BHSI

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 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

 

 

 

Livery Available!

Summer livery!

We are delighted to be able to offer some spaces in our stable court yard for livery this Summer. We have the following services available from the first of June. Whether you and your horse need a change of scene, some schooling or a makeover - we can cover it. 

Full livery:

Full livery allows your horse to live in one of our spacious stables in the courtyard with a deep shavings bed. High quality feed twice a day, haylage three times a day, daily mucking out and fresh shavings twice a week are included. We do daily turnout into individual paddocks where horses can enjoy the summer weather and grass. 

Liveries can enjoy facilities such as our 70 * 50m all weather arena, sand gallops and wooded hacking trail, cross country field, secure tack room, free horsebox parking and heated rug room. We have an onsite riding school but this is housed in a separate tack room, arena and stable barn. 

We live onsite so the stable yard has no restriction on opening hours for livery clients. We also have a BHSI and two HSI coaches onsite for all of your training needs. Our riding club Dunbyrne Riding Club is based around the yard and is ideal for the amateur competitor. 

Schooling, exercise and Holiday livery:

Going on holidays? Tied up with work commitments? Need a break?

If you need someone to look after your horse while you are away or when you are busy, book in for holiday, schooling or exercise livery. Your horse will enjoy all of the benefits of full livery plus you can select to have them exercised by the team, schooled by our BHSI or groomed, trimmed and pampered by our BHS qualified groom. Come back to a well mannered horse who looks fabulous. *prices vary based on options selected

Coaching Livery:

Are you working towards a specific competition or championships? Our BHSI has trained clients to championship level in Dressage Ireland, Eventing Ireland, Showing, Pony Club and Riding Livery. Coaching livery allows you to train with our BHSI several times a week while on livery to maximise your performance. 

To talk to us about any of these livery options please call 0858059529 / 0862222440 or email dunbyrnestud@gmail.com

 

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

Working pupil position with accommodation for rider and horse available

We have an exciting opportunity coming up for anyone wishing to join our team and train with us full time to become a BHS (British Horse Society) instructor at Dunbyrne Equestrian. The BHS exams are internationally recognised exams in riding, stable management and instruction / coaching. Successful candidates will train for these exams under our onsite BHS qualified instructors and BHSI. 

Dunbyrne Equestrian is a family owned professional yard located at the foot of the hill of Allen (five mins from Coilog). Dunbyrne Equestrian includes an AIRE approved riding school and a livery and competition yard.  Our top class facilities include a floodlit 70*50m arena, all weather sand gallops, heated rug room, spacious stables and wooded hacking area. 

This full time course will begin on the 21/08/2017. There are no course fees for this position, accommodation is available onsite at our yard in Kilmeague, Co. Kildare and you are also welcome to bring your own horse with you. It may also be possible to have exams and equipment paid for if certain criteria are met. 

http://www.aire.ie/index.php/courses/bhs-and-other/23-bhs-news/114-new-intake-of-cdetb-students-for-bhsai-traineeship-march-2015


While the course will begin on 21/08/2017 it will be required for anyone interested in the position to attend a trial day at the yard in advance. If you are interested in applying for this position please contact Michelle today at 085 8059529. 
 

Red for Suzanne & Revery

A number of our clients travelled to Coilog this Sunday 30th April to compete in riding club in the latest leg of the Kavanaghs of Newbridge dressage league and the Linda Moore showjumping league. Jenny Brennan Hannigan and Rachel O'Sullivan competed in the advanced primary dressage with Papa Smurf (Harry Potter) and Firones Spear (Belle). Ellen Merrins had a great first day out showjumping and dressage with her bay gelding Pepper. Suzanne Walsh earned herself another league win taking first place in the primary dressage class. Suzanne was competing on board her chestnut gelding Revery. 

Dunbyrne Riding Club will host a leg of the Kavanaghs of Newbridge dressage league here at Dunbyrne Equestrian in Kilmeague on Sunday the 21st May. If you are interested in practicing your test in advance and receiving feedback and advice from our BHSI on how to achieve maximum marks on the day, we can organise a private or group session - give Ross a call at 086 2222440