riding and 30% for the oral section. 70% overall is required to pass.

  • At Stage 4 level, 60% of marks are available for the riding section and 40% for the oral section. 70% overall is required to pass. This means that a candidate cannot pass on their riding alone - they must be able to evaluate and talk.

  • At Stage 5 50% of marks are available for riding and 50% for the oral section. This underlines that the qualification is not just about being able to ride - candidates must be able to evaluate an animals way of going, to explain what they are feeling and have done and to understand how to progress

Alex and Tim also explained that assessors will assess whether a candidate is lacking in skills or if they have skills which are developed in the wrong way. It is more of a concern to see incorrect training and habits (for example a rider thinking they should pull the head in and giving incorrect aids) than to see embryonic skills needing development.

The differences between Stage 1 and Stage 2 riding exams were clarified by the team:

  • The team clarified that at Stage one candidates are required to walk and trot without stirrups where as at Stage two they must also canter.

  • In stage one the light seat is introduced where as in Stage 2 candidates must jump

  • In Stage 2 assessors must gauge how well balanced is the rider and are they effective enough to ride a horse forward to a fence. Sabrina Jones explained that the new skills record which must be signed off by a professional accredited coach before a candidate can attempt their Stage 2 exam has meant that far less candidates are being stopped before the jumping phase.

The team explained that at all levels people make mistakes but assessors are not looking to fail anyone on a small mistake. In fact the team will question to identify if the candidate understands the background of why something should be done a certain way - for example where a candidate has their stirrup twisted the wrong way the assessor will question to ascertain if the candidate understands the correct way and why.

The exam structures are designed to future proof riders because following process and technique means riders will go on to ride at a higher level.

Information provided around Stage 3 and 4 riding exams gave the following insights:

  • At Stage 4 level it was clarified that the assessors will have sat up on the horses that candidates will ride beforehand and that at this level candidates may ride horses “long and low”. in fact at Stage 3 and 4 assessors don’t want to see people candidates riding immediately in a dressage test outline and do not wish to see riders riding movements without understanding why a movement is or is not beneficial to the horse.

  • At stage 3 and 4 level the candidates need to be able to influence the horse so balance is key as is a basic understanding that the horse out of balance users their head and neck to balance. Riders with bad balance pulling a horse on the bit is an issue as the horse cannot work correctly. Assessors see too many riders riding backwards thinking they must ride a horse in a frame - they want to see that the rider is balanced and can ride forward into an outline.

  • At Stage 4 the horse should lift frame and go into the elementary balance with the withers up.

  • A lot of riders at Stage 3 and 4 level say ‘I am going to use transitions to improve the horse’ but it is important to remember that only good transitions improve the horse, bad ones don’t!

  • Riders at Stage 3 and 4 level should read the horse they are riding and should be surprised and comment if a thoroughbred is lazy rather than or a cob is sharp off the aids. Candidates should understand the makeup of the horse, what it typically goes like and should comment if it is not true to type. As Tim said ‘if a 30 year old Land Rover drives like a Ferrari - you would be surprised and would comment on it’

  • At Stage 3 and 4 correct candidates are starting to influence the horse. At Stage 3 the odd support aid in the rein is understood. At Stage 3 the intention should be to ride forward with independent aids - at Stage 4 candidates should be doing this. The biggest issue seen by assessors is candidates intentionally riding the horse backwards. Intention is key - the rider must show that they intend to ride a horse forwards into the contact in balance even if they have not yet achieved it.

  • At Stage 3 a candidate can be unsuccessful in their flatwork exam but if they are workmanlike and sufficiently balanced they can go on to pass their jumping exam as they have been seen jumping at Stage 2 and have been signed off for Stage 3 jumping.

  • At Stage 4 under the new format there will be a specific dressage assessment -candidates will ride one horse that is at elementary level, one that is not yet there yet and one that they ride over trot and canter poles. In showjumping candidates will ride three horses - one to do with riding over a course, one to ride related distances and one to show how they develop flatwork into jumping using poles.

  • At Stage 4 the rider needs to be training the horse and candidates need to take responsibility for the how the horse is going when solving problems. When discussing fixing issues self reflection is important and candidates need to say not just what they will do to the horse but also what they will change in their riding

  • A sign off for Stage 4 wont be mandatory until next year.

  • At Stage 5 there wont be a sign off book instead candidates will complete a training and cpd log which they will bring with them and discuss.

At Dunbyrne Equestrian we have our own onsite BHS Assessor and BHSI Ross O’Hare. If you are working towards your BHS riding exams and need some training, sign off for exams or a mock assessment please get in touch - dunbyrnestud@gmail.com

BHS Success for Leonie and Rebecca

This week we received some wonderful news. Two of our full time students, Leonie Moore and Rebecca Hoary absolutely excelled themselves in their most recent BHS (British Horse Society) exams. Both students attend Dunbyrne Equestrian as full time working students under the CDETB training course. Both are now the proud owners of their full BHS Stage 2 Care, Lunge and Ride.

When we work with full time students we get to know them and we aim to help them to develop, to learn and to think about where they would like to go on their equestrian careers. We are lucky enough to have three full time students - Rebecca, Leonie and Finnish student Miia Pekkala working with is and we are delighted with the efforts they put in to being their best.

Rebecca is a passionate and determined young student with great plans and goals for the future and we are really delighted to be part of the team who help her on her way. Leonie has worked incredibly hard to develop her show jumping at Dunbyrne and we are so proud of the professional and confident approach she brought to her exams.

These students continue to work their way along the BHS pathways with our onsite BHSI Ross O’hare supported by our BHSAIs through Stage three care and riding and through their teaching exams. We love that we are involved in building the instructors of the future who will in turn inspire others to ride and to teach.

We are passionate about BHS training, if you are too, please get in touch if you would like our help to get where you want to go.

BHS Ireland 2019 Exam dates

The British Horse Society have released the 2019 dates for exams in the Republic of Ireland for 2019. As the dates are listed by centre on the BHS website, we have created a calendar by date instead to make it easier to find what you need.

You don’t need to be doing a course full time to take your BHS Exams, it’s entirely possible to study for and pass your exams independently while working full or part time. Whatever your situation, if you need an assessment, a mock exam, or some one to one or group training we can help. Our onsite BHSI Ross O’Hare provides training from Ride Safe to Stage One through to Stage 5. We have suitable horses for use in riding and lunging sessions and a working yard ideal for stable management lessons, lectures and practice.

if you are based somewhere else and would like us to come to you for training, just get in touch. Ross regularly travels around the country to deliver training so if you have a group interested we can arrange for him to come to you.

February

  • 11th February, Hitchmough’s, Ride Safe

  • 19th February, Kildalton, Stage 1 Care and Ride

  • 26th February, Calliaghstown, Stage 1 Care and Ride

  • 27th February, Calliaghstown, Stage 2 Care, Lunge and Ride

  • 28th February, Calliaghstown, Stage 2 Teach

  

March

  • 1st March, Calliaghstown, Stage 3 Teach

  • 26th March, Kildalton, Stage 3 Care, Lunge and Ride

  • 21st March, Slieve Aughty, Ride Safe

  • 27th March, Kildalton, Stage 2 Teach

 

April

  • 8th April, Hitchmough’s, Stage 1 Care and Ride

  • 9th April, Claremorris, Ride Safe

  • 16th April, Clonshire, Stage 2 Care, Lunge and Ride

  • 23rd April, Brennanstown, Stage 1 Care and Ride

  • 24th April, Brennanstown, Stage 2 Care, Lunge and Ride

  • 25th April, Brennanstown, Stage 3 Care, Lunge and Ride

  • 25th April, Danville, Ride Safe

  • 26th April, Brennanstown, Stage 2 Teach

  • 30th April, Calliaghstown, Stage 1 Care, Lunge and Ride

 

May

  • 1st May, Calliaghstown, Stage 2 Care, Lunge and Ride

  • 2nd May, Calliaghstown, Stage 3 Care, Lunge and Ride

  • 2nd May, Slieve Aughty, Ride Safe

  • 3rd May, Calliaghstown, Stage 2 Teach

 

June

  • 5th June, Grennan, Stage 3 Care, Lunge and Ride

  • 7th June, Grennan, Stage 2 Teach

  • 18th June, Brennanstown, Stage 1 Care and Ride

  • 19th June, Brennanstown, Stage 2 Care, Lunge and Ride

  • 20th June, Brennanstown, Stage 3 Care, Lunge and Ride

  • 21st June, Brennanstown, Stage 2 Teach

 

July

  • 9th July, Claremorris, Ride Safe

 

August

 

September

  • 3rd September, Brennanstown, Stage 2 Care, Lunge and Ride

  • 4th September, Brennanstown, Stage 3 Care, Lunge and Ride

  • 5th September, Brennanstown, Stage 2 Teach

  • 6th September, Brennanstown, Stage 3 Teach

  • 12th September, Slieve Aughty, Ride Safe

  • 18th September, Calliaghstown, Stage 2 Care, Lunge and Ride

  • 19th September, Calliaghstown, Stage 3 Care, Lunge and Ride

  • 20th September, Calliaghstown, Stage 2 Teach

  • 24th September, Claremorris, Ride Safe

 

October

  • 15th October, Brennanstown, Stage 4 Care, Lunge and Ride

  • 16th October, Stage 4 Teach

 

November

  • 7th November, Calliaghstown, Stage 1 Care, Lunge and Ride

  • 8th November, Calliaghstown, Ride Safe

 

 

 

BHS Ireland 2018 Assessment Dates at a Glance

The British Horse Society have released the dates below for assessments in the Republic of Ireland for 2018. Assessments are available from Level 1-4 for riding, coaching and care as well for equine tourism and ride safe. These assessments will allow students to earn qualifications towards their chosen BHS Equine Excellence pathways. 

Assessment booking checklist:

  • In order to book an assessment with the British Horse Society you must be a member. You will require Gold membership which is very valuable for all riders and students to have due to the excellent level of insurance it provides. https://www.bhs.org.uk/membership/join/personal-details
  • Next, you will need to review the assessment dates below to determine which dates and venues best suit you
  • Once you have done this you can give the Equine Excellence team a call at 0044-2476 840508 to book your assessment. 
  • Your assessment pack will arrive in the post and will include a skills sheet which must be signed off by a BHSAI or above to allow you to attend your assessment.

Need some professional help?

  • At Dunbyrne Equestrian we provide the following services through our BHSI Ross O'Hare which will help you to prepare for your assessments.
  • Individual or group assessments to determine where you are versus the level required for BHS assessments
  • Individual or group training towards BHS Assessments (Ride Safe and Care / Lunge / Ride / Coach Level 1-4). This is available during the day or in the evenings or at weekends to fit around working hours or busy lifestyles
  • Mock assessments for all levels to gain confidence ahead of assessments and to identify areas needing work.
  • Sign off of skills to allow students to take BHS assessments. 
  • Advice on BHS Equine Excellence Pathways and careers
  • To enquire or book any of these services please call 0862222440 / 0879244385

 

BHS Dates 2018 - Republic of Ireland

March 2018

Wednesday 21st March – Slieve Aughty – Ride Safe

Monday 26th March – Clonshire – Ride Safe morning assessment only

Monday 26th march – Clonshire - Stage 1 Care and Ride afternoon assessment only

Tuesday 27th March – Clonshire - Stage 2 Care, Lunge and Ride

Tuesday 27th March – Kildalton – Stage 3

Wednesday 28th March – Kildalton – Stage 2 Teach

 

April 2018

Friday 6th April – Claremorris – Ride Safe

Tuesday 10th April – Brennanstown - Stage 1 Care and Ride

Tuesday 10th April – Calliaghstown – Ride Safe

Wednesday 11th April – Brennanstown - Stage 2 Care, Lunge and Ride

Thursday 12th April – Brennanstown - Stage 3 Care, Lunge and Ride

Friday 13th April – Brennanstown – Stage 2 Teach

Friday 13th April – Calliaghstown - Equine Tourism, Ride Leader Level 2 & Level 3 only

 

May 2018:

Tuesday 1st May – Calliaghstown – Stage 1 Care and Ride

Wednesday 2nd May – Calliaghstown – Stage 2 Care, Lunge, ride

Thursday 3rd May – Calliaghstown – Stage 2 Teach

Friday 4th May – Stage 3 Care, Lunge, Ride

Thursday 10th May – Danville Farm - Equine Tourism, Ride Leader Level 2 & Level 3 only

Wednesday 16th May – Slieve Aughty – Ride Safe

Tuesday 29th May – Clonshire - Stage 2 Care, Lunge and Ride

Wednesday 30th May – Clonshire – Stage 2 Teach

Thursday 31st May – Clonshire – Stage 3 Care, lunge, teach

 

June 2018:

Friday 8th June – Grennan College – Stage 2 Teach

Wednesday 13th June – Clonshire – Stage 3 Care, lunge, ride

Tuesday 19th June – Brennanstown – Stage 1 Care, lunge, ride

Wednesday 20th June – Brennanstown – Stage 2 Care, lunge, ride

Thursday 21st June – Brennanstown – Stage 3 Care, lunge, ride

Friday 22nd June – Brennanstown – Stage 2 Teach

 

September 2018

Tuesday 4th September – Stage 2 Care, lunge, ride

Wednesday 5th September – Stage 3 Care, :Lunge and Ride

Thursday 6th September – Stage 2 Teach

Friday 7th September – Stage 3 Teach

Tuesday 25th September – Calliaghstown - Stage 1 Care and Ride

Wednesday 26th September – Calliaghstown - Stage 2 Care, Lunge and Ride

Thursday 27th September – Calliaghstown - Stage 2 Teach

Friday 28th September – Calliaghstown - Stage 3 Care, Lunge, Ride

 

 October 2018

Wednesday 3rd October – Slieve Aughty - Equine Tourism, Ride Leader Level 2 & Level 3 only

Tuesday 16th October - Stage 4 Care and Management, Lunge and Ride

Wednesday 17th October – Stage 4 Teach

 

BHS Assessments, Mock Exams and Training

As part of the new British Horse Society structure, candidates who wish to take exams can choose to do so across several pathways (coach, rider, groom) or to focus on the pathway mist relevant to them. Candidates looking to take exams with the BHS next year in Ireland must first be signed off as being at the standard to do so by a qualified BHS Instructor. 

Find out more about the BHS pathways here: https://pathways.bhs.org.uk/career-pathways/

To study for and take BHS exams, you do not have to work with horses full time, or even at all. You can choose between studying as a full time student in a college, at an approved equestrian centre, as part of a part time group or even by yourself in your own time. 

Dunbyrne Equestrian is home of Ross O'Hare, BHSI and BHS assessor. Ross provides the following services at Dunbyrne Equestrian, Kilmeague, Co. Kildare. These services can cover Ride Safe and the BHS Equine Excellence Career Pathways Level 1-5 in grooming, riding and coaching. Pupils can train with Ross using either their own horse or one provided by the equestrian centre. 

  • Part time BHS courses for groups
  • Tailored one to one BHS training for individuals 
  • Mock exams for groups or individuals
  • Assessments for groups or individuals and sign off for application for exams
  • Full time student positions 

To enquire about any of these services please contact Ross at 086-2222440 / 087-9244385

BHS Stage 1 Stable Management Evening Course

We posted earlier today about our opportunity for a full time pupil to come on board as part of our team to train to be a BHS Instructor. While we take students on to study for their BHS exams on a full time basis, we recognise the need for part time courses for others who may be working full time in another industry or have other commitments. 

What we are proposing to run is an eight week course which would train students up to be at the appropriate level to apply for and take their BHS Stage 1 stable management exam. This course would take place at Dunbyrne Equestrian (provisionally on a Thursday evening from 6.30 – 7.45pm but we will take feedback from interested parties on what might work). The course would cover the BHS Stage One stable management syllabus. The cost of the course would be €120 per person payable at the start of the course. (please note that this does not include exam fees for the BHS Stage One – attendees would be responsible for booking and paying for their own exams). However this price would depend on us securing enough interest to run the course. Please let us know if you would be interested in signing up for this course. 

Given how everyone’s schedule tends to be busy during the summer we hoped to commence the course at the beginning of September when routines tend to settle in. If there is interest we can also provide opportunities once the course is up and running for attendees to take part in relevant tasks at the yard on the weekend to practice and gain experience.

The course above covers the stable management syllabus of the BHS Stage One but if you would also like to take riding exams with the BHS we have an onsite AIRE approved riding school where you can attend lessons if you would like to brush up on your riding. For both the stable management and riding exams we will be able to host mock exams (for an additional fee) if there is enough interest after the end of the course. If the stage one course is successful we can build from this and work towards courses for Stage 2, stage 3 and the PTT exams.

If anyone prefers to study for any BHS exams on a one to one basis rather than a group, we can of course provide this. One to one tuition with our BHSI costs €50 per hour onsite.