2013 CHA International Conference Speakers

2013 CHA International Conference Speakers

Katherine BarBarite

Katherine teaches a straight forward set of exercises that aide in the development of a calm confident horse and rider. No matter the skill level or discipline, these steps remove fear and resistance, elevating trust, communication and bond. Understanding the importance of herd structure and leadership to enhance safety and promote growth. Learn why bad timing and poor releases lead to unhappy and ridged horses. Most of all, ‘become more than a passenger, become a partner’.


Partnership & Confidence Building – Structured Foundation

Saturday – 9 a.m. – ShowPlex Arena

Master a straight forward set of exercises that builds a solid structured foundation. “Connecting with the mind and the feet will follow.” Keep heightened safety in mind. Replace fear and build confidence no matter the level, discipline, breed or age. Earn a higher level of trust, communication and bonding. Develop advanced concise communication and a better understanding of horse psychology and mechanics, as you develop improved timing, finesse, balance and feel for a harmonious relationship.


Lynn Bliven

Lynn-Bliven.jpgLynn is a Resource Educator with Cornell University Cooperative Extension. She began her career working as a 4-H Agent and is currently working in Agricultural Economic Development; specializing in beginning farmer outreach, local food systems and livestock production. Lynn and husband Shawn operate a 52 acre farm in Rushford, NY raising grass-fed beef, lamb and poultry.  A past board member of the Certified Horsemanship Association, Lynn is a certified Master Instructor and Clinic Staff Instructor.


Equine Forage Management Technique; There’s Gold in Those Fields

Thursday – 3:30 p.m. – Holiday Inn

Roundtable Discussions

With forage prices climbing, pasture management and hay evaluation are two topics equine facility managers need to be up-to-date on. Whether or not animals on the farm are for pleasure or part of the farm business, they are important to the operator. Pasture management and making or purchasing quality hay have direct impacts on animal health and wellbeing in addition to farm profitability. This session will cover the whys of managing pastures, how grazing affects plant growth, what influences plant nutrient content, composting manure, when to apply nutrients to fields and selection of the right hay to fit the individual needs of your horse herd.

Driving 101 and Preliminary Ground Driving

Saturday – 4 p.m. – Training Arena in Barn 9

We will discuss the fundamentals of putting the horse before the cart. This step-by-step walk through will introduce participants to a safe and efficient way of driving a single harness horse. Topics to be covered include suitability, selecting harness & cart, getting the horse accustom to harness, pulling a load, along with other valuable advice for a safe and enjoyable experience driving your horse.


Josiah Brown

Josiah has traveled all over the country speaking, but he is no happier than when he is speaking in the horse industry which he loves. Josiah has owned a marketing and branding company in New York for 10 years and is the publisher of the new and forthcoming Western Dressage Magazine. Marketing and branding touches our lives every day. Josiah’s passion is to have fun while teaching businesses foundational concepts. Once you get a grasp of what is behind consumer’s habits and trust, you can make better decisions about how to attract customers to who you are.


How to Brand and Market Your Business Keynote

Thursday – 6 p.m. – Holiday Inn Ball Room

Josiah will have some fun and engage the audience in helping to bring a “Secret Marketing Formula” to the whole group. Marketing is nothing more than the study of common sense. This study can be broken down into tangible steps that will enable a potential customer to clearly recognize who you are.


Anne Brzezicki

Anne serves as Director of Equestrian Programs, and coaches the equestrian team at Middle Tennessee State University. Her background includes teaching at 4-H horse camps in CT and TN, competing in USEF, IHSA and AQHA shows, and coaching many youth, amateur, and Intercollegiate Horse Show Association national champions. She has recently begun hosting CHA certification clinics and thoroughly enjoys working with other teachers in an atmosphere of shared enthusiasm, knowledge and techniques.


Bending Exercises for Lateral Control

Friday – 1 p.m. – ShowPlex Arena

Help riders understand how to move the horse’s body parts and improve the flexibility of your school horses at the same time. Bending exercises help riders think about where and how to use their aids, and improve the horse’s response. Turns on the forehand and circles develop into lateral movements in an easy to follow progression.


Doug Emerson

Doug combined his expertise in small business strategy with his love of horses to create Profitable Horseman, a company dedicated to helping professional horsemen and horsewomen who are struggling with the business half of the horse business. With the help of 8 key strategies, Doug helps professionals focus on improving and shaping their businesses to create the businesses they have always wanted while maintaining a proper balance of work, rest and play. He has spoken at: American Morgan Horse Annual Convention, American Ranch Horse Annual Convention, USHJA Annual Convention, Kentucky Equine Network Association and has made numerous presentations and conducted workshops for horse organizations and clubs. Emerson writes a free electronic newsletter about the business of horses which is available for subscription at www.ProfitableHorseman.com. He has written articles for Cutting Horse ChatterIllinois Horse Network and Perfect Horse Magazine. Doug and his wife Betsey are the parents of six children and live in Lockport, New York on a 28 acre horse farm.

Riding Lesson Program Profit Analysis

Thursday – 2 p.m. – Holiday Inn

In this session, learn how to analyze and build your current program for improving profitability and plan for growth.

How to Publish an Electronic Newsletter For Your Clients And Future Clients

Thursday – 3:30 p.m. – Holiday Inn Roundtable Discussions

A step-by-step approach to begin publishing a newsletter in less than 30 days will be discussed.

Understanding Horse Boarding Profitability and Its Contribution To Your Business

Friday – 10:30 a.m. – Showplex Club House Seminar Room

In this presentation, tips on boarding profitability improvements and how to measure the benefit of boarding to your program will be analyzed.


Jim Glunt

Jim-glunt.jpgJim has been involved with horses for over 40 years. In the past, he has led the horse operation at a resort hotel, directed a youth camp with an extensive horse program, and worked as a farrier. Prior to retiring he offered a wide variety of support services to group horseback riding programs through Jim Glunt Equine Services. These services also included staff selection, development and training; program planning and development; risk reviews; site planning; plus tack and saddle repair. He has been involved with CHA since 1980, serving on the CHA Board and Executive Committee. In addition to CHA events, Jim has led workshops for a variety of regional and national groups, including the Pennsylvania Equine Council, the American Camp Association – Keystone Section, the YMCA, as well as the Pennsylvania State University. He is a CHA certified riding instructor and site visitor trainer and has had articles published in both The Instructor and Camping Magazine. He resides in central Pennsylvania with his wife Jill.

Staff and Horse Selection

Thursday – 3:30 p.m. – Holiday Inn Roundtable Discussions

Critical points, considerations, sources and suggestions relative to these all-important program areas. Whether staff or horses — where do we find them? How do we qualify them? How do we keep them? What do we do when it is time for them to move on? We will discuss these and other topics.

Western Saddle Fit

Friday – 10:30 a.m. – Trail Encampment

An interactive workshop applying saddle fit principles for both horse and rider to group riding programs. It will include recommendations for saddles most suitable to group programs; fit for horse and rider; saddle rigging; seat measurement; and evaluating a used saddle. Various saddles and trees will be available as well as horses to demonstrate fitting principles.


Julie Goodnight

Julie-Goodnight.jpgJulie is the popular RFD-TV host of Horse Master airing Monday and Saturday nights. Julie travels the USA sharing her no-nonsense horsemanship training with riders of all disciplines. Whether you ride English, Western, dressage or trail ride, Julie’s “Classic Skills for a Natural Ride” teaching helps you feel more confident in the saddle and helps you understand the “whys” of horsemanship. She loves continually learning and sharing horse behavior insights and she relates that knowledge to how you should interact with your horses. She’s experienced in dressage and jumping, racing, reining, cow horse, colt-starting, and wilderness riding. You’ve probably seen her articles in Horse & Rider, The Trail Rider and many other horse publications. Julie is honored to be the International Spokesperson for the Certified Horsemanship Association and was named Equine Affaire’s Exceptional Equestrian Educator. Julie grew up on the hunter-jumper circuits in Florida, but is now at home in the west. She and her husband Rich Moorhead live in the mountains. Both love versatility ranch horse competitions and riding cow-horses.

Fun Unmounted Lessons to Improve Equitation

9 a.m. – Saturday – Showplex Club House Seminar Room

Balance, alignment, rhythm, using your aids—these are all skills that can easily be taught from the ground in fun and challenging exercises that anyone can do and that hone physical skills while giving the student a deeper understanding of theory.

All Skill Levels—All at Once

Saturday – Noon – ShowPlex Arena – Keynote

It’s not always about teaching to the lowest level of the group. What if you have to keep many different horses and riders challenged and learning in the same arena, all at the same time? One rider can barely control her horse, while another is competing at the highest level—this is what horsemanship clinicians do and it isn’t easy. Learn the tricks of rider/horse analysis, keeping riders challenged and teaching one skill at many different levels, all at the same time.

Leads, Departures and Lead Changes

Saturday – 4 p.m. – ShowPlex Arena

Ask an advanced rider what she wants to accomplish and chances are good that the response will be ‘flying lead changes.’ Learn how to teach leads and departures, deal with lead problems and check off the pre-requisite skills for flying lead changes.


Katie Gussenhofen

One of Katie’s earliest memories was going to a Grange supper, then being spirited away by her grandfather, still wearing her puffy little girl dress and patent leather shoes, to head to the pony auction. Thus began her love affaire with horses. In her twenties, Katie discovered ex-racehorses and eventing. 1996 found her as a spectator at Rolex where she met saddle maker, David Young. He turned a saddle upside down, cut it apart, and she was hooked. Katie then spent 10 years selling saddles for a major manufacturer and worked with Olympic riders in every discipline involving English saddles. She has reflocked saddles and currently balances all makes of saddles. Katie has also been trained in equine massage, mainly as it relates to biomechanics.

English Saddle Fit

Saturday – 9 a.m. – Training Arena in Barn 9

This presentation will review the ten points of saddle fit and how saddle design affects rider position and impacts instructor effectiveness.


Susan E. Harris

Susan is an international clinician and equestrian author, artist, and educator, teaching Centered Riding, biomechanics and anatomy and horsemanship clinics to riders of all breeds and disciplines. Her unique demonstration, “Anatomy in Motion: The Visible Horse,” in which she paints the bones and muscles on a live horse, has been a popular attraction at equine expos and clinics around the world, from Australia and Japan to Europe. Susan is a Level IV (Advanced) Centered Riding clinician and has been honored as a Master Instructor by the American Riding Instructor Association. Susan Harris is the author/illustrator of Horse Gaits, Balance, and Movement, Grooming to Win, CHA Composite Manual of Horsemanship and the U.S. Pony Club Manuals of Horsemanship, and has produced Anatomy in Motion I: The Visible Horse and Anatomy in Motion II: The Visible Rider as DVDs. She has also illustrated books on equine biomechanics for Dr Hilary Clayton and Dr Gerd Heuschmann. Susan’s study of equine and human anatomy and movement, artist’s eye and experience as an instructor, trainer and judge, give her a unique perspective on horses, riders and how they move. You can visit Susan Harris online at www.anatomyinmotion.com.

How Horses Move: Understanding Equine Biomechanics and How It Relates to School Horses

Friday – 2:30 p.m. – Showplex Club House Seminar Room

Susan shows the basics of how horses move, good movement and damaging movement, and practical approaches to helping your horses move their best and stay sound and healthy in a lesson program.

Equine Anatomy Workshop

Saturday – Noon – Training Arena in Barn 9

A hands-on approach to equine anatomy: discuss the equine skeleton and muscular system, questions & answers, and help paint the Visible Horse.

Anatomy in Motion: The Visible Horse

Saturday – 2:30 p.m. – ShowPlex Arena

Come and watch the Visible Horse in motion and learn horse anatomy and how horses move.

Beyond “Heels Down”–What Do We Really Teach?

Saturday – 7 p.m. – Holiday Inn Ball Room

Come and join us for the CHA Annual Awards Banquet and hear Susan Harris do a keynote speech directed to riding instructors.


Kathie Hilsher

Kathie lives on a small hobby farm in Houghton, NY with her husband, two kids, and two horses. She currently teaches in the English department at Houghton College. She grew up riding at Houghton College Equestrian Center and there connected with CHA, took her first certification clinic when she turned 18, and followed with a second certification clinic at the age of 21 in hopes of being a clinic instructor. Since then she has taught lessons privately, worked several clinics, began judging, started volunteering at the Allegany County 4-H horse program, and taken on the task of teaching her kids responsible and safe horsemanship—the most important job of all.

Partnering with 4-H

Thursday – 3:30 p.m. – Holiday Inn Roundtable Discussions

Are the mission, vision, and objectives of CHA and the 4-H Horse program compatible? How can we partner together with 4-H as riding instructors to enhance the 4-H horse program in our own areas? How can the two organizations benefit from each other? We will use this round table discussion time to look for answers to these questions and begin brainstorming ways we can serve and partner to train up safer, more effective young horse people.


Teresa Kackert

Teresa has been CHA Clinic Instructor since 2003. She is also Chris Irwin Natural Horsemanship ‘Double-Gold’ Certified and a Richard Shrake Resistance Free Riding Master Level Trainer/Instructor. Teresa is the creator of the ‘Soft Touch’ Training Program – Classical Equitation & Natural Horsemanship and has over 20 years professional experience as a rider, competitor, trainer, instructor, clinician and personal coach. She is founder of Great Horses of America, Consignment Horse Sales company and Co-Founder of Pink Heart Pony Kids, Inc. Teresa specializes in: confidence building in both horse and rider, horse behavior modification, motivational personal coaching and skill enhancement for riders & horses of all levels and disciplines. www.GreatHorses.org.

‘Soft Touch’ Horsemanship Equine Communication Demystified

Thursday – 2 p.m. – Holiday Inn

Learn the subtleties of effectively communicating with your horse in every situation; applies to in hand and under saddle work. ‘Listen’ and ‘speak’ with your mind & body; verbal & nonverbal skills both you and your horse have and use at all times. Understand ‘what’ your horse is telling you and ‘what’ you are telling him. THEY ‘see’ and THEY ‘say’ it ALL! It is our job to ‘translate’.

‘Soft Touch’ Horsemanship Equine Performance Skills

Saturday – 1 p.m. – Training Arena in Barn 9

Put into practice the communication techniques learned above in Part 1. Fine tune & apply your equine communication skills both verbal and nonverbal. Continue to develop your equine vocabulary and ‘translation’ expertise. What are you really ‘saying’ to him: with merely your physical presence or your natural riding aids—leg, hands, seat, voice. Does he hear me? Is he even listening! Does he understand me? Uh oh… ’do I understand him?’


Mike King

Mike is a managing Partner at Capri Insurance Ltd. and is responsible for the development and management of various equine insurance programs across Canada. As of today, over 50,000 equine industry participants are protected by Capri’s unique programs. Mike has been involved in the horse industry in one way or another since childhood. He has shown on the “A” circuit, judged horse shows, raised and trained horses for himself and clients and managed facilities which offered a variety of services to competitors and recreational riders alike. Mike is well known as the ‘Insurance Guy’ in the Canadian equine community. In addition to running the brokerage in Aurora, Ontario; Mike teaches a course on equine risk management at the University of Guelph and regularly publishes articles addressing insurance topics in various publications. Mike has over forty years of experience involved in the horse industry and twenty years in the equine insurance industry. His background provides unique insight and understanding of the life we lead and the risks we face with our equine partners – regardless of geography. Insurance for Horses & Their People – It’s what we do!

Risk Management

Saturday – 1 p.m. – Showplex Club House Seminar Room

The specialized insurance products that all people who own horses should understand. Liability and the equine professional / facility operator – they can’t sue me – can they?


Karolina LaBrecque

Karolina holds a Ph.D in Physical Rehabilitation and MS in Psychology. She has 20+ years of horse experience and 10+ in hippotherapy /therapeutic riding experience. Karolina holds PATH International and CHA certifications in USA and hippotherapy/ able body certifications in Poland. In her carrier as educator and mentor she introduced over 300 students to the field of EAAT. Besides involvement in the horse world she in an international speaker, life coach and psychology adjunct professor at the local collage. In her free time she teaches fencing and is involved in K-9 Search and Rescue Team.

Why Equine Assisted Activities and Therapies (EAAT) Work

Saturday – 10:30 a.m. – Showplex Club House Seminar Room

Directed at THR instructors, horseback riding instructors, hippotherapists, volunteers and parents this presentation is intended to broaden understanding of EAAT and show the science behind it. The scope of EAAT, biomechanics of horse movement, influence of horse on the rider, therapeutic qualities of the horse, the therapeutic process and current research in the field will be covered.


Roxanne Lawrence

Roxanne is the current Executive Director of the Interscholastic Equestrian Association, and she is an initial founding member of that association.  Originally from Atlanta, Georgia, her equestrian experience started in the world of hunt seat riding.  She spent several years as a trainer and instructor, and ultimately moved into horse show management with positions at The National Horse Show (Madison Square Garden), WEF, HITS, Capitol Challenge, 1996 Atlanta Olympics, and many other notable events around the country.  She went on to manage the Andrews School Equestrian Center for 10 years in the Cleveland, Ohio area where she currently resides.

How Can my Equine Business Get Involved w/Interscholastic Equestrian Association

Thursday – 2 p.m. – Holiday Inn

The Interscholastic Equestrian Association was founded in 2002.  Just 10 years later, it boasts over 8,000 members who participate in two primary disciplines of Hunt Seat Equitation and Western Horsemanship/Reining.  With its draw-based format, the IEA offers competitive opportunities to riders in grades 6-12 that may not own a horse, and it offers significant opportunities for growing your business and attracting new clientele to your lesson program.  What are the benefits to your business and your clients? How do you get involved?  Come to this session to learn all about the Interscholastic Equestrian Association.


Amy Long-Mount DVM

Amy earned her BS in large animal science from Delaware Valley College and her DVM from Purdue University. Amy has special interest in equine dentistry and complementary medicine. In 2006 she completed the International Veterinary Acupuncture Society course in veterinary acupuncture and believes in using both traditional and alternative medicines to keep horses willing and able to perform their best. Amy and her husband also run a horse boarding business in Cuba, NY.

Equine Acupuncturist/Dentistry

Saturday – 2:30 p.m. – Showplex Club House Seminar Room

Horses by nature are very accommodating animals and most “bad” behaviors can be explained as the horse’s way of trying to ask (sometimes demand) help. As horse owners, riders and trainers it is our responsibility to hear what they are trying to tell us and help them find the right answer. Acupuncture and dentistry are two modalities that can be used to help us to help them. Acupuncture is part of traditional Chinese medicine and operates on the philosophy that bodily functions and athletic performance are dependent on the smooth flow of energy throughout the body. Any interference or interruption in that energy flow can disrupt normal function, leading to disease. By placing tiny needles at very specific locations we can stimulate the flow of energy and return the body to its properly balanced state. Equine Dentistry has made huge jumps forward over the last 15 years and is a necessity for safety, good health and maximum performance. Getting your horse’s teeth “floated” involves much more than rasping off sharp points with a file. Discussions on what it means to properly “balance” the equine mouth and how dental health impacts performance and quality of life.


Reba Martinez

Having grown up around horses, Reba barrel raced and competed in play days as a child. As a young adult, she worked as a pharmacy technician in hospitals at night and exercised race horses early in the morning. She went on to a professional career in the horse racing industry as a jockey for 8 years and licensed trainer for 10 years. She and her husband, Larry, founded Blue Streak Stables, a horsemanship camp that teaches girls 7 to 15 years old all about horses. They learn to care for horses and are taught the foundations of riding. As a CHA instructor for 10 years, Reba is very qualified and has imparted a love of horses in many girls.

Understanding New Technology in Treating Colic

Thursday – 3:30 p.m. – Holiday Inn Round Table Discussions

Through years of working with horses, particularly the older horses at the stables, Reba has seen her share of colic cases. She has appeared as a guest speaker at numerous events. She has a wonderful flair in teaching to help horse owners understand the digestive tract of horses, how each of these different types of colic affect the horse with signs and symptoms. Vital signs and assessments are important and how to achieve these before calling your vet. Through new technology, discovery of a revolutionary way for every horse owner to treat colic where in 30 minutes gut sounds return. It is 100% effective on impactions, light sand, spasm, gas colics and also treatment of diarrhea. Participants will learn how to recognize the early signs and symptoms of colic and how to effectively treat it quickly and easily. Learn about the equine digestive tract anatomy. Learn the cause, prevention and different types of colic and how it affects the digestive tract.


Dan McCarthy

Working with horses since he was 14, Dan’s thinking and therefore his training has evolved to a place of oneness with the horse. Through private lessons, group lessons and clinics, Dan makes this experience accessible to anyone who desires to have that kind of intimate connection with their horse. Dan is certified as a Richard Shrake Resistance Free TM Trainer and is committed to Bill Dorrance’s teachings: making the right thing obvious, setting things up for success, and working within the horse’s timeline. When not training or caring for his own herd at his home Little T Ranch in Hobart, NY, Dan provides his time and talents to help rehabilitate horses for adoption through Rosemary Farm Sanctuary in S. Kortright, NY.

Understanding the Timing of a Horse Through Music

Saturday – 10:30 a.m. – ShowPlex Arena

The magic of this program comes from you tapping in to the rhythmic nature of your horse. We accomplish this using music to explain the footfall and song to obtain the rhythmic harmony – an elegant dance – between you and your horse. The musical pulse is used to move the horse, rather than driving or pressure. Selected songs as well as spontaneous compositions are used to create the natural, rhythmic communication between you and your horse.


Valerie McCloskey

Valerie is the trainer and instructor at Whisper Wind and a USDF Bronze and Silver Medalist, awards she earned on horses that she trained herself. Valerie is working towards her Gold Medal and has competed at Intermediare with scores in the mid 60s. She has been riding since she was a child and has competed in Western, Huntseat and Dressage. Valerie has obtained accreditation and certification through CHA where she has earned her Master Instructor and ACI certifications. Valerie also coached an IHSA team for 5 years and brought them from 15 to 7th place in a very competitive region. She trains horses and riders of all levels, breeds and disciplines with emphasis on a correct foundation. Valerie is available for private, semi-private and group lessons.

Semi-Private Dressage Lessons

Friday – 9 a.m. – ShowPlex Arena – $$Extra Fee Required

Exercises for Half Halt and Position

Friday – 1 p.m. – Showplex Club House Seminar Room

This will be an unmounted session. In this session we will discuss the theory of and types of half halts and why and when you would use them. We will discuss the riders’ position and the importance of it in applying the half halts.

How to Ride and Teach the Counter Canter

Saturday – 1 p.m. – ShowPlex Arena

We will discuss and explore the steps and preparation leading up to the counter canter including being able to position the haunches and control the shoulders, as well as the theory behind why we do it and how to execute the counter canter.


Mark Munzert

Mark is a proud cowboy and equine author and story-teller that appreciates and promotes the traditional, value-centric, measured evolution and down to earth ways of life with horses. Comfortable in the classroom, ‘at home’ in the saddle, or around the campfire, his brand of info-tainment is thought provoking, tear inducing and laugh producing.  Mark operates HorseSurrounds, a provider of indoor arenas and equine barns. You can reach him at www.cowpokescorral.com.

Cowboy Poetry

Saturday – CHA Awards Banquet – 7:00 p.m. – Holiday Inn Ball Room


Dale Myler

Dale and his brothers Ron and Bob are third generation horsemen, and are three of the world’s leading bit designers. Because of Dale’s extensive research into equine dentistry and equine physiology, the Mylers have been able to bring an added understanding of the connection between bitting and the equine mouth to their designs. Dale has done bitting clinics and seminars all over the US and in the following countries: Sweden, Wales, England, Germany, Scotland, Ireland, Switzerland and Austria. In 2006, Dale was given the privilege of conducting a seminar at the Royal Mews at Buckingham Palace.

Bits and Bitting Practical

Friday – 10:30 a.m. – Training Arena in Barn 9

During this arena demonstration, Dale will provide an overview of the bit selection process: identifying resistance and evaluating individual horses; introducing and transitioning the horse and rider to a new bit; and following up with an evaluation of the horse and further instruction for the rider. A basic knowledge of the Myler bitting philosophy as found in the Myler book, The Level Best for Your Horse, will be helpful but not required.


Ken Najorka

With over thirty years of horsemanship experience, Ken lives in Central Florida as an active reining instructor, but knows that good horsemanship and equitation are simply that, no matter the discipline. Ken’s experience as a coach and clinician reaches beyond the show pen. The work has taken him to many parts of the country and allowed him to work with a variety of individuals and horses. Ken is a CHA certified instructor and the Region 7 Director. He has worked as an instructor for Dennis Reis Universal Horsemanship that can be seen on RFD-TV. Najorka Performance Horses, LLC encompasses: starting horses, problem solving, and fine tuning the well trained horse. From the beginner to the show pen, Ken prides himself on building a better horse-rider partnership. From teaching basic horsemanship to working with various jurisdictions of mounted police in safety training, Ken blends his knowledge of reining horses and natural horsemanship to help fill communication gaps between all types of horses and riders. Ken is available to conduct seminars, demonstrations and lessons throughout the year. Quality horses are available for sale or lease. You can contact Ken at najorkaperformancehorse@gmail.com

Balance of Horse and Rider

Friday – 2:30 p.m. – ShowPlex Arena

Confidence, forward and balance – how important are they?


Jill Paxton

Having grown up attending horse shows with her mother when she was judging, Jill’s involvement with horses has been lifelong. Currently as the Director of Equestrian Studies and Equine Management for The University of Findlay, Jill supervises both their English and Western Programs. Jill’s daughter Shannon Paxton-Hannasch is the third generation showing horses. Horses out of Jill’s training program are APHA World, Paint Congress, Pinto World, and Buckskin Congress Champions. Jill retired multiple AHSA/USEF judging cards. She currently holds judging cards with POAC, APHA, ABRA, ApHC, PtHA, Iowa Ranch Horse Association, Iowa 4H, and Iowa Open shows.

Exercises to Prepare Your Students to Jump

Friday – 10:30 a.m. – ShowPlex Arena

This presentation will discuss how to strengthen your student’s foundation skills and position leading up to jumping. A variety of exercises will be introduced utilizing bounce lines and grid work to help develop the student’s eye and timing. Open discussion will be encouraged.

Stops on a Western Horse

Friday – 2:30 p.m. – Training Arena in Barn 9

The topic of this presentation will present the steps leading up to stopping a western horse. Specifically focusing on the importance of transitions and that they are important throughout all disciplines. Additionally the progression for teaching a stop will be outlined using different modalities and discussing various learning styles. Open discussion will be invited.


Shellie Pilato

Currently the Equestrian Director for the Girl Scouts of Southeastern Michigan, Shellie began her professional riding career over 30 years ago starting colts and ponies in her father’s stable. Her background in various disciplines and areas of the equine industry were instrumental to forming her career with horses. Shellie designs and implements riding programs where the focus is on safe interaction with horses in a welcoming environment. Her passion is targeting and building solid beginner safe horses and helping instructors develop their skill, in and out of the arena. In her free time, Shellie serves on the CHA Board of Directors, works as Clinic Staff and continues to develop her own riding and training skills.

Teaching Techniques for Riding Instructors

Thursday – 3:30 p.m. – Holiday Inn Roundtable Discussions

This roundtable environment is an opportunity to explore the basic techniques of teaching and discuss creative ideas of reaching and engaging your students. Develop a better understanding of lesson planning and safe lesson set up, share what happens to be working for your program, or pick the brains of other professionals to help get your creative juices flowing. The topics to discuss could be endless and entertaining.

Putting the FUN Back Into Riding Fundamentals

Saturday – 2:30 p.m. – Training Arena in Barn 9

Sometimes in our pursuit of riding, we often lose sight of the fact that at one time, riding was FUN. This class is a way to help put the FUN back into your Riding Fundamentals by exploring different topics and horsemanship through mounted games. Keep students engaged and learning. Bring school horses off of the rail get them thinking and tuned back into their rider. Help instructors regain creative & safe teaching methods and breathe life back into the riding program. Beth Powers and Shellie will discuss safe use & introduction of props, creative use of mounted games and will make available resources and lists of games known to help students reach their goals.


Heidi Potter

Heidi is a full time instructor, trainer and clinician with over 40 years of horse experience in several disciplines. Her program, “In Harmony With Horses”, is designed to improve the relationship between horses and humans. Using Natural Horsemanship techniques her work starts on the ground and then progresses to under saddle. She currently competes in the NE Stock Horse Show Series and works with gaited horses at two Vermont facilities. Ms. Potter is a Level III Centered Riding© Instructor/Clinician and a CHA Master Instructor & Clinic Instructor as well as the 2010 CHA Clinic Instructor of the Year. She teaches, trains and conducts clinics throughout the country, as well as at her family’s southern Vermont farm, Maple Ridge Stable. To learn more about Ms. Potter, her programs and clinics please visit www.InHarmonyWithHorses.com

Horse Agility Training Seminar

Friday – 9 a.m. – Showplex Club House Seminar Room

The IHA (International Horse Agility Club) was founded in the United Kingdom by Vanessa Bee, author of The Horse Agility Handbook and the newly released DVD -Horse Agility-The DVD. The club’s purpose is to promote a safe, fun and unique competition experience for humans and horses of various ages, levels, abilities and breeds. Horse Agility offers a venue for people who cannot or do not ride horses and have a desire to compete. It also serves as a way to keep older or rehabbing horses mentally, physically and emotionally engaged. It is an ideal activity for camps, lesson programs, therapeutic riding programs or simply anyone who wants to enjoy a new activity and improve the overall relationship they share with their horse. A slideshow will be used to share information about the sport of Horse Agility. It is done on the ground with a strong emphasis on good horsemanship, improving communication and achieving a mutually respectful partnership with the horse. The goal in agility is to progress to working the obstacles at liberty. In addition to developing a good set of skills on the ground the handler must be mindful and have a solid understanding of equine behavior. The goal is to achieve clear communication and the ability to move your horse through the use of body language, not through applying pressure. (No sticks, whips or flags allowed in competition). The only two rules for this sport are that it must be SAFE and it must be FUN-for You and Your Horse!

Horse Agility Training Starter Course

Saturday – 10:30 a.m. – Training Arena in Barn 9

This presentation will begin with reviewing basic ground skills needed for agility and an introduction to some of the obstacles.


Beth Powers

Beth-and-rosie-2011.jpgBeth Powers has been a CHA instructor for over 20 years many of these including being a member of the CHA board of directors. She has an education degree from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. She has presented topics at CHA International and Regional Conferences, American Youth Horse Council Symposium and at Equine Affaire Ohio. Beth was asked to be the Keynote speaker at the Wisconsin State 4-H conference and her topics included teaching techniques and the process in which people learn different skills. She holds a membership in AQHA and has received a Professional Horsemanship distinction. Beth is a CHA Site Trainer and Visitor and is currently serving as the CHA Vice President.

Putting the FUN Back Into Riding Fundamentals

Saturday – 2:30 p.m. – Training Arena in Barn 9

Sometimes in our pursuit of riding, we often lose sight of the fact that at one time, riding was FUN. This class is a way to help put the FUN back into your Riding Fundamentals by exploring different topics and horsemanship through mounted games. Keep students engaged and learning. Bring school horses off of the rail get them thinking and tuned back into their rider. Help instructors regain creative & safe teaching methods and breathe life back into the riding program. Shellie Pilato and Beth will discuss safe use & introduction of props, creative use of mounted games and will make available resources and lists of games known to help students reach their goals.


Heather Sansom

Heather is a rider biomechanics and conditioning specialist. She is a certified elite Personal Trainer, Centered Riding® Instructor and Equine Canada Competition Coach. A lifelong rider, she has trained in Dressage at Level 4 and is proud of having done at least one barrel race in her life, taken polo lessons, and hunted with hounds. Heather’s personal cross-training program varies according to season to include activities for cardiovascular, strength, core and flexibility training. She hikes, and trains in martial arts and dance for overall conditioning and to improve rhythm and co-ordination. In a project management role with the Equine Canada, she was responsible for the development of the national equestrian coaching and riding curriculums and certifications. She is recognized for her innovation in remodeling the equestrian adaptation of the Long Term Athlete Development sport model. Heather owns Equifitt and you can find out more at www.equifitt.com.

Athletic Development of the Rider and Fitness Exercises

Saturday – 4 p.m. – Showplex Club House Seminar Room

National programs in all 67 major sports in Canada are aligned with the Canadian model for long-term athlete development (LTAD). For many sports, including equestrian, sport-specific models have been developed to create a coherent framework for designing programming that meets the needs of riders of all ability levels, from recreational and beginner riders, to elite performance. The model is based on sport science related to natural developmental phases and windows of opportunity for skill acquisition. The principles of each stage help riding instructors and coaches with more tools for ensuring their students get the best preparation possible for the next stage of their development. This workshop will provide an overview of the framework, how it is useful for equestrian instructors, and provide some opportunity for peer discussion and sharing. Fitness helps a rider with more accurate aids and less risk of injury regardless of whether the goal is pure enjoyment or high performance. Coaches and instructors that understand the basic elements of rider fitness are better able to help guide their students toward health and fitness choices which contribute to achievement of their riding goals. In some cases, the riding instructor may be that student’s most significant influence on health and fitness at that moment. This talk will provide an overview of rider fitness, touching on important muscle groups, movement patterns, considerations based on seasonal training plan, and common postural issues and compensating patterns.


Mitzi Summers

Mitzi has been an instructor and trainer for many years. She is the recipient of the 2010 CHA Instructor of the Year Award, a Level IV Centered Riding Instructor, and a judge for the A.J.A. Mitzi works with all disciplines and all breeds of horses, and specializes in “problem” horses, using only positive reinforcement in her methods to rehabilitate horses. Mitzi has certified hundreds of instructors for CHA, and also travels internationally to teach instructor and training workshops for Centered Riding and also for SUMMERS E.T. (Summers Equine Theory). This program has been developed to educate riders, trainers and instructors in the classical, non-abusive methods of working with horses that has been established for centuries. Mitzi has traveled to Europe, South Africa, New Zealand and throughout the United States sharing her years of expertise to make the lives of horses and their riders happier and more meaningful.

Centered Riding

Friday – 1 p.m. – Training Arena in Barn 9

Using images, knowledge of the biomechanics of horse and rider, and how horses learn and understand, this session will be addressing each horse and rider combination as unique entities. The goal for the session is that each rider and horse will have improved in performance and understanding. The only way that we can communicate with our horses correctly is through our bodies and correct use of the natural aids. Weight incorrectly distributed, mixed signals, tension or stiffness in the body of the rider can all result in confusion and even apprehension in the horse. Centered Riding allows each rider to become familiar with how to use their bodies correctly when they ride. “Hands On” work is used when appropriate to better the understanding of each rider on how to communicate to the best of their ability with their horse. Mitzi will encourage the audience to come into the arena at times to learn first-hand some of the more common procedures and body work that are the most helpful with riders.


Jennifer Willey

Jennifer-Willey.jpgJennifer is a CHA master instructor and clinic staff with a bachelor’s degree in marketing and sales. She currently works in Minnesota.



Social Media and How to Harness It

Thursday – 3:30 p.m. – Holiday Inn Roundtable Discussions

Are you utilizing social media? If not, you should be! Social media such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn is no longer a trend; it has become a valid marketing, communications and networking business tool that is free to use! This discussion will talk about some tips to navigating the technology, communicating with your fans and how to grow your business following.


Terry Williams

Terry is a 1984 graduate of Otterbein College in Ohio with a Bachelor’s Degree in Equine Science and Stable Management. Terry has been a Clinic Instructor with CHA since 1988, and a certified riding instructor with CHA since 1985, earning her ACI rating in 1986. Terry is also a Clinic Instructor for The Equine Facility Management Program, a certified Overnight guide, a Site Visitor, a past Region 4 Director, and currently a CHA Board of Directors Member. She has been on the Approved List of Ohio 4-H Judges since 1995. Terry has taught both in year round residential camps and privately. She currently specializes in teaching Problem Riders vs. Problem Horses. Terry graduated from nursing school in June 2009 and has been practicing as a registered nurse since then in a large hospital in northern Cincinnati. Previous to nursing school, Terry managed a large thoroughbred breeding and training farm for ten years. She resides with her family in Blanchester, Ohio.

Conformation Form to Function

Friday – 9 a.m. – Training Arena in Barn 9

When we look to buy a house we hire someone to see if it is structurally sound. When buying a horse it should be the same. Would you like to be able to predict what your horse’s potential lameness/unsoundness issues would be in the future? This is one reason we hire a vet for a pre-purchase exam. Yet, wouldn’t it be nice to wean out some of our prospects? Conformation does not have to be frightening or overwhelming. Attend this session and decide if you should place your horse in the halter class at the local show after you learn how to size up your competition. Yet, keep in mind that most horses have flaws and how we deal with these flaws helps us in the longevity of our horse’s career. Learn how to evaluate form to function of your prospects and choose the horse that will best meet your individual needs.


Jeff Wilson

“Starting young horses, reschooling problem horses, and putting people together with their own horses successfully are all pursuits that I have focused on.” With a thirty year professional career, Jeff furthered a love for all breeds of horses through the training and pursuit of natural horsemanship and dressage, a study which has naturally evolved into Western Dressage. Bringing the west coast explosion, Western Dressage, to the east coast has been Jeff’s mission and goal since its formal creation in 2010. Now, as a Western Dressage clinician, Jeff’s goal has been to help western people learn and teach their own horses the tools that have been developed through the centuries. Jeff has bred, raised, trained and shown his Morgans for almost 35 years. His bloodline, Black Willow Morgans, was featured at the World Equestrian Games where Jeff presented his two Morgan stallions.

Western Dressage Keynote

Friday – Noon – ShowPlex Arena

The western working horse has been the backbone of our country. Helping that horse be a better riding horse through the timeless principles of dressage is my mission statement. Bringing to the horse a longer useful life, bringing to the rider the highest level of horsemanship they desire.


JoAnne Young

JoAnne-Young.jpgJoAnne has been teaching riding and training horses for over 40 years, and is happy that she is still learning. Every student and every horse bring fresh challenges that keep life interesting. She has been privileged and blessed beyond her wildest dreams to study with such wonderful instructors as Walter Zettl (dressage coach to Canadian event team when they won bronze at Los Angeles Olympics), Bertin Potter in Germany, Molly Sivewright (FEI judge and past chair of the Fellows of the British Horse Society), Carel Eijkenaar (FEI judge), Eddo Hoestra (FEI Trainer) and Doris Halstead (Physical Therapist and author of “Releasing the Potential: Physical Therapy Modalities for Horse and Rider.”) Jo-Anne is the author of the M.A. thesis: “Preparing students for riding instructor certification through college curricula.”

Eventing Courses

Thursday – 3:30 p.m. – Holiday Inn Roundtable Discussions

Designing and building multi-level cross country obstacles; using available materials to construct sturdy, safe cross country jumps; preserving jumps for future seasons will all be discussed.

Semi-Private Dressage Lessons

Friday – 9 a.m. – ShowPlex Arena – $$Extra Fee Required


Walter Zettl

Born in Czechoslovakia in 1929, Walter was trained in Germany, working for many years under the esteemed Col. Aust, for whom he eventually became First Assistant in 1955. He received many honors through the years, including the German Federation’s Gold Riding Medal, for which he was the youngest ever recipient at the age of 21. He received his Reitlehrer certification after reaching the minimum age of 25. In 1981 he moved to Canada, where he continued his lifelong pursuit of teaching horses and riders, including coaching the Canadian Olympic Three-Day Event team in dressage for the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles. He has written many articles for German and US publications (such as USDF Connections and Dressage Today in the US, St. George Dressage magazine in Germany, etc.) and has authored 3 books: Dressage in Harmony (also published in Germany), The Circle of Trust, and the newest, Ask Walter. His teachings and insights are also available in the DVD series “A Matter of Trust”.

Welcome to New York Keynote Address

Thursday – 1 p.m. – CHA Annual Meeting – Holiday Inn