The Need for Quality Coaching in the Equestrian Industry
By Kathy Smith
Parents of horse-crazy kids and other prospective beginners often feel at a loss as to how to get involved with horses and make the best choices in an industry they know little about. At the same time, the number of participants in the equestrian community has been steadily declining in recent years, and the increase in the average age of those remaining involved points to a strong need to encourage new people to enter the horse industry. But given the nature of the sport and the high risks inherent in riding (see Dangers of Equestrian Activities Studied on page 92), new riders and parents need a standard to help them choose a reputable professional to guide them to safe, positive experiences. This will keep them in the industry and help reverse the decline in the number of participants, which will have a very positive affect on all aspects of the horse industry.
Both current and future horse enthusiasts must have the expectation that the sport will provide a safe and respectful experience, and quality instruction in a positive environment should be available to all riders. As society changes and expectations shift, the need for coaches to be certified and licensed has grown in recent years. To that end, in November of 2019 Equestrian Canada unveiled their Coach Licensing Program with a phased-in approach to achieve their vision that all coaches be licensed and certified by 2025. The new program is not discipline-specific; rather, it addresses general coaching requirements for all equestrian coaches, comparable to those for other amateur sports across Canada.
For more information, please visit these links:
- Equestrian Canada Coaching
- The Value of Coach Licensing
- Equestrian Coaches in Canada to be Licensed and Certified
Related: Teaching Children to Ride
Kathy Smith is the Editor and Publisher of Canadian Horse Journal and HORSEJournals.com, has over 30 years experience in publishing, and is a lifetime equestrian.
Main Photo: iStock/CMOgilvie