Advanced Certificate in Applied Management (Horses)

For career or business success in the equine industry, you must understand horses and business practices. This course teaches both, with a focus on application in the real world.

Course CodeVBS001
Fee CodeAC
Duration (approx)900 hours
QualificationAdvanced Certificate

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Combine your love of horses with sound management skills

  • Learn about management, marketing and business
  • Learn about horse care and the equine industry
  • Combine these skills and discover opportunities for employment and business in the equine industry
  • 900 hour, self paced practical course 

This course is designed to equip managers, supervisors, or people who wish to work their way up to these positions within the industry (e.g. at a riding school, race track, stud, farm etc), with the necessary management skills required to undertake such a role.

Course units include:

Three horse care units, coupled with a workplace or research project (or in some cases, work experience), office training and marketing skills.

A comprehensive business qualification of a standard required in the horse industry.


Core ModulesThese modules provide foundation knowledge for the Advanced Certificate in Applied Management (Horses).
 Business Operations VBS006
 Management VBS105
 Marketing Foundations VBS109
 Office Practices VBS102
Stream ModulesStudied after the core modules, stream modules cover more specific or niche subjects.
 Horse Care I BAG102
 Horse Care II BAG204
 Horse Care III BAG302
Elective ModulesIn addition to the core modules, students study any 2 of the following 6 modules.
 Industry Project BIP000
 Industry Project II BIP001
 Research Project I BGN102
 Workshop I BGN103
 Research Project II BGN201
 Workshop II BGN203

Note that each module in the Advanced Certificate in Applied Management (Horses) is a short course in its own right, and may be studied separately.


This is the final requirement that you must satisfy before receiving your award. There are two options available to you to satisfy this requirement:

Alternative 1.

If you work in the industry that you have been studying; you may submit a reference from your employer, in an effort to satisfy this industry (ie. workplace project) requirement; on the basis of RPL (ie. recognition for prior learning), achieved through your current and past work experience.The reference must indicate that you have skills and an awareness of your industry, which is sufficient for you to work in a position of responsibility.

Alternative 2.

If you do not work in the relevant industry, you need to undertake either.

How Well Do You Understand Horses?

Anyone who works with horses should try to learn as much as possible about horse psychology. This will increase their understanding of their horse's behaviour and make them better horse handlers.

We are able to successfully handle horses because generally, they are not aware of their strength and because they like to please. At all costs, we should avoid situations where the horse learns he is stronger than his handler. We must also preserve the horses goodwill by treating him fairly at all times. Firm but kind handling is the key to successful horse management.

Horses are individual characters with their own distinctive personalities and temperaments. Generally, they fall into one of the temperament types listed below.  Often they may display behaviours that fall into a number of the temperament types. Horse handlers should always remember that due to the strong, natural ‘fight and flight’ instinct that horses possess, even a generally ‘quiet’ horse can behave in a nervous or stubborn manner, depending on the circumstances.

Temperament types


A quiet horse is often referred to as ‘bomb-proof’ due to its usually unreactive nature. A horse with a quiet temperament will tolerate almost anything, from a low flying aeroplane overhead to an uncoordinated rider with inexperienced hands. This type of horse can generally be trusted to behave safely and to build the confidence of beginner handlers.


An interested horse is aware of its surroundings and environment and responds to what is going on around it in a calm and accepting manner. This type of horse’s ‘fight and flight’ response is generally kept in check as long as it is handled with sensitivity and respect.  An interested horse can usually be safely handled by beginner / intermediate handlers.


The flight response in a nervous horse is very well-developed. Nervous horses tend to spook very easily and often carry their heads and neck in a high position, ensuring that they are instantly ready to react to any perceived threat. This type of horse requires a lot of patience and confident handling to allow trust and a sense of security to build up in the partnership. Experienced handlers are more suited to this type of horse.

Extremely Nervous

Extremely nervous horses are highly reactive and often something as insignificant as a shadow or a rustling leaf can set them off. Again, lots of patience and consistent handling by an experienced handler is required to safely keep this type of horse in check.


Stubborn horses tend to resent work and often try to find a way out of it. When pushed, they often become irritable and balky. These horses require an experienced and patient handler and should be treated with a firm yet tactful approach.


Treacherous horses are generally a product of bad handling or neglect. They may have not learnt to respect their handlers or in some cases have learned to actively resent them.  They may unexpectedly attack handlers by kicking or biting them and be generally difficult to handle. Treacherous horses need to be handled by very experienced people and are not suitable for beginners. These horses are often sold – sometimes to extremely confident handlers who can help adjust the horse’s mental state; but other times these horses get ignored or neglected too.


Students choose this course because it offers a very unique mix of things you can learn. You have the opportunity to learn sufficient about the care if horses as well as the business and management side of operating an equine business. It isn't as time consuming as a three year full time degree, but it still gives you an excellent foundation for a lifelong career or to develop a successful business in the equine industry.

This is a course for anyone wanting a kick start for ultimate success as a manager or business owner in any type of equine business.

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Marius Erasmus

Subsequent to completing a BSc (Agric) degree in animal science, Marius completed an honours degree in wildlife management, and a masters degree in production animal physiology. Following the Masters degree, he has worked for 9 years in the UK, and South
Lyn Quirk

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Jade Sciascia

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