Taken by more than 4,000 candidates a year, the BHS Riding and Road Safety Test helps educate riders in road safety in order to minimise the risk involved when riding on the roads. The test is available to all riders from 12 years of age and is supported by the Department for Transport. It is probably the only test that any rider will undertake that has the potential to save not only their own life but that of their horse and other road users as well.
It is not essential to own a horse in order to take the test, as many riding schools and centres organise them for their pupils. Similarly, you do not have to attend a centre in order to take the training and the test. Although the published dates refer mainly to tests being held at centres, if a group of ten or more people can get together, many trainers and assessors are happy, subject to a satisfactory BHS Riding and Road Safety risk assessment being carried out, to come to them.
Candidates do not have to be BHS members.
Candidates applying to take the test in the Republic of Ireland must book a place with the BHS at least 28 days in advance of the test date.
There are three parts to the test:
The Theory Test
This is usually a written test with questions covering the Highway Code, the Riding and Roadcraft Manual, and the rules of riding on the roads.
The Simulated Road Route
This part takes place in off road conditions. It is designed to test the rider’s ability to ride appropriately on the road. This includes observations, signalling, manoeuvring and negotiating a series of hazards that they may encounter on the roads.
The Road Route
Once the candidate has demonstrated an understanding of road safety in the first two sections they can attempt a set route on the roads to demonstrate their competence in dealing with vehicles and other hazards.
For more details on the test and scoring you can download the syllabus on the right. We also recommend that all candidates read:
- The Highway Code
- The British Horse Society Riding and Roadcraft Manual, both available from our bookshop (opens in new window).
If you would like dedicated training in Riding and Road Safety, our trainers can provide this. We recommend that candidates have at least eight hours of training before taking the test.
Organising a test
Are you interested in organising a Riding and Road Safety Test? Contact your County/Regional R&RS Representative from your local committee at least six weeks in advance to secure a date and find out more. If your venue has not hosted a test before, you will need a risk assessment - please call the BHS Education team on 02476 840482 for details.
Your regional representative will allocate two Riding and Road Safety Examiners for the test. The organiser will need to set out the Simulated Route according to the guidelines in the Riding and Roadcraft Manual and ensure that all candidates are fully equipped for the test.
There is a minimum of ten candidates per test. If you have fewer than ten candidates the empty spaces must be paid for at the standard test fee.
Becoming an Assessor
Gold members of the BHS, over 21 years of age and with a minimum of three years’ training experience can apply to become Riding and Road Safety Assessors. Call 02476 840482 for more information.
We hope that riders will stay safe riding out, but unfortunately accidents happen. Every year, a high number of equestrian incidents go unrecorded. Our dedicated site, horseaccidents.org.uk, is a valuable resource providing a way that we can record incidents and gather statistics. Without hard evidence like this, it is impossible to lobby those in power to make the changes to ensure riding is safer for all.
Please take any opportunity you may have to talk to clients or candidates about the existence of the website and why their report is so valuable. Sharing experiences could make a huge difference – together we can fight for change.
Please be aware exams close two weeks prior to the exam date. Entry will close at 5pm on the night before this 14 day period begins, i.e. if the exam you would like to book for is on the 20th of any given month, you must be booked on by 5pm on the 5th.
If your exam is on a Saturday, Sunday or Monday, entry will close at 3pm on the Friday before the 14 day period begins.
Before contacting our Education team, please contact the test centre to arrange horse hire or permission to use your own horse.
Candidates wishing to use their own horse for the Riding and Road Safety Test must ensure they hold relevant Public Liability Insurance.
Please be aware that dates on the website are subject to change so please refer to your confirmation letter for your exam date and time. If you have not received this or are unsure please contact the Education Department.