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Animal, equine and countryside - BTEC Diploma in Horse Care level 2 at Kirklees College, Huddersfield Centre

Course description

You will study a mixture of theory at college and practical work at the stables, including riding on the flat and jumping, and learning about general horse care. You will gain lots of experience working and dealing with horses.

Course content

You will study 4 mandatory units:

  • Undertake work related experience in the land-based industries
    • This unit aims to provide you with an understanding of the principles of work related experience and how these can be applied in practice. Actual work experience may be gained by a number of routes, e.g. as part of an industrial placement while at college; while working on a planned daily or weekly basis on the college’s commercial and/or educational facilities; while undertaking voluntary work within the industry; in the form of previous relevant and current work experience in the industry; or as a member of a group of learners invited to carry out practical work in, for example, a country park, farm or animal care centre.
  • Carry out and understand the principles of feeding and watering horses
    • This unit aims to provide you with an understanding of the principles of feeding and watering horses and how these can be applied in practice. Basic husbandry, including feeding, housing and looking after horses, is a vital part of caring for them. You will be able to feed and water horses in a practical situation.  You will also cover the basics of ration formulation and the factors to consider when preparing individual diets for horses.
  • Undertake routine stable duties
    • This unit aims to provide you with an understanding of the principles of routine stable duties and how these can be applied in practice. Knowing how to carry out routines for good horse management correctly is vital at every level.  This unit introduces you to the routine stable duties that should be carried out day by day, which will not only benefit the horses, but also employers and you.  This unit covers the day-to-day stable routines that anyone wanting to work with horses will be expected to perform.  You will make stables ready for use and clean and maintain bedding and the stable environment.  You will also be able to clean and maintain work and storage areas.
  • Undertake horse handling
    • This unit aims to provide learners with an understanding of horse handling and how these can be applied in practice. Regular handling of horses is an important part of horse care.  A horse’s behaviour can be improved and managed by using the correct handling techniques and equipment.  Being a competent handler is invaluable when handling and exercising horses and health and safety are extremely important for both the handler and the horse.  This unit focuses on developing and improving your ability to handle horses.  This covers both the practical and theoretical aspects of why we handle horses.  The unit begins with you investigating the methods and equipment used to handle and restrain horses in specific situations.  You will then be able to demonstrate the skills you have developed in a number of different situations.  The unit will enable you to adopt safe working practices and develop a confident approach to horses in preparation for employment within this sector.

You will also study 3-5 of 13 optional units, including:

  • Fit and maintain horse tack and clothing
  • Maintain animal health and welfare
  • Undertake horse grooming, trimming and plaiting
  • Introduction to keeping horses at grass
  • Introduction to the principles of horse behaviour
  • Understand the principles of horse biology
  • Participate in providing estate maintenance

Hargate Hill Equestrian Centre boasts very good facilities and a wide variety of horses to ride and work with, including an outdoor arena, indoor school and cross-country course.

The centre is situated on the outskirts of Glossop in Derbyshire, with an impressive span of modern buildings catering for over 150 horses at any one time.

The course involves a work placement, either in a local yard or anywhere in the UK. If you are prepared to move, you stand a much better chance of going to a big, professional yard which specialises in your interests.

Entry requirements

A minimum of 4 GCSEs with the following grades: English 3 and maths at 2 or above, and 2 other GCSEs grade 3 or above


You will be assessed with assignments and practical assessments.

Financial information

As a full time student you should not need to pay any course or examination fees (under 19).

There may be a cost for equipment, educational visits, printing etc.

Future opportunities

BTEC Extended Diploma in Horse Management.

You could go on to work at riding schools, stables, saddleries or feed merchants.

Further information 
01484 437070

Follow the college on Twitter: @kirkleescollege or like on

How to apply

You can apply for this course through UCAS Progress. Add this course to your favourites so you can start making an application.

Last updated date: 28 November 2017
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Key information

  • Start date: Next September
  • Duration: 1 year


  • More information
    • The award-winning eco-friendly Taylor Hill Centre houses the college's animal care and countryside management courses.

      The £1.6m development features a turf roof, wind turbine and solar wall.

      The centre has a tropical butterfly habitat, beehives, extensive outdoor facilities and wildlife ponds.