An addendum has been issued by Canada Equestrian to comply with the Animal Welfare Regulations in the Learn to Ride Program textbooks and the Stable Management Manual. Make sure to download the following link to include the addendum in your manuals.


What is the Western Rider Program?

This program has been developed for those individuals who wish to learn safe horsemanship skills and practices on a national standard under the guidance of a Certified Western Coach/Instructor. The purpose of this program is to provide a systematic process for new riders to enable a safe and knowledgeable introduction to Western riding. The manual has been designed to be delivered by a Certified Western Coach/Instructor and is intended to be a learning aid.


As a prerequisite to Instructor/Coach Certification:
  • Candidates who wish to attain their Instructor Certification must successfully complete levels 1-4
  • Candidates who wish to attain their Coach certification will be required to complete levels 1-4 and the Basic Training Component of the Intermediate Rider program and may be required to complete other components as seen fit depending on the level of coaching they wish to attain.


What is expected from each level?


Rider Level 1

Candidates will be taught:
  • Place and adjust a halter and tie the horse
  • Demonstrate proper grooming
  • Demonstrate proper horse handling on the ground
  • Saddle and bridle correctly
  • Mount and dismount in an acceptable manner
  • Maintain an acceptable position of: a.)The body, b.) The legs, c.) The hands
  • At the 3 gaits: walk, jog, lope
  • Demonstrate the proper aids for the three gaits and recognition of leads
  • Demonstrate properly the elementary method of stopping and backing up
  • Demonstrate and explain the rein effects of the direct and opening rein

Rider Level 2

Candidates will be taught how to:
  • The proper riding position with the use of one hand and two handed positions
  • How to post on the correct diagonal and change diagonals
  • Maintain a proper riding position of the: a) Body b) Legs c) Hands
  • Variations of speed at the lope
  • Execute transitions of the gaits
  • Name and demonstrate the effects of the indirect rein and the neck rein
  • Be able to identify the correct lead (within 5-6 strides)
  • Execute correctly all practical work referred to in Rider I

Rider Level 3

Candidates will be taught how to:
  • Explain the rein of opposition
  • Bandage four legs correctly
  • Name and describe three bits and explain their use
  • Rider turnout will include overall performance and attitudes, clothing, neatness and conduct
  • Name and demonstrate the effect of leg aids
  • Execute turn on the forehand
  • Execute turn on the haunches
  • Execute with proficiency all practical work covered in Rider I and II

Rider Level 4

Candidates will be taught how to:
  • Understand and explain basic collection
  • Execute a simple change of leads from both directions
  • Demonstrate proper lungeing procedures
  • Demonstrate and explain side pass
  • Demonstrate and explain two-track movements
  • Demonstrate all practical work referred to in Rider I, II and III
The Western Learn to Ride manual, which includes levels 1 to 4, is available from the SHF Office. The manual is $15.00 plus GST and Shipping (if applicable)