Finding a new riding instructor

  • Find a new riding instructor or trainer

    You need to decide what you want to get from your riding lessons and what your budget is before looking for an instructor, coach or trainer. A highly qualified individual won’t come cheap, but in most cases, you get what you pay for.

    Your instructor’s personality will influence the way they teach and how effectively you learn. Some people find it easier to retain information if it is presented in a relaxed and friendly manner, where as others will benefit from a stricter approach. If your current instructor’s approach doesn’t suit you then don’t be afraid to try someone new.

    You may wish to be taught by a proven competitor, especially if your aim is to compete yourself. However, if this individual has a heavy competition schedule then you may need to be flexible about training sessions as they could often be away.

    Think carefully before asking a friend or relative to teach you. Do they have the necessary experience or qualifications? What about insurance? Will a strain be put on your relationship if you disagree about training methods?

    Where you wish to be taught will also affect who you choose. Some people have their own “base” and have riders come to them with their horses – difficult if you don’t have your own transport. Others travel from yard to yard to teach, which is fine as long as you have facilities on site in which to have your lesson.

    If you have your own horse, don’t rule out having lessons at a good riding school or on other horses as this can be extremely beneficial to your riding ability. Some instructors have their own “schoolmaster” horses, which they use for clients.

    As with most things, the best way to find out about a new instructor is to ask their present clients. Don’t rely on just one opinion – ask a few people if possible.

    The British Horse Society (BHS) has perhaps the most well known system for instructor training, examinations and qualification. As instructors progress through their training they become PIs (preliminary instructors), AIs (assistant instructors), IIs (intermediate instructors), Is (instructors) and finally FBHSs (fellows of the BHS). BHS instructors are often associated with riding schools, but there are many freelance instructors and competitors who have gained the qualifications.

    For BHS-qualified instructors to be on the BHS register of instructors, they must comply with conditions set out by the society to safeguard the pupil and teacher. You can view the register and find an instructor in your area at: www.bhs.org.uk

    A number of other societies have their own accreditation systems including:

    Find a new riding instructor or trainer

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