I did one decades ago. It was enjoyable although in some areas I knew more than the instructor.
I remember learning about the various hard feeds & forage, paddock maintenance, tack including bridles, bits & saddles, basic horse welfare (revolving round the normal medical box), different types of bedding, how best to use stable equipment etc. Our course was on a livery yard so we got some hands on experience as well - especially around grooming, checking feet, tacking up, etc.
Certainly gave me some fresh aspects although at that time horsemen were moving from straights to pre-packed mixes and it was just pre the internet which has made life easier in terms of research.
I'm sure you'll enjoy it so definitely go ahead even if you've missed one.
I did BHS stage I and II and stage III stable management (think that's the groom's certificate now, I did it way back). I still find them very useful, even if I don't always stick to what I learned. I do find it useful to know a correct, safe way even though with my own horse I don't necessarily stick to the rules.
Many of the accidents I've seen with people handling horses could have been prevented by doing things the way the BHS teach you. OK so they're not always right and there are other ways to do things, but it's handy knowledge to have.
Hi SoleSource. Good idea to get some groundwork in but maybe contact the course organisers first to see if it's suitable for you.
It's more or less true about the bit. Horses are herbivores so where humans, dogs, cats etc have canine teeth, horses have a space on their gums with no teeth. It's safe to slide your thumb onto the "bars" of the mouth to ask a horse to open its mouth to take the bit.
If you're worried about being hurt, yes it does happen but horses are on the whole gentle animals used to negotiating a herd. If you're properly taught there shouldn't be a problem. Horses like people, so long as you treat them right.
No never hurt - they usually have you around dobbins on these sort of courses. Probably the only bad thing they may do is stand on your foot!
I've never been badly hurt in 30+ years around horses. I've had a bite from a racehorse whilst he was being girthed but my arm only bruised.
Just pay attention to the safe way do to things and be ultra careful in your thought processes.
However slow is not always best - I prefer fast, confident, hands when putting a bridle on and off for example.
Yes is a horse/pony won't accept the bit easily then I slip my thumb into the bar in his lower jaw (where there aren't any teeth). A little pressure there and they usually open up. Never seen anybody bitten though.