Certified Horsemanship Association and Interscholastic Equestrian Association are Partnering to Provide Speakers for the CHA International Conference in October in Tennessee

(May 2022) – The Certified Horsemanship Association (CHA) and Interscholastic Equestrian Association (IEA) are partnering to provide educational speakers for the CHA International Conference that is scheduled for October 20 – 22 at Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro just outside of Nashville. Speakers at this event include riding instructors, horse trainers, barn managers, veterinarians, equine behaviorists, farriers, saddle fit specialists, equine association representatives, business consultants, and other equine professionals. Those wishing to attend the conference should Save the Dates.

“CHA and IEA are multi-breed and multi-discipline organizations,” says CHA Chief Executive Officer Christy Landwehr. “We are thrilled to have IEA join us in helping in the networking and education of our memberships as it relates to horsemanship safety and excellence that we all impart to our students.”

“The IEA Education Committee saw a need to provide IEA coaches with additional tools to assist them in bringing the best to their teams and programs,” says Courtney Smith IEA Education Committee Chair.  “Partnering with CHA was a natural fit to promote safe, effective and fun educational resources to our membership. This is an incomparable opportunity to learn from others, network with instructors from all over the country, and take home some new tools to reenergize our programs.”

For the schedule for this event visit here. And to register today please see this link. IEA coaches and members will be able to attend at CHA member rates.

For more information about the CHA International Conference, including hotel registration and flight discounts, visit https://cha.horse/international-conference/. The detailed list of speakers and sessions will be on the CHA website in July.  Hope to see you there!

CHA Equine Professionals Change Lives Through Safe Experiences with Horses. The purpose of CHA is to promote excellence in safety and education for the benefit of the horse industry. CHA certifies equine professionals such as riding instructors and equine facility managers, accredits equestrian facilities, publishes educational manuals, produces educational streaming videos and webinars, and hosts regional and international conferences. For more information on the largest certifying body of equine professionals in North America, Certified Horsemanship Association, please visit www.CHA.horse or call 859-259-3399.  To find a certified horseback riding instructor or accredited equine facility near you, visit www.CHA.horse

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Creating A Sustainable Stable While Still Saving Money

By Cheryl Rohnke Kronsberg – The equestrian business is growing, but remains largely managed and controlled by people who have been in the field for a long time, working with outdated equipment, and on aging facilities. The pandemic has caused the cost of improvements to skyrocket, along with the demand for lessons. This has created a paradox of issues for small stable owners- How to keep up with the demands of these new, young clients, make improvements that will be sustainable and good for the environment, all while keeping costs down? Older stable owners must also consider whether the amount of time they potentially have remaining in this business justifies the cost of making improvements. And, of course, we all wonder about the future of the equestrian lifestyle- Can this industry be maintained and grow despite the competition from computer games, team sports, and social media?

The numbers the AQHA website reported in its article AHC Releases Results of Economic Impact Study from The American Horse Council’s 2017 National Economic Impact Study, shows a thriving equestrian economy. This economy generates nearly $122 billion in total economic impact, provides an employment impact of 1.74 million including $79 billion in total salaries, wages and benefits. The study further shows that only 38% of riders are under the age of 18, demonstrating that the industry is being largely carried by adults, often those older than 50 (1). The American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) 2021 Annual Report Executive Summary shows that membership is up by nearly 4000 members over 2020 (1).  All these statistics show that the prospects for the industry still look good, but accommodations must be made to attract and hold younger clientele.

As our facilities age, we must consider sustainable solutions for upgrades that will also help our economic bottom line. Having facilities and practices that are modern and supportive of the environment will not only improve appearances, but attract a younger clientele as well. Given the choice between two like facilities, most would choose the one that has been updated with, and utilizes, sustainable options. Here are some solutions that small business owners can implement without much cost that will help both their bottom line and the environment.

WATER

Many states are experiencing the worst drought in recorded history. These states, such as California and Texas, also house great numbers of horses. How can we keep our facilities going without compromising the health and welfare of our precious animals? Here are a few easy ways to help:

  • Replace landscaping with drought tolerant plants. Remove costly lawns and plant items native to your area. These changes will improve appearances, save water, and reduce maintenance costs.
  • Use 5-gallon automatic water buckets. Get rid of the old, bulky water troughs that are hard to clean and need constant manual refilling. The smaller buckets are easily cleaned and waste less water when emptied.
  • Use a fish net to clean water buckets between deeper cleanings. Simply skim out the hay and debris while leaving the clean water behind.
  • If your horse likes to soak their hay, give them a sacrifice tub of water for this purpose. This will keep their drinking supply clean while still allowing them to do their best “dunking Oreos” impression.
  • When the time comes to empty water buckets, use the water on your plants. Consider this an opportunity to get in an extra work out by schlepping water to the nearby foliage. You’ll improve your upper-body strength, save money, and help the environment.
  • Use a bucket and sponge instead of a hose when washing down your sweaty horses.
  • Keep a shut-off nozzle on your hose.
  • Regularly check your water system for leaks. A properly maintained system can save time, frustration, water, and cash.
  • Eliminate the old arena watering schedule and only water on an “as needed” basis, such as before large group lessons or training that requires quicker movements. Check the adjustments on your sprinklers to minimize overlap and overspray (FEI 17-21).

OFFICE

Most of us have some sort of office from which we operate our business. These spaces often become places of clutter and chaos, but are vital to success. FEI suggests some options in their Sustainability Handbook for Event Organizers that can easily be translated into working solutions for stable and ranch offices. Using these options will make the office neater, more energy-efficient, and less expensive to operate.

  • Move desks near windows. This will allow you to work with natural light instead of costly electric lights. It will also let you keep an eye on the happenings on your ranch.
  • Replace light bulbs with lower wattage and energy efficient models.
  • Go Digital! Embrace the digital age with your paperwork, newsletters, and correspondence. If need be, update your computer system and internet access so you can send correspondence through email and your clients can make payments online. Legal documents such as releases and contracts can be sent, signed, and returned through sites such as DocuSign.
  • Create and maintain a good website. Many hours on the phone and in person can be saved with a good website. Have pictures of your facility, your business model, and business plan clearly displayed. Once you have implemented sustainable options, you can advertise the eco-friendliness of your business as well. This will improve your overall appeal to the younger clientele looking for a place to train, board, and ride.
  • Do away with disposable items such as cups, plates, utensils, and plastic water bottles. Use “real” coffee mugs and plates in the break room. Eliminate paper towels in the restrooms by replacing them with air dryers or even simply washable towels.
  • If you must use disposable items, purchase options that are biodegradable and/or recyclable.
  • Give your clients a water bottle personalized with your ranch logo as part of their welcome package. Not only will this save on buying water bottles for students, but as they carry them to other events, you’ll get free advertising!
  • For those occasions when you must use your printer, re-use paper as much as possible. Keep a stack of those one-printed side papers near the copier for re-use.
  • Install and use fans as an alternative to air conditioning.
  • Turn off the lights when you leave the room. Encourage others to do the same.
  • Install timers that will turn lights off automatically.
  • Use recyclable materials whenever possible.
  • Install recycle trash cans and encourage clients and staff to properly use them (FEI 22-26).

Facility

Every facility needs maintenance and repairs. When this happens, make the decision to upgrade to sustainable products and services. While the initial costs may be more than other choices, the long-term investment will reap substantial benefits.

  • Use a local workforce and suppliers whenever possible. This includes hired help, feed dealers, suppliers, and other services.
  • Encourage waste sorting and recycling.
  • Always check for the most sustainable options for any upgrade or repair.
  • Use recycled products such as rubber floor mats and fencing.
  • Create reusable banners and signs for summer camps, shows, or other events simply by omitting dates.
  • Provide bicycles or other energy efficient modes of transport for getting around the property instead of using trucks or cars.
  • Use natural shade from trees or buildings for unmounted outdoor activities.
  • Create sacrifice areas to allow water run-off to seep into the ground naturally.
  • Avoid the use of chemicals on property and animals. Use fly sheets and masks. Use glass fly-catcher bait jars instead of the one-use, disposable bags.
  • Free-roaming hens will improve the ambiance of your ranch while helping control pests and providing fresh eggs.
  • Use goats or other livestock to help with weed abatement (FEI 27-32).

By implementing some of these simple changes, your stable area can become a thing of beauty while also saving money and helping the environment. Look around your place today and see where you can apply these methods to improve your sustainability and your bottom line.

 Cheryl Rohnke Kronsberg is a Certified Horsemanship Association Master Instructor and Certifier. She is also an AQHA Professional Horseman. Cheryl has been teaching all levels of riding and horsemanship for over 40 years. For more interesting articles from Cheryl go to www.crktrainingstable.com

Resources:

“AHC Releases Results of Economic Impact Study.” Go to Aqha, 9 Mar. 2018,                  https://www.aqha.com/-/ahc-releases-results-of-economic-impact-study.

“FEI Sustainability Handbook for Event Organisers.” FEI, 3 Dec. 2020,  https://inside.fei.org/fei/about-fei/fei-library/sustainability-handbook.

 

Certified Horsemanship Association Has a New Blog Posted on Tools and Tips to Identify Subtle Signs of Pain in Lesson Horses

(April 2022) – The Certified Horsemanship Association (CHA) has a new blog posted – Tools and Tips to Identify Subtle Signs of Pain in Lesson Horses. This blog has online tools available to use to determine possible pain in your horses including the Lameness Grading Scale from the American Association of Equine Practitioners, The Equine Pain and Welfare Assessment App from the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine at Utrecht University and more. You can read the blog in full here.

This blog article is written by Jill Montgomery who is a CHA English and Western Riding Instructor, and a CHA Equine Facility Manager and Certifier. She is owner and CEO of JRAM Enterprises Inc. an equine consulting business that focuses on work to keep equine activities accessible and enjoyable for everyone. Jill@JRAMEnterprises.com

Nina Ekholm-Fry is featured in this blog. She 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.

CHA Equine Professionals Change Lives Through Safe Experiences with Horses. The purpose of CHA is to promote excellence in safety and education for the benefit of the horse industry. CHA certifies equine professionals such as riding instructors and equine facility managers, accredits equestrian facilities, publishes educational manuals, produces educational streaming videos and webinars, and hosts regional and international conferences. For more information on the largest certifying body of equine professionals in North America, Certified Horsemanship Association, please visit www.CHA.horse or call 859-259-3399.  To find a certified horseback riding instructor or accredited equine facility near you, visit www.CHA.horse

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Nina Fry

Tools and Tips to Identify Subtle Signs of Pain in Lesson Horses

By Jill Montgomery

For equine professionals monitoring horses for signs of pain is part of the job description. CHA certified professionals are evaluated on their ability to correctly identify behaviors like the stance a horse takes when experiencing hoof pain from an episode of laminitis. What if tools to identify pain were available to help identify the trouble at its very earliest stages?

Equine science has revealed a lot about horses’ natural behaviors. This work has helped the care and management of horses evolve with some impressive results. Several tools have been created to measure pain in horses. Biometric standards like elevated heart rate, respiration, and temperature remain reliable indicators a horse is having a problem, but more subtle indicators have been defined. Identifying trouble earlier may lead to better outcomes when earlier treatment is given. Familiarity with these tools may help you recognize problems in your horses sooner.

Figuring out when a horse is experiencing pain can be tricky. Several major studies have been done in the past decade investigating horses’ response to pain. Based on that work, Dutch Equine Scientists developed the Equine Pain and Welfare Assessment (EPWA)1 a smart phone app that assists the user to record validated facial expressions and body language that measure a horse’s level of pain.

Their work suggests that to identify subtle signs of pain in the horse’s face accurately takes a minimum of two minutes of observation, and to identify pain from their overall body language you need to spend 5 full minutes watching to recognize the subtle indicators. You also need to know what changes to look for in the horse’s face and body. The app provides a simple portable tool that walks the handler through the assessment process with objective and quantifiable measurements. It takes some practice to get proficient with it. The pay-off is creating a digital record on your phone and a mental record in your head, of what is normal and healthy for the individual horse you are observing, and what is not. The orbital triangle – the area around the eye- is one of the facial areas that are observed. When the seasoned Equine Professional says that horse doesn’t look himself, he or she is seeing something.

Experienced horse people may have developed an educated eye, the ability to see small differences in movement, body position, and expression. Picking up signs the horse is in pain may be something they already do. If it is not, when the details are laid out for what to look for, using the EPWA may come easily. Instructors and Barn Managers may find these tools useful for teaching their less experienced clients or staff how to develop an educated eye. Horses’ ear position, tail swishing and standing off one hoof are parts of their communication widely recognized in the horse’s vocabulary of body language. Changes in appetite and elimination are also classic indicators of potential problems. But do these signals always mean the same thing? No. The tools described here validate the meaning of specific expressions and behaviors helping to provide a way to translate their meaning from horse to human. The six assessment tools covered in this article, come with user guides that describe, or use photos and diagrams that show how to apply the scale of severity. Find links to them at end of this article.

In the busy work environment of a riding school, the focus is often on getting the job done. In this time-sensitive setting, some of the earliest warning signs of a horse with a problem could be hard to catch. Standing and watching each horse for several minutes to count movements in their face and body, may be more than the time available allows. And most horses won’t make it easy for you to know they are hurting.

Horses by their nature, hide their pain. As a matter of survival, horses mask being sick or hurt to avoid being a target for predators. While some horses are far less stoic than others, the idea that horses pretend to be in pain to get out of work, or to inconvenience their handler is inaccurate. Many horses are so good at hiding pain that their illness or injury is often advanced when first identified.

To better explain how identifying subtle signs of pain in lesson horses helps equine professionals, I turned to an expert in the field, CHA Certified Member, Nina Ekholm Fry. Nina is an equine behavior consultant and human psychologist. She is Director of Equine Programs at University of Denver’s Institute for Human-Animal Connection. When we spoke, I asked her questions focusing on CHA riding instructors who own or take care of their lesson horses. She offered a wealth of information.

 

Are lesson horses more prone to having pain?

The simple answer is yes. Nina states that, in general, horses who are ridden are at higher risk of developing pain and discomfort in their bodies. Noting the tack that we use to ride in can create problems. UK author and researcher Sue Dyson identified that most horses in her study had ill-fitting tack which caused pain. Dyson developed an ethogram (RHPE) 2 to score the severity of musculoskeletal pain levels in ridden horses.

It can be challenging to keep lesson horses in properly fit tack as their bodies change with the seasonal workloads and amount of work they receive. Even when their tack is well fit, carrying multiple inexperienced riders with unsteady hands that bump their mouths, lack balance and bounce on the horse’s back as they learn, exposes the horses to brief painful experiences. Over time, some will develop behaviors like bracing and pulling the reins away, and other behaviors used to avoid pain they are anticipating. Pain is a powerful teacher. Behaviors that provide relief are likely to be repeated.

Lesson horses are selected to tolerate many riders and they are often older with years of being ridden. They may have osteoarthritic changes that can be painful. Happily, in this case, it is a condition that often benefits from regular low intensity exercise. Carrying light riders and slower work is characteristic of many beginning-rider programs.

Due to inconsistencies in position, balance and movements from the humans who ride them, horses that have multiple riders are at greater risk for developing painful areas over time.

 

The most common sources of pain in lesson horses

Gastrointestinal pain gets a lot of attention as it is so common. A frighteningly high percentage of horses are believed to have some form of ulcer in their gut. It is important to recognize the interconnectivity of all the parts of the horse – muscular and soft tissue pain can cause gut pain. It is often detected in the poll, neck, back, legs, and hooves.

Hoof and lower limb injuries are also very common. Lameness is most frequently seen while the horse is moving. The American Association of Equine Practitioners has a Lameness Grading Scale3 which veterinarians use to measure lameness through observing the horse moving. Zero is no discernable lameness under any circumstances, and five is lameness that produces minimal weight bearing in motion and/or at rest, or a complete inability to move. There are instructions that guide the user to apply the assessment with specific parameters and conditions. This is also true for other pain scales, Horse Grimace Scale (HGS)4 for assessing pain associated with laminitis, the EQUUS-FAP5 assesses pain in the horse’s head and EQUUS-COMPASS6 assesses pain in colic, and the RHPE, mentioned earlier.

 

How do horses show pain?

There is a long list of behaviors horses can use to communicate they are in pain, experiencing anxiety, or both. The horse’s face can be a reliable indicator of pain. The Horse Grimace Scale outlines the eye, ear, nostril, and mouth positions that can indicate pain. Less subtle signs of pain include pinned/flattened ears, tail swishing, grinding teeth, odd positions of the front legs, taking weight off a single hoof or hooves, threatening to kick, threatening to bite, being non-reactive (sullen) tense, rearing and bucking under saddle. It is important not to interpret these behaviors as defiance or disrespect to the handler if pain is what the horse is trying to communicate.

Knowing the difference between what your horses’ normal behavior is if any of these negative – potentially dangerous behaviors show up is critical. If your horse is typically well mannered, and the horse starts these behaviors, first consider what the cause of the change may be. This advice could be applied to horses that have these behaviors when you first encounter them as well. This is not to say that training shouldn’t be used to correct bad behavior. Rather, the first step in the investigation process is to rule out the presence of pain. Evaluate the potential that pain could be the reason the horse is acting out. Nina offers a useful truism, “You can’t train away pain.”

 

Is there an acceptable level of pain at which a horse can or should work?

Riding instructors and barn managers are relying on the horses they care for to stay healthy so they can do their jobs. Horse-people are infamous for pushing themselves. The expression Cowboy Up (aka Cowgirl Up) generally conveys the idea that whatever it takes, the job will be done. In this mindset, noticing subtle changes in their horses may be more difficult. It is important to avoid applying this standard to your horses, you have a choice about working through pain, they don’t.

Acute pain is a sudden onset indicating a change in the horse’s physical well-being, it is a situation when identification and intervention may prevent the condition from becoming more severe or even permanent. Discovering the cause and taking action to alleviate the cause can pay-off by reducing the severity of the problem, speeding the recovery, and the return to work. Chronic pain (defined as persistent over several months) is common in lesson horses, particularly as it relates to joint issues. Once identified and diagnosed, take steps to reduce the horse’s pain through appropriate medical treatment, adjustments in the workload and monitor for changes.

Improving the horse’s health and well-being, also benefits the safety and success of the people working with them and learning from them.

 

Tips for less stressed and painful horses

  • When horses are “off the job” give them as much freedom of movement as possible.
  • Offer free choice grass hay or grazing time if possible.
  • Horses are herd animals let them interact with other horses.
  • Use tack that fits well.

 Take Aways:

  • Observing what is normal for your horses is time well spent. Watch them in all the places they live; stall, paddock, with and without herd mates and while working.
  • If the horse doesn’t look or act normal, investigate.
  • An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
  • Pain management in horses and risk management with horses go hand in hand.
  • You can’t train away pain.

 

End notes and Resources can be found at the links below

  1. The Equine Pain and Welfare Assessment App from the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine at Utrecht University and Stichting De Paardenkamp

Android EPWA – EPWA – Apps on Google Play

Apple EPWA – EPWA on the App Store (apple.com)

  1. Ethogram of the Ridden Horse Part 1: Introduction – Owl Equestrian https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8235099 Jun 18, 2021 The RiddenHorse Pain Ethogram (RHPE) was developed to facilitate the differentiation between horses with and without musculoskeletal discomfort , Sue Dyson, et al
  2. https://aaep.org/horsehealth/lameness-exams-evaluating-lame-horse American Association of Equine Practitioner’s Equine Lameness Grading Scale 0-5. AAEP.org

4.      Using the Horse Grimace Scale (HGS) to Assess Pain Associated with Acute Laminitis in Horses (Equus caballus) (semanticscholar.org) Using the Horse Grimace Scale (HGS) to Assess Pain Associated with Acute Laminitis in Horses (Equus caballus) Emanuela Dalla Costa,1,* Diana Stucke,2 Francesca Dai,1 Michela Minero,1 Matthew C. Leach,3 and Dirk Lebelt2

  1. Monitoring equine head-related pain with the Equine Utrecht University scale for facial assessment of pain (EQUUS-FAP) – PubMed (nih.gov)February 2017, Pages 88-90 Authors Johannes P.A.M.van LoonaMachteld C.Van Dierendonckabc

6.      Monitoring acute equine visceral pain with the Equine Utrecht University Scale for Composite Pain Assessment (EQUUS-COMPASS) and the Equine Utrecht University Scale for Facial Assessment of Pain (EQUUS-FAP): A scale-construction study – ScienceDirect Machteld C.VanDierendonckabcdJohannes P.A.M.van Loona 2016.

Special thanks to Nina Ekholm Fry. She 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.

Author, Jill Montgomery is the CEO of JRAM Enterprises, Inc. An Equine Business Consulting Firm that works to keep equine activities safe and accessible for everyone. FMI Jill@JRAMEnterprises.com

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Webinars on How to Work on the ShareFile Platform, Create Fillable PDFs and Level Up in CHA by Certified Horsemanship Association

(April 2022) – The Certified Horsemanship Association (CHA) features Ann Streett-Joslin on how to use Sharefile and create fillable PDF forms for your equine business. Ann 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.  She is a CHA Master Level Riding Instructor and Certifier for English/Western Instructor, Instructors of Riders with Disabilities, Equine Facility Management, and Driving Instructor/Driver, as well as a CHA Site Visitor Trainer and a former member of both the CHA and PATH International 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.  Here is the link to download your copy today – https://CHA.horse/education/#CHA-webinars

CHA is also featuring a webinar by Julie Goodnight, CHA’s Spokesperson on how to know when to Level Up your students as you are teaching them to ride. Julie is best known for her TV show, “Horse Master,” and for her practical training for riders of all disciplines. Her methods are grounded in natural horsemanship, classical riding, and understanding horse behavior. Goodnight is a CHA Master Instructor and a lifetime member. She teaches horsemanship at clinics and expos everywhere and offers online education, how-to DVDs, and her own tack and training tools at JulieGoodnight.com.

CHA produces many webinars each year on a variety of horsemanship topics. Each are an hour in length. There are over 50 educational horsemanship webinars in our online store. These webinars are for riding instructors, barn managers, horse owners and those wanting to buy a horse. Some of the topics include:

  • Helping Timid Riders Achieve Their Horsemanship Goals
  • Horse Selection and Suitability
  • Horse and Herd Management
  • Yoga for Every Equestrian
  • Exercises, Patterns and Drills for All Levels of Riders
  • Risk Management in a Horsemanship Program
  • Teaching Techniques for Riding Instructors
  • Marketing Your Equine Business
  • Equine and Disaster Planning
  • The 9 Things the IRS Looks for in Your Equine Business
  • And Many More!

To select and watch these educational horse industry webinars, please visit https://CHA.horse/education/#CHA-webinars

CHA Equine Professionals Change Lives Through Safe Experiences with Horses. The purpose of CHA is to promote excellence in safety and education for the benefit of the horse industry. CHA certifies riding instructors and barn managers, accredits equestrian facilities, publishes educational manuals, has an educational horsemanship streaming video channel, and hosts regional and international conferences. For more information on the largest certifying body of riding instructors and barn managers in North America, Certified Horsemanship Association, please visit www.CHA.horse or call 859-259-3399.  To find a certified equine professional or accredited equine facility near you, visit www.CHA.horse 

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Certified Horsemanship Association Is Hosting a Virtual Job Fair for the Equine Industry

(April 2022) – Many camps, lesson barns, boarding facilities, etc. are looking for qualified staff this time of year and can use all the help they can get finding them.  Certified Horsemanship Association (CHA) wants to help get the word out about job openings around the country and help prospective employees connect with employers.

CHA will be hosting a Virtual Job Fair, Tuesday, April 19, 2022 at 4 p.m. PT, 5 p.m. MT, 6 p.m. CT and 7 p.m. ET.  Employers will register for a time slot to introduce yourself and your program and describe the job(s) you have available. Employers must be current CHA members to sign up for a spot. Employees, you can register for free and do not need to be CHA members. This session will be recorded as well as being live. Hope to see you there!

Employers click here to register today for just $20.

Employees click here to register for free!

CHA Equine Professionals Change Lives Through Safe Experiences with Horses. The purpose of CHA is to promote excellence in safety and education for the benefit of the horse industry. CHA certifies equine professionals such as riding instructors and equine facility managers, accredits equestrian facilities, publishes educational manuals, produces educational streaming videos and webinars, and hosts regional and international conferences. For more information on the largest certifying body of equine professionals in North America, Certified Horsemanship Association, please visit www.CHA.horse or call 859-259-3399.  To find a certified horseback riding instructor or accredited equine facility near you, visit www.CHA.horse

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Certified Horsemanship Association Driving and Vaulting Certifications Coming Up Soon

(March 2022) – The Certified Horsemanship Association (CHA) conducts over 80 certifications a year around the United States and Canada for English/Western Riding Instructors, Equine Facility Managers and more. Here are two specialty ones that are coming up in 2022 – one for Driving Instructors and Drivers and one for Vaulting Coaches in the equine industry.

These multi-day events enable participants to be certified at whichever level they can achieve during the certification. So if someone has been teaching driving or coaching vaulting for a while, he/she could potentially achieve the highest level during just one certification.

The CHA Driving Instructor/Driver Certification will be held at Swiftsure Ranch Therapeutic Equestrian Center in Bellevue, Idaho from September 19, 2022 to September 21, 2022. Interested parties can go here to Register Now

The CHA Vaulting Coach Certification is being held at the Girl Scouts of San Jacinto/Misty Meadows in Conroe, Texas from June 4, 2022 to June 6, 2022. Interested parties can visit here to Register Now and this certification includes meals and lodging.

To see the full list of CHA Certifications set so far for 2022, please visit – https://cha.horse/search-cha-certifications-by-location/ or by visiting https://cha.horse/find-cha-certifications-by-date/ or by going to https://cha.horse/find-cha-certifications-by-type/

CHA Equine Professionals Change Lives Through Safe Experiences with Horses. The purpose of CHA is to promote excellence in safety and education for the benefit of the horse industry. CHA certifies equine professionals such as riding instructors and equine facility managers, accredits equestrian facilities, publishes educational manuals, produces educational streaming videos and webinars, and hosts regional and international conferences. For more information on the largest certifying body of equine professionals in North America, Certified Horsemanship Association, please visit www.CHA.horse or call 859-259-3399.  To find a certified horseback riding instructor or accredited equine facility near you, visit www.CHA.horse     ###

Certified Horsemanship Association Has a New Blog Posted About When Burn Out Steals the Joy from Working with Horses

(March 2022) – The Certified Horsemanship Association (CHA) has a new blog posted – “When Burn Out Steals the Joy from Working with Horses (Don’t Lose Your Love for the Lifestyle).”  Please see all past CHA blog articles on horsemanship, training, teaching riding and much more here – https://cha.horse/cha-blog/

This blog article is written by Jill Montgomery who is a CHA English and Western Riding Instructor, and a CHA Equine Facility Manager and Certifier. She is owner and CEO of JRAM Enterprises Inc. an equine consulting business that focuses on work to keep equine activities accessible and enjoyable for everyone. Jill@JRAMEnterprises.com

One of the interviews of this blog post is Tara Gamble who is a Past President of the Certified Horsemanship Association and of the Alberta Equestrian Federation, and has served on the Canadian Quarter Horse Association Board of Directors as Secretary, the Equestrian Canada Board of Directors, and was the past AQHA Director for B.C.  She is a current CHA Instructor Certifier, an AQHA Professional Horseman, and serves on the AQHA Youth Activities Committee.  Her education includes a BS in agriculture from the University of Alberta.

Lisa Lombardi is also featured. Lisa 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 nine horses. Lisa has a wide range of teaching, riding, and competition experience, including reining, jumping, dressage and western dressage, trail riding and camping, adaptive riding instruction, drill team and color guard, and ranch riding.

CHA Equine Professionals Change Lives Through Safe Experiences with Horses. The purpose of CHA is to promote excellence in safety and education for the benefit of the horse industry. CHA certifies equine professionals such as riding instructors and equine facility managers, accredits equestrian facilities, publishes educational manuals, produces educational streaming videos and webinars, and hosts regional and international conferences. For more information on the largest certifying body of equine professionals in North America, Certified Horsemanship Association, please visit www.CHA.horse or call 859-259-3399.  To find a certified horseback riding instructor or accredited equine facility near you, visit www.CHA.horse

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When Burn Out Steals the Joy from Working with Horses (Don’t Lose Your Love for the Lifestyle)

By Jill Montgomery

I have a friend who is a very successful horse trainer, judge, owner of a beautiful facility and many champion horses. He teaches riding lessons, volunteers for civic and youth groups and seems to be ready to help whenever a person is in need and a horse is involved. He is a great guy. He is also tired, bone tired. He says, “Jill it feels like I am putting ten days into every seven, and I am still having trouble keeping up with everything that I want to get done.” My friend is at high risk for burn out.

People who teach riding lessons, provide boarding services, or otherwise have the care and management of horses as their job are often passionate about their work. For many it isn’t just a job, it is their purpose in life.  As rewarding as it can be, finding balance can be a challenge.

Many equine professionals work in very demanding environments. Seven-days a week, wearing most of the hats, if not all, for necessary tasks and weather dependent revenue can dampen the spirits of even the most passionate. When your livelihood and lifestyle depend on sustaining this passion, the old saw, “If you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life” can get a little thin. It can become a lifestyle lacking balance and lead to burn-out.

To better understand what burn out is and how to avoid or reverse it, I reached out to Tara Gamble, Past CHA President, multi-talented horseperson from Edmonton, Alberta and Lisa Lombardi, a highly accomplished horse person from Santa Rosa, CA. Both of these women are credentialled in many Certifications CHA has to offer and Certifiers in several specialties. They also both provided talks for CHA Members on this topic. Their research and tips lay out a practical guide to recognize and fight off burn out. I put a set of questions to them. The following lists compress their answers into points you can use for a quick self-check and perhaps adopt some ideas to help fireproof yourself from burn out.

What is Burn Out?

  • Burn out is a term usually related to work, most often your regular job.
  • Burn out is emotional, physical, and mental exhaustion caused by relentless stress.
  • When you are burned out, the job you used to love is now a chore, it is overwhelming.
  • Burn out can show up as physical pain, chronic fatigue, irritability, and inability to focus.
  • Burn out is often characterized by hopelessness, detachment, and resentment.

Are Equine Professionals More Susceptible to Burn Out than Others?

  • Few jobs demand the 24/7 responsibilities that can go along with owning and running a lesson barn or boarding stable. Horses must be cared for every day.
  • Few jobs provide an activity that carries a real risk of someone being killed or maimed for life.
  • Horse people have strong work ethics and may not recognize when they need to take a break.
  • The knowledge and skill required to do these jobs effectively may keep some from being good delegators. This may lead them to become overcommitted.
  • Many equine businesses don’t produce healthy profit margins which creates financial stress. For some, one unexpected large expense, such as a vet bill, can be catastrophic.

Are there Early Warning Signs an Equine Professional is Headed toward Burn Out?

Whether these changes have crept up on you or they have crashed in seemingly all at once, check for these kinds of behaviors and decide if they are persistent changes or represent a temporary mood, perhaps linked to a specific stressful event.

  • Tasks that may never have been your favorite, now seem impossible to do, or even start.
  • Behaviors in people or horses that were previously just unwelcome, now really irritate you.
  • You lose patience with people or horses while teaching them.
  • You feel exhausted physically, mentally, or emotionally most of the time.
  • You have physical pains like headaches, sore back, upset stomach, with no discernable cause.

Any of the points listed above may occur in a perfectly healthy person temporarily. But, when they represent distinct change in how you have traditionally approached your work or feel, you may want to consider taking steps to fight burn out. If most of the list applies to you, seeking change is important.

What Can an Equine Professional Do to Avoid or Reverse Burn Out?

CHA has educational resources on their website to assist in managing areas of your business that may help you to avoid burn out. Tara Gamble’s webinar on Managing Stress in the Horse Industry is one great example and can be found here. CHA Facebook groups offer networking and potential problem solving support from people who know the business and its unique challenges. Talking with fellow horse people can be a great outlet for the Equine Professional who is feeling burned out.

  • Re-evaluate your workload and prioritize how you are spending your time and resources.
  • Intentionally put variety in your work every day.
  • Delegate where you can. Be that feeding, cleaning, or admin, get some help.
  • Set clear expectations and boundaries for your clients and yourself.
  • Schedule downtime and take it.

This list can go on and on. Give yourself permission to take good care of yourself. You only get one body in this trip through life. Finding balance and recognizing that even if you need to push hard reaching a high value goal, there must be recuperative time, too. Don’t be the frog in the pot who fails to recognize the water is boiling because when it got in there it was cool.

I leave you with Lisa’s excellent advice.

Lisa’s Short List of Important Ways to Take Care of Yourself.

  • Have Proper Footwear. (No hoof no horse goes for people too.)
  • Eat Well.
  • Sleep Enough.
  • Ride Your Own Horse.

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Certified Horsemanship Association Region 1 Awards Its Members at the CHA Region 1 Conference in Washington

(March 2022) Certified Horsemanship Association Region 1 just wrapped up another incredible conference! It was an awesome time of learning and fellowship. CHA Region 1 includes:  Alaska, Alberta, British Columbia, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington and the Yukon Territory.

CHA Region 1 honored Sherilyn Sander for her dedicated service to not only CHA Region 1, but to the entire CHA family. Sherilyn graduated from the University of Idaho with a B.S. in Animal Science and Canyonview Equestrian College where she went on to serve as the Dean of Students for 16 years. She has been a certified CHA riding instructor since 1989. In 1997, she earned her Master Instructor and Assistant Certifier designation. From 2002-2006 Sherilyn served on the Board of Directors for CHA and was CHA Vice President for a term. She is dual certified in Pack & Trail and is a Combined Arena/Trail Certifier as well as a CHA Accredited Site Visitor. Sherilyn has been very active in CHA Region 1 since the early 90’s when the first Region 1 Conference was held at Pioneer Chehalis in British Columbia.

Other noteworthy conference highlights include the CHA Region 1 volunteer of the year, Jennifer Mayberry.  Jennifer was certified at Camp Berachah in 2001 and earned her CHA Certifier status in 2010. She joined the CHA Region 1 leadership team in 2017. She will be stepping away from her leadership role to focus on the next adventure coming into her life! She will be missed!

The CHA Region 1 School Horse of the Year is Kahraba Nazem who is a 34-year-old purebred registered Arabian mare who serves riders at Royal Ridges Retreat in Yacolt, WA. CHA Region 1 is so honored to have these exceptional individuals in the CHA family!

CHA Equine Professionals Change Lives Through Safe Experiences with Horses. The purpose of CHA is to promote excellence in safety and education for the benefit of the horse industry. CHA certifies riding instructors and barn managers, accredits equestrian facilities, publishes educational manuals, has an educational horsemanship streaming video channel, and hosts regional and international conferences. For more information on the largest certifying body of riding instructors and barn managers in North America, Certified Horsemanship Association, please visit www.CHA.horse or call 859-259-3399.  To find a certified equine professional or accredited equine facility near you, visit www.CHA.horse                             

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Webinar On Attending a Certified Horsemanship Association Instructor of Riders with Disabilities Certification  

(February 2022) – The Certified Horsemanship Association’s (CHA) produces many webinars each year on a variety of horsemanship topics. Each are an hour in length. There are over 50 educational horsemanship webinars in our website shopping mall.

Join CHA Certifier Tammi Gainer live on Friday, March 4th at 9 a.m. PT, 10 a.m. MT, 11 a.m. CT and Noon ET to dive into what to expect when you attend a CHA Instructor of Riders with Disabilities Certification.

Tammi Gainer began her professional equine career as a trail guide at a large ranch camp where she was first exposed to the world of equestrian vaulting and attended her first CHA Certification. Since then, she has achieved CHA Master Level Instructor/Certifier status in English/Western, Instructors of Riders with Disabilities and Vaulting. Tammi is the Equestrian Director at Pegasus Farm in Ohio and has since achieved Equine Specialist in Mental Health & Learning and instructor certification from  PATH International and is an AQHA (American Quarter Horse Association) Professional Horseman.

To join this webinar live email us at office@CHA.horse and to watch the recording later visit https://cha.horse/education/#cha-webinars after it airs.

Some of the other webinar topics include:

  • Horse Selection and Suitability
  • Yoga for Every Equestrian
  • Exercises, Patterns and Drills for All Levels of Riders
  • Risk Management in a Horsemanship Program
  • Teaching Techniques for Riding Instructors
  • Marketing Your Equine Business
  • Equine and Disaster Planning
  • The 9 Things the IRS Looks for in Your Equine Business
  • Function to Form: A Novel Look at Conformation
  • And Many More!

CHA Equine Professionals Change Lives Through Safe Experiences with Horses. The purpose of CHA is to promote excellence in safety and education for the benefit of the horse industry. CHA certifies riding instructors and barn managers, accredits equestrian facilities, publishes educational manuals, has an educational horsemanship streaming video channel, and hosts regional and international conferences. For more information on the largest certifying body of riding instructors and barn managers in North America, Certified Horsemanship Association, please visit www.CHA.horse or call 859-259-3399.  To find a certified equine professional or accredited equine facility near you, visit www.CHA.horse                                                                   

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Certified Horsemanship Association Equine Professional Certifications Are Hot in 2022

(February 2022) – Anyone who wants to further their career by earning a Certified Horsemanship Association (CHA) Certification is encouraged to check out the CHA Certification Schedule online by Type of certification, by Location in the US and Canada, and by Date of when it is being held. CHA Certifications are intensive multi-day events in which attendees learn and demonstrate their skills so they can be certified at one of CHA’s various certification types and levels. They are currently available for 2022 are English/Western Instructor (EWI), Equine Facility Manager (EFM), and Instructor of Riders with Disabilities (IRD) certifications. Day Ride Trail Guide (DRTG), Driving (DID), and Vaulting (VTL) are going to be posted on our website soon. Many more will be added in the next few months for this year. Join more than 30,000 experts who have been certified by the largest equine professional certifying program in North America!

At this time, CHA Certifications are available in the following locations: Alabama, Alberta, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Indiana, Maine, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, and Washington. Normally, CHA conducts over 80 certifications around the US and Canada each year. They are posted on the CHA website for 2022 at this time with more getting listed every day.

There is no CHA way to teach a rider or manage an equine facility. Certification is based on safety of humans and horses, proper animal welfare and care, professionalism, and effectiveness. Many insurance companies also recognize certification and will give discounts on premiums to those that are certified. Two CHA Certifiers evaluate each attendee, who must also pass written tests and competently demonstrate their skills during the hands-on certification. The cost of the certification includes the attendee’s CHA membership, fees for the event, and all educational materials, school horses that are provided by the host site, etc. Each host site will specify which meals are included and if a lodging option is available with the price.

For more information on attending a CHA Certification and what to expect, please visit https://cha.horse/cha-certifications/ to see the details of each type.

For anyone wishing to host a CHA Certification, the organization is taking applications to host now in the late spring of 2022 and beyond. Host sites must become a CHA Program Member that is pre-approved by CHA. If your facility would like to become a new host site for CHA, please visit https://cha.horse/how-to-host-a-cha-certification/ to find out more.

To keep up-to-date on all news from CHA, please subscribe for the CHA monthly e-newsletter on the home page at www.CHA.horse.

CHA Equine Professionals Change Lives Through Safe Experiences with Horses. The purpose of CHA is to promote excellence in safety and education for the benefit of the horse industry. CHA certifies equine professionals, accredits equestrian facilities, publishes educational manuals, produces an educational horsemanship streaming video channel, has educational webinars and hosts regional and international conferences. For more information on the largest certifying body of equine professionals in North America, Certified Horsemanship Association, please visit www.CHA.horse or call 859-259-3399.  To find a certified horseback riding instructor or accredited equine facility near you, visit www.CHA.horse

 

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Certified Horsemanship Association Seeking Equine Experts for Speakers for the 2022 CHA International Conference in October in Tennessee

(February 2022) – The Certified Horsemanship Association (CHA) is seeking experts within the horse industry as speakers for the 2022 CHA International Conference. Part of CHA’s mission is providing quality continuing education within the horse industry, and the annual international conference is CHA’s ultimate learning opportunity. The 2022 CHA International Conference is scheduled for October 20 – 22 at Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro just outside of Nashville. Speakers at this event include riding instructors, horse trainers, barn managers, veterinarians, equine behaviorists, farriers, saddle fit specialists, equine association representatives, business consultants, and other equine professionals. Those wishing to attend the conference should Save the Dates.

If you would like to speak, CHA is now accepting speaker applications for classroom-style lectures, roundtable discussions, hands-on horse demonstrations, and mounted riding sessions (participants ride the MTSU lesson horses that are used in IHSA competitions) with attendees who sign up on a first-come, first-serve basis. Sessions at the CHA International Conference are focused on safe, effective, and fun horsemanship.

CHA is all-breed and all-discipline organization. The audience at the CHA International Conference includes riding instructors, trail guides, barn managers, driving and vaulting coaches, horse owners, riders, and general horse enthusiasts. CHA members and non-members alike can attend, as the conference is open to the public with prior registration.

Those wishing to present should contact CHA at clandwehr@CHA.horse. The deadline is March 15, 2022. Those applying to speak will need to send a professional biography paragraph, a photo, and a session title and paragraph description, along with anything needed to fulfill your session such as ground poles, cones, projector and screen, etc.

More information about the CHA International Conference can be found at https://cha.horse/international-conference/ Additional information will be added online throughout the year, including the full line-up of speakers and sessions.

CHA Equine Professionals Change Lives Through Safe Experiences with Horses. The purpose of CHA is to promote excellence in safety and education for the benefit of the horse industry. CHA certifies equine professionals such as riding instructors and equine facility managers, accredits equestrian facilities, publishes educational manuals, produces educational streaming videos and webinars, and hosts regional and international conferences. For more information on the largest certifying body of equine professionals in North America, Certified Horsemanship Association, please visit www.CHA.horse or call 859-259-3399.  To find a certified horseback riding instructor or accredited equine facility near you, visit www.CHA.horse

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New Videos Added to Certified Horsemanship Association Equine Video Collection

(January 2022)  The Certified Horsemanship Association (CHA) has six new Equine Safety Short videos. These free resources are great for all ages and experience level to watch and expand their knowledge and while keeping a focus on safety. Viewers can watch all the videos, which cover a variety of topics and range from three to 15 minutes in length by clicking on the links below.

The newest additions cover the following topics:

Past topics covered include Sample Lesson: First Trot and First Canter, the Horse Digestive Track, Lengthening and Shortening Horse’s Strides, Truck and Trailer Safety Check,  Showmanship Tips, How to Pony a Horse Safely, How to Fit a Rope Halter, and much more.

CHA encourages the horse industry and the public to use these free videos and to embed them on their websites for their clients. CHA’s videos are created with the goals of helping to spread the CHA’s mission of safe, effective, and fun horsemanship.

CHA Equine Professionals Change Lives Through Safe Experiences with Horses. The purpose of CHA is to promote excellence in safety and education for the benefit of the horse industry. CHA certifies equine professionals, accredits equestrian facilities, publishes educational manuals, produces an educational horsemanship streaming video channel, has educational webinars and hosts regional and international conferences. For more information on the largest certifying body of equine professionals in North America, Certified Horsemanship Association, please visit www.CHA.horse or call 859-259-3399.  To find a certified horseback riding instructor or accredited equine facility near you, visit www.CHA.horse

 

Certified Horsemanship Association Is Looking for Host Sites for Riding Instructor and Equine Facility Manager Certifications

(January 2022) – Certified Horsemanship Association (CHA) is encouraging equine facilities (lesson program barns, camps, universities/colleges, dude ranches, trail ride operations, etc.) to host a CHA Certification to certify your own staff, accredit your facility and make some money doing so! We are looking for host sites in all states and provinces that might be interested. Please reach out to us at office@CHA.horse to find out more.

CHA Certifications are intensive multi-day events in which attendees learn and demonstrate their skills so they can be certified at one of CHA’s various certification types and levels. They are currently available for the English/Western Instructor, Equine Facility Manager, Vaulting, Driving, Trail, Seasonal Equestrian Staff, University/College and Instructors of Riders with Disabilities.

At this time, CHA Certifications are available in the following locations: Alabama, Alberta, Colorado, Indiana, Maine, Ohio, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia and Washington. CHA conducts certifications around the US and Canada each year. Most will be posted on the CHA website by the end of March for 2022. Each host site will specify which meals are included and if a lodging option is available with the final price.

A person’s willingness to dedicate their time and money to the CHA certification process indicates that they are a serious professional. CHA certified equine professionals must demonstrate a high level of professional competence and adhere to continuing education requirements set forth by CHA to maintain their certification. In addition, many insurance companies recognize certification and will give discounts.

For anyone wishing to host a CHA Certification, the organization is taking applications to host in 2022 and beyond. Host sites must be approved by CHA. If your facility would like to become a new host site for CHA, please visit https://cha.horse/how-to-host-a-cha-clinic/

For more information on attending a CHA Certification and what to expect, please visit https://cha.horse/cha-certifications/

To keep up-to-date on all news from CHA, please subscribe for the CHA monthly email newsletter on the home page at www.CHA.horse.

CHA Equine Professionals Change Lives Through Safe Experiences with Horses. The purpose of CHA is to promote excellence in safety and education for the benefit of the horse industry. CHA certifies equine professionals, accredits equestrian facilities, publishes educational manuals, produces an educational horsemanship streaming video channel, has educational webinars and hosts regional and international conferences. For more information on the largest certifying body of equine professionals in North America, Certified Horsemanship Association, please visit www.CHA.horse or call 859-259-3399.  To find a certified horseback riding instructor or accredited equine facility near you, visit www.CHA.horse

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How to Build the Ultimate Lesson Based Horse Business with Brian Wee Brought to You by Certified Horsemanship Association

(January 2022) – The Certified Horsemanship Association (CHA) is proud to announce Brian Wee’s webinar on How to Build the Ultimate Lesson Based Horse Business. The recording is now available for purchase at https://cha.horse/shop-webinars/

As a second generation Certified Financial Planner, Brian went the route of the more lucrative family business of financial planning with his dad as his mentor. Even with modest success importing sale horses and as a horse trainer- it puzzled him why it was so difficult to be financially successful in the horse business.  The high overhead, the scarcity of clients, the culture among the horse industry, the difficulty in scaling – all these factors felt like headwinds for the horse professionals trying to carve out a living working with these beautiful animals. He made it his mission to help equestrians improve their financial mindset, business plans, and overall financial plans because he truly believes it will lead to a higher quality life for their horses.

Brian will be sharing his latest thinking on the six key elements of a profitable riding school: Your facility, your services and how you price them, marketing, sales, back office admin decisions, and the curriculum you teach.

CHA produces many webinars each year on a variety of horsemanship topics. Each are an hour in length. There are over 50 educational horsemanship webinars in our online store. These webinars are for riding instructors, barn managers, horse owners and those wanting to buy a horse. Some of the topics include:

  • Helping Timid Riders Achieve Their Horsemanship Goals
  • Horse Selection and Suitability
  • Horse and Herd Management
  • Yoga for Every Equestrian
  • Exercises, Patterns and Drills for All Levels of Riders
  • Risk Management in a Horsemanship Program
  • Teaching Techniques for Riding Instructors
  • Marketing Your Equine Business
  • Equine and Disaster Planning
  • The 9 Things the IRS Looks for in Your Equine Business
  • Function to Form: A Novel Look at Conformation
  • And Many More!

To select and watch these educational horse industry webinars, please visit https://CHA.horse/education/#CHA-webinars

CHA Equine Professionals Change Lives Through Safe Experiences with Horses. The purpose of CHA is to promote excellence in safety and education for the benefit of the horse industry. CHA certifies riding instructors and barn managers, accredits equestrian facilities, publishes educational manuals, has an educational horsemanship streaming video channel, and hosts regional and international conferences. For more information on the largest certifying body of riding instructors and barn managers in North America, Certified Horsemanship Association, please visit www.CHA.horse or call 859-259-3399.  To find a certified equine professional or accredited equine facility near you, visit www.CHA.horse 

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Certified Horsemanship Association Volunteer of the Year is Kristine Mika from Connecticut and APHA Earns the Partner in Safety Award

(December 2021)  Certified Horsemanship Association (CHA) gives many great awards out to its members each year. The CHA Volunteer of the Year is an award that recognizes the countless hours and dedication CHA volunteers spend changing lives through safe experiences with horses.  A big thank you and congratulations to the CHA 2021 Volunteer of the Year – Kristine Mika from Colchester, Connecticut.

Kristine is so responsive to emails and calls and really cares about CHA and wanting to see it grow. She created a newsletter that she sent out to all the CHA members in her state when she was a state representative and now that she is a Regional Director is doing a newsletter for her entire region. She loves taking photos and recently visited a CHA host site near her to take photos and see this host site in action. She asks questions and figures out solutions to help CHA members navigate CHA as a newly certified instructor or a host site.

She has been a CHA certified member as an English/Western Instructor since 2015. She has been involved in the CHA Booth at the Equine Affaire in Springfield, Massachusetts for a while now and left straight from our CHA International Conference in Fort Worth to go volunteer there. That is dedication!

Another important awards given each year is the CHA Partner in Safety Award that is given to a person or entity that embodies horsemanship safety at the core.  The 2021 CHA Partner in Safety is the American Paint Horse Association.

This association has been an education alliance partner with CHA for many years. They work with us to have our members learn about how to become APHA Professional Horsemen and are great about supporting our magazine, The Instructor, and our International Conference program with ads for this program. Many of our past School Horse winners were APHA horses and we have done numerous safety videos with registered Paint horses in them. We are currently developing a plan to possibly utilize their Horse IQ program for our Certifiers and Site Visitors to be able to do their recertification tests online. This group cares about the welfare of the horse and the safety of riders and handlers. We have a showmanship video that one of their staff did for us at a past CHA conference and it was a pleasure to have their CEO, Billy Smith, speak at our annual meeting this year. They were a CHA Conference Partner helping shuttle our members to and from the hotel to the Cowtown Coliseum and offering a free conference room at their office on Mule Alley for our board meeting and a discount in their store for our conference attendees.

To see this press release online visit https://cha.horse/cha-press-releases/ and for a complete list of past CHA award winners, visit https://cha.horse/international-conference/#award-winners

CHA Equine Professionals Change Lives Through Safe Experiences with Horses. The purpose of CHA is to promote excellence in safety and education for the benefit of the horse industry. CHA certifies equine professionals, accredits equestrian facilities, publishes educational manuals, produces educational horsemanship videos and webinars, and hosts regional and international conferences. For more information on the largest certifying body of equine professionals in North America, Certified Horsemanship Association, or to find a certified equine professional or accredited equine facility near you, please visit www.CHA.horse

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Certified Horsemanship Association Instructor of the Year – Kathy Richardson from Washington

(December 2021)  Our individual certified instructors are the life blood of our association. Each year CHA recognizes an outstanding individual that has been nominated by their students to receive recognition for what they do best – teach people to ride and handle horses!  The CHA 2021 Instructor of the Year is Kathy Richardson from Roy, Washington.

A mom writes, “Kathy told my daughter, Mackenzie, over and over again that she was good enough and emphasized that it did not matter how she placed in the show as long as she had fun.  After Mackenzie’s first video was loaded, we waited, and a week later she messaged us to let Mackenzie know that she took 2 place and was moving up a level in difficulty.  Over the last year we have watched Mackenzie’s self-esteem grow with each competition, and with each lesson where Kathy works on her weaknesses, but emphasizes her strengths.  What has impressed me the most is how no matter how difficult the lesson went, Kathy always finds a way to end things on a positive note.  I have watched the way that she treats all of her students with dignity and respect.  I have talked to many of the other parents and have heard the comments where she has encouraged their children as well.  She is consistently looking out for the best interest of her students while pushing them to improve their skills and understand how to relate with the horses they work with.”

An adult student writes, “Kathy has helped me with my horses that I recently purchased. She has given me insight into the life of a horse and how I should work with them as an owner, as a friend and as a leader. Kathy has taken her time in training me to respect the horse without a strong hand and that dealing with horses is a major step in life. I know that she has had struggles since I met her and she has kept an upbeat attitude while dealing with issues that would knock others out of the saddle. She is consistent with the horses and takes the time with all her students not only with the horses, but also by giving a helping hand to a family that needs help with groceries that she gets from coordinating with other families.”

Kathy is a CHA Certified Member in English/Western Instructor since 2008.  And is very active with American Horse Council’s Time to Ride Program and her program, Rusty Bar Ranch, is an Arabian Horse Discovery Farm as well.

For a complete list of past CHA award winners, visit https://cha.horse/international-conference/#award-winners

CHA Equine Professionals Change Lives Through Safe Experiences with Horses. The purpose of CHA is to promote excellence in safety and education for the benefit of the horse industry. CHA certifies equine professionals, accredits equestrian facilities, publishes educational manuals, produces educational horsemanship videos and webinars, and hosts regional and international conferences. For more information on the largest certifying body of equine professionals in North America, Certified Horsemanship Association, or to find a certified equine professional or accredited equine facility near you, please visit www.CHA.horse

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Certified Horsemanship Association Certifier of the Year Award – Sue Ott from Pennsylvania

(December 2021)  Certified Horsemanship Association (CHA) has over 150 certifiers around the US and Canada.  The CHA Certifier Award goes to someone who has shown outstanding service to CHA by conducting meaningful certifications and influencing the careers of numerous equine professionals over many years.  The CHA 2021 Certifier Award goes to Sue Ott from Montgomery, Pennsylvania.

Susan Berger, a fellow CHA Certifier says, “Sue was one of the first certifiers I worked with.  We worked together many times.  I have a huge respect for her as a horsewoman, educator, and colleague. She can be quite matter of fact as she evaluated prospective instructors and at the same time very fair and encouraging in the words she uses to help them grow. She is unique (first person I’ve met who eats cereal without milk).  She is creative (have you seen the remarkable hanging wreaths she makes?). She is humble (I imagine many who work with her don’t know how very accomplished she is as an equestrian). Other words that come to mind…intuitive, high energy, a ready smile, thoughtful & caring.”

Some of her CHA certification participants have this to say, “Sue really knows her stuff. I appreciate her empathy for students and horses. She is very knowledgeable, educational, informative and caring. Easy to understand and FUN! Informative and flexible when needed. Friendly, energetic and always helpful. Well organized, went above and beyond.”

Beth Powers, a Past President of CHA says, “We used to volunteer in the CHA booth at trade shows. We spent many hours together in our “stall” talking to folks about the value of a CHA membership, watching people go by and eating fair food. It was time spent at these events that I learned about her passion for horses and teaching. And it seemed that every year she would tell me about new life adventures with her husband, different jobs and horses.”

Sue was in a photo sitting on a horse for our very first color brochure CHA made for promotional purposes many years ago.  She has been a CHA member since 1990 and was recommended as an Assistant Certifier for CHA at her first clinic. She has conducted 29 certifications for us including 27 English/Western Instructor and two Seasonal Equestrian Staff.

For a complete list of past CHA award winners, visit https://cha.horse/international-conference/#award-winners

CHA Equine Professionals Change Lives Through Safe Experiences with Horses. The purpose of CHA is to promote excellence in safety and education for the benefit of the horse industry. CHA certifies equine professionals, accredits equestrian facilities, publishes educational manuals, produces educational horsemanship videos and webinars, and hosts regional and international conferences. For more information on the largest certifying body of equine professionals in North America, Certified Horsemanship Association, or to find a certified equine professional or accredited equine facility near you, please visit www.CHA.horse

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Certified Horsemanship Association Distinguished Service Award Winner – Stan Loewen from Kansas

(November 2021)  The CHA Distinguished Service Award is a lifetime achievement award for an individual who has gone above and beyond through the years promoting and upholding the mission of the Certified Horsemanship Association, helping in the horse industry and believing in all we stand for.  THANK YOU to the CHA Distinguished Service Award winner – Stan Loewen from Meade, Kansas!

“I spent many fun filled times with Stan,” says CHA Past President and Life Member Jim Glunt. “He came to Camp Tippecanoe many times offering CHA Pack and Trail Clinics. Every one of them was very pleasant and both I and the other camp staff enjoyed his visits. Our CHA certifications were usually offered toward the end of our summer season and served as a horse focused finish to summer camp.  I do remember a time that the trail group had just left main camp and was travelling through the pasture when one of the participants let a lead rope get too long and wrap around the back end of a horse that was being packed for the first time. As that lead rope gathered around that horse’s butt and started tightening under his tail trouble was brewing. Neither Stan nor I could get the rider’s attention in time. As it turned out the tight lead under his tail caused the horse to sit squarely down and stay there. This really befuddled the rider as he was unsure of what to do without causing a wreck. It all worked out fine and was the reason for many laughs throughout that certification.”

“Stan is always pleasant to everyone with many interesting stories and willing to flex his schedule to suit camp’s other programs. I spent two weeks with him in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania learning saddle and tack repair. That was a very rewarding experience. In fact, he sold me a full size marble tombstone to use as a base for setting rivets and the like. I still have it and refer to it as “Uncle Paul” because Paul something-or-other was the name on the stone.”

Stan has served on the CHA Board for several terms and worked with the committee that developed the CHA Pack and Trail certification. He has been a CHA member since 1984 and his CHA journey had included being certified in Western in 1984, then in both English and Western in 1986. He became trail certified in 1987 and has been part of the CHA Certifier Team in English/Western Instructor and Trail since 1988. He has conducted over 64 CHA Certifications including:  21 Combined Arena and Trail, 19 English/Western Instructor, 19 Trail and 5 Seasonal Equestrian Staff Certifications.

If you have ever been to a CHA International Conference that had a Trail Encampment, this person was one of the leads putting up his wall tent for folks to come into, cooking over the Dutch Ovens, making the cowboy coffee and chatting with whomever stops by.  He is also currently on the home page of our website, www.CHA.horse and on the cover of our CHA Trail Manual packing mules in the Bob Marshall wilderness.  Thank you Stan for all of your service to CHA through the years!

For a complete list of past CHA award winners, visit https://cha.horse/international-conference/#award-winners

CHA Equine Professionals Change Lives Through Safe Experiences with Horses. The purpose of CHA is to promote excellence in safety and education for the benefit of the horse industry. CHA certifies equine professionals, accredits equestrian facilities, publishes educational manuals, produces educational horsemanship videos and webinars, and hosts regional and international conferences. For more information on the largest certifying body of equine professionals in North America, Certified Horsemanship Association, or to find a certified equine professional or accredited equine facility near you, please visit www.CHA.horse

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Certified Horsemanship Association Celebrates School Horses

(November 2021)  We all started out learning how to ride on a certain horse. If our family did not own horses, it was very likely that a wonderful school horse at a camp or lesson barn program taught us how to ride. So it is only fitting that an outstanding horse be honored as the Certified Horsemanship Association School Horse of the Year. To commemorate such an outstanding honor, the winning horse receives a hand-painted oil painting from CHA member Julie Fischer from Colorado with bark from her Girl Scout camp as the frame and a wooden and leather trophy plaque from Lone Star Awards.

Earning the title of 2021 CHA School Horse of the Year is 34-year-old flea bitten grey Quarter Horse gelding Oakie from Girl Scouts of San Jacinto in Houston, Texas.

Oakie has been a staple to our program since 2008. Before being donated to us he was a high school rodeo horse. He calmly took to the trails for first time riders, became the right amount of stubborn for the older riders, and would accept any task you put in front of him. Western? Of course, he would teach you quick stops and pivots. English? Without a doubt he would trot and canter over poles with the rest of them. A bareback ride? Perfect – he’s not too tall in case you slip off!  As our special guy has gotten older, his workload has lightened. Unfortunately, there was an accident in March 2020 when we thought it was the end. He slipped when headed out to the pasture and was unable to walk. Our vet gave him 24 hours, either to start improving or we would have to make a very hard decision. A day later he acted as if nothing happened! It was officially retirement for our sweet man – which meant nothing more than getting loved on by everyone!

He spent the next year continuing to teach others how to groom, lead, and care for a horse. That’s when we spotted him galloping in the field! He was feeling so good we checked with our vet again and decided to try him back in some light work. This old man perked up and was so thrilled to be on the occasional trail ride for our littlest riders this past summer.  In his 13 years with Girl Scouts he has served over 50,000 girls! This horse has done it all: lessons, trail rides, grooming, painting, flag ceremonies, and even has been a unicorn a few (too many!) times. They say 10,000 hours in something makes you an expert, I would say he is far beyond that. Having a horse like him should be essential to any program and he will be irreplaceable when he is gone!

What our Girl Scouts have to say about him. We used to have a day during the week where special needs kids came and did Love, Hug & Groom. I volunteered several times, and Oakie was always a saint. Nothing scared him; walkers, crutches, wheelchairs were all no big deal. The kids loved him! Oakie is an inspiration to us all. He is the most loving, caring, and reliable horse in the world. He is amazingly good with troop riders and makes them feel comfortable when they are just learning to ride. He is everyone’s best friend for a reason. Out of our barn of 40 horses, he is the horse that if you say his name everyone’s heart melts. They are remembering their special moments with him.

The CHA host site where our winner hails from has been a CHA Program Member since 1989 and has hosted 25 CHA Certifications including 17 Seasonals and 8 English/Western Instructor ones.

The CHA School Horse of the Year Program honors the best of the school horses who are part of CHA member programs. Each equine finalist receives a plaque from CHA and were also honored at the CHA Awards Ceremony in Fort Worth, Texas. The top five finalists included:

  1. Ghost from Rusty Bar Ranch in Washington
  2. Oakie from Girl Scouts of San Jacinto in Texas
  3. Radish from Star T Ranch in Texas
  4. Sapphire – Warm Beach Camp in Washington
  5. Zap – Potter’s Ranch in Kentucky

For a complete list of past CHA award winners, visit https://cha.horse/international-conference/#award-winners

CHA Equine Professionals Change Lives Through Safe Experiences with Horses. The purpose of CHA is to promote excellence in safety and education for the benefit of the horse industry. CHA certifies equine professionals, accredits equestrian facilities, publishes educational manuals, produces educational horsemanship videos, and hosts regional and international conferences. For more information on the largest certifying body of equine professionals in North America, Certified Horsemanship Association, or to find a certified equine professional or accredited equine facility near you, please visit www.CHA.horse

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Certified Horsemanship Association Online Auction is Open for Bidding Until December 10, 2021

(November 2021) – Certified Horsemanship Association (CHA) needs your bids by December 10, 2021 for its Online Auction.  The online auction will be live from November 9 – December 10, 2021. Visit https://www.32auctions.com/CHAEquine today and bid often and high!

It is also not too late to donate an item to the auction. Visit this link today to put in your products and services that you want to donate to share what you do with over 12,000 equine facility mangers and horseback riding instructors. Thank you for your support!

 CHA Changes Lives Through Safe Experiences with Horses. The purpose of CHA is to promote excellence in safety and education for the benefit of the horse industry. CHA certifies instructors and trail guides, accredits equestrian facilities, publishes educational manuals, has an educational horsemanship streaming video channel, and hosts regional and international conferences. For more information on the largest certifying body of riding instructors and barn managers in North America, Certified Horsemanship Association, please visit www.CHA.horse or call 859-259-3399.  To find a certified equine professional or accredited equine facility near you, visit www.CHA.horse 

 

Certified Horsemanship Association Streaming Videos Are Very Popular  

(October 2021) – During the upcoming fall and winter months, take the time while indoors more to check out the Certified Horsemanship Association (CHA) video streaming service.

This streaming service offers videos in four different categories:

  • Riding Instruction – Videos that are beneficial for both riding instructors and owners and are designed to improve the rider’s equitation and communication with his/her horse.
  • Horse and Rider Psychology – These videos look into the way horses think and react and the rider/horse interactive relationship.
  • Herd Management – These videos feature topics geared toward the care and use of our equine partners and specifically address the needs of managing a herd that is used for lesson programs, striving to make their lives more comfortable.
  • Horsemanship Specialties – Videos in this group address a variety of distinctive disciplines within the horse industry.

Each category offers a variety of videos, with some of the topics including Foundational Lateral Movements, Polishing Rider Position, Training Principals for All Disciplines, Prevention of Lesson Horse Burnout and many more.

While you don’t have to be a CHA member to access this resource, you do get a discount on the subscription if you are one. Pricing to access this exciting resource is:

  • $5/single view (CHA member price)
  • $10/single view (non-CHA member price)
  • $45/month for program membership subscription (CHA member price, unlimited views of all titles)
  • $95/month for program membership subscription (non-CHA member price, unlimited views of all titles)

Sign up and start watching today by clicking here!

To keep up-to-date on all news from CHA, please sign up for the CHA monthly email newsletter at www.CHA.horse.

CHA Equine Professionals Change Lives Through Safe Experiences with Horses. The purpose of CHA is to promote excellence in safety and education for the benefit of the horse industry. CHA certifies instructors and trail guides, accredits equestrian facilities, publishes educational manuals, produces educational horsemanship DVDs and YouTube Safety shorts, and hosts regional and international conferences. For more information on the largest certifying body of riding instructors and barn managers in North America, Certified Horsemanship Association, please visit www.CHA.horse or call 859-259-3399.  To find a certified horseback riding instructor or accredited equine facility near you, visit www.CHA.horse 

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Certified Horsemanship Association’s June Training Tuesday on “Horses in the Morning” featuring Pam Minick and Barbara Schulte

(October 2021) – The Certified Horsemanship Association’s (CHA) Training Tuesday show on Horses in the Morning

To listen to this upcoming show go to https://www.horsesinthemorning.com/player.htm and for past CHA “Horses in the Morning” episodes, please visit https://cha.horse/education/#horse-radio-show

To keep up-to-date on all news from CHA, please sign up for the CHA monthly email newsletter at www.CHA.horse.

CHA Instructors Change Lives Through Safe Experiences with Horses. The purpose of CHA is to promote excellence in safety and education for the benefit of the horse industry. CHA certifies instructors and trail guides, accredits equestrian facilities, publishes educational manuals, produces educational horsemanship DVDs and YouTube Safety shorts, and hosts regional and international conferences. For more information on the largest certifying body of riding instructors and barn managers in North America, Certified Horsemanship Association, please visit www.CHA.horse or call 859-259-3399.  To find a certified horseback riding instructor or accredited equine facility near you, visit www.CHA.horse 

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Deadline Approaching for Donations to the Certified Horsemanship Association Online Silent Auction

(October 2021) – Certified Horsemanship Association (CHA) needs your donations by November 5, 2021 for its Online Silent Auction.  Donate a product or service that you can send to the highest bidder by December 15th.

Visit this link today to put in your products and services that you want to donate to share what you do with over 12,000 equine facility mangers and horseback riding instructors. Please plan on donating items to support our CHA scholarship fund!  The auction will be live from November 9 – December 10, 2021 and will open at our annual meeting to be held at our CHA International Conference in Fort Worth, Texas next month.  Thank you for your support!

 CHA Changes Lives Through Safe Experiences with Horses. The purpose of CHA is to promote excellence in safety and education for the benefit of the horse industry. CHA certifies instructors and trail guides, accredits equestrian facilities, publishes educational manuals, has an educational horsemanship streaming video channel, and hosts regional and international conferences. For more information on the largest certifying body of riding instructors and barn managers in North America, Certified Horsemanship Association, please visit www.CHA.horse or call 859-259-3399.  To find a certified equine professional or accredited equine facility near you, visit www.CHA.horse 

Early Bird Registration for Certified Horsemanship Association International Conference in November in Fort Worth Ends This Week

(September 2021) – The Certified Horsemanship Association (CHA) International Conference is scheduled for November 9 – 11, 2021 at the Fort Worth Stockyards in Texas. Speakers at this event include riding instructors, horse trainers, barn managers, equine behaviorists, equine association representatives, business and marketing consultants, and other equine professionals. Those wishing to attend the conference should register today for the early bird discount by clicking here.

Full Conference participants get to ride in sessions with top instructors on horses provided by The Fort Worth Herd and eventing horses from a local Fort Worth CHA instructor.  Sessions include classroom-style lectures, roundtable discussions, hands-on horse demonstrations, and mounted riding sessions.

CHA is all-breed and all-discipline organization. The audience at a CHA International Conference includes riding instructors, horse trainers, trail guides, barn managers, driving and vaulting coaches, horse owners, riders, and general horse enthusiasts. CHA members and non-members alike can attend as the conference is open to the public with prior registration.

Some of the speakers and sessions at this year’s event include:  National Cowgirl Hall of Fame winner Pam Minick, cutting horse trainer Barbara Schulte, Road to the Horse Winner Wade Black, CHA Spokesperson Julie Goodnight, University of Kentucky professor Dr. Bob Coleman and many more!

For more information on the CHA International Conference and to register online, visit  https://cha.horse/international-conference/ Additional information will be added online soon, including the complete biographies and session descriptions for each speaker.

CHA Equine Professionals Change Lives Through Safe Experiences with Horses. The purpose of CHA is to promote excellence in safety and education for the benefit of the horse industry. CHA certifies equine professionals such as riding instructors and equine facility managers, accredits equestrian facilities, publishes educational manuals, produces educational streaming videos and webinars, and hosts regional and international conferences. For more information on the largest certifying body of equine professionals in North America, Certified Horsemanship Association, please visit www.CHA.horse or call 859-259-3399.  To find a certified horseback riding instructor or accredited equine facility near you, visit www.CHA.horse

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Certified Horsemanship Association at Equitana USA

(September 2021) – Certified Horsemanship Association (CHA) will have a booth at Equitana USA in Lexington, Kentucky October 1 – 3, 2021.

CHA’s Chief Executive Officer, Christy Landwehr, will be speaking on Risk Management in Riding Programs, Teaching Techniques for Riding Instructors and Working with At-Risk Youth Riding Programs.

Visit here to get your tickets today and see you in Kentucky next week!  https://www.equitanausa.com/

 CHA Changes Lives Through Safe Experiences with Horses. The purpose of CHA is to promote excellence in safety and education for the benefit of the horse industry. CHA certifies instructors and trail guides, accredits equestrian facilities, publishes educational manuals, has an educational horsemanship streaming video channel, and hosts regional and international conferences. For more information on the largest certifying body of riding instructors and barn managers in North America, Certified Horsemanship Association, please visit www.CHA.horse or call 859-259-3399.  To find a certified equine professional or accredited equine facility near you, visit www.CHA.horse 

Donate Your Products/Services to Reach over 12,000 Equine Facility Managers/Riding Instructors with the Certified Horsemanship Association Online Silent Auction

(September 2021) – Certified Horsemanship Association needs your donations today for an Online Silent Auction we are hosting this year in November and December with our launch date at our Annual Meeting on November 9, 2021.

Visit this link today to put in your products and services that you want to donate to share what you do with over 12,000 equine facility mangers and horseback riding instructors. Please plan on donating items to support our CHA scholarship fund!  Will need the form filled out by no later than November 1, 2021. The auction will be live from November 9 – December 10, 2021.  Thank you for your support!

 CHA Changes Lives Through Safe Experiences with Horses. The purpose of CHA is to promote excellence in safety and education for the benefit of the horse industry. CHA certifies instructors and trail guides, accredits equestrian facilities, publishes educational manuals, has an educational horsemanship streaming video channel, and hosts regional and international conferences. For more information on the largest certifying body of riding instructors and barn managers in North America, Certified Horsemanship Association, please visit www.CHA.horse or call 859-259-3399.  To find a certified equine professional or accredited equine facility near you, visit www.CHA.horse 

Certified Horsemanship Association Nominations Due for Annual Awards

(August 2021) – Certified Horsemanship Association (CHA) holds annual awards for horses, humans and companies. They include:

  • CHA Certified Horseback Riding Instructor of the Year
  • CHA Partner in Safety
  • CHA Volunteer of the Year
  • CHA School Horse of the Year
  • CHA Certifier of the Year
  • And the CHA Distinguished Service Award

Here is the list of our past award winners in each category since 1996. Some of them include:  Susan Harris, Lew Sterrett, American Youth Horse Council,
Dallas from Spring Hill Camp in Michigan, and Pumpkin from Houghton College in New York. https://cha.horse/international-conference/#award-winners

In order to nominate a horse, human or company to win one of these annual CHA Awards, please return these forms, https://cha.horse/international-conference/#nomination-forms no later than September 10, 2021 to us at office@CHA.horse

CHA Instructors Change Lives Through Safe Experiences with Horses. The purpose of CHA is to promote excellence in safety and education for the benefit of the horse industry. CHA certifies instructors and trail guides, accredits equestrian facilities, publishes educational manuals, has an educational horsemanship streaming video channel, and hosts regional and international conferences. For more information on the largest certifying body of riding instructors and barn managers in North America, Certified Horsemanship Association, please visit www.CHA.horse or call 859-259-3399.  To find a certified equine professional or accredited equine facility near you, visit www.CHA.horse 

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Certified Horsemanship Association Has a New Blog Posted About Teaching the Older Rider

(August 2021) – The Certified Horsemanship Association (CHA) has a new blog posted – “Is an Older Client a Good Fit in Your Equine Program”. You can visit here to read it in full – https://cha.horse/is-an-older-client-a-good-fit-in-your-equine-program/  Please see all past CHA blog articles on horsemanship, training, teaching riding and much more here – https://cha.horse/cha-blog/

This blog article is written by Jill Montgomery who is a CHA English and Western Riding Instructor, and Equine Facility Manager and Certifier. She is owner and CEO of JRAM Enterprises Inc. an equine consulting business that focuses on work to keep equine activities accessible and enjoyable for everyone. FMI Jill@JRAMEnterprises.com

One of the contributors to the blog is Christy Landwehr is CHA’s CEO and holds most of the credentials available through the organization, especially relevant to this article is her CHA certification as a Master Level Riding Instructor. She has been teaching children and adults how to ride for over 30 years. Christy is an AQHA Professional Horseman, an APHA Professional Horseman and won the AYHC Distinguished Service of the Year Award. Christy sits on the Colorado State University Equine Advisory Council and teaches in the Communications Department part time at the Community College of Aurora. She is also on the Interscholastic Equestrian Association Board of Directors. Christy runs CJL Training where she teaches riding and does meditation and facilitation of meetings for the equine industry and others. FMI www.CJLTrainingInc.com

Ken Najorka is the other contributor and has been affiliated with CHA for many years, he owns Najorka Performance Horses in Fort White FL where he raises, trains, and sells reining horses. Ken was the coach for the University of Central FL 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. FMI contact najorkaperformancehorses@gmail.com

CHA Equine Professionals Change Lives Through Safe Experiences with Horses. The purpose of CHA is to promote excellence in safety and education for the benefit of the horse industry. CHA certifies equine professionals such as riding instructors and equine facility managers, accredits equestrian facilities, publishes educational manuals, produces educational streaming videos and webinars, and hosts regional and international conferences. For more information on the largest certifying body of equine professionals in North America, Certified Horsemanship Association, please visit www.CHA.horse or call 859-259-3399.  To find a certified horseback riding instructor or accredited equine facility near you, visit www.CHA.horse

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Ken Najorka conducting a clinic

Is an Older Client a Good Fit in Your Equine Program?

By Jill Montgomery

What comes to mind for many people when a riding instructor says, “I give riding lessons,” is a group of little girls with pigtails popping out from under their helmets circling around a white-board fence riding arena on a mix-matched herd of ponies and horses. For those in the horse business, recognizing this as a popular myth speaks to the opportunity to have a broader segment of the horse-interested public. Educating the public about how learning to ride, and or returning to riding benefits them and you as a horse professional.

Riding lessons can be a gateway to horse ownership, they may lead to the sale of a horse, or a new boarder in your barn, or to register more horse enthusiasts in a clinic or event. This is true regardless of the age of your student. So why shift gears? The older student may not be a fit for all riding instructors, but this is a growing market. What should you consider before targeting older riders as new students for your horse program?

There are more differences between the older rider and the traditional younger riding student than stirrup length and the weight your horses will carry. The first you may notice with the older rider is that you are providing service to the person paying the bill. Certified Horsemanship Association (CHA) CEO, and owner of CJL Training Inc. Christy Landwehr comments,  “Once the kids have been raised, parents may be ready to give back to themselves. They may have more discretionary income and time.” Another difference – older students have a lot more life experience than those 8- to 12-year-old kids that come for your instruction tabula rasa. “The older student may have previous training and more experience with horses, both good and bad. They may just have their own ideas about the sport and horses in general,” says CHA certified instructor Ken Najorka of Najorka Performance Horses. He goes on to say, “This group is one the coach must outthink.” He recommends using a lot of humor and emphasizes keeping it (the ride) fun. Both have found requests on the rise from over-50 riders for lessons in their programs.

Sixty is the new forty in the U.S. of A. Many adults are finding that enjoying experiences is more rewarding for them than acquisition of material things. A recent study reports a push for corporate America to adopt a 4-day work week giving employees an extra weekday to experience more of life. They seek activities that offer exercise to help them stay fit, a challenge to develop or fine tune mastery of a sport, and a sense of accomplishment from achieving goals. Horseback riding checks all these boxes for older riders. Riding is a sport that promotes health – improving key elements of fitness such as balance, coordination, core strength, and flexibility. Additional benefits include – it promotes communication skills, can be a social and family activity and takes place in the great outdoors – which is a particularly good trait given recent social conditions. Groundwork, grooming and learning about equine care and management further the opportunity to bond with a horse – which can be amazing.

There is a wide range of athleticism in people over 50 years of age, and we stereotype older riding students at our peril. Both Christy and Ken reveal a wide range of ages in the older riders they work with, from 50 to 80+ years young. They come with a multitude of reasons for being interested in riding lessons. Reasons span from satisfying the decades old desire to ride, to the horse the kids rode until they went to college needs a job, and more. Examples from their programs include-

Preparing for a horseback vacation

  • A prominent attorney in his 70’s needs to get into riding shape so 6 days in the saddle at a luxury dude ranch doesn’t become misery. He rode in his youth and understood the physicality of the sport. He signs up for 8 weekly lessons in advance of the trip to condition and feel competent / confident for the event. The gentleman reports back after that he wished he had started training earlier or had upped the frequency prior to trip, but still has a great time.

Needing help being matched with the right horse

  • An 80-year-old author wants her own horse. This student was a good rider to start with and didn’t know where to find a suitable horse. After seeing many candidates, she found a docile, experienced Gypsy Vanner to be her right match. The owner was able to give her a long-term lease on the horse which was a bonus for the partnership.

Motivated to participate by riding with family

  • A father needs to learn to ride so that he can ride with his adult daughter in a parade. He takes lessons right up to the parade and pulls it off to his daughter’s delight!
  • A 61-year-old nurse has an acquaintance abandon a Paso Fino rescue horse at her property. She was classically trained as a child to ride and decides to keep the horse. Her boyfriend wants to be able to ride with her, so they acquire another rescue. Both the riders and the horses get training to help ready them for riding on the area trails.
  • A family new to horse ownership take their tween-age daughter to a local horse show. Dad discovers there is an open class in which he could compete. He decides he too needs lessons after he is asked to ride in,” …something called a curb bit, because his horse is over 5, and the show follows the rules of AQH something.”

There is much that older riders and younger riders have in common when learning to ride horses, still their differences are worth considering. What follows are a few to think about in terms of the resources you may need to make equine activities with this type of student successful.

Adults usually weigh more than their younger counterparts

  • Are your school horses able to carry heavier riders? Many programs have older horses with some soundness issues that are tolerant of light riders only.

Does your tack fit larger and less flexible riders?

  • Good saddle fit is always important for the horse, and it may be critical for older riders with arthritis and joint issues. Do your saddles have a comfortable seat? Padded and suede for grip may be better than slick hard leather. A narrow twist may help with hip issues, stirrups should make it easy to keep legs in good alignment.

Older riders may have musculoskeletal or other health issues. They rarely bounce well.

  • Will your horses stand still at the mounting block and tolerate being bumped on the rump by a leg that can’t clear it when swinging over? Standing still and quietly for the dismount is just as important. Are your school horses patient? Older riders who are less agile or flexible may benefit from a slab-sided (narrower) horse. Clients with previous major medical issues might require a doctor’s clearance to ride. These riders really cannot afford to get hurt.

Older Riders may be less tolerant of exercise or heat while riding when it’s hot.

  • While all riders can become dehydrated in the heat and many young riders get sore from riding, older riders are at high risk for this. They may need shorter intervals of strenuous activity interspersed with recovery time. Ken suggests alternating 10 minutes of easy work and not more than 10 minutes of more challenging maneuvers. Christy likes to use warm-up on the ground prior to mounting as well as once in the saddle. Even when the mind is willing, the body may not be. Setting expectations about the need to drink water and remedies for soreness following the lesson is recommended.

Older riders may come with baggage from previous bad experiences, or they may not have been taught good safety and equitation practices.

  • Many older riders are very aware they are not bullet proof. Are you good at building confidence? Can you explain the “why” behind your methods to those who learned how to do what you are asking differently? It may be both muscle and memory that needs to be retrained. This may take longer than if it were being learned for the first time. Older riders can and will set their own limits. Are you patient?

Both Ken and Christy have seen increased interest in horseback riding from older clients in their lesson programs. The U.S. population is living longer and is looking for ways to find meaningful healthy experiences. Safe, effective, and fun experiences with horses can help fill that need. While some older riders will require more consideration to deliver those experiences, others may not. Ken describes two of his riders as 70-year-old eventers. Christy describes one of her competent walk, trot, canter students as in her 60’s with her own horse. The only accommodation she needs in Christy’s program is a mounting block and to be spotted on the dismount.

These riders come with their individual stories, skills, and goals, as do they all. Safety is typically first on their list of requirements. They may have a need that you and your program can help fill. Some barns have even developed specific programs for over-50 riders with targeted marketing and riding instructors that have therapeutic riding instruction credentials. Centurion classes requiring participants combined age of rider and horse equal or exceed 100 years have been added to some horse shows. Ken is even building a campsite complete with RV hook-ups as part of his ranch for adult riders to come with their horses and stay a while for clinics and lessons. It opens next year.

For more on this topic be sure to attend Ken Najorka’s live presentation on “Working with the Older Rider” Wednesday Nov.10th at the Cowtown Coliseum during the CHA International Conference in Fort Worth, TX. See you in Fort Worth!

 

Author and Contributors

Jill Montgomery is a CHA English and Western Riding Instructor, and Equine Facility Manager and Certifier. She is owner and CEO of JRAM Enterprises Inc. an equine consulting business that focuses on work to keep equine activities accessible and enjoyable for everyone. FMI Jill@JRAMEnterprises.com

Christy Landwehr is CHA’s CEO and holds most of the credentials available through the organization, especially relevant to this article is her CHA certification as a Master Level Riding Instructor. She has been teaching children and adults how to ride for over 30 years. Christy is an AQHA Professional Horseman, an APHA Professional Horseman and won the AYHC Distinguished Service of the Year Award. Christy sits on the Colorado State University Equine Advisory Council and teaches in the Communications Department part time at the Community College of Aurora. She is also on the Interscholastic Equestrian Association Board of Directors. Christy runs CJL Training where she teaches riding and does meditation and facilitation of meetings for the equine industry and others. FMI www.CJLTrainingInc.com

Ken Najorka has been affiliated with CHA for many years, he owns Najorka Performance Horses in Fort White FL where he raises, trains, and sells reining horses. Ken was the coach for the University of Central FL 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. FMI contact najorkaperformancehorses@gmail.com

 

Certified Horsemanship Association 2021 International Conference in November in Fort Worth – Register Today!

(July 2021) – The Certified Horsemanship Association (CHA) International Conference is scheduled for November 9 – 11, 2021 at the Fort Worth Stockyards in Texas. Speakers at this event include riding instructors, horse trainers, barn managers, veterinarians, equine behaviorists, farriers, saddle fit specialists, equine association representatives, business and marketing consultants, and other equine professionals. Those wishing to attend the conference should register now at https://cha.horse/international-conference/

Full Conference participants get to ride in sessions with top instructors on horses provided by The Fort Worth Herd that are used by the Drovers who move the longhorns down East Exchange Avenue each day, and eventing horses from a local Fort Worth CHA certified riding instructor.  Sessions include classroom-style lectures, roundtable discussions, hands-on horse demonstrations, and mounted riding sessions.

CHA is all-breed and all-discipline organization. The audience at a CHA International Conference includes riding instructors, horse trainers, trail guides, barn managers, driving and vaulting coaches, horse owners, riders, and general horse enthusiasts. CHA members and non-members alike can attend as the conference is open to the public with prior registration.

Some of the speakers and sessions at this year’s event include:  National Cowgirl Hall of Fame winner Pam Minick, cutting horse trainer Barbara Schulte, Road to the Horse Winner Wade Black, CHA Spokesperson Julie Goodnight, Equine Nutrition with University of Kentucky professor Dr. Bob Coleman, Simple and Flying Changes with Ren Bannerman, Barrel Racing and Pole Bending with Amy Obringer, Jumping – Pace, Position and Line with Jody Taylor and many more!

For more information on the CHA International Conference and to register online, visit  https://cha.horse/international-conference/ Additional information will be added online soon, including the complete biographies and session descriptions for each speaker.

CHA Equine Professionals Change Lives Through Safe Experiences with Horses. The purpose of CHA is to promote excellence in safety and education for the benefit of the horse industry. CHA certifies equine professionals such as riding instructors and equine facility managers, accredits equestrian facilities, publishes educational manuals, produces educational streaming videos and webinars, and hosts regional and international conferences. For more information on the largest certifying body of equine professionals in North America, Certified Horsemanship Association, please visit www.CHA.horse or call 859-259-3399.  To find a certified horseback riding instructor or accredited equine facility near you, visit www.CHA.horse

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Certified Horsemanship Association Offering $10 Off Most Popular Manual – Composite Horsemanship Manual

(July 2021) – The Certified Horsemanship Association (CHA) has many educational resources for those just getting started taking riding lessons to those that have been teaching riding for years. Manuals, safety posters for your barn, webinars, online educational articles, a streaming video service and DVDs are just some of what CHA offers.

This month, CHA is offering $10 off one of its most popular educational horsemanship manuals. Written by 30 professional horsemanship instructors from the United States and Canada, this four level manual contains a complete program for all levels of riders, with many illustrations by noted author and illustrator, Susan Harris. Available as separate level manuals or all four levels in this Composite Manual.  It contains written tests and riding test patterns at the end of each level. To receive this discount, visit by August 15thhttps://cha.horse/shop-educational-manuals/

“This CHA publication is essentially a self-guided tour of horsemanship from care to riding,” says CHA’s CEO Christy Landwehr. “The CHA Composite Manual of Horsemanship has 4 levels that you can go through to make sure that you are correctly and safely taking care of your horses and yourself when you work with them on the ground and in the saddle.”

CHA Equine Professionals Change Lives Through Safe Experiences with Horses. The purpose of CHA is to promote excellence in safety and education for the benefit of the horse industry. CHA certifies riding instructors and barn managers, accredits equestrian facilities, publishes educational manuals, has an educational horsemanship streaming video channel, and hosts regional and international conferences. For more information on the largest certifying body of riding instructors and barn managers in North America, Certified Horsemanship Association, please visit www.CHA.horse or call 859-259-3399.  To find a certified equine professional or accredited equine facility near you, visit www.CHA.horse 

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Certified Horsemanship Association’s July Webinar on How to Create Great Arena Footing

(July 2021) – The Certified Horsemanship Association’s (CHA) is happy to announce our July webinar that featured Barb Dipalma of GGT Footing who discussed arena footing – what works for your disciplines, area of the country, indoor or outdoor arenas, amount of horse traffic, and how to maintain it to its best advantage.

CHA has over 30 educational horsemanship webinars on our site. Some of the other topics include:

  • Helping Timid Riders Achieve Their Horsemanship Goals
  • Horse Selection and Suitability
  • Horse and Herd Management
  • Yoga for Every Equestrian
  • Exercises, Patterns and Drills for All Levels of Riders
  • Risk Management in a Horsemanship Program
  • Teaching Techniques for Riding Instructors
  • Marketing That Works
  • Function to Form: A Novel Look at Conformation
  • And Many More!

To select and watch these educational horse industry webinars, please visit https://cha.horse/education/#cha-webinars

CHA Equine Professionals Change Lives Through Safe Experiences with Horses. The purpose of CHA is to promote excellence in safety and education for the benefit of the horse industry. CHA certifies riding instructors and barn managers, accredits equestrian facilities, publishes educational manuals, has an educational horsemanship streaming video channel, and hosts regional and international conferences. For more information on the largest certifying body of riding instructors and barn managers in North America, Certified Horsemanship Association, please visit www.CHA.horse or call 859-259-3399.  To find a certified equine professional or accredited equine facility near you, visit www.CHA.horse 

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Jo-Anne Young: Connecting Your Seat to the Horses Feet

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

2018 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!

Certified Horsemanship Association Level One Horsemanship Manual Available in Spanish Both Hard Copy and Electronically

(June 2021) – The Certified Horsemanship Association (CHA) offers many educational horsemanship manuals. Some of the most popular are the four levels of horsemanship manuals that are sold individually or all four of them are included in the CHA Composite Horsemanship Manual. In addition, CHA is now proud to offer its Level One Manual of Horsemanship in Spanish both in hard copy and electronically.

Manual Compuesto de Equitación Nivel 1 is a 48-page book with illustrations by Susan Harris and detailed information on horse sense, rules for safe riding, parts of the horse and tack, how to safely approach the horse, leading, grooming, saddling and bridling, mounting and dismounting, basic seat and hand position, basic aids and horse control, circles and reverses, beginning the trot, exercises on horseback, elementary trail riding, and more. The book also contains a written exam and arena riding patterns.

Buy your copy today at https://cha.horse/shop-educational-manuals/ and to see all of the educational horsemanship products sold by CHA, please visit https://cha.horse/store

CHA Equine Professionals Change Lives Through Safe Experiences with Horses. The purpose of CHA is to promote excellence in safety and education for the benefit of the horse industry. CHA certifies instructors and trail guides, accredits equestrian facilities, publishes educational manuals, has an educational horsemanship streaming video channel, and hosts regional and international conferences. For more information on the largest certifying body of riding instructors and barn managers in North America, Certified Horsemanship Association, please visit www.CHA.horse or call 859-259-3399.  To find a certified equine professional or accredited equine facility near you, visit www.CHA.horse 

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Certified Horsemanship Association’s June Training Tuesday on “Horses in the Morning” featuring Pam Minick and Barbara Schulte

(June 2021) – The Certified Horsemanship Association’s (CHA) Training Tuesday show on Horses in the Morning is coming up this Tuesday, June 15, 2021 at 10 a.m. ET. Listen in to our two guests for the day who are both National Cowgirl Hall of Fame inductees!

Pam Minick 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, Pam 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 Billy live on a small ranch in Argyle, Texas with horses, cattle, donkeys and dogs where they enjoy team roping.

Barbra Schulte 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.

To listen to this upcoming show go to https://www.horsesinthemorning.com/player.htm and for past CHA “Horses in the Morning” episodes, please visit https://cha.horse/education/#horse-radio-show

To keep up-to-date on all news from CHA, please sign up for the CHA monthly email newsletter at www.CHA.horse.

CHA Instructors Change Lives Through Safe Experiences with Horses. The purpose of CHA is to promote excellence in safety and education for the benefit of the horse industry. CHA certifies instructors and trail guides, accredits equestrian facilities, publishes educational manuals, produces educational horsemanship DVDs and YouTube Safety shorts, and hosts regional and international conferences. For more information on the largest certifying body of riding instructors and barn managers in North America, Certified Horsemanship Association, please visit www.CHA.horse or call 859-259-3399.  To find a certified horseback riding instructor or accredited equine facility near you, visit www.CHA.horse 

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Certified Horsemanship Association Webinar – Horse Selection and Suitability

(June 2021) – Join us for our CHA Webinar on Horse Selection and Suitability at the link below on Monday, June 14th at Noon Eastern Time. To join in person live or get the recording afterwards, please visit – https://cha.horse/education/#cha-webinars

This session will feature what you need to know to select a horse based on conformation and temperament for any discipline including working with riders with disabilities. The two presenters are CHA Certifiers Debbie Holmes from Oregon and Cheryl West from Oklahoma.

Debbie Holmes is the Program Director for The Foundation of Southern Oregon. The Foundation provides adaptive riding lessons to individuals with developmental disabilities.  Prior to moving to Southern Oregon, she was an instructor for Horses with Heart in Chino Valley, AZ and Arizona State University’s therapeutic riding program. Her background includes teaching riders with cognitive and physical disabilities, at-risk youth, and able body riders. She served as a Special Olympics delegation head coach and coached a Division A rider who was a member of Team USA in the 2015 Special Olympics World Games in Los Angeles.  Her professional certifications include: CHA Master Instructor and Certifier in Western, English, and Jumping; CHA Master Instructor and Certifier for Instructors for Riders with Disabilities; CHA Regional Triad Director for Region 1; PATH CTRI, Equine Specialist, and Mentor.

Cheryl West born in Australia, is a United States Dressage Federation Bronze Medalist on a rescued Rhinelander and served 8 years as US Army Aviation Helicopter Crew Chief. Additionally a CHA Master Instructor and Certifier for English/Western Instructor, Instructor of Riders with Disabilities and Equine Facility Manager and a PATH CTRI and Mentor.  Cheryl began by riding western, and then did 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.

Certified Horsemanship Association produces many webinars, videos, articles and more!  Check out our site at www.CHA.horse to see them all.

CHA Equine Professionals Change Lives Through Safe Experiences with Horses. The purpose of CHA is to promote excellence in safety and education for the benefit of the horse industry. CHA certifies instructors and trail guides, accredits equestrian facilities, publishes educational manuals, has an educational horsemanship streaming video channel, and hosts regional and international conferences. For more information on the largest certifying body of riding instructors and barn managers in North America, Certified Horsemanship Association, please visit www.CHA.horse or call 859-259-3399.  To find a certified equine professional or accredited equine facility near you, visit www.CHA.horse 

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Certified Horsemanship Association 2021 International Conference in November in Fort Worth

(May 2021) – The Certified Horsemanship Association (CHA) International Conference is scheduled for November 9 – 11, 2021 at the Fort Worth Stockyards in Texas. Speakers at this event include riding instructors, horse trainers, barn managers, veterinarians, equine behaviorists, farriers, saddle fit specialists, equine association representatives, business and marketing consultants, and other equine professionals. Those wishing to attend the conference should Save the Dates.

Full Conference participants get to ride in sessions with top instructors on horses provided by The Fort Worth Herd and eventing horses from a local Fort Worth CHA instructor.  Sessions include classroom-style lectures, roundtable discussions, hands-on horse demonstrations, and mounted riding sessions.

CHA is all-breed and all-discipline organization. The audience at a CHA International Conference includes riding instructors, horse trainers, trail guides, barn managers, driving and vaulting coaches, horse owners, riders, and general horse enthusiasts. CHA members and non-members alike can attend as the conference is open to the public with prior registration.

Some of the speakers and sessions at this year’s event include:  National Cowgirl Hall of Fame winner Pam Minick, cutting horse trainer Barbara Schulte, Road to the Horse Winner Wade Black, CHA Spokesperson Julie Goodnight, University of Kentucky professor Dr. Bob Coleman and many more!

For more information on the CHA International Conference and to register online, visit  https://cha.horse/international-conference/ Additional information will be added online soon, including the complete biographies and session descriptions for each speaker.

CHA Equine Professionals Change Lives Through Safe Experiences with Horses. The purpose of CHA is to promote excellence in safety and education for the benefit of the horse industry. CHA certifies equine professionals such as riding instructors and equine facility managers, accredits equestrian facilities, publishes educational manuals, produces educational streaming videos and webinars, and hosts regional and international conferences. For more information on the largest certifying body of equine professionals in North America, Certified Horsemanship Association, please visit www.CHA.horse or call 859-259-3399.  To find a certified horseback riding instructor or accredited equine facility near you, visit www.CHA.horse

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Certified Horsemanship Association Website Offers Job Platforms  

(May 2021) – Need to find a job for the summer?  How about finding qualified employees?  Want a place to sell a horse or some tack? Or a place to find an equine property?  Well, www.CHA.horse, the Certified Horsemanship Association (CHA) website, can help.

Just visit www.CHA.horse and go to the Find a Certified Professional tab and then click on the Job Board to post a job for an equine professional or to find one. Posting your equine professional job opening (for positions such as a riding instructor, barn manager, horsemanship director, stable worker, etc.) is available to everyone with CHA Individual Members getting a special rate and CHA Program Members get to do this for free as an added benefit.

Next, check out the CHA Classified Ads section of the site. Anyone can post a classified ad here that reaches equine professionals with CHA members that post under 25 words being able to do this for free as a member benefit.

Finally, CHA members can also post their resume for free here on the CHA Resume Board. This is a great place to find certified riding instructors, barn managers, trail ride guides and more!

Hope to see you soon on the CHA website equine industry job platforms!

CHA Instructors Change Lives Through Safe Experiences with Horses. The purpose of CHA is to promote excellence in safety and education for the benefit of the horse industry. CHA certifies equine professionals, accredits equestrian facilities, publishes educational manuals, produces educational horsemanship streaming videos, and hosts regional and international conferences. For more information on the largest certifying body of equine professionals in North America, Certified Horsemanship Association, please visit www.CHA.horse or call 859-259-3399.  To find a certified horseback riding instructor or an accredited equine facility near you, visit www.CHA.horse     ###

 

Certified Horsemanship Association May Podcast – Virtual Horse Showing

(May 2021) – Certified Horsemanship Association (CHA) will be on Horses in the Morning for our “Training Tuesday” show on Tuesday, May 19th at 10 a.m. ET. This month’s show is sponsored by B-Free of Flies Insect Killer. This is a free podcast on the Horse Radio Network. Hope you can listen in!  https://cha.horse/education/#horse-radio-show

Join Glenn and Jennifer Hebert, hosts of Horses in the Morning, and Christy Landwehr, the CEO of CHA, as they co-host this show each month. This episode will be about Virtual Horse Showing and will include CHA Board Member Jennifer Eaton from Massachusetts and CHA Regional Director Schellie Blochberger from Missouri. Jennifer puts on virtual horse shows as part of her job at the Interscholastic Equestrian Association and Schellie is a participant and judge for numerous virtual horse shows.

This show is being sponsored by B-Free of Flies – https://www.b-freeofflies.com/

Cami O’Neal is the Administrative Coordinator and Sales Representative for B-Free of Flies, which is a family owned business, located in Boyd, TX.  They have been in business for 30 years and their products are EPA approved and made in the USA!

If you can’t make the live show, you can find the free recordings here for this show and all the CHA shows we have done for the past years with the Horse Radio Network – https://cha.horse/education/#horse-radio-show.

CHA Equine Professionals Change Lives Through Safe Experiences with Horses. The purpose of CHA is to promote excellence in safety and education for the benefit of the horse industry. CHA certifies instructors and trail guides, accredits equestrian facilities, publishes educational manuals, has an educational horsemanship streaming video channel, and hosts regional and international conferences. For more information on the largest certifying body of riding instructors and barn managers in North America, Certified Horsemanship Association, please visit www.CHA.horse or call 859-259-3399.  To find a certified equine professional or accredited equine facility near you, visit www.CHA.horse 

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Certified Horsemanship Association Has Many Horsemanship Educational Manuals

(April 2021) – Certified Horsemanship Association (CHA) has many educational horsemanship manuals to help the horse owner and those that take horseback riding lessons. These have been created and updated by a team of professional riding instructors and equine facility managers. The CHA manuals can be purchased at https://cha.horse/store/ for CHA member and non-member rates.  Anyone can join CHA by visiting https://members.CHA.horse/secure/membership.cfm and get 50% off the manuals.

The CHA manuals include:

  1. CHA Composite Horsemanship Manual Levels 1 – 4 – Written by 30 professional horsemanship instructors from the United States and Canada. This four level manual contains a complete program for all levels of riders, with many illustrations by noted author and illustrator, Susan Harris. Written tests and riding test patterns at the end of each level.
  2. Individual CHA Level Manuals 1 – 4 – Each manual can be purchased separately for riders to work through. Level 1 is also available in Spanish.
  3. Equine Professional Manual: The Art of Teaching Riding – This 208 page manual is full of illustrations and photos that will help the professional riding instructor just starting out, as well as those that have been teaching for a long time. Learning styles, teaching styles, sample lessons plans and stretches for the rider are all included.  It is a comprehensive guide for all riding instructors.
  4. CHA Trail Manual – This is a comprehensive manual to trail riding, camping and packing out with your horses and mules. It is a must have for all avid trail riders, overnight campers and wilderness packing guides. It has four levels of horsemanship, trail ride information, camping with your horse, knots, packing, Dutch oven cooking and much more!  Great detailed photos and illustrations.
  5. Standards for Equestrian Programs – This manual lists standards for a safer equine environment for site, program, management, driving, trail and more. These standards are intended to serve as goals in order that facilities and/or individuals can develop an individualized program designed to promote safety. It is also used by equine facilities wanting to attain CHA Site Accreditation.

CHA Equine Professionals Change Lives Through Safe Experiences with Horses. The purpose of CHA is to promote excellence in safety and education for the benefit of the horse industry. CHA certifies equine professionals such as riding instructors and equine facility managers, accredits equestrian facilities, publishes educational manuals, produces educational streaming videos and webinars, and hosts regional and international conferences. For more information on the largest certifying body of equine professionals in North America, Certified Horsemanship Association, please visit www.CHA.horse or call 859-259-3399.  To find a certified horseback riding instructor or accredited equine facility near you, visit www.CHA.horse

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Certified Horsemanship Association Vaulting Certification to be Held in June 2021 in Ohio

(April 2021) – The Certified Horsemanship Association (CHA) is hosting a Vaulting Coach Certification June 25 – 27, 2021 in Hartville, Ohio at Pegasus Farm.

The goal of the CHA Vaulting Coach Certification clinics is to provide the vaulting community a certification process through which participants may be evaluated in their skills as coaches to provide a safe, enjoyable and effective vaulting program. The three-day Vaulting Coach Certification is conducted by two CHA Vaulting Coach Certifiers, whose job it is to evaluate the coaching skills of each participant and offer constructive advice for a safe and effective vaulting program.

Certification is available at three levels ranging from coaching vaulting at walk/trot up to canter in either a recreational and/or competition vaulting program. The level of certification attained, if any, is at the sole discretion of the CHA Certifiers and is determined by skills and knowledge demonstrated during the certification clinic.

Certification may be earned at these levels:

  • ASSISTANT VAULTING COACH: Minimum age 16. Qualified to direct warm‐up exercises, spot or longe under the direct supervision of a Level 1 or higher certified vaulting coach.
  • LEVEL 1 VAULTING COACH: Minimum age 18. Qualified to coach vaulting in a beginner or one‐time vaulting program at walk and beginning trot. Minimum written test score of 70%.
  • LEVEL 2 VAULTING COACH: Minimum age 18. Qualified to teach in a vaulting program or club at walk‐trot and beginning canter. Minimum written test score of 80%.
  • LEVEL 3 VAULTING COACH: Minimum age 18. Qualified to teach in a recreational and/or competitive vaulting program or club at walk, trot, and canter. Minimum written test score of 90%.
  • VAULTING COACH ASSISTANT CERTIFIER: Minimum age 21. Must be a Level 3 Vaulting Coach and be recommended by both CHA Certifiers. An application process is required.
  • VAULTING COACH CERTIFIER: Minimum age 25. Qualified to conduct CHA Vaulting Coach certification clinics and certify vaulting coaches in cooperation with another CHA Vaulting Coach certifier. Must complete an apprenticeship.

Please join us at the Vaulting Coach Certification – Pegasus Farm June 25, 2021 to June 27, 2021 in Hartville, Ohio by clicking here – Register Now

 

CHA Equine Professionals Change Lives Through Safe Experiences with Horses. The purpose of CHA is to promote excellence in safety and education for the benefit of the horse industry. CHA certifies equine professionals such as riding instructors and equine facility managers, accredits equestrian facilities, publishes educational manuals, produces educational streaming videos and webinars, and hosts regional and international conferences. For more information on the largest certifying body of equine professionals in North America, Certified Horsemanship Association, please visit www.CHA.horse or call 859-259-3399.  To find a certified horseback riding instructor or accredited equine facility near you, visit www.CHA.horse

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Certified Horsemanship Association Seeking Equine Experts for Speakers for the 2021 CHA International Conference in November in Fort Worth

(April 2021) – The Certified Horsemanship Association (CHA) is seeking experts within the horse industry as speakers for the 2021 CHA International Conference. Part of CHA’s mission is providing quality continuing education within the horse industry, and the annual international conference is CHA’s ultimate learning opportunity. The 2021 CHA International Conference is scheduled for November 9 – 11, 2021 at the Fort Worth Stockyards in Texas. Speakers at this event include riding instructors, horse trainers, barn managers, veterinarians, equine behaviorists, farriers, saddle fit specialists, equine association representatives, business consultants, and other equine professionals. Those wishing to attend the conference should Save the Dates.

If you would like to speak, CHA is now accepting speaker applications for classroom-style lectures, roundtable discussions, hands-on horse demonstrations, and mounted riding sessions (using the Fort Worth drover horses and Eventing and Dressage horses from a local CHA instructor) with attendees who sign up on a first-come, first-serve basis. Sessions at the CHA International Conference are focused on safe, effective, and fun horsemanship.

CHA is all-breed and all-discipline organization. The audience at the CHA International Conference includes riding instructors, trail guides, barn managers, driving and vaulting coaches, horse owners, riders, and general horse enthusiasts. Attendees can sign up to ride these well-trained school horses in the educational sessions. CHA members and non-members alike can attend as the conference is open to the public with prior registration.

Those wishing to speak should contact CHA at clandwehr@CHA.horse. The deadline is April 15, 2021. Those applying to speak will need to send a professional biography paragraph, a photo, and a session title and paragraph description, along with anything needed to fulfill your session such as ground poles or cones.

More information about the CHA International Conference can be found at https://cha.horse/international-conference/ Additional information will be added online throughout the year, including the full line-up of speakers and sessions.

CHA Equine Professionals Change Lives Through Safe Experiences with Horses. The purpose of CHA is to promote excellence in safety and education for the benefit of the horse industry. CHA certifies equine professionals such as riding instructors and equine facility managers, accredits equestrian facilities, publishes educational manuals, produces educational streaming videos and webinars, and hosts regional and international conferences. For more information on the largest certifying body of equine professionals in North America, Certified Horsemanship Association, please visit www.CHA.horse or call 859-259-3399.  To find a certified horseback riding instructor or accredited equine facility near you, visit www.CHA.horse

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2021 CHA International Conference – Hotel

Hotel offering your special group rate:
SpringHill Suites Fort Worth Historic Stockyards 
2315 North Main Street, Fort Worth, Texas 76164 USA • CALL: +1 682-255-5100
Hotel Website

If you have questions or need help with the link, please do not hesitate to ask.
We appreciate your business and look forward to a successful event.

Book your group rate for Certified Horsemanship Association – $109 USD per night

2021 CHA International Conference – Last Day to Book: Saturday, October 9, 2021

 

Certified Horsemanship Association Spring Blog Post – Riding Program Success Lessons from the Pandemic

(March 2021) – Riding Program Success Lessons from the Pandemic by CHA Equine Facility Manager Certifier Jill Montgomery is the latest CHA blog post for readers to enjoy.

Jill interviews Jody Taylor who is a CHA Certified Riding Instructor and co-owner with his partner Kim of Star T Ranch in Aledo, Texas just outside of Fort Worth.

Jody describes their experience, “We started out 2020 with a well-established program and a great crew of six CHA certified riding instructors. When the Pandemic hit, we developed protocols to keep our students and boarders safe following guidance provided to area businesses by the City of Fort Worth. By showing leadership and sharing the plan with our clients – we made a smooth transition from closing the month of April through a graduated re-opening of services and were back to 100% by July – that led to the busiest Autumn in our history to date.” He went on to say, “Clear and regular communication with our clients about the rules and commitment to their health and safety were keys to our operation’s success dealing with COVID19.”

Susan Garside who is a CHA Board Member and Certifier and the Equestrian Program Director at Akron, Ohio’s YMCA Camp Y-Noah was also featured. Camp Y-Noah offers a year-round riding facility for youth and adults. Programs include riding lessons, trail rides, birthday parties with ponies and both day and overnight youth camps. Being part of a larger organization Susan’s program has several levels of management to clear when changing program details. She describes 2020 as a stressful year requiring creativity and adaptability. She also saw big pay offs in getting two parts of their Camp running for the 2020 season. The experience required recalibrating priorities.

To read more about Jody and Susan’s experiences and to read more great blogs from CHA visit here –  https://cha.horse/cha-blog/

CHA Equine Professionals Change Lives Through Safe Experiences with Horses. The purpose of CHA is to promote excellence in safety and education for the benefit of the horse industry. CHA certifies instructors and trail guides, accredits equestrian facilities, publishes educational manuals, has an educational horsemanship streaming video channel, and hosts regional and international conferences. For more information on the largest certifying body of riding instructors and barn managers in North America, Certified Horsemanship Association, please visit www.CHA.horse or call 859-259-3399.  To find a certified equine professional or accredited equine facility near you, visit www.CHA.horse 

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Certified Horsemanship Association March Webinar – Publishing and Social Media for the Horse Industry

(March 2021) – Join us for our March CHA Monthly Member Chat at the link below on Wednesday, March 17th at Noon Eastern Time. If you can’t join us live, not to worry, you can find the link on our website here the day after and CHA members are free and non-members pay a small fee to watch the recording – https://cha.horse/education/#cha-webinars

Jeff Tiessen, Publisher of the horse crazy kid publication – Blaze Magazine and Emily Blackborow the Communications Coordinator with ParaSport Ontario will be on to discuss the publishing industry and current social media trends and how you can use them to your advantage.

Certified Horsemanship Association produced many webinars, videos, articles and more!  Check out our site at www.CHA.horse to see them all.

CHA Equine Professionals Change Lives Through Safe Experiences with Horses. The purpose of CHA is to promote excellence in safety and education for the benefit of the horse industry. CHA certifies instructors and trail guides, accredits equestrian facilities, publishes educational manuals, has an educational horsemanship streaming video channel, and hosts regional and international conferences. For more information on the largest certifying body of riding instructors and barn managers in North America, Certified Horsemanship Association, please visit www.CHA.horse or call 859-259-3399.  To find a certified equine professional or accredited equine facility near you, visit www.CHA.horse 

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Riding Program Success Lessons from the Pandemic

By Jill Montgomery

Passing the one-year anniversary of the COVID19 Pandemic has been a global challenge, especially for non-profit organizations and small businesses like riding stables and equestrian programs, which were generally not considered essential services. Even so, some horseback riding programs have been able to rally their unique strengths for operating with COVID19’s restrictions and excel during this time of social distancing and anti-viral safety measures. As 2021 promises a better new normal, there are some strengths that those in the horse industry may use to get back in the saddle sooner than many other recreational activities.

Some built-in aspects of equine activities are a fit with common methods of staying healthy and reducing the transmission of COVID19 virus. Most interactions with horses occur outside, preferable to inside enclosed areas. Small groups for routine equine activities are typical. The size of horses and normal spacing between riders in most equine activities accommodates social distancing. Equine facilities are familiar with bio-security management practices that limit their horses’ exposure to contagious illnesses. These industry norms can be supplemented to include specific requirements of the broader community’s expectations for operating businesses.

CHA riding instructors and barn managers are accustomed to looking out for the safety of their clients and establishing protocols to keep them safe. Adding safety measures at a stable to meet community business standards during the pandemic may be an easier adjustment than for many other recreational activities.

Many states have adopted similar measures for businesses to operate during the pandemic, however each community may have its own version. As knowledge about the virus is gained the general recommendations will continue to evolve. As the population becomes vaccinated recommendations will change. The local and state health departments are good resources to stay current with community expectations for safety requirements.

Several CHA members who are up and running with COVID19 safety measures in place have reported impressive results and agreed to share their stories.

Jody Taylor is a CHA Certified Riding Instructor and co-owner of Star T Ranch in Aledo, Texas just outside of Fort Worth. Jody and his partner Kim run Star T Ranch on a 16-acre property where they make every square inch of it work. The ranch includes three arenas, of which one is covered, a twenty-meter round pen, a modified cross-country course and eight acres of up and down trails. An office and classroom as well as the barn aisle are used for classroom type instruction, but not during the current circumstances. Their services include boarding, training, and riding lessons. The operation accommodates 30 head of horses and they maintain a herd of 12 to 15 lesson horses with the balance of the herd being private mounts. Their program offers both English and Western riding lessons, and specializes in Eventing, Dressage, Show Jumping and Natural Horsemanship. Their proximity to the Dallas Fort Worth Metroplex affords big potential for new clients. Full capacity at this facility is 85 lessons/week some of which are provided to boarders on their own horses.

The business closed for the month of April. Regular barn staff did routine care and management for the herd. Boarders could check on their horses with strict limits on the number of people in the barn at one time. All were required to observe social distancing and use the newly provided handwashing stations. The lesson program business was brought back online incrementally, starting with 25% of capacity, increasing every two weeks until reaching 100%. By July demand had exploded and the program had a waiting list. Jody credits this response in part to pent-up demand, people looking for outdoor activities, closure of gyms and bounce houses and kids begging their parents to let them learn to ride. He notes that the parents saw value in the outdoor and physical elements of learning to ride. The program’s students are predominately youth ages 8 to 18 years comprising 75% and 25% are adults. The following simple rules for riding students were established early in their Pandemic experience and posted at the barn. The students complied faithfully.

  1. Anyone feeling sick needs to stay home and cancel the lesson.
  2. Sanitizing protocol is listed in the barn.
  3. Riders only in the barn.
  4. Masks are required in the barn.
  5. Social distancing – at least 6 feet apart.
  6. Team Star T be safe.

Jody describes their experience, “We started out 2020 with a well-established program and a great crew of six CHA certified riding instructors. When the Pandemic hit, we developed protocols to keep our students and boarders safe following guidance provided to area businesses by the City of Fort Worth. By showing leadership and sharing the plan with our clients – we made a smooth transition from closing the month of April through a graduated re-opening of services and were back to 100% by July – that led to the busiest Autumn in our history to date.” He went on to say, “Clear and regular communication with our clients about the rules and commitment to their health and safety were keys to our operation’s success dealing with COVID19.”

Susan Garside is a CHA Certified Riding Instructor and Certifier and the Equestrian Program Director at Akron Ohio’s YMCA Camp Y-Noah. Camp Y-Noah offers a year-round riding facility for youth and adults. Programs include riding lessons, trail rides, birthday parties with ponies and both day and overnight youth camps. Being part of a larger organization Susan’s program has several levels of management to clear when changing program details. She describes 2020 as a stressful year requiring creativity and adaptability. She also saw big pay offs in getting two parts of their Camp running for the 2020 season. The experience required recalibrating priorities.

Susan describes the 2020 season, “Following our Governor’s requirement for businesses considered non-essential to close, we operated with only a skeleton staff to care for our herd of 25 horses and the 250-acre facility from Mid-March to Memorial Day. During this time, our focus stayed on preparing for what was doable and being able to adapt to a rapidly changing environment. We re-opened with the riding lesson program and day camp. New protocols included hand washing stations, sanitizers at the arena and mounting blocks for riders and for the tack and grooming tools, masks for everyone until after they were mounted. Access to the barn was limited and all observers needed to stay outdoors. A staff member would meet participants at their car, take his or her temperature to rule out fever, make sure they had no symptoms of illness and then escort them to their horse or activity. This practice created an unexpected benefit of a touchpoint with parents of our young students and the campers. The changes were readily accepted by the participants who seemed quite happy to be able to join us after their period of social lockdown. Communication and teamwork with management, staff and student/campers and their parents was excellent. People were on board and cooperative in responding to the changing environment as our protocols evolved. By October we looked back at this season as the healthiest for staff and students, cleanest for horses and equipment and the most participation we ever had in these programs. October generated 115% of our pre-COVID19 goal for 2020.”

The increased participation required hiring more staff, a change Susan believes will continue into the next season and beyond. Cleaning and sanitizing all the tack led to taking more time between lessons, and something most instructors can appreciate – spotless tack! The new protocols focused lessons more on riding and less on over-all horsemanship, but the students seemed happy to spend more time riding. Another benefit was there were less staff sick days than previous seasons, presumably because so much attention was given to cleaning and disinfecting.

A good example of Susan’s creativity is an effective tool to introduce their new Equestrian Program safety protocol. She made a video for the YMCA website describing what to expect for new riding lesson procedures. In it Susan lays out the process participants will experience upon their arrival, during the lesson, and upon completion while holding one of the program’s horses, Destiny. A Dalmatian wandering in the background adds levity to the serious subject. The video provided assurance to parents that the students health was a number one priority.

Take away points from Jody and Susan’s success include:

  • There is pent up demand for equine activity and many alternative activities are unavailable.
  • Do what it takes to comply with the COVID19 safety measures your community expects of your business.
  • Be creative and adaptable to meet the demands of this time.
  • Reach out to your past, current, and prospective clients and let them know they can come and enjoy the ride.

As the horse industry’s busy season looms large for 2021, there is much to be hopeful about. Our activity meets the requirements for this historic time. Riding instructors and barn managers are in a unique position to help people dealing with the traumatic experience of 2020. Health experts describe the need to exercise, be outdoors and be in nature. Is there a better vehicle to get there than on the back of a horse? Not for horse crazy kids, and not for us. The saying that the outside of a horse is good for the inside of a human gains even more relevance as people find their way to the new normal of post pandemic life.

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 About the Author and Contributors:

Jill Montgomery is a CHA English and Western Riding Instructor, Equine Facility Manager, and Certifier for EFM. She is owner and CEO of JRAM Enterprises, Inc. an equine business consulting firm that focuses on work to keep equine activities accessible and enjoyable for everyone. FMI Jill@JRAMEnterprises.com

Jody Taylor is co-owner of The Star T Ranch, located in Aledo, Texas near Fort Worth. Our mission at Star T Ranch is to provide the best quality, care and service for your horse and you with excellence in safety and education. Kim and Jody are all about being mindful of the horse and incorporating horsemanship in English and Western riding disciplines. FMI TexTaylor@yahoo.com

Susan Garside is Equestrian Director of the Akron YMCA’s Camp Y-Noah and a Certified Horsemanship Association Board Member, Certified English and Western Riding Instructor, Equine Facility Manager and Certifier for EWI and EFM. Camp Y-Noah’s skilled instructors help foster responsibility, compassion, work ethic, self-confidence, patience, and assertiveness for our riders of all ages FMI sgarside@yahoo.com

Certified Horsemanship Association March Podcast – Teaching Riders with Physical or Cognitive Disabilities

(March 2021) – Certified Horsemanship Association (CHA) will be on Horses in the Morning for our “Training Tuesday” show on Tuesday, March 16th at 10 a.m. ET. This month’s show is sponsored by Reinbow Stirrups. This is a free podcast on the Horse Radio Network. Hope you can listen in!  https://cha.horse/education/#horse-radio-show

Join Glenn Hebert, host of Horses in the Morning, and Christy Landwehr, the CEO of CHA, as they co-host this show each month. This episode will be about Teaching Riders with Physical or Cognitive Disabilities and will include CHA Certifiers Debbie Holmes from Oregon and Cheryl West from Oklahoma. Debbie is a CHA Instructor for Riders with Disabilities (IRD) and English/Western Instructor (EWI) Certifier, as well as a PATH CTRI, Mentor, and Equine Specialist. Cheryl is a CHA IRD, EWI and Equine Facility Manager Certifier.

This show is being sponsored by Reinbow Stirrups – www.Reinbowtherapy.org

Monica Wu, who owns Reinbow Therapy, is a Masters level registered and licensed occupational therapist with a specialty in pediatrics in Massachusetts. Monica founded her private Occupational Therapy practice called Reinbow Therapy in 2007 which incorporates equine movement which is known as “hippotherapy” as one of the treatment strategies in combination with other treatment techniques.

As a result of using her professional OT background of evaluating and addressing functional needs while utilizing equine movement, she realized that having a better safety stirrup system was needed and so she created the Reinbow Stirrup System.  This safety stirrup system evolved over a period of 10 years and finally received a U.S. patent in February after 3 years of hard work.  She is very excited to share this safety & functional product with the listeners on Horses in the Morning.

If you can’t make the live show, you can find the free recordings here for this show and all the CHA shows we have done for the past years with the Horse Radio Network – https://cha.horse/education/#horse-radio-show.

CHA Equine Professionals Change Lives Through Safe Experiences with Horses. The purpose of CHA is to promote excellence in safety and education for the benefit of the horse industry. CHA certifies instructors and trail guides, accredits equestrian facilities, publishes educational manuals, has an educational horsemanship streaming video channel, and hosts regional and international conferences. For more information on the largest certifying body of riding instructors and barn managers in North America, Certified Horsemanship Association, please visit www.CHA.horse or call 859-259-3399.  To find a certified equine professional or accredited equine facility near you, visit www.CHA.horse 

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Certified Horsemanship Association Riding Instructor and Equine Facility Manager Certifications Are Hot in 2021

(February 2021) – Anyone who wants to further their career by earning a Certified Horsemanship Association (CHA) Certification is encouraged to check out the CHA Certification Schedule online by type at https://cha.horse/find-cha-certification-clinics-by-type/ and by location at https://cha.horse/search-cha-certification-clinics-by-location/  and by date at https://cha.horse/find-cha-certification-clinics-by-date/    CHA Certifications are intensive multi-day events in which attendees learn and demonstrate their skills so they can be certified at one of CHA’s various certification types and levels. They are currently available for the English/Western Instructor (EWI), Equine Facility Manager (EFM), Vaulting (VTL) and Instructors of Riders with Disabilities (IRD) during 2021. Many more will be added in the next few months for this year. Join more than 30,000 experts who have been certified by the largest equine professional certifying organization in North America!

At this time, CHA Certifications are available in the following locations: Alabama, Alberta, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Manitoba, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Washington and Wyoming. Normally, CHA conducts over 80 certifications around the US and Canada each year. They are posted on the CHA website for 2021 at this time.

Certification offers many benefits to the equine professional, including showing the industry and potential customers that you have the skills and knowledge to teach riders or to run an equine facility according to strict industry standards set by an independent third party. In addition, certification demonstrates professionalism, dedication, and a commitment to horsemanship instruction and/or equine facility management. Certified individuals have demonstrated their focus on the safety and well-being of all participants in equestrian pursuits, humans and horses alike.

A person’s willingness to dedicate their time and money to the CHA certification process indicates that they are a serious professional. CHA certified equine professionals must demonstrate a high level of professional competence and adhere to continuing education requirements set forth by CHA to maintain their certification. In addition, many insurance companies recognize certification and will give discounts.

Certification includes workshops and hands-on demonstrations in five areas: safety, horsemanship knowledge and ability, teaching techniques, group control, and professionalism and ethics. Two CHA Certifiers evaluate each attendee, who must also pass written tests and competently demonstrate their skills during the event to receive their certification. The cost of the certification also includes the attendee’s membership in CHA, fees for the event, and all educational materials. Each host site will specify which meals are included and if a lodging option is available with the final price.

For more information on attending a CHA Certification and what to expect, please visit https://cha.horse/cha-certifications/

For anyone wishing to host a CHA Certification, the organization is taking applications to host in the fall of 2021 and beyond. Host sites must become a CHA Program Member that is pre-approved by CHA. If your facility would like to become a new host site for CHA, please visit https://cha.horse/how-to-host-a-cha-clinic/

To keep up-to-date on all news from CHA, please sign up for the CHA monthly email newsletter on the home page at www.CHA.horse.

CHA Equine Professionals Change Lives Through Safe Experiences with Horses. The purpose of CHA is to promote excellence in safety and education for the benefit of the horse industry. CHA certifies equine professionals, accredits equestrian facilities, publishes educational manuals, produces an educational horsemanship streaming video channel, has educational webinars and hosts regional and international conferences. For more information on the largest certifying body of equine professionals in North America, Certified Horsemanship Association, please visit www.CHA.horse or call 859-259-3399.  To find a certified horseback riding instructor or accredited equine facility near you, visit www.CHA.horse

 

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Certified Horsemanship Association Offers Educational Webinars for Equine Professionals and Enthusiasts

(January 2021) The Certified Horsemanship Association (CHA) offers a variety of resources for horse professionals and enthusiasts alike to learn more about horsemanship. One of CHA’s most popular educational resources are the professional webinars, which are offered live and also in recorded format. Anyone interested in a past webinar topic can purchase a downloadable file at https://cha.horse/education/#cha-webinars. In addition to gaining more horsemanship knowledge, these webinars can also serve as continuing education credit hours for those that need them in the equine industry.  Business owners can use CHA webinars as educational training for staff.

These are just some of the many horsemanship webinars available on www.CHA.horse:

  • Caring for the Senior Working Horse with Megan Bryant Purina Mills
  • Equine and Disaster Planning with Jim Boller
  • Equine Educational Opportunities at Colleges/Universities with Dr. Bob Coleman and Amanda Love
  • Equine Assisted Learning and Working with At-Risk Youth in a Riding Program with Bonnie Riley
  • Exercises, Patterns and Drills for Riding at All Levels with Julie Goodnight
  • Insurance for the Private Horse Owner and the Equine Professional with Diane Lesher Equisure
  • Form to Function: A Novel Look at Conformation with Dale Rudin
  • Horse Trauma and PTSD with Nina Ekholm Fry University of Denver
  • Marketing That Works with Jordan Manfredi
  • Nine Things the IRS Looks for in Your Horse Business with Victoria Long, CPA
  • Questions and Answers with Dr. Temple Grandin
  • Risk Management: What You Need to Know About Liability, Contracts, and Releases with attorney Julie Fershtman
  • Social Media and Marketing Tactics with Suzi Carragher
  • Teaching Techniques for Riding Instructors with Christy Landwehr
  • Test Before You Treat – The Right Way to Deworm your Horse with Tim Davis
  • Yoga for Every Equestrian with Gabrielle Diakon

To be on a CHA webinar live and to keep up with new monthly webinars and other resources and information provided by CHA, please subscribe for CHA’s free monthly educational email newsletter at the bottom of the CHA website home page at www.CHA.horse

CHA Equine Professionals Change Lives Through Safe Experiences with Horses. The purpose of CHA is to promote excellence in safety and education for the benefit of the horse industry. CHA certifies instructors and trail guides, accredits equestrian facilities, publishes educational manuals, has an educational horsemanship streaming video channel, and hosts regional and international conferences. For more information on the largest certifying body of riding instructors and barn managers in North America, Certified Horsemanship Association, please visit www.CHA.horse or call 859-259-3399.  To find a certified equine professional or accredited equine facility near you, visit www.CHA.horse 

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Certified Horsemanship Association January Podcast

(January 2021) Certified Horsemanship Association (CHA) will be on Horses in the Morning for our “Training Tuesday” show on Tuesday, January 19th at 10 a.m. ET. This is a free podcast on the Horse Radio Network. Hope you can listen in!  https://cha.horse/education/#horse-radio-show

Join Glenn Hebert, host of Horses in the Morning, and Christy Landwehr, the CEO of CHA, as they co-host this show each month. This episode will talk about New Year’s Resolutions for Yourself, Your Horses, Your Clients and Your Barns and will feature Julie Goodnight Master Instructor with CHA from Colorado and Rashel Pack who is an attorney at Appleby Healy, Attorneys at Law in Ozark, Missouri.

This show is being sponsored by DiO – Draw It Out Veterinary Strength Liniment and owner Jon Conklin will be coming on the show to talk about this product and everything it can provide to your horses.

If you can’t make the live show, you can find the free recordings here for this show and all the CHA shows we have done for the past 5 years with the Horse Radio Network – https://cha.horse/education/#horse-radio-show.

CHA Equine Professionals Change Lives Through Safe Experiences with Horses. The purpose of CHA is to promote excellence in safety and education for the benefit of the horse industry. CHA certifies instructors and trail guides, accredits equestrian facilities, publishes educational manuals, has an educational horsemanship streaming video channel, and hosts regional and international conferences. For more information on the largest certifying body of riding instructors and barn managers in North America, Certified Horsemanship Association, please visit www.CHA.horse or call 859-259-3399.  To find a certified equine professional or accredited equine facility near you, visit www.CHA.horse 

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Certified Horsemanship Association Monthly Member Chat Webinar with CHA Instructor Dale Rudin – Function to Form: A Novel Look at Conformation

(December 2020) Join us for the Certified Horsemanship Association (CHA) Monthly Member Chat Webinar on Function to Form: A Novel Look at Conformation on Wednesday, 12/16 at Noon Eastern Time for CHA members and then the recording will be available to everyone after.

Your horse’s conformation is a treasure trove of information that can give you valuable insight into your horse’s performance and well-being. Learn how to evaluate your horse’s conformation and what changes in your horse’s shape and structure can mean.

Dale Rudin is a welfare-centered horse trainer and CHA certified English and western riding instructor. Her passion is to help humans find joy with their horses. Her priority is to develop emotional balance and physical health in horses of all breeds and disciplines. She is a certified equine nutritionist, behavior specialist, and uses her background in biomechanics to help horses be the best they can. Dale’s experience with “problem” horses has made equine rehabilitation a big part of her life. She has recently created Pure Joy Horse Haven, an equine rescue and sanctuary that gives horses a chance at a better life or a forever home. Dale is a founding member of Force Free Tennessee, an animal advocacy organization. Her articles have been published in Horse Illustrated, HorseChannel.com, and WoofOnNashville. Dale offers training, instruction, and clinics at her farm in Santa Fe, Tennessee and surrounding areas as well comprehensive assessments, nutrition consulting, saddle fitting and online education. https://www.purejoyhorsemanship.com/

Here is the link to CHA’s educational horsemanship webinars topics. Explore them today! https://cha.horse/education/#cha-webinars

CHA Equine Professionals Change Lives Through Safe Experiences with Horses. The purpose of CHA is to promote excellence in safety and education for the benefit of the horse industry. CHA certifies equine professionals, accredits equestrian facilities, publishes educational manuals and webinars, produces educational horsemanship videos, and hosts regional and international conferences. For more information on the largest certifying body of equine professionals in North America, Certified Horsemanship Association, or to find a certified equine professional or accredited equine facility near you, please visit www.CHA.horse. ###

Certified Horsemanship Association Celebrates School Horses

(December 2020) We all started out learning how to ride on a certain horse. If our family did not own horses, it was very likely that a wonderful school horse taught us how to ride. So it is only fitting that an outstanding horse be honored as the Certified Horsemanship Association School Horse of the Year. To commemorate such an outstanding honor, the winning horse receives a hand-painted oil painting from CHA member Julie Fischer from Colorado with bark from her camp as the frame and a wooden and leather trophy plaque from Lone Star Awards.

Earning the title of 2020 CHA School Horse of the Year is 30-year-old quarter horse gelding Dallas from SpringHill Camp in Evart, Michigan. “Without fail, kids that come through the barn will ask who my favorite horse is,” says Katrina Lechlitner. “As the barn manager, I am always diplomatic and will say that I have lots of favorites it just depends on the job that needs to be done. Then I whisper, “It’s actually Dallas, but don’t tell the other horses.” They usually giggle and then ask if I always ride him because I love him so much. It’s then that I have to confess that I have never ridden him in the 15 years I have been in charge. “I only get to ride the ones that need help listening and Dallas never does anything wrong so you get to ride him.” “Why do you like him so much then?” That is my favorite moment. “Dallas makes me proud and I can trust him to take care of you. I’m kind of like his mom now and all the lessons he learned growing up he is teaching you. He’s my favorite because he’s using all of his lessons to help other people and I know that you will do the same thing when you are older. We should all want to be just like Dallas.”

“It doesn’t stop there though. The staff always ask that question too. With them I am a bit more coy. I’ll ask them who their favorites are and why. Without fail they will name a horse that they feel like they are training or one of our flashy colored horses. They are almost disappointed when I tell them it’s Dallas. My response it a bit more age appropriate though. “You like the idea of that other horse, I’d say that makes them ‘dateable’ – Dallas is marriage material.” Of course those conversations lead to talking about their future, but when they do get distracted by a boy at camp it gives me a chance to offer some perspective. “Is he a Dallas or just dateable?” That is the kind of reputation EVERY man should strive for. He’s 30. We’ll never be able to replace him. I am confident I will cry uncontrollably on his last day. Until then I will keep asking the dentist for the ‘live forever float,’ the farrier for the ‘stay sound forever trim,’ the vet for secrets to ‘make him live forever,’ and myself to learn how to care for him the best I can.”

“What an honor to have Dallas be recognized by CHA as the 2020 School Horse of the Year,” says Katrina Lechlitner. “There are so many special lesson horses in CHA programs everywhere and Dallas truly is our backbone. It was so hard to put his 18 years of service into words to nominate him because we felt we could not do his history with us justice. His name puts a twinkle in the eye of so many campers, guests and staff alike. It’s been fun to share this recognition with all those who have crossed paths with him. He might just be another sorrel horse, but he’s the heart and soul of our herd. SpringHill Camps has been blessed to have a horse like him. Thank you CHA!”

The CHA School Horse of the Year Program honors the best of the school horses who are part of CHA member programs. Each equine finalist receives a plaque from CHA and were also honored at the virtual CHA Awards Ceremony. The top five finalists included:
• Cresson – Whispering Willow Farm in Wisconsin
• Dallas – Spring Hill Camp in Michigan
• Indy – JT Ranch in Washington
• Maverick – Birch Bay Ranch in Alberta
• Sonora – Camp Chippewa in Kansas

For a complete list of past CHA award winners, visit https://cha.horse/international-conference/#award-winners
CHA Equine Professionals Change Lives Through Safe Experiences with Horses. The purpose of CHA is to promote excellence in safety and education for the benefit of the horse industry. CHA certifies equine professionals, accredits equestrian facilities, publishes educational manuals, produces educational horsemanship videos, and hosts regional and international conferences. For more information on the largest certifying body of equine professionals in North America, Certified Horsemanship Association, or to find a certified equine professional or accredited equine facility near you, please visit www.CHA.horse.
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Reach Equine Professionals by Advertising in the Certified Horsemanship Association’s Magazine, The Instructor

(November 2020) – For businesses who want to share their products and services with equine professionals, advertising in the Certified Horsemanship Association’s magazine, The Instructor, is the perfect way to do that. The Instructor magazine is published every spring, and readership includes riding instructors, equine facility owners, managers and staff, camps, trail guides, colleges and universities, and other equine professionals. Now is the time to book ad space in CHA’s official publication.

The Instructor is a full-color publication that includes CHA news and updates, informative and engaging features, and the CHA Annual Report. More than 4,500 issues are distributed to all CHA members and available at the CHA International Conference and other trade shows and events attended by CHA representatives. Full color ad spaces range from 1/6th-page ads to full-page ads, with premium placement ads available on the back cover, the inside front cover, and the inside back cover.

In addition, those who advertise in both The Instructor magazine and the 2021 CHA International Conference Program will receive 20% off on a conference program ad of any size. The program will be published for the 2021 CHA International Conference. The conference program is printed in black and white each year and given to all attendees at the conference.
Book your ad space in the full color The Instructor magazine by mid-February 2021! Ad materials are due by the end of February. In addition to CHA’s amazingly low rates, CHA Individual and Program members receive discounts on advertising in the magazine, the conference program, and the monthly e-newsletter thanks to their membership with the organization.
Opportunities are also currently available for advertising with the CHA Radio Podcast Show, which airs monthly on “Horses in the Morning”; in the monthly CHA e-newsletter; and in horsemanship safety videos produced by CHA for use by the equine industry.

For more information on rates and ad specifications, the CHA Media Kit can be found online at https://cha.horse/advertise/#cha-media-kit and to book your ad space, or for questions, please contact CHA’s ad sales representative Leigh Ann Matthews at sales@CHA.horse

CHA Equine Professionals Change Lives Through Safe Experiences with Horses. The purpose of CHA is to promote excellence in safety and education for the benefit of the horse industry. CHA certifies equine professionals, accredits equestrian facilities, publishes educational manuals, produces educational horsemanship videos and webinars, and hosts regional and international conferences. For more information on the largest certifying body of equine professionals in North America, Certified Horsemanship Association, or to find a certified equine professional or accredited equine facility near you, please visit www.CHA.horse.
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Deserving Award Winners Honored at the 2020 CHA Virtual Awards Ceremony

(November 2020) Certified Horsemanship Association (CHA) members, instructors, and speakers gathered to participate in the 2020 CHA Virtual International Conference, Annual Meeting and Awards Ceremony. During the two days attendees engaged in networking, expanded their knowledge over a variety of equine topics, and honored the highly anticipated award winners.

1. The first award recipient to be honored during the virtual awards ceremony was the CHA Volunteer of the Year. The coveted award that recognizes the countless hours and dedication CHA volunteers spend changing lives through safe experiences with horses. The winner is Pam Prudler from Sacramento, California.

CHA member Lisa Lombardi said this about Pam. “Pam has devoted her life to enriching newcomers to the safety and joys of horsemanship since 1972. At that time, she first became a CHA certified riding instructor and was immediately hired to teach at the location where she was certified, Shady Lawn Farm in Oakdale, CA. It was there at Shady Lawn that she met educators who wanted to include safe horseback riding at their camps, and she got involved with further developing what was then called Camp Horsemanship Association. The main idea was to come up with a leveling system that resembled what was already in place for Red Cross water safety. The earned certificate or patch would mean the same in any camp program, so that the campers riding skills would not need to be re-tested if they chose a different camp.

In approximately 1980, she and others from around the country met in Illinois to put together official CHA manuals that would include the written materials and illustrations already being used by Shady Lawn Farm. During her time at Shady Lawn Farm (1972-1989), Lois Orr, Pam and others pushed for having certified instructors, helmet use, coordination with liability insurance companies, and to expand the CHA program to include western states.

She still owns horses and has taught hundreds to ride including her own nieces and grandnieces. Today nothing gives her more joy than watching children with horses. She has dedicated her life to educating others in the safety and joy of horsemanship. Pam is, and always has been, a contributor to the horse world and to CHA.”

2. The CHA Partner in Safety Award is given to a person or entity that embodies horsemanship safety at the core. The CHA Partner in Safety goes to Marmon Valley Farm in Ohio.

Marmon Valley Farm was established in 1964 and began certifying CHA instructors and campers soon after. Programs have included both seats English and Western at all 4 levels, Jumping, Drill teams, Driving, Vaulting, Pack Trips, Gymkhana and simple Trail courses. All campers ride on the 250 wooded acres of trails. They also host small horse shows and have a public riding stables that serves hundreds of guests every year. They can put out 25 riders every half hour on a busy fall Saturday.

Marmon Valley began as a small Farm camp with 5 horses in 1964 on 75 acres. Now over 50 years later, it’s an established horse facility with 500 acres and 150 horses. Marmon Valley Farm and the Wiley family have been a supporting member of CHA holding clinics to provide safe programs for over 50 years! This family has three generations of CHA Certifiers! Marmon Valley Farm in Zanesfield, Ohio has hosted 49 certifications clinics since 1996, certifying 353 CHA Instructors.

“The Marmon Valley Farm Staff was excited to be this year’s proud winner of the “CHA Partner in Safety Award,” says Jane Wiley Olsen. “We appreciate the recognition for all the hard work our staff have put in, over the 50 years, to keep horseback riding and horse related activities safe in our organization and many others. Thank you for recognizing us in this wonderful association.”

3. CHA Certifiers are vital in order to continue growing the association and accomplishing our mission. The CHA Certifier of the Year Award is reserved for someone who has shown outstanding service to CHA by conducting meaningful certifications and influencing the careers of equine professionals over many years. This year’s award was given to Cheryl West from Oklahoma.

Cheryl is a CHA Certifier in the CHA English/Western Instructor Certification, Equine Facility Managers Certification and Instructors of Riders with Disabilities Certification. She has also been a very active Regional Director for her area of the country.

She has had this said about her, “It has been a pleasure to learn the ropes of how to conduct a CHA Certification from her. She runs a smooth, orderly and clearly lined-out clinic. She is quick to make adjustments and adapt when needed. She remains positive, fair and energetic throughout the process even during the long days. She challenges each equine professional attendee in a way to help them see their fullest potential and encourages them to shine in their unique individual style. She brings years of experience with passion, enthusiasm, pride and encouragement for each participant. She takes pride in representing CHA to others. Cheryl challenges herself and continues to grow in order to bring out her very best for those around her. She is an inspiration and models grit, determination, perseverance and passion.”

“It is humbling and gratifying to know that I could have a positive influence for others in our industry,” says Cheryl West. “It’s a huge responsibility to be a CHA Certifier and I enjoy making a difference.”

4. Often described as the life blood of the association, individual certified instructors undoubtedly play a key role in the success of the association and its mission. Earning the title of 2020 CHA Instructor of the Year is Trisha Kiefer-Reed from Montana.

Trisha has had this said about her: “She has the ability to teach each student regardless of what level they are at. She not only tells the students how to adjust themselves and their horses, she breaks down the mechanics and explains the why and how of the maneuvers and the adjustments. She has the ability to adjust how she explains things to the level of each rider. This results in success for each and every student. I think this is the “pot of gold” for the students that are fortunate enough to ride with her. Trisha is a powerhouse of energy. In the past twelve months alone, she has tirelessly spread enthusiasm for safe and sane horsemanship throughout her home state of Montana as well as Alberta, Wyoming, and the far reaches of Alaska.

Trisha is very involved with WE United Association that is about the sport of Working Equitation. One of the things that impressed me the most about Trisha is that she took the time to learn about the sport before she jumped in and began to offer instruction in it. Trisha began to teach clinics and private lessons grounded in the discipline of working equitation after over a year of intensive professional growth. As word of the quality of her instruction began to spread, her clinics began to sell out, and her weekends quickly filled.

Trisha is a CHA Master Instructor and Clinician and is the consummate professional. She is excellent at meeting the horse and rider where they are, on any given day. Her enthusiasm and humor make her instructions fun and memorable. She’s patient, fair, encouraging, and possesses the best sense of humor ever!”

“I am deeply honored and humbled to be recognized amongst this outstanding group of men and women,” says Trisha Kiefer-Reed. “My goal now is to keep learning and sharing information, keeping this chain of knowledge strong for our aspiring instructors.”

5. The CHA Distinguished Service Award is a lifetime achievement award for an individual who has gone above and beyond through the years promoting and upholding the mission of the association. The 2020 recipient is Beth Powers of Bellefontaine, Ohio.

For 30 years since the beginning of her equestrian career, she has been a friendly face to everyone she meets sharing her love for the CHA organization, its members, staff, and mission. Her passion for life is evident from your first conversation. It does not take long for you to know that she is a life time member of the CHA proud team! A fixture each year at the CHA booth at Equine Affaire in Ohio she continues to share her love of the profession & our organization. She has volunteered her time in that booth for over 20 years! Setting it up, spending each of the four days talking to members and prospective members, tearing it down and keeping all the furniture and carpet at her house during the year. Beth is a CHA Life Member and is certified in both English/Western Instructor and Trail. She is a CHA Site visitor and Site Visitor Trainer and she conducts our trainings of new site visitors at our International Conferences every other year. She has been many roles in leadership with CHA including committee chair, and even our President. Beth was nominated and elected to our Board of Directors in 1999 and is just now rotating off after 21 years of service!

“I was completely surprised by this recognition,” says Beth Powers. “I have had many opportunities over the years to tell our CHA story of safe, fun and effective horsemanship to anyone who would listen. I have traveled all over doing conferences and trade shows for CHA and realize CHA is still needed and is just as relevant as it was over 50 years ago. Thank you so much.”

For a complete list of past CHA award winners, visit https://cha.horse/international-conference/#award-winners
CHA Equine Professionals Change Lives Through Safe Experiences with Horses. The purpose of CHA is to promote excellence in safety and education for the benefit of the horse industry. CHA certifies equine professionals, accredits equestrian facilities, publishes educational manuals, produces educational horsemanship videos and webinars, and hosts regional and international conferences. For more information on the largest certifying body of equine professionals in North America, Certified Horsemanship Association, or to find a certified equine professional or accredited equine facility near you, please visit www.CHA.horse.
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Certified Horsemanship Association Welcomes New Board Members for 2021

(November 2020) The Certified Horsemanship Association (CHA) has new leadership on its board for 2021. We are excited to introduce them.

Dr. Bob Coleman is the new CHA President. 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. He worked in the Canadian feed industry as a nutritionist for two major feed companies. In then became the extension horse specialist for Alberta Agriculture and completed his PhD at the University of Alberta with a focus in Equine Nutrition. He is now the University of Kentucky’s equine extension specialist in Lexington. 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 a CHA Site Visitor Trainer for the CHA Equine Facility Accreditation Program.
“I am honored and excited to be the incoming CHA president as CHA brings together people from all aspects of the industry to help those they meet have a safe experience with horses and those experiences do change lives,” says Dr. Coleman. “It is not just those new to horses this impacts, but all of us.”

Kristin Jaworski is the new CHA President Elect. She is from Fort Worth, TX and is the Director of the Fort Worth Herd where she manages and directs the world’s only twice daily longhorn cattle drive. She grew up raising mules and horses in northern Arizona and later graduated with her Master’s Degree in Management and Leadership from Tarleton State University. Since 2002 she has expanded all aspects of The Herd, including educational programs, facility operations, and horsemanship to support the economy and raise awareness of western heritage. Kristin was introduced to CHA through The Herd program and is a CHA Certified Instructor and a CHA Equine Facility Manager Certifier.

“The Certified Horsemanship Association has remained true to its why statement, by changing my life through safe experiences with horses, members of the organization, education and volunteers,” says Jaworski. “CHA has professionally influenced me as a rider and encouraged me to become a steward of the organization and I am honored to be elected President Elect. I believe in the excellence that this organization represents in the horse industry and am honored to serve.”

Katie Reynolds was elected to a second term on the CHA Board of Directors.
Katie is the Director of Youth Development & AQHYA at the American Quarter Horse Association. In this role since July of 2016, Katie is responsible for engaging a youth membership of more than 22,000, developing a diverse portfolio of programs and educational resources, and providing career and leadership development opportunities to tomorrow’s industry leaders. Katie is a graduate of Colorado State University. Katie spent several years as the Youth Programs Coordinator for Arabian Horse Association in Denver, Colorado, where she created programs, increased fundraising revenues, and advanced youth leadership development. It was during those years that Katie established a deep personal commitment to youth involvement. In 2008, Katie joined the San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo as the Horse Show Director. There, Katie launched competitive events resulting in an increase of more than 260% in youth participation, worked with a committee of more than 500 volunteers, and managed a wide assortment of world-class events for thousands of exhibitors. A native of Wisconsin, Katie is a lifelong horseman. She resides in Canyon, Texas with her husband and their three children.
“I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to continue serving as a board member of CHA,” says Katie Reynolds. “CHA’s mission is so important and I look forward to helping advance the association’s objectives in the coming years.”
Returning CHA Board members include: Hayley Eberle, Oklahoma Veterinary Medical Association, Oklahoma City, OK; Teddy Franke, Camp Morrow, Pine Hollow, OR; Susan Garside, YMCA Camp Noah, Canal Fulton, OH; Jessica Hersey, Cowboy Mounted Shooting, Gettysburg, PA; Katrina Lechlitner, Spring Hills Camp, Reed City, MI; Amanda Reardon, Kentucky Horse Park, Lexington, KY; and James Rickner, Champ Chippewa, KS.

The rest of the CHA Executive Board consist of: Vice President of New Initiatives Anne Brzezicki, Intercollegiate Horse Show Association, Murfreesboro, TN; Vice President of Regional Relations Jennifer Eaton, Interscholastic Equestrian Association, Groveland, MA; Secretary Elizabeth Duffy, Camp America, Eatonton, GA; Treasurer Terry Williams, Blanchester, OH; and Past President Tammi Gainer, Pegasus Farm and PATH International, Alliance, OH

CHA Instructors Change Lives Through Safe Experiences with Horses. The purpose of CHA is to promote excellence in safety and education for the benefit of the horse industry. CHA certifies instructors and trail guides, accredits equestrian facilities, publishes educational manuals, produces educational horsemanship DVDs and YouTube Safety shorts, and hosts regional and international conferences. For more information on the largest certifying body of riding instructors and barn managers in North America and to find a certified equine professional or accredited equine facility near you, please visit www.CHA.horse.

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Certified Horsemanship Association Online Silent Auction and Virtual Annual Conference – Join Us!

(October 2020) – The Certified Horsemanship Association Online Silent Auction is open for bidding now at https://cha.horse/advertise/#donate-silent-auction-items. It is truly an All-Breed, All-Discipline Auction thanks to our wonderful donors!

Please share this event with everyone. Great horse owner supplies, travel, gift baskets, books, household items, gift certificates, clothing, art, jewelry and much more is up for bid.

The auction will be live until November 2, 2020 at 9 a.m. Eastern Time. Any items you win will be shipped to you after the closing of the auction for FREE. Funds will go towards CHA Scholarships for those in financial need due to hardship to support attendance at a CHA Certification to jump start their careers as a riding instructor or equine facility manager.

CHA is also holding its first ever Virtual Conference on Friday, October 30, 2020. This event will be open to all horse enthusiasts with a CHA member and non-member rate for the educational horsemanship day.

This conference will not just be your typical Zoom call with talking heads and Powerpoint presentations. The sessions will be very interactive and some speakers will be doing videos ahead of time with riders up on horses to showcase what they are teaching during their presentations. They will then be online to answer any questions after the video sessions. Here is the schedule for the day and for the recording you can receive after the event if you can’t join us live.

Friday, October 30, 2020 – 9:30 a.m. – 6 p.m. ET
CHA Virtual Conference – $95 for CHA Members and $155 for non-members
9:30 a.m. Gabrielle Diakon – Yoga for the Virtual Equestrian Conference Attendee
10 a.m. Dr. Bob Coleman – 4H Resources Ready for You and Your Youth
10:30 a.m. – Jochen Schleese – The 8 Myths of Saddle Fit
11:30 a.m. – Julie Goodnight – Simple and Flying Lead Changes (video with horses)
12:30 – Lunch break
1 p.m. – Shawna Karrasch – Positive Reinforcement Training (video with horses)
2 p.m. – Tara Reimer – Turnbacks and Rollbacks (video with horses)
3 p.m. – Julie Fischer – Grant Writing and Fundraising
3:30 p.m. – Susan Garside – Ways to Help Your Lesson Horses Succeed with Their Students (video with horses)
4:30 p.m. Jo-Anne Young – Understanding and Developing the Half Pass (video with horses)
5:30 p.m. – Courtney Smith – How to Teach the Boring Stuff in a Fun Way
CHA Instructors Change Lives Through Safe Experiences with Horses. The purpose of CHA is to promote excellence in safety and education for the benefit of the horse industry. CHA certifies instructors and trail guides, accredits equestrian facilities, publishes educational manuals, has an educational horsemanship streaming video channel, and hosts regional and international conferences. For more information on the largest certifying body of riding instructors and barn managers in North America, Certified Horsemanship Association, please visit www.CHA.horse or call 859-259-3399. To find a certified equine professional or accredited equine facility near you, visit www.CHA.horse
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Certified Horsemanship Association Online Silent Auction is OPEN

(October 2020) – Certified Horsemanship Association is hosting an Online Silent Auction this year and it is open for bidding now at https://cha.horse/advertise/#donate-silent-auction-items. It is truly an All-Breed, All-Discipline Auction thanks to our wonderful donors!

Please share this event with everyone. Great horse owner supplies, travel, gift baskets, household items, gift certificates, clothing, art, jewelry and much more is up for bid.

The auction will be live from October 15 – November 2, 2020. Any items you win will be shipped to you after the closing of the auction and shipping is included for free. Funds from this auction will go towards CHA Scholarships for those that are in financial need due to hardship to support attendance at a CHA Certification to jump start their careers as a riding instructor or an equine facility manager.

Thank you for your support by bidding on auction items. And a huge thanks to our supporters who donated items to the CHA Auction!

CHA Instructors Change Lives Through Safe Experiences with Horses. The purpose of CHA is to promote excellence in safety and education for the benefit of the horse industry. CHA certifies instructors and trail guides, accredits equestrian facilities, publishes educational manuals, has an educational horsemanship streaming video channel, and hosts regional and international conferences. For more information on the largest certifying body of riding instructors and barn managers in North America, Certified Horsemanship Association, please visit www.CHA.horse or call 859-259-3399. To find a certified equine professional or accredited equine facility near you, visit www.CHA.horse ###

Certified Horsemanship Association Virtual Conference – Join Us!

(October 2020) – The Certified Horsemanship Association (CHA) is holding its first ever Virtual Conference on Friday, October 30, 2020. This event will be open to all horse enthusiasts with a CHA member and non-member rate for the educational horsemanship day.

This conference will not just be your typical Zoom call with talking heads and Powerpoint presentations. The sessions will be very interactive and some speakers will be doing videos ahead of time with riders up on horses to showcase what they are teaching during their presentations. They will then be online to answer any questions during the video sessions and afterwards. Here is the schedule for the day and for the recording you can receive after the event.

Friday, October 30, 2020
9:30 a.m. – 6 p.m. ET
CHA Virtual Conference – $95 for CHA Members and $155 for non-members
9:30 a.m. Gabrielle Diakon – Yoga for the Virtual Equestrian Conference Attendee
10 a.m. Dr. Bob Coleman – 4H Resources Ready for You and Your Youth
10:30 a.m. – Jochen Schleese – The 8 Myths of Saddle Fit
11:30 a.m. – Julie Goodnight – Simple and Flying Lead Changes (video with horses)
12:30 – Lunch break
1 p.m. – Shawna Karrasch – Positive Reinforcement Training (video with horses)
2 p.m. – Tara Reimer – Turnbacks and Rollbacks (video with horses)
3 p.m. – Julie Fischer – Grant Writing and Fundraising
3:30 p.m. – Susan Garside – Ways to Help Your Lesson Horses Succeed with Their Students (video with horses)
4:30 p.m. Jo-Anne Young – Understanding and Developing the Half Pass (video with horses)
5:30 p.m. – Courtney Smith – How to Teach the Boring Stuff in a Fun Way

CHA will also have a virtual silent auction that companies can donate products and services to. Please visit here to find out more about the event and to register for the link to join or to for the recording afterwards!

CHA Instructors Change Lives Through Safe Experiences with Horses. The purpose of CHA is to promote excellence in safety and education for the benefit of the horse industry. CHA certifies instructors and trail guides, accredits equestrian facilities, publishes educational manuals, has an educational horsemanship streaming video channel, and hosts regional and international conferences. For more information on the largest certifying body of riding instructors and barn managers in North America, Certified Horsemanship Association, please visit www.CHA.horse or call 859-259-3399. To find a certified equine professional or accredited equine facility near you, visit www.CHA.horse
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Gabrielle Diakon: Yoga for the Virtual Equestrian Conference Attendee

Gabrielle Diakon is the Owner/Founder of GMD Training. Gabrielle is an RYT 200 Certified Yoga Instructor and teaches ‘Yoga for Every Equestrian’ which aids riders with their mental and physical balance in the saddle.  Starting off as a timid junior rider and progressing to become a professional rider and trainer Gabrielle created a program to create confident and strong riders. She specializes in riders’ body awareness in order to optimize their effectiveness. All while helping riders create a strong bond with the horses they ride.

Yoga for the Virtual Equestrian Conference Attendee

A 30-minute class beginning with a positive morning meditation and then moving into a stretchy dynamic yoga flow. Light flow focused on increasing energy for the day ahead. I recommend having space on the floor that you can follow along, no need for a mat, just a rug or anywhere that you can be without pain on your knees.

Earn Your Equine Facility Site Accreditation Through the Certified Horsemanship Association

(September 2020)  Certified Horsemanship Association (CHA) can help you earn insurance discounts for your equine facility by going through the CHA Site Accreditation Program.

“The hardest part about this program is getting your binder done that has all the mandatory and recommended CHA Site Standard documents printed out and ready to be seen by the site visitors when they come,” says Christy Landwehr CHA Chief Executive Officer. “If your insurance has not heard of CHA, we will send our Standards for Equestrian Programs Manual and a cover letting explaining the process to them. We have received no less than 10% off for our sites when we have done this, and all the way up to 50% for one site on their equine facility insurance policy.”

Visit here https://cha.horse/cha-site-accreditation/ to learn more about this program. The fall and winter months are a great time to get this process done and then you can advertise that you are CHA Site Accredited and be listed on our site and on others where we partner such as American Horse Council’s Time to Ride and more.

CHA Instructors Change Lives Through Safe Experiences with Horses. The purpose of CHA is to promote excellence in safety and education for the benefit of the horse industry. CHA certifies instructors and trail guides, accredits equestrian facilities, publishes educational manuals, has an educational horsemanship streaming video channel, and hosts regional and international conferences. For more information on the largest certifying body of riding instructors and barn managers in North America, Certified Horsemanship Association, please visit www.CHA.horse or call 859-259-3399.  To find a certified equine professional or accredited equine facility near you, visit www.CHA.horse 

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Certified Horsemanship Association September Webinar on Disaster Preparedness for Your Barn

(September 2020) – Certified Horsemanship Association (CHA) is hosting a webinar on Equines and Disaster Planning on Wednesday, September 30th and you can also watch and listen to the recording afterwards.  To register today for the live webinar or the recording, please visit https://cha.horse/shop-webinars/

Jim Boller is with Code 3 Associates, Inc. and has been in the forefront of animal welfare and disaster response for more than 30 years. Jim is a full time instructor and disaster responder with Code 3 providing extensive training throughout the US to animal welfare professionals and those involved in animal emergency response.

Surveys indicate that only about 10-12% of animal facilities have written disaster plans.  Disaster planning has been shown to minimize the overall affects that can impact a facility shortening the recovery time for a facility when others may continue to struggle.  This discussion will cover some of those areas in the mitigation and preparedness stages of disaster planning that are overlooked and aid in reducing the effects of a devastating event.  Please join us as Jim shares some of his incite of over 30 years of responding to assist animals and their owners during natural and manmade disasters.

CHA Instructors Change Lives Through Safe Experiences with Horses. The purpose of CHA is to promote excellence in safety and education for the benefit of the horse industry. CHA certifies instructors and trail guides, accredits equestrian facilities, publishes educational manuals, has an educational horsemanship streaming video channel, and hosts regional and international conferences. For more information on the largest certifying body of riding instructors and barn managers in North America, Certified Horsemanship Association, please visit www.CHA.horse or call 859-259-3399.  To find a certified equine professional or accredited equine facility near you, visit www.CHA.horse 

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Certified Horsemanship Association October Podcast

(September 2020) – Certified Horsemanship Association (CHA) will be on Horses in the Morning for our “Training Tuesday” show on October 20th at 10 a.m. ET. This is a free podcast on the Horse Radio Network. Hope you can listen in! https://cha.horse/education/#horse-radio-show

Join Glenn Hebert, host of Horses in the Morning, and Christy Landwehr, the CEO of CHA, as they co-host this show each month. This episode will feature CHA incoming President Dr. Bob Coleman as he discusses 4H Resources Ready for You and Your Youth and CHA member and Tennessee State Rep Courtney Smith speaking on How To Teach Boring Things in a Fun Way to your riding students.

This show is sponsored by the Mustang Heritage Foundation and Michelle Bonds will be on the show talking about the foundation and how you can get involved in their work with mustangs. https://mustangheritagefoundation.org/

If you can’t make the live show, you can find the free recordings here for this show and all the CHA shows we have done for the past 5 years with the Horse Radio Network – https://cha.horse/education/#horse-radio-show.

CHA Instructors Change Lives Through Safe Experiences with Horses. The purpose of CHA is to promote excellence in safety and education for the benefit of the horse industry. CHA certifies instructors and trail guides, accredits equestrian facilities, publishes educational manuals, has an educational horsemanship streaming video channel, and hosts regional and international conferences. For more information on the largest certifying body of riding instructors and barn managers in North America, Certified Horsemanship Association, please visit www.CHA.horse or call 859-259-3399. To find a certified equine professional or accredited equine facility near you, visit www.CHA.horse
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Certified Horsemanship Association Nominations Due for Annual Awards

(August 2020) Certified Horsemanship Association (CHA) holds annual awards for horses, humans and companies. They include:

  • CHA Certified Horseback Riding Instructor of the Year
  • CHA Partner in Safety
  • CHA Volunteer of the Year
  • CHA School Horse of the Year
  • CHA Certifier of the Year
  • And the CHA Distinguished Service Award

Here is the list of our past award winners in each category since 1996. https://cha.horse/international-conference/#award-winners

In order to nominate a horse, human or company to win one of these annual CHA Awards, please return this form by no later than August 31st to office@CHA.horse  – https://cha.horse/international-conference/#nomination-forms

CHA Instructors Change Lives Through Safe Experiences with Horses. The purpose of CHA is to promote excellence in safety and education for the benefit of the horse industry. CHA certifies instructors and trail guides, accredits equestrian facilities, publishes educational manuals, has an educational horsemanship streaming video channel, and hosts regional and international conferences. For more information on the largest certifying body of riding instructors and barn managers in North America, Certified Horsemanship Association, please visit www.CHA.horse or call 859-259-3399.  To find a certified equine professional or accredited equine facility near you, visit www.CHA.horse 

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Via Nova Training – Positive Reinforcement Training

Shawna Karrasch is the Lead Positive Reinforcement Trainer and Behaviorist at Via Nova Training. She is a pioneer in the use of positive reinforcement training with horses. Her behavioral training techniques are an eye-opening experience for equine professionals, competitors, and amateurs alike. She has produced books and videos, podcasts and traveled worldwide to teach these concepts to horses and riders. After two years of consulting, Shawna recently joined the team at Via Nova Training, whose mission is to see the horseworld embrace a Priority to Positive®.

Contact info:

shawna@vianovatraining.com | vianovatraining.com | shawnakarrasch.com

 

Certified Horsemanship Association Online Silent Auction

(August 2020) – Certified Horsemanship Association needs your donations today for an Online Silent Auction we are hosting this year in October in conjunction with our Virtual CHA International Conference, Annual Meeting and Awards Ceremony.

Visit this link today to put in your products and services that you want to donate to share what you do with over 12,000 equine facility mangers and horseback riding instructors. Please plan on donating items to support our CHA scholarship fund!  Will need the form filled out by no later than October 1, 2020. The auction will be live from October 19 – November 2, 2020.  Thank you for your support!

 CHA Instructors Change Lives Through Safe Experiences with Horses. The purpose of CHA is to promote excellence in safety and education for the benefit of the horse industry. CHA certifies instructors and trail guides, accredits equestrian facilities, publishes educational manuals, has an educational horsemanship streaming video channel, and hosts regional and international conferences. For more information on the largest certifying body of riding instructors and barn managers in North America, Certified Horsemanship Association, please visit www.CHA.horse or call 859-259-3399.  To find a certified equine professional or accredited equine facility near you, visit www.CHA.horse 

 

Certified Horsemanship Association August 2020 Podcast

(August 2020) – Certified Horsemanship Association (CHA) will be on Horses in the Morning for our “Training Tuesday” show on August 18th at 10 a.m. ET. This is a free podcast on the Horse Radio Network. Hope you can listen in!  https://cha.horse/education/#horse-radio-show

Join Glenn Hebert host of Horses in the Morning and Christy Landwehr the CEO of CHA co-host this show each month. This episode will feature Patti Colbert who has been active in the horse industry for 50 years having worked for AQHA and creating the Extreme Mustang Makeover for the Mustang Heritage Foundation among many other things.  She will be talking about different generations and how we all view the horse industry.

Then Julie Broadway, the President of the American Horse Council will be on the show talking about the current legislative issues in our country that involve the horse industry and how we can all get involved to work on change.

If you can’t make the live show, you can find the free recordings here for this show and all the CHA shows we have done for the past 5 years with the Horse Radio Network – https://cha.horse/education/#horse-radio-show.

CHA Instructors Change Lives Through Safe Experiences with Horses. The purpose of CHA is to promote excellence in safety and education for the benefit of the horse industry. CHA certifies instructors and trail guides, accredits equestrian facilities, publishes educational manuals, has an educational horsemanship streaming video channel, and hosts regional and international conferences. For more information on the largest certifying body of riding instructors and barn managers in North America, Certified Horsemanship Association, please visit www.CHA.horse or call 859-259-3399.  To find a certified equine professional or accredited equine facility near you, visit www.CHA.horse 

Susan Garside: Ways to Help Your Lesson Horses Succeed with Their Students

Susan Garside has been involved in the horse industry for more than 40 years. She has been the Equestrian Director at Akron YMCA Camp Y Noah in Canal Fulton, OH, since 2008, which is also when she was certified as a Master Instructor and a CHA Assistant Clinic Instructor. She oversees all lesson programming, summer camps, group and public trail rides, birthday parties, and collaborates with the local schools and her city to introduce more people to horses. She is a graduate of Lake Erie College’s Equestrian Program and competed on an Intercollegiate Horse Show Association team. She has traveled around the country working in the horse industry and has participated in 4-H, US Pony Club, dressage, jumping, rodeo events, and competitive trail rides.

Jo-Anne Young: Understanding and Developing the Half Pass

Jo-Anne Young has been studying horses and how to kindly and effectively communicate with them her whole life. She finds great joy in guiding riders along the path to successful partnership with horses.  She is located in Houghton, New York where she has worked as a professor and riding instructor at Houghton College for many years. She has been a Certifier and regional director for CHA for many years as well.

Dr. Bob Coleman: 4-H Resources: Ready for You and Your Youth

Dr. Bob Coleman 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 degree in Agriculture with a major in Animal Sciences and a Master degree in Animal Science. Dr. Bob worked in the Canadian Feed Industry as a nutritionist for two major feed companies before moving to Alberta, Canada where he served as 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, he moved to the University of Kentucky as the Equine Extension Specialist.  In addition to his Extension duties, Dr. Bob teaches in the Equine Science and Management program. Dr. Bob is active in the horse Industry serving as Chairman of the AQHF research committee and has served on the executive committee of the Kentucky Quarter Horse Association.  Professionally, he is a member of the Equine Science Society and serves as the executive director, is a member of the American Registry of Professional Animal Scientists, and is a Diplomat in the American College of Animal Science and a member of the American Society of Animal Scientists. In addition Dr. Bob is a member of CHA serving on the board as the President Elect and is a Site Visitor Trainer supporting the CHA site accreditation program.

Certified Horsemanship Association’s July Webinar on Yoga for Every Equestrian

(July 2020) – The Certified Horsemanship Association’s (CHA) is happy to announce our July webinar Yoga for Every Equestrian with Gabrielle Diakon live on Wednesday, July 29th at Noon ET with a recording to follow to be watched anytime. This webinar will be very interactive with Gabrielle guiding the viewer in yoga postures that will benefit equestrians as they are watching.

Gabrielle Diakon is the Owner/Founder of GMD Training. She is an RYT 200 Certified Yoga Instructor and teaches ‘Yoga for Every Equestrian’ which aids riders with their mental and physical balance in the saddle. Starting off as a timid junior rider and progressing to become a professional rider and trainer, Gabrielle created a program to create confident and strong riders. She specializes in riders’ body awareness in order to optimize their effectiveness, all while helping riders create a strong bond with the horses they ride.

In this webinar we will speak about how using yoga can help your students mentally and physically balance in the saddle. Yoga improves the rider’s concentration, attitude, and physical abilities.

Visit here today to register for the live event on Wednesday, July 29th at Noon ET at https://cha.horse/shop-webinars/.   Register here as well to get the recording if you can’t join us live and CHA can send the link to you. CHA has a special on all of our Webinars in between now and July 31st at half price!  So make sure to register before this deadline!

CHA Instructors Change Lives Through Safe Experiences with Horses. The purpose of CHA is to promote excellence in safety and education for the benefit of the horse industry. CHA certifies instructors and trail guides, accredits equestrian facilities, publishes educational manuals, has an educational horsemanship streaming video channel, and hosts regional and international conferences. For more information on the largest certifying body of riding instructors and barn managers in North America, Certified Horsemanship Association, please visit www.CHA.horse or call 859-259-3399.  To find a certified equine professional or accredited equine facility near you, visit www.CHA.horse 

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Virtual Horse Shows – All Riders to Demonstrate Their Skills at Home

Frustrated by horse show cancellations? You don’t wait for in-person events to resume. Try a virtual horse show. Online horse shows offer a platform for competing at home while having a chance to win prizes and receive constructive feedback.

“Riders have the chance to compete in a low stress environment for the chance to earn cash and receive great constructive critiques,” said Elizabeth Lawhorn, the American Paint Horse Association (APHA) Director of Performance Development. APHA planned to introduce E-Shows in 2020, but moved up the launch date due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Lawhorn offered tips for helping exhibitors prepare for a digital competition.

  • Use the pattern and instructions provided to correctly set up the course.
  • Ensure the exhibitors know their patterns.
  • Video a rider’s run as many times as needed. Riders can use this to their advantage by making sure they’ve stayed on pattern and that the camera person hasn’t accidentally cut off the beginning or end of a run.
  • Read the rules. New virtual shows are being created each week and each have different rules on tack and attire and may differ in their entry and video process.

“That way you know how each one works so that you don’t miss a deadline or get disqualified for something as small as illegal attire or tack,” she said.

Nearly every phone has a built in video camera making it easy to record an entry. Quality video is vital so the judge can clearly and easily see a rider’s performance. Filming horizontally works best.

“We prefer exhibitors shoot the video in landscape, or wider than it is tall,” Lawhorn said. “This makes sure that the subject is as easy to view and judge as possible.”

Zooming when appropriate ensures that the horse and rider are in the frame at all times. If they are videoing in a covered arena, avoid open windows or doors behind the exhibitor when possible. Back lighting makes the subject dark and impossible for the judges to see clearly.

“Online horse shows aren’t designed to replace physical horse shows, but they give exhibitors a low cost option to get out there and show their horse,” she said. “It can even serve as a stepping stone for those exhibitors who are new or getting back into showing, or new to a specific event.”

Katie Navarra is an award-winning writer based in Upstate New York. She regularly covers horses, farming, business and leadership.

Certified Horsemanship Association International Conference Will be Virtual in October

(July 2020) – The Certified Horsemanship Association (CHA) is holding its first ever Virtual International Conference on Friday, October 30, 2020.  This event will be open to all horse enthusiasts with a CHA member and non-member rate for the educational day.

 

This conference will not just be your typical Zoom call with talking heads and Powerpoint presentations.  The sessions will be very interactive and some will be doing videos ahead of time with riders up on horses to showcase what they are teaching during their presentations. They will then be online to answer any questions during the video sessions and afterwards.

 

We already have confirmed as interactive speakers: CHA Spokesperson and Certifier Julie Goodnight, Jochen Schleese with SaddleFit4Life, Dr. Julie Fischer on grant writing and fundraising for your equine business, Tara Reimer of Cloud 9 Ranch in Manitoba with Turnbacks and Rollbacks and many more!

 

CHA will also have a virtual silent auction that companies can donate products and services to. Please visit here to find out more about the event and to register for the link to join or to get the recording if you can’t be on with us live today!

 

 

CHA Instructors Change Lives Through Safe Experiences with Horses. The purpose of CHA is to promote excellence in safety and education for the benefit of the horse industry. CHA certifies instructors and trail guides, accredits equestrian facilities, publishes educational manuals, has an educational horsemanship streaming video channel, and hosts regional and international conferences. For more information on the largest certifying body of riding instructors and barn managers in North America, Certified Horsemanship Association, please visit www.CHA.horse or call 859-259-3399.  To find a certified equine professional or accredited equine facility near you, visit www.CHA.horse 

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Certified Horsemanship Association and Kentucky Equine Education Project Host a CHA Equine Facility Manager Certification

(July 2020) – The Certified Horsemanship Association (CHA) and the Kentucky Equine Education Project (KEEP) are hosting a CHA Equine Facility Manager Certification from November 20 – 22, 2020 at the Queenslake Facility in Georgetown, KY for only $650 a person.

 

This hands-on with horses certification includes four levels that participants can attain during the 3-day event based on their knowledge of equine safety, horse handling, horse husbandry, equine facility management and professionalism. There are four written tests and skills at each level that need to be demonstrated such as catching and tying a horse, trailer loading, taking vitals, and much more.

 

This link will provide participants with a free EFM webinar to find out more what to expect at the certification, as well as the details that are required at each level.

 

CHA’s Equine Facility Manager Certification checks all the right boxes for a group of employers looking to qualify potential employee’s skill sets,” says Laurie Mays KEEP Equine Talent Pipeline Project Manager.  “The Sport/Show Horse Farm Employer Collaborative group is comprised of 11 facilities in the Central Kentucky area and is the brainchild of both the Kentucky Equine Education Project and the Kentucky Chamber Workforce Center. This group of employers is looking for highly experienced and qualified individuals to manage their facilities and feel that by using the EFM certification they can find, and certify, top professionals. Overall, this bodes well for the growth of their businesses as well as the professional progress of the individuals.”

 

About KEEP

The Kentucky Equine Education Project, Kentucky’s equine economic advocate, is a not-for-profit grassroots organization created in 2004 to preserve, promote and protect Kentucky’s signature multi-breed horse industry. KEEP is committed to ensuring Kentucky remains the horse capital of the world, including educating Kentuckians and elected officials of the importance of the horse industry to the state. KEEP was the driving force in the establishment of the Kentucky Breeders Incentive Fund, which has paid out more than $177 million to Kentucky breeders since its inception in 2006, and pari-mutuel wagering on historical horse racing, which has been responsible for more than $40 million to purses and more than $24 million to the Kentucky Thoroughbred Development Fund.

 

KEEP works to strengthen the horse economy in Kentucky through our statewide network of citizen advocates. To learn more about how you can become a member or support our work, please visit www.horseswork.com.

 

About Kentucky Chamber Workforce Center

Launched in January 2017, and the first in the nation, the Kentucky Chamber Workforce Center is the centerpiece of the efforts that grew out of the Chamber’s initial report on the state’s workforce challenges to meet the needs of business. The Center’s programs include Kentucky’s Talent Pipeline, Recovery Response Program for Business, and Bus to Business.

CHA Instructors Change Lives Through Safe Experiences with Horses. The purpose of CHA is to promote excellence in safety and education for the benefit of the horse industry. CHA certifies instructors and trail guides, accredits equestrian facilities, publishes educational manuals, has an educational horsemanship streaming video channel, and hosts regional and international conferences. For more information on the largest certifying body of riding instructors and barn managers in North America, Certified Horsemanship Association, please visit www.CHA.horse or call 859-259-3399.  To find a certified equine professional or accredited equine facility near you, visit www.CHA.horse 

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Julie Broadway: Keynoter for CHA Annual Membership Meeting on Thursday evening – American Horse Council – Equine Legislative Issues

Julie Broadway has over 30 years of leadership experience in both for-profit and non-profit sectors. She was named President and CEO of the American Horse Council & American Horse Council Foundation in 2016 and has served on a variety of equine industry committees and boards. She holds a BS from University of NC, MBA from Weems Graduate School, Executive Certificate in Non-Profit Leadership from Duke University and is a Certified Association Executive® with the American Society of Association Executives. Julie is a life-long horse enthusiast ranging from recreational rider, breeder, and show competitor. A native of NC, she and her husband reside in the DC area along with their Pembroke Welsh Corgis and Morgan horses.

Two quick trivia items:

  1. One of Julie’s dogs “Colby” has been to Westminster twice!
  2. And in 2017, Julie won a reserve World Championship on her Morgan horse.

Tara Reimer: Turnbacks & Rollbacks

Tara Reimer owns and operates Cloud 9 Ranch in Steinbach, MB Canada where they offer western and English riding lessons, vaulting lessons, equine assisted psychotherapy, training and boarding. A student of the horse, Tara has created a solid program that works with toddlers to mature adults, riders with disabilities and therapy clients in a safe space with the focus on the horse. Whether developing trustworthy lesson horses or high performance show horses, Tara has learned enough to do that, but says there is so much more to learn! In Tara’s lessons you learn about much more than just the manuever itself, join her to understand your horse to a deeper level. Tara is a regional director for CHA and a CHA English/Western Instructor Program Certifier for us.

Julie Fischer: Grant Writing & Fundraising

Dr Julie Cooney Fischer holds a BS in Accounting with minor in Management, a MBA with Concentration in Accounting, and Doctorate of Management with focus on Organizational Leadership.  Her background includes experience in equine fields, educational fields, Grant mgt, Accounting (profit and non-profit), Finance and analysis, government finance, management, organizational leadership, disaster accounting and disaster grant management, and disaster leadership/management.

Julie Goodnight: Simple & Flying Lead Changes

Julie Goodnight 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.

Jochen Schleese: The 8 Myths of Saddle Fit

This session will explain problems in saddle construction today due to outside market changes and the 8 different types of saddle fit prevalent in the market today with pros and cons for each one.

Jochen Schleese received his initial training in saddle making in Germany. In 1984 he was certified as the youngest master saddler ever in Europe, and was asked to come to North America from Germany in 1986 to be the Official Saddler for the World Dressage Championships held in Toronto. In 1990 together with the Canadian government, Schleese developed the first ever authorized school for saddle makers and saddle fitters. Jochen confers regularly with industry professionals and is a guest speaker at veterinary associations, equine veterinary schools, riding instructor conferences, and teaches equine ergonomics on five continents through Saddlefit 4 Life, founded by him in 2006 as a global network of equine professionals dedicated to the comfort and protection of the horse. Saddle Fit for Life is also a CHA LifeTime Business Member.

Courtney Smith: How to Teach the Boring Stuff In A FUN Way!

Courtney Smith, a resident of Tennessee, holds a Masters of Science degree with a concentration in Equine Education and Coaching from Middle Tennessee State University. Courtney is the owner of Need A Hand Horse Training where she has spent her time being actively involved in the equine industry through training horses, competing, teaching clinics, and coaching youth and adults from local to national levels. She is the Head Coach of Team Need A Hand, a member of the Interscholastic Equestrian Association and is involved in multiple organizations holding positions such as the IEA Western Region 4 president, the TN State 4H Horse Show Committee, and as a Board Member for the TN Stock Horse Association. Courtney is a strong advocate for youth involvement in the equine industry which is seen in her passion for teaching and helping others.

“Putting the FUN in FUNdamentals”

“Why aren’t we riding today?” A frequent question asked by many new students at their first lesson, on a rainy day or camp. As riding instructors, we know the importance of teaching our students all aspects of horsemanship from learning the parts of the horse to the basics of nutrition. The reality is most students do not want to learn the “boring” stuff. This is where it can become a challenge to educate our students while keeping them engaged. We want to transition from “boring” to interesting and relevant. This workshop will share strategies to help put the FUN in the FUNdamentals. We will give instructors an overview of available, and often free, resources to use when teaching non-riding activities that make learning interactive and applicable. I hope it will give you inventive ideas and ways to inspire and liven up your teaching routines.

horses grazing hay bank

Starting a Hay Bank

By Katie Navarra

Feed and hay bills did not stop even though income evaporated amid the coronavirus pandemic. Organizations across the country offer access to hay banks and A Home For Every Horse helps connect horse owners with those resources.

“The main goal of hay banks is to help people in need keep their horses instead of rehome them,” said Melissa Kitchen, the vice president of marketing services at Active Interest Media (AIM) Equine Network and one of the CHA Educational Partners.  “When times are tough, and people have to worry about how to feed their family, hay banks provide assistance so people don’t have to worry as much.”

A Home for Every Horse, an AIM initiative, works to connect people who contact them with hay banks. Made up of a community of horse rescues, the group is often approached by horse owners looking for resources to help them keep their horses.

Hay banks are one way equine professionals and individuals alike can pitch in when times are tough. Before taking action, investigate to determine if one exists locally. State horse councils, local rescues and extension agencies may have this information. If none are available, the first step is connecting with local resources for hay supply, storage and delivery options.

Fleet of Angels founder Elaine Nash adds that having enough hay available is key.

“If you’re going to advertise a hay bank, have more than 50 or 100 bales,” she said. “Advertise it as emergency horse hay, otherwise people with sheep, goats, cattle and llamas will show up.”

Nash offered additional considerations for establishing hay banks:

  • Source good quality rather than the most expensive hay.
  • Store hay, ideally under a roof, or stack on pallets and covering well.
  • Secure the supply to avoid theft.
  • Have enough space for deliveries and pick-ups.
  • Know the expenses. An out of state supplier may offer a semi-load of hay but shipping often costs are expensive.
  • Confirm the quality and type of hay. “Cow” hay, especially with spots of mold, is unsuitable for horses.

 

Most people are honest, however, Nash recommends a robust screening process to ensure someone is not receiving hay and then reselling it. Once the application is received, Nash follows several steps including:

  • Confirming the address is one where horses can be kept.
  • Looking at the person’s FaceBook page (if available) to see if horses are pictured.
  • Verifying the need with the applicant.

Once you’ve established a hay bank, Kitchen encourages organizers to find key places and people who can help spread the word.

Certified Horsemanship Association Riding Instructor and Equine Facility Manager Certifications Starting Up Again in August

(May 2020) – Anyone who wants to further their career by earning a Certified Horsemanship Association (CHA) Certification is encouraged to check out the CHA Certification Schedule online at https://cha.horse/find-cha-certification-clinics-by-date/   CHA Certifications are intensive multi-day events in which attendees learn and demonstrate their skills so they can be certified at one of CHA’s various certification types and levels. They are currently available for the English/Western Instructor (EWI), Equine Facility Manager (EFM), and Instructors of Riders with Disabilities (IRD) this August 2020 on into 2021. Join more than 30,000 experts who have been certified by the largest equine professional certifying organization in North America!

Certification offers many benefits to the equine professional, including showing the industry and potential customers that you have the skills and knowledge to teach riders or to run an equine facility according to strict industry standards set by an independent third party. In addition, certification demonstrates professionalism, dedication, and a commitment to horsemanship instruction and/or equine facility management. Certified individuals have demonstrated their focus on the safety and well-being of all participants in equestrian pursuits, humans and horses alike.

A person’s willingness to dedicate their time and money to the CHA certification process indicates that they are a serious professional. CHA certified equine professionals must demonstrate a high level of professional competence and adhere to continuing education requirements set forth by CHA to maintain their certification. In addition, many insurance companies recognize certification and will give discounts.

At this time, CHA English/Western Instructor Certifications are available in the following locations: Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, Tennessee, Texas, and Washington.

Those wishing to receive CHA Equine Facility Manager Certification can attend certifications in California, Colorado, and Kentucky.

Normally, CHA conducts over 80 certifications around the US and Canada. They are posted on the CHA website for the fall of 2020 into the spring of 2021 at this time.

Certification includes workshops and hands-on demonstrations in five areas: safety, horsemanship knowledge and ability, teaching techniques, group control, and professionalism and ethics. Two CHA Certifiers evaluate each attendee, who must also pass written tests and competently demonstrate their skills during the event to receive their certification. The cost of the certification also includes the attendee’s membership in CHA, fees for the event, and all educational materials. Each host site will specify which meals are included and if a lodging option is available with the final price.

For more information on attending a CHA Certification and what to expect, please visit https://cha.horse/cha-certifications/

For anyone wishing to host a CHA Certification, the organization is taking applications to host in the spring of 2020 and beyond. Host sites must become a CHA Program Member that is pre-approved by CHA. If your facility would like to become a new host site for CHA, please visit https://cha.horse/how-to-host-a-cha-clinic/

For questions, or if you have already been approved as a host site, please contact CHA at office@CHA.horse to receive your next steps.

To keep up-to-date on all news from CHA, please sign up for the CHA monthly email newsletter at www.CHA.horse.

CHA Instructors Change Lives Through Safe Experiences with Horses. The purpose of CHA is to promote excellence in safety and education for the benefit of the horse industry. CHA certifies equine professionals, accredits equestrian facilities, publishes educational manuals, produces educational horsemanship DVDs and Safety shorts, and hosts regional and international conferences. For more information on the largest certifying body of equine professionals in North America, Certified Horsemanship Association, please visit www.CHA.horse or call 859-259-3399.  To find a certified horseback riding instructor or accredited equine facility near you, visit www.CHA.horse

 

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Certified Horsemanship Association Launches a Brand New Interactive Website

(May 2020) Certified Horsemanship Association (CHA) has launched a brand new interactive website at https://cha.horse/.

“We are so excited about this new website that has great resources for all equestrians including educational horsemanship video shorts, webinars, full length streamable videos on a variety of equine topics, articles under our fun categories such as:  Pet Peeves Around the Barn and the Solutions to Solve Them, On the Rail, Tricks of the Trade, Incidentally Speaking and so much more,” says Christy Landwehr, CHA Chief Executive Officer.

CHA members have their own member login section where they can find deep discounts in the online store on CHA manuals, posters for the barn, DVDs, CHA wearables, CHA gifts for riders and much more!

If you are wanting to find an equine professional near you, be it an instructor or equine facility manager, this new site can help you do that. You can also find a barn, camp, lesson program, trail ride operation, college/university and more by just typing in your city and state or province. Please visit https://cha.horse/ today and enjoy!

 CHA Instructors Change Lives Through Safe Experiences with Horses. The purpose of CHA is to promote excellence in safety and education for the benefit of the horse industry. CHA certifies equine professionals, accredits equestrian facilities, publishes educational manuals, produces educational horsemanship streamable videos and DVDs, and hosts regional and international conferences. For more information on the largest certifying body of equine professionals in North America, Certified Horsemanship Association, or to find a certified horseback riding instructor, equine facility manager or an accredited equine facility near you, please visit https://cha.horse/ or call 859-259-3399.

2020 CHA Conference Speakers

2020 CHA Conference Speaker Bios & Sessions

Courtney Smith: How to Teach the Boring Stuff In A FUN Way!

Courtney Smith, a resident of Tennessee, holds a Masters of Science degree with a concentration in Equine Education and Coaching from Middle Tennessee State University. Courtney is the owner of Need A Hand Horse Training where she has spent her time being actively involved in the equine industry through training horses, competing, teaching clinics, and …

Courtney Smith: How to Teach the Boring Stuff In A FUN Way! Read More »

Dr. Bob Coleman: 4-H Resources: Ready for You and Your Youth

Dr. Bob Coleman 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 degree in Agriculture with a major in Animal Sciences and a Master degree in Animal Science. Dr. Bob worked in the Canadian Feed Industry as a nutritionist …

Dr. Bob Coleman: 4-H Resources: Ready for You and Your Youth Read More »

Gabrielle Diakon: Yoga for the Virtual Equestrian Conference Attendee

Gabrielle Diakon is the Owner/Founder of GMD Training. Gabrielle is an RYT 200 Certified Yoga Instructor and teaches ‘Yoga for Every Equestrian’ which aids riders with their mental and physical balance in the saddle.  Starting off as a timid junior rider and progressing to become a professional rider and trainer Gabrielle created a program to create confident and …

Gabrielle Diakon: Yoga for the Virtual Equestrian Conference Attendee Read More »

Jo-Anne Young: Understanding and Developing the Half Pass

Jo-Anne Young has been studying horses and how to kindly and effectively communicate with them her whole life. She finds great joy in guiding riders along the path to successful partnership with horses.  She is located in Houghton, New York where she has worked as a professor and riding instructor at Houghton College for many …

Jo-Anne Young: Understanding and Developing the Half Pass Read More »

Julie Broadway: Keynoter for CHA Annual Membership Meeting on Thursday evening – American Horse Council – Equine Legislative Issues

Julie Broadway has over 30 years of leadership experience in both for-profit and non-profit sectors. She was named President and CEO of the American Horse Council & American Horse Council Foundation in 2016 and has served on a variety of equine industry committees and boards. She holds a BS from University of NC, MBA from …

Julie Broadway: Keynoter for CHA Annual Membership Meeting on Thursday evening – American Horse Council – Equine Legislative Issues Read More »

Julie Fischer: Grant Writing & Fundraising

Dr Julie Cooney Fischer holds a BS in Accounting with minor in Management, a MBA with Concentration in Accounting, and Doctorate of Management with focus on Organizational Leadership.  Her background includes experience in equine fields, educational fields, Grant mgt, Accounting (profit and non-profit), Finance and analysis, government finance, management, organizational leadership, disaster accounting and disaster …

Julie Fischer: Grant Writing & Fundraising Read More »

Julie Goodnight: Simple & Flying Lead Changes

Julie Goodnight 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, …

Julie Goodnight: Simple & Flying Lead Changes Read More »

Susan Garside: Ways to Help Your Lesson Horses Succeed with Their Students

Susan Garside has been involved in the horse industry for more than 40 years. She has been the Equestrian Director at Akron YMCA Camp Y Noah in Canal Fulton, OH, since 2008, which is also when she was certified as a Master Instructor and a CHA Assistant Clinic Instructor. She oversees all lesson programming, summer …

Susan Garside: Ways to Help Your Lesson Horses Succeed with Their Students Read More »

Via Nova Training – Positive Reinforcement Training

Shawna Karrasch is the Lead Positive Reinforcement Trainer and Behaviorist at Via Nova Training. She is a pioneer in the use of positive reinforcement training with horses. Her behavioral training techniques are an eye-opening experience for equine professionals, competitors, and amateurs alike. She has produced books and videos, podcasts and traveled worldwide to teach these …

Via Nova Training – Positive Reinforcement Training Read More »

CHA Certified Instructors Share What Their CHA Certification Has Done for Them

By Sarah Evers Conrad and CHA Members Listed Below

CHA Certified Instructors are passionate about their work, their students, and about CHA. We asked several CHA Certified Instructors to share how their CHA Certification has changed their career, and we received some great responses. If you are a CHA Certified Instructor and would like to share “What Your CHA Certification Has Done for You,” please add your story in the comments below.

Dale Rudin, Un-Natural Horsemanship
When I attended my first CHA conference, I knew I had found my tribe. It was like coming home to a place where everyone already knew me, because they thought the same way I did about teaching and horses. That is especially precious to me because I often follow the beat of a vastly different drum than the majority of trainers and instructors I encounter. Coming across someone like-minded is rare enough, but finding an entire organization. CHA was like hitting the jackpot! I felt welcomed and supported by this group of people who ceaselessly strive to do their best for people who want to have a safe and fulfilling equestrian experience and the horses who make that happen. CHA inspires me to be a better instructor and horse person. It is an honor and a gift to be a member.

Amanda Love, West Texas A&M University
As a riding instructor at the college level, my CHA certification has given me one more tremendous outlet for education to share with my students. Our students come from many different riding backgrounds and have professional equine goals that span the spectrum of the horse industry, but CHA is a language that speaks to all horse people. The videos, publications, manuals, and continuing education encourages equine students to be lifelong learners in the horse industry while maintaining the core values of safe, effective and fun experiences with horses.

Cheryl Rohnke Kronsberg, CKR Training Stable
When I got my CHA certification, I thought that I would put in my 40 hours at the clinic and that would be the end of it. I’d have a piece of paper that said I was okie-dokie and I’d be on my way. Yet, as fantastic as the clinic itself was, I never realized that the best was yet to come.

Once I had my certification, I met lots of other certified instructors. They became my friends, mentors, and associates. I have become acquainted with wonderful instructors from all over the world. We have exchanged information and ideas. We have helped each other with training and teaching issues. We have passed along helpful hints and sad stories. Their input has been extremely valuable to me, my staff, clients, and horses.

I never expected to become part of something that is not only helpful to me as an instructor and equine business owner, but as a person. I have learned that I am respected by my peers and that my opinion matters to people. That has increased my self-esteem immeasurably. I have new confidence in myself and my abilities that extends far beyond the barn, arena, and show pen.

Being CHA certified has also opened doors I never even thought about. It has given me opportunities to be a speaker at local and international events. It has given me a chance to write about horses and their people and have those articles published. CHA has given me the chance to meet and learn from some amazingly talented people whom I never would have met without the CHA connection. Those connections have improved my skills as a barn manager, horse owner, trainer, and instructor. I am so much better now than I was before I became certified. I know that growth wouldn’t have happened without CHA. Thank you CHA for being the organization that you are and for letting me join the club.

Tara Gamble, Tara Gamble Horsemanship, CHA Past President
My CHA certification has allowed me to pursue my passion and turn it into a career. From this I am a professional with a successful program and facility. The resources and opportunities CHA has available for instructors is limitless.

Western Dressage

Western Dressage: What Is It, and Could This Benefit Your Program?

By Bradie Chapman

What is Western Dressage?

US Equestrian defines Western Dressage as, “The riding and developing of the western rider and horse to improve themselves as individuals and partners through the use and discipline of dressage.” In 2010, the Western Dressage Association of America (WDAA) was formed and approved by US Equestrian in 2013 as a national affiliate. Under the guidance of US Equestrian, WDAA developed the rules and tests and have maintained the western traditions that have been used over the years and combined this with classical dressage.

Western Dressage provides riders with a plan of progression. The tests are designed to start you at the very beginning in a walk-jog test and then build off of one another until you reach the highest level of test (which is currently Level Four) where you perform pirouettes, flying changes on a serpentine, and 8 meter jog circles. Even if you or your riders don’t want to enter a show arena, it gives you a training guide and things to work on with your equine partner.

Like any discipline, Western Dressage is goal oriented. It provides riders with a plan; if they can achieve a particular movement, then they can move on to the next movement in their training. This can be helpful for riders that aren’t able to be in consistent lessons and also for riders who are in lessons because they know what they need to accomplish to move up the levels.

Overall, Western Dressage can:

  • Help the rider improve the cadence, balance, and carriage of the horse
  • Help the rider utilize the fundamentals of dressage to create suppleness, flexibility, and increase the horse’s ability to work from his haunches
  • Promote the love of the horse and the development of a rewarding partnership between horse and rider
  • Make competitions available to any breed of horse
  • Provide opportunities for students and horses from a variety of disciplines
  • Provide realistic tests that have been designed to be appropriate for each level

Our History and Experience with the Discipline

In 2013 in our program at Ohio University Southern, we introduced Western Dressage to our students. In the same year, two faculty members attended the WDAA Train the Trainers Program to better understand the discipline, rules, and judging standards set forth by the association. In 2014, 10 members from a variety of riding and show experiences began competing at shows outside of our facility. Students currently compete successfully in non-collegiate dressage shows in Ohio and Kentucky. Our equestrian team was also the first collegiate program to compete in the Western Dressage World Championship Show.

We teach our Western courses using the Western Dressage exercises and principles. Our students have a variety of backgrounds entering our program, but through Western Dressage, we can help them to see that the things we work on in class can be applied to what they are doing in their chosen discipline. As instructors we have seen the following:

  • Riders are developing a better understanding of effective communication with their horse.
  • Position and attitude are becoming a focus in their riding.
  • The various tests and movements are providing students with obtainable goals for their riding level, helping them utilize their aids effectively, and strengthening their partnerships with their horses.
  • There is a unity between the horse and rider, with both consistently being relaxed and happy in their work.
  • Our horses are happy in the work because we are allowing them to move in a natural way and not trying to make them fit into a mold.

Since the addition of Western Dressage, we have seen that it has strengthened our riding program by having goals set up by the WDAA that give the students a clear-cut path in their training for their level. We also find that our inexperienced students have admitted that they would not have attempted classical dressage. However, with the option of Western Dressage, these riders are progressing rapidly and competing with much success.

Using Western Dressage in Your Program

Western dressage can be for the everyday rider. You can use the tests to add variety to your current riding plan. In riding different Western Dressage movements, you can work on your horse’s suppleness, attentiveness, and overall communication with your horse. You can progress through the levels of Western Dressage on your own time once you feel that your horse is ready to move on.

In a lesson program, there are many different ways to incorporate the Western Dressage principles. Riders could work on the test in their lessons but then also have the test to take home and study to help prepare for the next lesson. This could help teach them responsibility and preparation in relation to riding and as a life skill. We have riders design exercises that they can teach to the class. These are designed to help them with an issue they are working on with their assigned horse. This activity allows the rider to help problem solve an issue they have been experiencing in their riding and provides them with the opportunity to lead the class.

You may decide, like we did, that this is a good fit for your horses in the show arena. Riders may decide to compete to test their skills at their appropriate level. After the test, a rider will get written comments and scores that can be used to help set goals for the future. Shows may be set up at your home facility on a smaller scale, which will still provide your riders the opportunity to try the sport. If you want to go to bigger shows, you can find WDAA shows at https://westerndressageassociation.org/all-wdaa-recognized-shows. Our students do all of their own fundraising to be able to compete in competitions, whether locally or to the World Show.

Another option we started at our facility is to offer a Western Dressage invitational. Because this sport is new, we offer a show and invite in other collegiate teams, 4-H clubs, and area equine career center programs to encourage more riders to give it a try. Each team has four members and they have a rider compete in the test determined ahead of time (for example: Intro 1 & 3 and Basic 1 & 3). Riders compete individually in their class and after all of the rides are complete; we average the three top scores to determine the team placings. The host team provides the horses and the tack and the others show up the day of to show. We set a limit to the number of teams that can participate. Since our facility hosted the first show of its kind, we have continued to host and have had other facilities follow our lead and host as well.

Western dressage is about the journey you take with your equine partner. There isn’t a set target or given route for all riders to follow to reach their goals, which is what makes riding so exciting and unique. The addition of Western Dressage to the equine industry provides another option for riders.

Bradie Chapman is a CHA Master Instructor, Site Visitor, and Clinic Staff, along with an Associate Lecturer for the Ohio University Southern Equine Studies Program (www.ousequinedegree.com). The OUS facility is an CHA accredited college program that holds CHA Instructor and Equine Facility Manager Certification Clinics for students and the community. For more about Bradie Chapman, visit https://cha.horse/western-dressage-what-is-it-and-could-this-benefit-your-program/.