Equestrian Services

Kate Vickers - Freelance Riding Instructor / Groom / Equine Physical Therapist - South Lincolnshire

British Horses Society Horses Owners Certificates

The HOC's are offered at four levels of knowledge with regard to the care and management of the horse. Each level will be assessed in the form of a written paper. Courses can be held anywhere suitable (warm, dry, tables & chairs), and the examination papers will be set and marked by myself. The pass mark for each Level is 60 % and successful candidates will receive a certificate for each level attained. Anyone from the age of 12 upwards can have a go at these certificates.

I will be offering courses and examinations for all levels. Details of the syllabus for levels 1 & 2 can be seen at the bottom of the page as a starting point for anyone interested in what they entail, further details can be obtained form the BHS website.


Training and Exam Options

A variety of different course options are available whether it be a 5 week course (home study or face to face), a few hours refresher or to just take the exam itself. Please contact me as I can tailor courses to your individuals needs. I will travel to a venue of your choice (village hall, livery yard, front room etc), as long as it is warm, dry, and has chairs and tables. Or you can come to me. All courses will include handouts, mini tests and feedback on progress. Each participant will need to provide an A4 SAE for their certificates to be returned to them. Please contact me for pricing.  


Level One

I have grouped these in areas which may be covered together in theory session.

Knowledge of horse types, uses, colours and markings. Identification of items of tack in common use and naming of the parts. Basic care of tack. Ability to take apart, inspect for safety, clean and reassemble. Reasons and principles of grooming. Knowledge of the items in a grooming kit and their use.

Elementary stable management.Knowledge of care and maintenance required to keep a horse healthy and comfortable in a stable. Stable routine and safety in the stable.  Safe handling of both the horse and equipment necessary for his well-being. A knowledge of substances in common use which require particular care and/or storage.

Basic knowledge of shoeing and care of the foot. Recognition of signs of health and ill health and when to call a vet. Temperature, pulse, respiration and the signs of health. Preventative treatments - worming, flu-vac etc. A basic knowledge of the need to worm and vaccinate. A knowledge of buying a horse. Points to look for. The need for a vet to assess the horse before purchase.

Elementary principles of watering and feeding. Rules of feeding and watering.Elementary rules for preparing a horse for a ride; riding out on the roads; returning from a ride; riding dress.

Level Two
The reasons for shoeing and recognition of when shoeing or re-shoeing is required. A knowledge of the basic structure of the foot. Farrier’s tools and use. How to remove a shoe safely in an emergency.

Recognition of common injuries and basic first aid. Arresting bleeding and treatments for different types of wounds.
Knowledge of watering and feeding of the stabled horse and the horse at grass. Feeding in all seasons. Feeding for light work. Care and maintenance of grassland. To include the maintenance of fences, gates, shelter, watering etc. Care and improvement of the grassland to include a knowledge of harmful weeds and their control.

The care of saddlery, to include inspection for soundness of saddles. A knowledge of the fitting and use of more items of equipment i.e. martingales, breastplates, boots etc.

Stable Routine for two horses. To include all the extra jobs that need to be undertaken e.g. drains, guttering, paintwork, cleanliness of yard etc. Bedding. A knowledge of the different types of bedding and their management.To include different systems e.g. deep litter.

The Highway Code. The Country Code, including the correct and courteous use of bridleways. The necessity of insurance to cover all aspects of the horse and its uses.