The United States Eventing Associations’ (USEA) Eventing Coaches Program (ECP) is pleased to announce the dates and location of the upcoming 2024 ECP Symposium. The annual ECP Symposium, which is held in the southeast to accommodate the migration of eventers for the winter season, will be hosted at the Florida Horse Park in Ocala, Florida, on Jan. 30 – Feb. 1, 2024. This three-day immersive educational experience is recommended for anyone who is interested in learning more about eventing coaching, including current coaches, riders, parents, owners or avid supporters. Click here to download the registration form today!
Cross-country is the heart and soul of eventing; it's what separates us from the other disciplines. Our sport is unique in that we do three very different phases, and though we ride at different speeds and in different positions, it's important that we are consistent in the way we communicate with our horses. The basics of flatwork must carry over to the jumping phases.
The mere mention of the word “equitation” in eventing circles is often met with rolled eyes and raised hackles. No doubt for many eventers the word conjures up images of expensively clothed stick-people with overly arched backs posing as riders on their overly prepped mounts. Those images do not represent what the word describes, nor do those images represent how the discipline of correct and effective equitation has served the great icons of equestrian sports in all three disciplines (Think William Steinkraus, Reiner Klimke, and our own Jim Wofford).
While exercise off the horse is always useful to improve a rider’s cardio fitness, strength, and flexibility, there’s still no substitute for time spent in the saddle. If you’re looking for some variety in your training and have a safe, reliable horse, longing (also known as lunging) can be a useful tool to improve your seat, strength, and coordination in the saddle.
Wow, what an amazing experience and well worth the time, pressure, and nerves! As I sit down to write this article, I have just watched Kentucky with a new lens on rider, horse, position, questions, and quality of canter. I have also since coached at several events, and as I walked the courses with my students and watched riders go, I was doing so with a new perspective. I was reminded that I am more educated and better informed thanks to the Eventing Coaches Program (ECP).
The German Training Scale (GTS) is a system of evaluating and prioritizing the way of going of the horse in work and should be used to determine where you start your daily program. The Familiarization Phase of rhythm and relaxation are followed by the Developing of Propulsion Phase introducing connection and impulsion with straightness and collection in the Development of Carrying Power. The clearer the basics of rhythm, relaxation, and connection are established, the easier impulsion, straightness, and collection can be added.
The U.S. Eventing Association (USEA) Board of Governors (BOG) recently approved a change to the USEA Eventing Coaches Program (ECP) levels.
In 2021, the ECP, then known as the Instructors Certification Program, changed levels to align with FEI competition levels. Since then, the ECP Committee has learned that having certification levels that included more than one competition level was making it difficult for coaches to achieve eligibility to obtain certification at Level I and II due to the requirement that a coach have at least three students competing at the top level of certification.
Being a successful eventer involves so much more than riding the three phases of dressage, cross-country, and show jumping. Joan Simmons, a founding member of what is now the USEA Eventing Coaches Program (ECP) and a Level III USEA ECP Certified Coach, shared her thoughts about how, more than riding, horsemanship is the foundation of a successful eventing partnership.
Putting 70-plus eventing coaches and instructors in a room and asking them to share their opinions and experiences could be considered the definition of organized chaos. But at the 2022 and 2023 Eventing Coaches Program (ECP) Educational Symposiums, the resulting thoughtful and creative discussion has become a popular educational segment of the symposium, the fruits of which will be helpful to coaches and students alike.
One of my passions is continuing to be a good student, because I think no matter how old I get, there are multiple reasons learning new things inspires me. First and foremost, it helps me be a better rider and trainer, so my horses benefit. Second, it helps me be a better teacher by exposing me to different ways to have a relationship with a horse or a student.
A coach plays a crucial role in the education, safety, and success in competition of event horses and riders. The role of coaches, the techniques they use, and the resources available to them continue to evolve and grow. Jennifer Howlett Rousseau, a Level IV USEA Eventing Coaches Program (ECP) Certified Coach who runs L’Esprit Equestrian, LLC. in Barrington, Illinois, and who serves on the United States Eventing Association (USEA) Board of Governors, shared her thoughts about the importance of proper coaching and the responsibilities that trainers and riders have for creating a successful relationship.