Course – Level 1 Apprentice coach

The aim of the HSI Apprentice Coach qualification is to provide participants with the skills and techniques to work competently as an apprentice coach at novice level. Whether you have been coaching for years or are a novice, this course will provide new approaches and fresh ideas for you to bring to your coaching. Your clients will benefit enormously. The HSI Level 1 Apprentice Coach course is the foundation for further coaching qualifications and it is a requirement to progress further up the HSI Coaching ladder.


The course also provides coaches with a framework of progressive exercises to develop horses to compete at novice dressage, 1.10m show jumping and novice eventing. The HSI Coaching Programme uses modern systematic training methods which allow horses to be produced in the classically correct manner, therefore maximising their re-sale value.

It is strongly recommended that HSI Level 1 Apprentice coaches work under the guidance of a higher qualified coach.

Entry Requirements:
Participants should be over 18 years of age and have completed one of the following:

  • HSI Introduction to Coaching
  • British Horse Society Assistant Instructor (BHSAI)
  • Irish Pony Club B test

This course runs over 5 days and is split into three parts. On the first two days all of the exercises are explained and demonstrated. The second part of the course usually runs at the same venue and is normally held 3 – 4 months later and lasts a further two days. This period allows coaches to work with the exercises at home and be comfortable with the modules before coming back to the second part of the course. During part two the coaches are given an opportunity to practise coaching under the guidance of the tutor team. The strengths within each candidate’s coaching abilities are highlighted and a pathway to improve and upskill is laid out, making it an invaluable experience for any coach. Coaches must also complete the one day HSI Cross Country / Eventing Coach course which is run at various venues around the country.

Following attendance at all 5 course dates, participants must submit the following:

  • HSI Level 1 Open Book Assessment (25 – 30 short answer questions)
  • HSI Level 1 Log Book (coaches must plan and evaluate 20 actual coaching sessions)
  • Valid Occupational First Aid (QQI Level 5) / BHS Equine Specific First Aid Certificate
  • Valid Safeguarding 1 course certificate
  • Application for Garda Vetting / Access NI vetting as applicable

Once the candidates’ work has been signed off to the required standard and all of the above paperwork has been submitted, participants will be awarded the HSI Level 1 Apprentice Coach certificate. This is issued jointly by Horse Sport Ireland and Sport Ireland Coaching.

Upon completion of all requirements of the HSI Level 1 Apprentice Coach course a competitively priced coach insurance policy is available to all HSI Level 1 accredited coaches.
More about Coach insurance.


More information and dates for the HSI Cross Country / Eventing Coach course is available here 

Course Fee: €550 (including the one day HSI Cross Country / Eventing Coach course)
Book a course

You can book a coaching course by downloading the application form, completing it and returning to Horse Sport Ireland with the course fee. Download the Level 1 Apprentice Coach Application Form

Alternatively you can fill out your application form online and you will have the option to pay online or by cheque.

More information

If you would like more information on this course please contact Jennifer Diamond in Horse Sport Ireland. Email or phone 045 854 533.

HSI reserves the right to modify, alter or add to accreditation requirements in accordance with updates to HSI Coaching Programmes.