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A Performance Coach (Dressage) is an established coach, capable of fulfilling a senior role in an equestrian business.

This career certificate endorses you as an ambassador for the BHS at home and overseas, showing commitment to the continued development and leading standards of equitation and coaching with the welfare of the horse central to your coaching ability. You will be skilled in coaching riders and training horses to British Dressage Advanced Medium.

A Performance Coach (Dressage) will have a broad knowledge in all aspects of business management and horse care, including maintaining horse health, care of competition horses and the breeding and management of young horses.

Offering a natural aptitude and empathy in your riding and coaching, you will utilise your strength as a good communicator to impart knowledge with enthusiasm, clarity and impact. This career certificate will endorse you as a leading coach, who is able to train and supervise staff and students and give sound career advice around the extensive career pathways available in the industry.

The Performance Coach (Dressage) qualification is awarded upon achievement of:

Compulsory units:

  • Stage 5 Unit 1: Care and Welfare
  • Stage 5 Unit 2: Literature Review
  • Stage 5 Unit 3: Business Management Skills
  • Stage 5 Unit 4: Business Management Presentation
  • Stage 5 Unit 5: Working the Horse from the Ground
  • Unit 9: Coaching Presentation*
  • Unit 11: Coaching Dressage

Plus one of the following optional units:

  • Unit 6: Ride for Training
  • Unit 7: Ride for Training Dressage

*If you have been awarded the UKCC Level 4 qualification you will be exempt from completing Unit 9: Coaching Presentation. Proof of UKCC qualification certificate will be required. 


Please note:

  • You cannot take a Stage 5 assessment at a centre you currently work in or have worked in in the last 12 months.
  • You cannot take a Stage 5 assessment at a centre that you have undertaken training at in the last 6 months.

*Within the 6 month period prior to the assessment candidates will be allowed to attend a maximum of two Stage 5 group workshops (for example, introduction to Stage 5 or Equitation & Coaching) at a centre where you are planning on taking a Stage 5 assessment – this cannot be 1:1 training sessions. The centre will record attendance at these events.


A Performance Coach (Dressage) is welcome to join the Association of Fellows and Instructors of the BHS – an established peer group training and discussion body supporting your career and development.

Our Other Pathways

Whatever your career aspirations – caring for horses, riding professionally or coaching the next generation – there’s a pathway for you.

Coaching not for you? Take a look at our Professional Rider or Groom Pathway and be inspired by our other exciting career paths.