ECP Workshops, Assessments, and Continuing Education Program

*This page has not yet been edited to reflect the updated ECP levels and mission.

ECP Workshops

  • ECP Levels I-V Workshops include Teaching of Dressage and Teaching of Jumping Workshops Pair (teaching of jumping includes both jumping phases)
  • ECP Young Event Horse Workshop for YEH Coaches and YEH Professional Horse Trainers (The YEH workshop includes both the coaching and the riding of YEHs for all three eventing phases)

About ECP Workshops for Coaches at all Levels

The USEA’s Eventing Coaches Program (ECP) Committee believes that capable coaches are essential to the training of riders and their horses for skilled, safe, and humane participation in the sport of eventing. Therefore, at its ECP workshops for Levels I through V instructors, an ECP workshop faculty member assists coaches in acquiring the eye, the knowledge base, both theoretical and practical, and the teaching judgment that are suited to the teaching of safe and effective event riding at the competition levels appropriate to those coaches and their students and horses.

ECP candidate coaches interested in becoming ECP certified at any coach level (Level I through Level V) must participate in the ECP Teaching of Dressage and Teaching of Jumping Workshops Pair before they may sign up for an ECP assessment. They must register with ECP before their assessment, but are encouraged to do so before they participate in a workshop. After registering, they will receive the ECP Standards Booklet and the ECP Workbook. The USEA Eventing Handbook by the Levels is also a requirement and is located in the membership box on your USEA member services dashboard. Before their assessment and, ideally, before they attend a workshop, they must also complete the ECP application appropriate to their ECP instructor level, and must return that to Nancy Knight at the USEA office.

For coaches at Level I – V, attendance at both of the workshops is required - the first workshop is a three-day teaching of dressage workshop and the second is a three-day teaching of jumping workshop. Workshop daily hours are normally 8:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. Workshops are usually offered on three consecutive weekdays. Look at the ECP Calendar on the USEA website to locate workshop sites and dates. In order to enter a specific workshop, contact that workshop’s host, whose contact information is also listed on the calendar. The fee for each Levels I-V workshop is $450.00. Auditors are welcome to attend for a daily fee of $50. Auditing does not fulfill the ECP requirement to attend a Levels I/II workshop as a candidate coach before attending an ECP all levels assessment.

About the ECP Young Event Horse Workshop for YEH Coaches and YEH Professional Horse Trainers

ECP candidates interested in becoming ECP certified as Young Event Horse (YEH) coaches and/or Young Event Horse professional horse trainers must participate in the ECP Young Event Horse Workshop before they may sign up for an ECP assessment. They must be registered with ECP before they attend a YEH workshop or their assessment. After registering, they will receive the ECP Standards Booklet and the ECP Workbook. The USEA Eventing Handbook by the Levels is also a requirement and is located in the membership box on your USEA member services dashboard. Before their assessment and, ideally, before they attend a YEH workshop, they must also complete the ECP YEH application for YEH instructor or for YEH professional horse trainer and must return it to Nancy Knight at the USEA office.

At an ECP Young Event Horse Workshop, an ECP YEH workshop faculty member assists YEH coaches in acquiring the eye, the knowledge base, both theoretical and practical, and the teaching judgment that are suited specifically for the purpose of assisting YEH riders, both amateur and professional, as they educate YEHs to accept, understand, and respond positively to a rider’s seat and aids for direction, pace, change of direction and pace, balance, impulsion, and suppleness, both on the flat and while jumping. The YEH workshop faculty member assists YEH professional horse trainers in developing their riding skills and “feel” as well as their training knowledge base in order to safely and effectively develop each young event horse in the ways that are most developmentally productive for that horse, both on the flat and while jumping. Both YEH coaches and professional horse trainers must be sensitive and appropriately responsive to the ways that each young horse, of any breed, is distinctive, distinctions which they factor intelligently into each horse’s developmental training program.

For both YEH coaches and professional horse trainers, attendance at one three-day YEH workshop is required. A YEH workshop focuses upon both the coaching and the riding/training of young event horse dressage, show jumping, and cross-country. Candidates for the YEH professional horse trainer certificate ride twice every day at a YEH workshop. Look at the ECP Calendar on the USEA website to locate workshop sites and dates. In order to enter a YEH workshop, contact that workshop’s host, whose contact information is also listed on the calendar. The fee for a YEH workshop is $450. Auditors are welcome to attend for a daily fee of $50. Auditing does not fulfill the ECP requirement to attend a YEH workshop as a YEH candidate coach or as a YEH candidate professional horse trainer before attending an ECP assessment for either or both ECP YEH certificates.

About All ECP Workshops

A full three-day ECP workshop of any kind includes eight candidates and one ECP faculty member. Each day includes lecture and discussion, model-teaching by the faculty member, practice-teaching by each of the candidate coaches, and, at a YEH workshop, practice-teaching by each YEH candidate coach and riding twice by each YEH candidate professional horse trainer. The faculty member and all participating candidates comment, question, and discuss teaching, riding, and training issues as they model-teach, practice-teach, and, for YEH candidate professional horse trainers, ride a variety of horses.

The content of all ECP workshops has been carefully selected and developed by ECP faculty and assessors to emphasize essential, widely confirmed flatwork and jumping principles and practices appropriate to each workshop’s content and purposes. A workshop’s curricular content is determined also by the riding/training challenges of the event competition levels which that ECP workshop addresses.

Late in the afternoon of every workshop’s last day, the ECP faculty member speaks individually with each candidate to review that instructor’s teaching and, at a YEH workshop, each professional horse trainer's riding, and to offer suggestions for continued learning. The faculty member also prepares individualized written feedback, which is mailed to each candidate coach or candidate professional horse trainer after a workshop. If the faculty member believes there are areas of seeing, knowledge, analysis, communication, judgment, or safety that the candidate coach or candidate professional horse trainer should improve before being assessed, the faculty member recommends or requires that individual do so. This could involve locating and working with another coach or trainer as a mentor to help improve the coaches teaching or the professional horse trainer's riding/training knowledge or skills. A mentor may be another ECP certified coach or another experienced and qualified equestrian.

If only four candidates contact a workshop host to enter a workshop, all of that workshop’s content can be completed in two days, not three, due to the smaller amount of time needed for the practice-teaching. If five, six, seven, or eight candidates enter a workshop, that workshop must be three days long.

ECP workshops are organized and operated by the USEA, or by individual host organizers according to the guidelines and curricula provided by the ECP Committee. Each workshop’s specific curriculum is implemented by the ECP faculty member who is selected by that workshop’s host. All of the finances of every ECP workshop are handled by the host of each workshop, using the workshop candidate fee and the faculty salary/travel cost schedule provided by ECP, with that fee/salary schedule being the same for each Workshop type.

ECP Assessments

Please note: At an ECP assessment, a candidate may be assessed for any of ECP’s certificates: instructing at any ECP Level (Levels I through V), for YEH instructing, or for YEH professional horse training.

Before entering an ECP assessment by contacting Nancy Knight at the USEA office, candidate coaches, candidate YEH coaches, and candidate YEH professional horse trainers must attend, the required ECP Teaching of Dressage and Teaching of Jumping Workshops Pair, or the required ECP YEH Workshop, complete any recommended or required mentoring, register with ECP, and return to Nancy Knight at the USEA office the completed ECP application for a candidate coach, for a YEH candidate coach, or for a YEH candidate professional horse trainer.

To acquire the necessary ECP registration form and the appropriate ECP application, contact Nancy Knight ([email protected], (703) 669-9997). To sign up for an ECP assessment, contact Nancy more than 60 days, if possible, before an assessment. All ECP assessments are open to candidate coaches at any ECP Level, to candidate YEH coaches, and to candidate YEH professional horse trainers. Candidate YEH coaches and candidate YEH professional horse trainers must register with ECP before they attend a YEH workshop. ECP assessment dates and locations are listed, along with ECP workshop hosts/dates/locations, on the ECP Calendar on the USEA website.

At any ECP assessment, two ECP assessors watch and evaluate a candidate coaches teaching of dressage, teaching of show jumping, and teaching of cross-country at the appropriate ECP Level (Level I through Level V), including the YEH coach level. At any ECP assessment, two ECP assessors watch and evaluate a candidate YEH professional horse trainer's riding/training of dressage, show jumping, and cross-country while mounted on young event horses. Candidate coaches, candidate YEH coaches, and candidate YEH professional horse trainers also complete three written and one hands-on test on the subjects of horse and stable management (two tests), teaching theory and practice, and safety/medical issues. The three written tests are completed on the internet before a candidate attends an assessment; the Hands-on Horse and Stable Management Test is completed at the assessment. A candidate’s assessment takes one full day. Assessment candidates are allowed to watch and listen during the assessment of other candidates; all others are not allowed to watch/listen at an assessment.

Having successfully completed an ECP assessment, all ECP certified coaches, ECP certified YEH certified coaches, and ECP certified professional horse trainers must fulfill ECP’s continuing education requirements (See “ECP Continuing Education Program” below) to remain current with their certification and to enhance their teaching and coaching skills and their professional riding and training skills, respectively, as well as their knowledge of horse care principles and practices of safety and professionalism.

To receive your ECP certificate after passing an ECP assessment, you must send to the USEA office proof of your current CPR/First-Aid training and a nationwide criminal background check. Additionally, Safe Sport Training, Concussion Protocol Training and a signed ECP Code of Conduct are also required for ECP Certification. As required by the USEA, you must be a current USEA member when you are assessed and afterward during all the years for which you wish to remain current with ECP. The USEA requires also that you possess a current professional liability insurance policy. All of these items must be submitted in advance of attending an ECP assessment, to Nancy Knight at the USEA office.

ECP Continuing Education Program

Virtually all career areas require professionals to continue to educate themselves to broaden and deepen their understanding of and to competently meet new challenges in their career area. Fulfilling ECP Continuing Education Program requirements assist every certified coach, YEH coach, and YEH professional horse trainer in doing that. Once an coach, YEH coach, or YEH professional horse trainer is certified, they receive from the USEA office a copy of the ECP Continuing Education Program document, which describes these requirements and the process for fulfilling them. The ECP Continuing Education Program requires every ECP certified coach, YEH coach, and YEH professional horse trainer to select and complete several equestrian-related activities during each of his/her ongoing four-year continuing education cycles, the first cycle of which begins when the individual becomes ECP certified. The range of equestrian activities earning ECP continuing education credit is very broad; a written list of such activities is included in ECP Continuing Education Program document.

To remain current with his/her ECP certification, each coach, each YEH coach, and each YEH professional horse trainer must also remain current with all of the above- mentioned requirements.

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