Rookie Rider Program

No riding experience required!

Equestrian Canada Rookie Rider Program 



Rookie Riders is a program to introduce children (ages 6- 12) who have never ridden before to experience the joy of equestrian sport in a dynamic, fun-filled program.

Rookie Riders is specifically designed to teach all the skills necessary to safely mount and dismount a horse…before being introduced to a horse for the first time!  Much of the curriculum may be taught in after school programs in your community halls and schools.

Leading edge curriculum designed collaboratively with experts in both physical literacy and equestrian development includes:

  • Horse inspired activities and games
  • Ground-based skills
  • A “barrel horse”
  • A series of  systematic, progressive lessons
  • The progression goes from ground-based skills, to mounted skills, to mounted skills on a horse. The program uses a combination of barrel and ground-based activities and games as an introduction to riding.
  • Prepares riders for their first mounted lessons before ever stepping foot in a barn.
  • An appropriate progression that starts riders on their way to completing Equestrian Canada’sLearn to Ride Program” – English or Western Level 1.

Participants Learn About


  • Learn about horses and how to safely interact with them.

Fundamental Movement Skills

  • Develop Fundamental Movement Skills (FMS) necessary for riding by engaging students physically, mentally, and emotionally in individual and group activities.

Fundamental Sport Skills

    • Learn to safely mount and dismount.
    • Develop ability to maintain a balanced and relaxed position with proper posture while mounted.
    • Become comfortable changing into a variety of positions and holds while mounted.
    • Develop a foundation towards Equestrian Canada Learn to Ride – English or Western Level 1 Test.

Designed with flexibility in mind;KidsZone … Physical Education/Recreation … Riding Facilities … Camps

  • Designed to be delivered to large groups of children
  • Intended to be flexible in its delivery
  • Can be customized to meet needs of specific groups

Instructors and facilities may tailor the program to meet needs of the students or facility but are encouraged to follow the general skill progression presented in sample lesson plans.

Get Involved

To learn more about taking the training, hosting the Rookie Riders in your facility or to find a program near you, please contact your Provincial/Territorial Equestrian Organization or submit an information request using this form: coming soon