Level 1 Certificate in

Equine Skills

This course introduces you to the basics of horse care. It’s a great stepping stone for people who are keen to work with horses, but don’t have previous experience.

Our expert staff will help you learn skills in handling horses, grooming and general horse care. There’ll also be opportunities to learn about stable management, go on off-site trips and take part in riding lessons.

Course includes

What will I study?

  • Stable management
  • Riding instruction
  • Off site experience and visits
  • General horse care
  • Health and Safety
  • Preparation for interview
  • Work experience
  • Personal development classes
  • Job applications and course applications
  • You will undertake a 2-3 week work placement
  • Functional Skills or GCSE in English and Maths depending on previous qualifications

How long will it take?

  • 1 year, full-time

What qualifications do I need to start?

  • Some GCSEs at grades E/F
  • If you think your grades will be below E/F, we advise you to apply for the Entry Level Programme

What qualifications will I gain?

Course options after this programme

Career options

  • Assistant groom at riding school or livery yard
  • Groom or assistant groom across a range of equine establishments

Please note: Acceptance onto riding units is subject to assessment and maximum weight limit based on scale. Click here for further information on our new scale of weight limit for riding. Minimum level required is equivalent to BHS Stage 1 standard

Useful information

Livery packages at Reaseheath Equestrian Centre

We offer a range of livery packages from full working livery to DIY livery with a stable management option. To find out more about our livery packages visit the livery pages on our website.

How much will this course cost?

If you are under 19 on 31st August 2018 the tuition fees and exam costs are free for our courses. If you are aged 19 or over you may have to pay a fee.

You may also be required to pay costs associated with study tours or additional qualifications.

For more information on fees and to find out about what financial support may be available to you visit the student finance pages on our website.


Our college buses pick up over 1,400 students each day from a wide area. From September 2018 all college bus routes to Reaseheath will be FREE. To find a bus route near you visit the transport pages on our website.


At Reaseheath we have on-site residential accommodation for 785 students. If you are aged over 16 and studying on a full-time course you may apply for a residential place. Visit the accommodation pages on our website for more information.

How do I apply?

If you have found a course you are interested in and are in Year 11 or above you can apply now online. For a step by step guide on the application process visit the how to apply pages on our website.

Frequently Asked Questions

You can find out more information about this course on our FAQs page.

Weight Limit for Riding

In response to the developments in Equitation Science and the importance of promoting personal health and well-being the Equestrian Centre is establishing a new scale of weight limit for riding.

Current research has proven that horses should only be carrying 10- 20% of their own bodyweight when being ridden, this includes the clothing and tack used.  With the maximum being 20%, as there is a substantial effect on the horses gait and behaviour in response to rider’s weight.   When deciding what weight horses should carry other considerations have to include; age of the horse, the horses condition, level & duration of work, saddle fit, rider ability and balance.

We have therefore taken all of these factors into consideration when evaluating what weight is appropriate for the horses at Reaseheath to carry in order to ensure our horses welfare.  It is also important that we are promoting personal health and well-being in all our staff and learners – ‘riders are athletes’ and working in the equine industry is demanding, we want to support our students in being prepared for this in every way we can.

The weight limit for the Equestrian Centre has therefore been determined based on:

  • Healthy height v weight parameters
  • The height of the riders and the size of pony/horse they are most likely to ride
  • Max weight capacity for horse bodyweight (+tack)
  • Workload of the horses
  • Age range of horses
  • Rider ability

The weight limits are:

Height Weight (st) Weight (Kg)
Upto 4’10” 9 58
4’11 – 5’2” 10 64
5’3 – 5’6” 11 70
5’7” – 5’9” 12 76
5’10 upwards 13 82

The max weight limit for the centre is 13 stone.

Student Profile
Corinne Liddle

Ambition: Racing groom

School: Sandbach Girls School

Age: 18

Corinne has always wanted to work with horses but hadn’t considered the exciting world of horse racing until she came to college.

Now hoping to become an elite travelling racing groom, Corinne has been gaining experience by working on our own professional yard.
Practising plaiting and preparing for shows has been one of the highlights, learning to lunge and handle different types of horses has been another. And she’s really enjoyed her riding lessons in our custom built indoor and outdoor arenas.

Gradually gaining confidence, Corinne first did our Entry Level 3 course, moved up onto Level 1 and has now progressed onto our Level 2 Diploma in Horse Care with the possibility of Level 3 in the future.

Admitting that she didn’t enjoy classroom sessions at school, Corinne says that she’s found her coursework interesting because it’s all been relevant and she’s even found her English sessions fun!

She says: “Although I’d ridden since very young I hadn’t had the experience of working as part of a team until I came here. But the best thing has been making so many new friends!”