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The "Galops" explained

Les Galops



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), Logo galop voltigeur Vaulting (Voltige), Logo galop meneur Driving (attelage), Logo galop pleine nature Trekking,  Logo galop westerner Western riding, Galops® d’Équitation de travail,   Galops® de Cavalier de Dressage,  Galop compétition.    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):  Logo galops_1a7


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.



Further details:






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


Horse Care


Approach the horse, put a headcollar on, tie up

Basic grooming

Lead your horse in hand in a snaffle



Horse Knowledge


The main parts of the horse

The colours/coats

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


Horse Care


Complete grooming

Tack up

To put on and take off a rug

Maintaining your tack (leathers and metals)


Horse Knowledge


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


Horse Care


Checking the horse’s legs and basic care before and after exercise

Mucking out and care of the horse’s bed

Adjusting the tack


Horse Knowledge


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:  


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