Notes from the SPEED meeting of 4th and 5th of October 2010

Interesting workshop within the SPEED project in Starum, Norway on October 4-5, 2010

Starum students

Schools Project for Equestrian Education Development (SPEED) is a 2-year project within the Equestrian Educational Network (EEN). The SPEED project is a Leonardo da Vinci partnership program and is running for 2 years. By sharing experiences about methods and having in depth discussions about equestrian education, the project aims to make European equestrian education more transparent and to increase student and teacher mobility. Another aim is to fit the different equestrian educations into the EQF system (Educational Qualification Framework).

Riding instructors and students from seven European equestrian centres participated in a workshop at the Norske Hestecenter in Starum, Norway in the beginning of October. This was the second of four workshops for riding instructors within the SPEED project. The aim of this particular workshop was to compare the various methods of starting up young horses that are used in the education of riding instructor students in the different schools/countries.

Teachers from the national centre in Starum made a practical demonstration of the methods that are used to train riding instructor students on international level 2 to start up three year old horses. The training period in Starum is 5-6 weeks and the students work two by two with one young horse. The students and horses in Starum were very confident under supervision of the Norwegian riding instructor Hanne Dahl.

Teachers from other schools within the EEN network (Sweden, France, Portugal, Germany, Finland) used multimedia to show the learning outcomes for riding instructors on international level 1-3 in starting up young horses. They described how they examine the students and what methods they use to take the students to the end goal and included for instance what structure, time frame, standard of horses, facilities, materials and literature they use. The situation varies a bit between schools and in some of the schools, like for instance in Ypäjä College in Finland, the students also learn how to handle foals and yearlings.

- One of the teachers from Finland said: “It was very interesting to see the system of educating young horses in other countries, said. And to meet teachers from other schools. We are going to show all the presentations to our teachers and instructors, and have a discussion with them concerning possible new ideas.”

Seven riding instructor students from four different schools in French National School in Saumur (France), German riding school in Warendorf (Germany), Flyinge (Sweden) and Strömsholm (Sweden) attended the meeting in Starum and took part in the discussions and also in riding lessons on horses from Norsk Hestecenter. This was the first time that students have been involved in meetings within the EEN network since it was started in 1999.

- One of the students said: “It was interesting to take part in the discussions between teachers and students from different schools.”

The next workshop of SPEED will take place in Warendorf in the end of January and the theme will be dressage. The final workshop will be held in Strömsholm, Sweden, in March 2011 and will focus on teaching in show jumping. A final meeting to present the results of the project will be held in Starum in Norway in May 2011.

For more information please visit the EEN website: www.equestrian-educational-network.eu or contact the coordinator of the project Mari Zetterqvist Blokhuis, Ridskolan Strömsholm.

Email: mari.zetterqvist (at) stromsholm.com or mobile +46-(0)73-946 96 79.

Mari Zetterqvist Blokhuis