After completing the basic training course, students must pass a rigorous exam before being awarded their licence.  

Students will be judged on:

  • their theoretical knowledge
  • the training level reached by their horse
  • their competence as a teacher

- In a normal basic training course with four-day clinics, the final exam can be attempted at the earliest on the 10th clinic; it must be completed during the 16th clinic at the latest.

- For students who do their basic training in one of the advanced courses (with clinics lasting only three days), the final exam may be taken at the earliest on the 13th clinic; it must be completed on the 16th clinic at the latest. The possibility to have support from already licenced teachers between the clinics should compensate for the missing days.

- Each part of the exam can be tried three times in total. If a student fails any part on the third try, he/she has failed the entire exam.

- At the end of the 2nd year of the basic course the student can present his/her horse in lungeing and the in-hand programme (flexions, transitions, shoulder-in walk). If this presentation is successful, the student will get a first certificate. This certificate is necessary before going forward to the Final Exam.

- Final Exam: The three parts (Foundation Level) or four parts (Level I or higher) can be taken separately, on different clinics, with the exception of the theory exam, which must be attempted together with whichever part of the exam the student chooses to take first.

- Exceptions to these rules must be approved by Philippe Karl and, where relevant, the Master Instructor holding the course.


Exam requirements

Foundation Level

> Provided that lungeing and work in-hand have already succeeded


  • Oral examination (30-45 min talk, with 30 min preparation time)


  • Riding:
    • Flexions in halt
    • Warm-up programme
    • Transitions (walk, trot, canter, rein back)
    • Lateral movements (in walk and trot)
    • Counter canter


  • First lesson with an unknown horse and rider (diagnosis and setting up a training programme)

Level I

Foundation Level plus:

  • Presentation of a regular student (including lungeing, work in-hand plus same programme as in “Practice”, Foundation Level, minus flexions in halt)

Level II


Same programme as in “Practice”, Foundation Level plus:

  • Lungeing (or riding) over poles and jumps (minimum 80 cm)
  • Riding:
    • Lateral movements in canter (shoulder-in, travers, half-pass)
    • Single flying changes on a straight line (minimum: 1 inside-outside & 1 outside-inside on each rein)

> The jumping/lungeing part and the ridden presentation take place in two parts (one day jumping/lungeing, riding presentation the other day)

Level III


  • Presentation of a regular student, same programme as in “Practice”, Level II

Level IV


Same programme as in “Practice”, Level II plus:

  • Piaffe
  • Canter pirouettes
  • Repeated flying changes on a straight line
  • School walk or Spanish walk (preference on School walk)
  • Passage

> No lungeing, jumping or work in-hand required any more

Level V


  • Presentation of a regular student, same programme as in “Practice”, Level IV