The mission of Festina Lente is to provide a range of integrated training, occupational, learning and employment opportunities to people with disabilities. These services are provided through equestrianism, horticulture and community-based activities with an emphasis on choice, personal development and progression. The services are provided through the following:

• Equestrian Training Programme
• Transition Training Programme
• Festina Lente Riding School
• Equine Assisted Learning
• Equine Facilitated Education Programme
• Therapeutic Riding Service
• Saol Anois Day Service
• Festina Lente Gardens

Job Title: Therapeutic Riding Coach (full-time)
Location: Old Connaught Avenue, Bray, Co Wicklow
Reporting to: Equestrian Center Manager
Responsible to: Chief Executive Officer

Main purpose: To provide therapeutic coaching sessions to children, teenagers and adults with a disability

JOB DESCRIPTION: The principal duties and responsibilities include:

1. Delivery of therapeutic coaching lessons in a timely, professional, effective and safe manner.
2. Delivery of all lessons in accordance with Festina Lente’s guidelines
3. Develop and implement achievable relevant Therapeutic Riding goals for each client (consultation with referral source may be required).
4. Develop and implement achievable relevant riding goals for each client (private or group lessons)
5. Maintain client records accurately in a timely manner as appropriate
6. Select the appropriate tack and relevant equipment for both the coach and the rider
7. Supervising and checking all tack and coaching equipment regularly
8. Performing appropriate, correct and safe mounting and dismounting procedures
9. Ensuring that all lessons begin and end on schedule
10. Maintaining an environment ensuring volunteer safety that are assigned to you
11. Communicating with the volunteers in a positive and respectful manner
12. Requesting volunteer feedback and encouraging volunteer interaction on a regular basis
13. Ensuring quality volunteer performance through ongoing training, evaluation and recognition
14. Maintaining a neat arena and ensuring all relevant equipment is tidied away after sessions
15. Engaging in ongoing training to ensure all coaching and therapeutic coaching skills are up to date
16. Attending staff meetings and training as required
17. Building and maintaining excellent working relationships with colleagues and clients
18. Research and develop new ideas for lesson plans
19. Liaising with the Riding School Manager to ensure ongoing quality of lessons
20. Complying with the Health and Safety requirements of the organisation
21. This job description is not exhaustive and other duties may be assigned from time to time in accordance with the needs of the service. This job description may be revised to take account of changing circumstances or requirements


The person appointed to this role will ideally meet the following requirements:
• An appropriate qualification in a Therapeutic Riding and a minimum of 2 years’ experience of therapeutic coaching
• Experience of Horse Welfare aligned to science based horse learning theory
• Whilst not necessary, A BHSAI Qualification or clear and demonstrable evidence of a strong potential of coaching skills with evidence of engaging in the BHSAI qualification would welcomed.
• Have a very strong understanding and experience of working with horses
• Enjoys the outdoor environment and be physically able and fit for the strenuous nature of the post
• Clear evidence of self-management and organisation skills
• Proven experience of working within a team structure and a strong ability to self-manage in a dynamic and active environment
• Experience of employing competent and efficient problem solving and decision making skills
• Committed to encouraging continuous improvement and learning
• Manage own workload effectively while responding creatively and flexibly to new demands.
• Have the capacity to integrate well with, and contribute to, an evolving organisation
• Physically and emotionally capable of working with challenging young people with emotional and behavioural difficulties.
• Have fluent English
• Has an excellent knowledge and proficiency of IT systems, computer literacy and administration tasks.


• Must enjoy working with children, teenagers and adults of all learning abilities and styles
• Excellent communication and interpersonal skills and an ability to adapt communication styles to suit the needs of individual riders
• An ability to maintain calm and composed in a busy and demanding environment
• An ability to multitask and adapt to change as a feature of the working day
• High level of energy and an ability to sustain a very active role
• Confidence in one’s own strengths and ability
• Self-motivated with excellent leadership skills
• Willingness to learn and an openness to alternative approaches
• An ability to respond professionally and patiently to behaviours that challenge
• Highly organised, with a high level of concentration and attention
• Committed to working hard
• Proven ability to work on own initiative within a flexible, co-operative team structure
• Solution focused
• Committed to on-going self and professional development


Salary: The salary for this position is between €28,000 and €32,000 (commensurate with experience)

Pension: Employees have access to PRSA scheme.

Working Week: Sunday to Thursday

Working Hours: 39 hours

Travel & Subsistence: There may be a requirement from time to time to travel outside normal working hours. A fleet of vehicles is available however; travel will be paid in accordance with Festina Lente travel rates in the event that your own personal vehicle is needed.

Annual Leave: Annual Leave will be 22 working days; entitlement to 9 public holidays will be added to annual leave entitlement to facilitate the needs of the yard. Compulsory Leave must be taken in:

• February (School Mid Term Break)
• Easter (School Holidays)
• July & August (School Holidays)
• Halloween (School Mid Term Break
• Christmas (School Holidays)

Duration of contract: Permanent Job-share

Location of the position: Old Connaught Avenue, Bray, Co. Wicklow.


Closing Date for Applications: Friday 24th November 2023

Informal enquiries can be made by contacting Clodagh Carey at:

Application forms can be found on our website:

Please email the HR Dept. if you have any queries.


Please Note:

The Interview will consist of two parts: The formal and first part of the interview will consist of a panel interview and the second part will be a practical assessment of your horsemanship skills/coaching and therapeutic coaching skills. The profile of the riders will be forwarded to you in advance.

Both parts are likely to take approximately 1 ½ hours

Please dress appropriately for the coaching session. This clothing will be acceptable for the formal interview also.


Only applications received on the relevant application form will be considered. Applicants who do not fulfil the criteria as specified will not be considered.

Selection will involve short listing of applicants for interview based on the criteria for the position as outlined in this job description.


Garda Vetting for all employees and volunteers is compulsory and those candidates invited for interview will be asked to complete a Garda Vetting form for submission at that time.

The successful candidate will be provided with a copy of the Festina Lente Child Protection Policy and will be required to sign their acceptance of the contents of this document.

A Mandatory Declaration Form must be signed in advance of commencement of employment.

A file may be formed for future vacancies.

Festina Lente is an equal opportunities employer and welcomes suitably qualified applicants from all sections of society