Horse Riding Holiday Centre Manager

The Job and What's Involved

Horse riding holiday centre managers run horse riding holiday centres. Some managers also own the centre they look after. The work involves managing:

- The care of the horses and ponies
- Activities for guests and clients
- The staff and facilities at the holiday centre
- The financial side of the business.

They are responsible for both the practical and financial aspects of the business. They have to balance the organisation of the riding centre and care of the animals with the marketing and operation of a holiday centre.

Managers also have to employ suitably-qualified staff, take responsibility for keeping accounts, order supplies, such as horse food, and ensure that the business meets health and safety requirements.

Managers usually work long hours that can include evenings and weekends. They may be on call 24 hours a day. They usually live on site, unless they have accommodation very close to the centre. Managers spend some time working indoors in an office but also work outdoors in all weather conditions.

Salaries range from around £14,000 to £25,000 a year or more. The earnings of owner-managers depend on the success of the business.

Getting Started with this Career Choice

Managers work at riding or trekking centres throughout the UK. Centres are more common in rural parts of the country, such as the National Parks of Dartmoor, Exmoor and the Lake District.

Vacancies are advertised in magazines such as Horse and Hound. They are also advertised by employment agencies that specialise in horse-related careers and on websites, including that of the British Horse Society (BHS), www.bhs.org.uk

Education and Training

A horse riding holiday centre manager needs thorough knowledge, experience and training in equestrian work. Young people usually start in a related job, such as a ride leader, riding instructor or groom, and work their way up to management.

There is a range of qualifications that can prepare candidates for horse riding centre management. They include the EQL Level 3 Certificate for ride leaders in equestrian tourism, a riding teachers' or instructors' certificate. There is also a Level 3 Diploma in work-based horse care and management, HNC and HND qualifications and foundation degree and degree courses in equine business management, and equine management.

Equine Apprenticeships and Advanced Apprenticeships may provide a suitable training route.

Apprenticeships and Advanced Apprenticeships provide structured training with an employer. As an apprentice you must be paid at least £95 per week; you may well be paid more. A recent survey found that the average wage for apprentices was £170 a week. Your pay will depend on the sector in which you work, your age, the area where you live and the stage at which you have arrived in the Apprenticeship.

Entry to Employment (e2e) can help to prepare those who are not yet ready for an Apprenticeship. In addition, Young Apprenticeships may be available for 14- to 16-year-olds. More information is available from a Connexions personal adviser or at www.apprenticeships.org.uk.

There are different arrangements for Apprenticeships in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

For further information visit My World of Work www.myworldofwork.co.uk/modernapprenticeships, Careers Wales www.careerswales.com; and for Northern Ireland contact www.careersserviceni.com.

Before working with children, applicants must undergo checks through the Criminal Records Bureau.

A Few More Exams You Might Need

Managers may work towards the EQL Certificate for centre managers in equestrian tourism.

This qualification is recognised internationally, so experienced holiday centre managers may also work abroad.

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Skills and Personal Qualities Needed

A horse riding holiday centre manager should:

  • Have good riding ability.
  • Have leadership skills.
  • Have good customer-care skills.
  • Like horses and be interested in their care and welfare.

Your Long Term Prospects

Some managers open and run centres of their own.

There are also opportunities to work and train abroad.

Get Further Information

The British Horse Society (BHS),
Stoneleigh Deer Park, Kenilworth,
Warwickshire CV8 2XZ
Tel: 0844 848 1666
Website: www.bhs.org.uk

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