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9 Best Online Equine Courses (Care, Training, Riding)

online equine courses
Written by Horse Rookie

Get smarter from your couch

One of the wonderful things about being an equestrian is that you never stop learning. Better yet, you can expand your skills and knowledge in and out of the saddle. Whether you have a horse of your own, have been riding for years, or are about to take your first lesson, online courses can help prepare you for the next step in your journey.

With so many courses to choose from, where do you even begin? Read on to see our hand-selected suite of the best digital classes across topics like natural horsemanship, nutrition, horse handling, bit selection, equine behavior, and rider mindset.

Created by some of the best minds in the industry, these learning opportunities are worth every penny. 

Beginner’s Guide to Natural Horsemanship

Course by Elvira Noot

As equestrians, we often crave mutual respect, communication, and participation from our equine partners. But how do we go about finding that foundation? Beginning on the ground, you will learn simple exercises to increase respect and solidify your partnership in Beginner’s Guide for Natural Horsemanship. This course will give you the tools and knowledge to build a solid foundation with your horse.

This was a very fun, interesting, and helpful course! – Marne

What You’ll Learn:

  • How to use your horse’s psychology to work for you, instead of against you
  • To develop a report with your horse that causes him to approach riding in a more cooperative state of mind
  • Make a connection with your horse that will make him willing to stay with you, even at liberty

What You’ll Get:

  • 3.5 hours on-demand video
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of completion

What It Costs: $189.99

Get Details & Enroll

All About Bits

Course by Krystal Kelly

Finding the right bit is a huge pain point for countless riders (and more importantly—for their horses)! But it doesn’t have to be. In this course, you’ll get an intro to the history and function of bits, learn to diagnose your horse’s needs, and determine the function of any bit just by looking at it.

Thank you for un-complicating the world of bits. Looking for your other courses now! – Chris

What You’ll Learn:

  • The history of bits and how different bits function
  • Common types of bits and why they’re used
  • How to choose the kind of bit (or no bit) that will best suit your horse

What You’ll Get:

  • 1 hour on-demand video
  • 1 article
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of completion

What It Costs: $49.99

Get Details & Enroll

Believe In Your Magic

Course by Inspired Riding

Sometimes, the most difficult part of our horse journey is feeling like we don’t know what is the right decision. We rely on others’ opinions when we often know what needs to be done for ourself and our horse, but we get trapped in insecurity. This course will help you access powerful tools for unshakeable confidence and clear communication with your horse, even if you’re a beginner.

You can actually learn to recognize what your intuition is offering and start making the best decisions for yourself and your horse, and Believe in Your Magic will help you do just that. Though the price tag of this course is higher, it’s a great example of “you get what you pay for.” You’ll certainly walk away (err, ride away!) transformed from the inside out.

Of all the courses I’ve taken…the Magic course has been the most fulfilling. – Marija

What You’ll Learn:

  • What it takes to actually enjoy learning and growing
  • How to confront your fears and discover newfound confidence
  • Tactics for exchanging images, feelings, and words with your horse through animal communication
  • Access to your deepest intuition, your horse’s advice, and the best rides ever

What You’ll Get:

  • Step-by-step video lessons
  • Worksheets with Insightful Prompts
  • Meditations designed for transformation, relaxation, and more joy with your horse
  • Ability to comment and interact with other students
  • Your instructor will jump in and answer questions in the comments (or you can email her for support)
  • Self-paced lessons (30+) across 6 modules
  • Bonus: Intuition toolkit
  • Bonus: Guided meditations for riders
  • Bonus: Animal communication course
  • Bonus: Inspired Riding coloring pages
  • Lifetime course material access

What It Costs: $497.00

Get Details & Enroll

Buying Your First Horse Masterclass

Course by Krystal Kelly & Anne Axel

When it comes to buying a horse, it can feel a lot like you don’t know what you don’t know. Thankfully, in this Buying Your First Horse Masterclass, you can walk through the entire process with a pro horse buyer with 40 years of experience.

Anne covers all the necessary considerations prior to purchase, from what kind of horse will best suit you, to health check-ups, and contracts. The price is justified if you avoid the many heartaches that can come from buying a horse that’s the wrong fit.

I liked the course—the way it is structured with comprehensible sections. – Sonia

What You’ll Learn:

  • Figuring out what breed, sex, size and discipline of horse best suits you and whether importing is worth it in your situation
  • How to determine the horse’s age, health, and training level
  • Pricing, insurance, contracts, and horse owner rights

What You’ll Get:

  • 1.5 hours on-demand video
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of completion

What It Costs: $94.99

Get Details & Enroll

Equine Behaviour and Psychology

Course by Equine Distance Learning

Understanding horses in their undomesticated state can speak volumes to us trying to communicate with our horses at home. The Equine Behaviour & Psychology course, written by author Viki Shepard, walks you through the structure of the equine brain, feral horse behavior, and horse handling that’s informed by equine body language.

Even if you’ve been around horses for a lifetime, this course could take you deeper into understanding why they do what they do.

The support on the course is brilliant. Both Viki and Kerry were more than helpful in answering any questions I had and the feedback I received on my assessment was brilliant. – Mandy

What You’ll Learn:

  • Troubleshooting your horse’s behavior by understanding what their body language is communicating
  • What makes horses “tick” and how their behaviors are influenced by their origins in the wild
  • The inner-workings of the equine brain and how that applies to how we relate to them

What You’ll Get:

  • 8 Modules and more than 20 lessons
  • Written content
  • Videos and images
  • Assessments and quizzes
  • Video demonstrations

What It Costs: £250 (~$350)

Get Details & Enroll

English Horse Riding for Beginners

Course by Catherine Edwardes

As an overview course on horseback riding, we’re not sure you can find a better deal out there. In Learn English Horse Riding for Beginners, Catherine Edwardes covers everything from what you need to know before you go to your first lesson to how to approach the horse, including how to appropriately adjust your tack and how a rider communicates with the horse from the saddle.

Bonus: If you’re a parent new to the horse world, this is a great course to preview before taking your child to the first lesson!

Loved this course. The instructions are simple and clear, and I wish I’d had this level of teaching when I started riding. – Jackie

What You’ll Learn:

  • What to wear to your first lesson (including safety gear) and how to safely approach the horse
  • How to adjust your tack, lead a horse, and mount up
  • The fundamentals of communicating with the horse from the saddle, including maintaining balance in the saddle, turning and stopping your horse, and how to move with the horse at a walk, trot, and canter
  • Barn safety and ethics of riding

What You’ll Get:

  • 2.5 hours on-demand video
  • 3 downloadable resources
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Assignments
  • Certificate of completion

What It Costs: $19.99

Get Details & Enroll

Horse Knowledge Part One

Course by Equine Distance Learning

If you’re looking for a way to learn more about caring for a horse, consider enrolling in Equine Distance Learning’s Horse Knowledge Part One. Designed to educate riders or those interested in equine husbandry, this primer will help you to properly understand and care for horses.

The course comes with a booklet and tutoring, not to mention a certificate from the British Horse Society upon completion!

These professionally delivered courses were really easy to access, and the course materials are great both online and in booklet form. – Mike

What You’ll Learn:

  • Introduction to horse behavior and how to handle horses safely
  • Confidence in how to care well for a horse
  • Staying safe in the yard and an overview on personal protective equipment (PPE)

What You’ll Get:

  • Course material written by a BHS Level 4 Senior Coach and Equine Lecturer.
  • Seven Modules with interactive online quizzes and videos to watch to reinforce your learning.
  • Video call to discuss your completed workbook and answer any questions that you may have.
  • A BHS Challenge Award Horse Knowledge Part One Booklet for you to complete as you progress through the course.
  • Unlimited dedicated tutor support: online email support to help answer any questions that you may have while you are studying the course.
  • Opportunity to connect with other students for support.

Note: Equine Distance Learning also offers Horse Knowledge Part Two!

What It Costs: $143

Get Details & Enroll

How to Ride and Handle Horses

Course by Alexandra Mannerings

For anyone that is just starting out, this course covers the very basics of riding. This tutorial goes over everything from catching a horse, to grooming, tacking up, and riding at the walk, trot, and canter. If you’re looking for a solid foundation on the fundamentals of riding, this is a great place to start.

Pro tip: if you’re gearing up for your very first horse lesson, this program is a steal and would give you a good mental picture of what to expect from your first horse encounter at the barn!

Very engaging and clear, and provides very interesting information in an easy to understand manner. Great course! – Andrew

What You’ll Learn:

  • Basics of how to ride a horse at a walk, trot, and canter
  • Details of tacking/untacking a horse and caring for them before/after a lesson
  • How to safely approach, lead, and ride a horse

What You’ll Get:

  • 1.5 hours on-demand video
  • 7 downloadable resources
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of completion

What It Costs: $19.99

Get Details & Enroll

Equine Nutrition

Course by Equine Distance Learning

The topic of equine nutrition is near and dear to every horse owner. Why? Because not only are horses particularly susceptible to fatal digestive issues, but what goes into their bodies also heavily influence their behavior and overall happiness.

In this course, taught by Sarah Finikin—BHSII, FdSc Equine Science, Horse Owner and Competitor, and BHS Accredited Professional Coach—you’ll learn about the equine digestive system and how to properly nourish to flourish!

I now feel confident that I have a thorough understanding of the complicated equine digestive system, nutrition and feeding which is so important for the welfare of our beloved equine friends. – Carol

What You’ll Learn:

  • How nutrition affects a horse’s well-being, including temperament and possible long-term and even fatal health conditions
  • The ins and outs of the equine digestive system
  • Properly nourishing your horse to keep them feeling healthy and happy

What You’ll Get:

  • Equine Distance Learning Certification
  • 6 modules
  • Ten learning activities
  • Short quizzes to test your knowledge as you go
  • One online test
  • One written piece of coursework
  • Assistance and support in creating a feeding programme for your horse
  • Unlimited tutorial support
  • Opportunity to liaise with other students for support
  • FREE nutrition advice for your horse

What It Costs: £150 (~$210)

Get Details & Enroll

Hungry for More Knowledge?

As equestrians, we’re never finished learning. That’s why the team at Horse Rookie created the Knowledge Center—a curated library of the best online courses about horse riding, training, care, and much more. After all, Knowledge is Horsepower!™

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About the author

Horse Rookie

I began riding horses at age six, and I'm just as infatuated (OK, more!) with the sport decades later. My AQHA gelding exemplifies the versatility of the breed -- reined cow horse, reining, roping, ranch riding, trail, dressage, and jumping. We're also dipping our toes (hooves) into Working Equitation!