Riding holiday leader

Riding holiday leaders take individuals and groups out on treks.

Average annual salary (starting - experienced): £13,500 - £23,000

Typical hours (a week): 38 - 40

How to become a riding holiday leader

You can get into this job through:

  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship
  • working towards this role
  • volunteering
  • specialist courses run by professional bodies


There's no set entry route but you may find it useful to do a college course, which would teach you some of the skills and knowledge you need in this job. Subjects include:

  • Level 2 Certificate in Horse Care
  • Level 3 Diploma in Equine Management

College (Entry requirements)

You'll usually need:

  • 2 or more GCSEs at grades 9 to 3 (A* to D), or equivalent, for a level 2 course
  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, for a level 3 course


You can do an advanced apprenticeship in horse care and management.

Apprenticeship (Entry requirements)

You'll usually need:

  • 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths, for an advanced apprenticeship


You could start as a stablehand or groom and with further training and experience, work your way up to become a riding holiday leader.

Volunteering & Experience

Volunteering and seasonal work at a local stables or riding centre can be a good way to get started.

Other routes

You could take a ride leader course, like those offered by The British Horse Society.

More info

Further information You can find out more about becoming a riding holiday leader from The British Horse Society.

What it takes

Skills & Knowledge

You'll need:

  • leadership skills
  • the ability to work on your own
  • knowledge of public safety and security
  • the ability to work well with others
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • sensitivity and understanding
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device

Restriction & Requirements

You'll need to:

  • be over 16 years of age
  • have a first aid certificate
  • pass enhanced background checks, as you may be working with children and vulnerable adults

What you'll do

Day to day

Your day-to-day duties may include:

  • assessing riders' abilities
  • making sure riders are wearing the correct clothing
  • explaining safety procedures and basic riding techniques, like mounting, dismounting and stopping
  • taking riders out on treks
  • organising yard staff
  • employing assistants and other junior staff
  • training assistant ride leaders

Working environment

You could work at a riding stable. Your working environment may be physically active and outdoors in all weathers. You may need to wear safety clothing and use safety equipment.

Career path and progression

Career path & progression

You could move into a management position, like a riding holiday centre manager.

Contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0.
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