Efficiency Tests (E to A) / Coaching Certificate

**The Coaching Certificate is currently under review**

Minimum Age: 18

Click here to download the Coaching Certificate Test Sheet 2016

Standards of Efficiency Test Sheet 2016


Before taking the Coaching Certificate, Candidates must have passed the B Test.

It is recommended that Candidates should have attended the Step 1 and Step 2 Pony Club Introduction to Coaching Courses and attend First Aid and Safeguarding Training.


  • To give candidates a sound base of coaching knowledge, and to enable them to coach a group of riders up to C Test standard and a group up to C+ standard for Horse & Pony Care.


1. Complete a risk assessment and suggest practical solutions to hazards found.
2. Understand safety procedures involved in planning a hack.
3. Understand safety procedures involved in organizing a ridden or dismounted lesson.
4. Check the fitting and suitability of tack of their pupils.
5. Assess riders and situation throughout the riding session to ensure safety.
6. Know correct procedures in event of an accident.
7. Fill in an accident form.

Riding Sessions

8. Coach an individual lead rein lesson for 15 minutes.
9. Plan and coach a one hour lesson up to C Test level for a group of between four and six riders, to include jumping. Candidates must also supervise riders until they are in the care of their parents and/or guardians.

For each session, the coach should:

10. Exhibit a session plan.
11. Check there are sufficient resources before starting the session.
12. Outline the session plan to the rider(s) at the start of the session.
13. Assess each rider and use exercises to improve their positions.
14. Assess each rider’s use of the aids and choose exercises for improvement.
15. Discuss the session plan with the assessor after assessing the ride.
16. Give technically correct explanations to the riders.
17. Establish a rapport with the riders, and seek feedback to promote learning.
18. Discuss ways each rider may progress and develop.
19. Give feedback to each rider at the end of the session.
20. Follow the session with self reflection to inform a personal action plan.

Coaching Skills Required:

21. An audible well modulated voice.
22. Ability to communicate.
23. Wear correct clothing: clean, tidy and fit for purpose.
24. Know and correctly use school commands.
25. Demonstrate the ability to improve the horsemanship of the riders.
26. Ability to control the lead rein pony and rider.
27. Describe a progressive plan for the riders’ next session, setting short and long term goals.

Horse Care Session

28. Produce and be able to discuss plans for two thirty minute horse/pony care sessions, one at D+ Test level and one at C+ Test level.
29. Coach a thirty minute horse/pony care session up to C+ level.


Pony Club Publications

  • The Manual of Horsemanship
  • The Instructor’s Handbook
  • Coach’s Folder
  • Look…  No Hands! Straightforward Cross Country - Eric Smiley

Suggested further riding:

  • Themed Lesson Plans for Riding Instructors: A Handbook for Teaching Recreational Riders - Melissa Troup
  • 101 Dressage Exercises for Horse & Rider – Jec Aristotle Ballou
  • 101 Jumping Exercises: For Horse and Rider – Linda Allen

Internet Resources

Copyright ©2014 The Pony Club Registered Charity No: 1050146 | Incorporated as a Company Limited By Guarantee Registered in England No: 3072475