“For amateurs or professionals in any discipline, you have to be able to communicate with your horse in a way that the horse is willing to take action on what you have asked. There has to be a willingness to listen to you, and it takes time to build that trust and willingness.”
As an athlete, trainer, and coach, five-star rider Allison Springer is revered throughout the eventing world and beyond for her commitment to the sport and to her horses. Short-listed for the U.S. Eventing Team for the 2012 Olympics in London, Springer has been named to multiple USEF High Performance Training Lists and led the charge for the FEI rule change put into effect this year which mandates helmets be worn while mounted for all disciplines. Her training program consistently produces horses and riders who achieve success across all levels of the sport.
“Horses understand a process. With riding and training, you are speaking a language to your horse, and that language should be consistent. Training horses relies on consistency in a process, and consistency leads to success.”
As a coach, clinician, rider, and trainer, Kyle Carter emphasizes process and horsemanship over all else. Throughout his career, the World Equestrian Games Silver Medalist, Olympian, Pan American Games athlete, and five-star competitor has sought to understand better the programs and theories that lead to the success of great horses and great riders.
International eventer Daryl Kinney has produced several horses from unbroke to Advanced through patient, systematic training with an emphasis on education. With a commitment to a positive, confidence-building approach, Kinney demonstrates that with horses, hard work and patience go a long way towards achieving one’s goals.
For eventing legend Karen O’ Connor, the horses always come first. “The biggest educator of my career has been the horse itself. I cannot imagine a world without horses or other animals. There have been a lot of people who have influenced my life and career, but my biggest mentor has been the search of the answers myself. I’ve learned through so many instructors, an enormous number of competitions and many, many, many horses.”
Ema Klugman trusts the process. On self-produced horses, including her longtime four-star mount Bendigo, the 23-year old Maryland-based four-star rider has racked up impressive finishes at some of the U.S.'s most challenging international competitions. “You have to do it the right way on a few horses before you really learn to do this properly,” Klugman tells STRIDER.
Five-star eventer Elisabeth “Liz” Halliday-Sharp has made the very most of the delayed start to the 2020 competition season. With an impressive string of self-produced horses, Halliday-Sharp has racked up top finishes at Virginia Horse Trials International, Great Meadow International, Stable View Oktoberfest, and was awarded the Jacqueline B. Mars National Competition & Training Grant to attend Galway Downs International.
“You learn from everybody. You can take something in from each trainer, from every ride on every different horse. That’s the interesting experience of it.” Five-time Olympian and two-time Olympic silver medalist Anne Kursinski is committed to giving back to equestrian sport. With enthusiasm and a dedication to the betterment of the sport through rider education, Kursinski shares her experiences with riders of all levels, backgrounds, and disciplines with the goal of improved communication between riders and their horses.
“There are people who want to be right and people who want to get better.” Tamie Smith is one of the latter. A member of the 2019 Pan American Games gold medal-winning team with multiple successes through the five-star level, Smith’s career is propelled by a desire for continued improvement and a commitment to good horsemanship.
“Health and happiness through our love of horses, that’s our mission.” Four-star event rider Emily Hamel and FEI groom Tyler Held are committed to comprehensive enhancements for the equestrian community through their shared passion for learning, positive mindset, fitness, nutrition, and, of course, horses.