In May Nikki was personally requested by Philippe Karl to take a place on one of his courses to become a Licenced Instructor of the School of Légèreté (lightness. Philippe Karl, the author, classical trainer and highly respected former Écuyer of the Cadre Noir for 13 years, has become very well known in recent years as a champion of horse-friendly riding and a staunch critic of modern coercive training methods. Since 2004 he has been especially dedicated to the training of riding instructors within his School of Légèreté. The UK branch of his School of Légèreté instructor-training course began at The Holistic Equitation Centre (Northampton) in January 2011.
Nikki was one of 80 auditors of the course able to study the first group of British students who were taught and assessed by Philippe Karl himself and she followed the progress and training of the eight instructors for three years. After putting his principals into practice with her own teaching and training of her horses at home, she then volunteered herself as a guinea pig for one of the eight instructors to teach as part of their final exam in May 2014. It was here whilst riding Neville that Philippe Karl was impressed with the duo and requested that she took part in the 3-year course herself to become a licensed instructor of the School of Légèreté. This is a huge accolade as there is a long waiting list for the course both internationally and in the UK and instructors wishing to take part are usually required to pass a stiff interview.
Nikki will begin the course in September comprising 10 clinics taught and assessed by Philippe Karl. At the end of the three-year basic training these riders can become licenced Instructors of the School of Légèreté only after successfully completing a four part practical and theoretical exam. Clinics are held 3 times each year and each clinic is 4 days in duration. Lessons include: individual dressage training work in hand, at the lunge and on long reins jumping quadrille, theory, teacher training, final exam. During the final exam, the students are judged on: their theoretical knowledge the training level reached by their horses and their competence in teaching. We wish Nikki all the best with the course and the exam!! For more information about Philippe Karl and the School of Légèreté click here.