The main role of a ride leader is to organise group riding activities. They may also have some supervisory responsibilities and might have to take temporary charge of the centre. Ride leaders assess a rider’s ability and then provide them with a suitable mount. Part of the job consists of explaining basic riding techniques such as mounting, dismounting and halting. Leaders must ensure that all the riders are wearing the correct clothing.
Responsibilities will include all aspects of horse care, grooming and tack fitting. Leaders may have to treat common horse ailments and/or assist a vet. As well as organising yard staff and employing assistants and other junior staff, they are also required to train assistant ride leaders.
Ride leaders must be capable of taking charge of the centre in the owner’s absence. This can include taking telephone bookings and dealing with accidents, queries and complaints.
Hours are long and variable and can include evening and weekend work. Ride leaders usually need to live on site.
The majority of the work will take place outdoors in all weathers, although administrative duties will take place inside.
To be a holiday centre ride leader you should:
Experience of horse management and care will be useful in this role as there are not set entry requirements. Gaining a certificate from the following organisations will definitely give you an advantage:
There is also potential to gain entry into this position through an apprenticeship.
There is the possibility of progression within this role. With enough experience and qualifications, there is the chance of moving into a management position such as a riding centre manager. You may also use the skills you acquire to teach people how to ride horses.
If you would like to learn more about becoming a holiday centre horse rider that does not appear on Hotcourses, further information can be found below.
Association Of British Riding Schools
38-40 Queen Street
Tel: 01736 369440
The British Horse Society
Stoneleigh Deer Park
Tel: 08701 202244
The Pony Club
Riding for the Disabled Association
Tel: 0845 658 1082
Trekking and Riding Society of Scotland (TRSS)
Tel: 01567 820909
Wales Trekking and Riding Association
North Barn Glanirfon
Tel: 01591 610818
Tel: 0845 707 8007