June 2019 - Free Learning
Written by CRM
Tuesday, 28 May 2019 21:15
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USHJA’s Emerging Athlete Program offers horsemanship education to participants and auditors with June & July California sessions.

Rider spots are mostly locked up for the United States Hunter Jumper Association’s Emerging Athlete Program training sessions in California this summer, but opportunities to learn through free auditing abound. The Lindsay Maxwell Charitable Fund is the title sponsor of all regional EAP sessions and November’s national finals in Ohio.

On June 26-30 at the Los Angeles Equestrian Center, eventing legend and coach Jimmy Wofford is the clinician, with Anne Thornbury leading the stable management component. On July 17-21 at Sonoma Valley Stables in Petaluma, Cynthia Hankins is the clinician and Nanci Synder is the stable management leader.

Auditing for the riding portions of the sessions are free at both locations, and donations are appreciated.

Now in its 10th year, the EAP is a popular and important part of the sport’s development pipeline. Over five days, riders are immersed in horsemanship instruction, at the barn, in the ring; in theory and in practice. Participants care for their own horses under the stable manager’s guidance and work in teams for barn chores, horse care and helping other groups get ready to ride.

Especially for those accustomed to groom service at their training barn, it’s a wonderful cram course of knowledge and experience that enhances the horse-rider bond and the potential of each partnership. The riding sessions continue that theme from the saddle and are terrific to watch as pairs absorb and apply new ideas.

The format engenders meaningful friendships between young riders on similar paths and parents have been bowled over by what they’ve learned, new friendships and the way their kids advance throughout the session.

Los Angeles Clinicians

Three-time Olympic eventer Jimmy Wofford should have an interesting perspective for this hunter/jumper gathering. Based in Virginia, he travels extensively to coach. His resume is highlighted by having at least one student on every U.S. Olympic, World Championship, and Pan-American team since 1978. All four members of the U.S. bronze medal team at the 2000 Sydney Olympics, including individual gold winner David O’Connor, rode under his guidance.

Jimmy is a prolific author of books and magazine articles, including for Practical Horseman Magazine, and is a frequent color commentator for international equestrian competition. Past presidency of the United States Equestrian Federation is one of several sport governance posts he’s held over many years.

Training The 3-Day Event Horse And Rider, Gymnastics: Systematic Training For Jumping Horses (out of print) and Modern Gymnastics are a few of his books.

Anne Thornbury will share 50-plus years of experience as one of the EAP’s most effective stable management chiefs. Along with an impressive riding career, she is a vet tech and Certified Equine Practitioner, and owner, with her husband Skip, of Midwest Equine Rehabilitation and Conditioning Center in Cincinnati. Anne’s mantra that there is more to a horse’s rehabilitation than stall rest and hand walking led to MERC’s expanded variety of medical care, post-surgical care, rehabilitative therapies, and conditioning services. Working closely with vets, Anne heads a team of experts in providing horses with the best recovery and/or conditioning available.

Sonoma Valley Stables Clinicians

Cynthia Hankins was a junior equitation star, having placed in the top 10 of several equitation finals before winning the American Horse Show Association Medal Finals in 1975. Cynthia has spent much of her professional career traveling between the U.S. and France, where she rides and trains at a top breeding farm. Many of her students have gone on to become successful professionals within the hunter/jumper industry.

Cynthia holds a USEF R-rated judge’s license in both Hunter and Hunter Seat Equitation, has judged numerous shows in the U.S. and France, and several equitation finals including the 2011 ASPCA Maclay Finals at the National Horse Show in Lexington, KY. In addition to judging and training, Cynthia frequently contributes to publications such as The Chronicle of the Horse and Practical Horseman.

Nanci Synder, originally from Vermont, is a lifelong equestrian who has worked, studied and traveled with some of the sport’s best: Buddy Brown, Norman Dello Joio, Jos Kumps, Peter Lutz, John and Beezie Madden, Mary Manfredi, George Morris, Michael Matz, Nelson Pessoa, and Peter Wylde. Grateful to have learned from the best, she values horsemanship and, under their tutelage, has become a skilled stable manager of her own accord. Since 2013 she has been involved with the USHJA Emerging Athletes Program as a stable manager clinician and member of the EAP Committee. In that role, she hopes to pass along as much knowledge as possible to the next generation of equestrians.

For more information on either EAP session, visit www.ushja.org.

Scenes from last year’s EAP session in Los Angeles

Ciara Tetreault, Mackenzie Kelley, Brooke Mostman, Ava Ehteshami & Maud Christal.

Team work makes the dream work on Day 3.

Lead clinician Kip Rosenthal asks Saturday morning riders to warm up on their own, using the previous days’ responsiveness exercises.

Sports psychologist Mario Soto was a popular speaker.