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.


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


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.


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

The Right Job For You?

If this isn’t your dream horse job, try using the search below to find it. You can also find more horse job descriptions on our careers page.

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34 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:):):)

    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,


    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 šŸ˜€
      Alissa McCoy

      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.

  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!

    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

  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

    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 I would love to here from her, if not I am sorry to of troulbed you.
      Many Thanks

  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 ?


  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

  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

  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 :)

  8. HorseCrazy


    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?

  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.

    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.

  10. Sophie.

    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.

  11. becky

    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….

  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?

  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 I am also leaving some links for you guys to see how tent pegging is done!

  14. Jessica


    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. šŸ˜‰

  15. Laxman Singh

    Iā€™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. Iā€™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

  16. md suhail ahmed

    Good day all..
    Am from gulbarga,karnataka,INDIA. Ihv an architectural background and with a view of animal love i had brought a horse and taught many to ride horses. But as time passed i went deep bonding with horses and made many links with horse owners and horse business men. Frnds now n then told me i should try for higher level of equine business and involvement,but because of tight college schedule i couldnt try for the same..and as the college days came to end i too had a burden of home responsibility.but never left the connection with horses.when ever a new horse came to my city i definitely visited it.Recently trying for a job i came across a website and applied for a job in punjab and at the same time there was a horse fair going onn in amritsar i contancted the one giving the add but unfortunately vacancy was filled up,,next day agiain casually while surfing the same site, there was again a recent add from the same person!! I grabed the phone directly called him and talked and to my fortune there was a vacancy..he talked for some little time and told me to call back later as he was in hurry for the horse fair in amritsar. its been 6 days he is busy.and now i hv 2 options…one from architect field and other as horse instructor which shall i choose?? i dont hv any degree in equine field but a lot of experience so much that ‘NO ONE THOUGHT ME TO RIDE A HORSE, BUT IT IS JUST A SELF MADE THING ‘. So any one any suggestions? i thank u if any..

  17. Kasia

    Hi, I’m Kasia. I’m 19 years ago. I’m looking for a job with horses. I work with horses for 10 year. I have a experience with saddling, grooming. I work witr young horses. This is my passion. I love horse and another animals, so I wand to have this job. If you have any work to do any thing with horses i would appreciated if you would consided me. I want to live in Kopenhaga. Please, help me.
    you can contact me +48 788459162 or e-mail

  18. Olivia Witt

    Hello, my name is Olivia Witt. I am 19 years old and I am currently looking for a job opportunity with horses. I have worked with horses for 11 years and can’t get enough. I am very well maintained, very polite, patient, caring, flexible with my work schedule, organized and a hard worker. I have a lot of experience in grooming, bathing, riding, clipping, pulling mane, maintaining a barn (fixing fences, painting, replacing barn/stall doors, building shelves, and mechanical work) lunging, free lunging, carting, horse training, mucking out stalls, scrubbing water troughs, getting horses show ready, office work, event planning, riding instructor and much much more. I am available at anytime and can work any hours, I also have very reliable transportation. If you are interested please contact me either by email or cell phone.
    Cell phone- 561-503-1686

    *P.S I can also start out volunteering to build up your confidence for a career opportunity.

  19. Sarah Gail Coe

    My name is Sarah. I have been searching for a job like this for too long. I am relived to find this. I am the person for this job. First reason is my love for horses. I could spend all day with horses and never get sick of it.. the next reason is that I know how they maneuver, and think. You could give me any horse and i bet i could train “teach” them what is needed. I am a hard worker, and don’t believe in taking the easy route wirh anything. I can start asap. I have plenty of Esperance with horsrs. I had a horse and i did reining with him. I’v had two jobs similar to this. One was exercising 7 horses, cleaning stalls, bathing horses, cleaning equipment, and light training. I would appreciate if you would give me a chance. I will not let you down i promise. Looking forward to talking to you. Thank you.

    k .

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