Ren Bannerman

Ren Bannerman is a CHA Master Instructor and CHA Clinic Instructor for Standard and Combined Clinics. Ren has more than 40 years of experience showing, teaching, training, and managing facilities throughout the United States. Ren has gained experience in all aspects of the horse industry and has worked with some of the country's leading experts in Huntseat,Reining ,Cutting, Dressage and Eventing . Ren is the past President of Canyonview Equestrian College. He conducts private horsemanship clinics around the country.

Reinsmanship – Saturday 1:30 – 2:45 p.m. – Lesson Barn Arena

This class is to explain, demonstrate and practice the five rein aids and the variations between them, what to teach at different levels for students and how to use them on different levels of horses. We will also discuss the understanding of the handling of the reins. This to further your understanding as instructors and trainers as we keep our horses trained through our students.



Diana Beardsley

Diana Beardsley is a CHA Level 3 Instructor, IRD ACI, PATH International registered instructor, driving instructor and equine specialist. She graduated from Lake Erie College with a BS in equine studies and spent 11 years in her local 4-H club prior to college. Diana has been employed at Pegasus Farm Therapeutic Equestrian Center in Hartville, OH since 1999. Diana is the senior riding instructor at Pegasus as well as the head of the carriage driving program. For fun she volunteers at carriage driving events in Ohio and Kentucky, enjoys camping, snow skiing and reading and loves to explain to people exactly what she does for a living. 

Therapeutic Horseback Riding: Not Just a Pony Ride – Friday 1:30 – 2:45 p.m. – Lesson Barn Arena

Covering teaching techniques and task analysis to help instructors of riders with disabilities move beyond the basics of start, stop, steer. 

Coaching Leaders Using Horsemanship Connection – Thursday 4 – 5 p.m. – Schaller Hall

Tammi Gainer & Diana Beardsley from Pegasus Farm and Celia King of Arrants McSwain Team Building have joined forces to offer Equine Assisted Learning (EAL) sessions to corporate and non-profit leaders and their teams. In this workshop they will offer a brief description and overview of what’s happening generally in EAL and tell the story of their work specifically. They will also cover: developing the relationship between an equine professional and a consultant, choosing horses for corporate EAL work, making sure your EAL work fits the overall mission of both the consultant and equine program.  Tammi, Diana, & Celia will also demonstrate activities they use with clients to address three elements that consistently show up in working with both people and horses:  Empathy, Communication Skills, Intuitive Energy or Presence.



Susan Berger

Susan Berger began her horsemanship adventure apprenticing in an Arabian Show Stables in Lynchburg, Virginia and attended classes at Randolph Macon Women’s College in their equine department. She then took her knowledge, experience, and gift of handling horses to The Master’s Inn, a Christian Conference Center, where she pioneered their riding program. Her adventure continued when she left there to manage two boarding stables, where she taught riding lessons and offer training. She has shared her horsemanship talent and skills at Camp Hebron in Halifax, PA, where she carries the title of Horsemanship Education Specialist. She is a Master Instructor, Clinician, and Site Visitor through CHA.  Susan’s current passion is working with “at risk” youth. She is always looking for new adventures while she continues to teach and train at Camp Hebron, work with other stables in the area, coordinate clinics and seminars, and support children and youth organizations in educational activities. She can be reached at

Rein Aids; How to Teach Them and Ride Them – Friday 9 – 10:15 a.m. – Lesson Barn Arena

With beginner students, we as instructors love our lesson horses enough to keep those riders’ hands as quiet as possible. But at some point we need them to “pick up” the reins and “carry” their horses to advance their horsemanship. How to ride on correct contact; what is the difference between a leading, direct and indirect rein; how do we communicate with our horses through all of our aids and not just steering them by hand; so many fun, and challenging, lessons!



Anne Brzezicki

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

Real Colors Inventory for Working with Your Clients and Staff – Saturday 6 :30 – 8 :30 p.m. ($15 fee for instrument)

Come to this interactive fun session to learn about your personality style and how to communicate well with your staff, clients, parents and others even when you think they might be being « difficult. »



Celia Bunge

Celia, alongside her daughter Daniela, owns and operates Miami International Riding Club, LLC (MIRC). MIRC is the largest hunter jumper barn in the Miami area with 50 horses on site and a large lesson program. Through her barn, Celia has worked hard to create awareness for show jumping in the Miami area, and their niche has been to get new people into English Riding and competitive showjumping. MIRC is certified as a United States Hunter Jumper Association (USHJA) Recognized Riding Academy. Celia is a former Lawyer, with a Masters Degree in Education, and graduate studies at the Doctoral level in Education and in Criminal Law. She is CHA Certified English Riding Instructor, as well as a Certified Instructor of Riders with Disabilities. She is also Certified in Equine Coaching and in Equine Assisted Learning by AMECAC (Mexican Association of Equine Assisted Coaching). She received extensive training in Rider Biomechanics by the International Society of Rider Biomechanics (ISRB). Celia is a life long horse lover, barn owner, competitive show jumper, and an all around horsewoman. She grew up both in Mexico and in the US, and learned from the best of a long tradition of international horsemen including the current President of the Equestrian Federation of Mexico. Celia has been mentored by internationally known top clinician, author, and R rated licensed USEF horse show judge Holly Hugo-Vidal. Celia also receives training from FEI Olympic Dressage Rider Natalia Martin.  Finally, Celia and Daniela’s barn Miami International Riding Club (MIRC) was awarded the 2018 American Youth Horse Council (AYHC) “Youth Equine Industry Connections Award” for going the extra mile to connect kids through horses.

Building a Successful Business Around Your Lesson Program RoundTable – Thursday at 6:30 p.m. - Cafeteria

Celia Bunge will share her experiences of developing a successful horse business around a large, well organized and highly structured lesson program. All told from the standpoint of someone who has actually done it. She will explain how focusing your efforts into creating a solid lesson program that will become the backbone of your business is the smart way to go. She will debunk the myth that it is impossible to create a profitable horse business, and also explain why as a new horse business entrepreneur you should avoid trying to do many assorted and independent things at once that will quite likely lead you not only to lose credibility, but also to lose a lot of money. It is – in her opinion- possible to do many things at your barn. Like running a summer camp, retraining and rehabilitating off the track thoroughbreds, providing boarding services, having a successful show team, hosting youth outreach programs, integrating riders with disabilities to your programs, and much more, as long as they are all supported, linked, and branched out of your lesson program.



Pauline Burnes

Pauline Burnes, Registered Landscape Architect, is a member of the American Society of Landscape Architects, New York State Horse Council, Inc. where she serves as the Western New York Regional Director, CHA Equine Facilities Manager, and New York Parks and Trails. She holds a Master of Landscape Architecture Degree from the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry with a concentration of studies in Environmental Planning. Allegany County, New York has over 43,000 acres of state forest, with existing equestrian trails at West Almond and Coyle Hill. She is coordinating efforts with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and others to maintain and improve the equestrian trails on state forest lands.

Putting Horse Power Into Multi-Use Trail Improvements – Saturday 9 a.m. – 10:15 a.m. – Event Center Classroom

The presentation will include the significance of horse power (equines and equestrians) in promoting cooperation, cooperation and collaboration (the three C’s) in promoting equestrian trails that are multi-use in designated areas on New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Forest Lands. A brief history of the Civilian Conservation Corps and the nursery at the West Almond camp (not far from Houghton College) will emphasize how their work impacted the landscape, watershed protection and the forest ecosystem that we enjoy while trail riding. The presentation will include examples of ongoing equestrian (multi-use) trail improvement activities at the West Almond Trail System in Allegany County and a major project on NYSDEC forest lands at Pine Hill and South Valley accomplished by the Cattaraugus/Chattaqua Chapter of the New York State Horse Council.



Erin Cardea

Erin Cardea has spent her life studying equitation and equine and equestrian science. As a junior rider, she could be found at the hunter/jumper horse shows in Maryland and Virginia and riding on Loftmar Stables’ champion equitation team. It was here she was introduced to CHA and worked her way through the levels as a rider. While pursuing of a bachelor’s degree in Equestrian Science at William Woods University Erin rode in hunter/jumper, western, dressage, and saddle seat classes.  During school breaks, she worked as a groom, rider, and manager for Olympic show jumper, Anne Kursinski, at her Frenchtown, New Jersey facility.  After graduation, Erin moved to Omaha, NE, where she held a number of titles including US Pony Club District Commissioner, riding instructor, stable manager, show organizer, summer camp director, equine assisted psychotherapy instructor, trainer, professional rider, equine physical therapist, IHSA coach, and owner of Orion Row Stables. Looking for a change of pace (and scenery!) landed her a job in Saudi Arabia as a recreational riding instructor.  It changed her as it gave her not only a unique perspective, but also time and money to pursue masters’ degrees in Equine Science and Equestrian Education online from the University of Edinburgh and William Woods University, respectively. She is a CHA clinician and also holds credentials with the British Horse Society.  Currently she is an assistant professor at Johnson & Wales University in Providence, RI, teaching courses in the Equine Business Management and Equine Science programs.  She also teaches part time at High Hopes Therapeutic Riding in Old Lyme, CT in order to work towards her Advanced Instructor Certification and to bring an Equine-Assisted Activities and Therapies specialization to JWU.

Changing Your Track for a Better Distance – Saturday 9 – 10:15 a.m. – Event Center Arena

This sessions will help you to help your students find the ideal line/track to each jump that makes the distance to each ride better.  This includes asking the horses to bend around the turn correctly, so bending correctly while using the outside aids to turn/push the horse to the jump will be discussed.



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

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 Bachelors degree in Agriculture with a major in Animal Sciences and a Master degree in Animal Science. Dr. Coleman 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, Dr. Coleman moved to the University of Kentucky as the Equine Extension Specialist.  In addition to his Extension duties, Dr. Coleman teaches in the Equine Science and Management program. Dr. Coleman 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, Dr. Coleman is a member of the Equine Science Society and he serves as the executive director, is a member of the American Registry of Professional Animal Scientists, and is a Diplomat in the American College of Animal Science and a member of the American Society of Animal Scientists. In addition Dr. Coleman 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.

Feeding the Hard Working School Horse – Saturday 10:30 – 11:45 a.m. – Event Center Classroom

Certainly the heart of any lesson program is the school horse. They put in their time day in day out and we need to feed appropriately to allow them to do their job. This presentation will talk about how to meet horse’s nutrient requirements while holding fast on feed costs. Looking at the different requirements due to work load and how to use available feedstuffs to meet those needs. In addition there will be a short discussion on how to accomplish your feeding goals when common feeds are in short supply or more expensive.



Jennifer Connor

Jennifer Connor, third generation horsewoman has been involved in many aspects of the equine industry. Currently the Northeast Equine Territory Manager at Dechra Veterinary Products. Former General Manager at Majestic View Farms, Int’l and Bloodstock Coordinator at Blue Chip Farms.  Jennifer has an extensive background in breeding, racing and hunter jumpers.  Attended the University of South Carolina.  2000-01 Co-Captain of the NCAA Division I Equestrian Team, finishing 2nd at Nationals during her Sophmore year.  Jennifer has also competed in Racing Under Saddle, holds licenses to both Drive & Train Standardbreds.  Former Hudson Valley Equestrian Team IEA Coach.  Board of Trustee member for Harness Horse Youth Foundation.  Director of Outreach for Equestrian Businesswomen.

Building Your Brand – Saturday 3 – 4:15 p.m. – Event Center Classroom

What can you do out of the saddle to help promote your equine business? In effort to help build better business practices in the equine industry, it is important to understand your business inside and outside of the arena. This session will cover marketing initiatives, social media strategies and building a support network. Target markets, where to market and building your brand will all be discussed as well as using social media, creating great content and gaining followers.  Lastly, we will cover the importance of having a support network and break down what networks already exist and how you can get involved.  



Terry Crisafulli

Terry has owned and ridden horses since childhood.  Her passion for horses has led her to the current hands-on, non-invasive, therapeutic bodywork she performs today. She has spent the last 17 years researching and learning several Equine Therapeutic Modalities.  A few individuals she has studied with are, Doris Halstead (physical therapist and author of “Release the Potential”), Jim Masterson (founder of the “Masterson Method”), Ruth Mitchell-Golladay (physical therapist and author of “Facilitated Healing Through Myofascial Release”).  Terry is a licensed Veterinarian Technician and certified in Masterson Method, MMCP as a practitioner and a coach for level 1 students in this certification program, Equine Massage, Equine Rehabilitation, Kinesiology Taping and Reiki levels 1 & 2.  She has also taken courses in Acupressure, Myofascial Release and Sports Training.

Bodywork Techniques for the Horse Owner, Trainer, Rider & Caretaker – Saturday 9 – 10:15 a.m. – Event Center Classroom

This demo will show you how to read and listen to your horse in order to enable the horse to actively participate in the therapeutic session. The results are deeper and longer lasting releases.  Terry will demonstrate techniques that all horse owners, trainers, riders and caretakers can apply to help your horses relieve stress, be more flexible and increase circulation. The shared experience through therapeutic bodywork between horse and human, helps to create a connection and level of trust that is priceless. 



Barb Dipalma

Barb Dipalma hails from New England and has been a horse owner for over 30 years. She has run Frog Field Farm Equine Clinician and Consulting Services since 1999. She has been involved in the equine industry as an ARIA Certified Level 2 Dressage & Hunt Seat Instructor since 2004. Since 2012, she holds an Open Horse Show Association Judge’s Card. Barb is a Massachusetts Licensed Riding Instructor. She has been a Stable Manager, Trainer, Coach, and is an experienced scribe to Grand Prix.  She is currently bringing up a Half Arabian Sport Horse gelding as an Endurance, Dressage, and low-level Event prospect.

Good Footing is Safe Footing – Friday 1:45 – 2:45 p.m. – Event Center Classroom

Barb’s topic will include explanations of ideal Arena Construction and Maintenance, the Biomechanics of the Gaits, and the hoof, tendon, and ligament interaction with footing surfaces. For more information on GGT- Footing (tm), please contact Barb at GGT- Footing(tm) is the equestrian division of Polysols Inc.



Julie Fischer, DM, MBA-ACC

Julie Cooney Fischer has been active with CHA as a certified instructor and prior member of the Board and Executive Committee.  She holds an MBA with Accounting as well as Doctorate of Management with focus in Organizational Leadership.  She has over 25 years in the equine industry, as well as finance and management business sector working in Corporate, Non-Profit (Scouts, Camps, and Boarding School), Government, and Disaster Recovery.  Her background focuses around profit and non-profit accounting, grant accounting, funding and grant writing, finance, government finance, management, risk management, organizational leadership, disaster accounting, and disaster leadership/management.  Her recent and current research focuses on shared collaborative leadership in finance for disaster recovery grants, leadership trends impacting financial decisions in business, and leadership designs and styles within education and equine fields.   Besides her current finance position with a local school district she also works as adjunct professor teaching collegiate level teaching Finance and Management for Equine Business Certification program.  She has lived for 12 years now at a Girl Scout camp in the Colorado mountains with her family.  She is lifetime Girl Scout member and lifetime CHA member.       

Funding Your Equine Business – Thinking Outside of the Box Roundtable – Thursday at 6:30 p.m. - Cafeteria

Whether you are just starting out or are a veteran equine business/program owner, every new or old dog can learn new tricks.  Finding funding for your program can be constant evolving challenge and quest.  It is important to stay on top of resources, programs, grants, and other resources.  Disasters, demographics, trends in recreational activities, surrounding community, and other factors can impact a business over time or suddenly resulting in change.   Learn how to apply standard funding practices for business industry to your equine business by finding right resources and new innovative ideas for funding, responsibilities as recipient of certain funds, and how to keep that funding flowing for your business or program.        



Marla Foreman

Marla Foreman DVM, Ph.D. has been teaching riding and training horses nearly all her life.  She is a CHA Master Horseman, ICP and a USPC National Examiner and a Primary level TAG teacher.  She ran her own training stable for  20+ years in Washington state, teaching riding to students of all ages, while also running her own veterinary practice (equine only), and training horses for clients, mainly in dressage and eventing, but also training and competing her own horses in endurance and cow penning.  Always open to new ideas and lifelong learning as a teacher and trainer, she has a deep grounding in classical horsemanship, and has also explored the work of horseman such as Buck Brannaman and Brian Neubert. In 2000, Marla began studying the field of behavior science and positive reinforcement training.  In 2013, she closed her business in the Pacific Northwest and moved to Quebec to work for Cavalia at their home farm using positive reinforcement to train horses and students.  Marla currently lives Massachusetts teaching clinics and working with individual clients and their horses using positive reinforcement.

Using Positive Reinforcement and Successive Approximation in Teaching – Friday 10:30 – 11:45 a.m. – Event Center Classroom

The science of behavior teaches us that learning goes fastest when the lessons are broken down into very small, easily achievable steps that are reinforced immediately (in other words, one thing to focus on at a time).  A fun way to do that is to use TAG (teaching with acoustical guidance) to help students learn.  A single behavior is described in a way that can be seen objectively and when the student does the behavior, a marker is sounded to tell them that they are correct.  Since the correct action is objectively observable, other students in a group are also able to mark correct responses which will help them learn faster also.  This can also be used when learning to train horses or learning feel.  If the correct moment is marked, the student can learn feel faster.  The rider does not need to be told when they are wrong, as the lack of a marker signals that the behavior is not being done in the way previously defined. TAG teaching is characterized by less talk, a more relaxed atmosphere, and faster overall progress than traditional, correction-based instruction.



Tammi Gainer

Having grown up around horses, Tammi began her professional equestrian career in 1989 as a trail guide at a large ranch camp where she was first introduced to CHA (Certified Horsemanship Association) and attended a Standard Instructor Certification Clinic in 1990. In the spring of 1995 Tammi joined the instructor staff at Pegasus Farm Therapeutic Equestrian Center in Hartville, OH.  While working at the Farm part-time and  home schooling her three children, Tammi also spent much time working under several national trainers in both reining and dressage. In addition to her CHA Instructor certification She also become PATH Intl. certified instructor. In 2000, she achieved CHA Master Level Instructor and Standard clinic staff status and has since earned Clinic Instructor status in the Instructors of Riders with Disabilities (IRD) and Vaulting Coach programs as well. Since 1999 Tammi has also been the head coach of the Pegasus Vaulting Club; a 25 plus member recreational team that performs demonstrations and workshops at various venues throughout Ohio.

Tammi was promoted to Equestrian Director at Pegasus in 2005 where she now manages all aspects of the equestrian programs that serve 275 plus students each week participating in areas such as horsemanship, riding, driving, vaulting, veterans, and youth-at-risk programs.  Most recently Tammi has acquired her AQHA (American Quarter Horse Association) Professional Horseman status; an organization she is especially proud to be a part of.

In September 2007 Tammi was elected to the CHA Board of Directors and held various positions such as Chair of the Education & Training Committee, Treasurer, Secretary, President Elect. Tammi is currently in the Board President; a position she feels extremely proud to hold. 

At the 2011 Certified Horsemanship Association International Conference in Lexington, KY. Tammi was honored with the coveted “CHA Volunteer of the Year Award”.  Tammi says of winning this award, “Since first joining CHA in 1990 the organization has become such an integral part of my life both professionally and personally. To be a part of an organization that believes so strongly in promoting safety & education in horsemanship across the lines of disciplines is definitely a credit to our profession. Personally, I have made such wonderful friends from many different backgrounds and walks of life; yet we all have a common denominator ~ Changing Lives through Safe Experience with Horses! I look forward to many more years being a part of this amazing "family" called CHA.”

Coaching Leaders Using Horsemanship Connection – Thursday 4 – 5 p.m. – Schaller Hall

Tammi Gainer & Diana Beardsley from Pegasus Farm and Celia King of Arrants McSwain Team Building have joined forces to offer Equine Assisted Learning (EAL) sessions to corporate and non-profit leaders and their teams. In this workshop they will offer a brief description and overview of what’s happening generally in EAL and tell the story of their work specifically. They will also cover: developing the relationship between an equine professional and a consultant, choosing horses for corporate EAL work, making sure your EAL work fits the overall mission of both the consultant and equine program.  Tammi, Diana, & Celia will also demonstrate activities they use with clients to address three elements that consistently show up in working with both people and horses:  Empathy, Communication Skills, Intuitive Energy or Presence.



Susan Garside

Susan Garside has been the Equestrian Director at the Akron YMCA Camp Y Noah for the last 10 years.  She has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Equestrian Facilities Management from Lake Erie College. After college, she travelled and worked under World Cup Dressage Rider/Trainer, Kathy Connelly in Massachusetts and Florida.  Then she travelled to Jackson, Wyoming to Spring Creek Equestrian Center where she assisted clients in showing their Dressage/Jumper horses in Arizona, California, and Colorado. While working for the Y, she became a CHA Master Instructor and Assistant Clinic Instructor.  She has been a past CHA Ohio State representative and currently a CHA Board Member.  She is an avid Pony Club and 4H instructor assisting kids in English and Western styles of riding at the State and Regional level.  She is passionate about teaching students   the grass roots knowledge of daily horse care and finding the lesson that each horse can teach us. 

Painting the Lesson Horse and Other Fun Ground Activities RoundTable – Thursday at 6:30 p.m. - Cafeteria

Summer Camp programs are about fun, creative learning.  Get some more ideas on how to be creative painting your ponies while teaching facts about horse parts and locations.  Horses were a huge part of the Indian society.  They used symbols and colors to show off their conquests and strengths.  Use your ground lessons to teach some US history about the bond between Indians and their horses.  We could all use a little bravery, courage, speed, and heart as we travel this crazy life.



Jennifer Gay

Jennifer Gay is certified in Aromatherapy and is educating horse owners across the nation about safe and natural health care options for their horses and their families. After the camp she worked at for 15 years closed, she bought her first 2 horses and became the founder of and Director at Heavenly Horse Stables. Jenn has a personal goal to make the world a better place for horse by educating the people around them. Jenn is a CHA Certified Instructor, Region 4 Regional Director, and Lifetime Member; she sits on the Board of Directors for the Pinckney Trail Riding Association and is a lifetime member of the Girl Scouts. 

Essential Oils for Horse & Rider – Saturday 1:30 – 2:45 p.m. – Event Center Classroom

Using the therapeutic and calming properties of Doterra Essential Oils, Jenn shares simple, natural treatments to enhance the health and well-being of the horses and their riders. During this class we dive into the top 3 reasons people are looking to essential oils for additional health care options; they are safer, more effective and economical. Get hands on with the top 10 oils used with horses. Learn about overall health enhancement, natural insect sprays, anxiety and stress, sore muscles and tissues, founder, cuts and wounds, insect bites, upset stomach and day to day life. You will leave the class empowered with a plan on how to tackle your top 3 health concerns (for yourself or your horse) naturally with resources at your fingertips.



Julie Goodnight

Julie Goodnight is best known as producer and host of the popular TV show, Horse Master, airing weekly on RFD-TV for eleven years. Julie’s clear and humorous teaching style, her enlightening insights on horses and her live horse-training demonstrations, inspire and educate horse owners all over the world. Her techniques are grounded in natural horsemanship, classical riding and a deep understanding of horse behavior. Julie travels the globe teaching riders, training horses and entertaining audiences at major horse events. She offers online education, training videos, tack and training tools at

Collection:  Promoting Self-Carriage – Friday at Noon – Event Center Arena

Understanding the hows and whys behind this important skill; promoting lightness in the rider and self-carriage in the horse.

How to Bring Out the Best in Your Horses and Riders – Friday 9 – 10:15 a.m. – Event Center Arena

Are we facing an epidemic of unmotivated horses and riders? Equestrian sports require hard work and long-term dedication, in order to achieve success. How do we promote a solid work ethic in both horses and their riders?



Kathie Hilsher

Kathie Hilsher is a Standard Clinic Instructor for CHA and volunteers as one of the Regional Directors for Region 5 of CHA.  She has been affiliated with CHA for 28 years and continues to learn much from each clinic she works.  In addition to working as a clinic instructor, Kathie volunteers in the NYS 4H horse program, specifically helping with the Hippology and Public Speaking contests, judging at 4H horse shows, and teaching 4Hers in lessons and clinics.  She volunteers at a local therapeutic riding stable and enjoys observing the relationships built between horses and riders.  Outside the equestrian arena, she is an adjunct English professor at Houghton College and volleyball coach at Houghton Academy--both of which tie into her love for teaching and coaching riding.

Understand Learning Styles RoundTable – Thursday at 6:30 p.m. - Cafeteria

Every student is a unique learner.  Instructors who not only understand this but who adjust their teaching accordingly are better equipped to help their students succeed.  Find out about learning styles, discuss how to assess learning styles in your students, and discover ways to use that knowledge to improve the learning in your lesson program.



Trish Hutchinson

An FEI dressage trainer and instructor as well as an open horse show judge, Trish Hutchinson has been engaged in the world of the horse since she was just a little girl.  To better understand, appreciate, and work with horses, she has pursued many different disciplines—from dressage and eventing to western pleasure and driving multiple horse hitches—as well as has chosen to work with many different breeds and types of horse—from warmblood and off-track thoroughbreds to mules and miniature horses.  She is a regular student of Conrad Schumacher and Susan Hoffman-Peacock as well as a former student of the late Walter Zettl.  Trish enjoys the opportunity to problem solve, both with horses and with their riders.  As such, she has developed a reputation for her abilities to work with problem horses and to start young horses under saddle.  Every training project, new student, and even every ride on her own dressage mounts, offer her the opportunity to learn more about the horse and to share that knowledge with others, which she truly enjoys.

Personalities and Learning Styles of Horses Defined Using Ground Work – Friday 10:30 – 11:45 a.m. – Lesson Barn Arena

Is your horse an introvert or an extrovert?  Right-brained or Left-brained?  How can you know?  Why does it matter?  Discover ways to understand your horse and to capitalize on its personality and learning style.  Watch, learn, and go back to your barn and try these ground work ideas to help you better understand, connect with, and teach your horse based on his unique personality and learning style.



Karen Jackson

Karen Jackson’s passion for horses began at a young age when she volunteered at a racehorse farm. Helping to care for and exercise the horses. Her interest grew over the years and she gained experience in many different disciplines working with plow horse teams on an organic farm, managing a trail riding facility at a resort, riding hunters and jumpers on various circuits in Ontario, and finally training and coaching jumpers in Mexico City.  Karen has known and loved many horses over the years with sudden and recurring lameness issues which no Vet, Farrier, or Bodyworker could diagnose. Karen was bothered by the number of joint injections, harsh painkillers, and invasive procedures used t to treat these mystery lamenesses. In May 2016 Karen pursued her interest in Saddle fitting and worked towards becoming a Certified Saddle Ergonomist. Achieving her certification in January 2017 she began her career with Schleese.

The 9 Points of Saddle Fitting Explained for Western and English Saddles – Saturday 10:30 – 11:45 a.m. – Lesson Barn Arena

Anatomical, Bio-Mechanical & Ergonomic details necessary to protect your horse from pain and injury due to ill -fitting saddles



Karen Keppen

Karen Keppen is the Assistant Director of Prairie Fire Farms and has been working with horses for almost 20 years. She has ridden Western pleasure, barrel racing, Eventing, dressage, Hunter/Jumpers, vaulting, and combined driving events. She has been CHA certified since 2013, Level 4 English with jumping and Level 3 Western.  Karen is the current Assistant Head Director and Instructor to Prairie Fire Farms Inc. which focuses on the rescue, rehabilitation, and adoption of horses; specializing in OTTBs. She teaches lessons from young children to adults in classical foundation of dressage, jumping, eventing, and western. Additionally, she directs summer camps for little children through adults; engaging them from basics to advanced, encouraging growth as equestrians and in day to day life interactions.

How to Turn a Rescue Horse Into a Lesson Horse RoundTable – Thursday at 6:30 p.m. - Cafeteria

Taking on a rescue horse is a challenging prospect, most trained horseman can assess the rescue horse’s physical needs through our knowledge as well as with the help of our vets, chiropractors, massage therapists, and nutritionists. Once the rescue horse is physically sound and healthy, it is also time to consider the mental health of the horse. This mental assessment is crucial for determining if a rescue horse has the potential to become a lesson horse or perhaps may be more suited to an individual. This session will share our process, as a horse rescue, rehabilitation, and rehoming program, of how we assess, manage, and progress a rescue horse into a lesson horse.



Celia King

Celia King is the lead consultant at Arrants McSwain Team Building where she teaches leaders how to coach their team. She uses her 25 years’ experience with the Myers Briggs to give clients a logical framework to understand how people are wired, and she uses equine assisted learning to help leaders develop the intuition necessary to work with people. Celia has a Master’s degree in Communication, is an MBTI Master Practitioner and a certified Equine Experiential Education Association Practitioner.  She works with a wide range of clients including Fortune 500 companies, small businesses, educational organizations and non-profits.   

Coaching Leaders Using Horsemanship Connection – Thursday 4 – 5 p.m. – Schaller Hall

Tammi Gainer & Diana Beardsley from Pegasus Farm and Celia King of Arrants McSwain Team Building have joined forces to offer Equine Assisted Learning (EAL) sessions to corporate and non-profit leaders and their teams. In this workshop they will offer a brief description and overview of what’s happening generally in EAL and tell the story of their work specifically. They will also cover: developing the relationship between an equine professional and a consultant, choosing horses for corporate EAL work, making sure your EAL work fits the overall mission of both the consultant and equine program.  Tammi, Diana, & Celia will also demonstrate activities they use with clients to address three elements that consistently show up in working with both people and horses:  Empathy, Communication Skills, Intuitive Energy or Presence.



Christy Landwehr

Christy Landwehr, who is the CHA Chief Executive Officer, has been active in the horse industry for over 35 years and competed in a multitude of breeds and disciplines. She is a CHA Master Level Instructor, Clinic Instructor, Site Accreditor, and Equine Facility Manager and has taught students in 4-H and Pony Club. She is past president of the American Youth Horse Council and a past board member for the Colorado Horse Council. She also founded the University of Colorado at Boulder Intercollegiate Horse Show Association equestrian team. Christy is an AQHA and APHA Professional Horseman. She has used her undergraduate degree in public relations and speech communication from California State University Fullerton and a graduate degree in mass communication and journalism from University of Colorado at Boulder as the sponsorship and youth programs manager for the Arabian Horse Association, a trainer for Skill Path Seminars, and as the development director for The Urban Farm. She is currently on the Interscholastic Board of Directors and sits on the Colorado State University Equine Advisory Council.

Real Colors Inventory for Working with Your Clients and Staff – Saturday 6 :30 – 8 :30 p.m. ($15 fee for instrument)

Come to this interactive fun session to learn about your personality style how to communicate well with your staff, clients, parents and others even when you think they might be being « difficult. »



Lisa Lombardi

Lisa Lombardi started as a wrangler at a summer camp that offered a performance drill team to campers. Lisa’s experience includes reining, jumping, dressage, trail riding, horse camping, mounted color guard, and mounted assistance unit with the American Quarter Horse Association and Appaloosa Horse Club. She has worked with Pam Prudler, one of the original CHA founders; Mike Boyle, then president of NRHA; Diana Thompson, equine acupressure expert and author of “Acupressure Point Charts for Horses;” and many others. Lisa earned a B.A. in English with an emphasis in education. She also enjoys writing equine articles for the Sonoma County Horse Journal. Lisa has been CHA Certified since 1990 and is currently CHA Clinic Staff as well as a Site Evaluator. Lisa teaches lessons on her nine horses and clients’ horses, as well as at an after-school and a summer camp program. Lisa puts on monthly play days, and her students compete in dressage and jumping. Lisa has also taught hands-on equine science courses at Santa Rosa Junior College. Lisa is also PATH Intl. certified and CIEP-ED certified.

How to Retain Clients RoundTable – Thursday at 6:30 p.m. - Cafeteria

Advertising one’s equestrian business is essential.  However, it is even more important to retain clients. What can be done to increase the likelihood that a student will return for a second, third or hundred forty-first riding lesson? What are clients looking for in a riding program? What can instructors do to ensure satisfied customers that will spread the word and become your best advertisement? In this course we will explore strategies to maintain satisfied customers long-term. Topics will include thoughtful lesson plans, goal-setting, a no-drama positive barn environment, and much more. As an instructor, some of my students have taken lessons with me for decades. Many are life-long recreational horse enthusiasts. Others have moved up through the levels and become CHA certified riding instructors, competitors, and equine professionals. A few have grown up, and now bring their children to ride with me. And I even now give lessons to the parents who originally brought their children for lessons. The value of retaining clients long-term is at least as important as attracting the clients in the first place.



Amanda MacDonald

Amanda MacDonald, Founder of Full Gallop Communications, is a marketing veteran that works with equine-based businesses on improving brand communication, marketing strategy, and content marketing. With almost 20 years of experience, and a lifetime of riding behind her, MacDonald loves to work with the companies that enrich the lives of her riding partners, including HorseGuard, Equinutrix Nutrition Solutions, and Hoof MD. She has presented equestrian and sports marketing topics at AETA and ATA.

Marketing Smarter - Best Practices for Riding Instructors – Thursday 3 – 4 p.m. – Schaller Hall

Stop feeling overloaded by your (or lack of) marketing efforts! This informative session will cover a variety of best marketing practices, including tactics for social media, website, photography/video, as well as selected shortcut tools. We will also review a case study of “gold standard” instructor marketing.  A handout on monthly social media topic ideas will be included for session attendees.



Valerie McCloskey

Valerie McCloskey owns WhisperWind Equestrian Centre and VLM Dressage and Sport horses. Where she trains, teaches, clinics. She has earned her USDF Bronze ad Silver medals on horses she trainer herself and is currently working towards earning her Gold Medal. She is also an USDF L Graduate with Distinction and a CHA Master Instructor and ACI.  Valerie enjoys teaching horses and riders of all seats , levels and specializes in horse and rider biomechanics showing people the hows and whys of how the riders body affects the horse.

Leg Yielding and Side Passing – Friday 3 – 4:15 p.m. – Event Center Arena

In this session, we will do a general warmup and bring awareness to horses hind legs and feeling the movement. Then we will progress to turn on the forehand to reinforce and check in that the horse and rider understand the inside leg to outside rein connection and from there we will progress to working on the leg yield.



Jim McDonald

Jim McDonald is founder and chairman of the Graham Equestrian center.  The center is a non-profit organization dedicated to horsemanship education.  As an instructor/trainer his focus is on combining knowledge of the nature of the horse as a prey animal and using behavioral psychology in the process of interacting with the horse.  Using this approach enables clear communication with the horse in the training process. This process also minimizes stress for both horse and handler and is used with all interactions with the horse.

The Applied Science of Horse Training RoundTable – Thursday at 6:30 p.m. - Cafeteria

Discussion of the principles of learning theory and behavioral psychology as they apply to all aspects of horse training. 



Tom Neuman

Tom Neuman, is the owner of RevitaVet Therapy Systems.  It was established in 2005 and still running strong.  They are based in Phoenix, AZ and proudly manufacture their “game changing” equine products in Albuquerque, NM.  They are now in 16 countries and growing.

Infrared Light Therapy and Horses RoundTable - Thursday at 6:30 p.m. – Cafeteria

Ask your questions about infrared light therapy and how it can benefit you and your client’s horses.



Cynthia Niemela

Cynthia Niemela became a certified CHA instructor in 1998.  She has a BS in Animal Science and was a long time 4-H leader and riding instructor before 1998.  In 2003 she learned to do barefoot hoof trimming and has done that professionally for the last 16 years as well.  The barefoot hoof trimming lead to exposure to Equine Osteopathy in 2010 and eventual completion of the 4 year Equine Osteopathy program at the Vluggen Institute in 2014.  Since 2014 she has been practicing Equine Osteopathy, practicing and teaching barefoot hoof trimming and teaching riding to a select few clients.  Teaching has included taking students on trail rides on barefoot horses in the beautiful Black Hills of South Dakota where she now lives.

Equine Osteopathy Roundtable: A Mobile Horse is a Happy Horse and Happy Horse is a Safer Horse - Thursday at 6:30 p.m. - Cafeteria

From the Osteopathic perspective, mobility encompasses every place in the body where two tissues move against each other.  Any place where there is a restriction in that mobility will have an effect on the musculature, the nervous system, the circulatory system, the digestive system and the behavior of the horse.  So what does that mean for a performance horse, a ranch horse, a school horse, a dude horse or a camp horse?  Have you ever had a mare suddenly just turned grumpy and unwilling to do her job?  Have you ever had a gelding that seemingly, overnight, can’t hold a lead in his hind quarters?    A horse that can’t stand for the farrier?  A horse that inexplicably becomes head-shy or girthy?  All of these have logical explanations and solutions within the realm of Equine Osteopathy.  

Equine Osteopathy: A Demonstration – Lesson Barn Arena – Friday 3 – 4:15 p.m. – Lesson Barn Arena

Live demonstration of an Equine Osteopathic Examination and Mobilization with discussion of the findings.  Cynthia will demonstrate an exam and share the results and evaluation of what she finds as well as the recommendations for follow-up care and use of the horse.  


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