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Essential Horse Knowledge Certificates

The Essential Horse Knowledge Certificates will be replacing the Horse Owners Certificates during 2015.  These new qualifications are held at two levels: Entry Level and Level One. 

They are suitable for learners of all ages. However, we recommend a minimum age of 12 years. You can enter at either level, although if you are new to horses or have limited background knowledge we recommend you start at Entry Level.

The qualifications are specifically aimed at the first-time horse owner or carer, parents of horse owners, potential horse owners or anyone else interested in the care and welfare of horses.

The assessment of this qualification will be through a written assessment via exam papers produced directly by the BHS. On achievement of the qualification all certificates will be sent to the instructor, who will forward them on to candidates. 

Do the Essential Horse Knowledge Certificates link to the Horse Owners Certificates?

There is no link between the Horse Owners Certificate levels and the Essential Horse Knowledge Certificates. The EHKC have been designed to link into the BHS Stage exams. The EHKC Level One has been mapped to the BHS Stage One Care Unit 3: The Principles of Caring for Horses. This means that learners who have successfully achieved the BHS EHKC Level One will not have to sit this unit should they book onto the BHS Stage One exam.

The natural progression from the EHKC level One would be for the learner to continue to work through and train for the BHS Stage One units to cover the breadth of the Horse Knowledge and Care syllabus before moving on to the BHS Stage Two units. However on achievement of the EHKC level One learners may enter Units 3a and 3b of the BHS Stage Two.

How do I apply to do the Essential Horse Knowledge Certificates?

If you are interested in gaining the Essential Horse Knowledge Certificates, you can find a Registered Instructor in your area who teaches the syllabus.

I am a BHS Registered Instructor or Proprietor - how do I run an Essential Horse Knowledge course?

If you would like to run EHKC courses for your clients, you must:
•    Be current and active on the BHS Register of Instructors (with up-to-date First Aid, CPD, Enhanced DBS, BHS membership and subscription to the ROI) or a Proprietor of a BHS Approved Centre
•    Have attended an EHKC training course and received the training pack
•    Hold a minimum BHSPT (Instructors who hold UKCC, NVQ or Work Based Diploma qualifications without the BHS PTT are not eligible to offer the Essential Horse Knowledge Certificate).

If you would like to attend an EHKC training course for instructors you can find a training course in your area. If there are no courses listed in your area please email the BHS Education Team at

Can BHS Approved Riding Centres run Essential Horse Knowledge Certificates?

EHKC courses can be run at BHS Approved Centres. The Proprietor or a  Registered Instructor must have attended EHKC standardisation training and must take overall responsibility for the course.  However, training sessions may be delivered by any employee of the Approved Centre who holds the BHSPT. The responsibility of the Proprietor or Registered Instructor includes registration of learners, invigilation of the exam, marking the exam papers, and ensuring that the instructor delivering the training sessions is suitably qualified and familiar with the syllabus.

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