The practice of horse is largely democratized in France. More than 1 million families live or practice of horse riding. Today it is the third national sport, the first private employer sports and the first educational farm in France.
A popular sport
This democratization of riding in this country is a particularly original success in Europe and in the world. It is organized on a model envied by the entire sports movement, based on professionalized actors. Horse riding is also a major socialization factor. The horse has the advantage of animating the territory and strengthen the social ties of the population.
An autonomous sector
France has a network of over 8000 equestrian facilities, most of which are completely autonomous and managed as real businesses. It is a dynamic sector that allows equestrian structures to create jobs and invest in equipment of all kinds without their having provided use of subsidies or public funds. 50% equestrian facilities are very small companies doing live 2 or 3 people.
For horse riding, you have to adhere to an equestrian center. The equestrian centers are the main educational structures of riding in France. The horse (or pony) education has the distinction of being shared there. It does not belong to a particular owner but at the equestrian center, which makes it available for any rider. This specific model to France is unique in Europe. In twenty years, it has democratized the practice of riding, which continues to belong to traditional or elitist activities in other countries.
The French Equestrian Federation
The French Equestrian Federation (FFE) is a national organization. Founded in 1987, it unifies under one organization equestrian, equestrian tourism and riding a pony, previously independent entities. The FFE aims to coordinate the activities of equestrian centers, select the riders competing, issuing licenses and certificates, and organize competitions regulations. There are also many other federations, such as the French Federation polo, French Federation artistic training or horseback riders.
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