Instructor/Trainer Program FAQs

  1. How do I become a USDF Certified Instructor/Trainer? Where should I begin?
  2. What is a USDF Certified Instructor/Trainer?
  3. What is an Associate Instructor?
  4. What levels of certification does USDF offer?
  5. Is there a recommended reading list?
  6. Is there additional education that I can do to help in my preparation?
  7. How do I find out what workshops or exams are scheduled?
  8. Can I attend a workshop or exam that is outside my home region?
  9. Is attendance at the workshops required before participating in an exam?
  10. What does it cost to take an exam?
  11. What is the FEI Instructor Program?
  12. To ask other questions click here

How do I become a USDF Certified Instructor/Trainer? Where should I begin?

If you are interested in becoming certified, it is suggested you first review the reading list and find a workshop series to attend. While attendance in a workshop series is not required, it is strongly recommend. It is also recommended you attend a pre-certification prior to taking the final exam. In addition to the recommended reading list, you should also review the Candidate Guidelines prior to the final exam. These guidelines contain useful information when preparing for the final exam.

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What is a USDF Certified Instructor/Trainer?

A USDF Certified Instructor/Trainer is someone who has been certified by USDF in the areas of Teaching/Training, Lungeing of the Horse, Lungeing of the Rider and have successfully passed a written and verbal exam. Recognized Teachers have achieved this level of certification by achieving a score of 70% or higher in each area of the certification exam. Each Certified Instructor is a current USDF Participating Member, submits 16 hours of continuing education hours annually, has completed a course in First-aid and Safe Sport, and signs our program's code of conduct annually.

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What is an Associate Instructor?

Associate Instructors are recognized for their participation and completion in USDF Instructor/Trainer Workshops and their commitment to furthering their education. Each Associate Instructor is a current USDF Participating Member, submits 16 hours of continuing education hours annually, has completed a course in First-aid and Safe Sport, and signs our program's code of conduct annually. These program participants have not been tested for final certification.

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What levels of certification does USDF offer?

The USDF Instructor Certification Program offers certification in three categories:

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Is there a recommended reading list?

Yes, you can find the complete list here. USDF recommends that workshop participants and certification candidates begin with the USDF Lungeing Manual, the USDF Teaching Manual, and the USDF Training Manual (Classical Training of the Horse) as a starting point. These manuals are the basic curriculum for the program.

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Is there additional education that I can do to help in my preparation?

Yes. Visit eTRAK, the USDF online learning center, for in-depth learning modules specific to the program. It is required that workshop participants and certification candidates complete the modules for Principles of Teaching, Classical Training and Lungeing.

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How do I find out what workshops or exams are scheduled?

Three workshops (lungeing, riding/training, and teaching) and a pre-certification workshop are offered leading up to an exam. It is recommended that instructors wishing to become certified attend these workshops. You can find a complete schedule of workshops and exams on the Education Calendar.

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Can I attend a workshop or exam that is outside my home region?

Yes, you can attend any workshop or exam that is on the schedule.

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Is attendance at the workshops required before participating in an exam?

Although attendance at the workshops and pre-certification clinic are not required for certification, they are strongly recommended. Candidates who have participated in these programs have demonstrated a higher success rate at Certification Testings. This is also an opportunity for candidates to decide if they are ready to take the exam, or if they should seek further education.

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What does it cost to take an exam?

The fees for taking the Certified Instructor Final Exams are:

  • Training – First Level Exam is $750.00
  • Second Level Exam is $750.00
  • Third – Fourth Level Exam is $650.00

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What is the FEI Instructor Program?

The FEI Instructor Program is geared toward instructors at the PSG through Grand Prix Level. There are very specific requirements, including an application process, for being accepted into the program. Those interested in this program are not required to be previously certified. Visit the website or contact the program liaison for more details on this program.

For further information on the Instructor/Trainer Program and Instructor Certification, visit the website or contact the program liaison.

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