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.
USIHC Trainer Certification
Based on the FEIF Trainer Matrix, the United States Icelandic Horse Congress now has a tool available to offer a certification in the US. The trainer education is based on a program developed and acknowledged by all signing FEIF member countries and ensures a certain quality standard from participants completing the program.
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
- IPZV, the German Icelandic Horse Association www.ipzv.de IPZV Trainer
- FEIF, the international federation of Icelandic Horse associations www.feif.org FEIF Trainer