Teaching at a Clinic – for participants

Teaching at a Horse Safety Australia clinic

Our clinics are primarily an ASSESSMENT processes, not training workshops…though all participants can also learn from watching others, networking and discussions of the issues which arise.

There is no one right way to do things….so please demonstrate what you do at home, and we will give you constructive feedback… We do NOT require you to fit into a specific discipline to gain a HSA qualification. However, there are some universally agreed techniques for managing groups, keeping safe around horses, and watching your clients….some of these are described below. If you want suggestions because you are starting out, we recommend Jan Dawson’s book Teaching Safe Horsemanship. It is not a HSA book, but covers the fundamentals in a helpful way.

Horse Safety Australia clinics are run as a series of short “bites”, with each participant taking turns at teaching a specific section of information (e.g.“the first ride for a group of beginners” or “control at a trot (Jog)”, or for horse handling, “a group of clients are approaching horses for the first time” ) These sections make up the essentials of most horse riding/handling instructions…starting with what we communicate to complete beginners, working up to teaching more experienced riders. Keep in mind that this is a simulated teaching experience. The rest of the participants will be role-playing while you are teaching: but you must handle any situation as if it were real.

Your class begins immediately after the evaluation of the previous one…you are then responsible for getting the group started, as well as any organising needed along the way (equipment, environment, props etc.). If any problems occur, you must deal with them.

Do a Safety Check Before Every Lesson


  • People & horses
  • Tack
  • Environment:
    • Surrounds
    • Gates
    • Obstructions
    • Weather
    • Visitors
    • Distractions

Use Your Assistant (if you have one!)

Delegate exactly what you want them to do, and how they can help you make the session successful. COMMUNICATE with them during the lesson. If you use a demonstrator, make sure they know and can perform what they must demonstrate!

Plan Your Lesson

In the 15-20 minutes you should:

  • Get the class organised
  • Perform a tack/safety check
  • Introduce your lesson
  • Review ground already covered
  • Teach new skill
  • Organise for students to practice
  • Correct / encourage (all)
  • Review the lesson, including looking for input from your clients

An EDUCATED EYE towards safety is your goal

  • Be aware of everyone in the group
  • Anticipate what the horses might do because of boredom, flight instincts, aggression
  • Note the mood of the students: boredom, fear, tiredness
  • Anticipate problems that might occur and how you would solve them