Generally 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.
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.
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