Level 2 Apprenticeship in the Equine Industry

Northern Ireland Apprenticeship programmes are an excellent way to gain industry recognised and relevant qualifications alongside your work. You can continue to earn and develop practical skills in the workplace whilst gaining underpinning knowledge through ‘off the job’ training.

CAFRE Apprenticeship logosThis project is part funded through the Northern Ireland European Social Fund Programme 2014-2020 and the Department for the Economy.

An apprentice will:

  • Undertake daily care and duties to maintain a high level of horse welfare
  • Assist in the care of horses/racehorses
  • Be able to work at industry standard
  • Have confidence working with horses, as a team member in the work place

Course content
Depending on the needs of your employer, you may choose from one of two pathways for the competence based element of the Apprenticeship. The pathway options are Horse Care (BHS Stage 2) or Work-based Racehorse Care. Both pathways offer riding opportunities (flat and jumping as options). A combination of mandatory and optional units will be undertaken. Choice of units will depend on the type of yard where you are based. Please note, weight limit for riding is 89 kg (14 stone).

The areas studied include:

  • General horse care and stable management
  • Tack and equipment
  • Anatomy and physiology
  • Welfare and behaviour
  • Handling and lungeing
  • Feeding/grassland estate management

Course Duration
Learners will have up to two years to complete the programme.

Progression opportunities and career destinations
Apprentices will have developed skills and experience working with horses in varied equine employer scenarios including riding schools, livery yards, racing yards and competition yards in a range of disciplines. Once qualified, they will be able to progress in to new roles within their workplace ensuring that have continual professional development. Apprentices who gain the whole BHS stage 2 qualification will be able to continue their study and gain further equine husbandry and teaching qualifications through the BHS career pathway.

Entry Requirements

To meet the requirement of the Apprenticeship you need to:

  • Be between 16 and 24 years of age
  • Be employed for a minimum of 21 hours per week in the equine industry
  • Have employer agreement to attend training
  • Have attained a minimum of two Cs or three Ds at GCSE or equivalent, including English and Mathematics. Students who have not attained a Grade C or above in English and Mathematics at GCSE or equivalent, must complete Essential Skills in Literacy and Numeracy as part of the course.
  • Basic skills in horse riding are essential for those wishing to undertake the riding module.

Key staff

Shelley Stuart

Shelley Stuart

Senior Lecturer (Equine) Equine,
Enniskillen Campus