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AVA Horsemanship

Horsecare Leadership

Information for Level 1 and 2 Candidates

Requirements for Candidates Testing

  • Be an AVA Member in Good Standing.
  • Be recommended by their Coach.
  • Have a thorough knowledge of requirements of the level of Horsemanship Proficiency being tested and be able to demonstrate any requirements from previously attained standards.
  • Candidates must be evaluated on and successfully meet the standards on all sections of the test selected before being awarded the new certificate.

AVA Horsemanship Examination Fees

  • Each candidate must submit an application and a $15 examination fee per Exam for Levels 1 and 2. The Online Application is available on the Horsemanship page of the AVA website and applications will also be available on site at the testing.
  • Candidate’s applications received less than 30 days prior to the exam date will NOT receive their badge/patch on the day of the examination and will receive them from the Exam Organizer when the examination has been completed and processed by the Horsemanship Secretary.
  • Individual Fees will NOT be refunded/credited but may be transferred to another vaulter in the same club for an Exam on the same date only.

Attire for Candidates Testing

  • Safe, workmanlike attire including proper foot wear must be worn during the examination.
  • Proper foot wear is a shoe that is securely fastened, entirely closed, covers the ankle, thick soled, and in good condition; a sturdy leather boot or shoe is recommended.
  • Clean, neat appearance with a club shirt or short sleeved polo with riding breeches or other pants is recommended.
  • A properly fitted equestrian helmet, securely fastened, containing certification that it meets or exceeds the criteria established by a national or international safety body is required to participate in any mounted activities.

Equipment and Presentation of the Horse

  • All equipment must be safe, clean, in good repair, and should comply with the AVA Rules for Equipment.
  • When presenting the horse the candidate should stand by horse, on near side, with Examiner, facing the rear, reins in left hand below the bit, slack in the right hand, and should change sides with Examiner.

Appropriate Horses for Testing

  • Safety for all horses and candidates is of paramount importance and unsafe horses will be excused from an examination which may result in the candidate being unable to complete their examination.
  • Candidates may bring their own, borrowed, or leased horses to a test. A candidate may present their skills with more than one horse at a test.
  • The candidate is responsible for the care of each of the candidate’s horses during the examination. And it is the responsibility of the candidate and his/her Coach to bring or arrange for appropriate horses to be at the testing.

Information on Conducting a Test

  • Please review the AVA Guidelines for Local and Regional Horsemanship Testing.
  • Tests are designed to and should be conducted in one day. If due to unforeseen circumstances a test cannot be completed in one day the remaining portions of the test need to be completed within 30 days.
  • Oral testing and/or demonstrations are required for all part of the examination. Written tests are not allowed; however, at the examiner’s discretion a candidate may use their own drawing and/or writing to supplement their answers during the discussion periods of the test.
  • The examination should be an educational session, covering all of the requirements listed on the standards of horsemanship; however, it is not a “lesson”.
  • Candidates may opt to take the Horsemanship Level 1 and 2 tests at the same time in one examination; all other tests must be taken in sequential order one test per examination.

Examiners for Testing

  • Examiners should be selected with care and should be completely competent and knowledgeable of the Horsemanship Standards of Proficiency they will be testing as well as the levels above and below the level they will be conducting. Head Coaches and/or Regional Supervisors are responsible for making sure examiners have all of the current Standards, test sheets, and study guides prior to the exam.
  • Examiners should be mature and sensitive to a range of candidates from very young to adults and should be a neutral, unbiased party that does not have a personal relationship with the candidates.
  • Examiners should conduct the test in a positive educational setting and make sure to give ample opportunities to draw the best from each candidate without allowing the test to become a lesson.
  • Examiners should be careful to make sure they encourage candidates to communicate what they know rather than directing or demonstrating what the examiner knows.