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. We are your partner to help you develop your coaching skills.

We administer the programs recognized by, and in partnership with, the Coaching Association of Canada (CAC) and Equestrian Canada (EC).  The Coaching Program includes the disciplines of  Driving, English and Western, including training opportunities and competency based evaluation for certification.


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 Equestrian NS 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 1 (Competition Development) 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 Coach 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.


Types of Certification


We are 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:





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:




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, and require 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:




General Performance

Speed Events



For information on the certification process, click here to visit our Certification Process page.


EC Coach Status Program

Inspired by and in cooperation with the federal government’s Safe Sport initiative, the EC Coach Status Program is designed to provide our coaches with the training and screening they need to elevate Canada’s equestrian experience and make it safer for all involved.

Coaches can apply for one of two statuses:

Registered Coach Status: This status recognizes self-declared coaches and instructors, including those working towards a Coach Certification and those new to equestrian instruction who will work alongside an experienced coach. This status can also be selected by those with formal training or extensive experience until the Licensed Coach Status becomes mandatory.


Licensed Coach Status: This status recognizes coaches with verified expertise, either through formal certification, education or validated practical experience.  Applicants should be actively engaged in equestrian instruction and coaching.


Holding one of these Coach Statuses means EC has verified that the coach meets all necessary safety screening and training requirements. Applicants for either status must provide proof of valid coaching insurance for a minimum of $2,000,000 Corporate General Liability and $100,000 Professional Liability.

EC will implement the new Coach Status Program in phases over a five year period. Coaches who wish to deliver existing EC programs (e.g. Learn to Ride/Drive) will need to obtain their Licensed Coach Status and other training/certification as per program requirements.  By 2025, all coaches will need to be Certified in order to obtain the valid Licensed Coach Status that will be required.

EC is committed to creating a safe, high-quality experience for all who participate in equestrian sport across our country. The new Coach Status Program is a reflection of that commitment and an investment in the future of equestrian sport in Canada.

To learn more about the new Coach Status Program, visit the EC Coach Status website or email [email protected] 

High Performance Coach


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:






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




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