Horse Jobs – Riding Instructor

Riding instructor with a child on a horseGenerally found in larger facilities with many animals, the riding instructor works alongside trainers to coordinate training of the animals and their riders.

What You Need

This is a position which benefits from previous teaching experience, knowledge of a specific discipline and a strong communication skill set. Riding instructors must work with both animals and people which requires a delicate balance.

The ability to work with animals and people simultaneously and attention to detail are fundamental aspects of a good riding instructor.

Job Description

Their main responsibility is teaching people to ride horses through a variety of methods, either in groups or one-on-one sessions. Often an instructor will teach students the entire process from cleaning the feet to mounting properly to the intricacies of their chosen discipline. In addition instructors often accompany their riders to and coach them through competitions and events.

This position often requires collaboration with trainers to address behavioral issues and establish exercise routines specific to the requirements of their riders. In smaller establishments, the riding instructor can encompass horse training and barn management duties in addition to teaching riders.

Responsibilities

Teaching general horsemanship principles & skills
Teaching students to ride in groups or individual lessons
Working through behavioral issues (often for both horse and rider)
Preparing riders for competition & shows
Competition / show planning, enrollment and organizing
Accompanying riders to competitions & shows
Coaching during competitions & shows
Daily operations of riding school
Care, exercise & behavior of lesson horses
Scheduling of lessons

Requirements

Formal schooling is not a requirement for a riding instructor position, however larger stables will often expect riding instructor credentials or certification. This is a position which will rely heavily upon previous teaching experience, strong horsemanship skills and even success as a professional rider.

Resources

A few places to start if you are interested in a career as a riding instructor.

*All links open in a new window
British Horse Society
Certified Horsemanship Association
American Riding Instructor Certification Program

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29 Comments on “Horse Jobs – Riding Instructor

  1. Louise

    I think this is very usefull and helpful information, I’m doing my College Work on Horse Riding Instructors and I couldn’t find any other websites with such useful information :) Veryy Happy:):):)

    Reply
    1. Ger McNulty

      Hi there Louise.
      I have read your comment that you are Studying in college on becoming an Instructor.
      I am just wondering is that course in Ireland or out foreign. I am aiming to become an Instructor and Equine Trainer but am finding it difficult to find such courses.
      Many Thanks,

      Ger.

      Reply
    1. Alissa McCoy

      I pay my trainer about 75$ for 45minutes (but she is a retired olypic equestrian) but, I also had another trainer who charged me about 35-50$ for and hour which is the average cost for lessons.
      Hope that helps :D
      Alissa McCoy

      Reply
      1. Kac

        A lot of times riding instructors only make a commission off the lesson. I charge $65 for an hour $45 for a half hour. But I only get 30% and the owner of the farm gets 70%. Not really sure how fair that is or not. But it is what it is.

        Reply
  2. Holly

    I’m working on my career paper for english, and this website was very resourceful in giving me helpful information =] This definetly helped me make up my mind on my career choice!

    Reply
    1. Heather M

      well im glad u found the job u wanted to. im also a riding instructor its a fun job and it really pays off in the end

      Reply
  3. Sophie Odell

    Heya, i have done my Leaving Certificate this year at school in Ireland and at present i am in Italy as i was supposed to be an Au Pair for my cousin for a year but that hasnt worked out and i am now looking for a career to do with horses but i am too late to start the BHS Stage 1 now because i wont be coming home until next month and they start this month…Any advice on other horse careers ? I am really interested in the ‘Schoolong Rider’ and ‘Instructor’ as well. This website is awesome :) xxx

    Reply
    1. Jacqui Adams

      Hi I am looking for my Daughter whom was Adopted, her name is now Sophie Odell her date of birth is 27/04/92
      If you have any information regarding this please contact me on j.j.adams@talk21.com I would love to here from her, if not I am sorry to of troulbed you.
      Many Thanks
      Jacqui
      xxxx

      Reply
  4. Gabi

    as i am from a broad can you please tell ( even in general) what is the salary for such position , is it hourly or monthly ?

    thanks
    Gabi

    Reply
  5. emma

    i am still in high school but love horses and im sure i want a job working with them but one day i would like to own my own riding school i just wanted to know if it would make enough money to live on or would there be other types of jobs that require riding and grooming the horses

    Reply
  6. Coleman

    People ask me all the time what I want to do in life. I never reapply have a direct answer but I know in my heart that I love horses and I’ve been around them my whole life. I want to have a career in working with them and having a fun enjoyable job that has to do with horses I just don’t know were to get started. Please help coleman

    Reply
  7. caitlin w

    this website was very useful i was trying to find out what jobs i could get to with horses all other websites were just advertisement for jobs this gave me a good idea of what i could do in the future with horses.

    thanks :)

    Reply
  8. HorseCrazy

    hello,

    I’m soon to choose my options and I need to know what subjects i’ll need. I’ve wanted to be an instructor/trainer for the past 2 yrs but have been told my my instructor that there is a large chance that a riding school will have money problems and be shut down. Fortunately, I know how to prevent this happening – increasing the amount of horses as the amount of clients increase.

    I would like to know how much they would earn if they are running their own business. Also … how would they get clients and what would they do if they couldn’t get clients?

    Reply
  9. Adri

    I am the Head Riding Instructer at a thriving barn in the States. I have a two year degree in Equine Riding and Training from Northwest College in Powell, Wyoming.

    If you truly want to pursue your dream of teaching riding. Be prepared for hard work and long hours and no complaining. Its Cold, wet, muddy work at times and sometimes its no craic at all.

    But I do it because I love horses and people and I love to teach. One of the ways I started and this is KEY. Is I apprenticed and worked my tail off for differnt instructors.

    Check out the website yardandgroom for lots of apprentice posibilites. One warning if you do take any of these. You will work long hours low to no pay and they will work you like a dog(horse). But if you bluntly shut your mouth, stay commited and dont grumble about the heavy work load and are a team player. The rewards are great.

    The biggest complaint that myself and other Head instructors and those in the horse industry is. We want students who will work for the love of the horse and never and I repeat never complain about ten hour days and the endless hours of stall cleaning and tack cleaning and being told what to do.

    However what are rewards for all this hardwork, no complaining and dedication? The love and knowledge of horses thats the ultimate reward.

    I apprenticed in a variety of ways for over 15 years and then went to school to get the two year degree. Now I am the Head instructor at a school where I supervise 4 other instructors, 2 grooms and 2 working students and a variety of volunteers. I work varrying hours and get called in on my day off if I need to.

    I finally am able to pick and choose after all these years. I teach 10 lessons a week and ride 4 horses a day in training. I also then spend hours on the computer and on the phone. I run errands pick up laundry, run to the feed store, design everyone’s lesson schedules for all staff and volunteers. I also monitor all the horses under my direct supervision and make sure they are doing great.

    I was up late the other night because one of my lesson horses got kicked in the face by another lesson horse in the field. I had to tend to that situation and get it sorted.

    The other day at the barn I had another horse that refused to eat thier hay and had to retire them pretty much on the spot. They are ok.

    Ive had parents pitch a fit about somthing or say off the wall things. Its my job to smile polietly and keep going.

    Between my instructors and the assistents in our particular area. We teach about 45-55 lessons in a six day work week. Some instructors are full time and some are part time. Then also have to schedule the twice a week lessons I give to all my staff, grooms and Volunteers that they are intitled to as part of working here.

    I love it and would not trade it. Oh gotta go. Its my turn to do some chores right now.. Bye all.

    Reply
    1. Rachel

      Hello Adri,

      I have worked as a working student for about 10 years now. I had many long days at the barn exercising about four horses a day, cleaning tack and stalls, taking up and grooming the horses I rode and my trainer rode. I loved every minute of it!

      I also worked at a summer camp this summer as an assistant wrangler and had up to 14 hour days. I taught the children how to ride and then took them on trial rides. When something came up with a horse in the field I was there. This experience helped me learn a great deal about working with horse and people.

      I am currently a freshman in college with a double major in small business/entrepreneurship and Spanish. My dream job would be a Dressage horse trainer and instructor. The experience I do not have is in shows. I assisted my trainer at her shows and competed in small shows at my stables. I am a Seventh-Day Adventist so I did not participate in shows or work on Saturdays. I did not have the strong desire to compete at a young age because I was getting my riding experience everyday as a working student. I know I have the experience to be a horse trainer but I also realize there is so much more I can learn.

      How do I know I can get a job as a horse trainer and instructor after I graduate if I am in college getting my degree? I am still trying to find a job in the horse world while in college but I do not feel it is enough.

      Reply
  10. Sophie.

    Hi
    I am choosing my choices for school I am wondering what are the best subjects to take to be a groom/instructor but I want to after a few years have my own riding stables with livery.
    Thanks

    Reply
  11. becky

    Hi
    I was just wanting some advise, i want to know what are the best qualifications for becoming a riding instructure i’m half way through my level 3 horse mangement degree and would like to know where to go from there….
    thanks

    Reply
  12. horselover

    i think i should be a horse trrrainer . i want to be with horse but i dont want a vet i wwant to trrain care ride own horses so i think this is the best decision right?

    Reply
  13. Baloch

    I am a Tent Pegger. Some of you may know about this equestrian sport and most may not because It is not very popular in the US. But It is really popular in countries like, England, South Africa, Middle East, Pakistan, India and some other European countries. I know that in the US, only Cavalry has a tent pegging team. Anyways, I live in Northern Virginia and If anybody is interested in learning this gallant warriors’ sport you can send me an email on ashtarbaloch@gmail.com. I am also leaving some links for you guys to see how tent pegging is done!
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cbT-8BmMtVk

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NA6x9hvaOo8
    Cheers!

    Reply
  14. Jessica

    Hi,

    My Parents + Grandparents want me to take the route of veterinary.

    But I want to be a Riding Instructor. How much do the riding instructors would you say get a day?

    Many thanks. Jess. ;)

    Reply
  15. Laxman Singh

    Hi,
    I’m a 25 year old boy from Jodhpur (India) looking for a job on a farm with horses, I am a hard working and adventuresome boy. I have been working with horses since my birth, for professional experience I have worked from February 2012 to January 2013 as Rider and also Assistant Yearling Manager, farm in Nanoli Stud (Pune).
    I am hoping to achieve gratitude and experience from the work i do at the farm. I hope to experience the farm life here in Pune, work hard and earn our living by doing so. I’m looking for a job where I get boarding and lodging and maybe earn a little.
    If you have any information regarding this please contact me on
    E mail : lakshraj02@gmail
    Mobile no. +91 9530047499

    Reply

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