Horse riding instructor

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Carol has the one job that she always wanted – working with horses. The main task she really loves is teaching people to ride. However, she still has to do the mundane, routine tasks such as mucking out, feeding and grooming horses.

What does your job involve?

I mainly give riding lessons to clients. This involves teaching them how to handle horses and riding with them. I also oversee the health and safety of staff and customers.Working with horses always includes feeding, worming, mucking out and grooming, plus general yard duties.

How did you get into this job?

I took my First Diploma in Equine Care at college in Leeds. I followed this by completing the National Diploma in Equine Care and BHS Stage 1, then NVQ Levels 1 to 3. During this time I had a placement at this yard and was offered a job when I finished.

Why did you choose this type of work?

I grew up wanting to care for horses, and as I got older I wanted to teach people about the fun and knowledge you can receive from being with a horse.

What hours do you work?

I work Monday to Friday from 8.00am to 6.00pm, depending upon the weather and the time of year. On average, I work about 40 hours a week throughout the year.

What do you like best about your job?

Teaching nervous and/or apprehensive riders how much fun riding can be, and seeing how much their skill and confidence grows. The biggest advantage is being able to work with horses as a full-time job.Working outside can be very pleasant, especially in the summer, but the winter months are cold on the feet.

Carol's route to becoming a Horse riding instructor

  • GCSEs.
  • First Diploma in Equine Care.
  • National Diploma in Equine Care.
  • BHS Stage 1.
  • NVQ Levels 1 to 3 in Equine Management.

Carol's Horse riding instructor tips

  • Horses must always come first – even when you are tired and miserable.
  • Be prepared for long hours. However, it is a very rewarding job.

Horse riding instructor related jobs

  • Horse riding holiday centre manager
  • Horse riding holiday centre ride leader
  • Horse-racing jockey/apprentice
  • Outdoor activities instructor
  • Sportsman/woman (individual)
  • Veterinary nurse

Horse riding instructor salary

  • Pay depends upon qualifications and whether accommodation, meals and livery are provided.
  • Starting salaries are around £12,000 and experienced instructors may earn £18,000 to £22,000.
  • The highest salary might be £30,000.

Getting in

  • Opportunities for riding instructors are reasonably good. There are over 2,000 riding schools or trekking centres around the UK, especially in rural areas. Instructors can also work for training centres, competition yards and colleges offering equine courses.
  • Most riding schools expect riding instructors to have qualifications from the British Horse Society (BHS) or the Association of British Riding Schools (ABRS).
  • Teaching courses up to NVQ Level 3 are available at colleges and riding schools leading to BHS and ABRS Instructor's Certificates. Each BHS qualification usually takes a year to 18 months to complete. ABRS examinations are practical and do not involve written papers.
  • The main methods of training for these qualifications are through an Apprenticeship or BHS Apprenticeship, on a full or parttime course, as a fee-paying student at a riding school or gaining the underpinning knowledge for BHS exams through home study.

Modified: 16 June 2013

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