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In 2008, the North Province Tourism Group, at the initiative of the Comité Régional de Tourism Equestre (CRTE, Regional Committee of Horse-riding Tourism), established an initial experimental training course for horse-riding guides under the control of the New Caledonian Direction de la jeunesse et des sports (Department of Youth and Sport) (DJSNC).
Numerous operators have offered tourist and commercial horse treks for years with no real training or insurance.
More and more people in tribal villages want to develop this activity in a regulated and professional way.
The CRTE therefore worked with North Province Tourism Training, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the DJSNC to establish a diploma appropriate for the particular features of the job in New Caledonia.
From September till December 2009, six new trainees did this training course in Touho and at the riding centres in Koumac (Club La Crinière) and Koné (Club l’ACNO).

The job

The horse-riding guide can organise and supervise a maximum of six riders on tourist horse treks for a maximum duration of one day and only on a known marked path.

The diploma

New Caledonian diploma, currently Level V. This consists of the following three CPUs (certificat professionnel unitaire, a certificate of competency):
CPU1: Prepare and lead a horse-riding excursion.
CPU2: Care for and maintain the horses.
CPU3: Manage and control the horses.

To obtain the diploma, all three CPUs must be passed. The candidate has a period of three years in the event of partial validation to complete the diploma.

Curriculum

The training is conducted over three months, around 500 hours in all alternating between the centre de formation professionnelle (CFP) de Touho (Touho vocational training centre) and the riding centre through which the application was made:

  • Six weeks of classroom instruction at Touho
  • Seven weeks at the application riding centre (including one week of examinations)

Main points of the training course

At the Touho CFP: accounting, heritage, horse-riding tourist product, environment, computers, guide’s speech, tourist reception.
At the riding centre: laying out and maintaining trek routes, organising and conducting a horse trek, group safety on a trek, maintaining and managing the horses.

Objectives

Making the existing service providers more professional by giving them the knowledge necessary for maintaining the horse-riding facility and the horses. Improving their ability to develop as a rider. Helping them build up a horse-trek tourist product and supervise groups under the best safety conditions.

Prerequisites

Expression, communication: persons who are open, with good inter-personal skills, dynamic and mature, with good diction and self-control.
Work experience in horse-riding tourism is desirable.
Strong motivation to establish a horse-riding tourist project.
Certificat de prévention et secours civiques, level 1 (PSC1, a first-aid certificate) B class driving licence desirable
Physical skills: good physical condition.
Moreover, selection of candidates is done following a refresher week at the riding centre in order to test their physical aptitude for horse-riding.

Training course conditions

Throughout the periods at the Touho training centre and at the riding centre, catering and accommodation are provided by the organisation. Allowances (attendance or transport assistance allowances) may be granted to the trainee depending on his or her situation.

Training follow-up

All horse-riding guide trainees receive one year’s support at their project location. The purpose of this support, provided by a horse-riding tourism expert, is to confirm the routes, check the reliability of the product and assist in establishing it.

Next course

No training session is planned in 2010, as the objective is to observe the results of the professionals trained in the last two sessions.
A remedial session for candidates who passed only part of the diploma in 2009 is planned in 2010.

Financing

This training course is financed by the North Province.