Jennifer Howlett Rousseau

May 22, 2024

The Importance of Foot Work for Eventing Horses

Why do some horses and riders always seem to find their balance and their feet when the unexpected happens? The answer may lie in the time-tested practice of gymnastic exercises. Every rider, every horse, at every level can benefit from the use of ground poles, cavalletti, and gymnastic exercises over small fences. This article is aimed at improving the balance and stability of both horse and rider. Improved balance and stability not only contribute to better show jumping and cross-country jumping, but are the foundations of more secure and safer riding.

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Mar 20, 2024 Education

The USEA Eventing Handbook by the Levels: Your Ultimate Resource

Many years ago, I composed a document for my students called “The Building Blocks for Learning to Ride.” It covered the progressive stages of learning to ride, from sitting on a horse and holding the reins for the first time to jumping cavalletti and preparing for course work. Each step was numbered. I wrote it so that any student of mine who found themselves stuck, in a rut, or regressing could find where they were on this “Building Block” roadmap and then work backward through the previous blocks to see where they might have missed a step or needed to reconfirm a skill.

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Nov 29, 2023 News

Join the Eventing Coaches Program Mini-Symposium at the USEA Annual Meeting & Convention!

Join the Eventing Coaches Program on Dec. 9 at 9:30 a.m. at the USEA Annual Meeting & Convention for a 90-minute, deep dive into the training and coaching of riders and horses for the sport of eventing. The interactive program will focus on developing an “eye” for discerning the current skill set of a horse/rider combination, identifying what issues need addressing, what underlying problems may be contributing to the issues, and prioritizing next steps.

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Sep 29, 2023 Education

The Eventing Coaches Program Focuses on Area and Regional Needs

The USEA Eventing Coaches Program (ECP) has initiated a renewed focus on the diverse challenges coaches in various regions of the country may be facing. To this end, the program is in the process of enlisting representatives in each of the 10 USEA areas to help guide the program as warranted for the unique needs of each specific area.

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Aug 23, 2023 Instructors

Drilling Down on the Details: The Importance of Effective Equitation for Eventing

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).

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Apr 22, 2023 Educational Activities

The Round Table: Harnessing the Power of Experience

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.

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Dec 27, 2022 Instructors

Certification: An Important and Impactful Choice for Coaches and Riders

Unlike most other eventing nations, there is no requirement for eventing coaches to be certified to teach or coach in the United States. In most other countries, and certainly in the countries that are the most competitive on the world stage, there is a process by which instructors and coaches are prepared for and then examined to be certified to teach and coach. Conversely, here in the U.S., certification is a choice. Coaches may or may not choose to complete the ECP program, without penalty or impediment to their lawful right to earn a living as a coach. Accordingly, riders may or may not choose to ride and train with a certified coach.

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