Rider Level Program

English Equestrian Canada Learn to Ride Program

The Equestrian Canada (EC) Learn to Ride Programs are aimed at individuals who wish to become well-rounded horse people, who are able to care for and ride their horses in a correct and safe manner and wish to be recognized for doing so at a national level.

The English Learn to Ride program is divided into 10 successive levels, building on stable management and practical horse care skills, riding skills and abilities and equestrian knowledge that will help candidates enjoy horses and the sport in a safe and measurable way.

Knowledge, experience and skills are developed through lessons and clinics, with additional materials and information being found in EC Learn to Ride manuals and the Stable Management in Canada handbook. This program is designed to be administered by EC certified English instructors/coaches. These instructors/coaches have pursued certification through an accredited national program, and have been provided with additional training, manuals and guidelines on preparing and administering the Learn to Ride program.

Each Learn to Ride level is made up of a theoretical written test, a practical stable management component and a riding component. Jumping phases can be omitted at any level. For each successful level, candidates will receive a nationally recognized certificate and badge.

Join us today! This program is for everyone, whether your goal is to be a recreational, leisure or competitive rider! Work at your own pace and take all the time you need to build your skills and have fun with your equine partner!


How to take part in the Learn to Ride Program

1. Purchase your IHC Membership

2. Highly recommended to purchase the Learn to Ride English Manuals (available in levels 1-2, 3-5, and 6-8 manuals) and Stable Management in Canada handbook. Available to order via the IHC office or by emailing

3. Contact a current and certified English coach or instructor to begin preparation for your tests. Contact the IHC English Coaching Coordinator at for the most up-to-date coaching information.

4. When your instructor/coach feels you are ready, they can select and apply for a test date by filling out a Rider Level Host Application Form, as well as Candidate Application Form for each rider, and submitting it to the IHC office or English Coaching Coordinator. For the most up-to-date list of Evaluators in your area, please contact the English Coaching Coordinator.

5. Applications and fees must be submitted to IHC a minimum of two weeks before your proposed testing date. Once approved, evaluators will be contacted and you may proceed to testing.

  • Learn to Ride fees are $10 per level
  • If challenging more than one level at a time, it is a $20 fee

6. Testing day! Completed testing and marking sheets are submitted to IHC by the Evaluator.

  • Please review Learn to Ride Study Guide for written tests, and Rubrics for all other component requirements.
  • Jumping phases may be omitted at all levels and Flat Only certificates can be issued.

7. Your successful Learn to Ride certificate and badge will be mailed or delivered to you.

8. You can continue to work towards your next Learn to Ride level!

Please note: Learn to Ride Levels are self-paced and led by the rider and instructor/coach and do not require registration prior to beginning. It is up to the rider and instructor/coach to set up testing dates and locations and book evaluators. IHC does not regulate evaluator fees that are charged for their time, but it is recommended that they do not exceed the cost of a usual lesson fee of the same duration.

Start Your Program Today

Subsidized by IHC, we have learning manuals, coloring books, and achievement certificate packages available for purchase. How can you get your hands on one of these kits? Stop into the IHC office and get your own for the exceptionally low price of $5 (pricing available on in-stock items only), brought to you by IHC funding and support.

Equestrian Canada Certified Western Rider Program


Designed for individuals who wish to learn to care for and ride their horse in a safe and correct manner. The Learn to Ride Program is the basis for all Western Riding whether it be for recreation, trail, fun events or advancing to the various western show events.

Consists of 4 progressive Levels Rider 1 being the beginning level followed by 2,3, and 4, each one having emphasis on riding skills, horse care, health and feeding, stable management and safety.

Upon successful completion of a written, stable management and riding exam, riders are issued the Equestrian Canada Certificate and Badge for each Rider Level completed.

Rider Level 4 is required for those wishing to continue on to become an Equestrian Canada Certified Western Instructor.



Basic Training

Upon completion of Rider Level 4, riders may continue on to Basic Training which is a continuation of the Learn To Ride Program at a more advance level, covering Stable Management, Horse Handling and Riding Skills. Equestrian Canada Certificates issued upon completion.

Basic Training is required for those wishing to continue on to become an Equestrian Canada Certified Western Competition Coach.



This program introduces riders who have an interest in Western Competition Events and may wish to begin to participate in Western Horse Shows.

Upon completion of Basic Training riders may continue on to events, an Equestrian Canada Certificate is presented upon completion of each event. Riders may choose any or all of the events they wish to complete consisting of: Showmanship, Horsemanship, Trail, Western Pleasure, Western Riding, Reining, Speed Events Barrels and Poles.


The Western Rider Program is taught and examined by Equestrian Canada certified instructors and coaches.

See a list of Western coaches.

Manuals for the Learn to Ride Program can be purchased at the Island Horse Council Office, Sport P.E.I., Enman Crescent, Charlottetown. Office hours Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday 9-4.

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