August 2018 - Time Out for Education


Good turn-out for USHJA Trainer Certification Program clinic with Chris Kappler.

photos & text by Kim F. Miller

There are no natural breaks in the hunter/jumper show season, but 16 professionals took a weekend away from the circuit to up their game by attending the United States Hunter/Jumper Association Trainer Certification Clinic July 14-15. It was hosted by Peppertree Equestrian’s Kristin Baretto at Sycamore Trails Stables in San Juan Capistrano.

Chris Kappler, a team gold and individual silver medalist at the 2004 Olympic Games, was the featured clinician. He worked with riders ranging from cross-rail to 4’ jumping heights, emphasizing the classical position, riding and training basics he carries on from his mentor George Morris. Clinic riders, participating trainers and spectators were also treated to a visit from USET chef d’equipe Robert Ridland and workshops with popular mental skills coach Tonya Johnston.

Peppertree Equestrian did a terrific job hosting the event, providing ample shady spots for spectators and nice refreshments. End-of-the-day Q&A sessions with Chris were a great opportunity for TCP participants to get clarifications and elaborations on the day’s lessons, and advice on issues with their own students.

The participating TCP trainers included: Lauren Mitchell, Ellen Gates, Courtney Hurley, Michelle Stubbs, Farrokh Moshar, Jenna Reveal-Bourcier, Chrissy Rogers, Krissy Wilkinson, Brandee Beattie, Cathy Simm, Jane Rheinhardt, Laura Ware, Joanne Gladstone, Jackie LeFave, Sara Blann and host Kristin Barreto. Los Angeles trainer Scott Lico rode in the clinic, filling in for an injured student and providing Chris a great demonstration rider.

For more information on the TCP program, visit For more information on Peppertree Equestrian, visit