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Equestrian Coaching Certificate

Level One

This general qualification provides you with an introduction to the basic principles of equestrian coaching and enables you to work in an assistant coach capacity under the supervision of a coach with higher level qualifications. It’s open to those who meet the minimum entry requirements of the relevant Member Body.

Coaching outcomes at Level 1

  • Prepare for activities in a safe working environment
  • Establish working relationships with the participants and others
  • Prepare and support participants
  • Deliver prepared activities
  • Conclude the activities
  • Review the activities to help others
  • Continuously develop personal practice

The Level 1 is currently offered by the following member bodies...

General riding Coaching for a specific discipline
The Pony Club British Reining 
Horsescotland  UK Polocrosse

Level Two

This qualification enables you to work independently, without supervision, and is available in general riding or specific equestrian sports. The general riding coaching qualifications enables you to deliver sessions across a number of the key sports,7 as would be required to coach in a riding centre, while the specific qualification is focused on coaching for individual equestrian sports such as showjumping.

To access the general and sport specific Coaching Certificate Level 2 courses, it may be necessary to hold a general riding Coaching Certificate Level 1 or an equivalent qualification to meet the entry requirements. Please contact the relevant Member Body training and education lead for more information. 

Coaching outcomes at Level 2

  • Review participants' needs
  • Produce plans for a series of sessions that support   
  • Participants' development in a safe coaching environment
  • Prepare participants for the series of coaching sessions
  • Establish and maintain working relationships
  • Deliver coaching sessions
  • Develop participants' performance
  • Conclude sessions
  • Evaluate participants' performance and the sessions
  • Monitor personal coaching practice

The Level 2 is currently offered by the following Member Bodies...

General Riding Coaching for a specific discipline
Association of British Riding Schools British Dressage
Horsescotland  British Showjumping
The Pony Club  British Eventing
  Endurance GB
  British Carriagedriving
  British Reining 
  UK Polocrosse 


Level Three

This qualification can also be general riding or discipline-specific, and requires a greater depth of technical knowledge and more developed coaching skills. Level 3 coaches are senior coaches, able to plan and implement longer term coaching strategy and effectively evaluate their own coaching practice. 

To access the general riding and discipline specific Level 3 courses it may be necessary to hold a Level 2 or an equivalent qualification to meet the entry requirements. Please contact the relevant training and education lead in the relevant Member Body for more information. 

Coaching outcomes at Level 3

  • To be a fully autonomous coach – a role model at County/Regional level.
  • Able to plan, deliver, analyse and review annual programmes of rider development
  • Goal-setting
  • Prepare for, deliver and review coaching sessions
  • Plan a series of coaching sessions
  • Prepare the coaching environment
  • Deliver a series of sessions
  • Monitor and evaluate coaching sessions and personal practice

The Level 3 is currently offered by the following member bodies...

General Riding Coaching for a specific discipline
Association of British Riding Schools  British Dressage 
Horsescotland  British Showjumping
The Pony Club British Eventing 
  Endurance GB
  British Carriagedriving
  British Reining 
  UK Polocrosse

Level Four

We have worked with British Rowing and the University of Gloucestershire to developed and deliver the British Equestrian Level 4 Coaching Certificate (endorsed by UKCC). The course is a bespoke programme developed specifically for the needs of both sports.  It should be noted that this course and qualification has no sport-specific technical content or assessment. This is all about developing your coaching skills and knowledge to further your coaching.  

The Level 4 qualification is for high-performing coaches with considerable experience and it involves an advanced syllabus of professional academic education. It isn’t exclusive to coaches working in a high-performance environment, we have had coaches from Pony Club and Riding for the Disabled in addition to those from the Olympic sports and beyond.

The pre-requisite for consideration for this Level 4 qualification is either a Level 3 Equestrian Coaching Certificate in general riding or one of the equestrian disciplines or at least a BHS Stage 4 Senior Coach in Complete Horsemanship (this includes Stage 5 Performance Coach in Complete Horsemanship and a Fellow of the BHS) or a Riding for the Disabled Advanced Coach. Readiness for the Level 4 Programme will be assessed via the application process and face to face interviews.  Prior qualifications at the right level does not guarantee access to this programme.  

Vision for a Level 4 coach

Level 4 coaches are visionary and knowledgeable decision makers who display exceptional skills and behaviours, and the highest professional and ethical standards. They advance their own and others' development, lead cutting-edge programmes or a specialist part of a programme, and make a positive impact on sport performance and behaviour.

The Level 4 Coaching Certificate programme provides coaches with a Postgraduate Diploma (PG Dip) in Professional Practice in Sport Coaching and is designed to support and credit learning within the workplace. Forming an integral part of the British Equestrian Level 4 Coaching Certificate qualification for high-performing coaches, it has been created around work-based learning modules focused on skills, knowledge and understanding needed to develop professional practice as well as the ability to manage academic learning.

British Equestrian will be the awarding body for the Level 4 Coaching Certificate and the PG Dip element of the course will be certified by the University of Gloucestershire.

Level 4 Coaching Certificate Applications

In these most challenging of circumstances we are delighted to confirm that the application process for the next cohort of coaches to join our Level 4 Programme is now open. This cohort will have scheduled entry onto the programme from September 2020.

You can make your application to join the Level 4 Programme using the form below.  The deadline for applications is 12pm on Monday 8 June 2020. Interviews will be held later in July, the logistics for which will depend on the Government advice at that time regarding coronavirus.



If you have any questions about the British Equestrian Level 4 Programme, the information days, or the application process, please email Dave Padgen or Melissa Kinrade.

If you missed the online information days on Tuesday 12 and Thursday 14 May, the webinar recordings are available upon request – please contact Melissa Kinrade. Viewing these webinars is not a prerequisite to applying for the course, but we would strongly recommend any coach considering the Level 4 Programme to view them before applying. 

  • Webinar One provided an overview of the programme, and the different parts of the Programme, plus a chance to hear the reflections of one of our most recent graduates. 
  • Webinar Two was hosted by the University of Gloucestershire, and explained the academic component to the Level 4 programme, the Post Graduate Diploma...
    • the study units and the University processes, including setting up on the University system
    • additional wrap-around support the University provides
    • an academic discussion based on the recorded webinar participants have watched

Level 4 coaches

British Equestrian are delighted that the following coaches have been awarded the Level 4 qualification...

Name Member Body Year Awarded Level 4
Tess Chew Riding for the Disabled Association 2015
Becky Johnson British Horse Society 2015
Pauline Brimson British Reining 2015
Angela Flanagan British Carriage Driving 2015
Philippa Curry British Showjumping 2015
Corinne Bracken British Showjumping 2016
Cindy Russell Endurance GB 2016
Andrew Stennett Association of British Riding Schools 2016
Harry Payne British Dressage 2016
Janet Horswill British Dressage 2016
Gillian Elliott Horse Scotland/ British Horse Society 2016
Jo Swain British Dressage/ British Horse Society 2016
Debbie Melville The Pony Club/ British Eventing/ British Horse Society 2016
Clare Turner The Pony Club/ British Eventing 2016
Warren Lamperd British Showjumping 2017
Julia Gourley British Horse Society 2017
Tom Graham British Dressage 2017
Claire Nixon British Horse Society 2018
Mandy Frost British Showjumping 2018
Sarah Tubbs British Showjumping 2018
Juddith Hubbard British Horse Society 2018
Leanne Wall British Dressage 2018
Pat Crann The Pony Club/British Showjumping 2019
Tina Ure British Eventing 2019
Michael Paveley British Horse Society 2019
Sam York British Horse Society 2019
Victoria Gallantree British Horse Society 2019
Lisa Morris British Eventing 2019
Tom Simkin UK Polocrosse Association 2019
Philip Kinsella British Horseracing Authority 2019