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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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)
Last edited by netg; Jan. 6, 2011 at 10:16 PM.
My horse is a dressage diva so I don't have to be.
Originally Posted by katarine
If you have a fat gay horse that likes Parelli, you're really screwed
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).
There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man.(Churchill)
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
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.
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.
"Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work." - Thomas Edison
So, the Zen Buddhist says to the hotdog vendor, "Make me one with everything."
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.
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.
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.