Online Courses and Self-Directed Study

While there are many online courses and seminars, the ones offered by the University of Guelph consistently rank among the most professional and affordable. You will receive a certificate of completion for each course. You can also complete a 4-year, accredited degree on-line.

University of Guelph Online Courses www.thehorseportal.ca

The kids and adults who’ve been riding for years have absorbed the knowledge that we lack. You can do a lot worse that getting a copy of the US Pony Club Manual, Basics\Level D. It’s available through www.horseandriderbooks.com

Adults can join the US Pony Club. Chapters are always looking for new members and volunteers. You’ll meet new friends and learn a great deal. www.ponyclub.org

www.TheVirtualEquestrian.com. This is a free platform that offers several online courses in stable management and business, English and Western riding, and therapeutic and adaptive instruction. Students receive a certificate of completion with each course.

www.udemy.com This is a massive open online course provider. Courses cover every imaginable subject, and there is a section for horseback riding. There is no apparent vetting for instructors. It appears that they fill out a form, video their course, upload it, and wait for students. Courses can be as short as 1-2 hours or quite lengthy with many segments. Many of them are for beginners who need to learn the basics of handling and grooming, while others deal with confidence, buying a horse, groundwork, and equipment. Prices vary; generally under $100, with special deals for new members.

www.equetriancoach.com This is a subscription service to a massive library of over 400 videos. The emphasis is on hunter\jumper, but there are also many videos on dressage and Western riding, as well as vids with veterinarians, farriers, course designers, sports psychologists. There are videos of past Olympics (the black-and-white era) and interviews with notable equestrians and clinicians. Membership allows access to all videos plus an ‘Ask the Expert’ live chat.

www.onlineclassicalridingacademy.com Over 150 videos demonstrating all aspects of riding from beginner to advanced, as well as addressing specific riding and training issues. Based in Britain, it focuses on dressage and English equitation. Free trial, then a modest monthly fee.

Online Courses

Many individual clinicians offer training programs which either consist of a planned program or videos you can arrange to suit your needs. Look up the clinician’s website to learn more.

www.dressagepro.com. Coach of the Finnish Olympic Dressage Team, Rien van der Schaft developed this step-by-step interactive program for dressage riders at every level. He begins with a review of the basics and progresses through the intermediate and advanced levels. It’s an option worth exploring if you cannot find a good dressage instructor in your area. It offers a 90-day trial.

Western riders who want to learn the art of reining might consider www.jgreininghorses.com. This is a three-level instructional program; the first introduces and refines the basics; the second develops training tools and lateral movements, while the third teaches the skills for riding a successful reining pattern.

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