Riding instructors teach people to ride horses. They work with a wide variety of people, including children, people with learning support needs and people with disabilities.
You could be:
working with students one at a time or in groups
showing beginners how to get on a horse and how to control it
improving the riding techniques of more experienced learners
leading groups of riders on treks
coaching advanced riders and helping them prepare for races or show jumping events
teaching riders how to care for horses and how to look after equipment
making sure horses are fed, watered, groomed and exercised, and that stables are mucked out (cleaned)
breaking in horses and training them
carrying out other duties, such as planning riding lessons, supervising staff, ordering supplies and keeping accounts.
The figures below are only a guide. Actual pay rates may vary, depending on:
where you work
the size of company or organisation you work for
the demand for the job.
Salaries for riding instructors in the UK vary, but tend to be in the region of £12,000 to £18,000 as an assistant instructor rising to between £25,000 and £30,000 as a fully qualified and experienced instructor. Pay rates will vary according to which qualifications you hold, and whether accommodation and meals are included.
Some riding instructors are self-employed. Their income depends on how much business they attract.
You could work for a riding school, a trekking centre, private stables or centres offering riding holidays.
Working hours can be long, including early starts, late finishes and weekends.
The work is mostly outdoors and takes place in all sorts of weather.
Some work might be in an indoor training centre.
The conditions can be dirty, muddy and smelly, especially when mucking out stables.
There is a risk of injury if a horse bites or kicks you or if you fall off.
There might be less work in winter and some jobs are therefore seasonal.
You might have to live at the riding school, trekking centre or stables.
You would usually wear specific riding clothing, such as jodhpurs, boots and a hard riding hat.
The College of Animal Welfare specialises in veterinary nursing and animal care training. It operates from seven UK training centres, including the Royal (Dick) Veterinary School of Edinburgh University.