Friday, March 9, 2012

Is your trainer certified? USHJA Trainer Certification Program

Is your trainer certified by the USHJA?
What makes a trainer 'certified'?
Should you ride with a certified trainer?

These are all very good questions!

There are many reasons to choose a trainer or even to change trainers, most often the reason for searching out a new trainer is due to wanting to further ones knowledge, competency and level of riding.

Have you ever thought about whether or not the trainers you were looking at riding with were certified? Or if your current trainer is certified? Or even if you need to train with a certified trainer? Maybe you are new to riding, have aspirations to enter the show ring and want a high quality and safe trainer?

Photo: USHJA Website

The USHJA website states:

USHJA Certified Trainers are encouraged to represent and promote the hunter/jumper sport in a positive, ethical and professional manner.

Regardless of category, show record, geographic location or perceived prestige, certain fundamentals are required of every USHJA Certified Trainer:

-A comprehensive knowledge of the history of the American Hunter/Jumper Forward System of riding and training horses
-Active involvement in the hunter/jumper industry
-Dedication to horse and student safety
-Sound horsemanship skills
-Skillful equine-management practices
-Ethical business practices
-Good sportsmanship
-Commitment to excellence

Why and How do trainers become certified?

The USHJA Trainer Certification Program was developed to preserve the American Hunter/Jumper Forward Riding System by offering a comprehensive educational program based on that system and providing increasing levels of certification for professional horse trainers. Participation in the TCP, while voluntary, is encouraged for the ongoing professional support it provides. Becoming a Certified Trainer confirms a commitment to continuing one’s professional development, which leads to an ever-increasing group of well-rounded and knowledgeable horsemen.

In order to receive and maintain certification, trainers are tested on a broad spectrum of relevant professional information, including training techniques, safety of horse and rider, horsemanship skills and business ethics. The hope of the TCP Committee is that the knowledge imparted during the Trainer Certification process will be passed along from the trainers to the students, who are the future of the equine industry. In this manner, each generation of horsemen can learn from the experience of the ones that came before them.

Where can you find out if a trainer is certified?

The USHJA has a directory of all certified trainers.

Interestingly, the USHJA is not the only organization promoting trainer certificates. Other disciplines do as well, including dressage and eventing.

No matter what your discipline of riding is, do your homework! Make sure your trainer is certified or works under a head trainer that is. If they don't have their certification ask them if they plan on getting it? Have a conversation with them and then make your own decision.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Thursday, March 1, 2012

USHJA Outreach Program in Chicago Area

The New USHJA Outreach program is in it's second year. Classes in the Chicago area are being offered at Showplace Productions 'B' Level shows.

USHJA Outreach Competitions set a minimum standard for unrecognized (local) competitions; participation is open to all equine enthusiasts, regardless of current USHJA membership status.

These classes are a great way to move up to the next level of competition! Why not try out some USHJA Outreach classes? No membership is required and since the classes are put on at the local level the price is quite affordable.

There are several Outreach programs available to choose from:
Outreach Medal
Outreach Hunter Challenge
Outreach Junior Hunter Challenge

For each of the above programs there are 4 different class levels of competition offered.
Bronze: 2' to 2'3"
Silver: 2'6"
Gold: 3'
Platinum: 3'3"

Although anyone may ride in these classes regardless of USHJA membership, if you are a member at the $15 Outreach level or higher, then points for the classes will be counted towards year end high-point awards to be presented at the USHJA Annual Meeting.

For full rules and regulations go to USHJA, Outreach Competitions.

For Chicago Area shows offering USHJA Outreach classes please check the calendar at