General information on clinics:

HSA clinics are designed as an opportunity for those already experienced in the industry to gain qualifications. They are not training, but an assessment process only.

There are different levels covered at the clinic: a general instructor who only teaches the basics of walk, trot and canter (walk, jog and lope), both to groups and 1:1. This covers just the fundamentals of how to manage a horse and communicate with it in a safe environment.  These people must be able to assess horses as suitable for those new to the experience and understand how to keep their riders safe.  There is a great need in the industry for this level of instructor… i.e. this is primarily about working with beginners.
There is also the senior instructor level (minimum age is 25) where you are teaching more advanced/refined skills, often including the theory side of things (eg a school program which has written work as well as riding). This is for those who run clinics or who work full time in teaching others across a broad spectrum, or who coach the more advanced riders. (If you are not ready for this at your first clinic, you can get the basic level then come back at a future clinic for 1-2 days at a reduced rate to show us how you can now work at the more advanced level.)
There is also a trail guide qualification for those running trail rides.
All or any of these are available at our general clinics.

What if there are gaps in my knowledge or experience?

The clinics may show us gaps in a subject… If that happens we find ways for participants to fill those gaps after the clinic with no extra fees from us…For example, if you we not current with your experience as an instructor and everything else was fine- i.e. we see you can teach, manage a group, you work safely, and fulfill all our requirements but just have not done a lot of this lately, we would just make you ‘provisional’ until you gained your current experience (e.g. you could teach some lessons at home or at a riding school and keep a log book as you practice and then send us the evidence so we could upgrade you to full instructor ….

Background on Clinics

Our clinics  consist of four days and evenings of practical sessions in which we assess the skills involved in teaching horsemanship to others. We concentrate on safety, risk management and effectiveness in delivery of information; be it assisting an individual rider connect with their horse, or managing a  group as you help them with skill development,  to just ‘directing the traffic’ and keeping beginner riders safe, as they learn the basics.

These clinics are essentially an assessment only system, and not designed to teach how to do things. Rather, they are organised to assess what a participant’s skill level is and how they have adapted  to the processes of managing riders safely and effectively.

These qualifications are mentioned in the Safe Work Australia Guide, and the qualification is listed as suitable by the Australian Horse Industry Council and education departments, and in others places, meets the requirements for qualifications in the SafeWork NSW Code,  and is linked to key units related to instructing riding and taking trail rides in the SIS10 Sport Fitness and Recreation Training Package (in a process which is audited and authorised by the Australian Skills Quality Authority through the private RTO: Sport SA.)

Who should attend a clinic?

Clinics run primarily for those already set up in the industry, who want recognition for what they have been doing. However, those starting out as instructors/guides/trainers/clinicians also benefit from a clinic, as they discover tried and tested systems of managing horses and people, and how to be effective in keeping their clients safe and happy while teaching them skills.

Everyone, including those who run our clinics, benefit from the 4 days of networking, sharing ideas, and seeing how others deal with the universal problems of teaching horseriding and managing riders and horses.

What do clinics cover?

Clinics are practical, ‘hands on’ processes which cover everything from a client approaching a horse, tacking up, the first mount, managing a group’s first time on a horse, teaching basics, to teaching more advanced theory, in all disciplines.  There are discussions on risk management, the code of practice, standards required in the industry when working with horses, legal considerations, insurance, help with paperwork  (many templates provided as part of the clinic), and an emergency scenario is worked through with the group.

We believe our instructors should know how to look after horses as  well as teach, as  they need to care for the horses in their programs. Also often their clients come to them with questions.   So participants also need to demonstrate that they know horse first aid (how to recognise the vital signs, common illnesses,  give an IM injection, etc.) and the practical side of managing horses: experience in worming, hoof care, feeding, rugging,  floating and all the usual things to do with owning horses.

Why get a qualification?

The  Australian Horse Industry Council’s Code of Practice for horse activities requires instructors/trainers /clinicians/guides to have a qualification if they teach riding, or manage those new to horses when they are interacting with them. Also, both the Safe Work Australia Guide and the SafeWork NSW Code on the subject of horses require qualifications if you are supervising or teaching  people when they are beginners interacting with horses in your workplace.

In addition to a Certificate for your Horse Safety Australia qualification, Statements of Attainment will be provided through the clinic for units achieved within Certificates III  and IV in Sport and Recreation through Sport SA

Accreditation requires that you hold a current recognised First Aid Certificate.

Clinic Planning

The following pages provide further information regarding the planning and costs of a clinic.

  • Future Clinics Dates and details
  • A Clinic at Your Site?
  • Teaching at a Clinic (for participants)
  • Competencies

Any questions? Ring or email Nina 0411 685 211 or email

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