United States Eventing Association, Inc. - US National Combined Training, Horse Trials: Dressage, Cross Country, Show Jumping

Instructors Certification Program

Capable instructors are essential to the training of riders and their horses for humane, safe, and skilled participation in the sport of eventing. Having begun its Workshops in 2002, the USEA Instructors’ Certification Program (ICP) educates all levels of event instructors to confirm and add to their knowledge base, both theoretical and practical, upon which they will continue to build throughout their teaching lifetime. For USEA certified instructors, this knowledge base supports not only the teaching of event riding, training, and competing, but also the care of the horse and the development of effective and safe teaching methods.

Note:  To ask questions about the Instructors' Certification Program or to find out how to sign up for ICP Workshop(s), contact Nancy Knight at nancy@useventing.com or Sue Hershey at swhershey36@gmail.com.

Order your ICP Standards Booklet | ICP Workbook


  • Identifies essential training principles for riders and horses, drawn from time-tested sources and from experience with today’s competition challenges;
  • Offers to instructors materials, workshops, and mentor opportunities that present these training principles in a developmental sequence;
  • Certifies instructors at a specific ICP Level of teaching knowledge and proficiency, inviting them to continue to learn – and to achieve a higher level of certification, if they so desire;
  • Supports enhancement of certified instructors’ knowledge and skill through ICP’s Continuing Education  Program requirements;
  • Provides an atmosphere of professional openness and support to all instructors so that on-going sharing and learning are facilitated.

PLEASE NOTE:  To register with USEA’s Instructors’ Certification Program, ask questions, and/or obtain further information about ICP, contact Nancy Knight at nancy@useventing.com (703 669-9997) or Sue Hershey at swhershey36@gmail.com (412 963-6359), both located within the Eastern Time zone.

NOTE ALSO that ICP does not require a candidate instructor to enter the Instructors’ Certification Program at the lowest ICP Level.  Rather, a candidate instructor determines which ICP Level best matches his/her highest level of teaching knowledge and skill based upon a self-evaluation of his/her own history of riding, competing, and learning/teaching.  Then he or she attends the appropriate Workshop(s), receives feedback on his/her teaching from the Workshop(s) faculty member, and confirms the ICP Level at which he/she wants to be assessed at an ICP Assessment.  

  • Contact Nancy Knight for an ICP registration form.  Complete that form and return it to Nancy. Read the ICP Standards Booklet and the ICP Workbook  which you will receive once you register with ICP.  Also, before attending an ICP Workshop, begin your reading/reviewing of ICP required and recommended readings, which are listed in both the Standards Booklet and the Workbook.
  • Submit to Nancy Knight verifications of your instruction from 3 of the highest-competing students whom you are teaching and/or have taught.  See below for detail about the competition level of those students.
  • Attend as a candidate instructor the required ICP Levels I/II Workshops Pair or the required Levels III/IV Workshop, whichever you deem appropriate to your knowledge, eye, skill,and experience as an instructor. (See below for definitions of ICP Levels. ) Find Workshops on the ICP calendar page of this website; contact a Workshop host to enter a Workshop.
  • After attending the required Workshop(s) appropriate to your ICP Level, contact Nancy Knight to sign up for an ICP Assessment.
  • Prepare to be assessed by ICP, attend an ICP Assessment, and pass!
  • Once certified, complete the ICP Continuing Education Program requirements during each 4-year continuing education cycle for as many years as you wish to remain current with your ICP certification.  To remain current as an ICP-certified instructor, you must remain a USEA member at any level of USEA membership;  possess current professional liability insurance; possess a current cpr/first aid card; and be in the process of fulfilling ICP’s Continuing Education activities credits.


1.)  ICP Levels Defined
2.)  The Regular ICP Certificate and the Provisional ICP Certificate
3.)  Segments of the Instructors’ Certification Program: ICP Workshops, ICP Assessments, and ICP Continuing Education   
4.)  Benefits of ICP certification

Latest News

March 18, 2014
Sue Hershey details five jumping exercises in her article on the 2014 ICP Ocala Symposium with Aaron Vale. Additionally, the article looks at five horse and rider pairs to reveal the positive effects that Aaron's gymnastic line has on very different horses.
March 18, 2014
Sue Hershey was in attendance for the 2014 ICP Ocala Symposium, and provided an in-depth recap of the lessons that Canadian international dressage rider Jacqueline Brooks taught.
February 6, 2014
"Yogi likened the cross-country horse to a race car with 5 gears, using the fifth gear for galloping and simple single fences. Gearing down is needed for combinations and ‘problem’ fences, but always keep the engine revved." Julie Hook recaps Yogi Breisner's sessions at the USEA ICP Symposium at the Trifecta Event at Galway Downs.
February 4, 2014
The U.S. Eventing Association’s Instructors’ Certification Program (ICP) invites event riders, instructors, horse owners, and other friends of the sport to attend the 2014 ICP Ocala Symposium, Monday and Tuesday, February 10 and 11, at Longwood Farm South in Ocala, Florida.
January 15, 2014
Don't miss this exciting event, West Coasters! Open to everyone to audit, Yogi Breisner will host the USEA ICP Interactive Symposium and Pippa Funnel will host the Galway Downs Annual Two Day Fundraiser. Click for more information and registration.


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