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The aim of this programme is to enable the learner to develop the knowledge, skills and competence to work in a supervisory role in a stable with sport horses or race horses, or to progress to further or higher education and training. In North Connaught College our students will be facilitated to explore Equine Studies with a view to re-skilling/up-skilling and exploring concepts and subject areas that may interest the learner in future programmes or employment. It will also enable the student to take responsibility for supervising the running of a working stable under direction from management.

Students will gain vast practical experience in the areas of:

  • Sport Horse Riding
  • Equine Nutrition
  • Equitation Theory
  • Sport Horse Riding instruction

Other areas of study include:

  • Customer Service
  • Start Your Own Business

Work experience is also a core feature of the Horsemanship programme with students spending time in an equine setting. This facilitates the enhancement of employability and transversal skills.

Programme Progression 

On completion of this programme learners will have the knowledge, skills and competencies and be prepared to work in a supervisory position in riding schools, studs, competition stables, livery stables, young horse training and dealing yards.

The training for Level 6 will also prepare the learner for British Horse Society (BHS) Stage 3 and Stage 3 Teach.

As well as the BHS qualifications students could go onto further education such as a Higher Certificate in Business in equine studies in Athlone Institute of Technology, Co. Westmeath,  Equine Business in NUI Maynooth, Co. Kildare or the  BSc in Equine Management in Eniskillan, Co. Fermanagh.

  • Entry Requirements
  • Education: No formal education or qualifications are required although applicants may have participated in primary and secondary education. Applicants will be expected to demonstrate a standard of knowledge, skill and competence equivalent to NFQ Level 5 when accessing a Level 6 programme.
  • Aptitude: Applicants must have a motivation to learn, an interest in the subject and the ability to acquire the knowledge, skills and competencies set out in the course.
  • Previous Experience: Applicants must be able to demonstrate a broad range of knowledge, skills and competencies relevant to the course and be able to exercise initiative and independence when carrying out course activities.


Title Award Awarding Body
Customer Service Customer Service (6N0697) QQI
Equine Nutrition Equine Nutrition (6N3368) QQI
Equitation Theory Equitation Theory (6N3386) QQI
Sport Horse Riding Sport Horse Riding (6N3481) QQI
Sport Horse Riding Instruction Sport Horse Riding Instruction (6N3393) QQI
Start Your Own Business Start Your own Business (5N1418) QQI
Work Experience Work Experience (6N1946) QQI


On completion of this programme learners will have the knowledge, skills and competencies to work in a supervisory role in a stable with sport horses or race horses, or to progress to further or higher education and training.


Below is a more detailed description of each of the Components.Below is a more detailed description of each of the Components.

Customer Service

Evaluate the principles and practices of customer service in range of public, private and voluntary environments. Evaluate how organisational policies and industry specific quality assurance systems can enhance customer service, to include customer charter policies on handling complaints, relevant quality rating systems. Look at the different organisations available to customers seeking protection, representation and redress. The benefits of market research and the different types of market research. Communication skills and technologies to meet the needs of diverse customers. How to manage the needs of a variety of customer types. Facilitate effective teamwork in customer care.

Equine Nutrition

Contrast the digestive system of the horse with that of monogastrics and ruminants, examining the difference between aerobic and anaerobic energy production. Discuss the functions of the different regions of the stomach of the horse. Examine nutrients and the diet. The role of nutrients in bone growth and development. Describe common Developmental Orthopeadic Diseases comparing the implications of over and under supplementation of nutrients. Compare the life cycles of parasite worms and the effect each has on a horse. Examine different diseases and their effect on the horse. Differentiate between silage, hay, haylage, alfalfa and straw. Compare nutritional requirements of a foal, weanling, and yearling and diet.

Equitation Theory

Evaluate the effects of physical and mental fitness on rider and horse. Explain points of the training scale. Appraise the biomechanics of jumping. Explore competition options for young horses including shows, show jumping, etc.. Examine a horse’s conformation and its impact on different movements. Assess the correct ways of going in dressage. Procedures for jumping. Evaluate young horses for competition including fitness, passport, inoculations, loading and in company behaviour.

Sport Horse Riding

Examine the different elements and mechanics of jumping. Explain dressage terms. Evaluate key aspects in improving riding ability. Show the elements of riding a horse forward and turning. Correct riding position. Different elements of riding a horse, say with or without stirrups, in a dressage environment to a jumping environment. Work responsibly when handling and riding horses taking account of personal safety, of the team and safety of the horse during all skill procedures.

Sport Horse Riding instruction

Assess the safety procedures and principles involved in the organisation of lessons and hacks. Appraise possible hazards and procedures in the event of an accident. Components of a code of practice for coaching. Evaluate the practice and theory of training techniques for the horse and the rider. Look at the design of a range of lesson plans, managing records. Working with clients and monitoring the progress of clients over time and devise an action plan for personal improvement goals for the client.

Start Your Own Business

Explore the legal requirements and regulations pertaining to starting a variety of business structures. Analyse the personal, functional and business factors that contribute to business success. Sources of business start-up information and supports available. SWOT for a business. Examine the different business documents required to include budgets, cash flow and financial statements. Examine legal, financial and government agency and other support required by the business. Construct a business plan and analyse the business and business plan.

Work Experience

Students must find a work placement in which they must complete 120 hours, a diary is kept of experience learned while also the skillset of writing a C.V, cover letter and interview techniques are all covered. An excellent module for anybody wishing to prepare for or return to the workplace.