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Horse Riding Centre Leaders Profile


This Section of the site details information that you might find useful if you are looking to secure employment or require further details regarding working as a Horse Riding Centre Leader. This page details the following Information:-

  • Finding Suitable Work as a Horse Riding Centre Leader
  • Working Duties Expected
  • Hours and Environment
  • Working Skills Required
  • Training Requirements
  • Salary Expectations
  • Trade Information
  • Other useful Horse Riding Centre Leader Work Information

Finding Suitable Work

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Working Duties Expected

The main role of a ride leader is to organise riding activities for groups of riders. They may also have some supervisory responsibilities and might have to take temporary charge of the centre. Ride leaders assess a riders ability and then provide them with a suitable mount. Part of the job consists of explaining basic riding techniques such as mounting, dismounting and halting. Leaders must ensure that all the riders are wearing the correct clothing.

Responsibilities will include all aspects of horse care, grooming and tack fitting. They may have to treat common horse ailments and/or assist a vet. As well as organising yard staff and employing assistants and other junior staff, they are also required to train assistant ride leaders.

Ride leaders must be capable of taking charge of a centre in the owners absence. This can include taking telephone bookings and dealing with accidents, queries and complaints.

Hours and Environment:

Hours are long and variable and can include evening and weekend work. Ride leaders usually need to live on site.

The majority of the work will take place outdoors in all weathers although some administrative duties will take place inside.

Skills and Interests:

To be a horse riding holiday centre ride leader you should:

  • have good riding skills and the ability to lead a group in a firm but friendly manner and reassure nervous riders
  • have basic knowledge of horse health and stable management
  • be physically fit, with plenty of stamina
  • have knowledge of health and safety requirements
  • have map reading skills, familiarity with local countryside and the Highway Code
  • have some clerical skills, including bookkeeping.


There are no formal academic requirements needed to become a holiday centre ride leader, but you will need a sound knowledge of training in equestrian work.

The usual methods of entry into equestrian work are through on-the-job training, attending a college course, as a fee paying student at a riding school or through private study and distance learning.

There is no set age limit but a good level of physical fitness is necessary.


The British Horse Society (BHS) offer a full range of qualifications, including:

BHS Horse Knowledge and riding (HK&R) Stages 1 to 4 - minimum age for Stage 1 to 2 is 16 years, for Stage 3, 17 years and Stage 4, 18 years
BHS Grooms̢۪ Certificate - has no minimum age
BHS Intermediate Stable Managers Certificate and Stable Managers Certificate - these allow you to run centres of varying size
BHS Preliminary Teaching Test - minimum age at least 17.5 years with BHS HK&R Stages 1 and 2. If you are under 18 years, you also need a minimum of four GCSEs (A-C)/S grades (1-3)
Series of instructor certificates - from Assistant Instructor̢۪s Certificate (BHSAI) to Instructor̢۪s Certificate (BHSI) - full entry requirements and details available from BHS.
Candidates for BHS exams need to be members of the society.

The Association of British Riding Schools (ABRS) offers practical exams, with no written papers, to non-members and members:
Grooms Certificate and Diploma, Initial Teaching Award, Teaching Certificate - check full entry requirements and details with ABRS.
Other qualifications available are:
NVQs/SVQs levels 1 and 2 in Horse Care and Level 3 in Horse Management and Horse Care
NVQ Supervisory and Management levels 3 to 4 and SVQ Management levels 4 to 5, which may help provide skills necessary to manage and lead groups of inexperienced and experienced riders.
British Equestrian Tourism (BET) offers a Ride Leader qualification. For this, you must be at least 18 years of age and hold a BET or Trekking and Riding Society of Scotland (TRSS) Assistant Ride Leader Certificate, a current Health and Safety First Aid at Work Certificate or Equine Specific First Aid Certificate.

If you are under 21 years of age, you must have worked at an approved centre for a minimum of two seasons and provide written statement from your current or previous employer confirming your experience and skills or hold a BHSAI or Pony Club Test.

If you are over 21 years of age, you must have managed a centre under supervision for a minimum of one year.

You will also need a good knowledge of local interests and countryside, working knowledge of relevant legislation and record keeping skills.

Ride Leaders at centres welcoming clients with disabilities should also hold a Riding for the Disabled Association Instructor Certificate.


Equestrian tourism is a growing area with many career opportunities. Ride leaders are employed at over 3,000 riding schools or trekking centres all over the UK, especially in rural areas.

Ride leaders may be employed on a year-round basis if they have an instructors qualification or if they are involved in the management or promotion of a centre during winter.

With the right qualifications and experience, ride leaders can become centre operators.

BET qualifications are recognised internationally, offering prospects of employment overseas.

Other Useful Horse Riding Centre Leaders Work Information

We have a section available at this site on Horse Riding Centre Leaders job interview tips that you may find of interest should you wish to brush up your skills in this area and we also have number of career articles that may also be of use to you from within our guides and documents section.

Locations where we feature Jobs include:-
Aberdeen, Berkshire, Aberdeen, Bath, Bedfordshire, Berkshire, Birmingham, Bradford, Bristol, Cambridgeshire, Cardiff, Central London, Cheltenham, Cornwall, Coventry, Derby, Devon, Docklands, Dorset, Dundee, Durham, East Midlands, East Sussex, Edinburgh, Essex, Glasgow, Gloucester, Hampshire, Hertfordshire, Kent, Lancashire, Leeds, Leicester, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Middlesbrough, Midlands and in various parts of the West Midlands

Details of other Horse Riding Centre Leaders Jobs can also be found in other UK wide areas including:-
Milton Keynes, Newcastle, Newcastle Upon Tyne, Norfolk, North London, North Midlands, Northampton, Northamptonshire, Northern Ireland, Northumberland, Norwich, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, Oxford, Oxfordshire, Plymouth, Salisbury, Scotland, Sheffield, Shropshire, Somerset, South East, South London, South Midlands, Southampton, Staffordshire Surrey, Swansea, Swindon, Telford, Wales, Warwickshire, West End, West London, West Midlands, Worcestershire, York and throughout Yorkshire.

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