Horse Riding Instructor Career Guide

Last Updated on April 5, 2022

Many people dream of becoming a horse riding instructor, but is it easy to teach people how to ride horses? Let’s find out everything you need to know about becoming a riding instructor!

What Is A Horse Riding Instructor?

A horse riding instructor is someone who teaches people how to ride horses. This ranges from teaching absolute beginners how to ride, through to working with elite international competition riders.

Many riding instructors work in a riding school. This is an establishment where a number of horses are kept, and people pay for lessons on them. These horses will be specially selected for their calm temperament and good behavior.

What Is A Horse Riding Instructor

Other riding instructors work on a freelance basis, travelling to different yards to give horse riding lessons to people on their own horses. This give the flexibility to work your own hours, but the downside is that work can be intermittent at times.

A horse riding instructor with a good reputation will be able to hold training clinics at their own facilities or at an equestrian establishment. Horse owners will bring their horses to the lesson.

Some riding instructors also specialize in certain equestrian disciplines. So, if you’re a dressage enthusiast or love showjumping, you can help people improve their skills in these sports.

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What Are The Qualities Of A Good Riding Instructor?

You might be a very talented horse rider, but does this mean that you’ll be a good riding instructor? Not necessarily!

Being able to teach a skill is a specialized art, and not everyone is a good teacher. You need to be able to communicate your knowledge to your pupil, and also make sure that they understand what you are trying to say.

A good riding instructor should also be able to identify problems, and offer solutions to suit the rider. Many novice riders are very nervous, and the instructor must have the ability to give them confidence in their abilities.

Themed Lesson Plans for Riding Instructors

Another aspect of teaching people to ride that is often overlooked is health and safety. Horses can be dangerous and unpredictable, and it is the instructors responsibility to ensure that the situation is as safe as possible. It is also advisable to have a liability insurance policy, in case of any accidents that might occur.

Most horse riding instructors also teach other aspects of horse care and ownership, such as stable management, equine health, feeding, and grooming.

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How Do You Become A Horse Riding Instructor?

If you are considering becoming a horse riding instructor, the first thing you need to do is find out what professional qualifications are needed in the region or country where you live. Sometimes it is not necessary to have any qualifications at all, although there are many benefits to being qualified.

Once you know what qualifications are required, make enquiries around your local educational establishments to see if any offer the right courses for you. This will normally be at some kind of agricultural college or vocational training centre. Larger horse riding centers sometimes also offer riding instructor training courses.

The course you choose will depend on your prior knowledge and experience in horse riding. It is expected that a horse riding instructor should be a competent rider themselves, and able to work through difficulties that riders may be having with their horses.

If you are not an experienced rider, it is likely that you will need to do a longer training course, such as a degree in equine studies. Through this, you will learn to ride many different horses and understand how to solve any problems that may occur.

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Alternative: Apprenticeship

An alternative training route is to do an apprenticeship, which is a practical work-based training course. This is a good way to learn new skills and gain a qualification whilst working at the same time.

An experienced rider will not necessarily want to spend years doing a degree in college or an apprenticeship, and there are other training options available. Many professional qualifications can be gained by sitting an exam, which you study for in your own time. You could also opt to do a shorter certification course to become a riding instructor.

If you have a professional qualification in horse riding instruction, you will be able to charge a higher fee for your services. You may also find that most insurance companies will not provide liability insurance unless you are qualified.

Alternative - Apprenticeship

Summary – Horse Riding Instructor

So, as we have learned, a horse riding instructor is someone who teaches people how to ride horses. Most riding instructors specialize in a particular equestrian discipline, such as dressage or showjumping. Gaining a professional qualification will help you to understand how to teach people to ride, as well as give you credibility in the equestrian world.

We’d love to hear your thoughts about horse riding instructors! Did you have a really inspiring teacher when you learnt to ride horses? Or maybe you’re struggling to decide which qualification is best if you want to train as a riding instructor? Leave a comment below and we’ll get back to you!


What Is A Horse Riding Teacher Called?

A horse riding teacher who helps people learn how to ride horses is normally referred to as a riding instructor. This is different from a horse trainer, who teaches the horse how to carry a rider.

How Old Do You Have To Be To Teach Horse Riding?

To enrol on a horse riding instructor training course, the minimum age is normal 18.

Do You Have To Be Qualified To Teach Horse Riding?

It is not necessary to have a formal qualification to teach horse riding, but there are many advantages to being qualified. These include an improved knowledge base, better teaching skills, and your clients will feel confident that you are knowledgable enough to teach them.

If you already have a considerable amount of knowledge about how to ride horses, gaining professional certification is relatively easy.

What Is A BHSAI?

BHSAI is a horse riding instructor qualification issued by the British Horse Society (BHS) in the United Kingdom. The initials 'AI' stand for Assistant Instructor. This is equivalent to an International Level 1 Horse Riding Instructor qualification.