Why Are Qualified Riding Instructors Important?
It goes without saying that a horseback riding instructor should be skilled at working with horses and teaching students. However, it’s also important that a riding instructor meets a high standard of professionalism, particularly where children are concerned.
So it makes sense to look for a qualified instructor who is either: a) a professional member of a respected national equestrian organization; or b) certified by a well-regarded organization that offers accreditation programs for riding instructors. (Note: Riding instructors are not required to be formally certified or licensed in the United States.)
For example, qualified instructors can be professional members of any of the following organizations:
-United States Equestrian Federation
-United States Pony Clubs
-American Quarter Horse Association
-American Paint Horse Association
… and more.
If you choose a certified riding instructor instead, you’re hiring a qualified professional who has undergone training and testing of theoretical and practical knowledge in keeping with current industry “best practices.”
To find a certified riding instructor near you, check out:
The American Riding Instructors Association (ARIA)—https://www.riding-instructor.com
The British Horse Society (BHS, international)—https://pathways.bhs.org.uk
The Certified Horsemanship Association (CHA) https://cha.horse
Equestrian Management Workshops (international)—https://eqmw.com
Equine Studies Institute (ESI)—http://www.equinestudiesinstitute.org
Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International (PATH)— https://www.pathintl.org
United States Dressage Federation (USDF)—https://www.usdf.org
United States Eventing Association (USEA)—https://useventing.com
United States Hunter Jumper Association—https://www.ushja.org
Your goal when selecting a riding instructor should be quality lessons in the safe, ethical and enjoyable riding of horses. This is especially necessary with kids, as a positive first experience can lead to a lifetime of pleasure in the saddle.
Therefore, it is a good idea to seek a qualified instructor whenever possible, regardless of the rider’s age or level.