Posts Tagged With: equestrian
All of our riding staff, at Coppercreek Camp, are required to complete a 5 day CHA clinic which we host here at camp. CHA’s mission statement is, “To promote excellence in safety and education for the benefit of the entire horse industry. This is accomplished by certifying instructors, accrediting equine facilities and publishing educational resources.”
During CHA, our instructors, along with people from other camps and equestrian facilities, “practice” teaching riding lessons to each other. Under the careful supervision and instruction of two experienced CHA clinicians, each instructor must teach at least 3 mounted lessons and one unmounted lesson. After their lesson, they are given constructive feedback on what went well, what needs improvement, and any safety issues.
Each candidate is evaluated on two different criteria: their riding ability and their teaching ability. CHA is divided up into 4 levels with Level 1 being the most basic and appropriate for beginner riders. Level 4 would be for advanced riders who are capable of riding with an independent seat, leg and hands at all gaits and can jump. Candidates can only be certified to teach up to one level below their riding ability.
It is an intense 5 days filled with valuable information and experience. Each certified instructor leaves with a heightened sense of safety and competence. When you see a camp with certified CHA instructors, you know those instructors have been carefully “vetted” by the clinicians and you can feel more confident your child will be in capable hands, learning age appropriate equestrian instruction at the level of their riding ability.
In the horse world today, any person can hang a sign and call themselves a “riding instructor” and you have no idea if they actually know what they are doing. CHA creates a quality standard for instructors to follow. Instructors have to meet or exceed the criteria required during the clinic and then have to continue their equestrian education to maintain their certification.
We have some really awesome ponies at Coppercreek Camp but PHINNEY won this award (again) this summer for her work ethic, willingness to adjust to her rider, and the many hours she trotted from “H” to “M” without complaint.
Phinney is the quintessential “fairy tale” pony, with her delicate face, beautiful mane and tail and, of course, her luscious, white coat. (Her tongue is pretty cute, too! See above picture.)
This little pony has taught many, many girls and boys how to ride, from their first introduction to…
… two point trotting….
…to the beginning of jumping.
She only goes as fast as her rider asks and HAPPILY walks if her rider gets distracted.
She has put a smile on many campers over the years.
Phinney is fine if her rider wears faux fur, pink tights and cowboy boots.
And, she will stand for endless braiding.
Phinney is what every riding instructor calls “gold” and wants in their lessons. Older campers will remember Phinney as a wild, energetic pony but as she has grown older and wiser, she has settled into (almost) the perfect lesson pony. She may get a little grouchy about her girth and sometimes wants to go right when her rider asks her to go left, but other than that, every camper who has been assigned Phinney ends up loving her. She is just about as perfect as a pony can be. We love her and hope she is with us for many, many more years.
Lucky is an older gentleman we “luckily” acquired many years ago from a local boarding stable. Lucky’s owner had abandoned him and the boarding facility called us wanting to know if we might want a nice children’s horse. Our Riding Director, at the time, Kalli Bowles, took him for a test ride and immediately approved. Lucky has been a cornerstone in our lesson program ever since.
He patiently allows campers to learn the beginnings of horsemanship. He is happy teaching a camper how to “whoa” and “go” or “two-point”.
He even will trot happily through cavalettis and pop over a cross rail for the more intermediate riders.
He is getting older now and has earned a reduction in his hours but we will probably see him still cruising around the arena with a camper or two on his back, next summer.
His best buddy is Hank, who has won this title in the past. The two older gentlemen love their Equine Senior, carrots, and turn out with their other buddies.