BHSI Coaches and Assessors day at Ingestre Stables Staffordshire 2nd October 2014

20 enthusiastic BHS instructors travelled to Ingestre Stables, Stafford from Ireland, Scotland and nearly every region of England. Linda De Matteo excelled in her organising of the day, her first go at a training day for the F&I Association. The team at Ingestre did a smashing job ensuring that the day ran smoothly from the yard staff to “Aunty LIZ” in the coffee shop. It was my first attendance at an F&I day and it was great to feel part of an organisation which is proactive and supportive with NO uncomfortable ego’s to negotiate.

This day with Tim Downes FBHS, Rob Lovatt FBHS and Carole Broad FBHS was amazing value at the £25 cost for the day with lunch included, throughout the day all the sections of the BHSI Equitation and Coaching were covered.

My overview of the day was the assessors feeling the need to try and find a way to pass the candidate on the day of the exam. It was stressed that due to the pressure of the day it was often the case for the assessors to put in place “signposts” for candidates who may be getting stuck in that familiar rut at different  points throughout the exam process. The value of the practical candidate was discussed and how everyone has their own pathway to negotiate on the way to the BHSI exam through experience, training and self help development. The candidates ability to impart knowledge to the assessor in the oral discussion after the relevant section was also stressed,  at this level the candidate should be delivering a critical evaluation not just a descriptive one.

Delegates were encouraged to get involved if they wished, to lunge, and ride on the flat and over fences. Ingestre supplied a superb selection of horses, some being young and green starting their career to older schoolmasters and current competition horses most of which were involved in the BHSI Equitation and Coaching exam on the previous day.

Organised discussion groups evaluated horsepower, riding ability and coaching to improve the BHSI candidate in their preparation for the BHSI exam.  The role of the BHSI in today’s market was discussed, the outcome was that a BHSI should be “a problem solver through being a reader of the horse and rider to ensure the ongoing welfare of the horse”; another point to come out was the BHSI is the link between “development and performance”.

The consensus of the day after speaking to a number of delegates was the value of spending time with a peer group and realising that everyone was on a similar page of the BHSI exam training book. Inspiration was clearly achieved over this enlightening day with one of the parting questions being “How do I prepare for the Fellowship?”

Erik MacKechnie BHSI