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Equine Courses Level 5 and 6 available at Kildalton College, Kilkenny

“Hands-on courses for hands-on people Teagasc Kildalton College - 2023 Courses” 

The following courses are offered at Teagasc Kildalton Agricultural College, Piltown, Co. Kilkenny. These programmes are practically based and industry focused. 


• QQI Level 5 Certificate in Horsemanship – Equitation.         • QQI Level 5 Certificate in Horsemanship - Stud Management

• QQI Level 6 Advanced Certificate in Horsemanship – Equitation.  • QQI Level 6 Advanced Certificate in Equine Breeding - Stud Management 


Level 5 Equitation Course Aim

The Level 5 and 6 equitation courses are aimed to equip the learner with the knowledge and skills for employment opportunities in the industry. The courses provide students with skills in the areas of dressage, showjumping, and cross country. Lungeing, loose schooling and driving help to prepare the students for breaking and training horses.


Level 5 Stud Management Course Aim

The stud courses provide the learner with the knowledge and skills needed to manage an equine enterprise in the Thoroughbred or Sport Horse industry. The course provides training in handling young stock, business management, enterprise management and has a 12-week Practical Learning Period on renowned stud farms.



Kildalton is for you if you want to

Achieve recognised qualifications within the equine industry.

Improve your riding on specialised horses.

Learn about breeding.

Experience working in top stud farms.

Break and train horses.

Gain teaching qualifications.

Qualify for the green cert – making you eligible for grants and schemes as a young, trained farmer.

Meet people with the same interest.


Entry Requirements and Application Procedures 

There is no minimum educational entry requirements but students who have completed the Leaving Certificate are likely to benefit most from the course.  Applications must be over 17 years on 1st January 2023 and must have riding experience if they want to take part in the horsemanship option.  Applications should be made online at

Course timing and content

The level 5 Equitation course consists of 30 weeks in Kildalton College. The level 5 Stud Management course is also 30 weeks broken down into 3 days in Kildalton College and a Practical Learning Period for 2 days a week at prestigious stud farms.


During this time, students on both courses develop knowledge and skills in:

• Equine Breeding

• Handling mares and young horses

• Anatomy and Physiology

• Business management

• Equine nutrition

• Horse health and welfare

• Grassland management

• Young horse evaluation

• Marketing horses for sale

• Riding – (on horsemanship course only)


On successful completion of an equine related QQI Level 5 course, students may apply via on line to join a Level 6 course:

These programmes are designed to train people to find employment in the Sport Horse or Thoroughbred industry. 

• QQI Level 6 Advanced Certificate in Horsemanship - Equitation

• QQI Level 6 Advanced Certificate in Equine Breeding - Stud Management

Level 6 Equitation 

Students spend 28 weeks at Kildalton developing their riding and horse management skills, breaking 3 & 4 year olds, training and producing young horses for sales and competitions.  The students learn how to manage a team being ‘in charge’ of a group of students and horses and learn how a commercial yard works.  

The coaching module encourages students to train towards their BHS and HSI qualifications. On competition of level 6 equitation course, students are qualified to teach in AIRE approved riding establishments.  

On successful completion of either of the Level 6 courses, the student meets the training requirements as a Young Trained Farmer (Green Cert).

Level 6 Stud Management 

Students come to Kildalton College for 18 weeks and complete the academic course work and develop their skill and proficiency in handling young horses.  Stud students then spend 12 weeks on paid Practical Learning Period PLP on approved stud farms to give them real life learning, focusing on the breeding season and gaining responsibility on the stud farm. 

On work placement students are involved in all areas of the stud farm giving them a broad knowledge of the industry. Many students gain employment through work placement.

Students at Kildalton College learn to work as part of a team and make friends for life. Kildalton courses have a reputation for producing highly skilled graduates with an excellent work ethic. Kildalton has developed strong links with all disciplines in the equine industry ensuring that our students have the best opportunity to find jobs once they have finished.



All courses throw up stars and ours is no different. Students that come to mind who have trained at Kildalton are:


Adam Benson Byrne – Equitation Course

Adam is currently a Riding Officer in the Army Equitation School and is competing in showjumping and eventing.  Adam enjoyed his time in Kildalton as he wanted to become a professional rider and said that Kildalton ticked all the boxes for him and he enjoyed how ‘hands on’ the course was.

Donnacha Touhy – Stud Management

Donnacha went on his PLP to Glenvale Stud where Ciaran Conway gave him a great insight into stud work and encouraged him to travel. Donnacha went to Ashford Stud in Kentucky and from there he worked a season in Coolmore Australia prepping yearlings for the sales.