How to become a horse riding instructor

You can get into this job through:

  • an apprenticeship
  • specialist courses run by professional bodies


You may be able to start through an intermediate equine groom or senior equine groom advanced apprenticeship.

Once you complete your apprenticeship, you could apply for jobs as a riding instructor's assistant and take further coaching qualifications on the job.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • some GCSEs, usually including English and maths, or equivalent, for an intermediate apprenticeship
  • 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths, for an advanced apprenticeship

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Other Routes

You can complete training and pass exams with the British Horse Society (BHS) or Association of British Riding Schools (ABRS).

You'll need to be a member of the BHS to follow their Coaching Pathway. You can train for the Stage 3 Coach award to qualify as a riding instructor.

The ABRS training route and practical exams include:

  • an Initial Teaching Test
  • a UK Coaching Certificate

You do not need to be a member of the ABRS to take their exams.

You can also complete other specialist instructor awards through organisations like the Pony Club.

You can work with people with disabilities by following the Riding for the Disabled Association's Coaching Pathway.

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Further information

You'll find more advice about becoming a riding instructor from the:

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • knowledge of teaching and the ability to design courses
  • customer service skills
  • the ability to work on your own
  • leadership skills
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • the ability to come up with new ways of doing things
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device

Restrictions and Requirements

You'll need to:

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

in your day-to-day duties you might:

  • teach people who want to ride as a leisure activity
  • help prepare for competitions like show jumping, eventing or dressage
  • make sure health and safety rules are followed
  • help horses and riders to warm up and cool down during training
  • develop training programmes suited to individual riders
  • give practical demonstrations
  • help riders correct problems
  • give feedback and keep records of rider development
  • assess riders who are working towards qualifications

Working environment

You could work at a riding stable.

Your working environment may be outdoors in all weathers.

Career path and progression

With experience, you could become self-employed and work on a freelance basis for several centres. You could also run your own riding school, become a head or senior instructor, a competition judge, or move into management.

Once experienced, you could also apply for the IGEQ Equestrian Passport, making it easier for you to find work abroad.

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

Apprentice equine support

  • Wage: £117.00 Weekly
  • Location:

Apprentice Groom

  • Wage: £166.00 Weekly
  • Location: Marlborough

Courses In England

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