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Section 3: Training Horses (Lunge and Ride)

This section covers essential knowledge and skills required to train horses

1.Working the horse from the ground

Lungeing or long reining using two reins is an essential exercise to train and develop a horse’s way of going. As a groom, rider or trainer you will be expected to carry out non ridden exercise and training. This assessment demonstrates your advancing skills in lungeing with one rein to two, and long reining horses.

You will be given one horse to assess and work from the ground to develop its way of going. The horse may be of any size, type, sex or age from three years upwards. The horse may be of any level of training and experience. The horse may be capable of varying quality of work and may be any level of fitness.

The horse will be tacked up with any equipment ready for lungeing with two reins and long reining. You should check equipment for comfort and safety before you begin your session.

You should warm up the horse to assess its way of going. From your assessment you should continue to work the horse using appropriate techniques and exercises to develop its way of going and aid improvement. You should be prepared to utilise a combination of lungeing with two reins and long reining, unless you feel that one technique is unsuitable for the horse. You will work the horse with empathy and authority whilst developing an effective rapport with the horse.

You will be expected to use ground poles (if appropriate) to develop the way of going. An assistant will be available to help, following your instructions.

You will discuss your session with the assessor highlighting the strengths and limitations in the horse’s performance, your evaluation of the exercises and techniques chosen, your performance, and how you would plan to develop this horse’s training with future sessions. You will also evaluate the general training of horses and the process of working horses from the ground using two reins.

The assessment will last approximately 30 minutes, including discussions with the assessor and is assessed as a standalone assessment

2. Riding and training theory

This assessment will give you the opportunity to discuss your training philosophies, methods and experience training horses for dressage up to advanced medium.

You will also analyse your experience of training a horse. You should have trained the horse for a minimum period of six months, so you have a suitable time frame to discuss any improvement seen and draw down from your experiences with this horse. The horse you choose to discuss can be of any age, type, level of training, for example; a young horse for backing, a riding school horse used for training others, a competition horse (any level) or retraining a horse for a different discipline.

In order to aid your discussion and support your analysis, you can complete an optional logbook of training to bring to your assessment.

You can also bring photos or videos (on your own device) as evidence to support your discussion.

The assessment should last approximately 15 minutes.

3. Assess a horse

You will assess a horse as if for personal or centre purchase. Firstly, with a static and dynamic assessment of conformation and then a ridden assessment over all three paces, on the flat.

The assessment will take place outdoors on grass and you may share the area with up to three other candidates.

The horse may be of any size, type, sex or age from four years upwards. The horse may be of any level of training and experience and may be capable of varying quality of work. The horse may be of any level of fitness. The horse will be presented to you ready to ride either in schooling or competition tack. The horse may be shod, unshod, studded or not studded.

Following your ridden assessment, you will discuss your evaluation with the assessor.

The assessment should last approximately 45 minutes, including discussions with the assessor.

4. Dressage session – up to advanced medium

You will ride two horses during this assessment. One, or both horses will be able to work at advanced medium level and may be a competition or school horse of any type, size, sex or age. The horses may be any level of fitness and be capable of varying quality of work.

You will ride on a surface and may share the area with one other candidate.

The guidance below relates to each horse.

The horse will be presented to you ready to ride either in schooling or competition tack. You will warm up the horse and evaluate the horse’s way of going and its level of training. From your evaluation you should continue to work the horse, using appropriate exercises to develop the horse.

You will evaluate the session with your assessor and plan the horse’s training for development to improve and establish advanced medium level work and beyond.

Throughout your discussions you should relate the horse’s way of going to the Training Scale and show a clear understanding of the dressage riding requirements for British Eventing, British Dressage and FEI competitions.

The assessment should last approximately one hour, including discussions with the assessor.

5. Dressage session – up to advanced 

You will ride one horse during this assessment. The horse will be training towards advanced level and may be a competition or school horse of any type, size, sex or age from four years upwards. The horse may be of any level of fitness and capable of varying quality of work.

You will ride on a surface and may share the area with one other candidate.

The horse will be presented to you ready to ride either in schooling or competition tack. You will warm up the horse and evaluate the horse’s way of going. From your evaluation you should continue to work the horse, using exercises appropriately to develop the horse. The exercises you choose should have the intention of working towards and developing medium level work to include working towards tempi changes and pirouettes in canter.

You will evaluate the session with your assessor and plan the horse’s training for development to improve and establish advanced level work.

Throughout your discussions you should relate the horse’s way of going to the Training Scale and show a clear understanding of the requirements for British Dressage and FEI competitions.

The assessment should last approximately 30 minutes, including discussions with the assessor.

6. Flat session over poles

You will ride one horse during this assessment. The horse may be a competition or school horse of any type, size, sex or age from four years upwards. The horse will be presented to you ready to ride either in schooling or competition tack (general purpose or jump saddle).

You will ride on a surface and may share the area with one other candidate. There will be an assistant available to place poles as per your instructions. You will be able to use the poles for floor patters or raised poles with blocks. You can use up to 12 poles.

You will warm up the horse and evaluate the horse’s way of going. From your evaluation you should continue to work the horse, using exercises appropriately to develop the horse’s athletic performance. The exercises you choose should have a positive effect on the horse’s way of going and performance.

You will evaluate the session with your assessor and plan the horse’s training for further development.

The assessment should last approximately 30 minutes, including discussions with the assessor.

For information on assessment fees, booking process and training guidelines please click here.

Download the assessment criteria for further detail.