Efficiency Tests (E to A) / B Test - Horse & Pony Care

Recommended Minimum Age: 15. Only those 14 years or over are eligible for B Test.

Click here to download a copy of the B test Horse and Pony Care 2016

Standards of Efficiency Test Sheet 2016


The Test may be taken as a whole or in two parts:

  • B Standard Riding
  • B Standard Horse and Pony Care

These Tests may be taken on different occasions and in any order. Candidates taking the B Test should ideally hold their full C+ Test, but Members who hold only their C+ Test Horse & Pony Care may take the B Test Horse & Pony Care subject to approval by the Area Representative and DC / Centre Proprietor.


  • Know how to, and be able to manage, work and care for a grass-kept or stabled horse/pony receiving hard feed, and gain practical experience of this. 
  • To look after a horse/pony before, during and after a day’s hunting or competition.

The criteria against which the assessors will make their decisions:

Stable Design & Fittings

1. Comment on and discuss the stable described or shown to you, including the necessity for ventilation, light, drainage, shelter and warmth.
2. Discuss what fittings are useful in a stable.


3. Discuss the organisation and fitting of a tack room.
4. Explain the families of bits, their characteristics and actions.
5. Discuss the probable reactions of the horse to the different types of bit.
6. Inspect tack for soundness.
7. Recognise various types of saddles, martingales, boots and their uses.
8. Recognise badly fitting saddles bridles and martingales.
9. Know how to store saddlery, rugs and bandages.


10. Fit and discuss a variety of rugs and their uses, tail and poll guards, and other travel protection.
11. Put on and discuss a stable bandage and when it might be used.


12. Know the safety and roadworthiness requirements for horse boxes and trailers. (This will include amongst other things the suitability of the ramp, safety of partitions, ventilation and draughts, and door fastenings.)
13. Be able to discuss the equipment to be taken to a competition.
14. Be able to discuss loading difficult horses, giving particular consideration to safety.

Conformation, Foot & Shoeing

15. Recognise good and bad conformation using the horse shown, and how this will affect the horse’s way of going.
16. Recognise a variety of commonly used shoes, and know what they are used for.
17. Recognise the farrier’s tools and know their uses.
18. Describe how a shoe is fitted and removed.
19. Compare hot shoeing with cold shoeing.

Feeding and Fitness

20. Know the rules of watering and feeding, and their reasons.
21. Know why water is important to the horse.
22. Recognise a variety of forage and nutrients, how to prepare and use them.
23. Explain what is meant by a balanced diet
24. Be able to discuss the total weight of feed in a day for a selection of horses and ponies, and how that weight might be split into bulk / forage and hard feed / concentrates.
25. Be able to discuss what effect the different types of feed will have on condition and behaviour.
26. Be able to explain what issues may affect a horse’s diet.
27. Have a clear knowledge of exercise for a grass kept pony and a stabled horse.
28. Be able to describe a fitness programme and a daily plan for horses or ponies competing up to Pony Club Intermediate/Open Area competitions.
29. Be able to discuss issues which might affect a horse’s fitness programme.
30. Show knowledge of good practice in the care and management of horse/ponies.
31. Know how horses may behave when turned out, and discuss how this affects their welfare.

Care of the Horse’s Health

32. Identify the signs of good health, and apply these to the horse shown to you.
33. Describe the contents of a well-stocked first aid cabinet.
34. Understand the methods of worm control, and problems caused by worms.
35. Describe various ways of how to administer a wormer.
36. Recognise which leg a horse is lame on.
37. Recognise and manage the most common causes of lameness and ill health including: minor wounds, colic, strangles, laminitis, tying up and atypical myopathy.
38. Know the most appropriate time to call the Vet for any of the above.
39. Apply poultices, hose legs and tub feet, and know when and why these are done.
40. Explain how to take the horse’s temperature, pulse and respiration rates, and know what these should normally be.
41. Recognise the signs of poor condition and know a variety of causes.
42. Know the need and timing of vaccinations and that these should be recorded in the horse’s passport.
43. Know that a passport needs to be kept with the horse at all times.
44. Discuss how to administer medicine in food.

Suggested Further Reading:

  • 101 Dressage Exercises for Horse & Rider – Jec Aristotle Ballou
  • 101 Jumping Exercises: for Horse and Rider – Linda Allen
  • Kottas on Dressage - Arthur Kottas

Felt Colour: Brown


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