Becoming a Coach

Equestrian Canada Coach Status

Equestrian Canada Coach Status is separate from any specific coach certification; it is an approval to practice as a coach or instructor in Canada. In 2018 the Minister of Science and Sport introduced Safe Sport which included measures to address harassment, abuse and discrimination in sport. The EC Coach Status Program works hand-in-hand with that initiative, ensuring that Canadian equestrian sport meets all safety and quality screening measures to create the safest environment for coaches, athletes and families.  It should be noted that just because a Coach has a 'status' does not mean that they have full Certification within their discipline and have been evaluated on their coaching abilities.

Regardless of a coach gaining Coach Status, a coaches' certification record must be maintained through MHC's office with some specific courses required. Coach tracking is important for MHC funding; Sport Manitoba funding is, to a large part, based on growing the sport at specific levels, and coach activity to enhance the skills of people coming through.

To be recognized as a coach in Manitoba (and be included in our upcoming Provincial Coach Directory), a coach must have:

  • MB Privacy/Intent document and Waiver
  • Respect In Sport for Activity Leaders
  • Criminal Record Check (with Vulnerable Sector Search if born before 1986)
  • Child Abuse Check
  • Standard First Aid course 
  • Concussion Awareness Course
  • Make Ethical Decisions course
  • Coaching Liability Insurance (either individual or through facility insurance)
  • A professional coaching certification acceptable to Manitoba Horse Council or 10 years verified equestrian coaching experience

Links for these are further down this page under Step 4.

Equestrian Canada's timeline for rolling out Coach Status

2022: Registered Coach Status required (minimum) at all Equestrian Canada sanctioned events.

2023: Platinum and Gold sanctioned events require Licensed Coach Status. Silver and Bronze sanctioned events require minimum Registered Coach Status.

2024: Licensed Coach Status required at all Equestrian Canada sanctioned events.

2025: Licensed Coach Status and Certification required at all Equestrian Canada sanctioned events. 

For more information, and to apply for your License, check out Equestrian Canada Coach Status Program and read the help documents below.

Please see these notes regarding maintaining your status with MHC when applying for/maintaining EC Coach Certification and or Status

Want help in applying for a Registered or Licensed Coach Status?

We strongly recommend that you complete the required courses (see chart below) and collect the required documents prior to applying for a status, as you will be given 60 days to go through the process but delays are common if you do not have all your documents ready. If you carry coach insurance privately or through your employer, do not intend to take students to EC sanctioned competitions or instruct/evaluate Equestrian Canada programs such as Rider Levels and Rookie Rider you do not need to hold EC Coach Status.

Equestrian Canada has produced a comprehensive page with checklists, Frequently Asked Questions and help with going through the processes:

Equestrian Canada Coach Status Programs

How to become an NCCP/EC Certified Equestrian Coach or Instructor

STEP 1 - Identify the certification you are best suited for

Instructor: Specializes in introducing beginners to non-competitive or recreational riding and/or driving. NCCP Certified Instructors may maintain amateur competitive status while receiving remuneration for instructing.

Available certificates:

  • English (Flat and Jump); Western; Driving; Saddle Seat

Coach: Specializes in working with athletes actively competing in equestrian sport. This stream allows a coach to progress through competitive levels and specialize in a discipline.

Available certificates:

  • Competition Coach: English (Flat and Jump), Western
  • Competition Coach Specialist: Dressage, Eventing, General Performance, Jumping, Reining, Speed Events

High Performance 1 Coach: Dressage, Eventing, Jumping, Reining

STEP 2 - Register your interest with Manitoba Horse Council

This will put you into our Coaching Database to ensure you receive up-to-date information by email of upcoming courses and events of interests to coaches. MHC can advise and help on the steps in your Coaching Pathway. Please complete and return this form  to

STEP 3 - Understand the Certification Pathway

  • Train for and pass Rider Levels: For Instructor, Rider Level 6; For Competition Coach and Competition Coach Specialist, Rider Level 8. Those with Pony Club C2 and above are excused from the Rider Level stages but MHC strongly recommends that you be mentored by an EC Coach with experience in teaching the Rider Levels before going for testing. Rider Levels can be tested privately or from time to time MHC holds Rider Level "Challenges" when Levels 1-6 or 1-8 etc can be taken in one step. You would take the written tests and once they are marked, your riding would be tested at the highest level you achieved in the written tests.

    If you are not already working with an EC Certified coach we highly recommend that you find a mentor, or attend one of MHC's Evaluation Induction sessions, to acclimatize yourself with the language and expectations of the Rider Level tests.

  • Rubrics for each level and the Challenges, plus the Stable Management Study Guide are at this link: Important learning tools. Candidates will be tested on the material found in the current EC Rider level and Stable Management Manuals. 
  • Let the office know you are on the Certification pathway, so we can list you with other candidates for direct contact of dates, locations and support events.
  • Attend Coaching Camp to prepare you for Certification. Here you will get hands-on advice and teaching on certification components such as Lunging, writing an Emergency Action Plan, writing Lesson Plans, teaching a Lesson, and Analyzing Performance.

STEP 4 - Complete the Certification pre-requisites

The general admission requirements for all certification programs are as follows. Once completed, please submit digital copies (no phone photos please unless they are scans) to Manitoba Horse Council office for verification and digital storage in your file. Most of these pre-requisites are renewable on a 3-yearly basis. Please start your pre-requisites early; some courses are run infrequently, and some outside providers can take six weeks or more to validate information depending on the season. 

Pre-requisite Note Required by
Required by EC
for Coach Status

English Rider Level 6 or Pony Club C2

Western Rider Level 4

For Instructor  Yes Yes

English Rider Level 8 or Pony Club B

Western Intermediate Rider

For Competition Coach and Competition Coach Specialist Yes Yes
MHC Membership Register here Yes Yes
EC Sport License (min Bronze) Register here Yes Yes
EC Coach Status (min Registered)* Register here Yes Yes
MHC Privacy Release Free from MHC Yes No
NCCP Locker Account Free from Yes Yes
Make Ethical Decisions

Online Evaluation, $40 if the pre-course is attended. $85 without the course. From this link

Yes Yes

Making Headway; or
EC Concussion Awareness

Free from
Free through ECampus
One of these One of these
Respect In Sport** Mandated for all Manitoba coaches Yes Yes
Fostering Healthy Relationships Optional free ECampus course Optional Optional for Coaches, mandated for Coach Developers. Required for a Sport License.
Criminal Record Check Market rate through Winnipeg Police or RCMP Yes Yes. Free through ECampus when you apply for a Coach Status.
Vulnerable Sector Check Market rate through Winnipeg Police or RCMP Only if born before 1986 Only if born before 1986
Child Abuse Registry Check Free if applied for through MHC Yes No
Standard First Aid*** Market rate from a national service provider Yes Yes. Discounted rate for St Johns through the ECampus (coming shortly)

Coaching Liability Insurance (either individual or through facility insurance)

Can be provided by CapriCMW or other insurer Yes Yes
































*Registered Coach Status is required prior to applying for any EC Coach Evaluation. If required, Registered Status can be upgraded to Licensed upon completion of Coach Certification.

**Respect In Sport. Sport Manitoba has mandated Respect in Sport Activity Leaders course for all Manitoba Coaches.  Any other training, while good and is encouraged, cannot be substituted for credit for the RIS course. Use the link to make an account and log in, go into in the first tab in your Profile and check "Allow communication to the NCCP". This will place the result of your course directly in your Locker. On the second tab (Associations) you can see all the groups associated with Sport Manitoba. Scroll down to Horse Council and click to share. This ensures both your Locker and MHC's files are kept up to date. The course is free.

***St John's Ambulance,  Canadian Red Cross or other nationally recognized organization. An in-person two-day Standard First Aid Certificate (CPR C/AED) is required for certification. On renewal a blended course is accepted.

If you intend to instruct and/or evaluate EC Rider Level Programs, teach Rookie Rider programs or take students to EC-sanctioned competitions, you will also be required to hold Equestrian Canada Licensed Coach Status (separate from your EC/NCCP certification).  In 2023 Platinum and Gold sanctioned events require Licensed Coach Status. Silver and Bronze sanctioned events require minimum Registered Coach Status. This will change in 2024/2025.

Choose your EC Coach Status

Coach Status Notes Requirements additional to those listed above
Registered Coach Applicants must be the age of majority. Security clearance, international screening for non-residents, a Letter of Reference and a Certificate of Insurance with minimum coverage of $2,000,000 General Liability and $100,000 Professional Liability Insurance with named additional insured.
Licensed Coach Required for those who instruct and/or evaluate EC Rider Level Programs, teach Rookie Rider programs or take students to EC-sanctioned competitions. Applicants must be age of majority.

As above plus certification from a recognized professional coaching association, or an associated educational degree, or 15* years of coaching experience, two Letters of Reference. Additional fees apply for those without NCCP certification.

*Increasing to 25 years by 2025 or the Status application must be restarted, including certification.

Detailed checklists are available at this link: Equestrian Canada Coach Status Program 

STEP 5 – Formally apply

When you have completed Rider Level 6 (Pony Club C2) or 8 (Pony Club B), plus the pre-requisites above you can apply formally for Coach Evaluation. 

To apply for Instructor or Competition Coach Evaluation, please complete this form and submit. Competition Coach Specialists have different requirements; please contact MHC Office for details.

Also review the Upcoming Coaching Courses page for details of upcoming courses, challenges, evaluations and information sessions.

High Performance 1 Coach is managed by Equestrian Canada and can be reached at Equestrian Canada Technical Development toll free at 1-866-282-8395 x 116.

STEP 6 – Be evaluated

The evaluation process provides you with the opportunity to demonstrate your competency based on NCCP standards. The evaluation requirements can vary depending on the certification you choose, however the general procedure (once you have achieved the appropriate Rider Levels or Pony Club Level) is as follows:

  • Portfolio Evaluation: Submit a written portfolio. Content requirements vary by certification but will include Emergency Action Plan and Lesson Plans from topics issued by the office.
  • Observable Evaluation: An Evaluator observes you teaching a lesson. Competition Coach Specialist candidates are also required to undergo observation while teaching at a competition and submit records of their students' achievements.

Once you have completed the evaluations, your results (whether successful or unsuccessful) will be submitted to Manitoba Horse Council  by your Evaluator. Once processed, the results will be confirmed in your NCCP locker account which will also transfer to the ECampus

You must have adequate insurance when you operate as a coach. CapriCMW Insurance is Manitoba Horse Council's insurer of choice, and offers a 10% discount on Coach Insurance. See the application form here.

Following evaluation, sign the following documents with a current Coach Developer or member of Manitoba Horse Council staff following evaluation (see Step 3):

Depending on the specific certification you choose, additional admissions requirements may apply.

Maintaining Certification

Professional Development Points Grid

Professional Development Update Form

Any NCCP PD events will be added directly to the Locker. Other events will require completion of the Update Form (above) signed by the facilitator. Online courses will require proof of attendance, which could be a confirming email from the course manager.


For questions regarding the EC Coaching Program, please contact Manitoba Horse Council; 204-925-5718 or 204-299-0118 (temporary)



Contact Us

Manitoba Horse Council Office
145 Pacific Avenue
Winnipeg, MB, R3B 2Z6

The office is currently closed to personal callers. Please phone or email as the details below.

Executive Director, Diane David
Phone: (204) 925-5719