We are very fortunate to be supported by a group of dedicated volunteers who enable us to provide such a wide range of services and support to the young people and children at who ride at Ebony Horse Club.

Come rain or shine they are on hand to help with yard duties, support riders during lessons and whilst learning how to look after the horses and provide extra resources in the office and at events. Without their help, we simply wouldnt be able to operate.

We were therefore thrilled when a group of them decided to pursue their BHS qualifications to expand their skills.

One of the volunteers undertaking the exams, Steph Pansar, gives an update on the progress:

Having successfully navigated our Stage 1 and riding and road safety exams, and after further training and hard work we were now faced with the much more intimidating Stage 2 exam. Stepping off the tube in North London, heading to Trent Park Equestrian Centre on a drizzly September morning, there was a feeling that this exam was really going to put us through our paces.

Throughout the day we were faced with almost six hours of exams, including both theory and practicals, riding, show jumping and the dreaded lunging.

One of the most challenging aspects of a BHS exam is no doubt the fact that you are assessed while riding and working with a series of unfamiliar horses which you quickly must get acquainted with and potentially even navigate a full show jumping course with.

However, going through the exams and the revision process with the support and encouragement of your fellow EHC volunteers is an enormous advantage and adds another element of fun to our “horsing around”

At the end of an intense and fun day, and fortunately without any major mishaps, we headed back south – now facing an anxious wait at our postboxes for our results!

Pursuing our BHS Stages has proven to be a fun way to brush up and expand on our knowledge, and gives us consistent ways of working when volunteering at Ebony Horse Club.

It has also proven to be an excellent excuse for fun horse-related day trips out to various equestrian centres – this spring we had the pleasure of getting to know gentle giant Heidi and her friends at Checkendon Equestrian Centre, where we revised for our riding and road safety exam.

We, as volunteers, are incredibly grateful for the support provided by the staff at Ebony, always happy and willing to share their knowledge and skills!