2021 International Conference Speakers, Bios and Sessions

Wade Black

Wade was born on the Stampede Ranch in Nevada, and grew up riding with the buckaroos. At a very young age he was roping, moving cows, and working with the cowboys on the ranch managed by his dad, Martin Black. At age 10, his family moved to Idaho, where they bred, raised, and trained horses for the public. Wade helped his dad start colts, and rodeoed in high school, becoming a state and national high school rodeo contender. Wade earned a rodeo scholarship in Saddle Bronc riding at Montana State University, where he received a BS in Equine Science, and a MS in Equine Nutrition. Wade also taught colt starting classes at MSU for two years. Wade has spent time in Kentucky training racehorses, in Texas training cutting horses, and at different cow camps in Idaho and Oregon. Horsemanship is in Wade’s blood. He comes from a long line of horsemen, including his dad, Martin Black, grandfather, Ray Hunt, and uncle, Bill Van Norman. Wade directs the Equine program at Treasure Valley Community College in Ontario, Oregon and offers an Equine Science, Equine Business and Horse Production and Training Degree. He lives in Homedale, Idaho with his wife Amaia, and their three children, Teo, Josie, and Cy.

Training Quality Assurance – Noon Keynote – Wednesday, 11/10 – Cowtown Coliseum

Wade will be talking about Training Quality Assurance which is a 501(c)3 Non-profit organization focused on working with experts in the equine and ranching industry to set industry quality standards and certifications in training and selling horses to the public, as well as working on ranches where horsemanship, stockmanship and roping skills are required.  His talk will specifically be focused on introducing the research he did in his masters bringing a scientific approach to starting colts and setting a solid foundation in horses that future training can be built on. 

Wade Black

Schellie Blochberger

Schellie has been involved with horses since the age of eight. She owns and operates a lesson, summer camp and boarding business, B and B Farm, LLC. She has been a CHA certified riding instructor since 2006 and is a CHA Site Accreditor. She obtained her AQHA Professional Horseman status in 2008 and APHA Professional Horseman status in 2012.  Schellie is a carded judge for the POA Association and the Open Horse Show Association.  She has many years of scribing experience including four years with Missouri Ranch Horse Association. Schellie has achieved and coached others to world championships and high point awards at state and local shows. She has been a volunteer for many equine organizations, a 4-H Horsemanship leader and coached FFA Horse Judging teams as well as earning two Honorary FFA Chapter Degrees. She is a past president of the Missouri Equine Council, and has served on several equine organization boards. Her lesson and boarding business focuses on helping youth and adults achieve their dreams and goals in horseback riding and horse ownership.

Virtual Horse Showing Round Table – Tuesday, 11/9 – Niles Ballroom at Springhill Marriott Hotel

This session will introduce and answer questions about showing horses virtually and how it can help your lesson students.  Many different scenarios will be discussed.


Jim Boller

Jim has been in the forefront of animal welfare and disaster response for more than 30 years. He is currently a full time instructor and disaster responder with Code 3 which provides extensive training throughout the United States to animal welfare professionals and those involved in animal emergency response.

Keeping One Step Ahead of the Disaster – Thursday, 11/11 at 10:30 a.m. – Warm Up Pen

Surveys indicate that only about 10-12% of animal facilities have written disaster plans.  Planning for that potential emergency, whether it’s the major event that affects the entire community or the small event that just affect your facility. Preparedness has been shown to minimize the overall affects that can impact a facility. Join us as we discuss areas in pre event planning, mitigation and preparedness and look at those areas commonly overlooked to aid in reducing the effects of a devastating event.


Jim Boller

Anne Brzezicki

Anne is the retired Director of Equestrian Programs at Middle Tennessee State University.  Her background includes teaching at 4-H horse camps in CT and TN, competing in USEF, IHSA and AQHA shows, and coaching many youth, amateur, and Intercollegiate Horse Show Association national champions.  She is a CHA Master Instructor and Clinician and has been hosting CHA certification clinics and thoroughly enjoys working with other teachers in an atmosphere of shared enthusiasm, knowledge and techniques. Anne is a Certified Real Colors Trainer.  In 2015, Anne won the CHA Instructor of the Year Award.

Real Colors Inventory for Working with Your Clients and Staff – Thursday, November 11 at 7 p.m. – Niles Ballroom

 Find out more about your own personality style and those around you.  You will also learn the styles you communicate the best with. There is a $20 fee for this session for the instrument and you must pre-register.


Emily Cavender

Emily grew up riding horses with her mother in the mountains outside her hometown of Knoxville, Tennessee.  She was a competitive member of the Middle Tennessee State University hunter seat and western IHSA teams, of which she was also president for two years, with multiple Regional and Zone Championship qualifications. She also judged on MTSU’s Horse Judging Team, earning Eighth High Individual at the 2008 AQHA World Championship Show’s judging competition. Emily went on to earn a Master’s degree from MTSU in Horse Science, focusing on equine education, in 2017 during which she also assistant coached both disciplines and represented MTSU in Europe as a member of the AQHA International Horsemanship Camps. Upon graduation, she was the head hunter seat coach at The University of the South in Sewanee, TN for four years where she qualified riders for Zone Championships every year as well as taking a Cacchione Cup rider to Nationals in 2019. Her team finished the 2019-2020 season as Reserve High Point Team. She is also a Level 3 Certified Instructor in both disciplines with CHA. Emily has recently moved to Virginia and is currently the Assistant Director of Programming and Assistant Western Coach for Liberty University in Lynchburg.

Learn More About IEA and IHSA Round Table –Tuesday, 11/9 – Niles Ballroom at Springhill Marriott Hotel

Please join us for a roundtable discussion to enlighten members on the draw format of IEA and IHSA competition and how it can help your riders become more versatile, provide a unique showing experience for all levels regardless of background and experience, and enhance your business. We will also discuss best practices for preparing your IEA riders to join the collegiate equestrian sector and how to leave an impression when touring university equestrian programs. 

Emily Cavender_

Dr. Bob Coleman

Dr. 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 bachelor’s degree in agriculture with a major in Animal Sciences and a master’s degree in Animal Science.  After graduating, Coleman worked in the Canadian Feed Industry as a nutritionist for two major feed companies before moving in 1980, to Alberta Canada to be 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, Dr. Bob moved to the University of Kentucky as the Equine Extension Specialist.  Dr. Bob has worked with horse owners across the state in areas of horse management with an interest in facility design and management. This has included looking at ways to provide feed and water safely and effectively to horses. In addition to his Extension duties, Dr. Bob teaches in the Equine Science and Management program courses on Tools and Tack in the horse industry and Equine Facility design and management. Dr. Bob is active in the Horse Industry serving as on the AQHF research committee and is a past president of the Kentucky Quarter Horse Association.  Professionally, Dr. Bob is a member of the Equine Science Society and he 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. As a member of CHA, Coleman is certified as a Lead Site Visitor and Trainer and serves on the board as the President.

CHA Annual Membership Meeting Welcome – Tuesday, November 9 at 1 p.m. – Niles Ballroom at Springhill Marriott Hotel

Options to Feed and Water Your Horses – Tuesday, November 9 at 2:30 p.m. – Niles Ballroom AB

Daily chores such as feeding and providing water to your horses do become routine. However, there are more options available for feeding hay that reduce waste and can slow intake to help with the management of horses. Along with the hay feeders there are options to watering horses. The options for providing water range from very intricate automatic systems to easy ways to fill troughs using a hose. As a horse owner what criteria should you consider when looking into options for doing those basic chores. Taking care of horses is a significant part of being a horseman. Can we consider options to do that better? In this presentation we will look at what are some ways you can do that both commercial and horseman specific.

Belonging to CHA:  It Can be Much More Than a Membership Round Table -Tuesday, 11/9 – Niles Ballroom at Springhill Marriott Hotel

When members have been surveyed why they belong to CHA, they cover a wide range of reasons: for work, the education opportunities, insurance and others. Let’s visit about how you can be more involved, how can you contribute something to CHA and how CHA can do more for you. There is so much that all can gain from being more than a just a dues paying member.

CHA Awards Banquet MC – Wednesday, November 10 at 7 p.m. – Billy Bob’s

Bob Coleman

Donovan Dobbs

There are trainers and then there are horsemen. A horseman works with the horse to accomplish something together. A trainer just teaches a horse to do something. Donovan strives to be a horseman. He often calls himself a horseman in training. The reason he does this is because being a horseman is a continual learning experience. Donovan Dobbs teaches horsemanship in Ozark, MO. He teaches riders to first ride a horse and not to just sit on a horse. His students range in ages are from 8 to 70. He works with a variety of horse owners on their confidence and communication. He has helped everything from trail riders to barrel racers to the occasional rider. Donovan also starts horses, fixes issues and trains for specific events. He has worked with Fox Trotters, Draft Crosses, Quarter Horse and miniature horses. He believes that any horse can improve just that some take more work than others. When not working with students or horse, Donovan also practice law in the community that he lives in.

Ground Work for All – Thursday, November 11 – 1:30 p.m. – Cowtown Coliseum

Will learn how ground work can be used in all aspects of your lessons as well as time with your horses. We will learn to see ground work as a tool for not only communication but relationship building for horse and human.             



Nina Ekholm-Fry

Nina Ekholm Fry, MSSc., CCTP, is the Director of Equine Programs at University of Denver’s Institute for Human-Animal Connection and Adjunct Professor in the Graduate School of Professional Psychology and the Graduate School of Social Work where her work focuses on therapeutic human-horse interactions and on equine behavior and welfare. Nina is a former Equestrian Special Olympics Coach and teaches Equine Behavior at Yavapai College in Arizona. She is a CHA certified riding instructor (Level 4) and holds a certificate in Equine Management from the Vocational College of Ostrobothnia, Finland. 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. She has a background as a mental health practitioner providing clinical services, specializing in trauma treatment, as a competitive rider and equine behavior consultant, and as an academic professional actively engaged in national and international organizations for both human and equine health.

What’s Behavior Got to Do with It? The Science of Equine Behavior in Our Daily Interactions – Wednesday, November 10 at 10:30 a.m. – Warm Up Pen

Learn about the science of equine behavior and how it impacts our daily interactions with horses, in lessons and otherwise. Areas such as communication, social order, and expression of emotion will be reviewed, along with myth busting and common misunderstandings. In addition, 8 tips for integrating knowledge of equine behavior in your handling and training will be shared. Bring your questions for this interactive demonstration.


Nina Ekholm Fry Portrait

Samantha Gabarino

Samantha learned to ride on a Welsh Mountain pony and worked at a local stables to be able to attend jumping shows, fox hunting, hunter trails, and eventing competitions. Portsmouth University, on the south coast of England, is where she studied architecture for 7 years. After gaining her architectural license, Samantha worked for one of the oldest local architecture practices. In 1996, Samantha moved from England to Texas to marry and she worked for a year for a stables in Keller where she met eventing people in Area V and North Texas.  She went on to place in many Eventing competitions both national and FEI. She started working for an international architecture firm which took her throughout the US and out of country. She worked on a range of projects:  from large casino and hotel resorts in Las Vegas, Mississippi river area, Native American Tribes projects, higher education campuses, entertainment resorts, religions campuses, historical refurbishments, costume homes, retail centers, museums, and residential complexes. Samantha now works for Bennett Benner Architects. With her love, knowledge and experience of equines and historical buildings, she became immersed in the history of the Fort Worth Stockyards and the culture. After 6 years, the Horse and Mule Barns project is now complete and being recognized both by the architecture community as it earns awards and praise for its adaptive design; and also by the public, the city and the tenants as being a unique set of historical buildings.

How Mule Alley in the Fort Worth Stockyards Was Restored and Developed – Tuesday, November 9 at 2:30 p.m. – Niles Ballroom AB

This session will cover the restoration and adaptive future use, History of the Horse and Mule Barns from just before the start of its construction in 1911, through its design with clients, working with city and Stockyard shareholders. Construction and restoration process for the “barns” and surrounding site. Real insight of what went on to make Mule Alley what we all see today.


samantha g

Julie Goodnight

Julie is best known for her TV show about horse training– which aired weekly for eleven years– and for her sensible and kind training for all equestrians. Her methods are grounded in natural horsemanship, classical riding, and understanding what motivates horses. Julie is the CHA International Spokesperson and she teaches at clinics, expos and special events everywhere and offers online education, how-to videos, and her own tack and training tools at JulieGoodnight.com.

Evaluating Horses for New Careers – Wednesday, November 10, 2021  9 – 10:15 a.m. – Warm Up Pen

Horses of all shapes, sizes, breeds, colors, ages, and talent are being repurposed for a second or even third career. Thousands of horses are reclaimed each year by hardworking horse rescues and foster-trainers and adopted out as valued family horses with a secure and content future. Sometimes a horse needs a new career because he’s finished one career, like racing, and still has a long life ahead of him and needs a purpose or simply needs to be more marketable. In this workshop, we’ll evaluate a variety of horses, based on their conformation, temperament traits, way of going, and athleticism; then consider what the best career or discipline choice would be and what the training plan might look like.

ABCs of Leg Yielding – Thursday, November 11, 2021 – Noon Lunch -Cowtown Coliseum

Leg yielding is an important skill in the training progression for horse and rider, both English and Western. Once proficient with fundamental control at walk, trot, and canter, the rider must develop collection and lateral movements in the horse for greater body control and for executing more advanced maneuvers. In this presentation, the focus will be on teaching leg yielding to higher level riding students, including how to explain and demonstrate the skill, how to break down the aids of the rider into teachable components, and various ways to execute the lesson in a group setting.

Julie Goodnight photo (003)

Holly Haeger  

Holly got her start as a professional horse-person over 30 years ago beginning with summer camps. Her professional career began in a CHA program and continued after she got married when she and her husband moved to managing a 150 plus herd of reining and cutting Quarter Horses for an AQHA breeder. Later she completed a master’s degree in Teaching Techniques and began her professional teaching career in an alternative high school as an English teacher. Most days after work she taught private lessons to clients in her private multi-discipline lesson business where she also helped initiate and sustain a Pony Club with USPC, coached a USEA group of young riders, and worked with clients who came to her for help with dressage basics to help with a variety of disciplines. Holly recently got involved in several active riding programs when one of her previous summer camps asked for some assistance in resolving some budget and personnel issues. This initial request has resulted in Holly offering consultation services to several programs in running safe, budget-friendly programs that serve their guests. Holly is currently a certified EWI ACI, and the CHA Idaho State Representative. She is actively involved in breed programs, discipline programs, and several lesson programs as both an administrator and an instructor.

Changing the Culture of a Barn and Creating a Team That Cares Round Table –Tuesday, 11/9 – Niles Ballroom at Springhill Marriott Hotel

All barns have a culture, and culture is the heart of a barn and its programming; it’s unique to every program and its leaders which is wonderful! In order to create safe, budget-friendly programs that meet your guest’s/client’s expectations, it’s likely necessary to start with changing a barn’s culture. Having recently overhauled the culture of two lesson programs and directly influenced several other culture changes in other programs, Holly will discuss her experiences and share/discuss ideas for barn cultures that thrive.


holly h

Laura Hamrin

Laura is the owner of Heartsfire Equestrian Training LLC in Aubrey, Texas. She works with all disciplines helping to build confidence in both the horse and the client. She is a CHA IRD Certifier, CHA English and Western certified, and a  PATH CTRI/Mentor and ESMHL certified. She is a leader in the field of EAAT and mentors and trains new professionals.

IRD Terminology Round Table Talk – Tuesday, 11/9 – Niles Ballroom at Springhill Marriott Hotel

This round table will discuss the current Equine Assisted Activities and Therapy terminology being used by the different associations and how you should use this proper terminology when you bill for therapy sessions if you are a therapist and for riding lessons if you are an instructor for riders with disabilities. 


Laura Hamrin

Jessica Hersey  

Jessica is a CHA EWI Instructor/ Assistant Certifier, and a current CHA Board member. She is part of one of the fastest equestrian sports – mounted shooting.  A two-time state high point champion, she has students that have taken home national championships and was the Vice President and a Board Member of the Maine Cowboy Mounted Shooters. Jessica has competed in the United Mounted Shooters, the Cowboy Mounted Shooting Association, and the Cowboy Sports Association.  She is also a Centered Riding Instructor, holds a Master’s in Equestrian Education and is a CHA Lifetime member.

Mounted Shooting Round Table -Tuesday, 11/9 – Niles Ballroom at Springhill Marriott Hotel

This round table will go into detail about starting a mounted shooting program. We will discuss the safety steps, the riding needed and the associations that are a part of this sport.


Jessica Hersey

Kristin Jaworski  

Kristin, influenced by tourism in Arizona is now dedicated to marketing Fort Worth, Texas as a premier travel destination as Trail Boss for the world’s only twice daily Texas Longhorn Cattle Drive: the Fort Worth Herd. Experienced in public relations, operations, leadership, and livestock management since 2002, she is also a graduate of Tarleton State University and Leadership Fort Worth and serves the city through community trusteeship. As a Member of the Certified Horsemanship Association, she is a Certified Equine Professional Horsemanship Instructor, English/Western, a Certified Equine Facility Manager and Assistant Certifier. She proudly serves on the 2021 CHA Executive Committee as President Elect. Her passion for horses has led her to enjoy teachable moments through instructing and continuing her education in Western, Dressage and Jumping. She has also joined the show circuit with the National Miniature Donkey Association and American Donkey & Mule Society.

CHA Awards Banquet MC – Wednesday, November 10 at 7 p.m. – Billy Bob’s


Christy Landwehr  

Christy has been in the equine industry for over 35 years riding and teaching many disciplines and breeds. Christy is your CHA Chief Executive Officer, an EWI Master Instructor and Certifier, CHA Site Visitor Trainer and an EFM Certifier. She is Past President of the American Youth Horse Council and past board member for the Colorado Horse Council.  She founded, competed on and coached the University of Colorado at Boulder Intercollegiate Horse Show Association equestrian team.  Christy is an AQHA and APHA Professional Horseman and on both of these committees. She sits on the Colorado State University Equine Sciences Advisory Council and on the Interscholastic Equestrian Association Board. Christy has her Bachelor’s Degree in Communications with a minor in Speech and her Masters is in Journalism with a minor in Marketing. She was the Sponsorship/Youth Programs Manager for the Arabian Horse Association, a trainer for Skill Path Seminars, and the Development Director for The Urban Farm that works with at-risk youth in Denver. Christy has spoken at numerous equine events, breed and discipline conventions throughout her career. 

CHA Certifier Comments and Questions Round Table –Tuesday, 11/9 – Niles Ballroom at Springhill Marriott Hotel

Calling all CHA Certifiers this is your session. Please come if you are involved in EFM, EWI and AC or a CD. If you don’t know what these acronyms are, then you really need to visit this table! Let’s continue to help CHA achieve the best certifications by all being on the same page.

Real Colors Inventory for Working with Your Clients and Staff – Thursday, November 11 at 7 p.m. – Niles Ballroom

Find out more about your own personality style and those around you.  You will also learn the styles you communicate the best with. There is a $20 fee for this session for the instrument and you must pre-register.


Lisa Lombardi

Lisa has been a full time professional riding instructor since 1987. She is a CHA master instructor, site evaluator, and certifier. She is also PATH and Ceip-Ed certified, and has a Ba in English with an emphasis on education. She is a Santa Rosa Junior College equine science instructor in addition to running her own lesson program with her own nine horses. Lisa has a wide range of teaching, riding, and competition experience, including reining, jumping, dressage and western dressage, trail riding and camping, therapeutic riding, drill team and color guard, ranch riding. Today Lisa Lombardi still enjoys passing on horsemanship skills to 4 year olds through 80 year olds as much as she did the first day she was hired as a summer camp wrangler May 1987. What was supposed to be a one-summer job transformed into a life-long passion and career.

Preventing Riding Instructor Burnout Round Table –Tuesday, 11/9 – Niles Ballroom at Springhill Marriott Hotel

 As riding instructors, we have chosen a career that is physically demanding, often requires working long and irregular hours, involves high risk that keeps us on our toes at all times and occurs outside in all weather conditions. And, we are not likely to get rich doing it.   So, how do we maintain enthusiasm and give students their money’s worth, while also addressing our own needs? In this session we will discuss strategies and solutions to the challenges of being a professional riding instructor.  


Lisa Lombardi 3

Pam Minick

Pam has been inducted into the National Cowgirl Hall of Fame, the National Cowboy Hall of Fame, Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame, and Texas Rodeo Cowboy Hall of Fame.  Pam is a former Miss Rodeo Nevada and Miss Rodeo America, which propelled her into a broadcasting career.  Pam has hosted more than 1,000 television shows on ESPN, TNN, NBC, and CBS, and is now the host of The American Rancher and Gentle Giants on RFD TV.  She recently retired after 25 years as the marketing director of Billy Bob’s Texas in the Fort Worth Stockyards – where she and husband Billy are co-owners.  Pam is a former World Champion breakaway calf roper, qualified for the Women’s National Finals rodeo 16 times in team roping, and was Vice President of the Women’s Pro Rodeo Association for more than a decade.  In 2020, Minick turned her focus from team roping to AQHA Versatility events.  At the AQHA World Championship Show in Oklahoma City, she won Reserve Champion in the Level 1 Ranch Riding on her Quarter Horse Gelding “Smart Smartie”. Pam serves on the board of various non-profit organizations around North Texas including as President of Friends of the Fort Worth Herd and Past President of Speedway Children’s Charities. Pam was named “Great Woman of Texas” in 2006 and received the “Dateline Award” from the American Advertising Federation in 2015.  In 2016, Pam was the first woman to receive the prestigious “Western Horseman of the year award”.  During the 2020 National Finals Rodeo, Pam was presented the “Legacy of Rodeo Award”.  Pam and her husband, Billy, live on a small ranch in Argyle, Texas with horses, cattle, donkeys and dogs where they enjoy team roping.

Keynote at CHA Awards Banquet – Wednesday, 11/10 – Billy Bob’s


Mike Mumford

Mike was born and raised in beautiful Malaysia and attended boarding school in England. He trained at the Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst, and served for 12 years as an officer in the Royal Engineers. Mike has also had an extensive horsemanship and athletic journey, competing in 48 international competitions and the Los Angeles Olympics in 1984 in modern pentathlon. He believes travel is a great educator. Through his experiences he’s learned to speak the language of horses he’s ridden in every country, and recognizes every human has the same basic needs and desires to live a happy life. Mike currently lives in Utah, is married with six children, and owns a wonderful rescue Arabian named Basil. Mike joined Redmond in 2004 and loves the authentic culture, relationships, and environment of constant learning and improvement.

Round Table -Tuesday, 11/9 – Niles Ballroom at Springhill Marriott Hotel

Trainers Circle

Are you ready to train healthier, more focused horses? Redmond Trainer’s Circle is a community of vetted trainers who use natural Redmond Equine products to train better horses through better nutrition. Trainer’s Circle gives you wholesale prices on effective Redmond products so you can train smarter and deliver exceptional horses.  https://redmondequine.com/trainers-circle



Ken Najorka  

Ken has been affiliated with CHA for many years as a certified instructor and a Region 7 Director. He owns Najorka Performance Horses in Fort White, Florida where he raises, trains, and sells reining horses. Ken was the coach for the University of Central Florida equestrian team and now conducts horsemanship clinics across the southeast. He maintains a lesson program at his barn that serves to develop riders in Western Dressage, Ranch Horse, and Trail Riding disciplines. najorkaperformancehorses@gmail.com

Simple and Flying Changes Taught Many Ways – Wednesday, November 10 at 9 a.m. – Cowtown Coliseum

Working on teaching your students to do simple and flying changes, then this is the session for you!

Working with the Older Rider – Wednesday, November 10 at 3 p.m. – Cowtown Coliseum  

Wanting to teach older riders and not sure where to start?  Already working with them and want more tools in your toolbox?  Come and see!  

ken n

Katy Nichoalds

Katy has been teaching horseback riding since 2011. Katy completed Parelli Natural Horsemanship’s home study program through level 3. In 2015, Katy became an instructor certified with CHA in English/Western. Katy began teaching to riders of all abilities when she obtained her CHA IRD in 2018. Prior to receiving her CHA IRD, Katy began volunteering at Alegria Animal Assisted Therapeutic Center. That is when she realized that building a Special Olympics equestrian team was a way to be unique in Louisiana’s therapeutic riding field.  

Starting a Special Olympics Team – Round Table –Tuesday, 11/9 – Niles Ballroom at Springhill Marriott Hotel

Katy will talk about how Alegria partnered with Special Olympics Louisiana to form the team. She will also share highlights and pictures of the competitions that have taken place.    

Katy Nichoalds

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 operates CowboyCo, an equine/animal rescue facility in Southern California and competes at local horse shows and gymkhanas with her clients.

Barrel Racing/Pole Bending For All Levels of Riders – Wednesday, November 10 at 10:30 a.m. – Cowtown Coliseum

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. Pole Bending with the same strategy and leg ques to streamline the poles.

amy o2

Betsy Price

Betsy, a Fort Worth native, took office as the 44th Mayor of Fort Worth in 2011. Price previously served as the elected Tarrant County Tax Assessor-Collector from 2001-2011. Betsy brought an ambitious vision to raise the bar for the city of Fort Worth, which is the 12th largest city in the United States. This started with improving the basics of any growing city – public safety, mobility, fiscal responsibility and job growth. She also helped ensure a sustainable city for future generations by promoting grassroots public engagement, supporting healthy lifestyles and championing public education. Betsy likes to say “It’s Your Fort Worth.” She understands a city is nothing without an active and engaged citizenry.

Having decided to not seek re-election as Mayor after five terms and a tenure spanning ten years, Betsy announced in June 2021 that she will be a candidate for County Judge of Tarrant County in 2022.

CHA Annual Membership Meeting Welcome – Tuesday, November 9 at 1 p.m. – Niles Ballroom at Springhill Marriott Hotel


Beth Powers

Beth is known as an adventurer among her family and friends. She’s always planning new adventures in connection with the annual CHA conference. She’s also a fixture at the CHA booth at the annual Equine Affaire in Ohio, where she shares her love of the profession and organization.  Certified as both a CHA English/Western instructor and in trail, she’s also a site visitor and site visitor trainer and conducts training sessions at CHA’s international conferences. Beth is an American Camp Association site visitor as well.  She is the CHA 2020 Distinguished Service Award winner. Beth has held  numerous positions on the CHA board for over 23 years and is our past president.

CHA Site Visitor Training – Stockyards Room at SpringHill Suites – Tuesday, November 9 at 9 a.m. and Thursday, November 11 at 6 p.m.

If you are a current CHA member you can become a CHA Site Visitor. Come to both of these free sessions to accomplish this goal. Registration is needed ahead of time.



Barbra Schulte  

Barbra is a High-Performance Coach, horse trainer, the author of four books, publisher of video blogs and online programs, clinician, speaker, and an honoree in the National Cowgirl Hall of Fame. As a national cutting horse competitor, Barbra was the first woman to win two legs of cutting’s triple crown. She was awarded the National Female Equestrian of the Year Award by the AQHA and the Women’s Sports Foundation. In 2020, she received the American Horse Publications Equine Industry Vision Award for her positive impact across the horse industry. In 2021, she received the Western Horseman Women of the West Award. Barbara is the CEO of the Center for Equestrian Performance. She lives in Brenham, Texas with her husband, Tom.  

Tools to Help Students Become Calm and Focused – Thursday, 11/11 at 10:30 a.m. – Cowtown Coliseum 

From lessons at home to clinics to competitions – students of all disciplines and experience levels (beginner to advanced) feel the grueling effects of nerves, distractions, fear of others’ thoughts, and frustration on their riding. It’s an unavoidable part of every rider’s journey. However, as coaches and instructors, we can help students replace “negative” emotions with calmness and focus at will.  Along with the help of 4 riders attending CHA, Barb will share five thinking tools, four “acting” tools, ways to lower heart rate/reduce muscle tension on-demand; integrate these strategies into a lesson and prepare a rider for competition. 

Cutting Basics – Thursday, 11/11 at 3 p.m. – Cowtown Coliseum

What would be more fun to learn about in “Cow Town” than the basics of the discipline of Cutting? Fort Worth, Texas, is the world mecca of cutting horse competitions. In this demonstration, with the help of 4 CHA riders, we will explore the fundamentals of working a cow in practice for both horse and rider and how cutting competitions are judged. You’ll learn the most important technical elements of the sport, for example, the difference between a cow turn and forward motion spin turnaround (and how to achieve it), as well as how to maintain a low, anchored seat in the saddle as you work a fast-moving cow. 


Barbara Schulte

Dr. Hallie Sheade

Hallie Sheade, PhD, LPC-S, RPT-S is the founder of Equine Connection Counseling, devoted solely to the practice of equine-assisted counseling with children, teenagers, and adults outside of Fort Worth, TX. She is also the co-founder of PATH Intl. Member Center, S.T.E.P.S. With Horses.  She is a Licensed Professional Counselor Supervisor and Registered Play Therapist Supervisor. Dr. Sheade is also an equine professional and has over 30 years experience with horses. She holds PATH Intl. credentials as a Certified Therapeutic Riding Instructor (CTRI) and Equine Specialist in Mental Health and Learning (ESMHL) and is a Faculty Candidate for PATH Intl. ESMHL Workshops to train and evaluate equine specialists. She also serves on the PATH Intl. Health and Education Advisory Committee and Racial Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Work Group as well as the Horses and Humans Research Foundation Development Committee. Dr. Sheade is also the author of the book, Equine-Assisted Counseling and Psychotherapy: Healing Through Horses, and is committed to furthering the field of EAC by authoring manuscripts, presenting at local, national, and international conferences, and by training others in the practice of EAC. 

Creating Safety in Equine Assisted Counseling – Wednesday, 11/10 at 3 p.m. – Warm Up Pen  

Emotional and physical safety for all human and equine participants are crucial in providing equine-assisted counseling. In this demo, attendees will learn how to effectively balance equine welfare with clients’ needs while identifying and addressing potential safety issues in a therapeutic manner.

Hallie Sheade

Dr. Anita Shkedi

Dr. Anita Shkedi founded Therapeutic Horseback Riding in Israel in 1985 and developed Israel’s official diploma curriculum for therapeutic horseback riding at the Nat Holman School of Coaches at the Wingate Institute of Physical Education in 1988, which became the springboard for multiple other related therapeutic studies. She has a Doctorate in Education specializing in curriculum building for EAA/T. In 2015, Dr. Shkedi received an Award of Excellence from Israel’s prestigious Wingate Institute and is in the International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame for her contribution to therapeutic horseback riding. Through her more than 3 decades of working in the field of EAA/T, Dr. Shkedi has guided severely disabled children and adults, traumatized war veterans, and children and adult survivors of neglect and abuse, onto paths of healing in partnership with remarkable horses.  She is the author of two books that have benefitted the field: Traumatic Brain Injury and Therapeutic Riding (2012) and Horses Heal PTSD: Walking New Paths (2021) and has authored many articles. She lectures and consults worldwide in the areas of equine assisted activities and therapies, PTSD, and traumatic brain injuries, and provides clinics and workshops through her new website, anitashkedi.com

The Power of the Human Horse Relationship – Tuesday, 11/9 at 2:30-3:30 – Niles Ballroom C Springhill Marriott Hotel

Dr. Shkedi will discuss what led her to write her latest book, Horses Heal PTSD: Walking New Paths, and share examples of how, when in the presence of the remarkable, unparalleled horse, healing occurs on all levels, restoring the mind, strengthening the body, and repairing the soul. She will share highlights from her book that offers this unique approach replete with practical solutions, evidence-based proof, and diagrams which show different therapeutic approaches to achieve goals from both a sensory and cognitive perspective. 

Dr. Billy Smith

Billy is the executive director of the American Paint Horse Association, the world’s second largest equine breed association, with more than 45,000 worldwide members. He is leading APHA’s move into the historic Fort Worth Stockyards.  He also helped guide a talented APHA staff to producing the two top award winning magazines in the equine world, the Paint Horse Journal and Chrome. He grew up in a horse racing, ranching, farming and oil family in West Texas. He also serves on the American Horse Council Board of Trustees. He graduated in 1984 from the University of North Texas with degrees in business and journalism, and in 1989 with a master’s degree from Texas Tech University in public relations and advertising and completed a doctorate in education in 1999. He spent eight years as a practicing journalist covering medical and scientific subjects as well as a stint covering the closing of wars in both El Salvador and Nicaragua, before accepting a nine-year teaching stint at West Texas A&M University. He later joined the American Quarter Horse Association where he served as executive director of information technology and various marketing roles for 13 years.

Welcome to Fort Worth at CHA Annual Membership Meeting – Tuesday, November 9 at 1 p.m. – Niles Ballroom

Courtney Smith

Courtney is a CHA instructor and state representative for Tennessee. She owns and operates Need A Hand Horse Training in Murfreesboro, TN where she coaches youth and adult riders in multiple disciplines. She spends her weekends travelling to horse shows and is generally found ringside coaching her students. In 2011 Courtney expanded her lesson program by starting an Interscholastic Equestrian Association team, Team Need-A-Hand, that recently placed in the top 8 at IEA Western Finals. She has 10 years of experience in the IEA, coaching both a western and hunter seat teams. Courtney holds an MS in Equine Education from Middle Tennessee State University. She is also sits on the board of the Tennessee Stock Horse Association and has recently been appointed as the Chairman of the IEA’s Educational Committee. Her passion for education is evident not only in the arena but also through her dedication to promoting the growth of our industry through youth involvement.

Learn More About IEA and IHSA Round Table –Tuesday, 11/9 – Niles Ballroom at Springhill Marriott Hotel

Please join us for a roundtable discussion to enlighten members on the draw format of IEA and IHSA competition and how it can help your riders become more versatile, provide a unique showing experience for all levels regardless of background and experience, and enhance your business. We will also discuss best practices for preparing your IEA riders to join the collegiate equestrian sector and how to leave an impression when touring university equestrian programs. 

The Mental Beast – Wednesday, November 10 at 1:30 p.m. – Cowtown Coliseum

Learn strategies to help teach riders to have the mental edge. This session will give instructors an overview into understanding how the mind responds to stress, the importance of training for mental preparedness, and techniques to use to gain a competitive advantage. By presenting different strategies that will allow participants to overcome fear, instill confidence, and provide ramps to mental road blocks we can give individuals an advantage over those who have not arrived to the game mentally equipped. We will look at ways to simulate “competitive stress” in practice to better prepare for competitions, fun ways to inspire self- accountability and prepare our own mental toughness game plan. Gaining that competitive edge by focusing on strengthening the mind is a life skill that can used in interviews, public speaking, test taking, riding competitions and so much more.

courtney s

Jim and Sharon Smith

Chambers Creek Percherons


Jim and Sharon have been involved in the horse industry starting with Quarter Horses and then they got their first draft mare team and were hooked! For the past 30 years, they have raised, bred, and shown Percherons with great success.  They have been the leading Texas breeder and have won numerous awards including Grand and Reserve Halter honors, as well as numerous driving wins, at the Oklahoma State Fair, Kansas State Fair, Tulsa State Fair, Nebraska State Fair, Missouri State Fair, National Western, and the Texas Draft Horse and Mule Association.

The Harness and Harnessing a Single Horse – Sharon and Jim Smith – Warm Up Pen – Thursday, 11/11 at 3 p.m.

This sessions will show you the difference in breast plate harness and hame harness and how to safely harness your horse.  There are a thousand ways to start a horse, but safety needs to be your first priority because even though these horses are easy going they are big and can hurt you or themselves without trying.  And don’t be in a hurry because that’s when accidents will happen.



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 Certified Horsemanship Association Master Level Riding Instructor and Certifier for English/Western Instructor, Riders with Disabilities, Equine Facility Management, and Driving Instructor/Driver, as well as a Site Visitor Trainer and a former member of both the CHA and PATH Boards of Directors.  She currently manages Rancho Vista near Dolores, Colorado, where she and husband Dave enjoy trail riding in the surrounding mountains and canyons. 

CHA Site Visitor Training – Stockyards Room at SpringHill Suites – Tuesday, November 9 at 9 a.m. and Thursday, November 11 at 6 p.m.

If you are a current CHA member you can become a CHA Site Visitor. Come to both of these free sessions to accomplish this goal. Registration is needed ahead of time.

Creating and Using PDF Fillable Forms Round Table Talk – Tuesday, 11/9 – Niles Ballroom at Springhill Marriott Hotel

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.



Jody Taylor

Jody rode his first horse at about 4 years old and then learned to rope before age 10 and was entering some local shows and rodeos in Texas. His parents had a huge influence on his equine career. His mom, Janette Taylor, instilled in him the fine details about the horse. His dad, Terry Taylor, showed him the way through roping and riding rough stock. Jody was involved in the Texas High School Rodeo Association. His first job was at a Cedarwood Farm, a stable just a couple of miles down the road. There, he learned the daily activities and duties of a boarding stable, lesson program and the operation of a Horse Trial. Next, he was employed at a large Arabian facility known as Bentwood Farms and rode with John Burris, out of Stephenville, Texas, training horses. Learning horsemanship skills and theories inspired him to purchase a horse property; Star T Ranch. The business began with a cow/calf herd, horse boarding, riding lessons, training facility, and equine transportation services. Eventually narrowing the focus to horse boarding, riding lessons, training and equine transportation. Star T Ranch provides English and Western riding lessons, specializing in Eventing, including Dressage, Show Jumping and Cross Country. All services incorporate natural horsemanship as a basis including Eventing and Hunter Jumpers. Jody is a member of CHA, USEA, Area V-Eventing, NTEA, NTHJC and AQHA. Jody is a certified instructor and cares for 30 horses at the facility and instructs 60 students. Jody is also an equestrian professional development instructor and consultant to the Fort Worth Herd program. www.StarTRanchtx.net

Jumping – Pace, Position and Line – Thursday, 11/11 at 9 a.m. – Cowtown Coliseum

It’s all about how you ride in between the jumps and not the jumps themselves.

Jody Taylor

Keli Wakeley 

Keli is a CHA Certified Riding Instructor and the Equine Director for Camp Keystone Salvation Army Camp and Conference Center in Starke, Florida. The camp program gives inner city kids the opportunity to experience horses often for the first time. Keli advocates for senior working retired horses. At Camp Keystone the senior horses are utilized in a walk only program. Many of the horses would have been euthanized if not utilized in this program. In addition to freelance riding instruction Keli offers natural light portrait photography focusing on portraits, horse shows, events, and sale shots. Keli began a serious interest in Equine photography in the early 2000’s while training horses and working with youth riders. Keli would offer clients sale shots and give her riders images for gifts and use the still shots to show rider skill development and progress. Keli makes her home in Gainesville, Florida and travels often for photography workshops for skill building opportunities. The workshops offer the opportunity to acquire equine stock photos that can be used for companies in need of equine marketing images.    

Learn Equine Photography – Thursday, 11/11 at 9 a.m. – Warm Up Pen 

Keli Wakeley

Terri Weaver

Terri Weaver is Certified Horsemanship Association’s Membership Services Director and joined the CHA Office Team in January 2007.   Terri oversees the maintenance and records for all members and instructors as well as the management of the integration between the CHA website and  the CHA Member database.  Terri resides in Mt. Sterling, Kentucky and is based in the CHA Lexington, Kentucky Corporate Office.

CHA Membership, Host Site and Site Accreditation Questions Round Table –Tuesday, 11/9 – Niles Ballroom at Springhill Marriott Hotel

This round table will deep dive into your questions about your type of membership, how to use our Association Management Online Platform and website, how to be a host site for CHA, what is involved in getting your site accredited and more!

Cheryl West 

Cheryl, born in Australia, is a United States Dressage Federation Bronze Medalist on a rescued Rhinelander and served 8 years as US Army Aviation Helicopter Crewchief. Additionally, a CHA Master Instructor and Certifier, for Western, English, Jumping, Therapeutic, and EFM and a PATH CTRI and Mentor. At 13 Cheryl began riding western, and then eventing, moving to Oklahoma in 1998 to begin Dressage, Reining and teaching. Her career has also included 15 years of barefoot trimming and farrier experience, running a full-service facility with 50+ riders, and operating a therapeutic facility with 70+ riders. Recently, she obtained her CPT, Certified Personal Trainer qualification with NASM.  She enjoys teaching all disciplines, but her passion is really getting the rider to connect and understand the communication between horse and rider. She lives for those light bulb moments!

Fitness for the Rider – Tuesday, 11/9 at 3:30 p.m. – Niles Ballroom C Springhill Marriott Hotel

 No matter the discipline: dressage, pleasure, jumping, trail riding, vaulting, cow work; YOU are an athlete, and so is your horse!  As a partnership shouldn’t we do the best we can to be fit for our horses? Let’s spend some time together exploring some exercises to help you get stronger, more supple and more fit for yourself and your partner!

Vaulting Compulsories – Wednesday, 11/10 at 1:30 p.m. – Warm Up Pen

“I Vault” is usually met with “what is that?” or “no way” when we talk about this amazing sport.  This class will introduce the basic positions and moves of vaulting, a sport dating back to Xenophon!  We will work through the positions and exercises both on and off the horse at the walk and possibly the trot. Come and explore how safe this sport is and how it can benefit your program!

Nicole Zoet-Oostermeyer

Nicole lives in a 5-dimensional world, yep, she has worked ‘outside the box’ for the last 50 years. Finding Workable Solutions is Nicole’s motto of life.  She is Belgian and is an educator from the heart while her soul’s mission is to inspire horse lovers to interact with their equine partners from a position of equality. She prides herself on working with the misunderstood equine partner, in her world horses whisper and humans learn to listen. She is the Founder of Integrated Horsemanship Filosofie (2011). IHF specializes on the refinement of movement using the mirror-effect between the horse and human. Her background is Classical Dressage; she completed the requirements for the Cadre Noir, Warendorf Deutsche Reitschüle and Belgian Cavalry.  She competed Grand Prix Dressage and Jumpers in Europe. In Europe, her instructor career started in 1973 and is still going on as an international IHF Master Instructor. She founded an IHF-Academy in Belgium & the Netherlands where she educates trainers and instructors in her IHF concepts. In 1993-1994, she obtained the highest certifications from CHA, PATH and Centered Riding. Currently she is an active CHA Certifier.

Bio-Mechanic Exercises During Riding – Thursday, 11/11 at 1:30 p.m. – Cowtown Coliseum

This session will offer the spectators the opportunity to develop their Educated Eye while the riders discover through feel the improvement of movement and engagement which opens the pathway to higher potential and performance.

Riders and auditors will learn how to teach riding with dynamic balance. 

CHA official Logo, Certified Horsemanship Association
Certified Horsemanship Association

1795 Alysheba Way, Suite 7102
Lexington, KY 40509