This course will include horse science, riding, and stable management, providing you with the knowledge and skills required for a career in the equine industry. You’ll gain practical riding experience on the flat and over jumps while studying towards the British Horse Society (BHS) examinations.
Our BHS-approved Equestrian Centre has stabling for 65 horses. There is even the option to keep your own horse here. It also features indoor and outdoor riding arenas, turnout fields, a horse walker and a mechanical horse simulator – great for perfecting your position.
Course leader Liz Taylor is available on Unibuddy to answer any questions you may have about our Equine Management course.
Brackenhurst is set in stunning countryside just a bus ride away from Nottingham city centre, next to the town of Southwell.
At Brackenhurst, you’ll have access to incredible facilities. These include an Animal Unit, Equestrian Centre, laboratories, library and gardens and fields that are overflowing with plants and wildlife.
Studying with us means that you’ll be a part of an amazing learning environment. You get all the perks of being part of a big university, but you will still enjoy the comforts of a friendly college.
Our courses have great progression routes to further study. You can even study one of NTU’s degrees right here at Brackenhurst, and may be eligible to receive an offer one grade lower than the standard entry tariff.
Year One modules
Principles of Health and Safety
Gain an understanding of health and safety in the equestrian-sector. Learn how these principles can be applied to improve attitudes and behaviour in the workplace.
Work-related Experience in the Land-based Industries
This module will develop the knowledge and skills needed to work in the equine industry. You’ll take part in weekly and monthly duties at our Equestrian Centre. You'll also complete six weeks of work experience, both at the centre and externally at a place of your choice (subject to approval).Undertake Stable Yard Operations In this module, you’ll plan and produce daily work routines and manage the work of others on the yard. You’ll be able to carry out health care checks and produce care treatment schedules.
You’ll learn to recognise the signs of good and ill health in equines, carry out health checks and produce health plans. You’ll also learn about the prevention and treatment of a range of diseases and disorders.
Horse Tack and Equipment
In this module, you’ll develop the skills to carry out the fitting and evaluation of horse tack and equipment. This includes the fitting of saddles, bridles, rugs, bandages, boots and other equipment.
Biological Systems of the Horse
Develop an understanding of the structure and function of the horse's biological systems, to support with health monitoring.
Prepare Horses for Presentation
You’ll develop the skills and knowledge needed to carry out the preparation of horses for public presentation.
Equine Feeding and Nutrition
In this module, you’ll develop an understanding of a balanced diet for equines. You'll also explore the effects of watering and feeding animals at different life stages.
Horse Behaviour and Welfare
Gain an understanding of horse behaviour, the effects of domestication and welfare. You’ll observe horses, record the results and analyse your findings.
You will ride lots of different types of horses in the arena, in the open and on a road. You will ride through a jumping grid, and jump a short course of small fences.
Year Two modules
Working and Training Horses from the Ground
In this module, you’ll learn how to work horses from the ground. You’ll investigate a range of techniques, including Parelli, Join Up, lunging, long reining and loose schooling.
Principles of Equitation
Develop an understanding of how and why theory is important to riding horses. Study the scales of training, the history of riding horses and the theory behind modern competitive disciplines including dressage, show jumping, and eventing.
Managing an Equine Event
Gain an understanding of how to plan, organise, deliver and evaluate an equine event.
The Principles of Horse Fitness
Learn about horse fitness and the effects of stress and changes in metabolism. You’ll learn how to prepare horses for fitness programmes, including the nutritional requirements. You'll also learn how to develop and monitor horse and rider fitness programmes.
Business Management in the Land-based Sector
Gain an understanding of businesses within the land based sector, the roles and responsibilities of those employed and the resource needed to run a business.
The Principles of Horse Rehabilitation and Therapy
Learn about horse performance injuries and where these usually occur on the horse’s body. Look at the causes injury, the therapeutic and rehabilitation techniques used, and the complimentary therapies used to improve performance.
Optional modules (riding)
Riding Horses on the Flat
You’ll gain an understanding of riding horses on the flat. You will ride a wide variety of horses of all ages and levels and be encouraged to engage with the theory of training horses to enhance their abilities.
Riding Horses over Fences
You’ll gain an understanding of riding horses over fences and be encouraged to engage with the theory of training horses to enhance their abilities. You will take part in internal competitions run by the Equestrian Centre and also dressage tests, musical rides, jump grids and show jumping / cross country courses.
Introduction to Equestrian Coaching
This module focuses on developing and enhancing your teaching skills with practical and theory sessions. You’ll learn how to deliver riding lessons on the flat and over ground poles, plus lead rein and lunge lessons. You'll also look at how to deliver a short lecture.
Optional modules (non-riding)
You will develop project management skills by investigating a chosen topic of interest. Learn how to plan and carry out the project, including working to meet deadlines and finishing with an evaluation report.
Develop the skills and knowledge to be able to prepare a horse for competition. Learn about the necessary equipment and the importance of aftercare including exercise, transport, tack and clothing.
I find my course tutors supportive and helpful. They want the best for everyone so they always make sure everyone is working to their full limit.
The facilities at Brackenhurst are great, there is stabling catered to horses needs, great turn out, hacking, walker and two large arenas.
My experience at Brackenhurst has taught me to step out of my comfort zone and take risks.
I couldn’t have asked for better course tutors. They were so welcoming and supportive at the beginning of year one and have stayed that way ever since.
The course content was very thorough and delivered in a way that inspired me. For me, the course contained a good mix of practical and theory modules.
How you’re taught
You’ll learn through practical demonstrations, group discussions, and lectures in our fantastic facilities. You’ll be taught by tutors who work within the horse industry as competitors, judges and British Horse Society (BHS) assessors.
You’ll go on trips to competition yards, rehabilitation centres and British Eventing competitions. You’ll hear from guest speakers from the equine industry.
You can take the BHS Progressive Riding Tests (PRT) Stages 1 – 6 and the Ride Safe exam in Year One. In Year Two, you can work towards BHS Stage 2 or higher.
The course is split so that approximately 40% is practical work and 60% is theory work. It also includes a work placement. This will develop your skills and knowledge and look good to future employers. You can work at places like local competitions yards, yards specialising in natural horsemanship, or in tack shops or feed merchants.
How you’ll be assessed
You'll be assessed through written assignments, presentations, practical assessments, class tests and external exams.
Careers and employability
After completing this course there are a number of options and routes that you can take. You could choose to continue your studies and go onto a higher education course or pursue a career in an equine-related industry.
If you are successful and achieve the right combination of results, you’ll be able to progress on to the BSc (Hons) Equine Sports Science or BSc (Hons) Equine Behaviour, Health and Welfare degrees right here at NTU’s Brackenhurst Campus.
Future jobs within the equine industry include:
- Competition or Stud Groom - you can earn up to £25,000
- Equine Retail Worker - you can earn up to £21,000
- Veterinary Equine Nurse - you can earn up to £25,000
- Riding Instructor or Coach - you can earn up to £23,000
- Yard Manager - you can earn up to £28,000
Work placements are a great way to broaden your knowledge and skills. You will have the opportunity to take part in work experience in a range of equine related sectors.
With our great links to industry you'll have the opportunity to work in top yards such as:
- Billy Twomey
- Michael Whittaker
- Lucinda Frederick's.
Other opportunities also include working with a British Dressage Judge or with the British Horse Society.
All staff remain active within the industry, either by training and competing, judging or examining and pass on their knowledge and connections to students. You will also have the opportunity to go out to shows and network to make your own connections.
As well as completing your course, you will have the opportunity to undertake additional industry-focused certificates including:
- the British Horse Society Progressive Riding tests 1 - 6
- Ride Safe
- British Horse Society stage 2 or 3, depending on your ability.
You'll also have the opportunity to turn your ideas into a viable business with help from NTU Enterprise, NTU's purpose-built Centre for Entrepreneurship and Enterprise, a support centre to help students create, develop and grow their own businesses.
Campus and facilities
Study an equine course at Brackenhurst and you’ll have access to some fantastic facilities.
Our British Horse Society (BHS)- approved Equestrian Centre has stabling for 65 horses. There is even the option to keep your own horse here. It also features indoor and outdoor riding arenas, turnout fields, a horse walker and a mechanical horse simulator – great for perfecting your position.
You’ll use the Equestrian Centre throughout your studies. Your course will include both riding and non-riding sessions at the centre. You’ll also help our technicians to care for the horses on a day-to-day basis.
As well as your subject-specific facilities, you’ll also find:
- a library, including fully equipped computer rooms
- modern classrooms and teaching areas
- our careers and employability service
- a dining room and Costa Coffee
- our student shop
- a common room.
Brackenhurst Equestrian Centre facilities
- The centre's impressive facilities include 60m x 40m indoor and outdoor arenas, stabling for 65 horses, a round pen, horse walker and solarium, weigh bridge, stocks and crew yards. Many students take full advantage of the excellent facilities by bringing their own horses on student livery.
- The centre is used by various organisations including local pony clubs. Students benefit from the equestrian centre by organising their own competitions, taking part in significant research and develop their own coaching abilities to other students.
- The Equestrian Centre is British Horse Society (BHS) approved training and livery establishment and we also hold a full local authority riding school licence.
The Equestrian Centre takes some horses on a loan basis throughout the academic term. These horses are used for both riding and stable management education. There are limited spaces available and the horses are selected during the summer break before the start of term. All horses are continually assessed according to their temperament and ability.
If you are interested in discussing this with us further, please contact our Yard Manager, Anna Gregory by email or call 0115 848 8043.
Indoor Riding School
- Recently refurbished in 2012, this is 60 x 40 metres with a Prowax sand riding surface. It includes a seating gallery area capable of seating 279 people for events or to observe training and research in comfort. Indoor cross country jumps are available as well as a full range of show jumps and school barriers. The area accommodates two arenas during dressage training and for show jump training the course area allows plenty of room for smooth turns.
- The indoor school is effectively used for research, allowing horses to be loose schooled and our camera system records both training and research that can then be analysed using various software by both staff and students.
Outdoor Riding School
- 60 x 40 metres with waxed sand and fibre surface, enclosed by fencing and fully floodlit with a full range of show jumps and school barriers.
- 40 x 20 metres waxed sand surface. Fully enclosed by seven foot fencing to allow loose schooling. Observation holes in the fence allow staff and students to observe the horse(s) from outside the arena to reduce any influence on natural behaviour.
- Stabling for over 30 DIY student liveries that includes use of the Equestrian Centre facilities.
Performance Analysis Room
- Houses the mechanical horse, iJoy Ride, Balimo Chair, Tekscan Pressure testing equipment and mirrors, all of which are utilised for clinics and workshops.
- Computer equipment for student use during project work including use of research software such as Observer, OnTrack and Dartfish. This room can also be used for downloading data from cameras, heart rate monitors, mobile eye and other data collecting equipment.
For 2023 entry you'll need:
- Four GCSEs at grade 4 / C or above including:
- Maths or English Language (with the other subject at grade 3 / D or above).
- We will accept students with grade 3 / D in Maths or English Language where the other subject is at least grade 4 / C. You will need to complete Maths or English Language GCSE retakes as a mandatory part of your study programme.
- At interview, you’ll need to demonstrate that you can ride at all paces to be offered a place on the course.
- For the health and welfare of our horses there is a maximum rider weight limit of 14 stone.
Equivalent qualifications will be considered.
You will also be required to attend an interview.
Applications are welcome from mature and international students.
Getting in touch
If you need any more help or information, please email our FE Team or call on +44 (0)115 848 5299.
We welcome applications from international students. Please email our FE Team or call on +44 (0)115 848 5299 to discuss how your qualifications match our course requirements.
Fees and funding
If you are aged 16-18 and applying for a Level 2 or 3 course
There are no course fees if you’re aged under 19 on 31 August of the year you start your course.
If you are aged 19+ and applying for a Level 2, Level 3 or Access to Higher Education course
If you’re studying your first full Level 3 or Access to Higher Education qualification you may be eligible for free tuition. You will still need to pay the registration fee applicable for your course.
If you are applying for the Level 2 qualification or have already completed a full Level 3 qualification, tuition and registration fees will apply.
To cover the cost of tuition when applying for a Level 3 and Access to Higher Education qualification, you can apply for an Advanced Learner Loan from the UK Government. It is easy to apply, your household income is not taken into account and there is no credit check. You will not have to pay anything back until your income is over £25,000.
Please visit fees and funding information for more information.
Please email our FE Team or call on +44 (0)115 848 5299 for more information on fees and funding.
How to apply
Applying is really easy. Follow our step-by-step guide below.
Fill in an application form
- Download an application form. Remember to show your passion for your chosen subject in your personal statement.
- Provide contact details for two referees - usually one teacher from your current School or College and one character reference which could refer to any volunteering, work experience or hobbies you may have (i.e. Sea Scouts, sports clubs etc.). Alternatively, this can be a long standing family friend or neighbour.
Come for an interview
- If you meet the criteria for the course, we’ll invite you in for an interview. We’ll send you details of what will happen on the day in advance through the post. Don’t panic! Our tutors are really friendly and will help you to do your best.
Get your offer
- We’ll write to you and let you know how you got on at the interview. Hopefully we’ll be able to offer you a place on the course. This offer might be conditional on your upcoming exam results – for example GCSEs.
Accept your offer
- You need to tell us that you want to accept your offer of a place by returning your confirmation slip to us or calling us on 0115 848 5299.
Get your exam results
- If you’re taking GCSEs or other exams, you’ll get your results over the summer. Once you’ve got your results you need to let us know what they are. Then we can confirm your place.
Start at Brackenhurst
- We’ll send out all the information you need to start with us in the post at the end of August. We hold an enrolment day in the first week of September. This allows you to get your student ID and start meeting your new friends and tutors.
Just drop us a line – we’re here to help every step of the way. You can email us or give us a call on 0115 848 5299.
Please email our FE Team or call on +44 (0)115 848 5299 for more information on how to apply.