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The first thing that springs to mind is the qualification, its not law that you achieve a qualification to teach but for me I would be happier choosing an instructor who has put blood sweat and tears into achieving their instructor’s qualification.  There are various levels to the British Horse Society qualification and all are age dependant starting from the age of 17½.


This has got to be one of the most important things a good instructor offers.  How are you going to learn if your instructor cannot communicate with you or your horse, that’s going to be one hell of a nightmare lesson!!  Communication is key for example if you have a rider who is frightened of their horse, you must be able to communicate as the rider will never improve and get over their fear.

 A Good Strong Voice

If your instructor has a tiny little mousy voice there is no way in hell you are going to hear them whilst you are thundering around the loud echoey school or racing around an outdoor school with the wind in your ears.  Their voice needs to be bold, concise and loud, this way you will be able to hear their instructions which will enable you and your horse to improve on your riding skills

Comfortable Footwear

Comfortable footwear is imperative, the instructor will be on their feet for most of the day, whether it’s in the saddle, mucking out, turning horses out or standing/walking around a school giving instruction during a lesson.  It would be a pretty miserable day for your instructor if they have uncomfortable footwear.


Patients is another huge one, your instructor must have patients with you and your horse.  When have you ever sat on your horse and they have behaved impeccably?  We all have off days so do our horses and we can’t always get it right every time otherwise you would be having one lesson and then you would be ready for the Olympics!!

 Good Quality Riding Hat

Your riding instructor may be wearing a riding hat during your lesson, its not law and some would say it’s the instructor’s own choice as to whether they wear one or not.  Having a correctly fitting hat is so important for your safety, so your instructor should at least have their hat close to hand should they feel the need to jump in the saddle during your lesson.


Understanding for sure, what happens if you’re having a bad day, you’re cross about something, this is then fed down to your horse, who then acts like a complete buffoon.  If your instructor doesn’t have understanding it’s going to be a very short frustrating lesson.  Your riding instructor should understand you having a bad day, so hopefully by the end of the lesson you and your horse will be smiling again as there’s no better place than in the saddle.


Instructors tend to live and breath horses so should be a massive vat of knowledge, they will have worked with so many different people and horses and learnt so much more knowledge on our equine friends.  I love to chat about all sorts of horsey subjects with my instructor and also ask for help and support on issues that have arisen during our lessons.  There is always something new to learn about with horses.

Nice Warm Waterproof Coat

Where would an instructor be without a nice warm waterproof coat? Probably in bed with the flu.  No expense spared on this major piece of kit.  Being able to keep warm during those cold winter months standing in a school teaching, or if its forecast to rain or even snow.  There’s nothing worse than feeling cold and wet.

Confidence giver

I love this one, we don’t always feel invincible so a good instructor will always be a great confidence giver.  We might have been carefree as children or teens but many adult riders are painfully aware of going out the side door is gonna hurt like hell.  They will know you can smash this; they will make you realise you can ask for canter on the right leg, that you can jump that little bit higher and you are rising on the correct diagonal.  A good confidence giver is going to enable you to accomplish your goals.


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