France to impose certificate of knowledge

Keith_Beef

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It’s going to discriminate against people with leaning disability and autism. As someone who has a learning disability not everyone is welcoming especially in the horse world. I think it’s will prevent people leaning disability and autism owing a horse.
Not any more than existing education systems or driving tests...

The fact that the law requires certification for certain things is not usually in and of itself discriminatory against people with autism.

What matters is the way that the necessary training is given, and the way the examination or testing is carried out.
 

Keith_Beef

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From the article in HHO:

The change, which brings horse ownership in line with that of other companion animals under French law

I wasn't aware that dog and cat owners had to pass some kind of competency test... I'll try to find out if this is now law, or still a bill to be presented before parliament.

ETA: The law was passed last year, a "decree of application" should make the law applicable before the end of 2022.

There's an article in French on the FFE website.

https://www.ffe.com/actualites/loi-...le-les-initiatives-federales-prises-en-compte

I'll try to take a more detailed look at it tomorrow or Monday.
 
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ycbm

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This is how I've been told to adjust a bridle by every instructor I've had in France.
There's more than one way. I stopped because I imagined being expected to have a bit pull the corners of my mouth up until it was wrinkled, not once, but twice. I wouldn't want that, why would a horse?

It was many years later that I met an Iberian expert who bitted all his horses low enough not to wrinkle the mouth. In between times, a neighbour of mine adjusted my horse's bridle when I stopped to talk to him. I told him to put it back, the cheeky sod!
 

Zuzan

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Which experts are going to set the test?
To me the important questions that basic knowledge should cover are things like

equine first aid,
a basic understanding of equine anatomy, digestive systems, physiology.
Basic nutrition (fibre and energy requirements, how to adjust for level of work / breed / individual horse)
Condition scoring.
hoof care and hygiene.
When to call the vet.
Fitting a bridle
Basic understanding of the principles of saddle fitting
Equine behaviour
The principles for assessing welfare. (This means everyone will have a clear understanding of what will be assessed)

Most of it is essentially practical knowledge. This kind of knowledge is quite accessible for anyone irrespective of learning patterns.. and is probably well understood by everyone on this forum already.
 

CanteringCarrot

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There's more than one way. I stopped because I imagined being expected to have a bit pull the corners of my mouth up until it was wrinkled, not once, but twice. I wouldn't want that, why would a horse?

It was many years later that I met an Iberian expert who bitted all his horses low enough not to wrinkle the mouth. In between times, a neighbour of mine adjusted my horse's bridle when I stopped to talk to him. I told him to put it back, the cheeky sod!
Oddly (well, not really, given this oddball), my Iberian prefers his bit rather high. Definitely some wrinkles there. Every time I've tried it lower (with multiple bits too), he's protested. 🤷‍♀️ I'd prefer it lower, but have have listen to the horse I suppose.
 

Zuzan

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Oddly (well, not really, given this oddball), my Iberian prefers his bit rather high. Definitely some wrinkles there. Every time I've tried it lower (with multiple bits too), he's protested. 🤷‍♀️ I'd prefer it lower, but have have listen to the horse I suppose.
I think where the bit sits / is most comfortable for a horse depends on the horse's individual mouth conformation.. Also I thinks some bits sit better a bit higher up and some sit better lower ..

I don't think there is really a hard and fast rule ..

I'm sure there are plenty of other examples where there are no hard and fast rules..

The important thing is to have knowledge base that enables owners / carers riders to make the adjustments that best suite the individual horse.

The knowledge that underpins this type of decision making is an understanding of the equine mouth and the action of different bits .. so not so much about "rules" per se.
 

stangs

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I'm thinking it should be treated like the BHS stages. A good foundation of knowledge about care (maybe equivalent of BHS stage 2 without the riding or lunging?) and then, as people gain experience/learn more, that'll be reflected in their horsemanship. After all, how many people here only do things by the BHS method?
 

moosea

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Basic professional knowledge in the UK and Switzerland that has been proved absolutely wrong in my lifetime, just off the top of my head.

Hosing horses off all over when they are hot causes colic.

Oats are a dangerous feed.

Barley is a good fattening food.

Horses can't eat oil.

Navicular is a progressive bone disease which needs corrective shoes. (It's not progressive and it's not normally a bone disease.)

Major tendon strains need complete box rest, horse not to leave the box (now known that causes adhesions).

Cold backed horses are just cold backed (actually frequently have kissing spines).

Horses that bite when you do up the girth need cross tying or a smack. (Actually need scoping for ulcers).

Bits should be fitted with 2 wrinkles at the corner of the mouth. (I've never liked this and found a few years that that the Spanish fit lower like I do. )

Don't feed horses before exercise. (Feeding now recommended to prevent acid splash and ulcers. )

Horses can go 8 hours without food without problems.

Haylage is bad for laminitis (the right haylage is lower sugar and can be better than hay made from the same grass. )



Which experts are going to set the test?

I would guess that the content of the course would be updated periodicaly.


In regards to remote owners, such as racehorse owners, Where the owner is not caring for the horse directly, there would probably be a clause that would cover registered facilities or staff to care for the horse and they would be the ones requiring the certificate.
 

LEC

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Oh fgs as usual this forum is hysterical. I have my pony club B test does that mean I am incapable of thinking differently? No. What it did do was teach a basic framework which will keep a horse alive and healthy. This would be beneficial to a lot of new owners who come in with zero experience. I see it all the time with bloody stupid questions on here that would be solved by having some basic knowledge or reading a book.
I spent a few years trying to get stable management take up for our local RC. Came up with an interesting programme and zero take up.
I personally think there should be licences for animal keepers. I also think people should have a licence to compete.
 

Art Nouveau

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Oh fgs as usual this forum is hysterical. I have my pony club B test does that mean I am incapable of thinking differently? No. What it did do was teach a basic framework which will keep a horse alive and healthy. This would be beneficial to a lot of new owners who come in with zero experience. I see it all the time with bloody stupid questions on here that would be solved by having some basic knowledge or reading a book.
I spent a few years trying to get stable management take up for our local RC. Came up with an interesting programme and zero take up.
I personally think there should be licences for animal keepers. I also think people should have a licence to compete.
I think the concern is that a legally imposed training programme is going to have stronger weight than a pony club test. The pony club test is just the way the pony club likes things to be done, it doesn't have the force of law behind it so it would be easier to change your mind about stuff you learnt there.

Ycbm has already highlighted some areas where thinking has changed.
We've had one poster highlight that her pony has been described as underweight, and in excellent condition, in two separate circumstances. The next poster said a legal certificate should cover basics of feed and condition, but how is even they possible when different professionals have dramatically different opinions on a healthy weight for a horse (sorry I'm on my phone so can't easily look back to check everyone's names)

Also, I think it's fine for people to come here to ask questions that may seem silly to other people. This forum is a source of knowledge, and is free, so can be a good starting point before buying a book or paying for a riding lesson. Otherwise, how would people know when to ignore a book, or riding instructor?
 

LEC

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I think the concern is that a legally imposed training programme is going to have stronger weight than a pony club test. The pony club test is just the way the pony club likes things to be done, it doesn't have the force of law behind it so it would be easier to change your mind about stuff you learnt there.

Ycbm has already highlighted some areas where thinking has changed.
We've had one poster highlight that her pony has been described as underweight, and in excellent condition, in two separate circumstances. The next poster said a legal certificate should cover basics of feed and condition, but how is even they possible when different professionals have dramatically different opinions on a healthy weight for a horse (sorry I'm on my phone so can't easily look back to check everyone's names)

Also, I think it's fine for people to come here to ask questions that may seem silly to other people. This forum is a source of knowledge, and is free, so can be a good starting point before buying a book or paying for a riding lesson. Otherwise, how would people know when to ignore a book, or riding instructor?
and how do they know if the advice they are getting is good quality on the forum? I see a lot of crap in between good advice? People who have owned a horse 5 minutes being given equal rating to FEI ground jury and international coaches.

ultimately good basics will do you right. I have manual of horsemanship’s from over 50 years and things are always updated. As for the weight thing, if you work with race horses everything looks fat and if you work with show horses, everything looks thin. I can’t talk about that person’s individual experience as wasn’t there. I know that what is said and what is heard are often different things….

I just think people are being caught up and not thinking bigger picture here. Minority vs majority.
 

ycbm

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I have manual of horsemanship’s from over 50 years and things are always updated.
Well that's another issue isn't it? If you put in a qualification which leads people to think they know how to care for a horse, don't you also need to mandate CPD type training for when advice changes?
.
 

Art Nouveau

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But how would they know if they're getting good advice from a book or professional? At least on a forum it's easy to get a range of views to help you assess what is good advice and what isn't. I'm not trying to say that this forum is the best place to come for advice, just that it isn't necessarily terrible that people come here to ask questions that may appear stupid to more experienced horse owners.
 

catkin

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Well that's another issue isn't it? If you put in a qualification which leads people to think they know how to care for a horse, don't you also need to mandate CPD type training for when advice changes?
.
Yes. Absolutely essential to have a mechanism for updates especially in a mandatory system. I'd guess that most professional licence holders in whatever trade have to have some form of regular checks to keep their licence. In everyday life we do too, for example I am home-checked routinely as part of the loan agreement for our sanctuary pony, it's in the contract

And in most licensing systems you have to have a range of permits for different equipment or other methods/skills etc (just think of driving HGVs or pilots needing to be licensed for each different type of aircraft they can fly)
Mandatory systems have to be comprehensive as they have a legal basis, and that makes them complex and with potential for all kinds of anomalies.

How are different horse-keeping skills and methods to be assessed? And who by?
 

ycbm

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How are different horse-keeping skills and methods to be assessed? And who by?
This would be a concern of mine. Frankly my horse keeping standards are, in most people's eyes, appalling. Dirty yard, dirty beds, dusty barn, horses not seeing a brush other than on the saddle patch from one end of the month to the next, food soaked in ways that are described as dangerous. And yet my horses see a vet for management related issues less than any others I know of 🤷

ETA I am not boasting or proud of this, just saying it as I know other people view it.
 

SOS

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Would be very interested to see the contents of the course in the future.

Love to ruling for denerving to have to be declared. I think all horses who have major ops or steroid/similar injections should have to have it noted in their passport and if the passport isn’t present for noting the vet should not do it. I know someone who is selling their horse currently who has had both back legs denerved and they are not declaring it as far as I can see.

I really feel for horses that can be managed well with some sort of injection or treatment but instead are passed from pillar to post as they are sold without their maintenance being declared, subsequently go lame or behaviour worsens over the next year, new owner investigates at £££ cost, gets injected, becomes sound, sold again without declaring this. The only loser in the game is the horse who rather than being managed is made to go through the whole pain and lameness again. It often leads to horses worsening physically or behaviourally to the point of no return to ridden life.

I understand equine passports are more of a movement document but something like this would be very welcomed by me.

ETA: have owned and sold horses that have had major ops/injuries/maintenance in the past and always fully declared.
 

Keith_Beef

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I would guess that the content of the course would be updated periodicaly.


In regards to remote owners, such as racehorse owners, Where the owner is not caring for the horse directly, there would probably be a clause that would cover registered facilities or staff to care for the horse and they would be the ones requiring the certificate.
Recognized qualifications are already required for professionals. This is about private individuals.
 

paddy555

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Why don't we all calm down and wait and see what the framework looks like? I thoroughly agree that there should be a minimum standard required for ownership and charge of any animal (including humans, especially baby ones).
a minimum standard for ownership of young humans would be great. One for dogs also preferably with the first module showing how to attach the lead to the collar. That's a skill many dog owners seem to have problems with. :D

That raises the question as to why you can have a human baby or an akita without any testing or training whatsoever but you need a basic test for horse ownership. The akita/GSD/Malinois/bull breeds have the ability to kill people (and indeed have done so) yet anyone can have one and keep it any way they choose.
 

onlytheponely

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If it's the equivalent of the FFE Galop 4 knowledge section alone then it's quite basic. I'm sure it will be administered in very much the same way as most things here in France, haphazardly.

I have Galop 7 and my friend has Galop 7. The centre equestre I'm registered with made me do the actual exam, all practical and written elements in French, my friend did two months of free exercise/schooling for her centre equestre and they just signed her off, she spoke very little French at the time.

I will be interested to see how it all pans out.
 

tristar

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i think its a great idea, and the french do things differently to the english, so i would not be expecting anything daft or too off putting, and probably a lot of sense

private individuals have to do their stages exams to compete other than in the lower class club, so perhaps its an extension to that
 

RachelFerd

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On every level I think this would be A GOOD THING. The amount of people I witness on a daily basis who don't even understand the basics of horse care (and own horses on DIY)... it isn't ok and it needs to stop. I've no idea how it would be enforced, but as a starting point, if no-one was to sell horses to unlicenced people, it would be an improvement. BHS Stage 1 Care, for EVERYONE. No need to ride, but at least make sure people understand the basics before they develop their own theories on how they want to keep horses.
 

Keith_Beef

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If it's the equivalent of the FFE Galop 4 knowledge section alone then it's quite basic. I'm sure it will be administered in very much the same way as most things here in France, haphazardly.

I have Galop 7 and my friend has Galop 7. The centre equestre I'm registered with made me do the actual exam, all practical and written elements in French, my friend did two months of free exercise/schooling for her centre equestre and they just signed her off, she spoke very little French at the time.

I will be interested to see how it all pans out.

In general the laws are reasonably well written, though in a legal jargon that really makes the saying "ignorance of the law is no defence" (in French "null n'est censé ignorer la loi") in itself a nonsense.

The bigger problem is that the state simply does not have the means to enforce the law evenly across the land or equitably across all citizens.

I also read that this measure of competence is supposed to be equivalent to FFE Galop 4... When I took my Galop 3 a couple of years ago there was a question that had pictures of four different feeds to identify, but the printing was so poor that they were indistinguishable. The pictures were round, so I wrote "pizza 1", "pizza 2", "pizza 3", "pizza 4".

Now imagine a person is brought to trial for failing to maintain welfare of a horse, and in defense says "here's who tested me and awarded my certificate, go back and get the records of the tests I had to sit", and it was found that the paper was as badly printed as mine...

That should force the riding schools who test students and award the certificate to improve the quality of testing
 
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tristar

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it might be a good thing for people to see just how complicated looking after horses can be first time around, before they jump, and consider other options other than taking on a huge commitment and a lot of expense

and give them time to consider learning more about horse management before frightening themselves or being disillusioned about horse ownership
 

Zuzan

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it might be a good thing for people to see just how complicated looking after horses can be first time around, before they jump, and consider other options other than taking on a huge commitment and a lot of expense

and give them time to consider learning more about horse management before frightening themselves or being disillusioned about horse ownership
Agree.. before I went horse shopping, I'd helped a friend back a youngster and retrain a racehorse (straight off the track); had a loan / project horse, and completed an equine management course delivered by the owner of a now well known dressage stud. I don't regret any of this, I really loved it all .. but I still found horse ownership challenging .. and still do on occasions. I think one thing I've learnt is that you never stop learning .. that is one of the most wonderful things.
 

paddy555

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On every level I think this would be A GOOD THING. The amount of people I witness on a daily basis who don't even understand the basics of horse care (and own horses on DIY)... it isn't ok and it needs to stop. I've no idea how it would be enforced, but as a starting point, if no-one was to sell horses to unlicenced people, it would be an improvement. BHS Stage 1 Care, for EVERYONE. No need to ride, but at least make sure people understand the basics before they develop their own theories on how they want to keep horses.
so would there be a similar entry level course for all animals? why just horses? I have kept dogs, cats, goats, cows, pigs and others. Each animal is different. If this is done for horse welfare it should be done for other animals. They have very different needs specific to each species. Alpacas for example, now a very common pet.

Can you explain what it is that the people you witness don't understand that can be taught at a basic level? I am lost on that. Are you saying that people really do not know how to put a saddle, bridle on and lead a horse. Why does everyone need to learn to muck out a stable? As for grooming there are no set rules. A very experienced poster told us earlier they brush the saddle patch and bridle area. I often do the same.

I am all for wiping out cruelty, I am very keen on it, I have taken on a number of rescues over the years that were in that position due to cruelty, extreme cruelty. However whatever test or training you have is not going to wipe out that sort of ill treatment. If we want to do something for horse welfare that is where we should be concentrating our efforts.

Would you have the course/test for everyone? or grandfather rights?
would you really take some of the most competent horse owners in the country and expect them to do this? or just people new to entering into horse ownership? some don't even need to know the contents of BHS stage 1 care. For example the owners of semi feral ponies. The ponies are not stabled, not handled, certainly never tacked up or rugged. Would you make them go on a course?

I simply cannot see the point of this. There is a lot of free info out there for people to learn from, there are BHS courses if they want to learn that method of horse keeping and no doubt other methods teaching their way of management, If people want to learn they will learn. If they don't well telling the the BHS method of grooming a horse is not going to make the do it that way.
 
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