Your coach will encourage and support you in taking your riding skills to the next level and developing your understanding of basic training principles.
The Bronze award is a great opportunity to perfect the basics of riding in walk and trot.
You will learn about:
- I can describe the correct riding position
- I can describe why riding in the correct position is important
- I can list the sequence of footfalls for walk and trot
- I can lead a horse from the stable to the arena
- I can enter and leave the arena safely
- I can mount using a mounting block
- I can dismount
- I can adjust my stirrups and girth whilst mounted
- I can ride in walk and trot on each rein using the correct aids for:
a) transitions between halt, walk and trot
c) changes of rein
d) 20m circle
e) the correct trot diagonal
- I can carry and use a short whip
The Silver award allows you to develop your riding skills to include canter and discover ways to progress your position, both on and off your horse.
You will learn to:
- I can list the sequence of footfalls for canter
- I can describe why riding in a balanced position is important
- I can describe the aids to ask for canter
- I can ride in a balanced position in walk, trot and canter
a) on both reins
b) on the correct trot diagonal
c) on the correct canter lead
d) transitions between all three paces
- I can ride school figures in walk andtrot:
a) 3 loop serpentines
b) figure of eight
c) half circles back to track/teardrop shape
- I can ride in a group lesson:
a) as lead file
b) as part of the ride
The Gold award introduces you to more advanced methods and exercises to improve your balance, coordination and control.
You will learn to:
- I can outline the benefits of riding without stirrups
- I can cross the stirrups over the horse’s neck
- I can ride in a balanced position in walk and trot without stirrups
- I can list the rules for riding in open order
- I can ride 20m circles in canter
- I can ride 5m shallow loops on each rein in walk and trot
- I can ride a change of rein in walk using two half 10m circles
- I can ride free walk
- I can carry and use a schooling whip
The Platinum award further builds on your riding skills and develops your understanding of training a horse.
You will learn to:
- I can ride in a balanced position without stirrups in walk, trot and canter
- I can ride in open order with at least three other riders, in walk and trot
- I know what it means if a horse has a red or green ribbon in his tail
- I can describe the Training Scale
- I can name the first two blocks on the Training Scale
- I can describe my horse’s movements in relation to the first two blocks on the Training Scale
- I can describe the aids:
- I can describe the aids for rebalancing my horse
- I can ride school figures and changes of rein, showing an awareness of:
c) bend and flexion
How to get involved
Challenge awards are open to anyone who would like to improve their horse knowledge or skills; you do not have to be a BHS member to take part.
If you have your own horse
Courses are delivered by an Accredited Professional Coach. Your coach can come to your livery yard or British Riding Club grounds.
If you do not own your own horse
Or you’re not sure if they would be suitable, don’t worry. There are BHS Approved Riding Centres throughout the UK that deliver challenge awards with their facilities and horses.
You can achieve the challenge awards at your local Approved Centre where they will match you to a horse to ensure your lessons are suitable to your experience.
Get in touch
If you want to learn more about the Challenge Awards or if you have any questions, please complete our enquiry form and a member of our team will be in touch with you shortly.
Horse Care Awards
Working through the workbooks will give you a great introduction to the essential knowledge needed to enjoy and stay safe around horses. This theory will also help prepare you to care for a horse and develop your practical skills in other Challenge Awards.
Introduction to horse care
This award focuses on building your knowledge of what horses need to help them stay healthy, comfortable and happy.
Knowing your horse
This award series focuses on building your understanding of basic horse anatomy, feeding needs and evaluating a horse’s health and condition. You can then use this knowledge to inform how you exercise and care for a horse.
Caring for your horse
Through these awards, you will gain essential skills and knowledge around horse care, horse behaviour, stable and field care, using and fitting rugs, and grooming.
Handling your horse
These awards focus on developing your skills and knowledge to be able to enjoy your time on the yard being conscious of your safety and that of others on the yard too.
Lungeing your horse
Lungeing will add variation to your horse’s exercise and is a great way to build a trusting relationship with your horse.
This award focuses on building your skills and knowledge in monitoring horses’ health, preventing health issues, and responding to any health concerns that arise.
First pony guide
In this challenge award you will cover some of the considerations to make before committing to a pony and be introduced to some of the basic skills and knowledge required to look after him.
Introduction to riding
Learning to ride is hugely rewarding as you find yourself able to build a bond and relationship with your horse as you ride. We look forward to helping you take your first steps.
Gain knowledge and understanding to improve your riding and overall health.
Working through this series of awards will develop your flatwork skills, improve your position and help you ride with confidence. Learning the basics of riding on the flat is essential to any riding discipline.