CanTRA Instructor Certification Program

By Christine Ross, CanTRA Vice President

One of the flagship activities of CanTRA is the Instructor Certification Program that operates throughout Canada. The objective of the CanTRA Instructor Certification Program is to produce instructors capable of giving knowledgeable, safe, and enjoyable riding instruction to those with disabilities. 

CTRBI - CanTRA Basic Instructor 

An Instructor qualified at this level is certified to teach one student at a time. The recommended pathway for certification is progressive through the certification levels, starting with the Basic Instructor. This level is aimed toward developing a broad knowledge base of therapeutic riding including basic knowledge of riding skills, lesson planning and format, student progression, volunteer training, and basic horsemanship skills. In addition, knowledge of various disabilities accepted for therapeutic riding and methods to ensure safety and success are important components. 

CTRBI-2 - CanTRA Basic Instructor–2

This certification level is the same in content as the CanTRA Basic Instructor; however, the Instructor at this level is certified to teach two students at a time. This means the Instructor is able to manage a lesson with two students and six volunteers, which adds complexity. 

CTRII – CanTRA Intermediate Instructor

This certification level is a progression from the Basic Instructor level, and an Instructor at this level is certified to teach a maximum of four students at a time. More in-depth knowledge is required for this level. An Instructor at this level could be managing four students and 12 volunteers in a lesson, which requires both skill and vigilance. 

CTRSI – CanTRA Senior Instructor

This level is certified to teach a maximum of four students at a time. A prerequisite for this level of certification is an Equestrian Canada Instructor, Competition Coach or higher qualification. A CTRSI is equipped with the skills and learning to be able to be the Head Instructor on a therapeutic riding program.

CanTRA Coach

This level of certification is available to instructors with a CTRSI level of qualification who also carry the Equestrian Canada Competition Coach qualification or higher and have a minimum of three years full-time experience. Prior to being awarded the qualification, Instructors are required to carry out a number of specific tasks. 


CanTRA has a support structure of mentors available all over Canada ready and willing to help candidates with the certification learning process. 

For more information or to find a centre near you, visit, or donate at to ensure we continue to make strides forward!

cantra hippotherapy, equine-assisted therapies, horse riding for disabled, canadian therapeutic riding association hippotherapy

Photo: Morgan Fleck (1993 – 2018) riding Peanut at the 2016 Creston and District Society for Community Living Therapeutic Riding Horse Show with assistance from horse handler Lois McNeice and side walkers Dawn Brazdil–Lust and Michelle Whiteaway. Credit: Glenda Johnson 



Otter Co-op Lifeline Feeds

Related Articles



PureForm Joint Formula from SciencePure


Zoetis - A Perfect Pair


One AC from Magic Powder Company - for the non-sweating horse