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. 

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. 

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 can be reached at susan@camphebron.org.

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.  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. 

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.

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.  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.  

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. 

Diana De Rosa


Diana DeRosa is a veteran equestrian photo journalist, who has traveled the world and has recorded equestrian history for over 35 years. Her stories and photography have taken her to over 30 countries. An accomplished rider herself, De Rosa understands the horse world from many different angles. De Rosa has been one of the few journalists to be credentialed to cover the past eight Olympic Games (including being on assignment for USA Today for the 1992 Olympics).She has also covered or been on staff at every World Equestrian Games, numerous Pan American Games and World Cups. Her most recent endeavor has been combining the world of acting into her life. She is a SAG-AFTRA member. More about that can be seen at www.dianaderosa.net  She also has two of her own columns on hubpages.com/@dianaderosa. Her photography can be seen at www.dianaderosa.com.


Night at the Movies – Equus Film Festival – Wednesday at 7 p.m. – Houghton Recital Hall


The movies that will be seen are - DESERT FLIGHT (2018) USA 40:00 min / Directed by: Ryan Koral

A love letter to the sport of show jumping, this is a documentary short film that explores the unique relationship with the horse and why people dedicate so much to the equestrian life.


A PONY AND HIS BOY THE STORY OF BERRY & JOSH (2018) USA 25:00 min / Directed by: Julianne Neal

This movie shows the power of a pony and the effect that he had on one small boy who had been afraid of animals, especially horses, all of his life. Filmed in Illinois, North and South Carolina, plus featuring heartfelt testimonials and informative interviews, “A Pony and His Boy” is a testament to the power of the horse.


THE WILD PONIES of CHINCOTEAGUE 59:00 min / Directed by: Kurt Kolaja & Tod Mesirow USA

The legend says that a Spanish Galleon carrying ponies crashed off the Atlantic coast. The ponies swam free of the sinking ship and reached the New World. Decedents of that lost band live today, wild and free, on the barrier island, Assateague, Virginia. To keep the population in check foals are auctioned each year. Sabrina Dobbins made a winning bid and took a pony home, for her it was a pivotal moment.

Lisa Diersen


Lisa Diersen is an avid equestrian, she has spent her life in the company of horses. Riding since she could sit in a saddle, Lisa has a great appreciation for all types of equestrian disciplines. She is the Founder and Director of the EQUUS Film Festival. Her mission is to show the world how horses can bring everyone together regardless of race, age, gender, abilities or disabilities. Lisa is passionate about the education and enlightenment of others to the wonderful world of horses and everything they can do to enrich our lives. She spends her time, when not promoting equestrian film, having fun promoting the new equestrian sport of Working Equitation and raising and training Lusitano horses. lisa@equusfilmfestival.net 


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  barb.dipalma@polysols.com. 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.  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.  In 2000, Marla began studying the field of behavior science and positive reinforcement training.  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 CHA International Conference Tammi was honored with the coveted “CHA Volunteer of the Year Award”.  

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.  

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.  

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.  

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 www.Greenblood.horse 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 JulieGoodnight.com.

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?

WESTERN DRESSAGE- Friday 10:30-11:45 a.m. Event Center Arena

An understanding of training your horse for the sport. Riders will be learning how to better communicate with their horse through the use of natural aids and arena exercises.

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.


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.

Celia King

Celia King is the lead consultant at Arrants McSwain Team Buildingwhere 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.  


Christy Landwehr

Christy has been teaching in the equine industry for over 35 years. She is a Master Level Riding Instructor/Equine Facility Manager with Certified Horsemanship Association (CHA) and has taught students in 4-H and Pony Club.  Christy is an AQHA and APHA Professional Horseman and sits on the Colorado State University Equine Sciences Advisory Council and on the Interscholastic Equestrian Association Board.  She was the Sponsorship/Youth Programs Manager for the Arabian Horse Association, a trainer for Skill Path Seminars, and the Development Director for The Urban Farm that works with at-risk youth in Denver. Currently, she is the CEO for CHA and a clinician and site accreditor. Christy has spoken at numerous events throughout her career

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. 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 ClinicStaff 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 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 cients.  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. 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.  FullGallopComm.com

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.


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.


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 that time.  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.  

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.


Molly O’Brien

Growing up as your typical horse-crazy kid, Molly O’Brien had her first pony ride at age 5, started regular lessons at 7, became the proud owner of her first horse at 12, and has consistently owned at least one horse ever since. On the professional front, Molly has been fortunate to combine her enthusiasm for all things equine with her career path, including marketing communications and leadership positions with both non-profit and for-profit equine organizations. Believing firmly that it’s important to “give back” in some way, Molly derives great pleasure from helping others learn about and enjoy horses, striving to help them find the joy and passion that horses have brought to her life. Molly is the current Time to Ride Program Manager.

How Time To Ride® Can Benefit CHA Members RoundTable – Thursday at 6:30 p.m. - Cafeteria

Time To Ride is conducting a pilot program in 2019 based on the golf industry’s The First Tee. Learn more about the ongoing results of the pilot program, the evolution of Time To Ride’s mission, and how this program can benefit your business and the horse industry overall in 2020 and beyond.


Larissa Ries

Larissa Ries is the Equestrian Program Director and Assistant Professor of Recreation at Houghton College.  She teaches college equestrian classes, trains horses, shows, and manages the running of the Equestrian Center. She is a Certified Horsemanship Association (CHA) Master Instructor and Assistant Clinic Instructor for Standard and Equine Facility Management programs. She has competed in the disciplines of eventing, hunter/jumpers and dressage. Larissa has completed her bronze medal in dressage and this past season was able to compete and get scores toward her silver medal.  She is excited to continue growing in her knowledge of dressage and jumping in the future! She has a Master’s degree in Equestrian Education and is fully committed to promoting effective and safe equine instruction.  Larissa truly enjoys helping others learn about the amazing equine partners that help her do her job!

Jumping Gymnastics - Exercises for Horse and Rider  - Saturday 10:30 – 11:45 a.m. – Event Center Arena

In this workshop we will work through gymnastic exercises that focus on helping the horse develop a steady rhythm and balance. These exercises will also help the rider improve their jumping position and build greater confidence.  She will discuss how to correctly set up the gymnastic exercises to help everyone feel confident that they can try similar grids at home.



Megan Smits

Megan Smits is a certified instructor through both the CHA as well as PATH Int'l, and is currently the General Manager of Horses for Healing, located in Bentonville, AR. HFH serves on average 400 children with special needs each year in their therapeutic riding program, and strives to provide an integrated ‘sports’ program for riders of all abilities who wish to grow their skills in dressage and hunter jumpers.  Her unique approach to delivery of services has been rewarded by state level recognition and awards, as well as invitations to speak about Best Practices and Therapeutic Riding at both state and regional conferences.

Focusing on Abilities – Friday 9 – 10:15 a.m. – Event Center Classroom

In this lecture, we aim to challenge the idea of therapeutic riding, and grow our understanding of abilities relative to disabilities. After a brief overview of the history of therapeutic riding, we will discuss the certification processes available for therapeutic riding instructors, and the goals of a therapeutic lesson. What does it mean to be a therapeutic riding instructor? What challenges do we face that are unique to this field, and are they really unique? Examples of actual therapeutic riding students will be considered, and the approach to teaching will be explored. Discussion is encouraged to inspire thought and consideration on a deeper level as we explore the topic. 


Ellen Taylor

Ellen Taylor's roots are deeply planted in Standardbreds and harness racing with a grandfather and both parents having held trainers' and drivers' licenses. Growing up, she was heavily involved in the family training and breeding operation serving as caretaker, night watchman, and assisting with administrative responsibilities. In addition, Ellen has been involved with the charitable Harness Horse Youth Foundation since she was 16 and has served as Executive Director for the past 29 years.

Lines, Not Reins – A Primer on Harness, Driving & Racing – Saturday 1:30 – 2:45 p.m. – Event Center Arena

The audience will have some fun and interactive opportunities to learn about harnessing, hitching, and tips on driving. We will examine and compare driving and racing equipment all with the patient assistance from a equine member of the Harness Horse Youth Foundation stable! And as a teaser: do you know what "Indiana pants" might be?

Mollie Vacco

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.

Susanne Valla

Susanne Valla has been involved with CHA since 1978 and is a CHA Past President and Clinic Instructor. She has a degree in Equine Science and one in Graphic Design and Illustration. She set up and ran the Equestrian Program at Blue Star Camps for 35+ years. Besides working with horses she has been involved with graphic design, designing logos (including the CHA logo), websites, business cards etc. She has worked on the CHA Manuals, Designed the “I AM Soulshine” book and illustrated the children’s books “The Dog That Barked Bear”, and “The Song of the Spirit Bear.” This presentation is designed to help you decided how to let people know what you have to offer and how to achieve your goals.

Does Your Horse Business Need a Brand/Identity? – Friday 3 – 4:15 p.m. – Event Center Classroom

You have decided to have your own horse business, so now what do you do, what do you need? Branding is a way of defining your business. How important is your business identity or branding to your success? We will talk about good design and what you will need i.e.…logo, business cards, website etc.  Are they necessary? How to go about achieving your goals and keeping it within your budget.

Jesse Westfall

Jesse Westfall grew up watching western shows with his grandpa and knew early on that he wanted to ride horses. His parents attempted to redirect this desire into showing dogs yet in a twist of destiny his 4H leaders owned horses and happened to have a horse that wasn’t being used. Over the years Jesse has accumulated a record to be proud of including multiple NRHA and AQHA yearend awards, and being a two-time reserve champion at the All American Quarter Horse Congress. Jesse serves as an NRHA judge and he has presided over shows in the US, Canada and Australia. He has a vast knowledge and interest in performance horses — especially reining — and he has spent years gleaning extensive knowledge from the many well-known trainers for whom he has worked. Even now, though he is a talented trainer and seasoned horseman, Jesse never tires of riding with and learning from others. He has a strong interest in bloodlines and breeding, and has put much time and effort into studying both. He has bred and helped manage customers breeding programs and is responsible for breeding horses that have won 11 All American Quarter horse Congress championships. He serves as a constant inspiration to Stacy, and is a dedicated father and friend to their three young sons. He stands as a strong example to his family and to all those around him, unwavering in his beliefs and convictions.

Training Through Problems with Lesson Horses – Saturday at Noon – Event Center Arena

This session will take a deep dive into lesson horse training issues that might arise and how to best solve them. Issues such as diving into the center of the arena, dropping their inside shoulder, lazy, speedy and much more!

How to Get More Suppleness and Bend Out of Your Lesson Horses – Saturday 3 – 4:15 p.m. – Lesson Barn Arena

Come to see exercises that you and your student’s can go to keep your lesson horses supple.

Jo-Anne Young

Jo-Anne Young has found that dedication to a lifetime of learning means that teaching stays exciting.  It is a thrill to have opportunity to make useful to other riders new ways of presenting knowledge to be effective with many types of learners.  She is very grateful for the many opportunities she has had to study with some of the world's best instructors and trainers.  

Developing Connections Through Half Halts – Friday 1:30 – 2:45 p.m. – Event Center Arena

How to achieve that wonderful feeling of having a horse shift weight to its hocks, lift its back to fill the rider's seat, and reach gently to the bit, so that horse and rider can achieve optimal balance needed for a joyful, accurate ride.

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.