Learn to Ride/Drive

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 to 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.

Getting Started:


  1. The rider must purchase an Alberta Equestrian Federation (AEF) membership;
  2. 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;
  3. Rider retrieves corresponding rider level rubrics from downloads below;
  4. Rider contacts a current & certified EC instructor/coach to begin lessons/training/preparations for the tests. Please note that all NCCP certified instructors/coaches can help riders prepare for the learn to ride levels by working through the curriculum with them utilizing the rider level and stable management manuals and rubrics. Only those NCCP instructors/coaches who have taken additional training can evaluate the rider levels when riders are ready to complete testing.
    • To access a list of NCCP certified instructors/coaches to work with leading up to testing please visit: Instructor/Coach Directory
    • To access a list of English NCCP certified instructors/coaches who are qualified evaluators to test please visit: English Rider Level Evaluators – Alberta
    • To access a list of Western NCCP certified instructors/coaches who are qualified evaluators to test please visit: Western Rider Level Evaluators – Alberta
    • Please inquire for drive evaluators.

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 the rider and instructor/coach. Certified and “trained” rider evaluator is booked for a 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/ examiner or designated testing 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 attached to the candidates application form (submitted at part of the application process) or all together as one payment (via cash, cheque, credit card payment or e-transfer) to be provided directly by the rider evaluator/ examiner or designated testing organizer. If Etransfer is the chosen method of payment by the examiner, please set the security question as “What is my AEF Number” and the password as your actual AEF number. E-transfers can be sent to [email protected] Riders should not be contacting AEF to pay fee’s on an individual basis. All fee’s are non-refundable once paid. Credits will not be kept on file.

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

Western Learn to Ride Program Downloads

Learn to Drive Program Downloads

For EC Certified Instructors/Coaches


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