Certification Programs


Certification is a credentialing process that includes training and formal evaluation through independent assessment of coaching competencies and ongoing professional development requirements by a verified provider.

Equestrian Canada (EC) Certification Program

National Coaching Certification Program (NCCP)

As the National Coaching Certification Program (NCCP) partner for equestrian sport and activity, EC is responsible for leading program development, establishing minimum standards and ensuring consistent and effective delivery across Canada in partnership with the Provincial/Territory Sport Offices (PTSO) - For Saskatchewan this would be the Saskatchewan Horse Federation.

The SHF Guide to Certification can be found here 

Full details on EC's NCCP can be found in the Coaching Operations Guide


At the beginning of 2021 the EC Coach Status Program was launched.

The purpose of the Coach Status Program is to enable the effective management of coaching related activities within the equestrian industry. Through the provision of a licensing program, EC and its PTSO partners can clearly identify those who have been appropriately screened, met required training and certification requirements and are committed to upholding a series of shared ethical standards.

 Those individuals wanting to evaluate for EC/NCCP coaching certification must purchase and complete the requirements to be approved for a Coach Status prior to being evaluated for certification.

 Click here for Coach Status Information 

To Open an SHF Coaching File please complete and submit the forms below

Coach Declaration of Interest

SHF Privacy Form

Risk Waiver Age 18 and Over

Risk Waiver Age Under 18

Equestrian Coach Education & Certification Overview

The National Equestrian Coaching Program is designed and governed by Equestrian Canada, in partnership with and guided by the principles set out by the Coaches Association of Canada (CAC) and the National Coach Certification Program (NCCP). It is the SHF’s job to administer the National Equestrian Coaching Program in Saskatchewan. So before you read about the details of certification and training, here’s a bit of background. Sport Organizations across Canada and around the world have invested resources into understanding the value and importance of sport and recreation in our lives. From this, we know that participation keeps us happy and healthy. It is important for human development from a very young age where we develop physical literacy right through to our senior years as we strive to maintain an active and healthy lifestyle. Participation in sport gives us the confidence to tackle life’s opportunities and challenges. From this broader understanding the Long Term Athlete Development (LTAD) model was created. This model recognizes that there is an ideal way to begin, progress for recreation or excellence, and enjoy physical activity throughout our life. If you want more information about LTAD, we’d refer you to the Canadian Sport 4 Life website (canadiansportforlife.ca) where you can browse or find detailed information on the LTAD model. You’re probably reading this document because you are a coach, want to be a certified coach or you are a parent or rider interested in learning about coaching in your sport, so read on! If you have any questions or would like to talk to us in person you can reach us at [email protected] or call 306-780-9490

What Is Long Term Athlete Development?

Science, research and decades of experience all point to the same thing: kids and adults will get active, stay active, and even reach the greatest heights of sport achievement if they do the right things at the right times. This is the logic behind the LTAD model. Equestrian sport identifies six stages within the basic LTAD model:

  • FUNdamentals and Active Start
  • Learning and Training to Ride
  • Learning and Training to Compete
  • Learning and Training to Win
  • Living to Win
  • Active for Life

The initial stages develop physical literacy before puberty, so children have the basic skills to be active for life. Physical literacy also provides the foundation for those who choose to pursue elite training in one sport or activity after age 12. The competitive stages provide elite training for those who want to specialize in one sport and compete at the highest level, maximizing the physical, mental and emotional development of each athlete. Active for Life is about staying active through lifelong participation in competitive or recreational sport or physical activity.

The SHF has developed its own Long Term Equestrian Development Model as a blueprint for building the best sport system possible. To Learn more about the SHF LTED click here

What Does LTAD Have to Do with Coaching?

When you were a kid, what was your experience with sport? When you participated in Physical Education classes, team sports, swimming lessons, or dance classes – was it fun? Did you learn skills? And did it make you want to keep playing? Canadian Sport for Life (CS4L) is a movement to make sport and physical activity better, so more Canadians will get quality training, more will continue participating, and more will reach the medals podium. LTAD is the CS4L pathway for developing top-rank athletes and increasing overall participation in sport and physical activity. It includes guidelines for training, competition and recovery based on principles of human development and maturation. LTAD considers the best interests of the athlete. LTAD is built on sport science and best practices in coaching from around the world, and it follows 10 Key Factors that influence how athletes train and compete effectively. Coaches stand at the forefront of delivering programs that respect the principles and science of LTAD.

Excerpts from Canadian Sport 4 Life website, March 2016

What Does it Mean to be a Certified Equestrian Coach?

Canada’s equestrians, both new and experienced, are looking for direction and guidance that can be found through a mentor or coach. These individuals play a role that brings together the love of a sport with skill and learning. As with many sports, the coaches who impart information and help develop the skills that set athletes up for success also need to be cultivated and developed. Saskatchewan Horse Federation (SHF) is the partner to help develop your coaching skills. SHF administers a program recognized by, and in partnership with, the National Coaching Certification Program (NCCP), the Coaching Association of Canada (CAC) and Equestrian Canada (EC). The Coaching Program covers both English and Western disciplines. The Coaching Program is formatted to develop skills of safety, planning, encouragement, equestrian knowledge and technical competency.

What is the Coaching Program?

The Coaching Program offers SHF members a chance to be recognized by the governing organizations within the equestrian community, as well as add accreditation to their own facilities. The National Coaching Certification Program (NCCP) is a government initiated program designed to give the public knowledgeable and qualified instructors and coaches at every level of all sports. The certification process is available in four different levels: Instructor, Competition Coach, Competition Coach Specialist and High Performance Coach. Specialization within disciplines is introduced at the Competition Coach Specialist level. You do not need to take one before you take another; they are independent and should be taken according to the student base you are teaching. Whether you are interested in coaching beginners or have a passion for the competitive world, there is a coaching level suited to you. Over time, you may find your focus changes or expands, at which point we would encourage you to explore a new level of certification appropriate to your clientele. This guide will walk you through the requirements and process to be educated and certified at each of the levels of coaching offered in Canada.

Why be Certified?

Certification demonstrates that the individual is professional and accountable, able to adhere to the established standards of ethics and the EC Code of Conduct. A career in coaching takes great mentors, practice, education and time. As with any other professions, coaches work in a world that is constantly evolving and progressing. Equestrian coaching requires diligence to safety and an understanding of the learning needs of your students. Through the Coaching Program, candidates are certified to have proven strengths and education in all areas. Courses available to candidates continue to reinforce good practice techniques and give coaches the opportunity to connect with peers and mentors to learn new techniques and exercises. As a certified coach, recognition of achieving a standard of coaching skills provides potential clients with a measure of your skills, rather than just relying on word of mouth. Continuing education and required professional development assure clients of your commitment to stay current in the sport. Independent insurance companies also provide discounts for farm and facility insurance to certified active coaches. Remember: Not being certified doesn’t mean you are not a good coach, it means a client or parent doesn’t KNOW if you have had any formal training and uncertified coaches are not bound by the national Code of Conduct or Code of Ethics, nor have they completed a screening process.


The first step in deciding on a level of certification to work towards is to determine “Who is my clientele?” The Instructor of Beginner focuses on a non-competitive or recreational rider, specializing in teaching equestrians who enjoy their horses outside of a competitive context. This program is focused on those who wish to take on the instruction of children and adults learning to ride, establishing foundational riding skills with an eye on safety. Instructor of Beginners is available for English and Western disciplines. 



Additional disciplines including Driving and Saddle Seat are in development with Equestrian Canada, but are not yet available for coach certification in Saskatchewan.


Competition Coach

The Competition Coach focuses on those who are interested in coaching riders in a competitive environment. This certification targets individuals developing equestrian skills in riders of all ages who wish to compete at regional or provincial competitions (Equestrian Canada Bronze or Silver level). In order to become certified as a Competition Coach or Competition Coach Specialist, more advanced skills are required in the development of a competitive training program, performance analysis and mental preparation for competition. Competition Coach Certification is available in English and Western disciplines.




Competition Coach Specialist

The Competition Coach Specialist focuses on riders who are training to compete; the higher the level of the rider, the more discipline specific the coach will be. Coaches certified at this level are certified within a specific English or Western discipline. This certification will allow a coach to continue to reinforce basic skills, horsemanship and safety, but will also advance a rider to the Silver or Gold level of competition. This coach should be able to evaluate the horse, its suitability for a student, oversee stable management and operations and have experience training horses for the competition world. Beyond the Competition Coaching level, this level requires a working knowledge of the Equestrian Canada competition rules for the level and discipline they’re teaching. The Competition Coach Specialist certification is currently available for English disciplines (Dressage, Hunter/Jumper, Eventing) and Western disciplines (Reining, Speed Events, General Performance.). **There is an application/portfolio that must be completed for this level of certification; for more information or to request an application contact the SHF Office by emailing [email protected] or call 306-780-9490




High Performance (Administered Entirely by Equestrian Canada)

The High Performance Coach program is designed for those working with riders looking to succeed at the national championship level or toward Junior/Young Rider FEI or similar international level competition. Certification is currently available for English disciplines of Dressage, Jumper, Eventing and the Western discipline of Reining. Coaches who meet the application criteria are invited to apply to Equestrian Canada whether they have been certified in the past or not. While it is a prerequisite for applicants to document their personal athletic performance in their discipline, riding is no longer a component of the evaluation process. Information on this program is available on the Equestrian Canada website at http://equestrian.ca and searching for High Performance Coach Certification.

Register as a Candidate

Once you have determined the coaching stream that suits you and your skills, the first step is to contact Saskatchewan Horse Federation at [email protected] to register as a coach candidate. We will then send you a detailed information package, which includes a Coach File Declaration form that must be completed and returned. Once we receive your Coach Declaration Form, we will set up an SHF coaching file to track your progress toward certification. There is no fee to open a coach file, and no timeline for you to complete your certification. Whether you plan to move toward evaluation as quickly as possible, or years down the road, putting your name forward as a coach candidate will allow us to notify you of clinics, workshops, and evaluations being scheduled, at your desired level and in your discipline. Before completing your first NCCP training or submitting any of your evaluation prerequisites, you will set up a National Coach Certification Program (NCCP) electronic profile for yourself in a system called “The Locker” where you will be assigned an NCCP number. Any further NCCP activities you complete will be added to your NCCP profile. Your NCCP profile will track all of your NCCP coach training, including training you may do in other sports and/or other provinces across Canada.


Mentoring with an already certified instructor/coach who is familiar with the NCCP and evaluation requirements can help prepare candidates for what to expect come evaluation time.  Mentors can help guide you through the rubrics and other preparatory materials for evaluations as well as spend time with candidates working on analyzing performance as set out in the evaluation requirements. At this current time there is no formal mentoring program or requirements in place, however, this step is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED to candidates looking for successful outcome come evaluation time.


To give prospective coaches the best opportunity to succeed at seeking and acquiring EC/NCCP certification. The SHF is proud to partner with and promote training offered through Coaching Association of Canada (CAC) through the NCCP Locker, Coaching Association of Saskatchewan (CAS), Equestrian Canada - ECampus, and Respect in Sport through the Respect Group. As well the SHF hosts coach development opportunities such as a bi-annual coaching symposium.

 Required Courses

All levels of coach certification require that you complete the following courses and online evaluations:

Concussion Training

NCCP Making Head Way in Sport (Locker)

This multi-sport NCCP course has been designed to help coaches gain the knowledge and skills required to ensure the safety of their athletes, including recognizing and managing concussions. Participants will learn to identify, assess and determine appropriate care and return-to-play guidelines for concussions in sport athletes.

 And / Or

EC Concussion Awareness (ECampus)

This sport specific course is designed to help equestrian coaches, athletes, parents officials and event organizers become more knowledgeable about the four R's of concussion management.

RECOGNIZE: the signs and symptoms of concussion

REMOVE: when to remove an athlete from training or competition

REFER: when to refer the athlete to a licensed healthcare professional

RETURN: how to manage and support an athlete in their return to school, training and competition based on the recommendations of a medical expert using Equestrian Canada's return to sport guidelines

 Ethics Training

NCCP Making Ethical Decisions (MED) Online Evaluation (Locker)

Learn how to identify legal, moral and ethical implications to challenging coaching situations. After completing the training/evaluation you will be able to apply the NCCP Ethical Decision-Making Model to properly respond to situations in a way that is consistent with the NCCP Code of Ethics.

There is an MED course you may choose to take before completing the online evaluation. If you take the training you will give yourself the best preparation to successfully complete the online evaluation; as well the online evaluation is free when you take the training. If you wish however you may bypass the MED training and go straight to the online evaluation (which will cost $85.00, and you have two attempts to pass).


EC Fostering Healthy Equestrian Environments (ECampus)

This course is designed to help equestrian coaches, trainers, officials and sport leaders learn how to create and support a safe and respectful environment for all participants. The course addresses topics related to harassment, abuse and discrimination, and helps you understand how to respond appropriately and effectively.


Respect in Sport for Activity Leaders (Respect Group)

*This is a Sask Sport required training course for all SK Coaches

The Respect in Sport Activity Leader/Coach Program educates youth leaders, coaches, officials and participants (14-years and up) to recognize, understand and respond to issues of bullying, abuse, harassment and discrimination.

Additional Training

At every level of coaching certification there are several opportunities for training through The Coaching Association of Canada (Locker), Equestrian Canada (ECampus), Coaching Association of Saskatchewan and Saskatchewan Horse Federation. Multi-sport and sport specific training is highly recommended for preparation and will improve your skills as a coach evaluation candidate. Some training is gear towards a certain coaching level (*Please note the recommended for), but all training is beneficial to overall coaching skills and abilities.

Evaluation Preparation Clinic (SHF / PTSO) *Recommended for All Coaching Contexts

Offered through SHF, this clinic is designed to walk candidates through the required elements of the evaluation process at either the Instructor, Competition Coach or Competition Coach Specialist level of certification. The clinic provides opportunities for questions, lesson teaching and feedback to help prepare for your evaluation with a mentor coach/evaluator.

NCCP Making Ethical Decisions (CAS) *Recommended for All Coaching Contexts

By successfully completing the NCCP Make Ethical Decisions training, coaches will be fully equipped to handle ethical situations with confidence and surety. The training helps coaches identify the legal, ethical, and moral implications of difficult situations that present themselves in the world of team and individual sport.

The NCCP Make Ethical Decisions module is a cornerstone of the NCCP and leaves coaches with no doubt as to what to do in challenging situations. The module equips coaches to handle challenging ethical situations with confidence and surety. It helps coaches identify the legal, ethical, and moral implications of difficult situations that present themselves in team and individual sports.

After completing the NCCP Make Ethical Decisions module, you will be able to:

  • analyze a challenging situation to determine its moral, legal, or ethical implications; and
  • apply the NCCP Ethical Decision-Making Model to properly respond to situations in a way that is consistent with the NCCP Code of Ethics.

After you have taken the module, you can access the NCCP Make Ethical Decisions online evaluation free through the Locker. Successful completion of the evaluation is necessary for coach certification in any NCCP program.

EC/NCCP Long-Term Equestrian Development (ECampus) *Recommended for All Coaching Contexts

This module will provide participants with an explanation and exploration of ‘What is LTED’ and where both athletes and coaches fit.  Participants will understand that the LTED Framework defines optimal training, competition, and recovery programs based on biological age rather than chronological age, therefore based on human growth and development principles.  Along with encouraging an athlete-centered approach to equestrian development, athletes with a disability will see how they can achieve success and enjoyment in the sport.  There will be discussions surrounding optimal windows of trainability and training vs growth and development, training vs competition, and recommended competition to training ratios and development stages.

NCCP Coach Initiation in Sport (CAC Locker / ECampus) *Recommended for All Coaching Contexts

Coach Initiation in Sport is an online NCCP module developed to introduce new or experienced coaches to the foundational skills in coaching, such as: long-term athlete development, ethics, coaching motivation, and athlete safety and wellness. The Coach Initiation in Sport module will also introduce coaches to the NCCP, a valuable tool for preparing a coach’s first in-person NCCP workshop. The Coach Initiation in Sport online module is designed as an important introduction to the key coaching concepts and educational tools that are the foundation of the NCCP. The module remains an excellent informational resource for coaches which they can revisit at any time after successful completion of the module.

NCCP Coaching and Leading Effectively (ECampus / CAS) *Recommended for All Coaching Contexts

Coaching and Leading Effectively is designed to help coaches learn how to take leadership action to improve the conditions that support athlete performance.

Upon completion, you will be able to:

  • Promote and model a positive image of sport
  • Deliver clear messages and explanations when communicating with athletes and their supporters
  • Identify opportunities to interact with all athletes and use feedback to improve and correct performance and behavior

 NCCP Develop Athletic Abilities (CAS) *Recommended for All Coaching Contexts

After completing the NCCP Developing Athletic Abilities module, you will be able to:

  • identify athletic abilities required in your athletes’ sport;
  • evaluate athletes’ abilities and interpret data to prescribe training;
  • understand training principles, methods, and protocols; and
  • develop and prescribe training protocols specific to your athletes’ age and state of development.

NCCP Basic Mental Skills (CAS) *Recommended for All Coaching Contexts

After completing the NCCP Basic Mental Skills module, you will be able to:

  • recognize signs that an athlete may need to improve his or her goal setting, focus, and anxiety control skills; and develop tools to help the athlete to make improvements in these areas; and
  • run simple guided activities that help athletes improve basic mental skills.

NCCP Coaching Athletes with a Disability (CAC Locker / ECampus) *Recommended for All Coaching Contexts

Coaching Athletes with a Disability is a National Coaching Certification Program (NCCP) eLearning module that provides coaches the knowledge to deliver quality, positive sport experiences for athletes, specifically with behavioral, intellectual, physical, and sensory disabilities.

Coaching Athletes with a Disability NCCP training will provide coaches the ability to:

  • Explain the benefits of sport participation for persons with a disability;
  • Communicate effectively and respectfully with, and regards to, persons with a disability;
  • Design positive, safe, and inclusive sport experiences for persons with a disability; and
  • Consider next steps in their professional development related to coaching persons with a disability.

 NCCP Managing Conflict (ECampus / CAS) *Recommended for All Coaching Contexts

After completing the NCCP Managing Conflict module, you will be able to:

  • identify common sources of conflict in sport;
  • determine which individuals or groups are most likely to find themselves in situations involving conflict;
  • prevent and solve conflict resulting from misinformation, miscommunication, or misunderstandings; and
  • listen and speak effectively in conflict situations while maintaining positive relationships with athletes, parents, officials, and other coaches.

NCCP Mental Health in Sport (CAC Locker / ECampus) *Recommended for All Coaching Contexts

Mental health impacts the quality of life and performance of both sport participants and coaches. The Coaching Association of Canada’s Mental Health in Sport eLearning module was developed to educate coaches about mental health to empower them to effectively play a role in supporting the well-being of the participants in their sport program, while also supporting their own mental health.

Sport is linked to a range of positive outcomes, including improved mental health and well-being. Coaches have a great deal of influence over participants’ mental health.

After completing the Mental Health in Sport eLearning module, you will be able to:

  • Describe the foundations of mental health
  • Recognize and understand your role in promoting coach and participant well-being
  • Understand the importance of self-care

NCCP Sport Nutrition (CAC Locker / ECampus) *Recommended for All Coaching Contexts

Good nutrition is important for both athletic performance and maintaining a healthy lifestyle outside of sport. By helping their participants make good nutrition choices, coaches not only empower them to perform their best, but they also help them to establish positive dietary habits that can last a lifetime.

The National Coaching Certification Program (NCCP) Sport Nutrition module provides coaches with education about basic sport nutrition principles. This eLearning module will provide an understanding of how to support athletes and their parents or caregivers to make effective nutrition choices.

After completing NCCP Sport Nutrition, coaches will be able to:

  • Explain the basic nutritional needs of an athlete.
  • Take appropriate measures to ensure that athletes stay hydrated during exercise.
  • Educate athletes on the use of nutritional supplements and sports drinks.
  • Encourage a positive body image in athletes.
  • Identify the different types of disordered eating.
  • Support athletes with special nutritional needs.
  • Identify common food allergies and intolerances.
  • Provide accurate guidance to athletes and their parents or caregivers on nutrition before, during and after exercise.
  • Provide accurate nutritional guidance to athletes and their parents or caregivers before and during travel.

NCCP Leading Drug-Free Sport (CAS) *Recommended for All Coaching Contexts

After taking the NCCP Leading Drug-Free Sport module, you will be able to:

  • understand and explain the consequences of using banned substances in sport;
  • educate athletes about drug-testing protocols at major competitions;
  • encourage athletes to safeguard their sport values and take greater responsibility for their personal actions; and
  • apply the NCCP Ethical Decision-Making Model to your coaching as it relates to keeping your sport and athletes drug-free.

NCCP Teaching and Learning (ECampus / CAS) *Recommended for Instructor

Teaching and Learning (Multisport) is designed to help coaches optimize student learning by implementing effective teaching methods and tools into lessons.

Upon completion, you will be able to:

  • Assess your own beliefs regarding effective teaching
  • Analyze certain coaching situations to determine if they promote learning
  • Create conditions that promote learning and self-esteem

EC/NCCP Plan a Practice (ECampus / CAS) *Recommended for Instructor

*Available as sport specific module in the ECampus or Multi-Sport through CAS

Plan an Equestrian Practice helps coaches develop the skills needed to plan a practice (lesson) that meets the standard of the National Coaching Certification Program (NCCP) and to develop an Emergency Action Plan.

Plan an Equestrian Practice will give you the skills to:

  • Organize a well-structured practice (lesson) plan with safe, age-appropriate activities you've designed to match the proficiency level of participants
  • Identify potential risk factors that could impact the sport and practice activities
  • Create an Emergency Action Plan (EAP)
  • Identify practice goals and design activities that offer the best training benefits for the athletic skills required in your sport

EC/NCCP Analyzing Beginner Equestrian Performance (SHF / PTSO) *Recommended for Instructor

Identifying common equitation faults and their effect. Applying exercises to correct those equitation faults and improve general equitation in students is covered in this module.

EC/NCCP Design an Equestrian/Basic Sport Program (ECampus / CAS) *Recommended for Competition Coach

The Design an Equestrian Sport Program teaches Competition Coaches how to design a basic sport program.  

Design an Equestrian Sport Program includes:

  • Gathering the information to build your program
  • Knowing and analyzing your program
  • Developing the Yearly Training, Competition & Recovery Plan
  • Linking sport programs and practice sessions in this ever-changing Sport Environment

 Upon completion, you will be able to:

  • Outline a program structure based on available training and competition opportunities
  • Identify program measures to promote rider/horse development
  • Develop practice plans that integrate seasonal training priorities

EC/NCCP Manage a Sport Program (CAS) *Recommended for Competition Coach- Part of Competition Coach Workshop OR Multi-Sport

As coaches begin to take on more responsibility, they are expected to plan and execute tasks that extend beyond the delivery of daily training and the management of the daily training environment.

The NCCP Manage a Sport Program module provides coaches with the opportunity to plan and interact with program budgeting, setting staff and team expectations, arranging team travel, building athlete agreements, and reporting on athlete/team progress.

This module is perfect for any club head coach, provincial team coach, aspiring team manager, or technical administrator.

After completing the NCCP Manage a Sport Program, you will be able to:

  • manage administrative aspects of the program and oversee logistics;
  • manage staff roles and responsibilities;
  • manage camp and tournament finances and travel, and;
  • report on athlete progress throughout the program.

EC/NCCP Training Mental Skills for Equestrian Sport (SHF / PTSO) *Recommended for Competition Coach- Part of Competition Coach Workshop

NCCP Performance Planning (CAS) *Recommended for Competition Coach

The NCCP Performance Planning module allows coaches to reflect on the structure of a yearly plan and appropriately sequence training and development priorities so as to achieve peak performance in their athletes.

This module is an ideal follow-up to the NCCP Design a Basic Sport Program module. It is recommended that coaches take both the NCCP Design a Basic Sport Program and the NCCP Developing Athletic Abilities modules before taking the NCCP Performance Planning module.

After completing the NCCP Performance Planning module, you will be able to:

  • perform a thorough analysis of the demands of your athletes’ sport at the elite (high performance) level;
  • outline a program structure based on training and competition opportunities;
  • identify appropriate measures for promoting athlete development within our own program;
  • integrate yearly training priorities into your own program;
  • organize and sequence training priorities and objectives on a weekly basis to optimize adaptations; and
  • evaluate the ability of your athletes or team to perform up to their potential in competition.

NCCP Psychology of Performance (ECampus / CAS) *Recommended for Competition Coach

The Psychology of Performance (Multisport) is designed to help coaches work with competitive athletes on more in-depth mental training techniques.  

Upon completion of this training, you will be able to:

  • Help athletes learn to manage distractions and use visualization techniques to prepare themselves technically and tactically for training and competition
  • Work with athletes or teams to identify performance and process goals related to their ability to focus on performance
  • Use debriefing skills to help athletes assess their performance in both training and competition

EC/NCCP Competition Coach Analyzing Performance Clinic (SHF / PTSO) *Recommended for Competition Coach

Offered in the English disciplines, this clinic offers candidates an opportunity to work with coaches and evaluators to learn to analyze student performance and develop effective techniques for communicating with athletes to provide feedback.

NCCP Advance Practice Planning (CAS) *Recommended for Competition Coach Specialist

For individual training sessions to effectively contribute to the overall objectives of an annual training plan, a coach must understand the outcome of each training session and how their cumulative effects will contribute to athletic development.

The NCCP Advanced Practice Planning module examines the impact of daily training sequencing, and the manipulations that can affect training outcomes.

This module is an ideal follow-up to NCCP Planning a Practice. Coaches are advised to take the NCCP Performance Planning module before taking NCCP Advanced Practice Planning.

After completing the NCCP Advanced Practice Planning module, you will be able to:

  • identify the factors that affect practice planning;
  • ensure that practice plans are consistent with the microcycles and phases of which they are part;
  • sequence exercises in a practice so that their order is consistent with the research on sequencing;
  • develop a plan for training athletic abilities over a microcycle;
  • develop a plan for training technical and tactical abilities over a microcycle; and
  • develop a plan for a microcycle that helps athletes taper before a competition.

NCCP Prevention and Recovery (CAS) *Recommended for Competition Coach Specialist

After completing the NCCP Prevention and Recovery module, you will be able to:

  • identify common injuries in your sport and develop appropriate prevention and recovery strategies to keep your athletes injury-free during training and competition;
  • offer valuable information and guidance on hydration, nutrition, and sleep as they relate to injury prevention;
  • choose skills and drills that help athletes perform appropriate warm-ups and cool-downs;
  • develop functional evaluations for an athlete’s return to play; and
  • implement recovery and regeneration techniques to help an athlete maintain or return to optimal performance post-injury.

Book an Evaluation

Once you have completed all required documents and training; you are ready to book your evaluation. You can review the events calendar on the SHF website to see a list of all of the upcoming evaluation days scheduled. If you find a scheduled evaluation that works for you, you’ll find the application form in the information package you received when you registered.

The application form will require you to check off all of the prerequisites, so you can be sure you’re ready to go forward. If you don’t see an evaluation day in the event calendar that works for you, request to be put on our Evaluation waiting list. After we plan an evaluation for your discipline and level of certification, we’ll be in touch with you to help you get registered and prepared to evaluate.

The RUBRIC – A Power Evaluation Preparedness Tool

 What is a Rubric?

A rubric is an evaluation tool or set of guidelines used to promote the consistent application of learning objectives and performance standards which are measured against a prescribed set of criteria and evidence. There is a specific Rubric created for each level of certification and for each discipline. You are strongly encouraged to mentor with a current certified  coach to fully understand the expectations documented in the Rubric in preparation for an evaluation.

Click on each type of certifications below to view the rubric:

English Instructor Rubric

English Instructor Jump Component Rubric

Western Instructor Rubric

Drive Instructor Rubric

English Competition Coach Rubric (Jumping portion optional)

Western Competition Coach Rubric

English Competition Coach Specialist Rubric

Western Competition Coach Specialist Rubric

Evaluation Day


Evaluations are typically conducted with up to four people at a time and run for approximately eight hours (including your lessons, written test and interview/debrief). Ensure you come prepared with your lunch, water and snacks, as well as any equipment you may need to complete your testing, including pens and pencils.

Please remember the following:

  • You are not required to ride but should present yourself as you would as a professional coach or instructor
  • You will be notified of the location of the host facility and are welcome to arrange a visit in advance
  • The host facility will provide the demonstration horses and riders for you to teach (except for Competition Coach Specialist lessons where you teach one of your own students), along with basic standards and poles for a jumping lesson (if applicable).
  • It is your responsibility to bring any other equipment you require (cones, lunging whip and line, side reins, equine first aid kit, etc.)
  • Please bring two copies of all of your lesson plans (topics assigned by evaluators prior to evaluation), emergency action plans and training plans, if they are required.

 Depending on the type of certification you are seeking to be evaluated for; you will need to prepare and submit certain documents for review/approval by the Evaluator prior to attending your in-person evaluation. You can find out more about the required submission documents for each type of certification in the SHF Guide to Certification:

On the day of the in person evaluation, you will be teaching lessons and performing specific tasks based on the type of certification you are evaluating for. More information on the lessons and tasks required for each certification can be found in the SHF Guide to Certification

At the conclusion of evaluation day, you will be advised which components of the evaluation you passed and which, if any, you must redo. You MUST pass all components of the evaluation to be certified. Only portions not completed successfully will need to be reattempted. Keep in mind that failure to address ANY safety issue during any portion of the evaluation will result in an automatic failure of that module.


Equestrian Canada is introducing a video evaluation process at the English and Western Competition Coach and Competition Coach Specialist Level of Certification. Currently the SHF does not have Coach Evaluators trained to perform video evaluation. There are currently two provinces that are able to conduct video evaluations (Horse Council British Columbia (HCBC) and Alberta Equestrian Federation (AEF)). If a Saskatchewan evaluation candidate is interested in pursuing a video evaluation; the SHF will help facilitate this process with the candidate. Here are the Guidelines for Video Evaluation:

 Submission Procedure

  • There is no specific application date for submission of video evaluations. The window for submissions is from February 1 to December 1 of the current year.
  • All requirements, prerequisites, lesson content, and topics are the same as those required for an “in person” evaluation.
  • All documents must be uploaded in .pdf format and be one file per requirement, ie: all pages of the Emergency Action Plan should in one .pdf file. Photos of forms and jpegs are not accepted. If the candidate is creating a .pdf file from a hand-written document it must be full size (8 X10) clear, straight and easy to read without magnification.
  • The application fee must be included with the application submitted. The application fee is the same amount as an in-person evaluation.
  • The candidate will send all documents, lesson plans and EAP’s to SHF who will forward the candidates documents to the province administering the video evaluation.
  • Once the application has been checked to be complete, the lesson plans and emergency action plans will be sent for marking and critique by the evaluator. The candidate may be given feedback with which to improve their lesson plans or EAP if required.
  • Competition Coach Specialist candidates will submit their portfolio’s and Yearly Training Plans. Once the submission has been marked and critiqued, the candidate will be contacted and asked to submit their video lessons on memory sticks.
  • All accepted evaluation videos received complete with all requirements will be sent to an appropriately identified Equestrian Canada evaluator(s) for evaluation.
  • The videos submitted must have been filmed specifically for the purposes of this evaluation.
  • The video material will become the property of the PTSO administering the video evaluation and will not be returned to the candidate. By submitting a video evaluation, the candidate agrees that the video may be used for Coach and Evaluator training purposes after they are evaluated.
  • Two copies of the video must be sent to SHF, on 2 separate memory sticks. Each stick should have all of the lessons being taught and each be identical. Please make sure that the video is in a format that will be viewable on any computer. Candidates may also submit their video via a link to a YouTube channel.
  • Results will take from 4 -8 weeks depending on availability of evaluators.

To enquire about video evaluation, please contact [email protected]


Once you achieve coaching certification, all Equestrian Canada/NCCP coaches must maintain the following to be current:

  • EC Sport License - Renewed Annually at MyEC
  • EC Coach Status - Renewed Annually at MyEC *Holding a Coach Status is being introduced as a requirement to coach at EC Sanctioned Competition. Certified Coaches who perform Learn to Ride Level Testing or who are trained as a Coach Developer must hold Licensed Coach Status.
  • Maintain current Standard First Aid - Renew every 3 years
  • Maintain current Criminal Record Check - Renew every 3 years
  • Attend and report Professional Development (PD) Activities to earn required PD Points in a 5 year cycle

Grants & Training Opportunities

The SHF is proud to offer and administer a Coaching Assistance Grant.

The purpose of this grant is to assist those individuals actively seeking accreditation in the Coaching Certification Program of equestrian coaching to attend upgrading sessions not available in Saskatchewan. Successful applicants must demonstrate that such courses will benefit the equestrian community as a whole and be prepared to assist the SHF with activities within the province if called upon to do so. Preference will be given to those applicants aligning with National Coaching Certification Program NCCP Stream. Individuals must submit proof that they have successfully completed “Respect in Sport for Activity Leaders” online training. To find out more visit /individual-grants

 The Coaches Association of Saskatchewan (CAS) is an excellent resource for province-wide NCCP training opportunities. Although the focus of the CAS involves all sports, there are valuable lessons to be learned from working and training alongside coaches from other sports. The CAS also offers Coaching Grants. Find out more information at https://saskcoach.ca/programs-grants/grant-applications/