FEI Levels

USDF is pleased to offer this level of education and certification. Due to the high standards of this program, instructors must submit an application in order to be considered for both the workshops and certification testing.

FEI Workshops and Continuing Education

Education at the FEI Level will be offered in the following ways:

  • FEI Education Days, which will be offered throughout the year, will focus on a single topic, and are open to all USDF Certified Instructors.
  • FEI Workshops will be offered in preparation for certification. These two-day workshops will combine riding and teaching content and are open to approved FEI Program applicants.

FEI workshops have restricted attendance criteria:

  • Participants - Workshops will be open only to instructors who have been accepted into the FEI Program.
  • Auditors – Workshops will be open for auditing to instructors who have been accepted into the FEI Program and current USDF Instructor/Trainer Faculty Members.

FEI Certification

Certification exams will be scheduled once a year and will be offered at two levels – FEI A and FEI B. The exam is designed to assess the instructor's ability to demonstrate the correct development of horse and rider through all the levels of the Pyramid of Training. The instructor must demonstrate a deep insight into the progression of dressage training to the Grand Prix Level and be able to effectively impart this knowledge to students, helping them achieve correct training of the horse to this level.

The requirements for all FEI Certification levels include:

  • Candidates must be a USDF Participating Member in good standing
  • Must show proof of First Aid Certification
  • Must sign the USDF Code of Ethics
  • Must submit a resume showing five (5) years of teaching experience
  • Must submit five (5) references from industry professionals attesting to the candidate’s character and ability
  • Must complete the Safe Sport Training Module

Instructors who meet the criteria may apply to the FEI Program at any time. Applications will be reviewed by an approved committee for acceptance into the program. Those who are selected will be invited to attend FEI Level workshops and, if approved to move forward to an exam, will be placed on the FEI Certification Exam list.

Applications, including workshop evaluations, will be reviewed eight (8) weeks prior to an exam. This review will determine the final selection of candidates for the FEI Certification Exam.

Candidates who are not currently Certified Instructors through Fourth Level will have additional requirements:

  • Lungeing: Candidates will submit a Lungeing of the Horse video, to be evaluated by an examiner. These candidates will also do an additional hands-on lungeing evaluation prior to the start of the FEI Certification exam.
  • Other areas: Questions will be included in the written and verbal exams that will cover Lungeing of the Rider topics, terminology, and other basic "theory" concepts.

FEI -B at the PSG/Intermediate I/A/B Level

Candidates must have the following prerequisites:

  • Six (6) scores at 60% or higher on at least two (2) or more horses, with a combination of PSG and/or Intermediate I/A/B or higher, with a minimum of three (3) scores being at Intermediate I/A/B or higher. A lifetime median score of 60% or above must be achieved at PSG and Intermediate 1, as verified on USDFScores.com.
  • Two (2) or more students who have received a combined total of six (6) scores at 60% or higher at PSG and/or Intermediate I/A/B or higher.

FEI -A at the Intermediate II/Grand Prix Level (not offered at this time)

Candidates must have the following prerequisites:

  • Six (6) scores at 60% or higher on at least two (2) horses at Intermediate II and/or Grand Prix, with a minimum of three (3) scores being at Grand Prix. A lifetime median score of 60% or above must be achieved at Intermediate II and Grand Prix, as verified on USDFScores.com.
  • Two (2) or more students who have received a combined total of six (6) scores at 60% or higher at Intermediary II and/or GP.

Certification exams will be a two-day format, with an evening session prior to day one for a briefing and written and verbal exams. A panel of three (3) examiners will evaluate candidates in each of their sessions.

  • Candidates will be evaluated in two Riding Sessions, 45 minutes in length
  • Candidates will be evaluated in two Teaching Sessions, 1 hour in length

If you have questions or need more information, contact the Instructor/Trainer Program Liaison at (859) 971-2277 or instructorcertification@usdf.org.

Quick Links

Great American Insurance Group®