*This page has not yet been edited to reflect the updated ECP levels and mission.
The USEA’s Eventing Coaches Program (ECP) Committee believes that capable instructors 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 IV instructors, an ECP workshop faculty member assists instructors 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 instructors and their students and horses.
ECP candidate instructors interested in becoming ECP certified at any instructor level (Level I through Level IV) must participate in the ECP Levels I/II Teaching of Dressage and Teaching of Jumping Workshops Pair or the ECP Levels III/IV Workshop that matches their ECP level 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. 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 instructors at Level I or II, attendance at both of the Levels I/II 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. The workshops in the Levels I/II workshops are often, but not always, hosted by the same person at the same site and are usually, but not always, presented quite close together in time. 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/II workshop is $400. 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 instructor before attending an ECP assessment at Level I or Level II.
For instructors at Level III or IV, attendance at one three-day Levels III/IV workshop is required, at which instruction of dressage, show jumping, and cross-country is taught. 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 a Levels III/IV workshop is $500. Auditors are welcome to attend for a daily fee of $50. Auditing does not fulfill the ECP requirement to attend a III/IV workshop as a candidate instructor before attending an ECP assessment at Level III or Level IV.
ECP candidates interested in becoming ECP certified as Young Event Horse (YEH) instructors 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. 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 instructors 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 instructors 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 instructors and professional horse trainers, attendance at one three-day YEH workshop is required. A YEH workshop focuses upon both the instruction 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 $400. Auditors are welcome to attend for a daily fee of $50. Auditing does not fulfill the ICP requirement to attend a YEH workshop as a YEH candidate instructor or as a YEH candidate professional horse trainer before attending an ECP assessment for either or both ECP YEH certificates.
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 instructors, and, at a YEH workshop, practice-teaching by each YEH candidate instructor 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 instructor 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 instructor 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 instructor or trainer as a mentor to help improve the instructor’s teaching or the professional horse trainer's riding/training knowledge or skills. A mentor may be another ECP certified instructor or another experienced and qualified equestrian.
All workshop hosts, please note: If only four candidates contact a workshop host to enter a workshop, all of that workshop’s content can and should 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. To help cover a workshop host’s financial loss, especially in the case of a three-day workshop with fewer than eight candidates, after the workshop has been completed, the host may send to Nancy Knight a record of his/her workshop expenses/income; some or all of any justifiable red ink will be remitted by USEA to that workshop host. Thank you, USEA!
ECP workshops are organized and operated by 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.
There would be no ECP without the personal dedication, hard work, and time provided by ECP workshop hosts. Please thank them!
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 IV), for YEH instructing, or for YEH professional horse training.
Before entering an ECP assessment by contacting Nancy Knight at the USEA office, candidate instructors, candidate YEH instructors, and candidate YEH professional horse trainers must attend, respectively, the required ECP Levels I/II Teaching of Dressage and Teaching of Jumping Workshops Pair, the required ECP Levels III/IV Workshop, 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 instructor, for a YEH candidate instructor, 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 instructors at any ECP Level, to candidate YEH instructors, and to candidate YEH professional horse trainers. Candidate YEH instructors 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 instructor’s teaching of dressage, teaching of show jumping, and teaching of cross-country at the appropriate ECP Level (Level I through Level IV), including the YEH instructor 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 instructors, candidate YEH instructors, 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 instructors, ECP certified YEH instructors, 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.
In order 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 state child abuse clearance or criminal background check. 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. Ideally, a candidate will have provided all of the above to Nancy Knight at the USEA office in advance of attending an ECP assessment.
There would be no ECP without the dedication, hard work, and time provided by ECP assessment hosts. Please thank them!
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 instructor, YEH instructor, and YEH professional horse trainer in doing that. Once an instructor, YEH instructor, 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 instructor, YEH instructor, 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 instructor, each YEH instructor, and each YEH professional horse trainer must also remain a USEA member, carry current professional liability insurance, and possess a current CPR/first-aid card. Proof of adherence to these requirements must be presented to the USEA office by the end of each of an instructor’s four-year continuing education cycles.