Riding holiday leader

Alternative titles for this job include Pony trekking guide

Riding holiday leaders take individuals and groups out on treks.

Average salary (a year)

£13,500 Starter


£23,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

38 to 40 variable

You could work

evenings / weekends / bank holidays as customers demand

How to become a riding holiday leader

You can get into this job through:

  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship
  • working towards this role
  • volunteering
  • specialist courses run by professional bodies


There's no set entry route but you may find it useful to do a college course, which would teach you some of the skills and knowledge you need in this job. Subjects include:

  • Level 2 Certificate in Horse Care
  • Level 3 Diploma in Equine Management

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 2 or more GCSEs at grades 9 to 3 (A* to D) for a level 2 course
  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) for a level 3 course

More information


You can do an advanced apprenticeship in horse care and management.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

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

More information


You could start as a stablehand or groom and with further training and experience, work your way up to become a riding holiday leader.

Volunteering and experience

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

Other routes

You could take a ride leader course, like those offered by The British Horse Society.

More information

Further information

You can find out more about becoming a riding holiday leader from The British Horse Society.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • leadership skills
  • the ability to work on your own
  • knowledge of public safety and security
  • the ability to work well with others
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • sensitivity and understanding
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device

Restrictions and requirements

You'll need to:

  • be over 16 years of age
  • have a first aid certificate
  • pass enhanced background checks, as you may be working with children and vulnerable adults

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

Your day-to-day duties may include:

  • assessing riders' abilities
  • making sure riders are wearing the correct clothing
  • explaining safety procedures and basic riding techniques, like mounting, dismounting and stopping
  • taking riders out on treks
  • organising yard staff
  • employing assistants and other junior staff
  • training assistant ride leaders

Working environment

You could work at a riding stable.

Your working environment may be physically active and outdoors in all weathers.

You may need to wear safety clothing.

Career path and progression

You could move into a management position, like a riding holiday centre manager.

Training opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

Apprenticeship in Horse Care - Level 2

  • Wage : £117.00 Weekly
  • Location: Barnsley S75 3DS

Competition Groom Apprentice

  • Wage : £117.00 Weekly
  • Location: Derby DE65 6BH

Courses In England

C&G Level 3 Advanced Technical Diploma in Equine Management

  • Provider: East Durham College
  • Start date: 09 September 2019
  • Location: DURHAM

Level 3 Extended Diploma in Horse Management

  • Start date: 02 September 2019
  • Location:

Get help using this service

Call 0800 100 900 or use webchat

8am to 10pm, 7 days a week

More ways to contact us

Is this page useful?

Yes No