Going back in time...
Until a few years ago, the only way to get certified as an Icelandic horse instructor and trainer was to go to Europe and to get certified going through a European program . a rather costly, time consuming and difficult option for most of us especially considering the need to speak the local language.
Historically, The main certifying countries for trainers working in the US were Iceland and Germany.
FEIF and its role in the trainer education
FEIF (International Federation of Icelandic Horse Associations) aims for an international acknowledgement of comparable qualifications and invited its member countries to sign an agreement accordingly. Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Iceland, the Netherlands, Norway, Slovenia, Sweden, Switzerland, and the USA originally signed the agreement.
At the same time, FEIF developed an education matrix to provide a guideline for minimum requirements for established trainer programs in member countries and help other countries form programs.
Trainers and instructors certified in all participating FEIF member countries are listed on the FEIF web site. Each trainer or instructor is listed with the FEIF level equavalent to his national title. For example, an individual holding a German "Trainer C" certification from IPZV is listed on the FEIF site as "FEIF Level 1".
Certified Trainers and Instructors in the US
Throughout the US, there are a growing number of individuals who have been educated specifically in training the Icelandic Horse. As a service to our members, we would like to list all certified trainers within the US and provide a summary of the most common certification programs. Much of the information available on the Internet from these sources is not available in English. The USIHC has developed an overview of these trainer programs to help Icelandic Horse owners by providing this resource.
This information was prepared and reviewed in the spring of 2009. It is not intended to be an exhaustive comparison of the programs; but to serve as an overview of the relative levels of education offered:
- Hólar College and Félag Tamningamanna (FT) in Iceland -- Hólar/FT Trainer, 3 Years
- IPZV, the German Icelandic Horse Association -- IPZV Trainer, 4 Levels
- FEIF, the international federation of Icelandic Horse associations -- FEIF Trainer, 3 Levels
Individuals who have completed the necessary requirements to be certified by one of these programs are listed below. The Congress does not endorse any of these individuals. This information is provided as a resource for Icelandic Horse owners in their search for trainers. You should interview any potential trainer to confirm the trainer's experience is appropriate for you and your horse. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you believe any of the following information is factually inaccurate.
Continuing Education Requirements
Trainers holding a certificate are required to submit proof of continuing education in order to stay current.
Proof of participation in minimum one (1) educational pre-approved seminar every 2 years, by submitting the confirmation letter signed by the clinician (download here).
- Seminars have to be pre-approved by the Education Leader, at least 30 days prior to the seminar
- Seminars must total a combined minimum of 16 hours, e.g. one 2-day (16 hour) seminar and two 1-day (8 hour) seminars would satisfy the requirement
- Seminars can be local, national or international
- Seminars do not have to be Icelandic horse related as long as the topic is applicable to the work of an Icelandic horse riding instructor and trainer
If a trainer is not able to provide proof of currency, their license will be suspended and they will be removed from the trainer section of the USIHC webpage. In order to reinstate their license, a trainer has to catch-up on the missing proof by attending a educational seminar within 2 years after the license has been suspended. In case a trainer does not provide any proof of currency within 2 years of license suspension, they will have to participate in a trainer licensing course again, to have another license issued.
This requirement is effective as of April 1st, 2017 for existing trainers and 2 years from the certification date for new trainers.