What are the Learn to Ride / Drive Programs?
The Equestrian Canada (EC) Learn to Ride Programs are aimed at individuals who wish to become well-rounded horse people, who are able to care for and ride their horses in a correct and safe manner and wish to be recognized for doing so at a national level.
The program is available for both English & Western riding disciplines, as well as Driving; providing a systematic approach for introducing new riders/drivers to equestrian sport.
Organized into levels (English Learn to Ride Levels 1-10, Western Learn to Ride Levels 1-4, and the Western Intermediate Rider Levels) the Learn to Ride/Drive Programs develop practical hands on stable management and riding skills along with the knowledge that will help ensure riding is a safe and enjoyable experience for all.
Experience and skills developed during lessons are supported by further learning material found in the rider manuals that accompany each level in the program. Proper riding technique is best developed with the aid of an EC certified instructor/coach. As such, the program has been designed to be delivered by an EC certified instructor/coach. These instructors/coaches are provided with materials, guidelines and specific training to support their delivery of the Learn to Ride/Drive programs.
Accompanying each level of the programs are rider tests that are composed of a written theoretical component, a hands on practical stable management component, and a riding component, all designed to test the rider on their knowledge learned at each specific level. Successful candidates will receive nationally accredited certificates and rider level badges.
Join today! Feel good about participating in a program that is for everybody and accomplishes the following:
- Tracking your progress successfully;
- Working towards a national standard;
- Learning to ride safely and correctly;
- Developing a range of skills and knowledge;
- Recognizing and celebrating your achievements.
Please inquire directly, for more information on the “Learn to Drive” program.
How to Take Part in the Learn to Ride / Drive Programs
The EC Learn to Ride Programs are self-paced and student/coach led; registration is not required. Setting the date, time and location of exams is done by the evaluator, instructor/coach & student. It is recommended that participants purchase corresponding manuals, and work with an EC certified instructor/coach in preparation for the rider level exams. The cost of this program may vary depending on the instructor/coach helping with preparations, and depending on the evaluator doing the testing. While the AEF does not regulate the fee that instructors/coaches/evaluators charge for their time, it is recommended that this fee does not exceed the cost of a regular lesson fee.
- Rider must purchase an Alberta Equestrian Federation (AEF) membership;
- Rider to purchase the corresponding Learn to Ride English Manual(s)/Learn to Ride Western Manual(s)/Learn to Drive Manual, as well as the Stable Management in Canada handbook. Manuals can be purchased at the AEF Online Store;
- Rider retrieves corresponding rider level rubrics from downloads below;
- Rider contacts a current & certified EC instructor/coach to begin lessons/training/preparations for the tests. Access the Instructor/Coach Directory to do so.
Arranging Testing Once Rider is Prepared:
Learn to Ride/Drive program evaluators MUST be current EC certified instructors/coaches who have been specifically trained to deliver testing within the program. When your instructor/coach feels that you are ready, a testing date can be chosen. If your instructor/coach is an EC certified instructor/coach “trained” to deliver testing themselves, they may retrieve the required applications to apply to the AEF office for a testing date. If your instructor/coach is not certified or is certified but not “trained” to deliver testing you may work with your instructor/coach to contact a certified and “trained” rider evaluator to administer the test/s.
Note: Certain levels of instructors/coaches are only able to test specific levels. Please reference the materials provided below to ensure you are selecting the correct level of instructor/coach.
Once a rider level evaluator is identified, the following steps should be followed:
Step 1: Date is chosen for testing by rider and instructor/coach. Certified and “trained” rider evaluator is booked for testing date.
Step 2: Application Forms are retrieved by the EC certified instructor/coach, rider evaluator or the designated “organizer” from below and/or the AEF office.
Step 3: Submission by evaluator/instructor or coach/or designated organizer in the form of one complete package (by mail, email or fax) of the following items to the AEF office a minimum of 2 weeks prior to the testing date:
- Application to Host Testing – 1 copy overall
- Candidate Application – 1 per rider
- Payment of the AEF processing fee collected from riders by the rider evaluator/ instructor or coach or designated organizer. This fee is $25 (GST already included) per certificate per rider with a minimum purchase of at least one certificate per rider per testing period. Payment of the processing fee to the AEF can be provided in the form of cheque(s) made out to the AEF by the individual rider or all together as one payment, cash, or credit card payment/etransfer provided by the rider evaluator/ instructor or coach or designated organizer. If Etransfer is the chosen method of payment please set the question as “What is my AEF Number” and the password as your actual AEF number. Etransfers can be sent to [email protected]
Once an application has been approved, candidates and their evaluators may proceed with the testing phase. The completed test results are then submitted to the AEF office by the rider evaluator/instructor or coach or designated organizer in a timely fashion (30 days of evaluation date). Results are then processed and the rider’s certificates and badges are mailed. Riders are then welcome to begin to work on the next applicable rider level!
For more information view our “Frequently Asked Questions” about the Learn to Ride Programs.
English Learn to Ride Program Downloads
- English Learn to Ride Levels 1-10 Overview
- English Rider 1-8 Study Guide
- English Rider 1 – 10 Rubrics
- English Rider 9 / 10 Handbook
- English Rider Manual – Addendum 1 / 2 (manuals prior to 2013)
- English Rider Manual – Addendum 3/ 4 / 5 (manuals prior to 2013)
- English Rider Manual – Addendum 6/ 7/ 8 (manuals prior to 2013)
- English Rider Level Program Equivalencies/Exemptions/Challenging Levels/Instructor & Coach Prerequisites Explained
- Pony Club Equivalency Application Form
- Physical Exemption Application Form
- Whom May Evaluate the English learn to Ride Program Levels – Instructor/Coach Requirements
- Sonja Burton $500 English Rider Bursary
Western Learn to Ride Program Downloads
- Western Learn to Rider Level 1-4 Overview
- Western Intermediate Rider Level Overview
- Western Rider Rubrics 1-4 & Intermediate Rider Program Rubrics
- Western Intermediate Rider Level Basic Training Addendum
- Western Intermediate Rider Level Manual
- Western Rider Level Exemptions/Challenging/ Instructor & Coach Prerequisites Explained
- Physical Exemption Application Form
- Whom May Evaluate the Western Learn to Ride Program Levels – Instructor/Coach Requirements
- Charlene Baker $500 Western Rider Bursary
Learn to Drive Program Downloads
For EC Certified Instructors/Coaches
- Application to Host Rider Testing – 1 per testing phase required overall
- Candidate Application Form – 1 per rider required NOTE: applications must be submitted to the AEF office a minimum of two weeks in advance to the desired testing date
- Pump Up Your Levels