Once I got started with the exam I felt calm. Did the riding part first, which was good. Horses were lovely, though I did have to mount a mare of 16hh from the ground, luckily the caller was lovely and helpful. Typically I got something more like 15hh for my second horse whom I mounted from a block. Was happy with all of it, including the no stirrups bit, which I wasn’t sure of as I don’t tend to practice that much. The only bit that worried me was I felt quite unbalanced in the light seat part, given that I had never ridden the horse before. Did worry about it, but apparently it was ok.
Once we got into the Knowledge and Care section I relaxed more when I realised the sort of questions we were being asked. I felt confident in answering the questions (read Hazel Reed book A LOT), was interesting to see other candidates as some of them were quite young, and age definitely helps here as I was confident and articulate while some of them were mumbling a bit. The bit that worried be was the mucking out part, as my lot have lived out for at least 10 years, so not had much practice in that area. I was a bit thoughtless and tried to leave my fork in an ‘convenient’ place, but ended up pushing the horse to move towards the fork. The examiner picked up on this and asked me what I did wrong. Knew straight away to explained I shouldn’t have done it. Was fairly sure I would get failed on this bit.
In the grooming and tacking up bit, I hardly saw the examiner at all. She was lovely, but certainly didn’t see me groom, tack up or rug at all, just came in the see the result, I could have been doing it any old how! Was interested to note I didn’t get questioned at all on the grooming kit items, reasons for grooming, feet and shoeing and watering.
Anyway got my results today and I passed! Really pleased, on to Stage 2 now!
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Note from September 2016: I did this short write up of my BHS Stage 1 exam back when I took the exam in January 2013. I wasn’t into blogging at the time so there isn’t as much detail as I would like, but thought I’d pop it here just in case anyone wants an insight into the exam day. The important thing to remember is that this is usually the first BHS exam anyone does, the examiners want to give you a good experience and want to pass you. Everyone there is in the same boat as you, enjoy the experience and be bold and speak up, the examiners will love you for it.
If you have any questions do leave a comment and I will do my best to help.