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CTRBI CanTRA Basic Instructor

The Canadian Therapeutic Riding Association administers an internationally recognized instructor certification program. We train instructors to teach in therapeutic riding centres across the country and offer four levels of certification.

Canadian Therapeutic Riding Basic Instructor

This level will be certified to teach one student at a time, giving safe and enjoyable basic riding instruction to children and adults with disabilities. The CanTRA Basic Instructor (CTRBI) will work under the direction a CanTRA Intermediate Instructor (CTRII), CanTRA Senior Instructor (CTRSI) or CanTRA coach recognizing that this may not always be practical in a small program (less than 15 riders). The CanTRA Basic Instructor prepares, teaches and records the progress of each rider and training of volunteers.

The recommended pathway for certification is progressive through each certification level, staring with the Basic Instructor. This level is aimed toward developing a broad knowledge base of therapeutic riding including basic knowledge of riding skills, lesson planning and format, student progression, volunteer training and basic horsemanship skills. In addition, knowledge of various disabilities accepted for therapeutic riding and methods to ensure safety and success are important components.

CanTRA Basic Instructor curriculum outline:

(included in the CanTRA Instructor Manual as the Basic Instructor Outline)

Stable Management: basic knowledge of horse care including feeding, stabling, turn-out, grooming, tacking and untacking, special equipment, shoeing and hoof care, health condition, confirmation & temperament.

Volunteer Training: capable of training volunteers as per volunteer training topics in above mentioned as mentioned in BI outline section of CanTRA Instructor manual.

Mounting/Dismounting: Mounting and dismounting techniques from ramp including conventional and crest mounts. dismounts, wheelchair mounts and dismounts for weight bearing riders.


  • a) Knowledge of benefits of therapeutic riding and basic medical terminology knowledge
  • b) preparation of classes, lesson plans
  • c) teach one on one
  • d) record keeping
  • e) Knowledge of disabilities accepted for therapeutic riding
  • f) Knowledge of disability of rider in 5 week "Student Report"

  • Safety: is of paramount importance and will include safety int he barn; rider, volunteer and instructor attire; safety in the arena; incidents - policy and procedures; and fire/earthquake/tornado protocols.

    Cost of Tuition

    The average candidate will take approximately two years to complete the process for CTRBI The cost of the CanTRA Basic Instructor is $1500.00 paid in full prior to participation of the candidate in an exam event. This tuition includes CanTRA Basic Instructor certificate and name badge.

    Requirements of the CanTRA Basic Instructor: upon application

    Certification prerequisites
    1. Be a minimum of 18 years of age during the certification period.
    2. Be a full CanTRA individual member.
    3. Proof of Standard First Aid & CPR: St. John Ambulance or Ski Patrol course, Red Cross or equivalent
    4. Proof of 100 hours experience with a CanTRA centre
    5. Proof of 20 hours of mentoring
    6. EC Rider level - English 2/Western 1 or Pony Club C
    7. Five week Student Report
    8. Home study book and lesson plan
    9. Mentor Reference Form

    Before applying for the Exam:

    1. Review recommendations of the CanTRA Course Conductors from the Technical Evaluation and ensure the candidate has addressed all concerns/areas needing improvement.
    2. Submit Final Student Report, if necessary.
    3. Submit written exam under the supervision of an approved invigilator.

    How do I find a CanTRA Centre?

    What if I need help?

    You will need a Mentor to guide you through the process of certification. Your mentor should be someone who has attained a level above the Basic Instructor. A mentor will assess your current knowledge and skills. If the mentor is associated with a CanTRA member centre in the candidate’s area, they can help to arrange the required 100 hours of on-site experience working in a therapeutic program setting. Mentors help by observing and critiquing lessons, reviewing lesson plans and student reports, discussing short term and long term goals and progression. Mentors also help to prepare candidates for their exam, as they have done this themselves at some point in time. If a CanTRA certified mentor is not available, you may be able to find a mentor in your area who is Equine Canada certified. They will be able to assist with much of the word associated with basic riding skills, lesson format, progression etc. However, you will need to spend some time with a CanTRA certified mentor to cover those areas specific to therapeutic riding programs. In this case, you may contact a member centre and as if you may spend sometime there working with one of their instructors or you may contact a certified mentor who will work with you by email and video. If you are in a remote area, strategies such as videos can be reviewed and expert in another part of the country who can view and provide you with feedback and advice.

    Hands-on experience will always be the best method for learning.

    Remember, our goal is to help you be successful.

    What else can I do to prepare for certification?

    There a many clinics and workshops around the country which will help your prepare for certification. Most CanTRA approved clinics and workshops are listed on our website. An instructor preparation workshop will give you a good idea of what is required and where your strengths and weaknesses may be. Attending workshops on teaching, stable management and goal setting are just a few topics that will increases your knowledge base. Keep track of all clinics and workshops you attend and be able to provide documentation of the clinician, # of hours and subject matter for your records.

    How do I get started?

    1. Become a CanTRA member by completing the Membership form available on the CanTRA website.
    2. Obtain the CanTRA Instructor Manual and Home Study book, either by ordering through CanTRA Head Office or through a CanTRA accredited Exam Centre in your area.
    3. Then, start completing your pre-requisites.
    If you have any question the CanTRA Certification Administrator can assist in finding the answers.

    Eliane Trempe, CanTRA Certification Administrator
    This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
    (450) 556-1062