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Horse riding instructor Horse riding coach

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Horse riding instructors work with people of different ages, riding ability and experience.

Salary, a pound sign Salary: £14,000 to £25,000 average per year
Hours, a clock face Hours: Variable per week

1. Entry requirements

You’ll usually need:

You can also complete other specialist instructor awards through organisations like The Pony Club and the British Driving Society. 

To work with people with disabilities, you’ll need to follow the Coaching Pathway from the Riding for The Disabled Association.

You could get into this job through an apprenticeship.

You’ll need clearance from the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS).

2. Skills required

You’ll need:

  • the ability to communicate well with all age groups
  • patience and the skills to motivate and encourage people
  • the ability to remain calm under pressure
  • business and clerical skills, if self-employed

3. What you'll do

Your day-to-day duties may involve:

  • 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

You may also teach assistant instructors, supervise work in a stable, or combine instructing with working as a groom.

4. Salary

Starter: £14,000 to £18,000

Experienced: £19,000 to £25,000

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.

These figures are a guide.

5. Working hours, patterns and environment

Your working hours could be long, and include evenings and weekends.

You’ll usually work outdoors, in all weather conditions. Some larger riding schools may also have indoor facilities. 

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.

6. 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.

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Last updated: 10 September 2018