The Equestrian Canada (EC) Coach Licence program is a joint initiative of EC and its member Provincial/Territorial Sport Organisations (PTSOs) including NSEF.  The program is part of the national initiative to enhance and modernize the delivery of our coach education and sport initiation programs (Rookie Riders and Learn To) in support of local facility owners and operators.

Mindsets and expectations have shifted considerably over the past decade. Many sports now have minimum standards in place for all coaches. Current and future horse enthusiasts come to our sport with the expectation that it will provide a unique, respectful, safe, and inclusive experience. 

It is our collective responsibility as stewards of the sport to share our passion for equestrianism while also taking steps so that future generations can continue to benefit from the unique experience equestrian sport offers. In order to do so, we must stand united in establishing minimum standards which enable us to demonstrate the steps that we are taking to provide safe, respectful and inclusive equestrian environments for all participants.

The introduction of a Coach Licence helps achieve these objectives. The collective vision is that every equestrian coach and instructor is licensed and certified by 2025.


What does it mean for you as a Coach? 

There are three Coach License Options - Standard, Plus, and Junior.

Coaches choose the Coach License that is right for them based on the eligibility and benefits of the License.  Coach License options include independent third-party complaint management, insurance, e-learning training, and other discounts.

The Standard Coach License is the ideal option for the majority of coaches.

The Coach License Plus is suitable for Canadian Equestrian Team personnel, Coach Developers, and athlete evaluators.

Junior Coach License is an entry-level option providing coaches who are under the age of majority in their province/territory with formal recognition while they are on the pathway to becoming a licensed coach.

Click here for a one page document outlining the three license options including benefits, discounts, insurance, eligibility, and pricing.

What Does It Mean To Be A Certified Equestrian Coach?

Canada's equestrians, both new and  experienced, are looking for direction and guidance that can be found through a mentor or coach. These individuals play a role that brings together the  love of a  sport with skill and learning. As with many sports, the coaches who impart information  and  help  develop the skills that set athletes up for success also need to be cultivated and developed. The Nova Scotia Equestrian Federation (NSEF) is the partner to help develop your coaching skills.

The NSEF administers a program recognized by, and in partnership with, the National Coaching Certification Program (NCCP), the Coaching Association of Canada (CAC) and Equestrian Canada (EC).The Coaching Program includes the disciplines of  Driving, English and Western and includes training opportunities and competency based evaluation for certification.

The Coaching Program is formatted to develop skills of planning, encouragement, equestrian knowledge and technical competency.

What is the Coaching Program?

In general, The National Coaching Certification Program (NCCP) is a federal government-initiated program designed to give the public knowledgeable and qualified instructors and coaches at every level of all sports.The Equestrian Coaching Program provides NSEF members an opportunity to be recognized within the equestrian community and provide accreditation to their own facilities.  

The certification process is available in four different streams: Instructor, Competition Coach, Competition Coach Specialist and High Performance Coach. Specialization within disciplines is introduced at the Competition Coach Specialist level. 

These levels are non-progressive, meaning that you do not need to take one before you take another. They are independent and should be taken according to the student base you are teaching. Whether you are interested in coaching beginners or have a passion for the competitive world, there is a coaching stream suited to you. Over time, you may find your focus changes or expands, at which point we would encourage you to explore another certification appropriate to your clientele.

Why Be Certified?

The NCCP Equestrian Coaching Program is formatted to develop skills of planning, encouragement, equestrian knowledge and technical competency.

A career in coaching takes great mentors, practice, education and time. As with any profession, coaches work in a world that is constantly evolving and progressing. Equestrian coaching requires diligence to safety and an understanding of the learning needs of your students. Through this Coaching Program, candidates are certified to have proven strengths and education in all areas. Courses available to candidates  continue  to  reinforce good practice techniques and give coaches the opportunity to connect with peers and mentors to learn new techniques and exercises.

As a certified coach, recognition of achieving a standard of coaching skills provides potential clients with a measure of your skills, rather than just relying on word of mouth. Continuing education and required professional development, including first aid, assure clients of your commitment to stay current in the sport. Independent insurance companies also provide discounts for farm and facility insurance to certified active coaches.

Professional designation is granted upon successful certification of the NCCP Equestrian Coach Program.



The NSEF is responsible for the delivery and administration of the NCCP Instructor, Competition Coach and Competition Coach Specialist as outlined below:                                                                                                               


A certified Instructor specializes in the instruction of children and adults learning to ride, establishing foundational riding skills with an eye on safety.

Available certifications for Instructor:

  • English

  • Western

  • Driving


A certified Competition Coach introduces riders to the competitive environment. More advanced skills in the development of a competitive training program, performance analysis and mental preparation for competition are required to become certified at this level.

Available certifications for Competition Coach:

  • English

  • Western 


A certified Competition Coach Specialist (CCS) has a discipline specialty, and is developing riders competing at the provincial and national levels. These coaches have more in depth knowledge of developing training plans for athletes, requires a working knowledge of the Equestrian Canada competition rules for the level and discipline they’re teaching.

Although a CCS is trained specifically for one discipline area, she/he is expected to be conversant in all English or Western disciplines. 

Available certifications for Competition Coach Specialist:

  • Dressage

  • Eventing

  • General Performance

  • Jumping

  • Reining

  • Speed Events


This program is administered by Equestrian Canada.

High Performance 1 (HP1) Coaches will be working with athletes and horses in the late Learning and Training to Compete and early learning and Training to Win stages of LTED.
Athletes will be competent to compete at provincial and national championships, entry level international competitions, North American Junior and Young Rider Championships (team & individual) etc.

Available certifications for High Performance 1:

  • Dressage

  • Eventing

  • Jumping

  • Reining


  For more information please contact us at [email protected] or or 902-425-5450 ext. 337