AAHS Riding Instructor Certification Clinics
May 31-June 4, 2017

Each spring we host an instructor certification clinic with American Association for Horsemanship Safety. This clinic is recommended for instructors, pony club leaders, boarding barns, camps, really anyone involved in the business aspect of horses. The Secure Seat workshop will give you the necessary exercises to develop your students from the ground up. The exercises in this method of teaching help the rider achieve a balanced seat and proper leg position. For those of you who teach more experienced riders, the exercises will provide you with teaching tools to help fix gaps in their performance. Being a certified instructor may even get you a discount on your insurance!

AAHS conducts group and individual safety certification clinics for riding instructors, boarding barns, camp personnel and others interested in horsemanship safety. The clinics are 40 hours long and usually taught over a four-day or five-day period. They are taught by a AAHS Clinician from a standardized curriculum. Emphasis is upon legal liabilities, horsemanship skills, safety and emergency procedures, and assuring safety of riders quickly by teaching a balanced seat to beginners through use of the Secure Seat(sm) method.

Is it a problem that most beginners are taught by the least experienced instructors?
What is being taught to beginners? THE BASICS - and what do most advanced instructors make students do over? THE BASICS ... Suppose a beginner falls off? Stuff happens, beginners fall. It's part of the process. Suppose the beginner is seriously injured. Suppose in deposition the beginner's - now plaintiff's - expert witness testifies that your instructor should have seen (name the balance problem of your choice) and taken such and such steps as any experienced instructor would have taken to avoid the injury-causing accident? Roughly 80% of horse related accidents result from falls from horses. Is it a problem that most beginners are taught by inexperienced, untrained instructors?

AAHS Instructor Certification

Certified instructors have successfully completed a 40-hour intensive training program. To qualify for the program, instructors must pass a basic mounted test that demonstrates the ability to perform at the walk, trot and lope/canter; changes of lead; halt; and back. Before full certification, those who have successfully completed a clinic must show proof of CPR/first-aid training.

Certificates are granted based on levels of achievement. Not all levels require experienced horsemanship. Attendance at a clinic is recommended for camp, ranch and stable administrative employees as well. AAHS believes that each program should have at least one permanent employee who has been through the safety training so that he or she can better evaluate seasonal employees. This person need not be a rider.

Types of Certifications

  • Safety-Certified Riding Instructor - Full

    Is able to teach the basics correctly to beginner through advanced riders. Is at least 21 years old.

  • Safety-Certified Riding Instructor—Basic

    Is able to teach the basics correctly to beginner and intermediate riders. Is at least 18 years old.

  • Safety-Certified Assistant Riding Instructor

    Must teach under the direct supervision of a Safety-Certified Riding Instructor. Must be at least 18 years old.

  • Equestrian Safety Supervisor

    Knows ground safety and has supervisory capabilities but not riding expertise. Is at least 18 years old.

  • Safety-Certified Trail Guide

    Is competent in pre-ride instruction, has superior judgment and has considerable cross-country riding experience and an understanding of the hazards of rough-terrain riding in various climates. Is at least 18 years old.

  • Safety Clinic Participant

    Has demonstrated an intense interest and respect for horsemanship safety by participating in a 40-hour clinic.

*In addition to participating in a 40-hour clinic and passing the written examination, a candidate must show current certification in CPR/first aid for full certification. Restricted certificates are awarded to candidates who have not shown CPR/first aid training; when evidence of such training is presented, full certificates are issued without additional charge.

Resources and Registration Information