2016 CHA International Conference Speakers

Peggy Adams

CHA President Peggy Adams has been on the CHA board for nine years and is a CHA Clinician. She previously taught and coached riding at her own farm, PLA HorsePlay, and worked for the Girl Scouts for 30 years in a variety of managerial positions.

CHA Annual Meeting – Holiday Inn – 2 p.m.



Tim Alderson

Tim isn’t from Texas, but he got there as fast as he could! Originally from Orange County, California, Tim’s equine enthusiasm eventually landed him in East Texas at Pine Cove Christian Camps, where he has served as the Head Wrangler for over 30 years. At Pine Cove, Tim oversees all aspects of 4 separate riding programs encompassing 120 horses and dozens of wranglers. A member of CHA since 1985, Tim is certified in English and Western, has served on the Board of Directors, hosted a CHA National Clinic and Conference, and was a recipient of CHA’s Volunteer of the Year award in 2009.

That’s a Great Idea! – Sharing tips, tricks and problem solving ideas – MTSU Teaching Arena – Saturday, 9 a.m.

Have you had to adapt your program because of your facilities (or lack thereof), your neighbors, your budget, staff, etc.? This session is designed to encourage participation—sharing tips and ideas in order to troubleshoot problems and enhance your program’s effectiveness. Tim has plenty of ideas, but wants to invite anyone to share the “how and whys” of what works for you. We will be using real horses and equipment, so bring your questions and ideas and let’s all learn from one another!


Kim Brown

Kim has more than 35 years of experience equine industry publishing and marketing. Currently she is the Associate Publisher/Editor of two brands for Active Interest Media (AIM) that are focused on business. EquiManagement is for equine veterinarians and Stable Management is for farm/stable owners and riding instructors. Kim’s background includes nearly 30 years at Blood-Horse Publications, the first 15 with The Blood-Horse magazine, ending up as a Contributing Editor, and the second 15 developing The Horse: Your Guide To Equine Health Care as the Publisher/Editor. Kim retired from publishing to become Global Marketing Manager at Kentucky Equine Research, and while there lead the team that created award-winning newsletters and videos, launched a new content-driven educational website, and developed an e-commerce site. Kim then ran her own marketing/content development company for a short time before accepting a full-time position with AIM’s Equine Network. Kim and her musician husband, Ben, moved from Kentucky to Wyoming and are enjoying the outdoor life riding horses, camping, cycling, hiking, fishing, canoeing, and Kim’s favorite—rockhounding. Kim can be reached at KBrown@THINInc.com.

Luck is Where Preparation Meets Opportunity – Keynote – Thursday – 3 p.m.

Do you want more students? Do you want to teach at more facilities (or a specific facility) and just can’t seem to break the ice? Do you want to start camps or expand the ones you have but need a partner to make it happen? Then you need to learn how to recognize and take advantage of opportunities you might not even see that are in front of you today!


Anne Brzezicki

As the MTSU Director of the Equestrian Program, Brzezicki is the director of equine laboratory classes, and she coaches the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association (IHSA) team at the Murfreesboro, TN, university. Brzezicki got her start as a hunt seat rider in Connecticut. As a second-year undergraduate at the University of Connecticut, she and the UConn Equestrian Team won the IHSA National Championship. She then coached the UConn Equestrian Team to the National Hunt Seat Championship in 1972. In addition to competing for IHSA, Brzezicki has competed in USEF and AQHA shows. She began the MTSU Equestrian Team in 1977, and she and Kenny Copenhaver introduced the western  horsemanship divisions to IHSA that year. She would start another IHSA team, this time at Virginia Tech. She served a brief stint as Virginia Tech’s IHSA coach while she attended graduate school there, but she returned to coaching at MTSU in the 1980s. Over the years, Brzezicki has coached many youth, amateur, and IHSA national champions. In addition, her background also includes teaching at 4-H horse camps in Connecticut and Tennessee. In addition, Brzezicki has been an active member of the IHSA Board of Directors, AQHA, and a big supporter of 4-H. She was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award from IHSA in 2003 and IHSA Regional Coach of the Year in 2004. Brzezicki is a CHA Master Instructor and as a CHA Assistant Clinic Instructor, she has recently begun hosting CHA Certification Clinics and thoroughly enjoys working with other teachers in an atmosphere of shared enthusiasm, knowledge, and techniques. In addition, she was honored by CHA when she was awarded the 2015 CHA Instructor of the Year Award.

Real Colors Personality Style Assessment for You, Your Students and Your Horses – Thursday – 5:30 – Holiday Inn

For just $20 come and take the Real Colors Personality test to see if you are Gold, Green, Blue, Orange or a combination of colors. This instrument can be helpful working with students, your family and friends and even your horses. Come and find out how and take the instrument home with you.

Jumping Exercises for Different Levels – MTSU Teaching Arena – Friday, 10:30 a.m.


Stephanie Cook

Stephanie grew up in New Jersey, riding and teaching students of all ages from the age of 10 until she went to college. After successfully riding for four years on the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association (IHSA) team at West Point, Stephanie graduated in 1987 from the United States Military Academy with a Bachelor of Science degree. She spent time in the military, law enforcement, and corporate careers, raising 5 children and earning an MBA along the way. In 2009, she realized that her passion for horses never left and returned to what she was meant to do; ride and train horses, and teach others how to ride! She opened Hill Country Riding Academy outside of San Antonio, TX where she has had tremendous success with children, adults, young horses, ‘problem’ horses, and everything in-between! In 2015, her horse, Texas Checkmate, won the Take 2 Thoroughbred National Jumper Championship and was also in the top 20 in the Take 2 National Hunter standings. She has trained horses for local and “A” USEF rated shows, has had riders qualify and compete at USEF Pony Finals and coaches the Trinity University IHSA and Hill Country Riding Academy IEA teams. She is an USHJA Certified Trainer and a CHA English and Western certified instructor.

The Different Jumping Releases – MTSU Teaching Arena – Friday, 9 – 10:15

Grab the mane? Crest Release? Following Arm? So many choices! Come to this session to learn what Stephanie has heard from top trainers such as Olympians George Morris, Anne Kursinski, Greg Best, Joe Meyer and Bernie Traurig over the past two years trying to develop the most effective, kind, and consistent way for riders to place their arms and hands over fences. There are times when “grabbing the mane” is certainly the best approach, however, this should not be the position as the rider develops a more secure core and true independence of seat, arms, and legs. “Wide hands”, driving reins, counting and gymnastics in the half seat, or two-point position, will be used to help riders develop a feel for balance, rhythm and following the horse’s mouth over the top of the fences in order to maintain constant contact. With whom, when, and how to practice techniques to develop the “following arm” (also known as the “automatic release”) will be outlined and discussed in depth.


David Dellin

David Dellin is the APHA Director of Judges. He is a multiple World and Congress champion trainer. He has judged multiple NSBA futurities and breed World Championship shows. He currently resides in Elmore City, OK, with his wife, Julie, and three children Gage, Lane, and McKenna.

HorseIQ – Miller Club – Saturday, 1:30 p.m.

Prepare yourself for a one of a kind experience, giving you the same information that carded judges hear in their educational seminars. From cutting-edge video examples with easy to see graphics, to in-depth explanations of the science behind scoring systems and maneuver scores, this website has you covered. Judge runs in the “Judging Test of Knowledge” and compare your scores to the expert panel in each discipline. You also will have the ability to judge entire classes and compare your scores against the World Show judges that judged the classes live. Whether you are an exhibitor, professional or carded judge this is the place to hone your skills and gain the knowledge to be a success in the show pen.


Sandra Elder

Sandra is a CHA instructor and a Special Education teacher by trade, and a teacher of any child who wants to ride by passion. The thousands of children who have ridden through her lesson program are testament to how much difference one person can make in the lives of others.  Her son John was an AQHYA national officer and daughter Sarah member of the AQHA Youth World Cup Team.  They both have been World and Congress winners. Sandra’s service includes more than 38 years of being a 4-H Horse Project leader, 6 years of serving TN youth as TQHA Youth Director, and starting the very first IEA team in TN years, both hunter seat and western.  Her students have won major awards at the TN State 4-H Horse Judging Contest, Public Speaking, Hippology, Horse Bowl and Demonstration Contests, TN State 4-H Horse Show, Southern Regional 4-H Horse Show, AQHA Youth World, and IEA Nationals.  Her creative programs and selfless hours spent in the service of youth have helped her and husband Roger and their family earn the TN State 4-H Family award.  Sandra has been honored with the AQHA Youth Leader of the Year Award, TQHA President’s Award, MTSU and UT Service awards and Maryville District Teacher of the Year as well as numerous other recognitions.

Exercises for Multiple Students at Different Levels – Miller Coliseum – Friday, 3 p.m.

When scheduling students for riding lessons, the ideal would be “like ability and like age” to ride together, but with busy families and multiple activities this can be impossible.  An instructor must be able to plan lesson content that can be adapted for all abilities or skill levels, hunter or western, male or female, adult or child. This session will give you many exercises to take home and start teaching!


Tammi Gainer

Having grown up around horses, Tammi began her professional equestrian career in 1989 as a trail guide at a large ranch camp where she was first introduced to CHA and attended a Standard Instructor Certification Clinic in 1990. In the spring of 1995, Tammi joined the instructor staff at Pegasus Farm Therapeutic Equestrian Center in Hartville, OH.  While working at the Farm part-time and  home schooling her three children, Tammi also spent much time working under several national trainers in both reining and dressage and achieved, in addition to her CHA Instructor certification, PATH Intl. instructor certification.  In 2000, she achieved CHA Master Level Instructor and Standard clinic staff status and has since earned Clinic Instructor status in the IRD and Vaulting Coach programs as well. Tammi was promoted to Equestrian Director at Pegasus in 2005 where she now manages all aspects of the equestrian program that serves 250 plus students each week participating in areas such as horsemanship, riding, driving, vaulting, veterans, and youth-at-risk programs.  Most recently Tammi has acquired her AQHA Professional Horseman status; an organization she is especially proud to be a part of.  In September 2007 Tammi was elected to the CHA Board of Directors and asked to chair the Education & Training Committee & in 2011 was asked to take on the position of Board Secretary.  In the fall of 2014, Tammi accepted the responsibility of board treasurer. At the 2011 Certified Horsemanship Association International Conference in Lexington, KY. Tammi was honored with the coveted “CHA Volunteer of the Year Award.”

How to Deal with Different Types of Clientele – Miller Club– Friday, 9 a.m.


Tara Gamble

Tara has been the Past President of CHA and of the Alberta Equestrian Federation (AEF), as well as Runner-Up Miss Rodeo Canada in 1998. She has served on the Equine Canada Board of Directors as a representative to recreation, and on the Strathcona County Economic Development and Advisory Committee as the agricultural representative. It has been an honor for Tara to receive both the CHA Clinic Instructor of the year (2006), and Volunteer of the year (2013) awards. She is a CHA Clinic Instructor, and a designated Professional Horseman with the American Quarter Horse Association and was appointed to the AQHA Youth Activities Committee in 2012. Her education includes a Bachelor of Science degree in agriculture from the University of Alberta. With over twenty three years of industry teaching experience and a background in both Western and English, Tara offers weekly riding lessons at her facility east of Ardrossan, Alberta. In addition, she judges various horsemanship competitions, presents seminars and instructs clinics. She has been fortunate to work with many equine professionals on the provincial, national and international levels which has greatly enriched her experiences.

Practical Applications for the Turn Back – Miller Coliseum – Friday, 9 a.m.

This session will explore how turn backs can help take your riding to the next level! An often overlooked or misunderstood maneuver, the turn back is a fundamental training exercise that can assist your horse in learning to use their hind end better to improve lightness and balance. Discover what a turn back is including variations of the traditional pattern and how they can help you achieve better stops, spins, correct leads and more!


Julie Goodnight

Julie 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.

It’s Time for the Classics! – Miller Coliseum – Friday at Noon

With the increasing popularity of Western Dressage, classical riding is enjoying a resurgence in both the English and Western worlds, and with riders young and old. We’ll delve into traditional techniques for teaching the classics, how to utilize the arena, teach your students to visualize lines, and how to apply the important tenets of classical riding in your lessons.

CHA Awards Banquet Keynote – Holiday Inn, Saturday, 7 p.m.

Universal Truths for Horse Professionals As long as there are people owning and riding horses, there will be horse professionals gritting their teeth and repeating the same truths we’ve said a thousand times. We’ll take a humorous look at the universal truths about horses and riding students that we’ve all come to know.


Randy Hensley

Randy began his career in hoof care as a conventional farrier over thirty years ago. In 2006, with the prompting of a client, Randy began to explore the benefits of barefoot rehabilitation. Certified by the American Hoof Association (AHA) in 2007, Randy has gone on to help hundreds of horses in over five states. He enjoys the journey of helping horses and their owners return to a healthy, sound lifestyle. Randy has also served as vice president of the AHA & has evaluated and mentored other professional farriers & is currently a field instructor for the Equine Sciences Academy. Aside from helping others, Randy also enjoys working cattle by horseback and building ranch horses.

The Hoof – MTSU Teaching Arena – Friday, 1:30 p.m.

Have you ever considered the hoof to be a living being? What’s going on in there & what is the outside of the hoof telling us? Explore the “tip of the iceberg “in hoof anatomy. Get up close and personal with our cadavers and add another tool to your ever developing tool box! *Helpful hints for those of you running a program that depend upon quality donated horses or for those of you who are just intrigued by feet!


Dr. Rhonda Hoffman

Rhonda is a professor and interim director of the Horse Science program at Middle Tennessee State University. She has been teaching horse owners, youth, college students, veterinarians and feed manufacturers about horse nutrition for 20 years. She received a B.S. degree from Truman State University in Missouri, and an M.S. and Ph.D. in equine nutrition from Virginia Tech. Dr. Hoffman earned board-certification as a Diplomate of the American College of Animal Nutrition in 2007. Rhonda views the board certification as a guarantee to herself and her students to remain current and be the best teacher possible. She has published over 80 scientific research and popular press articles, and she has been an invited speaker for over 100 national and international meetings, including conferences in England, Germany, Spain, and a keynote presentation in Brazil. Rhonda is constantly evaluating her approach to teaching, working hard to keep horse nutrition both interesting and applicable to horse owners and students. She was awarded the MTSU Outstanding Teacher Award, the university’s highest teaching recognition, in 2013. Her horse nutrition knowledge and practical experience helps to keep the MTSU school horses looking good and in their best form and usefulness.

Are School Horses Different than Performance Horses? Nutrition for our Teaching Partners – Club Lounge – Friday, 1:30 p.m.

We know proper nutrition cannot guarantee that a performance horse will win, but improper nutrition CAN guarantee a loss. Are school horses any different? This presentation will address common nutritional issues of various types of school horses and strategies for their optimal nutrition. Topics include weight management, aged horses, feed types and costs, supplements, and fuels for performance.


Teresa Kackert

Teresa has been CHA Clinic Instructor since 2003. She is an AQHA Professional Horseman and member of the Wrangler Extreme Team 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.

Jumping Exercises for Different Levels – MTSU Teaching Arena – Friday, 10:30 a.m.


Danielle Koren

Danielle is a certified marketing specialist, multi-disciplinary project manager, business process analyst and photographer. She has joined Schleese Saddlery Service Ltd. in the position of Marketing Manager in January, 2016. Danielle has over 20 years of experience in planning and executing strategic initiatives through employments at organizations in the private and not-for-profit sector. In addition, she has over five years’ experience in designing and delivering marketing, branding and communications initiatives, and executing photo assignments through her own business. Danielle has a Management Master’s degree, has the Project Management Professional (PMP®) credential and obtained the Certified Marketing Specialist™ designation. She has over 12 years over horseback riding experience.

Women, Are You Riding in a Saddle Made for a Man? – Miller Club – Friday, 10:30 a.m.

Riding shouldn’t hurt. The unspoken reality is many female riders suffer from pelvic discomfort, struggle with position (shoulder-hip- heel alignment), sit crooked, feel unbalanced in the saddle, and endure recurring back, hip and neck pain. These common issues are often the result of riding in a saddle made for a man. This session will include discussion, videos, power point, live demonstrations and exercises including:

  • Differences in female and male anatomy and pelvis relating to riding and the seat (pelvis, leg ratios, musculature, skeletal) showing the differences that dictate different saddle design for women
  • Saddles design for women and for men – what is the difference?
  • Gender correct saddles and back comfort for the horse
  • Improving effective use of aids in your lessons
  • Interchangeable male female ground seats
  • How to evaluate saddle fit to rider – diagnostic saddle fit checklist


Christy Landwehr

Christy Landwehr has been active in the horse industry for over 35 years. Hunter/jumper, dressage, native costume, side saddle, western pleasure, hunter pleasure, barrel racing, endurance riding and saddle seat equitation are just some of the disciplines Christy has competed in at the local, regional and national levels in multiple breeds. She has been teaching children and adults how to ride for over 25 years. Christy is not only the Chief Executive Officer, but also a Master Level Riding Instructor/Clinician, Equine Facility Manager/Clinician and Site Visitor Trainer for CHA and has taught students in 4-H and Pony Club. She is a Past President of the American Youth Horse Council and she also founded, competed on and coached the University of Colorado at Boulder Intercollegiate Horse Show Association equestrian team.  Christy is an AQHA Professional Horseman and on the AQHA National Marketing Committee. Christy was recently appointed to the Colorado State University Equine Sciences Advisory Council.  With an undergraduate degree in public relations/speech communication from California State University Fullerton and a graduate degree in mass communication/journalism from University of Colorado at Boulder, Christy has vast experience in marketing and business. She was the Sponsorship and Youth Programs Manager for the Arabian Horse Association, a trainer for Skill Path Seminars, a television news reporter for WB Channel2 in Denver and the Development Director for The Urban Farm that works with at-risk youth. Christy has spoken at numerous equine events throughout her career including: Arabian Horse Association Conventions, Back Country Horsemen National Convention, American Paint Horse Association Convention, Taking the Reins in WI, Equine Affaire in CA, OH and MA, American Hippotherapy Association Conferences, Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship Conventions, Mane Event in Edmonton, AQHA Conventions, American Camp Association Conventions and many others.

Real Colors Personality Style Assessment for You, Your Students and Your Horses – Thursday – 5:30 – Holiday Inn

For just $20 come and take the Real Colors Personality test to see if you are Gold, Green, Blue, Orange or a combination of colors. This instrument can be helpful working with students, your family and friends and even your horses. Come and find out how and take the instrument home with you.

Dr. Tom Lenz

Dr. Lenz has been active for more than 40 years in the world of equine veterinary health. He has dedicated his life to educating others about animal welfare, often speaking to audiences in the equine, veterinary, and agriculture industries, as well as governmental groups. Dr. Lenz is a Past President of the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) and was honored with the 2005 AAEP Distinguished Service Award and the AAEP Lifetime Achievement Award in 2009. He is also a past chair of the AAEP’s Welfare Committee. He is currently on welfare committees for the American Horse Council, the Professional Rodeo Cowboy Association, the American Quarter Horse Association, the Missouri Veterinary Medical Association, and the American Veterinary Medical Association. He is a trustee of the American Horse Council (AHC), the past chair of the Unwanted Horse Coalition, and the current chair of the AHC’s Welfare Committee. He has also served the American Quarter Horse Association as an honorary Vice President, co-chair of the Research Committee, and a member of AQHA’s Nominations, Credentials, and Research Committee. His monthly column for the “American Quarter Horse Journal” and “Quarter Horse Racing Journal” has run for more than 20 years. Dr. Lenz graduated from the University of Missouri’s College of Veterinary Medicine in 1975. He earned Diplomate status in the American College of Theriogenologists in 1986 and an MS in Equine Reproduction from Texas A&M University in 1988. The University of Missouri honored Dr. Lenz as the College of Veterinary Medicine’s Alumnus of the Year in 1995 and as a distinguished alumni in 1997. He currently resides in Louisburg, Kansas.

Animal Welfare: Lessons Learned – Holiday Inn – Thursday, 4 p.m.

This presentation will focus on lessons we learned in dealing with equine welfare issues and the Unwanted Horse situation. In the past, welfare issues were discussed and resolved within the horse community, but this was the first national issue where non-horse owners and animal activists, as well as state and local officials, were involved in the debate and resolutions discussion. The result was a change on how we communicate and address equine welfare issues.


Julie Little

Julie is the founder of Equine Office, which specializes in dedicated invoicing services for equine businesses. In dealing with barn owners, coaches and trainers, she has been exposed to the many different ways clients implement their procedural policies. Julie began her career as a software developer. She has lived and worked (and of course ridden!) throughout the U.S., Canada, and Europe. She subsequently started and operated a hunter/jumper riding school and training business of her own for many years. Bringing the best of both careers together, she developed specialized invoicing software which led to the founding of Equine Office. Julie holds bachelors degrees in English and Biology from the University of Toronto, and in Computer and Information Science from the University of Maryland. She experienced many different disciplines of riding growing up, but it was her passion for jumpers which led to years of training and showing on the ‘A’ circuit. Julie gives clinics and judges horse shows when time permits.

Business Solutions for Equine Professionals – Miller Club – Friday, 3 p.m.

Running a coaching business or riding school can be a stressful operation as you try to please everyone. Having solid procedures in place can help smooth those bumps and make everyone’s experience easier. In this workshop we will discuss solutions which businesses like yours have used successfully. Among the topics we will cover are how to handle make-up lessons, and how to best avoid late paying clients. We will consider the pros and cons of different types of lesson packages. We will examine the challenge of getting clients to financially commit to trailering and coaching plans for horse shows. With these and other related topics, you will benefit from other coaches’ experiences. You will be able take home ideas you can apply to make your particular business more efficient (and hopefully give you less headaches)!


Jim McDonald

Jim is a lifelong horseman and a lifelong learner. In the year 2000, he started a non-profit organization dedicated to horsemanship education. Part of its mission is to make the joy of a relationship with a horse available to people who would not ordinarily have that opportunity and that was the original motivation for founding the Graham Equestrian center (www.Grahameq.org). They work closely with anyone who wants to advance their horsemanship skills and knowledge. Jim has been the CHA Board Treasurer and an AQHA Professional Horseman.

Teaching Horsemanship Skills for Effective Communication with Horses – Miller Club – Friday, 9 a.m.

This classroom instruction is design to present effective skills for making your intent clear to the horse. The knowledge and skills based on behavioral science. Understanding prey animal psychology and operant conditioning will be the emphasis of this presentation.


Debi Metcalfe

Debi is a well-known speaker and clinician hailing from Shelby, NC where she heads Stolen Horse InternationalTM, the only group that has advocated for the victims of rural crime-particularly equine theft-since 1992. She and husband Harold started the organization after the theft of their own mare, Idaho (recently crossed the Rainbow Bridge at age 31). Because of this brutal experience, Debi found the power of networking and social media-and the moniker of ‘NetPosse’ was used to describe that network by the media. It stuck and became the website name. Today, the NetPosse rides the internet on several social media sites-not just Facebook. Committed horse people of all descriptions are encouraged to participate in the ALERT network, volunteer, and become partners and/or sponsors. All it takes is ONE person who sees that horse we are looking for and who makes that call. NetPosseTM-Bringing Horses Home.

Dealing with a Stolen Horse – Miller Club – Saturday, 10:30 a.m., TBA


National Reining Horse Association

First offered in 2010 at the Alltech© FEI World Equestrian Games in Lexington, Ky., “NRHA Ride a Reiner” has taken the country by storm by giving novice and experienced riders the opportunity to ride a reining horse. Nowhere else in the world can spectators find an option like this: the chance to receive a hands-on lesson from an NRHA Professional, to enjoy a dizzying spin and to feel the power of sliding stops on a well-trained reining horse!

 Ride a Reiner – Miller Coliseum – Saturday at Noon


Andrew Fox – NRHA Professional

Andrew is the head trainer and ranch manager for Darling 888 Ranch, located in Princeton, Kentucky. Originally, from Newmarket, England Andrew began his career riding western pleasure, reined cow horses and horsemanship. He showed his first reining horse when he was 14 years old. He won a European championship title at the age of 15 and has had continued success since then. Andrew has a degree in Equine Science from Cambridge College of Agriculture. Since moving to the United States in early 2008, Andrew has lifetime earnings just under $70,000 and has won various titles including the Alabama, Kentucky, and Missouri Futurities. Andrew has also won the Nebraska Big Red Derby, earned multiple Top Ten NRHA world titles in three different categories and made the open NRHA Derby finals. As a coach, Andrew has enabled his group of non-pros to achieve their goals which include winners of multiple Circuit Championships, Saddle Series, NRHA Top Ten World Titles (non-pro; youth), affiliate finalists and countless first place plaques, buckles and trophies. Andrew also has helped NRHA with Rookie Days and continues to host clinics at the ranch for others to strengthen their reining skills.


Hayley Eberle – NRHA Manager of Marketing and Communication

Originally from Georgia, Hayley became involved with horses at a young age. Having competed in several equestrian disciplines from speed events to hunt seat classes, she became successful and desired to be involved in the equestrian industry. A graduate of Middle Tennessee State University, Hayley earned a Bachelor’s degree in Horse Science with a Minor in Business Administration while competing in Intercollegiate Horse Show Association shows and on the horse judging team. To gain experience with event management and horse associations while still in college, she spent much of her free time working equestrian events such as American Stock Horse Association Shows and American Quarter Horse Association events. Hayley also received her AQHA Show Management certification in 2012. Since early 2013, Hayley has been employed with the National Reining Horse Association. She currently manages the Sire and Dam program, marketing of NRHA’s programs, communications to members, outside advertising, and alliances, all while fulfilling additional responsibilities, such as serving as staff liaison to three committees. Hayley also serves on the American Youth Horse Council Board of Directors as well as several committees for the organization. When she isn’t traveling to represent NRHA at events and conferences, she still works local equestrian events.


Heidi Potter

Heidi is an internationally known and respected Certified Centered Riding© Clinician, CHA Master Instructor/Clinician and Horse Agility Accredited Trainer from Southern Vermont. She teaches a wide variety of training and riding clinics at her facility, The New England Center for Horsemanship and abroad. Horses and humans alike benefit from her extensive knowledge and gentle approach. As a natural style trainer she specializes in the gentle and progressive way of working with horses. Her ability to read the horse and then progress with calmness, clarity and consistency has proven successful in building more safe, trusting, respectful and enjoyable partnerships between horses and their humans.

Centered Riding© Exercises for All Riders – Miller Coliseum – Saturday, 10:30 a.m.

Learn exercises created by Centered Riding’s founder Sally Swift designed to assist riders in achieving better balance, improved stability and clearer communication with their horse.

Demystifying the Half Halt – MSTU Teaching Arena – Saturday, 3 p.m.

Learn what the half-halt is, how to apply, when to apply it and how to teach it. This session will include interactive exercises with humans, followed by mounted application.


Cathy Rothery

Cathy joined Schleese Saddlery Service in 2000, bringing 20 years’ experience in banking, human resources and running a small business. She joined the Saddlefit 4 Life© team in 2006 as Director of International Marketing and focuses on developing innovative educational projects in a variety of media, and courses offered. A passionate advocate for horse and rider well-being and comfort, Cathy reaches out to equine associations to provide saddle fit education to protect horse and rider from long term damage caused by ill-fitting saddles. Cathy graduated from the University of Guelph (Honour Bachelor of Applied Science) and is married, and mom of two adult children, various rescue dogs and grand dogs.

Women, Are You Riding in a Saddle Made for a Man? – Miller Club – Friday, 10:30 a.m.

Riding shouldn’t hurt. The unspoken reality is many female riders suffer from pelvic discomfort, struggle with position (shoulder-hip-heel alignment), sit crooked, feel unbalanced in the saddle, and endure recurring back, hip and neck pain. These common issues are often the result of riding in a saddle made for a man. This session will include discussion, videos, PowerPoint, live demonstrations and exercises, including:

  • Differences in female and male anatomy and pelvis relating to riding and the seat (pelvis, leg ratios, musculature, skeletal) showing the differences that dictate different saddle design for women
  • Saddles design for women and for men – what is the difference?
  • Gender correct saddles and back comfort for the horse
  • Improving effective use of aids in your lessons
  • Interchangeable male female ground seats
  • How to evaluate saddle fit to rider – diagnostic saddle fit checklist


Tara Reimer

Tara has always been involved with horses whether training, driving, riding or showing. Tara and her husband, Derek, own/operate Cloud 9 Ranch near Steinbach, Manitoba where she spends most of her time teaching Western and English riding and vaulting lessons, facilitating equine assisted psychotherapy, group discovery and therapeutic riding as well as training horses, judging shows and giving clinics. She is a CHA Clinic Instructor and the CHA Region 2 Director. In 2013, she was the CHA Instructor of the Year! EAGALA certified, she is the Equine Specialist on her equine assisted psychotherapy team. She is also an AQHA Professional Horseman and longtime exhibitor. With Equestrian Canada she is a Western Coach and General Performance Judge. Tara continues to show horses herself and enjoys the challenge of preparing young horses for Futurities. Tara’s passion is teaching, humans and horses, to develop their talents. Tara was twice a guest instructor on the Florida based Horses in the Morning radio show with CHA and has presented at the CHA International Conference in Lexington, Kentucky and at Horse 3 in Brandon. www.cloud9ranch.ca

Effective Groundwork – Miller Coliseum – Saturday, 9 a.m.

Ground work to ‘check in’ makes for calmer, more productive time spent with your horse. Learn how the horse’s brain works so you can identify a lack of confidence, then see how I use a combination of ground work exercises to build the horse’s confidence and activities using equine assisted learning to build our student’s confidence. What does the horse need from you as the handler? Learn more about yourself and how to better communicate, to horses and people. Easy to apply techniques and audience participation.


Jochen Schleese

Former member of the German young rider’s Three Day Event Team, Jochen qualified for the European Championships in 1984, but had to retire his horse due to lameness, which abruptly ended his riding career. Years later, through research Jochen discovered his horse’s lameness was caused by damage to the scapular cartilage from an ill-fitting saddle. This was the catalyst for Jochen’s life-long mission to prevent saddle related damage for all horses. Jochen graduated from Passier in 1985 as the youngest Certified Master Saddler in Germany at the time. He came to Canada as the Official Saddler for the 1986 World Dressage Championships. Jochen registered the trade of saddlery in North America in 1990, and operates the only authorized training facility for this trade in Ontario. He established Saddlefit 4 LifeÒ (2006) as an independent organization to teach saddle fit evaluation and analyses, and certify professionals in equine and saddle ergonomics. Jochen lectures at the German Professional Trainers Association in Warendorf Germany, at veterinary conferences in Brazil and is a frequent clinician at trade shows and equine forums worldwide. Jochen is on the advisory board of the Equine Sciences Academy and an education partner with the Ontario Equestrian Federation.

Western Saddle Fit – MTSU Teaching Arena – Saturday, 10:30 a.m.

This interactive demonstration will discuss:

  • Fitting challenges of western saddles
  • Center of balance relative to breed and discipline
  • Correct Saddle Support Area on the horse’s back
  • The 9 Points of Saddle Fit (static) – principles illustrated on horse’s back
  • Dynamic Fit (in motion)
  • Use of saddle blankets- saddle pads
  • Evaluating saddle fit for western saddles – principles and demo
  • Interchangeable – male-female ground seats
  • Systems to achieve optimal fit as the horse changes and develops

Saddle Fit Considerations for Various Breeds – Miller Coliseum – Saturday, 3 p.m.

The number of different breeds and the use of horses have changed dramatically over the last 150 years. Veterinary and medical findings reveal incorrectly fitting saddles can cause pain and damage to the horse. Correct saddle fit facilitates optimum performance and promotes back health. In addition to age and conditioning discussion will include principles professionals need to consider related to conformational differences (back lengths, shoulder conformations, spine, withers) of various breeds which present unique saddle fitting requirements and potential challenges. The horse’s back remains a very sensitive area, despite goals of targeted selection and breeding. One saddle does not fit all.


Randi Thompson

Randi is the founder of the “Horse and Rider Awareness® Educational Programs” and ”How to Market Your Horse Business.”  She has been in the horse industry for over 40 years and has been coaching professionals for 20+ years in horse-and-rider training, business and marketing. Randi has worked with many breeds of horses and styles of riding in her career and has produced national winners in the worlds of dressage, hunter/jumper, western pleasure, and flat-shod walking horses. Randi is a Master Instructor for the CHA (English, Jumping, Western) and is available to come to your location for clinics and instructor training. Randi also offers instructor programs with recognized judges for those who want to focus more on coaching or competing in Jumping or Dressage (Tryon, NC area). For more information on how Randi can make a difference for you, go to http://www.horseandriderawareness.com.

Riding Position Magic – MTSU Teaching Arena – Saturday, 1:30 p.m.

Teaching a rider a balanced riding position is an art. First we start with the basics… than what do you do? How can you take a rider to the next level in their training process? Now you can watch what happens as Randi shows use techniques that you can use to improve your more advanced students riding position and balance.


Carla Wennberg

Carla has been an AQHA judge for 30 years and an NSBA and NRHA for judge 27 years. She was the AQHA 2008 Professional Horsewoman of the Year and for over 25 years was the Instructor and Coach for University of Georgia, Colorado State University, and last ten years at St Andrews University in North Carolina. Carla has coached for the past 10 years, IHSA western for St Andrews University and this year tied for First at IHSA Nationals with Berry College in Georgia. Carla has judged 13 Open and Amateur World Championship shows for AQHA, 3 Youth World Championships for AQHA, 3 All American Quarter Horse Congress shows, and 2 European Championships in Germany. She is also a clinician and master instructor with CHA. Having already staffed a CHA Certification Standard clinic at St. Andrews. Carla loves competing her FEI level gelding and is just 2 scores away from a Silver USDF Medal.

Western Horsemanship Exercises – Miller Coliseum – Friday, 1:30 p.m.

We will start this session with a quick warm up for riders to have a balanced position and explain why it works! Balancing exercises in transitions and the many ways it works for both horse and rider will be examined. Then the steps of collection required in the exercise will be explained. Next, the steering exercises including first with squares and how it works for horses and riders and then controlling the shoulders of both the riders and the horses.  We will also discuss the mental preparation required for the horsemanship rider and how it helps in all pattern work.


Dave Whitaker

Dr. Whitaker was the long-time Director of Horse Science at MTSU until 2014.  Dave may be best known for his judging teams who won every major contest including Appaloosas, Paints, Morgans, the AQHA World three times, and the Congress five times.  Dave was an AQHA Director and AQHA judge for more than 31 years.  He has judged horse shows in eleven countries and forty-two states, including the AQHA World Show three times, the Youth World three times, the Select World and the Congress, and the Texas State 4-H Show, possibly his favorite, four times.  He has done clinics in other countries as well, most notably New Zealand, where he was able to combine his knowledge and love of horses with two of his other animal passions on a huge sheep ranch…that also trains their own working stock dogs.  He hosted summer youth horsemanship camps at MTSU for 30 years. Nationally, he served as Chair of AQHA’s Youth Committee and Research Committee which determines disposition of nearly half a million dollars a year in research funding for three years each, as well as serving on the International Committee and Nominations/Credentials Committee. For three years he was the sole non-veterinarian on the Board of the American Assoc. of Equine Practitioners, and currently serves on the AQHA Welfare Committee. A few of the numerous awards that he has won that are very meaningful to him include the TN State 4-H Family Award, Distinguished Alumni from the University of Tennessee, AQHA’s Merle Wood Humanitarian Award, and the National Honorary American Farmer degree from the national FFA convention. Dave and his wife Pat, an Extension educator in Consumer and Family Science, have three children and five grandchildren.

About Middle Tennessee State University Horse Science Program – Holiday Inn – Thursday, 2 p.m.


Barbara Wolke

Barbara is the Vice President of the Rutherford County Convention & Visitors Bureau. She joined the Convention & Visitors Bureau staff in 2003. She has 30 years of experience in sales and the hospitality industry. Barbara earned her designation as a Certified Hospitality Sales Professional from the Educational Institute with the American Hotel & Motel Association. She earned industry designations as a Travel Marketing Professional from the Southeast Tourism Society Marketing College and as a Certified Tennessee Tourism Professional from the Tennessee Tourism Roundtable. Barbara is a native of Middle Tennessee and a 35 year resident of Rutherford County. She is an active member of the Tennessee Society of Association Executives, American Bus Association, Rutherford County and Tennessee Hospitality Associations, and the National Association of Sports Commissions. Barbara is a graduate of the Transit Citizen Leadership Academy, Dale Carnegie Course and the 2015 Leadership Rutherford program.

Welcome to Murfreesboro! – Holiday Inn – Thursday, 5:30 p.m.


Lisa Wysocky

Lisa is a registered level PATH International instructor and also holds certifications as a mentor, and an Equine Specialist in Mental Health and Learning. In addition, she has been chosen as one of the country’s Top 50 riding instructors by ARIA. With a life balanced between books and horses, Lisa is an author, equine clinician, and motivational speaker who trains horses for and consults with therapeutic riding programs. Lisa graduated from the University of Minnesota with a degree in equine management. Early wins on the national Appaloosa horse show circuit took Lisa across North America, where she was asked to speak, or to write articles for national publications. Lisa’s passion for writing and speaking led to a second run at college where she studied communications and journalism. Lisa is the co-author of a number of books, including My Horse, My Partner: Teamwork on the Ground, which helps horse and human partners form amazing bonds using traditional ground training, natural horsemanship, and desensitization. Lisa combines her love of horses and country music in Horse Country: A Celebration of Country Music and the Love of Horses. This beautiful coffee table book features twenty-seven of the top stars of country music talking about how horses changed their life for the better. Lisa’s six-time award winning Cat Enright equestrian mystery series has recently been optioned for film and television. Lisa is the executive director of Colby’s Army, a therapeutic riding and life learning center, and has a clinic schedule that tales her nationwide. Learn more at http://www.lisawysocky.com.

Choosing the Lesson Horse – MTSU Teaching Arena – Friday, 3 p.m.

Lesson horses are the backbone of any instructor’s barn, but the builds of some horses are better suited for one purpose or another. We all want our horses to stay in our programs for many years, but like people, the bodies of some horses wear out faster than others. Comparing the conformation of several lesson horses, Lisa takes the audience through the pros and cons of each horse as a long-term lesson prospect. From nose to tail, Lisa educates instructors on the best choices for their lesson program.

The Green Barn – Miller Club – Saturday, 9 a.m.

As we become more conscious of good environmental practices, those ideas must also extend to the barn. Many of us also have horses and/or riders with allergies, and those sensitivities can be reduced by using products that are less harsh. From innovative stall beddings, to recycling and repurposing, Lisa presents fun, affordable, and easy to implement eco-friendy solutions that benefit all. Some will even widen your reach within your local community and bring new people to your barn.


JoAnne Young

JoAnne 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 (F.E.I. 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.”

Lateral Movements for all Levels of Riders – Miller Coliseum – Saturday, 1:30 p.m.

“Lateral” means “sideways” or “all on one side”, but the skills and movements included in the term range from improving basic beginner steering to advanced level maneuvers. Riders in this workshop will work at their own level. Those new to lateral work will be introduced to the many basic uses and the required aids. Those further along in their riding education will work on refining their aids and timing as they use lateral work to improve the horse’s balance, responsiveness and range of motion.