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View Full Version : Is your event instructor ICP certified ?



baldfaceboyz
Jan. 5, 2011, 07:39 PM
Does it matter to you if your event instructor is certified ? Is yours ? Would you seek out a certified instructor or do you have other criteria ? Instructors, has holding this certification brought you new students ? How hard, lengthy, and valuable is the process to become certified ? Appreciate all insights from both riders and teachers, TIA.

retreadeventer
Jan. 5, 2011, 08:23 PM
Yes, mine is certified, and yes, it does matter to me -- I think all of the instructors I've taken lessons from that have been certified have been very organized, focused quickly on what I needed, had the background and experience to make a difference even in one lesson, and were clearly capable of communicating. The instructors I've taken from that were not certified were not as capable, had less tools to bring to the toolkit, kept things pretty basic and uninteresting and I did not feel as though I got nearly as much for my time and money. And yes, looking back, I can say that categorically ICP instructors for me personally have been worth it. In my opinion, it's a worthwhile program, and the graduates of it, that I have personally dealt with, deserve respect. I am sure there are some that are not, but I haven't met any. :)

ddashaq
Jan. 5, 2011, 08:34 PM
Nope, mine is not and she is fantastic anyway. I don't care if a trainer is certified or not as long as they can see my issues and get me on the road to correcting them without any waffling about. The ICP means very little to me.

Hilary
Jan. 5, 2011, 08:36 PM
Yes, I ride with a Level III instructor. And I rode with her prior to her certification.

I noticed an improvement in her manner of teaching/teaching style after she went through the process - the knowledge was always there (as a former **** and team rider) but her means of communicating it to the rest of us improved.

mcw
Jan. 5, 2011, 08:42 PM
Nope, but he is BHS certified.

KBG Eventer
Jan. 5, 2011, 09:09 PM
Mine is a Level IV. I didn't actively seek out an ICP instructor because I didn't really know about the program until after I started riding with him. I've only had two main trainers, and the other wasn't ICP certified. I know some people say they know ICP instructors that are terrible, but I have ridden/done clinics with two other Level IV certified trainers. I learned a ton from both of them. I don't know if I would actively seek out one, but I think it's a good place to start from. An ICP instructor would catch my attention over those who weren't certified.

yellowbritches
Jan. 5, 2011, 09:47 PM
Mine is not. I would not actively seek a certified instructor out. Some of the best instructors/coaches I know are NOT certified. Some of the worst I know ARE certified.

I choose who I ride with based on what I see them do in the saddle, how I see them help others, the types of horses they ride and train, and, really, their personality and how I click with them. Certification is the last thing on my mind.

scubed
Jan. 5, 2011, 09:49 PM
No, two of my more recent trainers are BHS, one is working on the ICP thing and one isn't certified (but is the coach of the US para dressage team, has ridden around Rolex multiple times and is the best trainer ever). I don't think it is at all necessary. I think a lot of conscientious instructors are getting the certification (like my former trainer), but some are busy enough that it doesn't make sense for them and that is fine by me. Also, I know some ICP trainers that I wouldn't ride with because their teaching style isn't a good match for my needs/learning style. A lot of things about style, attitude, etc are a lot more important to me than certification.

ne900
Jan. 5, 2011, 09:51 PM
My instructor is not ICP certified.

I completely agree with everything yellowbritches said.

wanderlust
Jan. 5, 2011, 09:52 PM
The worst "trainer" I have ever, EVER seen was ICP Level II. The second worst "trainer" I have ever seen is also ICP Level II. From watching these two clowns (and I got lots of first hand terrifying experience with one of them, being at the same facility for several years), I would say that an ICP certification means very little other than they learned the tricks to pass the test.

netg
Jan. 5, 2011, 11:25 PM
My trainer is in the middle of ICP stuff, and it really has no bearing on my opinion of her.

The fact she's doing it because she's getting out different places, having different opportunities, and *learning* because she gets to work with Jim Graham for it has significant bearing on my opinion of her.


One of the things I most value about my trainer is her understanding that she doesn't know everything, and getting knowledge from wherever it's available is useful. She encourages us to ride with a trainer who we try to get in regularly for clinics, she encourages any opportunities to ride with bigger names, etc. It's fabulous, and I think everyone should be so lucky.

(Edited to correct the type saying my trainer doesn't know anything, when I meant to say she doesn't know everything)

purplnurpl
Jan. 6, 2011, 09:13 AM
Nope.

I was going to get certified a few years back and decided against it.
It's a lot of money and at this point I see no benefit.

I haven't heard much about the ICP program in a while.
what's going on with it?

bambam
Jan. 6, 2011, 09:23 AM
My regular trainer is not ICP certified. I believe one trainer I go to periodically to xc school (when I have sound horses anyway ;)) is ICP certified but I am not sure.
I do not seek out (or avoid) a trainer based on their ICP certification or lack thereof.
My impression/opinion is that the ICP process may ("may" not "will") make a good instructor a bit better by introducing some general teaching techniques or other ideas. It will not make a bad instructor a good instructor or a scary instructor a safe instructor (and it is definitely possible to be a bad and/or dangerous instructor and still get certified- there are a couple in my area that I would not trust to teach an up/downer, let alone a serious eventer).

eventmom
Jan. 6, 2011, 09:43 AM
Agree with Yellowbritches.
Our regular instructor is in the process of getting hers but only to create options for herself.
She, quite frankly, has not been impressed with the certification process. And it is expensive

LisaB
Jan. 6, 2011, 09:50 AM
My instructor is. I've been with her pre-certification. I think it helps to create more options and so folks know you have current students that are at such a level. And like with any teaching program - there are people that can still get through and suck. But for the most part, it's a good program with a good list of instructors.

DLee
Jan. 6, 2011, 09:50 AM
One of the worst clinics I ever took was with an ICP level 3. So, nope, it doesn't matter to me.

eventer_mi
Jan. 6, 2011, 12:06 PM
Nope.

I was going to get certified a few years back and decided against it.
It's a lot of money and at this point I see no benefit.

I haven't heard much about the ICP program in a while.
what's going on with it?

I agree with Purp. My trainer is not ICP certified, and I've taken from those who are and had not nearly as much success. My current trainer is fantastic, has an incredible eye for both jumping and dressage. she doesn't see the point of spending that much money without seeing a lot of benefit. That could change, of course, but until it starts to pay itself off, she probably won't.

eventinglvr
Jan. 6, 2011, 01:46 PM
I've thought about it, but honestly can't afford it. IMO, the program isn't set up to help educate the young/smaller/maybe doesn't do this for a living yet trainer, it's set up to give the big name guys or those with a lot of money more letters behind their name. I think there are a lot of "small time" trainers who still have a loyal following and still manage to teach 10-15 students around a full time "real" job that could really benefit from this, but maybe can't afford it. I fall into that category.

Would love to know other opinions on this - is the REAL reason for the ICP to educate and further the careers of smaller trainers, or is it just to play to the people who are big time already?

On another note, one of the worst instructors I've ever seen was an ICP Level III, and one of the best was an ICP Level I.

olympicprincess
Jan. 6, 2011, 01:58 PM
My 2 event trainers are certified (obviously my dressage trainer is not), but that is not why I chose to work with them.

Actually one I'd been training with before the program started, and the other I found out that she had it in conversation AFTER a lesson.

I base my choices on their personal riding skills/results and their horse care (if they treat them like they're disposable- I'm out).
I never base it on their students- so much plays into how successful they are: do they practice (correctly) a lot, buy a made horse, how often does trainer ride their horse, etc.

SPLAT
Jan. 6, 2011, 02:25 PM
I do not think that ICP makes/doesn't make a good trainer, however, what it says to me is that this person is someone who takes their job seriously, supports the system the community and is trying to garner the skills to be a better trainer.

This sets them apart from the BNR who wants me to fund their riding career (been there) and doesn't care about me and beastie's cross rail career.

This also sets them apart from the Backyard trainer who doesn't know how to do anything else so defaulted to this. (been there too)

As you/I become a better rider, we can make those decisions based on knowledge or input from the community or ... - but for the beginning rider - this certification says - I take my job seriously and am trying to improve my skills to be a better instructor.

Like teachers, trainers can be inherently gifted or not - schooling simply gives me a tool to help determine where I should spend my money.

Dawnd
Jan. 6, 2011, 03:12 PM
My instructor is certified.

Does it matter to me? No.

What makes a good teacher isn't always testable.

Xctrygirl
Jan. 6, 2011, 03:32 PM
Let's see I have trained with:

Jim Wofford

Clinic'ed with:

Bruce D (repeatedly)

And was a working student for:

Denny Emerson...



Hmmm..... must not have learned anything since none of them are certified.


~Emily

Mtn trails
Jan. 6, 2011, 03:59 PM
Neither one of mine is certified and no, I wouldn't seek it out. I think experience and ability are worth more than what it says on a piece of paper or wherever it's recorded.

Almost Heaven
Jan. 6, 2011, 04:08 PM
Yep.

Certification does not imply good or bad. It does suggest interest in improvement and feedback (as well as the resources to spend to take the program).

3rd hand, I was impressed with the organization and teaching in the program which I did not expect. And it's always helpful to have independent feedback on your techniques and performance - very few people are comfortable and/or willing to undergo critical review.

Frankly, benefits from the program are dependent on the instructors you get; some of the instructors aren't particularly good, either.

RiverBendPol
Jan. 6, 2011, 04:14 PM
Nope. The ICP certification is the very last thing on my mind when I go looking for instruction. Of course I've been working with the same people since...well, you don't need to know that figure... The last time I rode with someone new, that someone was Boyd Martin, last winter. I didn't ask him if he was certified. :winkgrin:

Ms.BarnBrat
Jan. 6, 2011, 04:26 PM
My instructor is Certified (just got it this fall) to level 1, but I just started riding with her actually after she took the final test.

As an adult rider who recently moved to a new state (and horseless :( ) The very first place I looked for a new instructor was the ICP list, I then went to and volunteered at local events and shows and met a lot of the area people and noticed who's students were prepared, who's horses were fit and working correctly, and of course who could actually ride themselves. That experience is how I found my new place.

I see the ICP as a great tool for people who relocate or are new to the sport to know they are at least getting someone who isn't making stuff up off the top of thier head to teach. But for the more experienced horse person we all have our ways of finding where we should go.

I don't think being ICP or not should determine price of lesson though, quality of instruction doesn't have to have letters assigned to it.

Xctrygirl
Jan. 6, 2011, 04:42 PM
Nope. The ICP certification is the very last thing on my mind when I go looking for instruction. Of course I've been working with the same people since...well, you don't need to know that figure... The last time I rode with someone new, that someone was Boyd Martin, last winter. I didn't ask him if he was certified. :winkgrin:

RBP..... awwww sad to say he isn't certified.

Bummer.

Too bad you didn't get the "highest" possible education out there.

(LMAO)

~Em

1516
Jan. 6, 2011, 05:36 PM
Mine is not. I would not actively seek a certified instructor out. Some of the best instructors/coaches I know are NOT certified. Some of the worst I know ARE certified.

I choose who I ride with based on what I see them do in the saddle, how I see them help others, the types of horses they ride and train, and, really, their personality and how I click with them. Certification is the last thing on my mind.

EXACTLY what yellowbritches said. Some of the best are not certified and some of the worst ARE certified!!! Really makes you wonder about this program.....

SevenDogs
Jan. 6, 2011, 06:04 PM
Yes, but I rode with him prior. It is certainly not perfect (what is?), and certainly not the only way to evaluate an instructor, but in a country where any idiot can hang out a shingle, it is nice to have somewhere to start (and as someone already said, particularly for riders new to the sport or area).

It is also nice when an experienced, successful trainer, like mine, is willing to put time, money, and ego on the line to go through the process when he really didn't have to. It shows interest in continued education when there is very little available for instructors. Very few outlets stress teaching -- I can only think of Pony Club, ICP, maybe BHS (not sure on that one), and a handful of others).

I'm always amazed (and a little amused) how many posters get angry over the ICP program. Why is it so threatening? No one is being forced to do it. It is simply an option for those that wish to do it. Some do and some don't.

8seconds
Jan. 6, 2011, 06:29 PM
One must remember that a 2 or 3 or 4 day clinic does not even approach a lifetime of riding, training and teaching. If one, as a student, finds it difficult and time consuming to learn, how is a couple of days going to train an instructor that can't do it originally? I see people getting certified that are poor riders themselves, so how can they teach. I don't know anyone who has taken the course that hasn't been certified. Sort of "pay your money, take your ride" kind of deal. The clinics I have seen have not been in depth enough to find the strengths and weaknesses of those attending them.

It may be a good idea, but it needs to have much more depth and the certification needs to have some actual time spent in obtaining it. Right now it strikes me as only a money-maker.

I, for one, have trouble with the application as I do not fit the mold they are looking for. As I am sure Mr. Wolford, Mr. Emerson and Mr. Davidson may have the same problem.

No, do not make the ICP certification a must for an instructor because you don't know what you might miss.

wildlifer
Jan. 6, 2011, 09:01 PM
My dressage trainer is not. My jumping trainer is. I really don't care one bit about it and it means nothing to me really other than they apparently had the money to pay for it. Both are wonderful, so I find the letters meaningless.

retreadeventer
Jan. 6, 2011, 09:07 PM
It isn't meaningless if you have an opinion about it. It has meaning because we're discussing it. Just sayin'. Logically speaking. Just reaching way back to my Logic and Reasons college class...which .... meant nothing because you can't get a job in Logic or Reasons, ?

wanderlust
Jan. 6, 2011, 09:43 PM
I'm always amazed (and a little amused) how many posters get angry over the ICP program. Why is it so threatening? No one is being forced to do it. It is simply an option for those that wish to do it. Some do and some don't.I get angry about the ICP program for a specific reason, and being threatened has nothing to do with it. Especially as I don't event anymore (swapped over to h/j), but was very involved in the sport for decades and still care about the direction it takes.

I watched one of the earlier referenced ICP instructors continuously place his students at unnecessary risk, and give them completely incorrect instruction. Children fell off constantly, broke bones, horses went DFL (dead f*ing lame) after XC schooling, never to come back, and he always said "it's just part of eventing, its more dangerous than those hunter/jumper people next door, broken bones are part of the game."

All of his kids, down to the 10-year olds, schooled their horses on the flat in draw reins. He told them to "get their horse on the bit" by lowering their outside hand and rhythmically yanking on their face with that outside hand. Distances in lines were set so incorrectly that horses stopped/crashed/fell. He made it a rule that all of his students needed to wear vests, even when practicing stadium, because they fell so often (probably the only safety measure I saw him take in 3 years).

The final straw for me was when his assistant had a 10 year old girl taking a jumping lesson on a pony... who was wearing tight side reins to the girth made out of baling twine. Yes, side reins, jumping 2'6"+ on a 13h pony. I was hacking in the arena during this debacle, and walked over to the girl's mother and told her that she was going to get her kid killed if she kept taking lessons from these people.

So here are the problems I see with the program:

1: These people somehow passed the certification

2: There is no investigation or follow up. I reported this person to one of the heads of the program. His response was a head shake and the statement "he's very young" about the trainer.

3: An ICP certification lends credibility. When you are a horse-crazy kid's parent and don't know anything about horses, this means a lot. If you are new to eventing, it means a lot. The fact that this guy was certified by the governing body of the sport, and not at the most basic level, is assurance that he is qualified and capable and won't put someone in unnecessary danger. But this isn't the case, and I've witnessed it firsthand.

Apologies for the novel, but this is important to talk about. The ICP program could be awesome, but it has giant gaping holes right now that need to be addressed.

lstevenson
Jan. 6, 2011, 11:19 PM
EXACTLY what yellowbritches said. Some of the best are not certified and some of the worst ARE certified!!! Really makes you wonder about this program.....


Yep. That's been my experience as well.



Right now it strikes me as only a money-maker.

Bingo. This is what it's really all about.



3: An ICP certification lends credibility.



This is the problem I have with it as well. If people unknowingly buy into bad instruction just because it's "certified", then pushing the program does more harm than good.





http://MyVirtualEventingCoach.com

SevenDogs
Jan. 7, 2011, 12:09 AM
And we have someone at our barn who is BHS and is completely crazy. Yet, I don't find it a reason to trash the BHS program and everyone associated with it.


Similarly, there are plenty of teachers in the school system that aren't worth their weight in anything, but I don't think we should throw away credential programs.

No certification process is going to be perfect and you hope that systems improve and holes get plugged. Once again, no one is forcing anyone to be certified in anything to be a trainer, which presents even bigger issues in my mind since any idiot can claim to be a trainer.

JER
Jan. 7, 2011, 12:16 AM
wanderlust, are you in CA?

:)

wanderlust
Jan. 7, 2011, 01:08 AM
wanderlust, are you in CA?
Good guess. :)

JER
Jan. 7, 2011, 01:27 AM
Is there a formal protocol for complaining to the USEA about an ICP-certified instructor?

Just curious. Anyone know?

wanderlust
Jan. 7, 2011, 01:39 AM
Is there a formal protocol for complaining to the USEA about an ICP-certified instructor?

Just curious. Anyone know? I didn't look into it- I had intended to call one of the ICP faculty, and ended up running into him at a friend's farm a couple days after the baling-twine-draw-reins incident. From our conversation, it didn't sound like there was much he could do other than have a non-official chat with the person in question. This was a couple of years ago, though.

pass
Jan. 7, 2011, 01:56 AM
ICP's Complaints Resolution Procedure

As of right now you contact the ICP and fill out a form. But I believe they are trying to get something on the web-site that can be filled out. So yes, they do have ways of reporting problems with ICP instructors. You just need to do it.

goeslikestink
Jan. 7, 2011, 04:29 AM
some bnt riders in eventing as they have a proven career
often give lessons and clinics all be it they are not certified

but becuase of there proven career and sucess and hands down on the job expreince makes them certified

the object of being listed and accredited and or have a proven background

knocks out the bods that claim they do this that and the other
and or can do this that and the other
when in truth they cant

you see it yourself lets look at the wombat from the village expert for exsample or lets see
the parelli the belly bods

its these kind of people that gives out wrongful advice and education
that the icp is trying to stop via having a set guidelines and rules to adhere to

i am presumming that the ipc is simular to uk coaching certifcate which is across all disiplines and all sports

http://www.britisheventing.com/faqs.asp?section=307&sectionTitle=UK+Coaching+Certificate+for+Eventing

the objective so ones learning by a proven instructor
and one that has real passion and compassion for the sport
at the same token there are some that have the expreince but dont or dont want due to finances, time or commitment that chose for whatever reason of not to be come certified
in that case you have to look at other options to find out if they can do what they say they can do, and one big way is by word of mouth
and asking

retreadeventer
Jan. 7, 2011, 10:26 AM
Good points. Thank you for the outline, it is clear you've thought about this issue. :)

Petstorejunkie
Jan. 7, 2011, 10:37 AM
i'm sorry, I keep reading this thread title and wondering what the Insane Clown Posse has to do with eventing :lol:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_-agl0pOQfs

yellowbritches
Jan. 7, 2011, 04:16 PM
I don't know anyone who has taken the course that hasn't been certified. Sort of "pay your money, take your ride" kind of deal.
Actually- and this lends to my wariness of the whole program- I have heard of at least one person not getting certified. She is a popular and GOOD coach with some success to her name and lots of happy and safe riders, too. She failed her certification for something really stupid and silly, too, like not telling an intermediate rider how to properly ask for the canter while xc schooling, even though the rider clearly knew how to properly ask for the canter (not saying that was the actual reason, but it was as silly as that!).

JER
Jan. 7, 2011, 04:25 PM
IIRC, Eleanor Brennan didn't pass her ICP exam. I was told this was because she repeatedly did not tell her riders to set up and balance properly (or at all) before a fence.

This took place a couple of months before her death in an XC accident. You can't teach what you don't know.

deltawave
Jan. 7, 2011, 04:55 PM
Mine is not. If I were starting from scratch and looking, I would certainly look for ICP status as one of MANY factors in choosing a trainer. But probably not on the top ten "important things".

I support the endeavor to have a governing body for instructors wholeheartedly. But I'm not a newbie and do feel like my ability to choose a proper trainer is good.

If I were a completely clueless parent looking for a trainer for my kid, you bet I'd seek out someone with some sort of credentials. I realize it's not a substitute for skill or experience, but it's at least some sort of benchmark.

LLDM
Jan. 7, 2011, 05:29 PM
i am presumming that the ipc is simular to uk coaching certifcate which is across all disiplines and all sports

http://www.britisheventing.com/faqs.asp?section=307&sectionTitle=UK+Coaching+Certificate+for+Eventing



I am not familiar with the BE Coaching program, but the ICP is not nearly as comprehensive as the BHS certifications. last I looked at the BHS program, one had to pass the stable management and riding portions to a certain level before they even began the teaching/training portions. And the you always had to complete higher SM & riding requirements than teaching/training before you could move up.

Last I looked there was little to no stable management and really no riding proficiency aspects of the ICP. This has always been a concern of mine and a problem with US certifications in general. Many trainers lack some real horse management and safety basics. It is a huge hole (IMO) about the US in general - there are very few places to get a well rounded education in BASIC horsemanship, barn and ground safety, and beginning instruction. Until this is a prerequisite education is available and required, all of the various certification programs of the disciplines will have some gaping holes in them.

SCFarm

PS - There are some "BHS Certified" people I've met that are basically worthless. But they are careful to never disclose what levels of certifications they have. They are likely only certified at the lowest of levels and then those certs are probably not up to date. But because the US is not familiar with the BHS levels and requirements, it sounds good to a lot of people.

Just sayin'

SevenDogs
Jan. 7, 2011, 06:30 PM
Last I looked there was little to no stable management

Um.... not sure when the "Last time you looked" was, but there has been stable management as a separate part of the testing from the very first years. I watched one of the early testings and there was a separate person conducting one on one exams that lasted quite some time, in a different location from the instruction testing. It seemed fairly similar to an upper level Pony Club stable management/knowledge testing (HA, etc.). There were also written exams that covered a variety of topics, required in addition to the oral exams and live instruction testing.

Hilary
Jan. 7, 2011, 06:33 PM
I know we all try hard to be really polite and not bash people but what Wanderlust is posting perhaps SHOULD be aired out.

We seem to feel free to make jabs at George Morris, Darren and a few others, but someone who has been seen instructing a jumping lessons with baling twine draw reins gets to remain anonymous? That is kind of a problem, whether or not they hold a certification of any sort.

Obviously that person is a terrific "test taker" - we all know them, the people who get As in school but run out of gas because they don't remember to look at the fuel gauge.


Do great instructors who are not certified exist? Of course they do. But that doesn't mean that the people who are certified are therefore not good instructors OR that the system stinks - I nearly failed philosophy but I think there was some sort of theorem about that concept.

We spend a fair amount of time complaining about "the system" not doing "enough" but when they do something like create the ICP it seems some can't even allow that there are good things to come out of it because it's isn't perfect.

BTW, I ride with Nancy Guyotte - in the interest of talking about ICP instructors who are good. I asked her once why she didn't have a higher certification than III since she herself is so accomplished - turns out they have to have a certain number of students who ride at the upper levels and at the time her top riders were at Preliminary. (and one went on to Int and one to ***, so I guess she did a decent job to start with!)

LLDM
Jan. 7, 2011, 08:04 PM
Um.... not sure when the "Last time you looked" was, but there has been stable management as a separate part of the testing from the very first years. I watched one of the early testings and there was a separate person conducting one on one exams that lasted quite some time, in a different location from the instruction testing. It seemed fairly similar to an upper level Pony Club stable management/knowledge testing (HA, etc.). There were also written exams that covered a variety of topics, required in addition to the oral exams and live instruction testing.

Well, I suppose that's because my expectations are rather high. Look at the BHS program:

https://www.bhs.org.uk/Training_and_Qualifications/BHS_Examinations_and_Qualifications.aspx (https://www.bhs.org.uk/Training_and_Qualifications/BHS_Examinations_and_Qualifications.aspx)

Back when the ICP was just a year or two old, I had occasion to compare it directly against the BHS system. In comparison, I stand by my statement that the ICP has little to none.

This statement is not meant as a slam on the ICP - but as a statement about the US system in general. There is no reason why each discipline should reinvent the wheel. Why the USEF, as our umbrella NGB Org does not do so is a source of frustration to me.

Eventing alone in the US is too small to create & support something with the depth of the BHS or the German Bereiter FN & Berufsreitlehrer FN programs (which were updated and expanded this year to allow for more specialization). These programs require years to complete, require extensive testing and are recognized and promoted by their NGB's as industry standards.

That we have nothing of comparison past the Pony Club ratings, which don't extend passed the age of 25 is a national problem, not really an ICP problem. In a better system, ICP candidates would already hold the prerequisite certifications and the ICP could concentrate on eventing specific issues.

Yet again, I fail to see how not discussing it will bring any changes. Now that the USDF, the USHJA and the USEA all have programs, why not get together and see if they could pool their resources to do a prereq. cert. program to their specialties? It could be applicable to all three, have a role as a stand alone (groom's certificate?) and it would be a start on better programs for all three.

SCFarm

Toadie's mom
Jan. 7, 2011, 08:13 PM
I do not think that ICP makes/doesn't make a good trainer, however, what it says to me is that this person is someone who takes their job seriously, supports the system the community and is trying to garner the skills to be a better trainer.

This sets them apart from the BNR who wants me to fund their riding career (been there) and doesn't care about me and beastie's cross rail career.

This also sets them apart from the Backyard trainer who doesn't know how to do anything else so defaulted to this. (been there too)

As you/I become a better rider, we can make those decisions based on knowledge or input from the community or ... - but for the beginning rider - this certification says - I take my job seriously and am trying to improve my skills to be a better instructor.

Like teachers, trainers can be inherently gifted or not - schooling simply gives me a tool to help determine where I should spend my money.
Whole heartedly agree!!!!! I have attended 2 ICP clinics as observer, and demo rider. I was sorely disappointed that several so called "trainer/instructors" from my area did not participate. Of 3 in particular I'm positive it wasn't due to the cost, but IMO because they were afraid of being "found out". 2 are flat out dangerous, and one is just a charlatan.

Having said that though, my 2 main instructors are not certified (although one is BHS certified). One won't go strictly due to finances, but she does acknowledge the need, and benefits, of the program.

Hannahsmom
Jan. 7, 2011, 08:18 PM
My last instructor I had was not certified when I was riding but I have a lot of respect for the fact he did go ahead and get certified. So yes, he was/is certified.

Kind of like me...I have lots of working knowlege in my career I've learned along the way but having to take a test in front of peers is a lot more difficult than it looks. Learning from other people that have set up a curriculum and specific things to teach vs. learning 'as you go' is a good thing. There are many good instructors that are not certified, but if I were moving to a new area and didn't know anyone, I would check out the certified instructors first.

retreadeventer
Jan. 7, 2011, 08:23 PM
I think you hit the nail on the head, SCF - not big enough.
When you consider that the organizations have to rely upon basically the largesse of the faculty to provide the time to instruct, and then test, the candidates, and to hold a program for a scant number each year, then you see why it is so hard to do in this country. Sadly, money is probably the problem at the end of the tunnel.

piaffequeen
Jan. 7, 2011, 08:43 PM
I watched a couple of instructors trying to get certified and they were horrible! I think one actually got certified. If I were to get back into eventing-it wouldn't matter to me. My favorite trainer is not certified and has ridden at the 4 star level.

JWB
Jan. 7, 2011, 08:57 PM
Nope. I might use it to find an instructor if I moved to a new area and didn't know anyone in the local event scene but if you stick around one area long enough, you'll find an instructor that works for you.

I picked my trainer based on the horses & riders that I saw her producing. I took a lesson with my current coach/trainer on the recommendation of a non-eventing friend who rides with her. I watched her ride several horses and she consistently turned out horses that looked pleasant and happy to ride. She's brought several horses up to the advanced level, is a beautiful dressage rider, and even gets good dressage scores out of the horses that really have no "natural" inclination for it. When I bought a young horse, I knew I wanted her to train it so having her train me as well was a no-brainer.

She does encourage us to clinic and lesson with outside instructors too, which is a nice change from a previous (certified) trainer who got very defensive if we took clinics or lessons outside of her program.

Kanga
Jan. 7, 2011, 11:10 PM
LLDM is dead right!! I agree with everything they say but to add to it......

When the ICP was in its 2nd year and just getting started, I was raising some concern over the lack of developing well rounded instructors through this program. I spoke to the "powers that be" and told them my suggestions and concerns. They first asked if I would come on board and help with the curriculum. I suggested to them that this program needs to have some kind of requirement that future instructors go work under some of the top professionals in this country, being working students, assistant instructors etc.. but work with guidance from the best.

As LLDM stated, the BHS program and the German program take YEARS to get through. This is not something you just do a couple of clinics on over a few weekends and all of a sudden you know what to say so now you are a certified instructor. It is a very intensive program. Also, all those programs have an affliation with each other and are on the same page.

Long story short here, the people in charge of the ICP program told me "Americans won't do that kind of work you are talking about, It will take too long and they won't do it". I quickly replied to her "If they won't do this kind of work then they have no business being a horse trainer much less a certified instructor".

The ICP program is a small bite of the apple it is not the whole apple, it is missing a lot.

LLDM
Jan. 8, 2011, 08:16 AM
Long story short here, the people in charge of the ICP program told me "Americans won't do that kind of work you are talking about, It will take too long and they won't do it". I quickly replied to her "If they won't do this kind of work then they have no business being a horse trainer much less a certified instructor".


I am pretty sure I disagree with the sediment that people will not do a long program. We have colleges turning out Equine Science majors after 4 years of full time study (and huge amounts of cash).

Now I understand that you won't get existing trainers to do this - that IS impractical. But many of these poor college kids are not exactly welcomed into the disciplines with open arms. The industry is very skeptical about the knowledge levels and practical experience these Grads have.

I have no idea if there is any way to develop a core program that could be taught with or without the college programs, the Pony Club program, and through the disciplines that is interoperable and maybe even trusted by the industry - as it would be done with their input and oversight.

SCFarm

ddashaq
Jan. 8, 2011, 09:48 AM
GLS, just out of curiosity, is that coaching certificate replacing the BHS system?

Certification is great, however, there are BAD trainers/coaches who do make it through those programs. There is a trainer local to me who is certified with a well-known group who is scary. Being certified does not always mean competent.

teddygirl
Jan. 8, 2011, 11:30 PM
I think the concept of the ICP is good and I'm always a bit puzzled by the resentment towards it. I rode with a very good instructor who is certified, and now I ride with a very good instructor who is not. There are currently not enough certified instructors that it makes so much of a difference in the eventing world. But for anyone who has watched trainers warming people up at events, we all know that there are a lot of awful instructors out there. If the program is not working now, what needs to be changed? I'm really wondering. The program is trying to fill an obvious need, I guess I just don't know how it's not working the way it was intended

katie+tru
Jan. 9, 2011, 11:59 AM
As a college student majoring in education I know that being a good teacher (or instructor) is not a guaranteed ability just because one is good at something. Going to a brief clinic not only doesn't give evaluators enough time to truly see what an intructor's got going for them, but it does not allow the candidates to learn anything about how to teach. You could be a **** rider and not be able to teach someone an effective two-point over crossbars.

As people have said, there are intructors out there that are ICP certified that shouldn't even be teaching people how to ride bicycles. There are college aged kids that are ICP certified. Sorry, even as a young adult myself, I know no one my age has the life experience to be even potentially as fantastic as someone with 20, 30, or 40 years in the saddle and training. Life experience matters just as much as success in the show ring.

I would never even consider ICP ratings when seeking a coach. They are meaningless to me as I feel they prove nothing. The criteria they are looking for strikes me as rather unimportant, such as asking who the candidates have cliniced with. Who cares? You can clinic with some pretty awful people. You can pay big bucks to go a clinic where you don't pay attention and make a fool of yourself. Why does the number of BNTs that you've cliniced with matter when it comes to how good of an instructor you are?

Show me some students and horses that have progressed through the levels and found atleast moderate success. Show me no injuries in your riders or horses caused by stupid mistakes. Show me effective teaching techniques. That's what I want.