BHS Silver Challenge Awards – the simple path to Stage 1, 2 and Ride Safe

I often get asked about BHS exams and awards as my other half is a BHSI and BHS Assessor. One of the topics that comes up a lot is around the silver challenge and the ride safe award so we have put together this simple guide.

The BHS (British Horse Society) offer a series of 32 core awards and 5 stand-alone awards under their “challenge award” umbrella which encompasses introduction, bronze, silver, gold and platinum.

In this blog post we focus on the silver challenge awards as these awards are the ideal first step for anyone intending to take exams and follow the BHS career pathways.

BHS Silver Challenge awards for direct entry to BHS Stage 2

Completion of the silver challenge awards (About the Horse and About the Rider) provides direct entry to the BHS Stage 2 care, lunge and ride exams without the need to take the BHS Stage 1 exam.

Additionally, as the BHS cannot currently deliver ride safe assessments, the Silver riding out safely award is currently accepted as the co-requisite.

*note – you do not need to be a BHS member to achieve silver challenge awards but you will need to be a member of the BHS if you proceed to take your Stage 2 exams.

Links to the BHs Career Pathways:

Groom Pathway:

Completion of “About the Horse” silver will provide direct entry to the BHS Stage 2 care and Lunge

Groom with Riding Pathway:

Completion of “About the Horse” and “About the Rider” silver will provide direct entry to the BHS Stage 2 Care, Lunge and Ride

Complete Horsemanship Pathway:

Completion of “About the Horse” and “About the Rider” silver will provide direct entry to the BHS Stage 2 Care, Lunge and Ride

Ride leader Pathway:

Completion of the Riding Out safely Silver and Gold challenge awards will provide the entry requirement for Stage 2 Riding Out


You do not need to be a BHS member to do the silver challenge awards. You need to have your own horse / pony which you use for the awards. There is no age limit on doing the awards (minimum age for progressing to Stage 2 exams is aged 14).

The BHS silver challenge awards comprise of eight awards under two headings:

1)      About the Horse

Knowing your horse

Caring for your horse

Handling your horse

Lunging your horse

2)      About the rider

Riding fit

Riding flat

Riding jump

Riding out safely

How can you take your BHS silver challenge awards?

BHSI Ross O’Hare delivers these awards either on a one to one or group basis at our centre Dunbyrne Equestrian in Kildare (where clients bring horses over with them) or Ross is happy to travel to your yard in Ireland to deliver the awards. Clients can choose to take all of the silver challenge awards or just the riding out safely awards depending on their needs. This not an assessment, the challenge awards will be delivered and assessed on a continual basis i.e., in lecture form.

The silver challenge awards are also ideal for liveries and leisure riders who want to learn more about caring for their horse or pony. The silver challenge awards are ideal for riding club members who would like to achieve certificates.


The cost of doing silver challenge awards will depend on the number of individuals taking part, the number of awards desired and the distance to your yard (if travelling to you). The cost includes registration with the BHs (*not membership), eight award booklets and certificates and badges.


The time taken to assess and deliver the awards would be 1-2 hours for riding out safely or a day for the 8 silver challenge awards. The awards can of course be delivered over a course of four weekly sessions if this suits better.

How to book

To enquire about booking a silver challenge award for yourself or for a group at your yard / centre or for your riding club please call or whats app 086-2222440  / 0879244385

Ross also provides the following services at Dunbyrne Equestrian or at your own yard:

–          Assessment and delivery of all levels of BHS challenge awards

–          Individual or group training for BHS  1-4 pathways and exams

–          Mock assessments for all BHS 1-4 pathways and exams

–          Assessment and sign off for BHS Exams

–          Evening / weekend training / assessments / sign off available.




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