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Stage 3 Trail Leader

Stage 3 Trail Leader provides a benchmark within the equine industry for those who would like to work in a commercial equestrian environment.

  • Last reviewed: 4th August 2022
Trail Leader (Stage 3) Trail Leader (Stage 3)

Alongside taking care of horses, staff and clients, this career certificate demonstrates you are a professional with the required knowledge and skills to manage a number of horses on a day-to-day basis and whilst out on a long ride or trek.

This certificate also demonstrates high quality horse care and management skills combined with the knowledge to plan treks and trails, manage an overnight stop and ensure all horses and riders remain safe.

Who is this certificate for?

  • Anyone aspiring to have a leading equestrian career in the equestrian tourism industry
  • Anyone looking to work towards a senior position within a commercial equestrian centre
  • Anyone aspiring to become a Stage 4 Senior Trail Yard Manager

Entry requirements

  • Minimum age: 18 years (Stage 3 Care unit can be taken at 16 years; Stage 3 Riding Out unit can be taken from 18 years old)
  • BHS Stage 2 Care, BHS Stage 2 Riding Out or BHSQ/BHS equivalent
  • BHS Gold member – Membership discounts apply for students who are training for or taking BHS qualifications


Unit 1: Stage 3 Care

On completion of this unit, you will: 

  • Be assessed on your knowledge to manage day-to-day activity, care and welfare of horses under your responsibility, with an established awareness of current legislation for working within a stable yard environment
  • Show competence in understanding equine behaviour, physiology and measuring vital health signs 
  • Be assessed on recognising and treating common conditions and nutritional requirements of the horse, including assessment of condition and measurement of nutrition alongside fittening of the horse 
  • Be practically assessed on how to fit tack for both flatwork and jumping, in addition to the use of studs

Read more about Unit 1: Stage 3 Care here.

Stage 3 Riding Out

On completion of the unit, you will: 

  • Be able to manage your work safely and efficiently, while undertaking a higher level of responsibility 
  • Show the application of skills and knowledge which relate to the care and management of horses, clients and training of staff through a range of tasks with minimal supervision 
  • Be able to lead a group of riders on a long ride out, which may include breaks or an overnight stop 
  • Be able to select and use relevant equipment and manage your use of time according to industry practice

Read more about the Stage 3 Riding Out unit here.

Training for this assessment

All applicants are encouraged to undertake practical training at a BHS Approved Centre or with a BHS Accredited Professional Coach to ensure you are ready for your assessment.

Booking your assessment

To book your assessment, please find an upcoming assessment date near you and then contact the BHS Education team to book your place.

You can find out more information about booking your assessment here.

Re-sitting your assessment

If you have been unsuccessful on your first assessment, we encourage you to call us to book a re-sit.

Of course, we will also answer any questions you may have and provide you with feedback at this stage. You may have been successful against some, but not all of the assessment criteria, in which case we can just assess you on the sections on which you were not so strong.

Get in touch

If you have any questions, please complete our enquiry form and a member of our team will be in touch with you shortly. Alternatively you can call us on 02476 840508.

Career pathway:

Ride Leader Pathway

  • Stage 1

Complete Horsemanship

Stage 1 Complete Horsemanship provides an industry recognised foundation of practical knowledge in riding, care and stable management to progress through any career pathway.

  • Stage 2

Ride Leader

BHS Stage 2 Ride Leader is for anyone looking to work at a commercial centre. If you have responsibility for taking out rides, hacks, treks or trails this career certificate ensures you have the foundation skills to work in the industry. 

  • Stage 3

Trail Leader

Stage 3 Trail Leader provides a benchmark within the equine industry for those who would like to work in a commercial equestrian environment.

  • Stage 4

Senior Trail Yard Manager

BHS Stage 4 Senior Trail Yard Manager is for those looking to move into a management position in the equestrian industry. You may aspire to run a riding centre or trekking centre.