Level 2 Technical Certificate in Equine Care

The course enables students to gain a knowledge base, and the skills necessary to enable them to follow a range of careers in the equine industry.

This qualification is aimed at you if you are aged 16-19 and looking to start a career working with horses. You will need to have some previous knowledge or experience to start this qualification, which is assessed via exams and a formal assessment period.

We have excellent facilities and extremely experienced, fully qualified teaching staff. Merrist Wood Arena has one of the largest indoor surfaces in the Southeast holding regular British Dressage, British Show Jumping and unaffiliated dressage, show jumping, and showing events. We have a modern purpose-built yard catering for 35 horses, used in practical equitation lessons. The equine department has fully equipped classrooms, one of which can incorporate a horse for lectures when necessary.

You need to have a minimum of grades 2-3 in GCSE English and maths. All 16-19 year-olds on full-time programmes will be required to retake GCSE English and maths, or to undertake Functional Skills, if they have not already attained the equivalent of a GCSE grade C in these subjects. This applies for each year of a course until studies are completed. 

You will study theoretical aspects of the subject and apply them to practical tasks, topics include:

  • Equine health and welfare
  • Health and safety for the land-based industries
  • Horse tack and equipment
  • Undertaking routine stable duties
  • The principles of feeding and watering horses
  • Horse handling and grooming
  • Working in the equine industry
  • Horse behaviour
  • Lunging horses
  • Anatomy and physiology

Delivery: Primarily classroom and practical delivery with some online provision to aid revision for assessments.

Assessments: This qualification is assessed through theory exams, synoptic tasks, and written assignments.

Our Level 2 qualifications naturally progress to Level 3 in Equine Management at Merrist Wood, or an apprenticeship pathway. Alternatively, you can progress straight to employment, such as working in one of the following establishments:

  • riding school
  • equestrian centre
  • competition yard
  • stud centre
  • trekking centre

You could work as:

  • assistant groom
  • assistant yard worker
  • trekking assistant
  • assistant stud worker/hand

You need to have 2 GCSEs at grades 2 or above, including Maths, English and a Science, or a Level 1 qualification at Merit or above. We offer riding and non riding pathways, please not a weight restiction of 13 stone is applied to the riding pathway.

Daily and weekend yard duties also form part of a regular and important part of the course. Visits are arranged to various events and other places of interest during the course.

The College takes the welfare of our horses and fitness of our riders very seriously. In order to ensure that horses are not put under undue duress or strain we will weigh all students and assign horses accordingly (there is a 13 stone weight limit for riding). This means that we may impose restrictions or limit opportunities depending on the horses we have available. We cannot guarantee always having horses that may be suitable.

This course is the City & Guilds Technicals in Animal Care Management and Equine Care Management (0172)


Dawn Rigby

Tutor Dawn Rigby I believe that young children need a special environment in which to grow and deserve practitioners who are inspiring, dynamic, reflective and passionate about their learning.
Read Dawn's full story here

Why Merrist Wood College?

  • Clear routes of progression with qualifications ranging from foundation level to degree level!
  • Industry experienced teaching staff give you the responsibility and independence you need to take charge of your own future.
  • 100+

    different courses

  • 50+

    years of experience in teaching land-based subjects

  • 400

    -acre campus specialising in the land-based industries

About us