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Erynn Ballard on the State of Equestrian Coaching in Canada

Canadian equestrian Erynn Ballard shares her take on the state of coaching in Canada, and offers suggestions for how to improve the industry.

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By: Erynn Ballard |

The biggest issue facing our industry is permitting unregulated coaching. I find it very troubling that anybody can be a trainer; all you need is the proverbial business card with no certification or proof that you’ve had any kind of training to teach lessons or coach at horse shows. This is a flawed system that lowers the standards of the sport, the horses, the riders, and the entire industry. There is a reason that most of the top-performing countries require people to complete courses and pass specific training in order to teach. These countries recognize the importance of the fundamentals that develop future athletes. In Germany there are professional and amateur-level instructors, while the British Riding Society has a six-stage pathway. The US federation itself doesn’t have a coaching system, but last year they launched a para-dressage coach certification program and there is the American Riding Instructors Association (ARIA) which…

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