Horse Riding Instructor

Job Description:

Horse riding instructors teach children and adults of all abilities, how to ride.

Job Category:
Culture, Media & Sport

What you will do:

In your day-to-day duties you might:

  • teach people who want to ride as a leisure activity
  • help prepare for competitions like show jumping, eventing or dressage
  • make sure health and safety rules are followed
  • help horses and riders to warm up and cool down during training
  • develop training programmes suited to individual riders
  • give practical demonstrations
  • help riders correct problems
  • lead groups of riders on treks
  • give feedback and keep records of rider development
  • assess riders who are working towards qualifications


You’ll need:

  • the ability to teach pupils how to do something
  • the ability to create the best conditions for learning or teaching new things (creativity)
  • the ability to monitor your own performance and that of your colleagues
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device

As well as:

  • leadership skills
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • customer service skills
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • the ability to work on your own (drive)
Illustration of employee looking at workspace

Entry Requirements:

To become a Horse Riding Instructor, you will typically need a combination of education, training, and experience rather than specific subjects. However, certain subjects can be beneficial and provide a strong foundation for pursuing this career. Here’s a list of subjects and other considerations that can help you become a Horse Riding Instructor:

  1. Mathematics: Basic math skills are essential for tasks such as calculating lesson fees, managing finances, and measuring jumps or distances in riding.
  2. English: Good communication skills are crucial as you’ll need to explain instructions clearly to riders, provide feedback, and communicate with clients and their parents.
  3. Physical Education (PE): Physical fitness is important, both for your own well-being and for demonstrating riding techniques effectively. PE can help you stay fit and active.
  4. Biology: A basic understanding of biology, particularly equine biology, can be beneficial for understanding horse anatomy, health, and physiology.
  5. Psychology: While not a typical subject, studying psychology can provide insights into teaching methods and understanding the psychology of riders and horses.

Post School

You can get into this job through:

  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship
  • specialist courses run by professional bodies


You could take a course at college that will give you some of the skills and knowledge to get into this role.

In the UK, for example, relevant courses include:

  • Certificate in Horse Care
  • Diploma in Equine Management
  • Level in Animal Care and Management


You may be able to start through an intermediate equine groom or senior equine groom advanced apprenticeship.

Once you complete your apprenticeship, you could apply for jobs as a riding instructor’s assistant and take further coaching qualifications on the job.


Volunteering and seasonal work at a local stables or riding centre can be a good way to get started.

Working Hours and Environment:

A typical week consists of 36-38 hours of work. You could be required to work evenings/weekends/bank holidays as customers demand.

You could work at a riding stable. Your working environment may be outdoors in all weathers. You may need to wear safety clothing and use safety equipment.

Career Path & Progression:

With experience, you could supervise junior staff and train other riding instructors. You could become self-employed and work on a freelance basis for several centres.

You could take higher level qualifications like a Certificate in Horse Care and Management or a degree in Equine Business Management to run your own riding school, pony trekking or riding holiday centre.

You could become a head or senior instructor, a competition judge, or move into management.