Feb 14, 2024

An Ideal Match: Connecting with Your Next Eventing Coach

USEA/Lindsay Berreth photo

The following is provided through a partnership between STRIDER and the USEA. As part of our commitment to diversity, enabling access, and building capacity throughout the industry we are pleased to provide this content to benefit the sport of eventing.

There are a number of motivations for seeking out a new instructor to meet your eventing goals. Whether you are just learning the sport, seeking some additional help in a particular phase, relocating, or you’ve just parted ways with your longtime teacher, connecting with a new coach can feel like a daunting task.

While seeking out a new instructor is highly personal, the team at STRIDER has compiled a few considerations that may help you navigate the next steps to get you and your horse on track to achieve your training and competition goals.

Step 1: It Starts with You

Have an understanding of your own learning style and a clear grasp on what your short- and long-term goals are. When seeking out new instruction it can be helpful for your new coach to know these things and be able to tell you whether or not they can help you on a path to achieve your goals.

Remember to also communicate clearly with your current instructor if you are seeking additional or new help elsewhere. Best case scenario: he or she may be able to point you in the right direction, and if not you’ve at least done the right thing in terms of being upfront about your needs.

Step 2: Evaluate Credentials & Experience

The key word here is evaluate. Keep your goals in mind and take a look at your potential coaches’ competition experience, certification(s), and see what their students are up to!

USEA’s Directory of ECP Certified Eventing Coaches can be a fantastic resource. Organized by USEA Area and featuring contact information as well as certification level, it’s a great tool to leverage.

Step 3: Do Your Research

Find out if any of your acquaintances have taken a lesson from the person you’re interested in riding with (or know anyone who currently rides with that person!). Do a little digging on your new potential instructor's website and social media channels to get a sense for what they’re like.

Taking a close look at someone’s online footprint can also give you some clues about their communication style—is the information you're looking for easy to find on their website? Does their social media use language that you like the sound of? Are there recent competition updates and photos?

Step 4: Observe

If it’s feasible—and something that will help your decision-making process—watch a lesson. See if you can get a sense for the coach’s emphasis on safety and horsemanship skills, communication style, lesson structure, and overall conduct.

Step 5: Try it Out

Remember that you are the best advocate for yourself and your horse. You can always try out a lesson (or a bunch!) with a new instructor before making any sort of commitment. Unlike some gym memberships or cell phone contracts, you’re very rarely getting locked into anything when you decide to ride with someone new. The beauty there is that you can also go in a different direction at any time.

Ensuring an instructor is the right fit for your riding goals, learning style, and personality can take a bit of work, but it’s worth the time and effort to enhance your partnership with your horse. However you define success, remember that your love of the horse motivated you first. We hope these steps help you to carefully evaluate and select an instructor who can set you up for a rewarding experience.

STRIDER is the leading entry platform across disciplines for the equestrian industry.

From enabling riders to discover and book the perfect opportunity to helping equestrians across the industry grow and run their businesses, STRIDER fosters connections to top-tier experiences. Please visit www.striderpro.com to learn more about the suite of software products and services available.

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Apr 13, 2024 Profile

Now On Course: AEC Dreaming After a 30-Year Hiatus with Kelly O'Brien

Kelly O’Brien has her eye on a prize. “Pretty much the rest of this season will be targeted towards getting fired up for the AEC,” says O’Brien, 54. She and B E Never Say Never, a 19-year-old Dutch Warmblood, have qualified for the 2024 USEA American Eventing Championships (AEC) presented by Nutrena Feeds already, thanks to decisively winning all three of their 2024 outings thus far.

Apr 12, 2024 USEA Foundation

Applications for The Event at Rebecca Farm Travel Grant Due June 1

The Event at Rebecca Farm (Kalispell, Montana) is renowned amongst members of the eventing community for its exceptional competition venue, genuine hospitality, and stunning backdrops. The Broussard Family Charitable Foundation and USEA Foundation are excited to share that travel grants to this iconic venue are returning once again for 2024 to assist riders traveling to Montana to compete in the CCI3* and CCI4* divisions at this year’s competition which takes place July 17-21.

Apr 12, 2024 Resources

Heads Up Competitors! Important Information Surrounding Entry Form and Liability Waiver Requirements for USEA/USEF Eventing Competitions

When aiming to compete in a United States Eventing Association (USEA) recognized competition (national competition or international competition), licensed or endorsed by the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF), understanding and fulfilling the specific requirements for entry forms and liability waivers is crucial.

Apr 12, 2024 Emerging Athletes U21

USEA Names Athletes for 2024 EA21 Regional Programs

The United States Eventing Association (USEA) is pleased to announce the athletes selected for the 2024 USEA Emerging Athlete U21 Program (EA21). USEA Young Rider program members aged 21 and under are eligible for the program. The purpose of the USEA EA21 Program is to identify and provide consistent quality instruction to the next generation of elite event riders.

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