Programme Aim

The aim of this programme is to enable the learner to develop the knowledge and skills to work in a supervisory or managerial role in the equine industry or to progress to further or higher education and training.

The QQI 6M3505 award – Level 6 Horsemanship is a Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) and Revenue approved course for the purpose of meeting the educational criteria for Young Trained Farmer (YTF) status.

QQI Level 6 Students from North Connaught College are approved to teach in Ireland including AIRE Approved Riding Centres.

This course gives the educational requirement for the green cert.

In North Connaught College of Further Education, Tubbercurry, Sligo, our students will be facilitated to explore equine studies with a view to re-skilling/up-skilling and exploring concepts and subject areas that may interest the learner in future programmes or employment. It will also enable the student to take responsibility for supervising the running of a riding school, training or competition stables.

Students will gain vast practical experience in the areas of:

  • Sport Horse Riding
  • Equine Nutrition
  • Horse conformation and Evaluation
  • Equitation Theory
  • Sport Horse Riding instruction

Other areas of study include:

  • Communications

Work experience is also a core feature of the Horsemanship programme with students spending time in an equine setting. This facilitates the enhancement of employability and transversal skills.

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Programme Progression

This programme prepares the student for managerial roles in the equine industry. The learner will be prepared for work in a supervisory position in riding schools, studs, competition stables, livery stables, young horse training and dealing yards.

The training for Level 6 will also prepare the learner for the British Horse Society (BHS) exams up to BHS Stage 3 and BHS Stage 3 Teach.

Students could go onto further education such as a Higher Certificate in Business in Equine Studies in Athlone Institute of Technology, Co. Westmeath,  Equine Business in NUI Maynooth, Co. Kildare or the  BSc in Equine Management in Enniskillen, Co. Fermanagh.

Entry Requirements

Education: No formal education or qualifications are required although applicants may have participated in primary and secondary education. Applicants will be expected to demonstrate a standard of knowledge, skill and competence in an equine environment equivalent to NFQ Level 5 when accessing a Level 6 programme.

Aptitude: Applicants must have a motivation to learn, an interest in the subject and the ability to acquire the knowledge, skills and competencies set out in the course.

Previous Experience: Applicants must be able to demonstrate a broad range of knowledge, skills and competencies relevant to the course and be able to exercise initiative and independence when carrying out course activities.

Course Content

Title Award Awarding Body
Sport Horse Riding (6N3481) QQI
Equine Nutrition (6N3368) QQI
Horse Conformation and Evaluation  (6N3389) QQI
Equitation Theory (6N3386) QQI
Sport Horse Riding Instruction (6N3393) QQI
Communications (6N1950) QQI
Work Experience (6N1946) QQI

Further Details

Below is a more detailed description of each of the Components

Sport Horse Riding

The student must develop an excellent riding position and must ride in balance and harmony. They will develop the skills and feel to train and ride horses up to a more advanced standard in dressage, jumping and pleasure riding.

Equine Nutrition

The student will explore the equine digestive system and the science of feeding. They will explore how the horse utilises the nutrients in his diet and the problems and diseases  associated with the digestive system.

Horse conformation and Evaluation

This component will enable the learner to relate a variety of features of conformation, movement and jumping technique in the horse to suitability to purpose and soundness. They will develop an awareness of the different static and dynamic conformation requirements necessary for competition horses

Equitation Theory

The student will study the theory of equitation and put it into practice by evaluating and improving a number of horses of different ability in dressage and jumping throughout the course.

Sport Horse Riding instruction

The student will study the code of practice, safety procedures, managing records, customer care and the theory of coaching. They will plan and deliver a range of riding lessons and oral presentations of different topics to a high standard throughout the course.


This is one of the most important components, whether in the workplace or in a college environment.  It is essential to be able to transfer knowledge in a clear, concise way and also to be aware of the different types of communication (verbal and non-verbal).  The component covers both written and practical aspects of communication i.e. presentations, group interaction and gives learners the opportunity to practice and gain confidence in making presentations, for example presenting new ideas that would benefit workers in their vocational area.

Work Experience

Students will find work placement in a suitable equine setting where they will apply their skills including demonstrating the ability to work in a supervisory capacity.  Work-experience classes will prepare the student to apply for this work placement, and future work, by focusing on interview preparation.  Students will assess their skills and qualities to produce a CV and cover letter.  They will investigate their employment sector and identify job openings and future training opportunities.  The placement reinforces the skills learned at North Connaught College and aids the development of employability/transferable skills.