How to become a Licensed Horseback Ri...

How to become a Licensed Horseback Riding Instructor

Posted in the Sulphur Forum

Licensed Horseback Riding

Greenville, MS

#1 Apr 2, 2010
How to become a Massachusetts State Licensed Horseback Riding Instructor
bellavoce Member
By bellavoce, eHow Member
Article Rating:(1 Ratings)

Massachusetts is the only state in the country (as of 2/2009) that requires you to obtain a state issued license to teach horseback riding legally. It takes some time to obtain this license, but in my opinion, it is well worth the effort.
Difficulty: Moderate
Things You'll Need:

* Riding Experince
* A love of teaching
* A mentor
* approximately $60

Step 1

Prepare yourself and assess whether or not you are ready to teach other riders: I am writing this article with the assumption that your riding skill and experience is quite high. At least 5 or more years of real riding instruction and practice is my MINIMUM background I recommend that you come with. Teaching others requires good communication skills, problem solving skills, ability to think on your feet and the ability to stay calm and composed in stressful situations. Horses are unpredictable and students are not always ideally behaved. Ask yourself if you are prepared to be flexible in your ideas and methods.
Step 2

Contact the Massachusetts Department of Agriculture: The state requires you to complete an application, include a letter of recommendation, complete a 6 month/60 hour apprenticeship under another licensed instructor, pass a written exam and pay two fees (one to take the exam and another to obtain the license). The link to the MDA is included in this article.
Step 3

Find a facility with one or more busy licensed Massachusetts Riding Instructors to apprentice with: Find an instructor you like to take lessons with and who you think is a great communicator. Occasionally, instructors who are freshly licensed are seasoned teaching veterans from other states. However, an instructor who has been teaching for 3 years or more is probably your ideal mentor. Ask them if they are willing to take you on.
Step 4

Keep a journal of your apprenticeship and keep careful track of your hours: Keeping a journal will help you remember what you've learned from every experience and will help you manage your time better. Hopefully, your apprenticeship experience will include time watching your mentor and time teaching students. A mix of the two is extremely helpful for you as you can get hands on experience as well as ideas for how to teach your own students.
Step 5

Study thoroughly and carefully for the exam: The exam includes a portion about state laws and general horse/teaching trivia. Study the laws thoroughly and make sure you know them COLD for the exam. This part of the exam trips people up more than the horse knowledge portion. The horse portion of the exam is not difficult, but may include some things you hadn't studied for a while, such as footfall sequence and parts of the horse that you don't usually think about. A Pony Club Manual (C Level for instance) is a great study source.
Step 6

Complete the exam and get your license! Don't be nervous, just do the best you can. If you fail the exam, you can take it again on the next go-round. Exams are held periodically throughout the year.

Happy teaching!
Horse BAck Riding Lessons, Lake Charles, LA Horse STables

Austin, TX

#2 Mar 29, 2013
Thank you so much!
How old do you have to be? What are some good and *reliable* sources to study from?

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