Since you are making a time and financial commitment to your new sport - you should also feel comfortable and confident with the person you are choosing to be your instructor/coach. By visiting various facilities, observing lessons, meeting coaches and students - you not only learn a lot - you are more likely to make a more informed selection. For a beginner rider, a child will start to develop a bond with his/her instructor. The instructor/student relationship is much like a teacher/student relationship. A good combination will develop trust and confidence as well as skills in both the child and adult rider and help ensure a positive attitude toward the sport. The coach should be qualified in the discipline that you are choosing to pursue.
In Canada, we are fortunate to have a national coaching certification program (NCCP) under the support of Equestrian Canada and the Coaching Association of Canada. Once a coach is certified through this program, he/she has attained professional designation and is trained to competently coach athletes at various levels. For more information on the Certified Coaching program, please visit that section of our website.
A simple checklist will help you to make an informed choice when it is time for you to choose a coach:
1. Does this Coach have coaching qualifications under the NCCP? Find a Current NCCP Certified Coach
2. Does this Coach carry insurance and do they ask that students carry insurance as well?
3. Is this Coach well respected in the community?
4. Is the Coach punctual and reliable?
5. Does the Coach provide supervision of the ride/lesson at all times?
6. Would the Coach be a good role model for your child?
7. How long has this person been a Coach?