The British Horse Society (BHS) is considering allowing candidates to specialise by providing a non-jumping option as part of “extensive consultation” into its exam system.

The suggestion is one that has come from feedback provided during the consultation which has been running for nine months and is part of a “modernisation of the whole education system”.

The BHS said the initiative, which has been running since January, has involved more than 2,000 people in the industry.

A spokesman said: “As the UK’s largest equine examination establishment, the BHS is dedicated to constantly improving its standards.

“The BHS believes the thousands of people who take its exams every year have a right to expect the highest standards.

All education systems need to review their procedures constantly in order to modernise and improve. The BHS is no different.”

The society is now entering a “more in-depth phase” of consultation involving focus groups made up of industry professionals and those participating in exams.

The spokeman added: “The aim is to give all people with BHS qualifications the practical skills required to work in the industry. The society wants all training to be an ongoing development for everybody in the industry, whether recreational or professional.

“The BHS will utilise important insight from the consultation to shape the education system going forward, with a view to having the revised system in place by 2017.”

One trainer told H&H she felt candidates should be able to specialise beyond the BHSAI qualification, and be able to omit the jumping requirement of the riding exam should they solely want to teach dressage.

A spokesman said this suggestion “reflected feedback we are receiving from the consultation” and that a non-jumping option would be “explored”.

BHS director of education Alex Copeland added: “We take our exam system very seriously.


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“We know we need to modernise and this is precisely why we began this process consulting people from across the industry.

We are here to listen and here to help the people who use our services. We are a listening organisation and have an open door policy welcoming all views from industry professionals.

We are passionate about equestrian education and the UK horse industry, and we are determined to remain the world’s most valued equestrian education system, representing every coach, instructor, teacher, rider and groom at every level.”

To submit views, queries and ideas on the exam system, email development@bhs.org.uk