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.
Get to know a few of the ICP Instructors from Area V, which includes Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Texas.
Holly Parks is an ICP Level II certified instructor that operates Flint Equestrian in Magnolia, Texas, northwest of Houston. "I run a boutique operation providing high-quality care and attention to every aspect of the training and care of each equine, working with each student to meet their competition goals," Parks said. "My focus is on proper education of the horse and rider through a solid foundation and progressive development. My attention to detail and methodical approaches ensure success for each of my mounts and students alike."
In addition to training and teaching, Parks is also a CPA! "I just launched my own tax and consulting business alongside my training business after twelve years working in public accounting. I serve individuals and small businesses, particularly those in the equestrian industry!"
Angela Bowles runs her own Tempus Eventing out of Burleson, Texas. She is an ICP Level III certified instructor. Bowles' riders have won six North American Youth Championships gold medals, have been on two USEF Eventing 25 and USEF Eventing 18 lists, and won the USEA American Eventing Championships. "I enjoy teaching a wide variety of horse and rider combinations," said Bowles. "I coach riders from the Starter level to Advanced winners."
Bowles' philosophy "revolves around creating the safest and most positive learning experience to help each horse and rider succeed at any level they aspire to." When she isn't teaching or riding Bowles can be found cooking!
ICP Level IV certified instructor and ICP faculty member Mary D'Arcy teaches in the Dallas/Fort Worth area of Texas but travels around the country to teach clinics. "I teach students of all ages and abilities, professional and amateur," D'Arcy said. "The most successful students possess a hunger
for understanding - not only the technical aspects of riding, but also the management of their horse, the horse’s
temperament, and how they think and learn. This leads to humane and successful training and partnership at any
level. As a faculty member of the ICP, I also 'teach the teachers,' conducting workshops to certify and develop our
current and next generation of trainers and coaches. My philosophy is rooted in the classical tradition. A perpetual student, I keep an open mind, think outside the
box, and treat all horses and riders as individuals as we identify and work towards goals. The horse has not
read the book!"
D'Arcy served as the head coach of the Irish Olympic Eventing Team for Sydney 2000 and Athens 2004, was the Irish Eventing Team Coach for the 2002 FEI World Equestrian Games (WEG), and coached individuals at the Atlanta Olympic Games 1996 and WEG 1998. She also coached Irish Young Rider Three-Day Eventing Team to a gold medal in the 1995 European Championships in Achelswang, Germany.
"I have a husband and son, and I have lived with toads, guinea pigs, bearded dragons, a python, and two dogs. I enjoy traveling, current affairs, sports, fishing, and watching re-runs of Fawlty Towers!"
Lisa Phillips, an ICP Level I - Training certified instructor, is part of the team at Roland Eventing in Little Rock, Arkansas. "I have coached from first lessons to the North American Youth Championships," shared Phillips. "Helping to develop the harmonious partnership between horse and rider is a priority for me at any level. We are a barn family where hard work, encouragement, success, failure, grit, horsemanship, and perseverance are lived out."
"This is such a wonderful sport, it is an enormous privilege and we grow so much through the relationship with each other, our horses, and competition," Phillips continued. "Each student has an individual goal and plan to help them be the best that they can be in a positive and safe atmosphere. I also encourage my students to become members of our local U.S. Pony Club to gain all of the knowledge they can in horse management."
"I am working on getting my Yoga certification to help my students with rider suppleness, straightness, and strength, as well as mental focus."
Rebecca Brown is an ICP Level III certified instructor who runs her own RB Riding out of Dallas, Texas. She also travels for clinics throughout Area V. "I’ve been told my specialty is finding the best part of each horse and rider combination and nurturing it to its true potential through positive encouragement and well-rounded education," Brown said. "In turn, I have been able to help my students achieve a wide range of success. We have achieved goals of Starter level completion before a 60th birthday to Charles Owen Technical Merit Awards to multiple invitations to the USEF Eventing 18 Program and NAYC individual and team gold medals – and we’ve had so much fun along the way!"
"My mission statement for RB Riding has always been to safely and confidently educate and support riders towards the goals they set for themselves. To encourage riders to prioritize their horse's well-being through dedicated horsemanship, personal responsibility, and self-sufficiency. To inspire a supportive, fun, and family-friendly culture amongst all RB Riding participants."
"Many people don’t know that I started out as a dressage rider who jumped on the side," Brown shared. "I grew up on the lunge line, working on my seat, and only graduated off the lunge once I could perform all First Level tasks without my reins - a very strict and classical education! I transitioned into eventing full time at the age of 14 when an upper level dressage horse proved too costly for my kind, supportive parents. Even then, I swore to my mother that I would never compete above Training level in eventing because the upper levels intimidated me. That didn’t last long!"
Lexi Lind is a ICP Level II certified instructor whose No Faults Farm is based at Southern Cross Equestrian in Terrel, Texas. Lind's philosophy is, “A solid foundation built on the fundamentals along with the love and appreciation of the journey allow for endless possibilities in the growth of both the rider as well as their equine partner."
"The focus of my program is based on clear communication and understanding between horse and rider," she continued. "With every horse and rider, I focus on the classical fundamentals that develop a balanced happy horse and rider combination. My methodology is building skill sets and strength in a systematic fashion where the progression happens naturally. The personal relationships between my clients, their horses, and myself has been a big focus. We are all in this journey together and success comes in the growth, and that looks different for each partnership."
Lind graduated from the University of Washington with a BA in Speech Communications and holds several certifications as a personal fitness trainer. "My fitness education has really influenced my approach to training and I think it brings an added benefit to my riders," she said. "I think understanding what you can do off the horse to enhance the effectiveness of your riding through physical training brings an added benefit to my students and really improves the quality of their riding as well as the enjoyment."
"Most of my career has been spent in Area VII competing and teaching in the Pacific Northwest. I have recently relocated from the Pacific Northwest to Texas and I am looking forward to meeting new people and gaining new insights and perspectives from the community here in Area V, so far it has been a wonderful experience and I am enjoying the adventure."
Siobhan O'Brien is a ICP Level I - Novice certified instructor that teaches at Horselife Farm in Bartonville, Texas, also traveling to nearby Flower Mound and Argyle to teach. "I have developed a program to meet needs of the beginning rider through highly competitive eventer," O'Brien shared. "The barn has riders of all levels, some doing dressage, some schooling hunters, and some eventers. We have built a community feeling where boarders and students enjoy being together."
"As a trainer, I recognize that each student has different goals and mindset. It is imperative that I manage each client differently to address their emotional, physical, and competitive needs. My philosophy is to encourage each student individually to meet their goals."
"Malcolm Gladwell states, 'Anyone can become expert at anything after putting in 10,000 hours of work.' I started riding at 30. I bought my first horse out of the classifieds and kept him for 24 years. He taught me a lot about grit and perseverance and ended up being one of my best lesson horses. I hit 10,000 hours long ago and have loved every minute of horses."
Ellen Doughty-Hume, an ICP Level III certified instructor, operates her own Pegasus Eventing out of Rockwall Hills Equestrian Center just outside of Dallas, Texas. "I am a graduate USCP "A", a USDF Bronze and Silver medalist, and eventing five-star rider," Doughty-Hume said. "I specialize in bringing OTTBs into the sport of eventing and giving them a good, solid foundation. I strive to foster a positive learning environment for both horse and rider with an emphasis on correct basics and a solid foundation."
"Many riders in my program don't even show, they just want to learn to be better horsemen. I focus on safety, fun, and learning correct techniques in order to form a solid foundation and build the building blocks for a rider and horse to achieve success. I have had many riders go on to compete and medal at the North American Youth Championships. I have also helped transition over 150 OTTBs into new careers as sport horses."
Jennifer Bodtmann is an ICP Level III certified instructor in Magnolia, Texas. "I specialize in working with young horses," she shared. "Several of the horses I have either bred, purchased, ridden, and sold have gone on to event through the upper levels. I enjoy sharing the knowledge I have acquired to enable my students to be the best horsemen that they can be. Some non-compromising key philosophies that I have held on to are safety, impeccable stable management, and excellent horsemanship."
"I enjoy working with all levels of horses, young and old, and mature riders. Here recently, several of my young riders have come back to ride with me as adults and they have all commented on the fact that I am much more mellow! They jokingly refer to their younger days with me as riding at the 'JB Boot Camp'."
Ruth Sawin is an ICP Level II certified instructor at Pine Hill in Belleville, Texas. While her primary focus is the running of the Pine Hill Horse Trials, she also instructs regular cross-country clinics at Pine Hill. "My interest is in encouraging our next generation of trainers to become educated and certified to promote safe and better riding in our area," she said. "I organize ICP co-teaching clinics and other ICP related activities at Pine Hill."
Sheryl Lewis, an ICP Level I - Novice certified instructor, teaches out of Double Eagle Farm in San Antonio and Boerne, Texas. "I welcome both junior and adult riders who are interested in learning the intricacies of eventing and horsemanship," Lewis said. "As a trainer, it is important to me that I give my students the tools they need to be confident in their problem-solving ability. I also want my students to enjoy the journey with their horse while reaching goals, no matter how big or small."
The United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) has made five rule changes which will go into effect October 1, 2023. Familiarize yourself with these rule changes below to make sure you are in compliance before heading out for your next event.
With the goal of creating a pathway for young horses in the U.S. and participants of the USEA Young Event Horse (YEH) Program, earlier this year the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) and USEA joined forces to launch the USEF/USEA Developing Horse Eventing National Championships for 6- and 7-year-olds.
The United States Eventing Association (USEA) is pleased to announce that Gina, owned by Corwin Sport Horses, LLC, is the likely recipient of the 2023 Holekamp/Turner Grant and The Dutta Corp. prize. Gina (Gentleman x Ballerina) is a 7-year-old Hanoverian mare ridden by Chris Talley and was bred by Hartwig Von Holten in Germany.
At the August USEA Board of Governors meeting, a proposition was brought forth to officially recognize what is commonly referred to as “Starter level” as a USEA division. For many years now, Starter level has been offered as a test at USEA approved events. The decision to recognize the level officially would allow those competing in Starter level divisions to receive recognition on the USEA Leaderboards and to compete at the Starter level at the USEA American Eventing Championships (AEC) in the future. The motion was approved to recognize this level, and the USEA staff have been hard at work preparing all of the rules, guidelines, and standards that will go along with this level’s recognition for the 2024 season.