The « Galops » are a series of French examinations in riding.
Compared to the British Horse Society Stages I would say that roughly speaking Galops 1 to 3 Riding (Galops de Cavalier) equate to BHS Stage 1, Galops 4 & 5 Riding to BHS Stage 2, Galops 6 & 7 Riding to BHS Stage 3, and Galops 8 & 9 Riding to BHS Stage 4. However they do not strictly correspond.
The other major difference is that the BHS Stages are only for riding equitation whereas the French Galops are for other disciplines too. In other words you have Galops for Riding (équitation or Galops de Cavalier), Vaulting (Voltige), Driving (attelage), Trekking, Western riding, Galops® d’Équitation de travail, Galops® de Cavalier de Dressage, . So one could hold a Galop 7 in Vaulting or Driving and not really ride!!
And now here is a description of each level for the Galop de Cavalier (Riding Galop):
Galop 1: after grooming and leading his/her horse in hand, to be able to ride in walk and trot
Galop 2: After giving a complete grooming, bridling and saddling his/her horse, to be able to ride in the 3 gaits (walk, trot, canter)
Galop 3: After checking the general state of the horse and after adjusting the tack, to be able to ride the horse in all 3 gaits, over isolated jumps or on varied terrain.
In walk: find your balance sitting; halt; set off in walk; maintain walk; wide turns
In trot: find your balance; set off in trot; maintain trot; go back to walk
Canter: establish your balance
Approach the horse, put a headcollar on, tie up
Lead your horse in hand in a snaffle
The main parts of the horse
The different riding disciplines
Basic safety rules
Basic grooming kit
Walk: to have a secure seat; change gait at will; ride tighter turns
Trot: find your balance; find your balance in rising trot; change gait at will; ride tighter turns
Canter: find your balance standing in your stirrups; find your balance sitting; change gait at will; maintain the canter
Jump and/or varied terrain: discover your balance on your stirrups on isolated cavaletti and/or on varied terrain; keep the pace when approaching isolated cavaletti and /or on varied terrain
To put on and take off a rug
Maintaining your tack (leathers and metals)
Parts of the headcollar, snaffle and saddle
Markings (white marks on head and legs)
Natural and artificial gaits
The forward aids
Walk: ride alone; set off into walk and halt at a precise point
Trot: rising trot on the correct diagonal; stabilise your balance on your stirrups; ride alone; set off into trot and transition to walk at a precise point; ride on tight curves
Canter: find your balance sitting; ride alone; set off into canter at a precise point and on the correct leading leg
Jumping: find your balance on your stirrups on isolated jumps and/or on varied terrain; ride the approach and the landing of isolated jumps and/or on varied terrain
Checking the horse’s legs and basic care before and after exercise
Mucking out and care of the horse’s bed
Adjusting the tack
Reasons for changing diagonal in rising trot
Some notions about shoeing
Describing parts of the head and legs (external points)
Notions on the different gaits (speed, mechanism)
The aids for turning: 2 reins in one hand, one rein in each hand
(Translated from the FFE Galops book: Manuel Officiel de Préparation aux Brevets Fédéraux)
The New Galops came into place from September 2012 , including more work from the ground with your horse, based on Natural Horsemanship (Ethologie).
Galop 1, Galop 2, Galop 3 and Galop 4 books are available from the FFE boutique. Other Galops books will be some time soon. See: http://boutique.ffe.com/