Jan 10, 2023

One Week Until the 2023 ECP Symposium at Barnstaple Eventing: Meet the Speakers

By Kaleigh Collett - USEA Staff
USEA photo

The United States Eventing Associations’ (USEA) newly revamped Eventing Coaches Program (ECP), formerly known as the Instructors’ Certification Program (ICP), will be hosting its first symposium since the program’s rebrand next week. The annual ECP Symposium will be hosted at Barnstaple Eventing in Morriston, FL on January 17-19, 2023. The ECP Symposium is a three-day immersive educational experience for anyone who is interested in learning more about eventing coaching. Click here to register for the symposium through January 12. Missed the online registration window? No worries! You can register on-site the day of the event!

Dr. Paul Haefner presenting at the 2022 ECP Symposium. USEA/Meagan DeLisle photo

A star-studded list of guest speakers will be presenting at this year’s ECP Symposium, the first of which is licensed clinical and sports psychologist, Dr. Paul Haefner. By combining his lifelong love for horses with his knowledge of human psychology, Dr. Haefner strives to help people transform themselves and their relationship with their horses through personal and professional development, sports psychology consultation, and a broad range of other therapeutic services to adults, adolescents and children. During the ECP Symposium, Dr. Haefner will provide coaches with a valuable lesson on dealing with strong emotions and emotional behavior when teaching. Dr. Haefner will provide insightful instruction on dealing with emotional display and crises, as well as strategies for teaching and promoting emotional regulation in the saddle. Plus, Dr. Haefner will be offering one-on-one consultations throughout the symposium at no charge. Don’t miss your chance to take advantage of this fantastic opportunity!

David O'Connor teaching a student at the 2023 EA21 National Camp. USEA/Lily Stidham photo

The next speaker is Olympian and USEF Chief of Sport, David O’Connor. O’Connor will be discussing two topics: the USEA’s Emerging Athletes 21 program (EA21) and a new project he is working on with the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee and the United States Center for Coaching Excellence to improve education opportunities for equestrian coaches in the U.S. O’Connor has spent most of his career in high-performance eventing and has a great deal of experience both as an athlete and a coach. Through this experience, O’Connor has acknowledged the fact that talented equestrians are typically “discovered” and funneled into the development pipeline much later in life than other sports that begin talent scouting at a very young age. Because of this, many athletes spend much of their adolescent and young adult years in their own programs, not necessarily having access to national certified instructors. Programs like the ECP and EA21 are positive and necessary steps to broaden the reach of quality coaching throughout the country. O’Connor will discuss the pipeline for the new project and the success of the first year of the EA21 program, as well as tips and tricks for achieving your goals, including short and long-term goal setting, knowledge of teaching styles, recognizing emotional states in students and coaches, and group or team dynamics.

Leslie Law. USEA/Meagan DeLisle photo

British Olympian Leslie Law will also be presenting at the ECP Symposium regarding his role with the USEF’s Eventing 25 Emerging Athlete Program as the Eventing Emerging and Development Athlete Coach. Law has a wealth of experienced working with high-performance athletes in the team development pipeline and will lean on these experiences to help educate those in attendance.

Peter Gray at the 2022 ECP Symposium. USEA/Meagan DeLisle photo

Finally, Peter Gray, an FEI Level 3 Eventing Judge and USEF “R” Eventing Judge, will take a closer look at the dressage phase and discuss what judges are really looking for by reviewing the progression through the USEA dressage tests.

For those interested in attending the ECP Symposium on January 17-19 at Barnstaple Eventing in Morriston, FL, please click here to register now. If you have any questions about the symposium or the Eventing Coaches Program, please contact Nancy Knight, Senior Director of Education, at [email protected]. The Eventing Coaches Program would like to thank Parker Equine Insurance for their support of the 2022 symposium.

About the USEA Eventing Coaches Program

Instructors are essential to the training of riders and horses for safe and educated participation in the sport of eventing. The USEA Eventing Coaches Program (ECP) was initiated in 2002 to educate all levels of eventing instructors with essential training principles upon which those instructors can continue to build throughout their teaching careers. ECP offers educational workshops and assessments by which both regular instructors, Level I through Level V, Young Event Horse (YEH) instructors, and Young Event Horse professional horse trainers can become ECP certified. Additional information about ECP’s goals, benefits, workshops, and assessments as well as names and contact information for current ECP-certified instructors, YEH instructors, and YEH professional horse trainers are available is available on the USEA website. Click here to learn more about the Eventing Coaches Program.

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