Rookie Riders

Rookie Riders provides an opportunity for children to experience the joy of the equestrian sport in a fun-filled program.

Rookie Riders LogoThe program teaches activities and skills that are fundamental to success in horseback riding. It includes basic gymnastics on mats, and on a “barrel horse” and concludes with an introduction to riding. It is a core skill-building program that benefits all disciplines.

It is also a safe opportunity to introduce the sport to children we hope will become passionate and continue to progress in the sport with you as their certified coach or instructor.

Instructors can schedule their own programs, offer programming in conjunction with local clubs, and be booked to deliver programming established by Ontario Equestrian. Instructors must be a minimum of 16 years old and equestrian experience level and will be provided with the training and support required to be successful.

Rookie Riders Barrel Order Form

About the Program

Rookie Riders Program Launch

Program Objectives

  • Safe and fun Introduction to riding skills, horses, and horsemanship – Riding and Gymnastic activities focus on developing the skills used in equestrian sport
  • Introduce OR reinforce movement skills within the FUNdamental stage of long-term equestrian and athlete development.
  • Group and individual activities
  • Provides physical, mental, and emotional engagement
  • Participants finish with a:
    o   Strong foundation in the National Learn to Ride Program – Level 1 (English and Western); and a
    o   Rookie Riders Certificate of Completion

How to Participate as a Rookie Rider

Contact for a list of trained Rookie Riders Instructors in your area!

How to Become an Instructor

The instructor responsible for any Rookie Riders session must always be present, hold an Equestrian Canada Coach License and an active NCCP Certification (any sport), or be a qualified physical education teacher, in addition to having completed the Rookie Riders 1 instructor training. As a certified and Licensed coach or instructor, you will be provided with the resources required to run the program, including:

  • Horsemanship Handouts and Quizzes
  • Free Access to PLAYbuilder
  • Access to over 150 Rookie Riders’ activities
  • Access to over 25 Rookie Riders Pre-built lesson plans
  • Ability to create personalized lesson plans
  • Rookie Riders Certificates of Completion
  • Rookie Riders Barrel Adoption Certificates

Rookie Riders Interns

Rookie Riders is best delivered by a team of instructors. Once you’ve chosen your delivery model, determine how many instructors you need and make sure they all have the appropriate training. The Rookie Riders program is a great way for youth riders to be introduced into a coaching role, by becoming a Rookie Riders “Intern”. Rookie Riders Interns should:

  • Be 16 years of age or older
  • Complete the Rookie Riders 1 Instructor Training
  • Sign the Equestrian Canada Coaching Code of Conduct and Code of Ethics
  • Have their Learn to Ride English Level 6 or Western Level 4 if offering a Rookie Riders program that includes riding
  • Hold a Registered Coach Status

For an understanding of the skill development objectives typically taught at the “FUNdamental” stage of athlete development, review the Long Term Athlete/Equestrian Development program, HERE.

To become trained to deliver the Rookie Riders Program, please visit our Events Calendar for the next training opportunity and view our How to Get Started guide!

Rookie Riders Ribbon and T-Shirt Order Form

Rookie Riders Instructor Resources

Parent Resources