Should Your Horse Riding Instructor Be Certified?

While it isn't a requirement in the U.S. to have certification to be a riding instructor, there can be many benefits to having those people working with your equine business.

While riding instructors don’t have to be certified in the U.S., there are advantages to knowing that person has been tested and approved as safe and knowing their stuff.

Editor’s note: This month, Stable Management is tackling the issue of hiring outside instructors who come to your facility to teach riding lessons. There can be pros and cons to this decision, and we’ll give you tips to help you decide what might be right for your equine business.

Certification isn’t a legal requirement for horse riding instructors in the United States or Canada, but in most European countries, it is. When working with outside riding instructors or trainers at your facility, requiring that certification is something worth considering.

“It (certification with CHA) says that the instructor went through a safety process by a third party to make sure that they are conducting safe and effective lessons for your clients,” said Christy Landwehr, Chief Executive Officer for the Certified Horsemanship Association (CHA).

In some instances, certification can also provide other benefits, such as potentially qualifying your facility for discounts on insurance policies.

Not every outside trainer or instructor will have certification through CHA or The American Riding Instructors Association (ARIA). That doesn’t mean they aren’t qualified. There are knowledgeable professionals with a proven history of success with students and horses who haven’t become certified. Asking for references and understanding the individual’s background is key to deciding if you want to include them in your equine business.

“I’m not certified, but I have a Bachelor’s in equine science and 16 years of experience,” said Kaitlin Curington, executive assistant to the president at Fasttrack Staffing, Inc., who is also a head trainer and stable manager at a Wellington, Florida, barn.

When working with new, outside professionals, she does ask how much experience the individual has and how many clients he/she is currently working with.

“I like to know how many years they have been training,” she said. “I also like to know if they have a following or if I’m going to have to do a lot of work to get them clients, which is not something I’m interested in.”

There are currently two organizations that provide certification. To learn more and to decide if it’s a requirement you’ll have for outside professionals visit The American Riding Instructors Association (ARIA) and the Certified Horsemanship Association (CHA

Note that Stable Management has an official partnership with CHA.






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