Horse Riding Trainers: Everything You Should Know About The Profession

Last Updated on June 16, 2022

Horse riding trainers are dedicated, hard-working, talented, and passionate about horses. If you are an aspiring equestrian, becoming a riding instructor could be a good career option. However, there is some good information to know before you work as an instructor.

Becoming a horse riding trainer is a rewarding job, however, it is not for everybody. It is a demanding profession that often consists of long hours and hard work. Not only do you have to be a skilled equestrian, but you also have to have teaching skills.

What Does A Horse Riding Trainer Do?

A horse riding trainer generally has a lot of responsibilities. Responsibilities range from but are not limited to, horse care, training horses, and giving riding lessons.

Horse trainers should have a wide array of knowledge in the equestrian world. They should have a solid understanding of horse care, health, and grooming. They should also understand the fundamentals of training, riding, and working with horses.

What Does A Horse Riding Trainer Do

Some horse trainers will specialize in breaking and training horses, whereas others will specialize in teaching people how to ride. It is also common for horse trainers to break and train horses, as well as teach riding lessons.

Some people will decide to focus on a particular riding discipline whereas others will train in multiple riding disciplines. In addition, some people will focus on training a particular breed of horse or similar breeds, whereas others will train a variety of breeds.

What Experience Do You Need To Become A Horse Trainer?

If you want to become a horse riding trainer, you will want to have several years of experience in the equine industry. You will want to have experience caring for horses and experience riding.

To become a professional you will want to gain experience learning from an expert. Some people will take on an internship where they learn from a professional trainer. Others may go to college and get a degree in equestrian studies. Some people will even take courses to become certified riding instructors.

No matter how you gain your experience, it is important to have a thorough understanding of caring and training horses. You should also have an important understanding of the safety and liability that comes with working with horses. Good people skills are also beneficial for the job if you plan to teach riding lessons.

Do You Have To Become Certified To Become A Horse Riding Trainer?

In America, you do not have to become certified in order to become a riding instructor, except for in the state of Massachusetts. To teach riding lessons in Massachusetts, you must be licensed by the state. To get your certification, you must pass an exam and be qualified through a recognized governing authority or similar approved certifying entity or complete an apprentice program.

You can become a certified riding instructor through certain various instructional programs. Programs include the American Riding Instructors’ Association (ARIA), Certified Horsemanship Association (CHA), United States Dressage Federation and United States Eventing Association. Requirements to achieve a certification vary by program, but most include written and riding tests.

Though riding certifications can be beneficial and are often a sign of a good trainer, they are not necessary. There are plenty of talented and successful riding instructors that do not have a certification.

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Can You Go To School To Become A Horse Riding Trainer?

A great way to gain experience if you plan to become a horse riding instructor is to go to college. There are several colleges that offer degrees in equestrian studies, with various focuses.

When gaining a degree in equestrian studies, there are a variety of different classes you must take. Classes include horse care, horse health, barn management, and teaching. In addition, students will also take riding classes as well. Many students will also take summer internships at training barns to get further experience.

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A degree in equine studies is a wonderful way to get experience if you want to become a trainer. Though not necessary, it can give you the experience you need to become a professional.

How Much Does A Horse Trainer Make?

On average, you can expect to make between $30,000-$50,000 a year as a horse riding trainer. Some very successful trainers can make upwards of $100,000 a year. However, talent and experience don’t always mean a bigger salary as a horse trainer.

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Do You Have To Have Your Own Barn To Become A Horse Riding Instructor?

You don’t have to have your own barn in order to become a trainer or instructor. Though there are many horse riding trainers that own their own barns, there are also plenty that don’t.

You can get a job at a barn as a horse riding trainer that is owned by someone else. There are also plenty of assistant trainer positions available as well. There are plenty of places you can work as a trainer including private barns, public barns, trail riding facilities, and dude ranches.

Do You Have To Have Your Own Barn To Become A Horse Riding Instructor

Horse Riding Trainers

Becoming a horse riding instructor requires skill, patience, dedication, and experience. It takes a lot of hard work, but it can be very rewarding to train horses and teach riding lessons.

Do you have any questions regarding horse riding trainers? If so, please ask your questions on becoming a trainer in the comments.


What is a Horse Trainer Called?

Oftentimes, a horse trainer is simply just called a horse trainer or a riding instructor. Depending on their standings, they may be a head trainer or assistant trainer.

What Qualifications Do I Need to be a Horse Trainer?

In America, there are no set qualifications that you need to become a horse trainer, with the exception of Massachusetts where you need a certification to teach. Most people gain experience through a background in horses with an addition of an internship, riding instructor certification or a degree in equine studies.

How Many Years Does it Take to Become a Horse Trainer?

There is no set requirement for how many years it takes to become a horse trainer. However, most people have several years of experience working with horses plus an internship, riding instructor certification or a degree in equine studies.

How Hard is it to Train a Horse?

Training a horse can be hard, as it requires dedication, patience, skill and experience. Though you don't have to be a professional to train a horse, many people will hire a professional to do it.

How Much is it to Break a Horse?

Breaking a horse generally cost between $300-$1,000 a month. It can take anywhere from two to four months or longer to break a horse.