EQL Level 1 Diploma in Work Based Horse Care

About the course

This EQL Work-based Diploma course has replaced the NVQ award as a Level 1 introductory course in order to fit the new National Qualifications and Credit Framework.

This highly practical course is an excellent first step into the equine world. A passion for horses is transformed into a meaningful industry recognised qualification during this one year course.

This study programme covers the basics of horse care including essential everyday stable duties and grooming. Students look after the College horses, learning safe techniques for leading, turning out and catching them.

Course modules

Year 1

Assist with the care of horses

This unit includes the daily care of the stabled and grass kept horse to include colours and markings, grooming, clipping and health checks, feeding and watering

Assist with cleaning the stable yards

This unit focuses on the various types of mucking out and you will develop the knowledge and understanding of sustainability within a stable yard.

Assist with putting on, taking off and cleaning

Within this unit you will assist with applying an assortment of horse clothing and tack including the importance of maintaining the good condition of tack and equipment.

Assist with handling horses

In this unit you will learn to safely turn out and catch horses along with understanding the importance of field safety checks.

Maintain health, safety and good working relations

This unit is designed to develop the knowledge, skills and understanding to ensure that health and safety becomes part of routine working practices; to build habits of working with regard for personal safety and that of others. You will consider the advantages of team work. You will gain knowledge of how to work positively as a team member.

Ride horses in an enclosed area

Suitability for this unit will be assessed by a ride interview.

Entry requirements & additional information

Entry requirements

This course gives a practical introduction to the equine industry. Students need to be over 16, demonstrating confidence and competence in basic horse care skills. Academic qualifications are not essential, just a willingness to learn. (Students under the age of 16 may be eligible but specific funding arrangement will apply, please contact the College for further details).

Learning and assessment

Stable management will be developed within the College yard and students will gain a comprehensive knowledge of horse care. It is extremely popular with school leavers who wish to combine a practical based training programme with sound theoretical knowledge. This course is ideally suited to students who wish to spend a year developing their knowledge and experience working with horses. The course contains plenty of practical work and so students applying for this course will be expected to be hardworking, keen to learn about horse care and willing to be hands on when working on the stable yard.

The optional Riding Unit allows students to develop their riding ability and skills. Students taking this unit will have one riding lesson per week.

Myerscough has some of the best teaching and event facilities in the UK. Students completing this one year course will be well prepared for employment in the equine industry.


City and Guilds Level 2 Technical Certificate in Equine Care


Employment opportunities in Equine and its related industries are currently very good. The EQL Level 1 Diploma provides the qualification and experience for entry into the industry at an operational level. Former students have gone on to work as grooms, stable yard assistance, stud grooms and for charity organisations.

Special requirements

1 Enrichment Activities:

Students will be given the opportunity to participate in enrichment activities throughout the duration of the course. Most of these activities will be funded by the College, however at times the cost may be required to be covered by the student.

2. Equipment and/or Clothing:

Plain navy or black jodhpurs, College sweatshirt/ polo shirt in navy/ black, or similar plain sweatshirt/ polo shirt. Navy or black jacket (warm and waterproof advised). Boots for yard work – wellingtons or strong boots, riding hat to current standard PAS015 or BSEN1384 plus gloves and hairnet. Riding boots or leather gaiters (suede chaps are not allowed as they rub the horses’ sides). Jumping whip and schooling whip, plus back protector for jumping lessons. (Hooded jumpers, bright or garish clothing are not acceptable on the yards).

3 Extra Costs:

Resources and Facilities Contribution, approximately £95.00 - Preston. £30 - Liverpool (subject to change).


Work experience is an essential part of the course - working on the College's own yard - this will be one day per week. Students will also have the opportunity to be involved in world class jumping, dressage and show events to be held at the College.

Equine Studies

The equine industry in the United Kingdom is expanding rapidly, with a turnover approaching £1 billion per year. It encompasses many different sectors, from racing, driving and endurance to dressage, horse trials and show jumping. These areas are supported by a large ancillary industry which provides extensive career opportunities.