BHS Stage 1 - who's sat it in the new format?

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11 July 2018
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I'm undertaking my Stage 1 exam in the first half of this year, and would love some 'straight from the horses mouth' experiences from those who have sat it in the last 12 months! How long was each section, what time did you start/finish, what did you find most valuable in terms of training? What did you wear?! Any and all information would be very gratefully received!
 

teapot

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Speaking from experience of recently sitting the new Stage 2, no one can answer the finish time for you - I was allowed to go an hour early, others were not!

All BHS exams start at 8.30am (unless doing a specific section/retake). Clothing wise, they're relaxed the rules a lot, but you still need to look smart. I went for beige breeches, stock shirt and stock, and a very smart long sleeved top over the top. I was certainly more over-dressed than others, but as far as I could tell it didn't matter. I wanted to look professional and still show some respect, it's a professional exam after all.

Training wise - at least for my two I spent lots of money on extra lessons, riding at the exam centre (it really helps if you know where the loos are, or you've ridden in the arena you'll be riding in. The member of staff who was assigning horses had taught me so a friendly 'good luck' calmed the nerves somewhat too). Make sure you're training with someone who knows the new system, and make the most of the skills record book you get - go through every inch of the syallabus and be overprepared. The BHS has definitely got more practical in its approach and they want/like your answers to come from experience, not by the book. Make sure you're aware of the little BHS-isms - skipping out boxes constantly, never leaving a horse tied up incorrectly etc.

I don't know how much discussion, if any, there is after the stage one ride these days, but make sure you've ridden true stage one horses!
 
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Joined
11 July 2018
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That's great, thank you. I need to organise childcare so will just assume I'm there all day and it'll be a bonus if I'm away earlier.

I'm lucky to ride at the exam centre so know the ponies - the care section is probably my weakest so will be brushing up on that. Glad to hear you don't need show gear as per the days of old but will need to get some smarter gear than I currently have!
 

Bob notacob

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15 February 2018
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My experience from teaching various parts of stages 1-4 is that candidates need to learn to speak.Almost all have the knowledge tucked away in their heads but panic sets in once a question is asked . Dry mouth ,failing to organise and communicate what they know. We were discussing this very subject tonight and why were good candidates failing. An examiner is far more interested in practical experience . You may know the name of every Bit ,in the centers Bit box but if you cant say anything about its use what good is that. Practice speaking about a subject . Sat your self tasks . eg talk about snaffle bits for 2 minutes , Basic principles of feeding for 3 . etc. Learn to communicate confidently . Learn your stuff and then believe in yourself . And finally remember the single biggest thing that an examiner will be looking for is that you conduct your self safely around horses.
 

Bob notacob

Active Member
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15 February 2018
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426
That's great, thank you. I need to organise childcare so will just assume I'm there all day and it'll be a bonus if I'm away earlier.

I'm lucky to ride at the exam centre so know the ponies - the care section is probably my weakest so will be brushing up on that. Glad to hear you don't need show gear as per the days of old but will need to get some smarter gear than I currently have!
Ride in clean tidy gear .Its not a fashion parade. Youve heard the expression all the gear and no idea,don't give that impression . No need for fancy new stuff. In fact it is often a liability. Back in the days when we raced dinosaurs ,I used to rub sand over the knee area of my fancy slick racing breeches just to give grip. New boots tend to make your lower leg unstable .Clean and polish those old boots and leave the new ones at home. Be comfortable and effective.
 
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11 July 2018
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Yes I've heard that expression but I will have to improve from my usual looking like I've dragged through a hedge backwards look to something resembling presentable ;)
 
Joined
28 November 2016
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I'm undertaking my Stage 1 exam in the first half of this year, and would love some 'straight from the horses mouth' experiences from those who have sat it in the last 12 months! How long was each section, what time did you start/finish, what did you find most valuable in terms of training? What did you wear?! Any and all information would be very gratefully received!
How long has it taken you to learn all the stage one in preparation for the exam? X
 
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How long has it taken you to learn all the stage one in preparation for the exam? X
I don't know if I'm there yet! I've got lots of knowledge hidden from when i used to work on a yard but that was 17 years ago so I've basically gone back to scratch. I got the complete horsemanship bhs stage 1 book, a few other stage 1 books, the bhs stage 1 workbook, have been having extra private lessons and plan to get some more yard experience in before the exam too. I don't have my own horse so everything is being done at my local riding centre. I'm trying to absorb horsey knowledge from all angles at the minute!
 
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28 November 2016
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AHH I see I was having private lessons and got to a good trot but have had to take time out due to muscle wastage in my back so need to strengthen everything before I return to riding, however I'm booked in for the theory side of things with a lecturer at a local riding school this Thursday and didn't know what to expect or how long it may take with lessons as I have no experience
 
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The syllabus is all online. As a beginner it will be a longer process to get there with the riding part but it's a fab thing to aim for!
 
Joined
28 November 2016
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Yes I've seen the syllabus online but it doesn't really give a tough guidence on how long it may take to study toward the exam like is it 6 months is it longer I know everyone is different depending on previous experience but was wanting a rough idea and can you take the stage 1 without the riding and catch up with that later on?
 
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