For over 20 years the USEA Instructors’ Certification Program (ICP) has been educating all levels of eventing instructors to confirm their knowledge base, both theoretical and practical, upon which they will continue to build throughout their teaching lifetime. The USEA is now shining the spotlight each month on some of the 300 ICP Certified Instructors. Click here to learn more about the USEA Instructors’ Certification Program.
Lee Ann Gilson
Specialty: I am a United States Pony Club "A" graduate who offers instruction to riders of all ages who desire to develop a deeper connection with their mount that enables them to capture the best possible performance while sensing they are moving in unison with their mount.
Philosophy: As an instructor I provide a customized approach for each of my students that allows me to promote the most out of each rider while allowing them to progress at their own pace. I do have high expectations of my students but those expectations are within reach for each rider. I try hard to never compare one student to another because they each are fighting their own battles. Instead, I promote a team attitude and atmosphere that enables everyone to cheer each other on, so each rider's victory becomes everyone's victory. I believe in building people up, not tearing them down. People tend not to progress or learn well in a negative environment so I am all about positivity.
Fun Fact: I have been riding since I was four years old and was born and raised in Vermont. I moved to Georgia 19 years ago and opened my business, In Unison Farm LLC, almost 16 years ago. I have been lucky enough to have two heart horses in my lifetime.
Specialty: I focus on building rider and horse skill sets by a logical progression of exercises carefully crafted for specific personalities and learning styles.
Philosophy: All instruction should include the "how and why" to produce knowledgeable, thinking equestrians able to ride in harmony with their horses. Understanding the physics and physiology of riding can improve performance and safety in our exciting sport of eventing.
Fun Fact: My students know a clear jump round will be rewarded with my very loud "Woohoo!"
Specialty: Area III Young Rider Coordinator for three years. Young Riders, professionals, adults, and dressage.
Philosophy: Each rider must be instilled with the ability to be a horseman first. I believe all riders should have the tools to competently ride all types of horses with empathy and feeling. There are no shortcuts.
Fun Fact: Five four-star horses have come out of my barn with one of those, Balista, successfully competing in the Olympics for Canada.
Speciality: Building a solid foundation through simple exercises and techniques to develop a strong, independent seat. Riders learn to better communicate with their horse through balance and harmony. Emphasis on horsemanship and the daily care is always a priority. In this way, we can develop a true partnership with our horses. I'm grateful to be able to share my passion and take the journey with my students.
Philosophy: Ribbons are just the icing on the cake. Being part of a team and sharing the highs and lows of this amazing sport is so rewarding. There are always opportunities to learn and grow in riding and horsemanship. I strive to be a sponge and continue my education so I can better serve my students and the horses that give us their hearts.
Fun Fact: After high school I spent three summers guiding horseback tours in central and southeast Alaska. We lived in rustic cabins (no electricity or running water) cooking our food over the campfire. Without cell reception or internet, we lived simply with the horses. It was one of the most amazing times in my life.
The United States Eventing Association (USEA) is pleased to announce the addition of the Modified Rider division beginning at the 2023 USEA American Eventing Championships (AEC), presented by Nutrena Feeds. The USEA AEC will move back to the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Kentucky August 29–September 3, 2023.
Are you interested in competing in the sport of eventing but aren’t quite sure how to get started? Do you have a horse that is looking for a new career? Consider participating in a USEA New Event Horse (NEH) competition in 2023! The USEA NEH Program was created to be an introduction to the sport of eventing for both horse and rider, and the 2023 NEH Calendar is now available here.
Will Coleman had a huge 2022 with his string of horses, including a team silver medal at the FEI World Eventing Championship in Italy on Off The Record and top four-star placings with Chin Tonic HS, but it was Dondante whose consistency paid off to earn the Standlee Premium Western Forage USEA Horse of the Year title.
Julie Murray has loved horses since she could breathe, so when her daughters showed an interest in Pony Club and then eventing, she was thrilled to go along for the ride.
Murray started volunteering at the Fallbrook Pony Club near her home in Fallbrook, California, serving as an intermediate district commissioner.