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.
As complex as eventing can be through the various lines and tracks presented to horses and riders in the jumping phases, gridwork can help make things simpler when in the heat of the moment of a competition, clinic, or lesson. Regardless of the level, gridwork teaches horses and riders to establish the rhythm they will need and the feeling they get from successfully riding a line of jumps.
Spending three months in Florida over the winter is all about bringing the basics back to my riding. Most of my horses have lighter work in November and December, so when they go back in training at the start of the new year, I try to make sure that all of my work is about keeping it simple using flatwork, ground poles, cavaletti, and small jumps and focusing on exercises that reinforce the rider and horse connection. In all three phases of eventing, I feel it’s important to have a way of connecting with your horse that is basic and consistent.
For seasoned and novice riders alike, it is always good to revisit the basics. Serving as the foundation for any eventer, the positions used on the cross-country course differ from those in the dressage or show jumping ring. The USEA tuned into five-time Olympian, three-time World Equestrian Games rider, two Pan-American Games rider, and USEA ECP certified coach Karen O'Connor as she walked coaches and students at the USEA ECP Symposium through the basic positions for effective cross-country riding.
With the recent wrap-up of the 2023 Eventing Coaches Program (ECP) Symposium in Ocala, Florida, USEA Podcast Host Nicole Brown chats with ECP Faculty Members Jennifer Howlett Rousseau and Robin Walker about all things related to the ECP. From the USEA Eventing Handbook by the Levels to the benefits of pursuing certification, selecting the best coach for you, recapping this year's Symposium, and more - this week's USEA podcast is the perfect educational tool for coaches and riders alike!
What a fabulous week of coaching for coaches at the 2023 USEA Eventing Coaches Program (ECP) Symposium. Throughout the week, instructors (both ECP certified and non-certified) collaborated with ECP Faculty to discuss relevant and challenging topics and put the USEA Eventing Handbook by the Levels to work through strategizing clear, consistent lesson plans for demonstration riders of all levels across the three phases of the sport.