The Half Halt

The secret to unlocking your horses potential for a better jump, transition, and higher dressage score. 

Western vs English

What’s the difference between Western and English riding, and why I chose to ride and teach English.

Barn 13 Developments

In 2017, I’ll be bidding a bittersweet farewell to the lovely Barn 13 in Austin, TX to grow my teaching and riding career in North Carolina (Area 2).

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Instructor Certification Program (ICP)

ICP stands for Instructor Certification Program (not Insane Clown Posse unfortunately) and it stands as a guide for prospective students to know that if they take a lesson from an ICP graduate that they are receiving excellent instruction. To put it in perspective, you would want to take a skydiving lesson from someone who is certified. Why not the same be with riding instruction? The ultimate goal for the ICP is to have a base of knowledge across all of the instructors in Eventing so that we as instructors can continue to educate our riders in a way that we can produce top quality riders and horses in the United States.

To become a certified instructor with the United States Eventing Association you must complete two workshops, one jumping and one dressage, and be recommended to asses at a certain level. Each workshop is 3 days in length with the attendees teaching at least once per day in front of up to 7 peers and one faculty member. The faculty member is someone who has achieved the highest possible certification (level IV) and has been authorized to guide workshops and help instructor certification candidates become better instructors. During the workshop the faulty will discuss strengths and weaknesses of how you taught and may interject while you are teaching to correct any mistakes or to make a point. Other candidate instructors are invited to offer input as well. Along with teaching each day there are discussions and lectures to go over proper teaching techniques and information.

It can be stressful and scary but the rewards are immense and your teaching improves greatly with each time you teach and watch others teach in that situation. It really raises the bar on the quality of instruction.

After you have done the two workshops and have been recommended to asses at the level you would like to achieve (Level I- Novice, Level I – Training, Level II, III, or IV) you then are able to go to an assessment. Assessments are held once a year with two being offered, one on the east coast and one on the west coast. There you will teach a dressage, show jumping, and a cross country lesson in front of two assessors (level IV ICP faculty). You will also have to complete a written test before hand and a hands on horse management test the day of the assessment.

After achieving dramatic results and improvements with students over the years, I’ve decided I will be obtaining my ICP certification in 2018 which will help demonstrate to new students that they’re working with a quality instructor.  

ICP Levels:

Level I – Novice – for the training of horse and rider to Novice level Eventing

Level I – Training – for the training of horse and rider to Training level Eventing

Level II – for the training of horse and rider to Preliminary level Eventing

Level III – for the training of horse and rider to Intermediate level Eventing

Level IV – for the training of horse and rider to Advanced level Eventing

USEA Workshop

I’m hosting the USEA Instructor Certification workshop. Directions, timelines, and more are found here.

Describing a Horse

If you’re buying or selling a horse, you need to see this ultimate infographic on understanding horse descriptions.