2018 CHA International Conference Speakers

Kathy Alm


Kathy began as chief executive officer of the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International (PATH Intl.) in August 2014. For the previous 15 years, she served as executive director of Little Bit Therapeutic Riding Center in Woodinville, WA. She grew the previously grassroots organization from a $280,000 annual operating budget to a professional $2.1 million organization. Kathy served as PATH Intl.’s board president in the 2010-2012 term, first joining the board of trustees in 2005. She has facilitated numerous workshops and presentations on board, staff, fundraising, and strategic planning and enjoys the opportunity to share her experience, as well as learn from others. Her dedication to the field of equine-assisted activities and therapies (EAAT) spans more than 18 years with a passion that was ignited the moment she walked through the door at her first therapeutic riding center.

Developing or Re-developing Your Board: A Roadmap for Successful Board Recruitment and Engaging Your Board for Success

Friday at 3:15 p.m.; Hilton Salon 2

Finding new board members with experience and passion and engaging with them afterward is critical to an effective board. In this session, learn strategies to identify the type of board member you need, where and how to recruit, and how to assess an applicant’s potential for your organization. In addition, you will learn how to engage your board for the greatest organizational return on your investment. You will leave with a roadmap to developing/redeveloping a board and engagement tools for organizational success.


Jenny Beverage


Jenny is a lifelong rider who was able to join her passion for horses with her love of marketing innovative products. When a family acquaintance died due to a head injury while riding, she became passionate about helmet safety and has been part of Troxel helmets for 15 years developing the western helmet market.  he brought over 15+ years’ experience with showing and training Morgan horses in hunt seat, over fences, dressage and western pleasure, as well as her marketing background to the company. She now competes for fun in Equine Trail Sports rides, team sorting, and rides to gather cattle. Jenny, her husband, and her three children have a commercial cattle ranch in Eastern Oregon and enjoy working together on it as a family. Currently, Jenny is the Brand Manager for Troxel Helmets and also works on various projects for Troxel’s parent company, Weaver Leather, LLC.

Helmet Focus Group

Friday at 7 p.m.; Dessert Round Tables; Hilton Salon 4 and 6

What do you love and hate about helmets? Troxel wants to hear your opinion and talk about what is missing in the market, what could be better, and to get your feedback on their products.


Dr. Jerry Black


Dr. Black is a 1971 graduate of the veterinary school at Colorado State University and is currently the Director of the Equine Reproduction Laboratory in the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences as well as the Director of Equine Sciences in the College of Agriculture Sciences. He is a past president of the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) and the Pacific Coast Cutting Horse Association. He is the immediate past chairman of the board of trustees of the American Horse Council and a national director of the American Quarter Horse Association. Dr. Black has received the distinguished alumnus award from Colorado State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences and is an American Association of Equine Practitioners Distinguished Life Member. Dr. Black and his wife, Melinda, show cutting horses and ride in the Colorado Rocky Mountains.

Welcome to Colorado – American Horse Council Economic Impact Study

Friday at 2 p.m.; Hilton Salons 4 and 6

During our annual meeting, find out more about Colorado and about the current issues facing our equine industry as a nation and what our involvement brings to the overall economic impact. 


Dr. Jason Bruemmer


Dr. Bruemmer grew up in the Texas horse industry and has served the industry as a scientist, researcher, lecturer, and a horseman. He has been a cornerstone of the outreach program at Colorado State University, working with breeders, owners, and clients to increase their knowledge of equine reproduction and management. He was instrumental in developing a protocol to harvest epididymal sperm from deceased stallions, allowing the owner to preserve the valuable genetics for the future. Stallion behavior, physiology, and management are major fields of interest to him. His research in the cryopreservation of semen and membrane integrity continues to work for improvement in stallion semen extenders. Stallion behavior is an often overlooked component of reproductive management and fertility assessment. An avid horseman and polo player, Dr. Bruemmer still finds time to work with the CSU polo team and finds time for the occasional chukker himself.

How to Start Polo with Your Horses and Students 

Saturday at 9 a.m.; Bill Pickett Arena

Come to this session to learn the basics of starting to teach polo to your students and horses. 


Karen Burbank


Karen was born and raised in Massachusetts. Having grown up schooling in dressage, jumping, and competitive trail, her interests eventually led her to Colorado, where she earned a B.S. in Equine Studies from Colorado State University. As an undergrad, Karen became involved with CHA after attending a combined clinic.polo She became a CHA Master Instructor two years later. She has spoken at CHA regional and international conferences. Karen has managed two dressage facilities, wrangled at three guest ranches, been a small and large animal vet tech, and has taught countless lessons to aspiring equestrians. For the past seven years, Karen has been the head instructor, lesson program coordinator, and dude ranch vacation specialist for Sylvan Dale Guest Ranch in Loveland, CO.

The Perfect Match: The Art of Assigning Mounts for a Large Group Riding Program on Trail and in the Arena 

Sunday at 1:30 p.m.; CSU Lecture Room

In a large group riding program with various experience levels, it is critical to match horses to the right riders. Instructors and trail guides are responsible for the safety of clients. Knowing your horses and gathering essential information from riders will help assign mounts. Through a series of detail-oriented examples and scenarios, in relation to both horse-and-rider information and evaluation, you will see how to effectively and efficiently make the perfect match. If you pay close attention to details, magic might happen, and horses and humans will benefit. 


Jessie Butler


Jessie has been involved in the therapeutic riding industry for most of her life. In August 2011, after her freshman year at Montana State University (MSU), she was certified by PATH Intl. She then worked as a therapeutic riding instructor at Eagle Mount in Bozeman, MT, during school, and at Front Range Exceptional Equestrians in Fort Collins, CO, during summers. Jessie competed on MSU’s Intercollegiate Horse Show Association team. Jessie graduated in 2014 with honors with a B.S. in Animal Science, Emphasis of Study, Equine Science. In February 2016, Jessie achieved her CHA Certification at Level 4 English/Jumping and Level 2 Western. Currently, Jessie is the Program Manager at Front Range Exceptional Equestrians and is a therapeutic riding instructor at Hearts and Horses in Loveland, CO. In addition, she has her own lesson program.

Disabilities in the Arena: Teaching Safety, Having Fun and Achieving Success

Saturday at 9 a.m.; Adam Atkinson Arena

Having a rider with a disability in your lessons can present challenges to both the instructor and student. This presentation will highlight some tips and practical ways to help all your students achieve success safely by using creativity and adaptations for equipment and teaching techniques.


Sherry Butler


Sherry has worked in the equine-assisted activity and therapy (EAAT) industry for more than 30 years. She graduated from Colorado State University (CSU) with a B.S. in Veterinary Science and then continued to earn her DVM from CSU three years later. After graduation, she provided veterinary care as a volunteer for program horses and then became a certified PATH Intl. therapeutic riding instructor. She currently serves on the board of the Front Range Exceptional Equestrians program, a PATH Intl. Premier Accredited Center in Fort Collins, CO. In addition, Sherry is an instructor in the Equine Sciences program at CSU where she teaches and advises students seeking careers in EAAT as an instructor or therapist. She is the chair of the PATH International Standards Task Force.

Disabilities in the Arena: Teaching Safety, Having Fun and Achieving Success

Saturday at 9 a.m.; Adam Atkinson Arena

Having a rider with a disability in your lessons can present challenges to both the instructor and student. This presentation will highlight some tips and practical ways to help all your students achieve success safely by using creativity and adaptations for equipment and teaching techniques.


Jennifer Cole


Jennifer is a professor of Equine Studies and coach of the Ranch Horse Team at Central Wyoming College. She and her husband raise and train Quarter Horses for use on the ranch, as well as for competition. Jennifer competes in reined cow horse, versatility ranch horse, and cutting. 

Simple and Flying Lead Changes

Saturday at 3 p.m.; Bill Pickett Arena

Have you ever struggled with lead changes or with teaching lead changes? Ever wondered what type of body control you need a horse to have to prepare for lead changes? We will study lead change from the horse’s prospective and how we as riders can enhance our horse’s ability to correctly and easily change leads. 


Dr. Bob Coleman 


Dr. Coleman graduated from the University of Manitoba with a bachelor’s in Agriculture with a major in Animal Sciences and then a Master of Science in 1978. He worked in the Canadian feed industry as a nutritionist for two major feed companies. In 1980, he became the extension horse specialist for Alberta Agriculture and completed his PhD at the University of Alberta with a focus in Equine Nutrition. In 1998, Dr. Coleman became the University of Kentucky’s equine extension specialist. He also teaches in the Equine Science and Management program, advises undergraduate students, and served as the program’s director of undergraduate studies until May 2017. He has researched voluntary forage intake of horses and the use of rotational grazing practices to meet maintenance needs of adult horses. He has worked with University of Minnesota faculty to develop the Healthy Horse app, which helps owners to estimate their horse’s current and ideal body weight. He is currently CHA’s Vice President of New Initiatives and is a Site Visitor Trainer. 

What is in That Bag of Feed? 

Friday at 7 p.m.; Dessert Round Tables; Hilton Salon 4 and 6

This session is a discussion on reading the feed tag to make sure you buy what you need and then use what you buy in a proper fashion. Understanding the information on the tag can help horse owners make informed decisions.


Dr. Stephen Coleman


Dr. Coleman grew up in western Canada before moving to central Kentucky in 1998. He joined the CSU Department of Animal Sciences in 2015. He is now an assistant professor of equine genetics in the Department of Animal Sciences at Colorado State University. Dr. Coleman received his Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Biotechnology, Master of Science in Veterinary Science, and his PhD in Veterinary Science from the University of Kentucky. Dr. Coleman’s work investigating equine gene structure contributed to the sequencing and characterization of the horse genome.  

Equine Genetics: How to Breed for Certain Traits such as Performance and Color

Friday at 4:30 p.m.; Hilton Aggie Room

Why were American Pharoah and Justify successful when so many others had failed? Their triumphs were the product of the trainer’s and jockey’s hard work, luck, and genetics. Studying genetics tells us how fundamental genetic differences between horses influence performance, health, and disease. This session will discuss the application of genetic principles for improved understanding of important quantitative and qualitative traits in horses. Topics discussed will include phenotypic and genetic variation, how genes work together to produce a phenotype, and selection for genetic improvement.


Elizabeth Duffy


Elizabeth is the client development manager for Camp America, the largest provider of international staff for American summer camps. She recruits riding instructors for camps all over the country each year, ensuring their knowledge will be shared with thousands of kids who will improve their riding or discover their love of horses for the first time. She grew up riding in Connecticut, and then traveled and studied throughout Europe, South America, and Central America. Since joining Camp America in 2008, Elizabeth has spearheaded web design projects, organized recruitment events overseas for hundreds of camp professionals, and worked in conjunction with the Department of State to improve standards compliance for private sector exchange programs. Elizabeth resides in Georgia, where she enjoys lake life with her dogs, Sadie and Rowan, and her beloved horses, Smudge and Molly.

International Staff: Neigh-to-Z

Friday at 7 p.m.; Dessert Round Tables; Hilton Salon 4 and 6

This session will cover arious topics on the J-1 Summer Camp Counselor program and strategies for staff success and safety in an ever-changing regulatory environment.


Jennifer Eaton


Jennifer obtained her Massachusetts Instructors License in 1992. She has a bachelor’s degree in Developmental Psychology and has taught all types riders. She joined the Interscholastic Equestrian Association (IEA) in 2006 as a member coach. In her third year as a coach, she took a volunteer position as regional president and subsequently held a leadership role in her area until 2014 when she retired as zone chairperson. She is an IEA show steward and often travels outside New England. IEA hired Jennifer in 2009 in the membership office to help coaches and parents with member enrollment and management of their competitions. She has assisted IEA with growth and resource development leading to an expansion in membership, which exceeded 11,000 members in 2014.  In 2012, Jennifer was promoted to membership marketing coordinator. Jennifer was given the 2014 Massachusetts Horseman’s Council “Person of the Year” award for her contributions to the development of youth equestrian opportunities in her area.

Strength and Balance Exercises for Riders of All Abilities 

Sunday at 1:30 p.m.; Adams Atkinson Arena

This session will involve strength and balance exercises at all three gaits for both English and Western riders at any level. Come prepared to take some good ideas home with you and start doing them with your students right away.


Karen Fagan


Karen supports her horse habit by working as a licensed professional counselor in Aurora, CO. For the past 18 years, her busy practice, PsychedIN, has offered clients a “leg up” to improved mental health and stress management as Karen incorporates elements of both her knowledge of horses and clinical expertise in her practical, approachable style. Outside the office, Karen competes with her two daughters and their Arabian horses in endurance riding in the Mountain region. Karen combines her passions as a facilitator for “Horse Sense for Leaders,” a unique program utilized by organizations throughout the U.S. to promote leadership development. Karen has designed and presented workshops for mental health professionals as well as for the general public on anxiety and stress management. She has been highlighted as a guest expert on Marriage.com and her blog, “PsychedIN,” has followers around the globe.  

Understanding and Supporting the Fearful Rider

Friday at 3:15 p.m.; Hilton Legends Room 

“I’ve always wanted to learn to ride, but I’m afraid of horses…” “I had a bad wreck and now I’m afraid to get back on…” Do you ever want to say, “I am not a therapist!” Good news! You don’t have to be! This informational presentation will explain the mechanics of the fear response and give you strategies to help fearful riders overcome barriers to becoming a relaxed, willing partner with their horse. Participants will be able to understand the neuropsychological underpinnings of the fear response, be able to help riders understand and normalize their fears, develop strategies for helping a rider work through fearful moments and know when you’re in over your head, and what to do then. 


Teddy Franke


Teddy is a horse trainer, riding instructor, and farrier from North Central Oregon where he manages a camp horse program. Teddy started with CHA as a student more than 25 years ago. He is now a Master Instructor and Assistance Clinic Instructor and holds certifications in Instructors for Riders with Disabilities, Pack/Trail, Equine Facility Management, and is a Site Visitor. Teddy has helped to lead horse programs in three states, been a regional director in both Regions 1 and 11, served on the board for the American Youth Horse Council, and operates a successful equine business. The CHA mission to “change lives through safe horse experiences” has been a part of Teddy’s life, and he hopes to continue those experiences for others. Visit frankeequine.com or check out the Live Equestrian YouTube channel

Commercial Driver License – Do You Have to Comply?

Friday at 7 p.m.; Dessert Round Tables; Hilton Salon 4 and 6

Will horse owners need a CDL to haul in the future? What are the legal requirements for professionals? This discussion will seek to answer common questions about new laws concerning equine transportation in the U.S.


Nina Ekholm Fry


Nina Ekholm Fry, MSSc., CCTP, is the director of equine programs at the Institute for Human-Animal Connection and adjunct professor at University of Denver where she leads the Equine-Assisted Mental Health Practitioner Certificate program. A former equestrian Special Olympics coach, Nina teaches equine behavior at Yavapai College in Arizona. She is a CHA Certified Instructor and holds a certificate in Equine Management from the Vocational College of Ostrobothnia. As a practitioner member of the International Society of Equitation Science (ISES), she is dedicated to ethical equitation, correct application of learning theory, and the understanding of equine cognition, behavior, and mental states as part of equine management, assessment, handling, and training. From 2015 to 2016, Nina served as the interim program director for the Equine Initiative at the Yavapai Humane Society in Arizona where she started an adoption-focused equine rehabilitation and re-training program and designed the YHS Equine Center. Nina consults on equine behavior and facility design nationally. 

The Science of Equine Behavior and Learning – Practical Application for Riding Instruction

Sunday at 10:30 a.m.; CSU Lecture Room

Human-horse interactions have increasingly become a focus of scientific study, and with the emergence of groups such as the International Society of Equitation Science (ISES), scientifically-supported information about the horse’s experience in riding and interaction is more accessible than ever. Going beyond specific horsemanship methods and lingo, and avoiding the unintended consequences of humanizing the horse, principles emerging from research that inform ethical and effective interactions with horses will be discussed. This presentation contains scientifically supported information about how horses learn and think, with examples of practical application that help riding instructors reduce the occurrence of conflict between horse and rider and manage risk for all involved. 


Julie Goodnight


Julie is a 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. 

Behavior and Training: Science-based Theories, What Works Best on Horses and Why

Saturday at 3 p.m.; Adams Atkinson Arena

Exploring science-based training theories, such as positive vs. negative reinforcement, stages of learning, desensitizing vs. sensitizing, and how horses learn.

Add Spice to Your Lessons with Pole Dancing! Teach Valuable Riding Skills Using Garrocha, a Traditional Equestrian Art of the Spanish Vaqueros

Sunday at 9 a.m.; Adams Atkinson Arena

Teach valuable riding skills using Garrocha, a traditional equestrian art of the Spanish vaqueros. An excellent teaching tool for riders of all ability levels—walk, trot and canter. Garrocha helps develops a rider’s balance, seat and leg aids, circles and serpentines, leg yielding, speed control, and teaches less reliance on the reins.

Fine Line Between Instructor and Trainer: Teaching Students on Privately Owned Horses Sunday at Noon; Bill Pickett Arena

Riding instructors train people to ride and horse trainers train horses to be ridden, right? But often the line gets blurred when students bring their own horses to lessons. Where is the line? How do you determine if it’s a horse training problem or a rider problem? Between feral horses, adopted horses, and an abundance of idle horses, there are many riding students mounted inappropriately. What is the riding instructor’s role?


Dr. Temple Grandin


Dr. Grandin is a professor of animal science at Colorado State University and a pioneer in improving the handling and welfare of farm animals. Born in Boston, Dr. Grandin’s achievements are remarkable because she was an autistic child. At age two, she had no speech and all the signs of severe autism. Many hours of speech therapy and intensive teaching enabled Dr. Grandin to learn speech. As a teenager, life was hard due to constant teasing. Mentoring by her high school science teacher and her aunt on her ranch in Arizona motivated her to study and pursue a career as a scientist and livestock equipment designer. Dr. Grandin obtained her B.A. at Franklin Pierce College in 1970. In 1974, she was employed as livestock editor for the Arizona Farmer Ranchman and also worked for Corral Industries on equipment design. In 1975, she earned her M.S. in Animal Science at Arizona State University for her work on the behavior of cattle in different squeeze chutes. Dr. Grandin was awarded her PhD in Animal Science from the University of Illinois in 1989.

Keynote Speech – Animals Make Us Human

Sunday at 7 p.m. ; Hilton Salons 3, 4 and 6

Dr. Grandin will address how animals think and feel, visual thinking, avoiding fear memories and sensory bred thinking during this visual talk.


Laura Hamrin


Laura has a passion for teaching and riding. She started riding at three, competing at five, and then continued with eventing and classical dressage. She graduated from Morvan Park International Equestrian Institute and manages her family’s horse farm in North Georgia where she managed and trained competition and camp horses. Then she started working with special needs children and adults and fell in love with the therapeutic industry. Laura received her PATH Intl. instructor certification in 2007 and CHA Level 3 in Western and 4 in English certifications. Additionally, she is part of the clinic staff for Instructors for Riders with Disabilities (IRD) clinics and is currently working on completing her Clinic Instructor certification for IRD clinics. Laura is the equine director at Victory Therapy Center and a CHA State Representative for Texas. 

Yielding the Haunches and the Shoulders

Saturday at 10:30 a.m.; Bill Pickett Arena

This session will discuss: breaking skill down step-by-step for the beginner; or, for the advanced rider, training/working with a young horse.


Dr. Tanja Hess


In 1990, Dr. Hess became a Doctor in Veterinary Medicine in Federal Fluminense University, Brazil. After working some years as a private practitioner, she received her Master of Science in Equine Clinics from Federal Rural University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and then her PhD in Equine Nutrition and Exercise Physiology from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. During that time, she received the Pratt Fellow honors from 2003 to 2005. Dr. Hess has spent more than 15 years working in veterinary medicine and equine nutrition research. In her personal time, Dr. Hess enjoys endurance riding.

Nutrition for the Active Older Lesson Horse

Saturday at 9 a.m.; CSU Lecture Room

Nutrition and feeding of the older horse can be similar to feeding adult horses. According to the National Research Council, requirements of old horses are no different than for active horses. However, if older horses are overweight, underweight, arthritic, or have teeth problems, feeding requirements are adjusted. According to a survey, the older horse population has increased due to better knowledge on dental care and feeding methods. Older horses can be as active as younger horses and be used for work, and in these cases, requirements are based on adult working horses.


Dr. Kathi Jogan


Dr. Jogan is a longtime equine industry professional who has managed, trained, and shown various horse breeds representing multiple disciplines. Currently on the faculty at the University of Arkansas, Dr. Jogan 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. Dr. Jogan is a member of the Equine Science Society, the American Registry of Professional Animal Scientists, the North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture, and on the CHA Board. 

Flip or Flop? Equine Safety Meets Barn Design

Friday at 3:15 p.m.; Hilton – Aggie Room

There are many things that we can do to make a barn horse-safe. Attend this session to learn tips and tricks to make your barn not only safe for your horse but labor-efficient—whether you are building a new barn or retrofitting an old barn.


Christie Schulte Kappert


Christie serves as program officer for Watershed Animal Fund’s equine initiative, The Right Horse, which seeks to make lasting, transformative improvements to equine welfare in the United States. Christie is a skilled program and marketing manager with experience assembling equine industry partners to collaborate on complex industry-wide issues. Prior to joining Arnall Family Foundation, she led marketing and partner development for the American Horse Council’s Time to Ride Initiative. Christie earned dual degrees in Equine Science and Business Administration from Colorado State University where she graduated manga cum laude. She has also received certificates in Strategic Planning and Meeting Facilitation Strategies from the University of Texas Governor’s Center for Management Development. In her spare time, she participates in stock horse events, having been a top-ten finalist in two Extreme Mustang Makeovers. She is the proud owner of two Mustangs and one burro, all adopted. Her and her husband raise a small herd of beef cattle and live outside Austin, TX.

The Right Horse Initiative

Saturday at 10:30 a.m.; CSU Lecture Room

The Right Horse Initiative is a collective of equine industry and welfare professionals and advocates working together through collaboration, education, training, and public awareness on a national level to improve the lives of horses in transition and increase horse adoption in the United States. The Right Horse is proud to partner with CHA, in collaboration with Dumb Friends League Harmony Equine Center, to fill a dual goal of placing horses in transition in new occupations while providing quality horses to CHA instructors seeking safe, reliable horses for their horsemanship programs. The Right Horse Initiative is partnering with Colorado State University’s Temple Grandin Equine Center to pilot an expansion of the regional training center. This partnership will focus on training transition horses for placement in equine-assisted therapy, beginner horsemanship programs, or other placement opportunities. 


Christy Landwehr


Christy, who is the CHA chief executive officer, has been active in the horse industry for over 35 years and competed in a multitude of breeds and disciplines. She is a CHA Master Level Instructor, Clinic Instructor, Site Accreditor, and Equine Facility Manager and has taught students in 4-H and Pony Club. She is past president of the American Youth Horse Council and a past board member for the Colorado Horse Council. She also founded the University of Colorado at Boulder Intercollegiate Horse Show Association equestrian team. Christy is an AQHA and APHA Professional Horseman. Christy recently joined the Colorado State University Equine Sciences Advisory Council and the American Veterinary Medical Association Equine Advisory Committee. She has used her undergraduate degree in public relations and speech communication from California State University Fullerton and a graduate degree in mass communication and journalism from University of Colorado at Boulder as the sponsorship and youth programs manager for the Arabian Horse Association, a trainer for Skill Path Seminars, and as the development director for The Urban Farm. Christy lives in Aurora, CO, with her husband, John; her two boys, Sean and Kyle; and her lesson horses, Sox and Chip.

Your CHA

Friday at 7 p.m. ; Dessert Round Tables; Hilton Salon 4 and 6

Visit this roundtable to find out about CHA member benefits you might not be using and what the future of the association looks like.


Diane Lesher


Diane, is president, of Equisure, Inc., located in Aurora, CO. Diane has been with Equsiure for 20 years. Equisure, an insurance agency, specializes in providing insurance to many animal associations, United States Equestrian, the United States Polo Association, the Arabian Horse Association, the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association, the American Endurance Ride Conference, the American Kennel Club, and many more. Diane can be reached at diane@equisure-inc.com or 800-752-2472. Visit the website at www.equisure-inc.com.

Equine Insurance; Friday at 7 p.m.; Dessert Round Tables; Hilton Salon 4 and 6


Garret Leonard


Garret is the director of Harmony Equine Center, 1 168-acre center near Franktown, CO, provides relief from suffering, rehabilitation, and chances for new lives to abused and neglected horses seized by law enforcement agencies. Since its opening in 2012, Garret has overseen the center and 1,400+ horses, ponies, donkeys, and mules from throughout Colorado. Once the animals are restored to health by staff, several on-call veterinarians and farriers, and around 80 volunteers, they are offered for adoption to responsible new owners through an application and interview process. Currently, Harmony Equine Center works with 46 sheriff’s offices with Memorandums of Understanding or Partnership Agreements to house the horses as part of the impound. He is working with the American Association of Equine Practitioners on protocols for refeeding starved horses as well as assisting the ASPCA on evaluation, training, and placement of equines after rehabilitation. 

Harmony Equine Center

Saturday at 1:30 p.m.; Bill Pickett Arena

The Dumb Friends League Harmony Equine Center™ is a private rehabilitation and adoption facility for abused and neglected horses, ponies, donkeys, and mules that have been removed from their owners by law enforcement authorities. It also serves as a central hub where horses from humane societies and rescue groups in the Midwest and southwestern United States can receive training and rehoming. In March of 2018, the Harmony began opening its doors to privately owned horses in need of rehoming. With over 1,100 horses placed over the past six years, find out how they work with adopters, train horses, and make a match. The Dumb Friends League Harmony Equine Center is a member of the Certified Horsemanship Association and received the highest marks in facility approval since CHA has been certifying facilities. Currently, the Harmony Equine Center, Colorado State University, and The Right Horse have partnered to find homes for these horses as possible lesson mounts. Come to this session to find out how Harmony accesses each horse that arrives on the ground and under saddle.


Lisa Lombardi


Lisa started as a wrangler at a summer camp that offered a performance drill team to campers. Lisa’s experience includes reining, jumping, dressage, trail riding, horse camping, mounted color guard, and mounted assistance unit with the American Quarter Horse Association and Appaloosa Horse Club. She has worked with 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 B.A. in English with an emphasis in education. She also enjoys writing equine articles for the Sonoma County Horse Journal. Lisa has been CHA Certified since 1990 and is currently CHA Clinic Staff as well as a Site Evaluator. Lisa teaches lessons on her nine horses and clients’ horses, as well as at an after-school and a summer camp program. Lisa puts on monthly play days, and her students compete in dressage and jumping. Lisa has also taught hands-on equine science courses at Santa Rosa Junior College. Lisa is also PATH Intl. certified and CIEP-ED certified.

Preventing Lesson Horse Burnout

Saturday at 1:30 p.m.; CSU Lecture Room

What are some techniques that can be used to promote longevity of lesson horses, and prevent burnout? It is indeed important to select appropriate horses to be used for lessons. However, after we purchase them and put the time and effort into preparing them to work as lesson horses, how do we keep them sound, safe, and willing to do their job long-term? Through interactive discussions and activities, the participants of this presentation will gain insights on how to prevent lesson horse burnout.


Shelly Mann


Shelley grew up riding hunters and jumpers in Michigan in a decidedly non-horsey family. Heading to Kentucky for college, she spent several years in academia teaching riding and horse care at the university level. Shelley has been with The United States Pony Clubs, Inc., for 16 years as the director of marketing and communications. She blends a creative side with a passion for horses, horse care, and rider safety in hopes of helping more individuals enjoy a life in and around the barn. In her spare time, Shelley still rides and shows hunter jumpers from her small farm outside of Lexington, KY, and often can be seen in the judge’s box at local horse shows around the country.

United States Pony Club Riding Centers Explained

Friday at 7 p.m.; Dessert Round Tables; Hilton Salon 4 and 6

Find the resources you need. USPC, the equine educational industry leader, provides access to exclusive instructional materials for ALL instructors, professors, teachers, and educators. Organized, easy-to-understand lesson plans and resources make teaching easier. 

We will discuss: 1. Resources to teach unmounted equine topics with ready-to-use lesson plans for students and teachers. 2. Equine Curriculum, including an activity guide for instructors (with teaching tools, grading options, and progressive activities) plus student worksheets based on USPC’s Standards of Proficiency. 3. Pony Club IQ and webinars provides a collection of e-Learning technology for students to access relevant equine health and educational topics on their own.


Heidi Nyland Melocco


Heidi Nyland Melocco, MS, founded The Whole Picture, LLC, to help small businesses thrive online and in the media. She keeps up with social media trends and guides her clients to the top of the feeds. She has built social media accounts from zero to hundreds of thousands of followers. She helps to manage social media for top equine product companies—planning contests, videos, memes, and more. Her clients include horse trainers, equestrian fashion designers, tack manufacturers, leather craftsmen, natural feed and supplement companies, and more. Heidi uses her background in journalism and photography to present a professional and polished look that helps her clients stand out! Her photography and journalism are seen regularly in Horse & Rider, Horse Illustrated, and Young Rider magazines and has earned American Horse Publications and AIM Media Awards top honors. Heidi works in an industry she understands—she is a PATH Intl. certified instructor and cares for a registered APHA gelding named “Q” (who acts as her top equine model). Visit www.Whole-Picture.com

Making Social Media Posts Mean the Most When You’re Short On Time

Friday at 4:30 p.m.; Hilton Salon 2

You know you need to keep up with social media—but what is most important to do and how do you make time to do it? We’ll talk about the kind of posts that you need to make, where to post, and how to post if you’re short on time. You’ll leave with tips to help you engage your audiences and get attention for your riding program. Video is king, and content matters! Learn how to get video online easily and create fun, engaging posts. Plus, learn my rules for posting: what not to say, how to use tags and hashtags to get noticed, and when you should and shouldn’t use apps to automate your posts.  


Dale Myler


Dale and his brothers, Ron and Bob, are third generation horsemen and are three of the world’s leading bit designers. Dale’s extensive research into equine dentistry and physiology has evolved our understanding of not only the mechanics of bits but also how they can contribute to the communication between horse and rider. The unique Myler designs focus on mentally relaxing horses so the rider can achieve more effective communication. Known for his kind and thoughtful approach, Dale is motivated by a genuine desire to improve the relationship between horse and rider. He has done bitting clinics and seminars all over the U.S. and around the world for every level of rider and horse: Australia, New Zealand, Sweden, Wales, England, Germany, Scotland, Ireland, Canada, Poland, Switzerland, Brazil, and Austria. He speaks at expos and for many organizations, as well as conducting private clinics and seminars. 

Bit Evasion: How to Recognize It and What the Cause Is

Sunday at 9 a.m.; CSU Lecture Room

This lecture will examine the behavioral signs of bit resistance, review the primary cause of resistance and how to address it. Through a PowerPoint presentation, the audience can clearly see examples of horses resisting the bit, followed by a counter example of how the horse changes after re-bitting.

How Changing a Horse’s Bit Can Change the Horse

Sunday at 3 p.m.; Adams Atkinson Arena

Changing a horse’s bit to correctly address bit resistance changes the pressure points that the rider uses to communicate with the horse. This session reviews how to successfully transition to a new bit, how the rider needs to adjust to that new communication, and how to recognize when a bit isn’t working for your horse. 


NRHA Trainer Ryan Rushing


NRHA Professional Ryan Rushing owns Ryan Rushing Performance Horses, LLC, in Eaton, CO, with his wife, Amy. Operating out of Spicer Arena, the NRHA Professional specializes in training and showing aged event reining horses and coaching non pros as well as hosting clinics, sales, and lessons. With NRHA Lifetime Earnings in excess of $122,000, Rushing has earned top finishes in the NRHA Open Derby, the NRHA Open Futurity, and the National Reining Breeders Classic.

National Reining Horse Association Ride a Reiner

Saturday at Noon; Bill Pickett Arena

Take a spin on a trained reining horse for only $55. This fundraiser goes towards helping those in financial need attend a CHA Clinic. 


Amy Obringer


Amy was the founder and director of Blue Waters Youth Ranch, a 501(c)3, dedicated to providing a free ranch experience to foster and adopted children in Washington State from 2009 to 2012. She has been a CHA Certified Instructor and active 4-H horse leader since 2009. Before raising four children, Amy actively competed in team penning, sorting, and barrel racing. She currently owns and operates CowboyCO LLC, a large boarding facility in Southern California and competes at local horse shows and gymkhanas with her children. 

Barrel Racing For All Levels of RidersSunday at 3 p.m.; Bill Pickett Arena

Imagine three barrels set up in a cloverleaf pattern. This class will teach the “Sit, Lift, and Look” strategy of barrel racing. We will focus on how to set up your pocket before the barrel, the how and why behind slow practice, and drills to keep your horse turning well while remaining quiet and soft. Barrel horses do not need to be hot, and we will discuss how to avoid gate problems.


Margrit Parker


Attorney Margrit works with clients in all phases of business and career development, including equine professionals, and helps with various contracts, liability release forms, and sales, lease, and boarding agreements. Margrit enjoys representing equine clients in proactive business planning and management, litigation, defense of claims of malpractice and liability, appeals, and appearances before licensing boards. This native of California majored in Equine Science and Zoology at Colorado State University. Margrit co‐authors an annual case law survey on equine torts and insurance law for the American Bar Association, is a member and past‐chair of the American Bar Association’s Equine Law Subcommittee of the Animal Law Committee, and serves on the board of the Colorado Therapeutic Riding Center. Margrit was named the Denver Bar Association’s 2014 Young Lawyer of the Year, and is a repeat Colorado Super Lawyers Rising Star. For more about Margrit, visit www.linkedin.com/in/margritlentparker and http://childsmccune.com/staff/margrit-lent-parker

Practicing Safety is Not Enough: The Importance of Pushing Paper—Contracts, Liability Releases, and Insurance

Saturday at 3 p.m.; CSU Lecture Room

The CHA mission is to change lives through safe experiences with horses. As an equine professional, one of your chief goals is maintaining a safe environment for your equine activities. You spend lots of time developing your teaching and horse training skills, building your horse health knowledge, and developing and marketing your business, but how much time have you spent preparing for when things go wrong, despite your best efforts? Dealing with contracts and insurance is an essential part of what you do. Ensuring that your contracts, releases, and insurance are appropriately in place protects you and your business and can allow you to identify ways to have safer and more positive experiences with your clients.


Beth Powers


Beth, of Bellefontaine, OH, is our current CHA President, a CHA Certified Instructor, and a CHA Certified Overnight Guide, as well as a Site Trainer and Visitor. She was the Equestrian Director for the Bar W Ranch at YMCA Camp Willson in Bellefontaine where she oversaw a herd of 50+ horses, a staff, and all of the lesson programs, trail rides, summer camps, and overnight events. Beth has shared her knowledge on teaching techniques and the process in which people learn different skills as a presenter at the CHA International Conference and at CHA regional conferences, the American Youth Horse Council Symposium, and at Equine Affaire in Ohio. She has also been the keynote at the Wisconsin State 4-H Conference and a Volunteer of the Year for CHA. Beth has been published in the American Camping Association magazine and Stable Management magazine. She is an American Quarter Horse Professional Horseman. She received her Bachelor of Science in Education from Miami University in Ohio. 

CHA Annual Membership Meeting

Friday at 2 p.m.; Hilton Salons 4 and 6

Come and learn what your association is doing and how it can help you and how you can become more actively involved. 

Developing an Educated Eye with Group Riding 

Sunday at 10:30 a.m.; Adams Atkinson Arena

This presentation will involve audience participation. Here is a chance to develop an educated eye while observing riders demonstrate typical equitation faults (safely). We will learn skills to become a better instructors from each other. There will be something for every level of instructor for both western and English riders.


Tara Reimer


Tara has always been involved with horses. Tara and husband Derek own/operate Cloud 9 Ranch near Steinbach, Manitoba, Canada, where she teaches western and English riding, vaulting, equine-assisted psychotherapy, group discovery, and therapeutic riding, as well as trains horses, judges shows, and gives clinics. She is a CHA Clinic Instructor and Region 2 Director. In 2013, CHA name Tara the Instructor of the Year, and in 2016 her horse Arnie was awarded School Horse of the Year! Tara is certified with EAGALA as the equine specialist on the team. She is president of the Canadian Western Horse Association and longtime exhibitor with AQHA. Through Equine Canada she is a western coach and general performance judge. Tara continues to show horses in many events, ranging from dressage to working cow horse. She is fascinated by the healing qualities that horses offer humans. Tara has presented at the CHA International Conferences in Kentucky and Tennessee as well as at Horse 3 in Brandon. Visit www.cloud9ranch.ca.

Transitions for All Gaits

Saturday at 10:30 a.m.; Adams Atkinson Arena

Improve the timing and smoothness of transitions between all gaits when you learn more about what changes your horse is making through its’ body and how you as the rider need to adjust. Become more aware of what your horse’s body should feel like and how you can help your horse through the transitions. The horse always does their best so if your transitions need improving, learn how to help your horse! Know your gaits and footfalls well before the lesson.


Tiare Santistevan


Tiare is an instructor in the Equine Sciences Program at Colorado State University. In her youth, her family raised Thoroughbreds and Quarter Horses in Kauai, HI. She received a bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Education and a Master’s of Agriculture in Cooperative Extension Education from Colorado State University (CSU) and is a 2008 graduate of the Colorado Agriculture and Rural Leadership (CARL) program, a United States Hunter Jumper Association certified trainer, and a CHA Master Instructor in both English and western. Tiare joined the faculty at CSU in August 2001 and teaches Equine Event and Sales Management, Equine Management, Riding Instructor Training, Preparation for Equine Competition, and part of the Introduction to Equine Science class. Tiare is also the internship coordinator for the program, advisor to the English Riding Club, and is also the Key Academic Advisor for the program. In her spare time, Tiare can be found spending time with her family, riding her horses, playing soccer, or enjoying the Colorado mountains.

Visit Colorado State University Equine Sciences

Saturday at 4:30 p.m.

Cavalettis and Pole Work at All Gaits for a Variety of Levels

Sunday at 9 a.m.; Bill Pickett Arena

Whether you want your students to jump or not, cavaletti and ground pole work is good for horses and riders to do to improve strength, rhythm, and timing. 

Jumping Gymnastics

Sunday at 10:30 a.m.; Bill Pickett Arena

Jumping gymnastics is fun but can also be daunting to teach! Come to this session to learn how to set up different grids and the measurements for them and how to set your students and horses up for success as they go through them.


Tracy Schmidt


Media and Website Trends

Tracy received a BFA from the University of Kansas and has almost 30 years of experience working in: graphic design, visual communication, marketing, sales, publishing, web development, internet marketing, online business/reputation management, email marketing, social networking, and business development. Though Tracy has worked with a wide range of various industries, small and large corporations, local and international businesses (including Fortune 100’s), she is most passionate about her work within the horse industry with trainers, farms, breeders, exhibitors, horse-related businesses, organizations, and non-profits. She specializes in providing businesses with innovative solutions to stand out in today’s market online and through mainstream media. Tracy is also an adjunct professor, conducts workshops, lectures, and is currently a self-employed consultant, providing services in website and graphic design, sales, and marketing through SOL Design, Inc. Please visit http://SOLdesign.us.

Digital Media and Website Trends

Friday at 7 p.m.; Dessert Round Tables; Hilton Salon 4 and 6

Social networks, business directories, and media share sites boast more than 1.5 billion combined online “users.” These prospective customers turn to their electronic devices to use search engines, social media, mobile apps, and texting as ways to discover new companies, buy products, and find service providers. They get personal recommendations directly from their online “friends.” Let’s talk about the latest trends to market your business online, how to stand out from the competition, how to reach untapped customers, tricks on how to more effectively network online, managing your business reputation, and monetizing your website. Learn how to streamline your online marketing through digital media, email, text messaging and even through non-visual experiences, the BIGGEST new trend! 


Ann Streett-Joslin


Ann is currently CHA’s document specialist, working to convert CHA paperwork for internet access. She does editing, layout, file organization, and user support of CHA’s hundreds of documents. Ann has been active with horses and the horse industry for more than 55 years. From the show ring, to 4-H, to guest ranches, to driving, training colts, all types of instruction, and program/facility management, Ann is well-versed in the business. She is a CHA Master Level Riding Instructor and Clinic Instructor for Standard, Riders with Disabilities, Equine Facility Management, and Driving, as well as a Site Visitor and a former member of both the CHA and PATH Boards of Directors. She currently manages Rancho Vista near Dolores, CO, where she and husband Dave enjoy trail riding in the surrounding mountains and canyons. 

Creating and Using PDF Fillable Forms

Sunday at 3 p.m.; CSU Lecture Room

Documentation is a fundamental part of any instruction, boarding, or training program. Are you still hand-writing lesson notes or wondering what that email address really is on a registration form. This session will introduce using Adobe Acrobat to create and customize your forms for completion online. You will learn to improve the professionalism and readability of your forms by using the tools and commands for PDF fillable forms.


Cheryl West


Cheryl is a CHA Master Instructor and Clinician for English, western, therapeutic, and jumping, and a PATH Intl. therapeutic instructor and mentor. She travels nationally teaching The Connected Ride to all disciplines and developing instructors. She owns and operates West Equestrian Ranch in Sand Springs, OK, teaching lessons to over 60 riders a week at her ranch as well as teaching on Saturdays through the region. She often travels to certify instructors, mentor others, and teach clinics. She was the program manager for the American Therapeutic Center, with 70+ riders for five years. She 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. She is passionate about CHA, all types of dressage, and using bio-mechanics, rhythm, and feel to understand the horse’s language.

Exercises to Control and Improve the Posting Trot

Saturday at 1:30 p.m.; Adams Atkinson Arena

Posting is an important balance exersize that benefits both horse and rider. Learn different ways of posting to help you be more fluid in the movement and to allow the horse to help you work (not the other way around)! Learn why posting is important, history of the post, and how to to teach it from feel. 


Wayne Williams


Wayne has a long background in radio and TV, as a disc jockey, newscaster, and behind the scenes in sales and production. He has ridden in parades from the Indianapolis 500 Parade to the Rose Bowl Parade, exhibited in open and Palomino shows, and most recently, he and wife Pat pay tribute to Roy Rogers and Dale Evans on horseback with period costumes and silver saddles.  He has become the “voice” of more than 20 top horse expos nationwide and in Canada and aids many in presenting entertainment on horseback and various equine acts. His latest accomplishment was as the “Equine Entertainment MC” at the 2010 World Equestrian Games in Lexington, KY, at the 2018 Rose Parade Equestfest Producer/Director in Pasadena, and other events. Wayne enjoys trail riding and camping with Pat and being the “man behind the microphone.” He is the host of “Speaking of Horses” TV and radio. Visit www.speakingofhorses.com

Speaking of Horses Radio and Online TV Show

Friday at 10 a.m.; Hilton Salon 3

Come and watch and even be on the live show telling others about CHA and the International Conference.


JoAnne Young 


JoAnne has been teaching riding and training horses for over 54 years and is happy that she is still learning. She has studied with such wonderful instructors as Walter Zettl (dressage coach to Canadian event team when they won Bronze at the Los Angeles Olympics), Bertin Potter in Germany, Molly Sivewright (FEI judge and past chair of the Fellows of the British Horse Society), Carel Eijkenaar (FEI judge), Eddo Hoestra (FEI trainer) and Doris Halstead (physical therapist and author of “Releasing the Potential: Physical Therapy Modalities for Horse and Rider”). JoAnne is the author of the M.A. thesis, “Preparing students for riding instructor certification through college curricula.”

Connecting Your Seat to the Horse’s Feet 

Sunday at 1:30 p.m.; Bill Pickett Arena

Learn how to teach riders how to feel for the right moment and the right place to apply their aids to properly influence the desired leg and hoof of the horse. Transitions, lengthening and shortening stride, correct bend, and lateral work all improve as the rider learns to connect his/her seat to the horse’s feet!