2017 CHA International Conference Speakers

Peggy Adams

CHA Past President Peggy Adams has been on the CHA board for nine years and is a CHA Clinician and was the 2016 CHA Distinguished Service Award winner. 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. She currently lives with her husband in Mrtyle Beach, South Carolina. 

What to Expect at a CHA Clinic 

Dessert Round Tables

Come and join our current CHA Board of Directors for a fun and educational evening. 

Dave Andrick

Dave is the Group Vice President of the AIM Equine Network and has been an active part of the horse industry for more than 10 years. In 2011, when the equine industry experienced an escalating unwanted horse population due to the economic downturn, Dave founded AIM’s A Home for Every Horse, a program that in the last four years has placed thousands of unwanted horses in permanent homes and brought much needed resources to over 500 rescues. He lives in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, with his wife, Penny, and his sons, Ben and Grant.

Active Interest Media – Video on Fire!

The AIM Equine Network is the largest network of its kind in the equine industry in the United States. AIM reaches more than 1.5 million horse owners across a network of print, digital, and video that includes the brands of American Cowboy, Dressage Today, Equus, EquiManagement, Horse & Rider, Practical Horsemen, Spin to Win Rodeo, and Stable Management magazines, along with A Home for Every Horse, Equisearch, Equine.com, Hope in the Saddle, USRider, and the World Series of Team Roping. This keynote will highlight some of the AIM programs with a fun video presentation. 

Gerrie Barnes

With over 20 years of experience, Gerrie currently lives in Conroe, Texas.  She was designated the 2012 Horseperson of the Year by the Colorado Horse Council and was awarded the 2016 Riding Instructor of the Year by the Certified Horsemanship Association for her teaching, coaching, and mentoring skills. She is an AQHA Professional Horseman and a CHA Certified Instructor. She has a BS in Education and an MA in Counseling.  She has recently written a book and workbook, Riding the Horse’s Mind: The Psychology & Leadership of the Horse. Her current horse business is NewConceptsConsultant.com

Riding the Horse’s Mind: The Psychology & Leadership of the Horse

Riding the Horse’s Mind provides the missing piece to solving the many frustrations that horse owners and riders have with horse problems, trust, and respect. Although Natural Horsemanship provides us an understanding of the horse as a species, many of us don’t understand the level of commitment that horses have to their herd instinct.  Some horses will die over their placement in the herd hierarchy. Explore with me the mind and psychology of the horse. Once seen differently, our human intent, commitment, and approach will be different. Our inter-species communication will greatly improve which will improve the level of trust and respect. Horse problems and our frustrations will improve. Join me on this journey!

Diana Beardsley

Diana has worked at Pegasus Farm Equestrian Center located in Hartivlle, Ohio since 1999. She is a graduate of Lake Erie College with a BS in Equestrian studies. She is a CHA Level 3 English/2 Western/3 IRD Instructor as well as a PATH Registered level riding instructor and Level 1 Driving instructor. Diana has been involved with all of the various equestrian programs that Pegasus offers, but is especially fond of the Veterans Salute Program. She has been involved from the onset of the program in 2007 and has taught unmounted lessons, riding lessons and currently heads the driving lessons for Veterans. 

Working with Veterans in an Equine Program

Dessert Round Tables

Come and join our current CHA Board of Directors for a fun and educational evening. 

Bob Coleman Ph.D., PAS, Dip.ACAN

Bob grew up in western Canada and has had a lifelong interest in horses. He is a graduate of the University of Manitoba with a Bachelors degree in Agriculture with a major in Animal Sciences and a Master’s of Science degree. Bob worked in the Canadian Feed Industry as a nutritionist for two major feed companies and then became the Extension Horse Specialist for Alberta Agriculture. During his time in Alberta, he completed his Ph.D. at the University of Alberta with a focus in Equine Nutrition. In 1998, Bob moved to the University of Kentucky as the Equine Extension Specialist. In addition to his Extension duties, Bob teaches in the Equine Science and Management program, advises undergraduate students and served as the program’s Director of Undergraduate Studies until May 2017. Bob has contributed in the areas of applied research looking at voluntary forage intake of horses and the use of rotational grazing practices to meet maintenance needs of adult horses. In addition he has worked with the extension faculty at the University of Minnesota to develop the Healthy Horse app an app used by horse owners to estimate current body weight as well as ideal body weight. Bob serves as Chairman of the AQHF research committee and is the current past president of the Kentucky Quarter Horse Association. Professionally, Bob is a member of the Equine Science Society and serves as the executive director, is a member of the American Registry of Professional Animal Scientists, and is a Diplomat in the American College of Animal Science and the American Society of Animal Scientists. With CHA, Bob is certified as a Lead Site Visitor and Trainer and serves on the CHA board serving as the Vice President for New Initiatives. 

Feeding the Older Horse

Dessert Round Tables

Come and join our current CHA Board of Directors for a fun and educational evening. 

Sarah Evers Conrad

Sarah has been an equestrian journalist for more than 17 years. She is the Editor of CHA’s official publication, The Instructor magazine, in addition to writing CHA’s press releases, blog, and various articles promoting the organization. She has also been published in The Horse magazine, the Arabian Horse Association’s Arabian Horse Life (and the former Modern Arabian Horse), the American Paint Horse Association’s Paint Horse Journal, the United States Dressage Federation’s USDF Connection, Off-Track Thoroughbred, Stable Management, and Blood-Horse magazine. She was the Managing Editor of the United States Equestrian Federation’s Equestrian magazine, U.S. Equestrian’s Director of E-Communications, staff writer for The Horse, and Content Manager and travel writer for a Caribbean travel agency. She currently owns All In Stride Marketing, a digital marketing agency that helps equine business owners promote their products and services.

Working with the Media to Promote Your Business

Showcasing your expertise as a knowledgeable horse person is critical to marketing your services and products, and media exposure is a great way to do this. This session will help attendees learn how to work with the media–including equine media, local media, and mainstream national media. This information is helpful for anyone who wants to promote a business and/or riders and horses at their barn. Attendees will learn how to reach out to media, what types of stories to suggest to the media and how to pitch those stories, and how to form a relationship with the media. Learn how to prep for an interview, how to answer interview questions, mistakes to avoid, how to help the journalist to write the best story possible, and how to promote the article so more readers see it. In addition, this session will also discuss the benefits of using press releases, articles, and other forms of content in your marketing strategy.

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.

Find Out More About IHSA and IEA

Frank L. Costantini Jr. 

Equine Insurance

Dessert Round Tables

Come and join our current CHA Board of Directors for a fun and educational evening. 

Donovan Dobbs

Donovan is a CHA instructor. He has students from kids and adults with no experience to intermediate level western competitors. One of his specialties is helping adult riders who have lost their confidence riding. He starts colts, works with problem horses and finishes horse for a variety of western competition. He also conducts a variety of clinics around S.W. Missouri. One of his greatest accomplishments has been helping start an annual western day event for foster kids with the charity Cherished Kids. Donovan provides guided horse rides for kids of all ages most who have never been on a horse in their life.

Be A H.E.R.O. to Your Students, Horses and Yourself!

Success is not about winning or accomplishing a specific task but about being a H.E.R.O. This presentation will give your tools and tips on humility, endurance, relationship and obedience (H.E.R.O.) as it applies to you, your students and your horses. We will explore each topic with the hopes that it will make you think and hopefully improves in all aspects of your horsemanship.

Dusty Franklin, CJF, DipWCF, ASF

Dusty has been a full-time farrier since 1992. He grew up riding and competing in youth and amateur divisions and soon began horseshoeing with his father, Jerry, also a CJF. Dusty has operated the Five Star Horseshoeing School in Minco, OK since 1997. He believes in further education through competition, certification, and clinics. A very successful competitor since earning his CJF in 1996, Dusty has twice been on both the American Farriers Team and the World Championship Blacksmith Team. In 2011 he won Stonewell Striker of the Year. Dusty became an AFA Examiner in 2003 and is the Former Chairman of the AFA’s Certification Committee and as an Examiner with the Farrier International Testing System. He and his wife Staci have co-authored the certification study guide “Let’s Get Practical.” An inspiration to others to love their career and not just settle for a job, Dusty has twice been designated the AFA’s Educator of the Year. He also travels internationally as an educator and clinician for Delta Mustad.

Farrier Certification – What It Is and Why It Matters

Since licensing is not required for a person to practice farriery in theUS, the AFA Certification Program was created in 1982 to providevoluntary testing to a consistent standard of hoof care. Three levels constitutethe core of the program : certified farrier, certified tradesman farrier, and certified journeyman farrier. Additional tests are offered in therapeutic shoeing,forging, and educational endorsement. This talk will discuss the requirements of the core program and the standards that must be met to achieve each level of certification. The goal is to provide the audience with a clear overview of the rigorous and comprehensive nature of these tests and how becoming certified impacts the quality of hoof care that a farrier delivers.

Tara Gamble

Tara is 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.

Lateral Work to Improve Turns on the Haunches, Spins and Rollbacks

Wanting to take your riding to the next level? Are you struggling with how to get there or how you can fine tune more advanced maneuvers? Then you don’t want to miss this session! Lateral exercises are useful for gaining independent control of the forehand and haunches and to aid in a lighter, more willing and responsive horse. Tara will introduce you to several exercises that will help riders and horses build or maintain a solid foundation in order to improve balance, suppleness, impulsion which aid in collection and improvements with turn on the haunches/spins and roll backs.

Jenn Gay

Jenn is a lifetime member to both Girl Scouts and the Certified Horsemanship Association. Jenn started as a Barn Assistant at a Girl Scout Camp and moved all the way up to the Directorship. Jenn has helped create partnerships between local stables and the Girl Scouts of Southeastern Michigan, and currently teaches the Girl Scout national program to new volunteers. Jenn is the founder of Greenblood.horse and is the current Equestrian Director at Heavenly Horse Stables. Jenn is a CHA certified Instructor and Michigan Representative.

Girl Scouts – Clients that Keep Giving; Daisy, Brownie, Junior, Cadette, Senior, Ambassador – Badges, Patches, Rewards, Take Action Projects and more! – What do these all mean?

Join us to learn the ins and outs of Girl Scouts and how you can help make the world a better place tomorrow by sharing your knowledge today. Discover how to use your resources wisely and help girls to be responsible for they say and do. Find out how to easily bring a group of first-time riders to your small barn and how to have them keep coming back!

Julie Goodnight

Julie Goodnight is a CHA Master Clinician and the International Spokesperson for CHA and is known for her weekly RFD-TV show Horse Master, and her no-nonsense training for riders of all disciplines. Her methods are grounded in natural horsemanship, classical riding, and understanding horse behavior. She teaches at clinics and expos everywhere and offers online education, how-to DVDs, and her own tack and training tools at JulieGoodnight.com.

For Mature Audiences Only: Teaching the Older Rider

Riders in their 50s, 60s and even 70s are commonplace today and this age group presents different challenges to the riding instructor. This presentation will focus on the special needs of the older rider, including confidence, fitness, motivations and appropriate horse choices.

Shellie Hensley

Co-founder of the H Mill Iron Horsemanship, Shellie Hensley lives in Macksburg, Iowa. Her philosophy of teaching “the total horse from the ground up” based on a foundation of safety, instills confidence in her riders and a distinct connection with the horse. Shellie currently serves CHA on the Board of Directors, as Clinic Staff and a Site Visitor. Even with her busy schedule, she enjoys working alongside her husband, Randy, a certified farrier, rehabilitating horses. Their small acreage serves as a happy home to several critters.

Creative Exercises to Develop A Thinking Rider From the Beginning

We have all seen it – most of us are doing it – getting stuck in a rut with our beginner riders; where the “Follow the Leader” method sets in and keeps horses and riders following, but not necessarily thinking! Join Shellie Hensley as she explores creative ways to safely pull riders and their instructors out of the rut and onto the path of thinking and responding during lessons. Bring an open mind and your sense of humor as Shellie walks riders through the Good, the Not-So-Good and the greatness of thinking outside the box.

Melissa (Missy) Howard

Growing up on a small Ohio farm instilled the love of horses for Missy at a young age. She graduated from Hocking College with a degree in Backcountry Horsemanship, Wildlife Management and a certificate from the National Ranger Training Institute. After pursuing many jobs in small boarding barns and a brief stent at a Standardbred training facility she moved to Kentucky and was one of the first women hired at Claiborne Farm. She worked with world champion thoroughbred racehorses in the foaling barn, breaking yearlings, mares & foals and doing sales. Claiborne Farm opened the door for her to travel to New Zealand for a year working at Fayette Park Stud. Next she was led to the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation (TRF) back in KY. TRF was spreading across the US establishing retirement farms for ex-racehorses at minimum security prisons. Missy did many things at TRF including national retirement and transportation coordinator, liaison of race tracks across the US, worked directly with the prison systems to establish equine retirement programs, and developed a horse-based curriculum for inmates. She was then hired as the Volunteer Coordinator for Pegasus Farms in Ohio managing over 150 active volunteers, assisting in many fundraising activities, orchestrating tours and other Farm events. Missy has gone on to become a certified CHA riding instructor teaching Youth at Risk programs both mounted, unmounted and drill teams. She is one of the instructors working with the Pegasus Farm’s Veteran Salute program participants. Married to Roger Howard, an a AFA Certified Journeyman Farrier, and having two horse crazy kids Mallory & Grant keeps her surrounded by horses at home and at work. 

Working with Veterans in an Equine Program

Dessert Round Tables

Come and join our current CHA Board of Directors for a fun and educational evening. 

Becky Huddleston

Becky Huddleston is the owner and trainer/coach at Tightfit Stables in Baxter, Tennessee. She started riding as a child on her family farm and in high school began showing TN walking horses and barrel racing Quarter Horses and Appaloosas. She graduated from Tennessee Tech University with a B.S. Degree in Agriculture in 2000 where she also competed in the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association. While in college, Becky started riding colts and breeding Quarter Horses. After graduation, she began to teach lessons and coaching the Equestrian Team at Tennessee Tech. In 2003, Becky and her husband built a barn and started teaching and training full time. In addition to IHSA, Becky’s students participate in the Interscholastic Equestrian Association, 4H and open schooling shows. Becky currently serves on the board of directors for the IHSA and judges schooling and 4H shows. Her main focus in her lesson program is proper horsemanship and equitation.

Exercises to Improve Flexibility, Strength, Coordination of the Aids

Come to this session to learn different rider exercises that will increase rider strength, flexibility and coordination of aids. A few examples of these are “toe touches”, “double posting”, and “hip flexor stretches”. Some exercises are geared toward improving common rider faults such as keeping riders heels down (wearing spurs on the riders’ toes), keeping hands still (carrying a golf ball in a spoon), sitting the trot (raising a hand up over the head) and many others. I feel that many instructors could benefit from having multiple simple and fun exercises to add to their programs. You can use these exercises as warm ups and cool downs as well as for correcting those common rider faults.

Karen Jackson

Karen is a Saddlefit for Life certified saddle ergonomist. Her passion for horses started at a young age, volunteering at a race horse farm, helping to care for and exercise the horses. Since her start there, she has spent time in the Ontario hunter/jumper circuits, worked with plow horse teams on an organic farm, managed a trail riding facility at a resort, and trained and coached jumpers in Mexico City. She has loved becoming a saddle ergonomist that has made her realize how many situations in her past horse experiences with horses could have been prevented with a simple saddle fit evaluation. Instead of dwelling on past mistakes, she has committed her life to teaching others the importance of a properly fitted saddle, and checking the fit regularly as the horse grows and changes. Karen lives near Newmarket, Ontario with her Arabian mare, Tess; her best friend and companion for well over 20 years.

Saddle Fit: Anatomical Considerations of Both Horse and Rider 

When looking for a saddle, there are so many more factors to consider other than discipline and seat size. In the past thirty years, horseback riding has seen a huge shift in rider demographics. Also, horse breeding trends have brought about a different body type in our sport horses. We cannot expect so many changes in the sport, and not make any changes to the equipment we rely on. This talk will focus on these changes and what they mean to saddle fit. We will examine the anatomical differences between female and male riders, and what they need to accommodate these differences when riding. We will also look in depth at equine anatomy and how to best fit a saddle in order to avoid interfering with a horse’s movement. This talk will give listeners a good place to start evaluating their own saddle, and where to go from there.

Dr. Kathi Jogan

Kathi is a long time equine industry professional who has managed, trained, and shown various horse breeds representing multiple disciplines. Currently on the faculty at the University of Arkansas, Kathi offers courses in equine science and engages students in internships in the U.S. and abroad. She has directed many fundraising and experiential events to promote her University’s Animal Science Department. Kathi is a member of the Equine Science Society, the American Registry of Professional Animal Scientists, the North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture and the CHA Board of Directors. 

Low Cost and High Impact Strategies for Increasing Group Engagement

Everyone who is involved in the equine industry has three over-arching goals – safety, best practices in horse care and minimizing expenses. At first glance, it seems like these goals are mutually exclusive, but in fact, CHA is the key that can unlock how to make these goals seamlessly mesh. As a long-time equine industry professional, event coordinator, fundraiser, riding instructor, university instructor and farm manager, Kathi will give you proven strategies incorporating CHA that will ensure that as a horse professional, you are a success using all of the matrices….and that engagement and volunteerism in your horse barns, at your equine fundraisers, and in your riding classes will be at an all-time high!


Laura Kelland-May

Laura is very active in the horse industry and is a USEF “R” Judge (Hunter, Jumper and Equitation) as well as Equestrian Canada “S” Judge (Hunter, Jumper, Equitation and Hack) and Senior Steward. She continues to develop horses and riders and is the founder of “Equestrian Skill Builders series of Horse Show Clinics” and is moderator of the monthly Jumping Instructors Webinar and Dressage Instructors Webinar. In addition she is a freelance coach, working with horse professionals incorporating many breeds and disciplines. Contact Laura today for more information on how you an transform your coaching, riding, and training skills Laura@ThistleRidgeStables.com.

Top Tips on What the Judge Expects to See in Your Students’ Hunter Classes

Have you ever wondered what the judge is looking for? Winning rounds are more than counting strides and getting your leads! Laura brings her experience judging at horse shows, from local “in house” training shows to national/international competitions and shares with coaches, trainers and competitors, what the judge is looking for. Attendees will be asked to ride a simple hunter course. Laura will outline the must haves for a winning round, what can detract from your winning round and will also provide easy step by step exercises you can use to improve your riders and their horses. From the approach to your first fence to the exit of the competition ring, Laura educates instructors and coaches on how to transform their clients into winning competitors. 

Melissa King

Melissa grew up competing in Hunter/Jumpers in Houston, Texas, while always harboring the dream of becoming a jockey. From there, she went on to get her B.S. in Equine Sports Therapy from Midway College in 2005. During college, she competed on the Intercollegiate riding team until she found her way to the racetrack. Melissa began galloping racehorses in 2002 and upon completion of her degree program, proceeded to travel the racing circuit around the US.Melissa decided she was better suited nurturing the horse’s progress in their daily training rather than riding them in races. She was fortunate to ride for some of the top trainers and farms in the country, also becoming familiar with managing and rehabilitating injuries while practicing sports therapy. Now she has transitioned from the gypsy lifestyle of the racetrack and has settled in Kentucky, where she has begun helping the horses at New Vocations make the same transition in to their new lives. Melissa purchased her appendix mare, Sierra, in 1996 as a green broke 2 year old and they are still together 21 years later. They progressed from baby green to low junior hunters before heading off to college together. Once Melissa began galloping racehorses, Sierra became a pleasure horse and traveled the country with Melissa, occasionally “earning her keep” as one of the few mares to pony racehorses on the track. One of whom was Lava Man, earner of $5.35 million in his career. Now, she is still living the good life here in Kentucky, trail riding and occasionally foxhunting.

Lunch – The Off the Track Thoroughbred – What Can Be Next?  Melissa King and Susanna Thomas – New Vocations & Makers Mark Secretariat Center – KHP Covered Arena

Melissa Kitchen

Melissa is the Director of Digital Media for the AIM Equine Network. She helps both clients and industry partners with their digital strategies. She has been with the Equine Network for five years, previously being with two B2B magazine publishers, UBM–Canon and Penton Media. Kitchen has also worked at the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association as their webmaster after she graduated from Colorado State University with a degree in Equine Science. She grew up on a dairy farm in southern Wisconsin and moved to Colorado for college. Melissa and her husband live in Northern Colorado with their three sons who are active with horses and showing lambs. 

Active Interest Media – Videos on Fire!

The AIM Equine Network is the largest network of its kind in the equine industry in the United States. AIM reaches more than 1.5 million horse owners across a network of print, digital, and video that includes the brands of American Cowboy, Dressage Today, Equus, EquiManagement, Horse & Rider, Practical Horsemen, Spin to Win Rodeo, and Stable Management magazines, along with A Home for Every Horse, Equisearch, Equine.com, Hope in the Saddle, USRider, and the World Series of Team Roping. This keynote will highlight some of the AIM programs with a fun video presentation. 

Lisa Lombardi

Lisa has been a professional riding instructor since 1989, when she worked as a wrangler at a large summer camp that included a campers’ drill team performance every 2 weeks. Lisa’s personal, professional and competition experience has included reining, jumping, dressage, trail riding and horse camping, mounted color guard, mounted assistance unit, AQHA, and ApHC. Over the years she had the privilege of working directly with and alongside Pam Prudler, one of the original CHA founders, Mike Boyle, then president of NRHA, Diana Thompson, equine acupressure expert and author of Acupressure Point Charts for Horses, and many others. Lisa earned a BA in English with an emphasis in education. She also enjoys writing educational articles on current equine issues for the Sonoma County Horse Journal. Lisa has been CHA certified since 1990, and is currently clinic staff as well as a site evaluator. As a riding instructor, Lisa teaches lessons on her own 9 horses, as well as on clients’ horses. Lisa is the riding instructor for an after school and summer camp program. Lisa puts on monthly play days, and her students participate in local dressage and jumping shows. Since 1990, Lisa has taught hands-on equine science courses at Santa Rosa Junior College. Lisa is also PATH certified and CIEP-ED certified.

Drill Patterns for All Levels of Riders

Are you looking for a creative new approach to help your students practice and advance skills? Riding is often considered an individual activity, but working together as part of a drill team will engage your students in a fun and interactive manner. Drill team skills include lengthening and shortening stride, keeping horses’ attention, awareness of other riders, precision of turns and transitions. An even greater advantage is that riders can work on all of these skills without even realizing it, and have fun doing it! Come join us as we create a mini drill performance during this session.  

Sheryl Mankel

Sheryl has been a registered instructor for PATH International since 2000 and a PATH Intl. Equine Certified Specialist since 2009, specializing in helping veterans. In 2005, she became a CHA Certified Instructor. In 2010, she furthered her education and became a Nationally Certified Equine Acupressure Practitioner. You can find out more at www.connected-healing.com.

Help Your Horse with Acupressure and Essential Oils

We will identify points you might have already been taught but did not realize the association a particular area has with the attitude and healing throughout the rest of the horse. Such points are at the poll, front of the shoulder blade, withers, coronary band, chest, to name a few. Five branches of Traditional Chinese Medicine. Nutrition, Herbal, Acupressure/Moxibustion, Tui Na (massage) and Qi gong (movement) will be discussed. There will be information shared on essential oils and horses as well.

Bailey McCallum

Bailey is a lifelong equestrian, born and raised in Iowa, and grew up on stock-type horses. She switched to dressage when she started undergrad at William Woods University and continued to ride dressage through the FEI levels as well as teach dressage and western lessons. She has a BS in Equine Science with a concentration in dressage, as well as an M.Ed. in Equestrian Education, both from William Woods. Bailey currently lives in Georgetown, KY and works for the American Association of Equine Practitioners which is located in the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington. She has a 12-year-old Quarter Horse mare who teaches lessons to all ages and abilities and I keep a few client horses in training to fill up my “spare time”. 

Equine Disease Communication Center

The Equine Disease Communication Center was established as part of a larger National Equine Health Plan with the aim to mitigate the effects of infectious and vector borne diseases in North America. The EDCC provides real-time, accurate alerts on disease outbreaks as well as educational materials for both vets and horse owners on domestic and foreign diseases, vaccination guidelines, biosecurity protocols and provides contact information for state animal health officials. Trainers and instructors play an integral part in preventing the spread of disease in the equine industry and can benefit from an awareness of the tools made available by the EDCC.

Jessica Mohr

Equine enthusiasts understand the hard work and dedication it takes to stay in this industry and Jessica’s story is no different. In the past 26 years CHA has played a vital role in her life from providing her with mentors to an education with a solid foundation. In the meantime she has managed and nurtured large horse programs, continues coaching people of all ages, and is pursuing her dream of riding dressage in an internationally recognized competition. She realizes that it’s important to remain a student, take risks, lean in, and show up to be an equestrian athlete, but at the end of the day it’s people that matter most and it’s through the partnership of the horse that we get beautiful relationships with people.

Leg Yields, Circles, Half Pass, Serpentines and Shoulder In

Do schooling figures and correctness sound mundane & possibly difficult to teach in a group setting? Come discover the benefits of these things, how to incorporate them into your lessons, making it fun for both horse & rider. This class will combine the art of learning about each manuever as well as some safe exercises to help you use them in your lessons at home. 

Ken Najorka

Many wet saddle pads and miles of riding later, Ken focuses on helping the rider communicate better with his/her horse. “I do have many awards, but the greatest accomplishment is when I see someone better understand his horse and that leads to just a happier team,” Ken observed. Ken uses a natural horseman approach because common sense wins over pressuring a horse to perform. With over 30 years of experience, he is a CHA instructor and Regional Director. In addition, Ken is an AQHA and NRHA Professional Horseman. Ken has taught every level of rider, including serving as the coach for the University of Central Florida Western Team.

Western Dressage 

Western Dressage is not as scary as it sounds and is a great sport for all levels of riders. It involves exercises for the everyday rider that will improve the rider and horse team, No matter your age young or younger at heart.

Beth Powers

CHA Annual Membership Meeting

Come and learn what your association is doing and how you can become even more actively involved. A full Poll Everywhere will also be done. 


Dale Rudin

Dale is a CHA certified riding instructor, trainer and clinician. She is the founder of Unnatural Horsemanship – a mindful approach to the horse-human relationship. Dale is also a founding member of Force-Free Tennessee, an organization of positive animal training professionals that promotes humane low-stress animal training and handling. Her articles have been published in Young Rider, Horse Illustrated, and on HorseChannel.com. She works as an instructor and trainer and Tennessee. She works with all breeds of horses in every discipline using force-free and fear-free techniques. Dale’s whole-horse approach to training follows the science of equine learning and behavior and horse/rider biomechanics. Her goal is to create emotionally stable, balanced, and happy horses. Dale offers training, rehabilitation, and instruction in equine behavior, management, and riding technique in middle Tennessee and at her farm, Lyric Valley Ranch, in Santa Fe, Tennessee. UnnaturalHorsemanship.com

The Mind Body Connection

As we teach technique, it’s also important that our students understand how their choices in the saddle affect their horse’s emotional state. This is important for the horse’s well-being and vital for a rider’s safety. An aggravated horse can become dangerous. Learning how to visualize or feel a shift from relaxed to reactive is an essential horsemanship tool. However, prevention is the ultimate skill. I will share how a rider can recognize changes in their horse’s state of mind (both desirable and undesirable) and how to return a horse to a calm state should he become aroused. 

Larissa Strappello

Larissa is the Facility Manager and an Instructor at Houghton College Equestrian Program. She teaches college equestrian classes, trains horses and manages the running of the barn, shows and events. Larissa is a CHA certified Master Instructor and Assistant clinic instructor for Standard and Equine Facility Management clinics. She also has her Master’s degree in Equestrian Education and is fully commitment to promoting effective and safe equine instruction. Larissa truly enjoys helping others learn about the amazing equine partners that help her do her job!”

Exercises for Horse and Rider Using Dressage Training Principles  

Connecting the classical dressage training scale of rhythm, relaxation, connection, impulsion, straightness and collection to your students of all levels and lesson horses through exercises that can help both horse and rider.

Cathy Thacker

Cathy is the Equine Program Specialist for Girl Scouts Carolinas Peaks to Piedmont and manages all of the programing, horses and facilities at Circle C Equestrian Center. She is a CHA and PATH Intl certified Riding Instructor and graduated from Averett University with a B.S. in Equine Studies and Business. Horseless, but at a wonderful lesson barn, Cathy grew up in the NC 4-H Horse Program and wore out her family, Girl Scout troop and teachers by trying to make every vacation, badge or school assignment horse themed. Today she has three horses of her own and works for this generation’s Barn Rats to help facilitate all of their horse dreams.

Adding Horseback Archery To Your Riding Program

It’s easier and safer than you might think! This session will explore the “new” ancient sport of Horseback Archery and its growing popularity in the US. We will discuss the potential benefits Horseback Archery could add to your existing horse programs including the benefits for the horses and students. We will try to demystify, equipment, horse selection and training and the safety considerations to take into account along with giving participants access to resources to help in establishing their own programs.

Susanna Thomas

Susann has a lifetime of experience in horsemanship, journalism and civic work. Raised in New York and Europe, Susanna has a degree from Princeton University in Comparative Literature. She worked at Random House Publishers and has a career spanning nearly three decades as an equine journalist writing for publications such as Equus, The Horse Journal, Spur, The Thoroughbred Times, and The Blood Horse, to name a few. She has worked in editorial capacities for EAGALA in Practice, The Horse Journal, and Bluegrass Magazine. She has been deeply involved at the state level in such civic issues as farmland preservation and context sensitive traffic design. A lifelong horsewoman, she has taught riding, competed in dressage and hunt seat, and tried many equestrian disciplines from foxhunting to carriage driving and riding sidesaddle. She developed the Horse Centered Reschooling Program® and applies this holistic interdisciplinary system to every horse at the MMSC. She and her husband live on a farm in Mercer County.

Lunch – The Off the Track Thoroughbred – What Can Be Next?  Melissa King and Susanna Thomas – New Vocations & Makers Mark Secretariat Center – KHP Covered Arena

Randi Thompson

Randi is the CEO of the “Horse and Rider Awareness Educational Programs,” which include, “How to Market Your Horse Business,” “Jumping Instructors,” “Dressage Instructors,” and “Movers and Shakers of the Horse World.” She has been coaching professionals in the horse industry for over 25 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 CHA Master Instructor and Clinician and is available to come to your location for clinics and instructor training. For more information on how Randi can make a difference for you, go to http://www.horseandriderawareness.com.

Protecting Your Horse Business with Risk Management

We all love what we are doing as riding instructors. However, what we do is more than just living our dreams. We also need to operate a horse business. Now you can discover what you need to know to protect yourself and your clients as much as possible. Are you ready to step up to the next level of success with your horse business? If so, you do not want to miss this.  

Jen Verharen

Jen is a professional performance and business coach. She is a USDF Certified Instructor, USDF “L” judge’s program graduate with distinction, USDF bronze & silver medalist, USPC graduate A and USPC National Examiner. Jen has competed and trained at the upper levels in both dressage and eventing. She has a BA in Organizational Psychology/ Mental Health and is a certified Health and Wellness Coach, Transformational Life Coach and mediator. She was a corporate leadership and business coach for several years and now brings that experience to her work with equestrians. Her business, Cadence Coaching, specializes in providing performance and business coaching for equestrians. Jen conducts workshops with riders and horse industry professionals all around the US. She was a keynote speaker at the United Sates Dressage Federation Convention in 2015 and 2016. Already in 2017, she has presented seminars at the Area VII USEA Annual Meeting and the American Arabian Horse Association Northwest EquestFest. She is passionate about helping horse industry professionals build thriving businesses and helping riders find joy and success both in and out of the saddle. 

Peak Performance Strategy Workshop

Learn simple strategies for handling stress constructively and riding your best even under pressure! High performance is the result of intentional action, mental toughness, healthy routines and the ability to not only manage but also capitalize on powerful emotions. This workshop is designed to help you leverage fear, shift your thinking and learn powerful tools for getting into “the zone” so that you can perform optimally both in the saddle and out. 

Cheryl West

Cheryl, a Master Certified Horsemanship Instructor and Clinician for English, Western, Therapeutic and Jumping, and a PATH Therapeutic Instructor and Mentor, travels nationally teaching The Connected Ride to all disciplines and developing instructors. She owns and operates West Equestrian Ranch in Sand Springs Oklahoma, teaching lessons to over 60+ riders a week at her ranch as well as teaching at on Saturdays through the region. She often travels certifying instructors, mentoring and teaching clinics. She was the program manager for American Therapeutic Center, with 70+ riders, for 5 years. Encourages riders and people from all walks of life that upper level equitation can be achieved no matter what discipline, horse or income. Cheryl has organized and managed several shows, events, and been a part of many boards, served as president and helped in various organizations. Cheryl is passionate about CHA, all types of dressage, and using bio-mechanics, rhythm and feel to understand the horses language.

Canter Transitions

Working for prompt, obedient canter departs on the correct lead at the correct moment. working to use successive aids to ask for a simple lead, simple change of lead or even flying without throwing the horse off balance. Its important to set the horse up for success, and to build the horse up for a correct lead or lead change.

Jennifer Willey

Jennifer has worked in marketing, licensing and business development for agencies, Target, Best Buy and United Heath Care and enjoys transferring her skillset into the horse industry. She has a Bachelor of Science in Business Marketing degree from the University of Minnesota, Curtis L. Carlson School of Management and is a CHA Standard Clinic Instructor and Region 3 Director. Raised in MN, Jennifer got her start in horses at a young age, taking hunt seat lessons and going to horse camp in the summer. In middle school she began working as barn help in exchange for lessons with a reining trainer and later a dressage trainer. She went on to be a working student for an Arabian breeder and trainer and also worked as a trail guide in the summer. Jennifer has experience in both seats, exercising/loping, trail guiding, catch riding, training, colt starting and teaching English and Western equitation. Jennifer has held roles including riding program director, resident trainer/instructor, horse buyer, barn manager and subject matter expert in publishing, video production and editing. Jennifer was CHA’s Instructor of the Year in 2007. She served two terms on the Minnesota Horse Council and as the committee chairperson for the Promotions and Education committees. She formed and developed the MHC’s Sponsorship program, the Horse of the Year program, the social media pages and online membership process and renewal. Jennifer’s WHY Statement: I educate for the purpose of creating good horse people that will do good things for horses. 

The Care and Training of Clients

Are your client crazy? Do you dream of having more clients and every year for your birthday ask for a new client? This is the session for you! We’ll talk about how to find clients and how to determine the right clients for you. Why all clients are different and yet also the same. How to keep them coming back to you and how to keep them happy in their training. 

Mitzi Summers

Mitzi has been devoted to the welfare and safety of horses and their people for most of her life. The recipient of the CHA Instructor of the Year Award, Mitzi is also one of less than thirty Level IV Centered Riding Instructors in the world. Through her achievement of CHA Master Instructor and Clinician, and a Centered Riding Clinician, Mitzi has certified or updated hundreds of instructors so far in her career. She has taught and trained in many countries, including South Africa, New Zealand, and throughout Europe. She has performed with the Royal Lippizan Stallion Tour. Mitzi specializes in working in a very individualized basis with riders and their horses, teaching them to train their own horses in a non-abusive way. She is truly multi-talented, working with a rider in Ireland short-listed for the Olympics, to a rider who has fear issues and is afraid to trot. Horses who have been confused or traumatized are her specialty. Three of her mentors were Charles Grant, Vi Hopkins, and Sally Swift, all recipients of the USDF Hall of Fame Award. Mitzi will be interested in helping you and your horse no matter what level or discipline, she truly “Teaches the Beauty of Horses”.


Biomechanics in Riding, Riding the Horse, Not the Discipline 

There are as many schools of thought about riding and riding techniques, as there are styles of saddles. Any technique can offer some results if applied intelligently, but what about the simple biomechanics of movement? When we were kids, sitting bareback on a horse would have been second nature. As we grow up, and develop into a style of riding, many of us end up feel like no matter how hard we try, we are missing something. Biomechanics puts you back in touch with your innate sense of being with a horse, not a discipline of riding. The techniques of Bio-mechanics are not so much about rein and leg, as about re-discovering your body’s own wisdom in relationship to the horse’s movements. Once a rider has been liberated with this work, they usually find that their chosen riding style becomes fluid, easy and much more enjoyable. 

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.”

Engaging the Rider’s Core to Engage the Horse’s Core

A series of exercises and position adjustments and the use of a fairly new training tool to help the rider develop that “dancing on air” feeling that comes from true balance and accurately timed and placed aids.