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: