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Horse riding instructor

Alternative titles for this job include Horse riding coach

Horse riding instructors teach children and adults of all abilities, how to ride.

Average salary (a year)

£14,000 Starter


£25,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

36 to 38 variable

You could work

evenings / weekends / bank holidays as customers demand

How to become

Explore the different ways to get into this role.

How to become Horse riding instructor

You can get into this job through:

  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship
  • specialist courses run by professional bodies


You could take a course at college that will give you some of the skills and knowledge to get into this role.

Relevant courses include:

  • Level 2 Certificate in Horse Care
  • Level 3 Diploma in Equine Management
  • T Level in Animal Care and Management

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 2 or more GCSEs at grades 9 to 3 (A* to D), or equivalent, for a level 2 course
  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, for a level 3 course
  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths for a T Level

More Information


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

More Information


Volunteering and seasonal work at a local stables or riding centre can be a good way to get started.

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.

More Information

Further information

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

What it takes

Find out what skills you’ll use in this role.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • the ability to teach pupils how to do something
  • leadership skills
  • the ability to create the best conditions for learning or teaching new things
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • the ability to monitor your own performance and that of your colleagues
  • the ability to work on your own
  • customer service skills
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device

What you’ll do

Discover the day to day tasks you’ll do in this role.

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
  • lead groups of riders on treks
  • 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.

You may need to wear safety clothing and use safety equipment.

Career path and progression

Look at progression in this role and similar opportunities.

Career path and progression

With experience, you could supervise junior staff and train other riding instructors. You could become self-employed and work on a freelance basis for several centres.

You could take higher level qualifications like a Level 4 Certificate in Horse Care and Management or a degree in Equine Business Management to run your own riding school, pony trekking or riding holiday centre.

You could 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

Find apprenticeships, courses and jobs available near you.

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

Senior Equine Groom Apprenticeship

  • Wage: £14,976 a year Annually

Racing Equine Groom Apprentice - Horse Care - Racing

  • Wage: £13,312 a year Annually
  • Location: BLEWBURY, OXON

Courses In England

BHS Stage 2 Care and Knowledge

  • Start date: 02 September 2024
  • Location: Maidenhead

Jobs In the United Kingdom

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