Choosing my course

What is the difference between the introductory course and the ethology and horse observation day?
The introductory course aims to give you an insight to the activities used during the La Cense Method courses, in a condensed, one-day format. You will handle a horse during a groundwork session and will then ride it. You will have a classroom-based introduction to ethology.
The ethology and horse observation course is focused on understanding horses’ behavior. It does not include handling of horses or riding sessions. You will discover and deepen your knowledge of horses in the classroom and will observe, at a distance, horses in groups and in specific situations.

Is there a minimum level required to take part in the ethology and horse observation day?
This course requires no prior level, ability or specific knowledge. You can take part even if you have never been near a horse. At no time will you be put into any potentially frightening situations. The horses are always kept at a distance and there is no handling involved.

Is there a minimum level required to take part in the introductory course?
This course is extremely accessible and requires no specific equestrian knowledge. It is important, however, that you do not have any specific phobias. If you are very afraid of riding a horse, for example, La Cense recommends that you start with the groundwork training course, which doesn’t involve riding the horse. Progression through the Method will enable you to develop your confidence and, if you want to, move onto riding subsequently.


Progression

Do I have to start with the groundwork training course?
The La Cense Method is a progressive teaching method that starts by presenting the basic principles which will be useful throughout your learning process. These include theoretical basics – approaching the horse as a whole within a defined context – and technical basics such as tack handling, control of your gesture and position, and the acquisition of automatic reflexes when working with horses. La Cense therefore recommends following the La Cense Method courses, starting with the groundwork training course.

I have already taken a few classes with a friend who works in a stables / I have already ridden alone. Which course should I start with?
This question is better answered on a case-by-case basis. Generally speaking, La Cense recommends following the courses in order, starting at the beginning with the groundwork training course. It is essential to fully master one stage before going on to the next. This requires a perfect understanding of all the concepts used and of the vocabulary shared by the instructor and the rider. It is easier to start your training in a learning environment from the beginning to avoid any misunderstanding and oversight. There may be a few repetitions, but these will often enable you to progress on solid foundations in order to go faster and further in your relationship with horses.

I don’t want to ride a horse. Can I take part in the groundwork training course and then the liberty work and expert liberty work courses?
It is perfectly possible to follow the La Cense Method using only the ground-based content, combining the groundwork training, liberty work and expert liberty work courses.

I am a rider with a good technical riding ability. Will I be bored during the groundwork training course?
The groundwork approach has defined objectives and clear benchmarks. It requires a new awareness of your body language, your position in relation to the horse and the resources required to communicate with the horse. This learning phase is even more relevant for people who are used to working with horses, because they discover new sensations. They rapidly implement these new techniques when they move on to saddlework.


Organizing my course

Can I come by public transport to the Haras?
You can take the RER C from Paris and stop at the Dourdan station. You can also take the train from Gare Montparnasse to the Rambouillet station or take the RER B and stop at Saint-Rémy-lès-Chevreuse. From there, you have to take a cab to get to the Haras; make sure to book it beforehand. We recommend Franck Hanot, who you can contact by phone at the following number: +33 6 82 05 59 45.

How is the course organized? How many practical sessions are there during the day?
All the courses include a theoretical classroom-based part and a practical part, either on foot or on horseback. The instructor welcomes you every morning and provides information to ensure that the course runs smoothly. The schedule may vary depending on the weather. Generally speaking, the practical sessions are divided into two, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. There is one theory session per day.

Where do we meet in the morning?
In the morning, you will meet the instructor and the other students at the club house, in the main building at the Haras de la Cense. It is located between the La Cense restaurant and the kitchenette.

When can I arrive with my horse at the Haras?
Course attendees and their horses can arrive between 3pm and 7pm.

My horse will stay at the Haras during the course. How will it be fed?
You are responsible for looking after your horse during its time at La Cense. Hay and water are available near the boxes and pens. If you want your horse to be fed concentrated foodstuff, you will have to bring it with you. Find out more

How do mealtimes take place for course attendees?
The La Cense Restaurant is open at lunchtime every Saturday and Sunday. You can also picnic in the club house: bring your own food or use the vending machine. You can use the equipment in the kitchenette to reheat your food, keep your food cool in the fridge or have a hot drink. The kitchenette and the club house are accessible 24 hours a day. Find out more

How do I get around the La Cense site?
Both activity areas as well as the pastures and facilities are all located within a 2km radius. They are all connected by roads and you can get around by car and bike.

What should I bring with me?
La Cense recommends that you wear comfortable clothes: riding clothes if you have them. If at all possible, you should bring your own helmet, for all courses that include a practical horse-riding part. If you don’t have one, La Cense will lend you safety-compliant helmets.
La Cense provides the specific tack required for groundwork and liberty work, i.e. rope halters, 3.7 m lead ropes, training sticks and strings. Depending on the course you are attending, you may need to buy a 7 m lunge line. We recommend that you purchase tack as you progress, so you can practice in between each course.
When you take part in your course with a La Cense horse, we provide its own tack: saddle, bridle and rug. When you use your own horse, La Cense asks that you provide your own material.


Exam

What is the difference between Savoirs Ethologiques and the La Cense Degrees?
The five Savoirs Ethologiques are exams administered by the Fédération Française d’Equitation. They include a theory part and a practical part. The practical part is defined by broad objectives without any specific requirement about the techniques used.
The eight La Cense Degrees are exams which match the levels of progression through the La Cense Method. They are exclusively practical in nature. For each degree, you need to carry out between 15 and 20 exercises. These techniques enable you to achieve the practical objectives of the Savoirs Ethologiques. Find out more


Training outside La Cense

Do you organize courses outside La Cense?
La Cense courses are only organized on-site.

How can I train if I cannot come to La Cense?
Apart from the technical training given by La Cense, you can develop your skills and knowledge using the La Cense teaching tools. Publications in the “Les Univers de la Cense” collection and the online E-campus videos supplement your learning supervised by a qualified instructor.

How can I find facilities or instructors near me?
The FFE lists all facilities with at least one instructor who holds a Brevet Fédéral d’Equitation Ethologique. These professionals have completed their qualifications through training at La Cense or another professional training center offering Savoirs Ethologiques and BFEE courses.
La Cense graduates are listed on the website, alongside the courses they followed. Each course corresponds to a training period at La Cense. You can find the name of a La Cense qualified professional near you.


Livery

When I put my horse into competition or sports livery, is my horse always handled by the same person?
The manager of livery stables coordinates turnout, care and course schedule. The manager of livery stables coordinates turnout, care and course schedule.

Will my horse be turned out into the paddock every day as a part of the competition or the sports livery?
The horses are turned out into the paddock for half a day from Monday to Friday. You can turn your horse out into the paddock yourself on the weekends using the same schedule and the same paddock as during the week. It is also possible to use one or two of the services included in your livery package to have your horse be turned out by our team once or twice in the weekend.

What kind of bedding is used in the stables for competition and sports livery?
The bedding consists of wood shavings mixed with flax shavings.

What is the diet for horses in sports and competition livery?
The horses receive two rations of hay per day, in the morning and evening, as well as three rations of flaked concentrate, in the morning, at noon and in the evening. The volume of rations and the type of food (normal or sport) are decided by the La Cense team on the basis of your horse’s characteristics and needs.

Is it possible to have an appointed coach for competing?

The La Cense team regularly competes in the Olympic disciplines. You can receive coaching for competitions featured on the stables’ calendar. The cost of the coaching is included in the competition livery.

What is the diet for horses in field-shelter and field livery?
The horses are mainly fed on grass. When they are in field-shelter livery, they receive two rations of hay per day. Depending on the assessment of their needs, the La Cense team might supplement this diet with two rations of flaked concentrate feed. When they are in herds, they have permanent access to a rack of hay depending on the seasons.

How many horses make up a herd?
La Cense has herds of 8-10 horses, depending on the type of pastures.

Are there shelters in the fields?
The fields have natural shelters, along the edges of the forest or from the trees in the pastures.

Can I take part in classes when my horse is in field-shelter or group livery?
Every Monday, La Cense offers weekly group classes at the Bretigny hub. Classes outside this slot are given at the La Cense hub, bookings are required. The two hubs are accessible on horseback and are about 2 km apart.

Do you accept stallions?
La Cense accepts stallions, only in the context of the breaking-in and training liveries.


Horse training

Do you move around to solve issues with sensitive horses?
The La Cense riders do not move around. It is possible to come to La Cense with your horse for a working session or to put your horse to work for a defined amount of time: the technical team will suggest the best approach after discussing your issue with you.

How long does it take to train a horse?
There are no hard and fast rules. It depends on the nature and characteristics of the horse as well as the owner’s requirements. In terms of breaking, La Cense recommends a pre-breaking period of around 15 days, at the age of two, followed by a one-month breaking period at the age of three, for a horse to be used by a professional or sufficiently proficient amateur, monitored by a professional.

Can you do anything about horses that stop at water jumps / liverpools, horses that rear up, that won’t go into a horsebox, that are scared of riders?
There are no rules about this. It depends on the age of the horse, its characteristics, the level of training it has received and the nature and history of the problem. Before accepting the horse, La Cense recommends establishing a full health check-up. La Cense will only diagnose problems for horses up to the age of six. Depending on their conclusions, the team will propose ways of allowing the horse to progress or putting it to work at La Cense, for a defined period, under the conditions of the breaking livery.

Can I break my own horse at La Cense and learn simultaneously?
La Cense recommends separating the horse’s training from the rider’s training. It is essential to avoid as many mistakes as possible during the breaking process. Consequently, hiring a professional is the best guarantee of the horse’s training. Of course, you can train at the same time, using the La Cense Method, which is used as part of the breaking process. This will help you understand the codes established by professionals who are training your horse and make the most of the achievements made during the breaking process.

Do you accept stallions?
La Cense accepts stallions only as part of the breaking and training liveries.

What bedding is used for breaking and training livery horses?
The bedding consists of wood shavings mixed with flax shavings.

What is the diet for breaking and training livery horses?
The horses receive two rations of hay per day, in the morning and evening, as well as three rations of flaked concentrate feed morning, noon and in the evening. The volume of rations and the type of food (normal or sport) are decided by the La Cense team on the basis of your horse’s characteristics and needs.


Programs

Does the international program include accommodation?
Accommodation is included in the international program, during the first year of training, from entry into La Cense to departure to Montana. It is the subject of an agreement which is separate to the training agreement.

What does the international program price include?
The price of the international program includes:
• Supervision at La Cense by the La Cense team or external contributors
• Supervision within the ranch at La Cense Montana
• Accommodation during first year
• Sitting the four exams as well as any retakes.
• Transport and coaching during participation in competitions and training sessions as a preparation to exams in the second year of training.
• Entry fees, any accommodation, travel and catering fees during compulsory events, as part of their training.
The price does not include:
• The plane ticket and transfer fees to La Cense Montana
• Various insurance costs
• The costs of food over the entire period
• Accommodation during the second year of training
• Entry fees for competitions; when they are included as part of the training
• Livery for any horses

What is the entry level for international program?
International program requires a technical entry level which is equivalent to the French Galop 6 or 7 qualification. Before entering the training course, students must also have passed the Capacité Equestre Professionnelle, level 2.

Are there any ways to fund training?
La Cense is a DIRRECTE-registered vocational training center. Its courses fall within the framework of funding for vocational training. Depending on the nature of the programs (length, diploma, theme, etc.) and the applicant’s situation (status, region, etc.) the ways in which funding can be granted vary. The La Cense administrative team is available to help with individual requests.

Can I participate in the program with my own horse?
La Cense accepts individual horses as part of vocational training programs on the condition that they are capable of following the programs. The inherent costs of an individual horse are added to the training costs.

Can I sit the BFE EE without being a riding instructor?
Only those holding a teaching qualification can sit the BFEE exams. Here is the list of qualifications that give access to this certification.

How can I register for the university diploma on the ethics, well-being and rights of horses?
It is possible to register on-line for the university diploma on the ethics, well-being and rights of horses on the Université PARIS DESCARTES website. La Cense can help you through the administrative process.

Are the DESE and the university diploma strictly for professionals?
These two programs fall within our vocational training program. This means that the aim of these educational programs is to focus on professional activities. That being said, they are not restricted to professionals and may also be perfectly suited to amateurs.