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Do you want a professional qualification so you can teach people about horses and teach them how to ride safely?

If you already work with horses or have previous equestrian/competition experience this could be the course for you.


Your ‘Horse Riding Instructor’ course outline includes the horse care, riding and teaching areas of study listed below.

In the first month, we confirm that you are familiar with ‘the basics of horse care and horse riding’. It is preferable that you already have some knowledge with horses before you start this course, so you should fly through this basic knowledge in the first month. (after all… this is what you will be teaching by the end of your course)

We continually improve our courses to keep you up to date with the latest research. Your course should include these areas, but please contact us about the new updated course we are preparing for you

  • Identify, Handling, Facilities and Basic Travel These first four areas of study should confirm that you have enrolled in the correct course. You should be able to complete the requirements easily, but if you have difficulty please speak to us about changing your enrolment into another one of our online horse courses.
  • Grooming and Equipment, Riding Preparation, Aids and Gaits and Basic Riding This is another area that you should find fairly straightforward and is introduced early in the course. If you find these first four areas difficult, we recommend that you discuss changing your course with us as soon.
    If there is a reason why you cannot complete the horse riding section of this course, it is possible to gain your ‘Horse Riding Instructor – Certificate 3′ qualification without completing the horse riding section, although you will still need to know and understand the theory of horse riding.

Your Horse Care areas are

  • Stable Practices As we expect you to complete this course and go into a professional riding establishment, this subject is essential to set a professional standard. In your position as a riding instructor, you may be required to supervise others while they perform their stable duties such as feeding, cleaning stables and maintaining saddlery.
  • Horse Husbandry We continue your role as the supervisor and confirm that you are able to recognize the correct horse husbandry practices in a stable of horses, as well as extras like tips on pulling manes and tails, trimming and preventing rubs so you present the horses you care for to look their best.
  • Illness and Injury Hoof injuries, allergic reactions, wounds and other signs of ill- health are included in the area of illness and injury. Causes, symptoms and treatment are taught so when you are in charge of a large stable, you can help prevent many common illnesses and injuries that are so common in the horse industry.
  • Basic First Aid Do you know what to do if a horse become ‘cast’ in his stable? You will learn how to deal with that situation, and how to help prevent other life threatening ailments. We teach you what a well equipped first aid kit will contain, the application of first aid bandages and infectious diseases.
  • Work Routines Determining work objectives prior to managing and monitoring the tasks of yourself and your staff are essential in a well run stable and you will learn about this in this unit. the factors which affect work, giving and receiving performance feedback and job roles are also taught.
  • Work Performance How well you perform in the workplace will attribute to your efficiency as an employee. Being efficient means you will be able to complete tasks and routines quickly, but you will also need to be able to communicate and work well with other colleagues, clients and horses.
  • Assessing Horse Health As a horse person working in the industry it important you become accustomed to continually assessing the health and well being of horses. We teach you techniques for developing an ‘eye’ to quickly make decisions for what a healthy horse looks like and what tasks they are able to perform.
  • Horse First Aid We teach you about the two types of first aid for horses 1) treating an injury which doesn’t require medical attention (e.g. minor cuts, scrapes and scratches) and 2) providing temporary measures (e.g. minimising blood loss) until the vet arrives. Also how to maintain your horse first aid kit, keeping it well stocked and in a convenient location.
  • Basic Reproduction While we won’t be specializing in preparing you to manage a large stud, this area introduces you to the reproductive system, dealing with parts of the female and male systems, gestation and signs of foaling so you have a basic knowledge of the breeding of horses.
  • Physiology 1 This first physiology area takes a general look at the functions and essential components of the nervous, musculo-skeletal and endocrine systems. We divide these systems into the parts, with further explanations of each part.
  • Physiology 2 This second physiology area introduces the concept of the body systems of the horse and focuses on the respiratory, circulatory and digestive systems of the horse. The parts and functions of these body systems are taught with many color diagrams and clear, well worded explanations to assist the learner in this area.
  • Conformation You will learn about the general desirability’s of any breed or type, and the reasons they may be undesirable. We look at the standards and desirability’s between different breeds, and how a horse with unsuitable confirmation for one riding discipline may excel at another type of riding.

NOTE: A non-riding option is now available for this course. The subjects listed below are for recommended for competitive dressage and jumping riders. But if you prefer a less classical approach to your horse riding units then please talk to us about your options.

Your Horse Riding areas are:

  • Upright Seat As you will be teaching your students on how to sit in the saddle and hold the reins, it is essential that you are able to demonstrate an independent, balanced and effective way of riding. You learn about maintaining this position during transitions within and between the paces in walk, trot and canter.
  • Using Aids You learn about the natural and artificial aids, including the types of forward aids, lateral (sideways) aids and regulating aids. We give you tips on how to develop your ‘feel’ and riding ‘half-halts’ so you can ride different types of horses and train them individually, according to their ability to progress.
  • Track and Figures In this area we teach you the two different sizes of arenas, letters and dimensions as well as tips for learning them. Tips for correctly riding the correct sizes and shapes of common tracks and figures in the dressage arenas are given as well as the reasons for riding them.
  • Training Scale We introduce you to a program of physical education or gymnastic process to develop your horse’s natural physical and mental aptitudes thus producing a horse which is a pleasure to ride. You will learn why it is important to develop the horses natural rhythm and then how to encourage their suppleness/ looseness as they get ready for the next step.
  • Contact You will learn how to obtain contact, what is a good contact and ways horses avoid the contact as well as common faults. We teach you how to make sure your horse is loose and supple and can be ridden forward into the contact, so there is less resistance, irregularity or tension.
  • Training No matter what discipline or recreation you choose to pursue with your horse it will probably require some sort of training. Even the weekend trail riding horse can benefit from some basic flatwork or dressage training to assist in the communication between horse and rider.
  • Terminology There are many terms you will hear being used within horse riding and there are just as many ways to describe what is going on with the horse and rider. The meaning of some can be quite quizzical while others can be more obvious. We give you simple easily understood explanations of this terminology.

Your Equestrian Teaching areas are

  • Coach Practices This area supports your ‘Beginner Coaching’ course, but specializes in the area of teaching and coaching horse riding. This is an essential part of becoming a horse riding coach/instructor and is included in all of our horse riding instructor courses. As a riding instructor/ equestrian coach, you may be required to be a motivator, planner and advisor to your students and in this area you will learn how to combine these roles in accordance with your ‘Code of Conduct’.
  • Coaching Special Groups Riders may do so for many different reasons, because they want to improve fitness, develop new skill or for social contacts and riders with special needs are no different. As part of your riding instructor qualification, we teach you how to accept each participant as an individual and how to be an effective horse riding coach and adjust to accommodate for individuals, especially those with special needs.
  • Provide First Aid The horse industry will never be completely free from risk or hazards, as learn about how to become a horse riding instructor you will learn that it is possible to avoid or minimize these where ever possible. In your riding instructor qualifications course we teach you how to look at the potential risks around a horse environment and how to consider the level of risk for each potential hazard.
  • First Aid We ask you to consider the basic aspects of dealing with a first aid scenario in the horse environment and how to teach horse riding lessons in a difficult situation. You will learn that as a riding instructor/ equestrian coach it will be part of your role to make decisions and prioritize actions in an event of an injured rider/ person in your control.
  • Supervise Horse Handling You will learn what how to continually assess your student, consider their stage of learning and the type of supervision and training they require to minimize your legal liability. We teach you how to provide assistance and when to seek assistance, as well as the planning and preparation prior to teaching.
  • Safe Riding Safety is always an important element when you are riding, but especially important when you have the responsibility for others. Maintaining safe practices when you ride and teach will minimize hazards and risks to yourself and others. Arena Rules may vary between different equine establishments, but it is important you understand the reasons they were created before you make any changes.
  • Risk With Horses You will be given a scenario which may easily happen in an equine environment. You will be required to take control of the situation to eliminate hazards, control the risks and minimize the risk of further problems. You will learn the appropriate regulations and guidelines and the impact of risks.
  • Risk Analysis As you progress through your career in the horse industry and increase the level of your horse riding instructor certification, you will usually be required to accept a higher degree of responsibility for risks and to contribute to ‘Risk Treatment Plans’. We teach you how to implement and improve the risk management within an equine environment, what are acceptable risks and how to define between internal and external sources of risk.
  • Lunging the Horse Prior to lunging a rider on a horse and as part of the horse riding instructor training it is essential that you can lunge a horse safely and efficiently. You will learn how to recognize a safe lunging area, the required equipment for lunging, using a lunge rein, lunging the horse to prepare for the rider. In this equine instructor course we teach you about the considerations for lunging and also considerations for teaching a rider on the lunge.
  • Mounting and Dismounting While this exercise is a simple process to the experienced horse person teaching horse back riding lessons, it can be extremely difficult for the beginner rider, both physically and psychologically. It will be part of your role and responsibility as a riding instructor to ensure the safety of the horse, rider and you. When you teach horseback riding you will need a checklist with points to remember throughout this process and this is included in your riding instructor.
  • Lunging Exercises While there are no specific ‘guaranteed’ exercises that will solve every problem, we teach you horse riding games, activities and exercises that you can vary to suit every type of rider. So it won’t matter if you are teaching horse riding lessons to some one who is very confident or extremely nervous, you will have a wide range of progressive exercises to help your students in their horse riding lessons.
  • Teaching Walk A nervous adult beginner will want to focus a lot more on walk before progressing onto trot than a more confident younger rider. As part of your horse riding instructor certification we teach you techniques to hold their interest and also some tricks for teaching the theory of the walk to younger, more active and more confident riders. If you know how to teach horseback riding lessons to beginners correctly to build confidence, you could become a very popular qualified horse riding instructor is a short period of time.
  • Teaching Trot Most riders can learn to rise to the trot within minutes of sitting on a horse for the first time if they are taught the correct techniques. We show you how to teach the trot without riders’ balancing on the horse’s reins or giving their horse a sore back. You will learn how to teach horse riding with exercises to change easily between sitting trot to rising trot as well as jumping position in the trot.
  • Student Assessment As you learn more about becoming a riding instructor, you will learn there are many non-verbal signs a rider will show an experienced equestrian coach that they are not ready to progress onto the next exercise. We give you a checklist of signs to check before you take you rider away from their comfort zone of you controlling their horse onto them riding and controlling their horse by themselves. As you know how to become a horse riding instructor, you will recognize the safety implications if this happens too soon.
  • Turning and Guiding Sometimes beginner riders treat their horse like an insensitive vehicle, pulling on the reins for turning and stopping using strength instead of feeling and upsetting their horse in the process. Part of knowing how to teach horseback riding lessons, is having some simple exercises to teach the rider to turn and guide their horse using sensitivity and feeling and in your horse riding instructor course you will learn these exercises.
  • Trot Diagonals As your students become more established in the rising trot and are able to maintain they rhythm of the trot, they are able to learn about riding on the correct diagonal. We teach you about the common problems riders have in recognizing the correct diagonal, and as part of your horse riding instructors qualifications we give you some easy tips to teach both correct diagonals and changing diagonals.
  • Circle Exercises Riding a circle can be difficult for a beginner, but it is a reflection on the way a rider can control them in an open area. If the rider allows them to speed up on a circle, they may allow them to canter or even gallop in an open area. Similarly if they drift in and out, slow down or ignore the rider this is a larger problem in an open area. In your equine instructor course we teach you the signs that a rider is not really in control and how to fix them while they are still in a safe environment.
  • Corners and Half Arena We teach you some more exercises to teach a beginner horse rider in a safe way during your horse riding instructor training. If they are always in control, they gain confidence and progress more quickly. This is another area where we give you tips for teaching horse riding exercises to the beginner and include transitions with a focus on maintaining control and building confidence while teaching the beginner horse rider.
  • Arena As you move your rider onto a larger area, their horse is more likely to gather pace with the likelihood of the rider losing control and confidence. In this part of learning how to become a horse riding instructor we teach you how to recognize the behavior of horses and how they are affected by working in a larger area. In this part of your horse riding instructor certification you will learn how to bring them under control in a safe efficient way, without the rider losing confidence.
  • Final Summary n this part of the horse riding instructor qualification course, we give you a topic to teach that may include a combination of the above areas. You will have a limited time to prepare and teach this lesson as you would if you were working as a professional, employed by a private rider or in a riding school, equestrian centre, pony club or other professional environment.


(Ms) Glenys Cox
Director – Online Horse College (Ausintec Academy)
AHRC Level 2 Horseriding Coach
EFA Level 2 General (Dressage, Showjumping, Eventing) Equestrian Coach
EFA & AHRC Examiner
EFA & AHRC Coach Educator
Workplace Trainer and Assessor
International Level 2 Equestrian Passport
Bachelor of Adult and Vocational Education
Master of Education (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages)
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Online Horse College is your pathway to working in the international horse industry, from complete beginners to qualified professionals.
Online Horse College
392 Bribie Island Road, Caboolture, Australia 4510
(07) 3102 5498
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