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Instructor certification?

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  • Instructor certification?

    A little spin-off from Velvet's thread I was just wondering what people's thoughts were on the USDF instructor certification program. I sounds like it's mostly negative. How does this it compare to the European certification programs?

    When I look for an instructor, I look at his/her show results and student results. I want my instructor to be a good rider and trainer who's capable to get on my horse and show me how it's done when necessary. I honestly don't know if I ever took a lesson from a usdf certified instructor. I just looked at the list of certified instructors in my region and I don't know any of them or what their competive highlights are. Then, on the other hand, we have some amazing riders/trainers here and none of them are usdf certified!

    I think it's a little bit the responsibility of the student too, to do some homework before blindly starting to train with someone.

  • #2
    Agree. Also, you can take several lessons with someone and make then an assessment on whether that program will work for you or not. It's a little like a blind date.

    I trailered out to ride with a USDF certified trainer several times. Decided it wasn't a fit for me or my horse so didn't go back. No harm, no foul.

    I don't care for the resident trainer where I board, so I trailered out to various places until I found someone that was a fit for me and my horse. Talked to the BO and now I coordinate clinics with the outside trainer once a month and also trailer out to ride with her.

    Neither the BO or the resident trainer were/are thrilled about this. I just politely pointed out to the BO that I saw I had 3 options for quality instruction; I could trailer out (expensive and time consuming), I could coordinate clinics on site or I could relocate (stressed that I didn't want to and my intention was not to threaten to leave). BO was totally cool about it. Given that the barn is starting to look like a ghost town with the economy, we agreed pretty quickly that clinics were the way to go for both of us. We set up reasonable guidelines after some negotiation and it works for us; resident trainer still somewhat miffed but that's not my problem.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Equus View Post
      A little spin-off from Velvet's thread I was just wondering what people's thoughts were on the USDF instructor certification program. I sounds like it's mostly negative. How does this it compare to the European certification programs?

      When I look for an instructor, I look at his/her show results and student results. I want my instructor to be a good rider and trainer who's capable to get on my horse and show me how it's done when necessary. I honestly don't know if I ever took a lesson from a usdf certified instructor. I just looked at the list of certified instructors in my region and I don't know any of them or what their competive highlights are. Then, on the other hand, we have some amazing riders/trainers here and none of them are usdf certified!

      I think it's a little bit the responsibility of the student too, to do some homework before blindly starting to train with someone.
      Do a quick search and you'll find more than a few times when we've covered this topic. General consensus is that the USDF program is rife with problems and pretty much looked down upon as a measuring stick for good instruction/training.
      "And I'm thinking you weren't burdened with an overabundance of schooling." - Capt Reynolds "Firefly"

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      • #4
        DH has done some certification workshops, but we decided that the L program was more meaningful as a qualification. He found a lot of interest/value in the cert. workshops, but my impression is that the L program is more consistent and more of an exhaustive education. I was impressed that his scores in his D1 and D2 mock examination sessions, with two different faculty members, were identical, and within 1/4 of 1 percent of his final exam score (two more different faculty members). He scored well in all three (I'm proud of him, in case you can't tell!) and his placings, range, and scorings for the D sessions--which he got to see, unlike the final exam--were very close to those of the faculty judges. I ended up feeling that those who graduate with distinction are going to be quite consistent with experienced judges if they keep judging the same way.

        I'm not sure that the same consistency can be reached with the instructor certification program as it is now, though I have a lot of respect for the faculty/examiners we've had experience with. Still, it does show that someone is prepared to work hard for their qualification and that they are familiar with the concepts of the training pyramid and able to apply them.

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