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The BHS launched the Challenge Awards help both horse owners and recreational riders to develop hands-on, practical skills and get stuck in with the day-to-day tasks.

I am running a Ride Fit Bronze Challenge award course starting on Monday 31st January, running for 3 weeks at 7.30 pm. 2 will be online and one will be in my home making use of my balance rider.

You will find out about:

  • The effects of rider fitness on how a horse moves

  • How to align your body on the ground and why this is important for riding

  • Mindful breathing techniques

  • The importance of hydration and good, basic nutrition

  • The importance of understanding mental well-being


There are various topics covered by the Challenge Awards, some are stand alone topics and some make up the 4 levels, Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum.

The 'About The Horse' Award includes:

  • Knowing Your Horse

  • Caring For Your Horse

  • Handling Your Horse

  • Lunging Your Horse

The 'About The Rider' Award includes:

  • Riding Your Horse on the Flat

  • Riding over Jumps

  • Riding Out

  • Ride Fit

There are Introductory level awards for About the Horse and About the Rider, which are aimed at beginners just starting out with horses.

Currently the stand alone topics include:

  • Horse Knowledge 1 

This award will introduce you to some of the skills and knowledge you will require to be safe around horses. Previous experience handling or working around horses is not necessary for you to enjoy this award. This is a theory based course that can be completed as preparation for the Introduction to Horse Care challenge award where you can develop your practical skills.

This award covers:

  • Safety on the yard

  • Horse behaviour

  • How to approach a horse

  • Quick release knots

  • Identification

  • Points of the horse

  • The basic needs of a horse

  • Stable care

  • ​Horse Knowledge 2;

This award will build on what you learnt in Horse Knowledge part one to further develop your confidence and knowledge. This theory based award will prepare you for the Bronze About the Horse awards where the focus is on developing your practical skills.

This award covers:

  • Horse behaviour

  • Passports and microchips

  • Signs of health

  • Disease prevention

  • Feeding

  • Field checks

  • Poisonous plants

  • Parts of the saddle and bridle

  • Horse Health;  

When it comes to horse health, prevention is better than cure. Horses are not able to tell anyone if they are unwell, they have to rely on you picking up on any signs of illness or injury and reacting accordingly to prevent them from becoming worse.

By completing this award you will learn about:

  • Routine health checks

  • When to call a vet

  • Wounds

  • How to identifying lameness

  • Common health conditions

  • Bandaging

  • Basic treatments