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Job Description

A Riding Instructor will teach adults and children of all abilities to ride either as individuals or as part of a group. They will either work as part of a riding school or as a self employed individual. If working as part of a riding school you may be required to muck out, tack up, clean tack and administer medication.

Entry Requirements

You can get into this job through:


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.

You'll usually need:

  • some GCSEs, usually including English and maths, or equivalent, for an intermediate apprenticeship
  • 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths, for an advanced apprenticeship

Click here to search for an apprenticeship.

Other routes

You can complete training and pass exams with the British Horse Society (BHS) or Association of British Riding Schools (ABRS).

You'll need to be a member of the BHS to follow their Coaching Pathway. You can train for the Stage 3 Coach award to qualify as a riding instructor.

The ABRS training route and practical exams include:

  • an Initial Teaching Test
  • a UK Coaching Certificate

You do not need to be a member of the ABRS to take their exams.

You can also complete other specialist instructor awards through organisations like the Pony Club.

You can work with people with disabilities by following the Riding for the Disabled Association's Coaching Pathway.

More information

You'll find more advice about becoming a riding instructor from the British Horse Society, Association of British Riding Schools and Riding for the Disabled Association.

You’ll need clearance from the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) as you may be working with children and vulnerable adults.

Career Path and Progression

With experience, you could become self-employed and work on a freelance basis for several centres. You could also run your own riding school, become a head or senior instructor, a competition judge, or move into management.

Once experienced, you could also apply for the IGEQ Equestrian Passport, making it easier for you to find work abroad.

Related careers you may be interested in:

  • Horse groom
  • Jockey
  • Outdoor activities instructor
  • Riding holiday centre manager
  • Riding holiday leader

Required Skills

  • You will need very good horse riding skills
  • Have the ability to communicate well with people of all ages 
  • Be a very patient person
  • leadership skills
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail

Salary Range

£14,000 to £25,000

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