Trail Rider Education Program
A four-level initiative with a strong focus on the safety, skills and knowledge required for trail riding starting at basic riding skills, progressing through camping with your equines and if desired, learning to guide pack trips. Read More »
BCHBC TRAIL RIDER EDUCATION PROGRAM
In 2009, the Certified Horsemanship Association (CHA) “Trail Guide Manual” was published as a teaching resource and certification program which was recognized to be needed as far back as the mid 1980’s. The focus of CHA is to promote safety and excellence in group riding programs.
Our very own Back Country Horsemen of BC founding member, Jim McCrae, along with members Jack Breaks and Rose Schroeder, authored the manual and as authors, permission was granted to BCHBC for the use of the program as our baseline for trail rider education.
Contrary to some beliefs, the authors receive no financial compensation associated to the publication and never have. We do raise awareness of this book however, as it is well laid out and is a great resource for the BCHBC 4-level Trail Rider education program and for assisting those who wish to learn and acquire more knowledge and skills, some potentially life saving, for the purpose of enjoying riding the trails safely.
BCHBC is an affiliate member of the CHA.
The BCHBC Trail Rider Education Program was implemented so that members and other recreational riders of all ages and disciplines have opportunities to access a progressive 4-level educational program of knowledge and skills for trail riders focusing on competency rather than a certification program and enhancing their safety and confidence when recreating outdoors with their equines.
In developing the BCHBC Trail Rider Education Program, BCHBC designed a series of pocket cards, one card for for each of the 4 competency levels. Also developed was the Trail Riders Handbook. These can be utilized, particularly if you have a mentor to assist you with learning, as your own personal checklist, to review and identify your horsemanship and knowledge competencies as related primarily to trail riding.
The BCHBC 4-level Trail Rider education program is based on skills and knowledge related to trail riding and backcountry equestrian trekking. Starting at the Introductory Trail Rider Level 1 and progressing to Wilderness Trail Guide Level 4, the program highlights sets of skills and knowledge that individuals or groups can use to set educational goals for themselves.
Participants can work at their own level and at their own pace. There are no required courses or exams as such, but rather, participants use the four levels of the program to identify skill sets or knowledge they would like to obtain, then work with a coach, instructor, or knowledgeable person to reach their goals.
Whether you are a beginner trail rider or a seasoned recreational packer, the BCHBC Trail Rider Education Program can help you learn and expand your knowledge and skills necessary to safely enjoy trail riding
How do you use the BCHBC 4-Level Educational Program?
Individually – Once you have accessed and read over the 4-Level Trail Rider Program, select items from any of the 4 levels you feel you want to work on. You can use any instructor, coach or knowledgeable person to help you attain the skills you’ve set out as your goals. Likewise, the Trail Rider Program competencies can be used to assess your progress. Once you and your coach or instructor feel you’ve “got it”, have them initial your pocket card or Handbook and move on to your next goals.
As a Group or Chapter – From anywhere in the 4-Level Trail Rider Program select an item or items that you would like to work on as a group. Using the Trail Rider Pocket Cards or the Trail Rider Handbook, you can work with a clinician or a knowledgeable person to build a clinic or event to develop the skills and knowledge appropriate to your level. Learning events can also be incorporated into chapter meetings. As participants attain their goals, instructors can initial participant’s pocket cards or Handbooks. Combining an event with a social function such as a ride or potluck wind-up can be an enjoyable and friendly way to present educational materials.
Certification – The BCHBC program is competency based and therefore does not offer certification but if individuals wish to obtain certification it is an option made available through other certifying organizations.
Is there recognition for completing a level?
Yes, a BCHBC letter of recognition is available to a member who completes a level.
Contact the BCHBC Education chair for more information
Education Program resources available in our Members Only Library –
BCHBC 4- Level Trail Rider’s Education Program poster
BCHBC 4- Level Trail Rider’s Handbook 2021 ( Prints in booklet style)
BCHBC 4-Level Trail Rider’s Handbook 2021 ( Prints in individual pages )
Resource tip: Printing out the Trail Rider’s Handbook in booklet style requires pages to be printed on both sides in duplex fashion. This means experimenting with your printer settings, allowing the pages to line up in a way that will produce a booklet when the pages are stacked together and folded in half.