The British Horse Society have developed a range of awards that provide you with the opportunity to develop your knowledge of horse care and riding skills. Enhance your skills at your own pace and advance on what’s important to you. The BHS Challenge Awards are designed for horse owners, loaners and recreational riders (no matter what your experience or ability) who want to learn more about horses and develop their skills for personal achievement – anyone who completes an award will be recognised with a certificate, and if you complete all awards in a level you receive a medal!
Whether you own or loan a horse the BHS Challenge Awards will encourage and motivate you to achieve your personal goals. In order to participate in the Challenge Awards you are required to become either Silver or Gold membership (for more information please visit – https:/www.bhs.org.uk/membership)
Each Challenge Award comes with a supporting information booklet that introduces the knowledge and skills within the award. The information booklet will be issued to you upon registering for that award and also includes your award checklist; this is a checklist that will be signed off as you complete parts of the award. Once all sections have been signed you have achieved the award!
The Challenge Awards are split into two main sections:
ABOUT THE HORSE (Knowing Your Horse, Caring For Your Horse, Handling Your Horse, Lunging Your Horse)
ABOUT THE RIDER ( Riding Fit, Riding Flat, Riding Jump, Riding Out Safely)
Each section has four topics and within them there are currently four levels of award; bronze, silver, gold and platinum.
There are also ‘introduction challenges’ for horse care and riding; suitable if you have no or limited experience with horses.
Whilst the awards are not a professional qualification, they do offer entry to transition into the BHS Equine Excellence Pathway. For example, completion of the Silver About the Horse award will provide entry to the Groom Pathway, the Complete Horsemanship Pathway or the Equine Tourism Pathway. Likewise completion of the Silver About the Rider award will provide entry to the Complete Horsemanship Pathway or the Equine Tourism Pathway.
You can check out the full information about the awards here, on the BHS website: https://pathways.bhs.org.uk/challenge-awards/