Instructors' Certification Program

Instructors' Certification Program

Instructors are essential to the training of riders and their horses for humane, safe, and skilled participation in the sport of eventing. Started in 2002, the USEA Instructors’ Certification Program (ICP) educates 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.

To register with USEA’s Instructors’ Certification Program, ask questions, and obtain further information about ICP, contact Nancy Knight at [email protected] or (703) 669-9997. The ICP does not require a candidate instructor to enter the Instructors’ Certification Program at the lowest ICP level. Rather, a candidate instructor determines which ICP level best matches their highest level of teaching knowledge and skill based upon a self-evaluation of their own history of riding, competing, and learning/teaching. Then the candidate instructor attends the appropriate workshop(s), receives feedback on their teaching from the workshop(s) faculty member, and confirms the ICP level at which they want to be assessed at an ICP Assessment.

Mission Statement

The mission of the USEA Instructors’ Certification Program is to produce and improve the craft and art in the teaching of riding and horse management for the sport of eventing through the application of the highest principles of horsemanship, which ensures the ethical and humane treatment of horses and the safety of both horses and riders and extends to all those associated with the health and well-being of the horses.

Vision Statement

The USEA Instructors’ Certification Program promotes excellence in horse training, instructing, and coaching for the sport of eventing at all levels.

Core Values

  • Commitment to Safety: The ICP recognizes that safety is the paramount criterion in all aspects and activities for the benefit of the horse, rider, and the sport of eventing.
  • Continuing Education: The ICP is committed to instructors becoming model teachers and horsemen through their ongoing commitment to lifelong learning.
  • Commitment to Classical Principles: The ICP adheres to a foundation of classical methodology and principles for the development and training of horses and riders.
  • Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion: The ICP is committed to advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion and seeks to ensure a welcoming environment for all participants.

Goals and Objectives


  1. The Instructors' Certification Program Committee shall be responsible for the development and application of the USEA Instructors' Certification Program.
  2. The ICP sets standards, monitors results, and continually and proactively upgrades standards of educating riders, horse training, instruction, and coaching for the sport of eventing.
  3. The ICP is responsible for certifying instructors who demonstrate excellence in education at all levels of the sport. Certification is awarded to those instructors who promote and produce the highest standard of skill, horsemanship, horse management, safety, and horse welfare.
  4. The ICP provides relevant resources and educational opportunities to instructors and coaches in preparation for certification and provides certified instructors with the most current tools and techniques available.


  1. The ICP seeks to understand the vast variety of processes by which students and riders learn and to develop and adapt educational information such that it may be appropriately communicated according to individual and specific learning styles.
  2. The ICP develops and improves the instructors’ ability to accurately assess both the strengths and weaknesses of horses and riders and to correctly evaluate and prescribe exercises and activities that are appropriate for their current level of skill and development.
  3. The ICP enables participating instructors to work in a collegial and instructive environment that values and respects continual learning.
  4. The ICP identifies and delineates the similarities and differences between teaching and coaching and the appropriate application of each.
  5. The ICP organizes and supports educational programs for USEA members that embody the industry’s best practices and classical training methodology.

How to Become an ICP Certified Instructor

  1. Contact Nancy Knight for an ICP registration form. Complete that form and return it to Nancy. Read the ICP Standards Booklet and ICP Workbook which you will receive once you register with ICP. Also, before attending an ICP Workshop, begin your reading/reviewing of ICP required and recommended readings, which are listed in both the Standards Booklet and the Workbook.
  2. Submit verifications of your instruction from three of the highest-competing students whom you are teaching and/or have taught.
  3. Attend the required ICP Levels I/II Workshops or the required Levels III/IV Workshop as a candidate instructor. Choose the Level I/II or III/IV Workshops in accordance with the definition of ICP levels. Find workshops on the ICP calendar page of this website. Contact a workshop host to enter a workshop.
  4. After attending the required workshop(s) appropriate to your ICP level, contact Nancy Knight to sign up for an ICP Assessment.
  5. Prepare, attend, and pass your assessment!
  6. Once certified, complete the ICP Continuing Education Program requirements during each 4-year continuing education cycle for as many years as you wish to remain current with your ICP certification. To remain current as an ICP certified instructor, you must remain a USEA member at any level of USEA membership, possess current professional liability insurance, possess a current CPR/first aid card, and be in the process of fulfilling ICP’s Continuing Education activities credits.

$25.00 Discount on all USEA Training Programs for Eventing Officials to ICP Certified interested in obtaining a USEF Eventing Officials license.

ICP Sponsor Parker Equine Insurance offers 5% off to all ICP instructors.

ICP Sponsor Stable Secretary provides a 25% discount on their subscription services to all ICP instructors.

Sponsored By

Official Corporate Sponsors of the USEA

Official Joint Therapy Treatment of the USEA

Official Feed of the USEA

Official Saddle of the USEA

Official Real Estate Partner of the USEA

Official Equine Insurance of the USEA

Official Forage of the USEA

Official Supplement Feeding System of the USEA

Official Outerwear of the USEA

Official Competition & Training Apparel of the USEA