- Spend your days teaching people how to ride, and working with horses
- Great opportunities to travel and work in different locations
- You could work for a riding school, become a freelancer, or set up your own school
Riding instructors will work at a stable, bringing their passion for horses to those who are interested in learning more about how to ride in a safe environment. You may also teach assistant instructors, supervise work in a stable, or combine instructing with working as a groom.
- Teaching people who want to ride as a leisure activity
- Helping prepare for competitions like show jumping, eventing or dressage
- Making sure health and safety rules are followed
- Helping horses and riders to warm up and cool down during training
- Developing training programmes suited to individual riders
- Giving practical demonstrations
- Helping riders correct problems
- Giving feedback and keeping records of rider development
- Assessing riders who are working towards qualifications
Your salary will depend on the size of the centre, your qualifications, and whether accommodation, meals and further training are included. If self employed, your earnings will depend on what you can charge and the number of hours you work.
Work may be seasonal. Your work may involve travelling with riders to competitions, in the UK or overseas. If you're freelance, you'll need to travel between riding schools. In some jobs you may have to live in at the riding school.
To be a horse riding instructor, you'll need knowledge of teaching and the ability to design courses, customer service and leadership skills, innovation, excellent verbal communication, and the ability to work on your own.
You could get into this job through an intermediate equine groom or senior equine groom advanced apprenticeship. Once completed, you can apply for jobs as a riding instructor's assistant and take further coaching qualifications on the job.
Alternatively, you can also complete training and pass exams with the British Horse Society (BHS) or Association of British Riding Schools (ABRS). You'll need to be a BHS member to follow their Coaching Pathway, and train for the Stage 3 Coach award to qualify as a riding instructor. You can also complete other specialist instructor awards through organisations like the Pony Club.
If working with those with disabilities interests you, you can follow the Riding for the Disabled Association's Coaching Pathway.
You'll need clearance from the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS), as you may be working with children and vulnerable adults.
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.