Horse Sport Ireland (HSI) Level 3 Coach Course Begins

  • 26 November 2015, 14:21

The first three days of the highly anticipated HSI Level 3 National Coach course took place from the 18th to 20th November. 25 coaches attended the initial course days which took place at Cavan Equestrian Centre and at the National Sports Campus Abbotstown.

The HSI Level 3 Coach course aims to provide coaches with the capacities to train performance riders to compete at the highest level in regional and national competitions (up to 1.40m Show Jumping; Prix St George Dressage and 3*** Eventing).  The HSI Level 3 Coach course is discipline specific so each candidate specialises in their chosen field and there are some core elements similar in all three disciplines. However, some coaches did choose to specialise in more than one discipline. 6 dressage candidates, 14 show jumping candidates and 8 eventing candidates attended each day which was facilitated by top class equestrian coaches, tutors and professionals.

Candidates travelled from all over Ireland as well as from Istanbul and Pennsylvania, USA to take part. The course kicked off on Wednesday with an overview of the course and practical coaching demonstrations in all three disciplines.  Heike Holstein delivered the dressage practical sessions, Comdt John Ledingham and Denis Flannelly delivered the show jumping and Yogi Breisner delivered the eventing sessions.

Day 2 at the National Sport Campus was delivered by Liam Moggan of Coaching Ireland who delivered a very insightful session on the role of the coach, improving coach communication skills, coaching delivery styles and refining the structure of the coaching session.

Day 3 began with FEI veterinary delegate John Killingbeck discussing veterinary care of the competition horse. He was joined by rider physiotherapist Andy Thomas, to discuss physical fitness and asymmetry of the rider. This made for a very interactive day with practical and theory sessions throughout, concentrating on both horse and rider.

The HSI Level 3 Coach course is a 9 day course in total and will continue throughout 2016 with the first batch of final assessments expected to take place before the end of next year.

The next days of this course are due to take place on 29th February and 1st March, when candidates will attend a workshop on mental fitness of the rider with sports psychologist Brendan Hackett, followed by the candidates first practical coaching sessions under the guidance of the tutor team.

For more information on this or any of the courses please contact Catherine Farrell on +353 45 854512 or email


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