As John Ruskin said “Quality is never an accident. It is always the result of intellectual effort.” In the British Horse Society (BHS) Scotland much of our focus each year is making sure our riding teachers or coaches get access to support and advancement in their careers as we witness the energy and intellectual effort these heroes of the horse world put into their careers.

Here is a list of things BHS coaches do that you would not think about; they can help you catch a horse that won’t be caught, load a horse that won’t load – they cure bad habits in horses and people and help us get back on when we fall off. They will go out of their way to become an expert witness in court or to value a horse as part of a legal settlement. They will encourage us to be coaches too and mentor others, encouraging others to seek a career in the wholesome world of the horse entering through The BHS portal.

The BHS challenge awards and Pony Stars are tools in the coach’s toolkit. These are a range of awards at different levels, so it doesn’t matter what previous experience you have with horses or if you’re a complete beginner. All you need is enthusiasm and a love for horses! You don’t even need your own horse as BHS Approved Riding Centres deliver challenge awards throughout the UK.

You can work through the awards at your own pace and advance your knowledge and skills around what’s important to you. For example, some awards focus on horse care and health, and others focus on riding skills and safety.

You will receive expert guidance and support from BHS Approved Coaches, who will help you work towards achieving your personal goals. But most importantly, you’ll have fun along the way. 

In the British Horse Society, our community of professional coaches are trained and supported to the highest standards making sure that horse riders and carriage drivers get the best possible accomplished help. As the largest professional body representing equestrian coaches globally, BHS Accredited Professional Coaches create the benchmark for the industry.

Accredited Professional Coaches (Or APCs as we like to call them) are promoted and recognised for having attended regular safeguarding and protecting children courses, being first aid trained, attending regular CPD, and, depending on their country of residence, having a criminal record check. In turn, the BHS supports coaches by easing the process offering free CPD, gold membership, safeguarding, and first aid as part of the coaching package.

BHS coaches can assist with tack fitting and help you find the right horse or pony for you, they will accompany you on horse buying trips and give honest professional advice; we all know that buying an equine can be a minefield so do take your local APC with you. These guys always give you a solid platform to build on and they will praise you.

It’s time for us to pay them back and vote for the most popular Scottish Coach of 2023 as we prepare to present the Farney Grange trophy. To nominate your favourite Scottish equestrian coach (they must be a BHS Accredited Professional Coach) just send their name and a short statement describing why your coach is best. Previous winners cannot be nominated a second time.

Vote for Most Popular Coach Scotland 2023 - Farney Grange Trophy

This is a great opportunity for those coaches who are out teaching their pupils in all weathers, in all types of schools. It's not just for the upper echelons, but for the grassroots coaches where most of the BHS and Riding Club members and their horses get their education.

The coach with the most votes wins - nominations close on 24 November 2023.