Two More EAP Regional Clinics Garner High Praise

July 30, 2012



Lexington, KY - Coker Farm in Bedford, NY played host to the Emerging Athletes Program, presented by Dover Saddlery, July 10 through 13 with clinicians Candice King and Erica McKeever, while the Hansen Dam Equestrian Center of Lake View Terrace, CA welcomed former Olympian Anne Kursinski and stable management expert Anne Thornbury for the program run July 11 through 14.

Both sets of instructors followed the EAP mission to aid participants in flatwork, gymnastics, related distances and course work, plus the intensive stable-management curriculum over the course of four days, and both clinics received high praise.

At Coker Farm, Candice King’s passion for riding was evident in her teaching. Making sure each rider was comfortable and understanding of the lessons was King’s top priority. Erica Keever took a similar approach with her barn management instructions, as she explained the importance of even the simplest of tasks.

“Their insight, training and honesty inspired not only the riders, but trainers and parents that were auditing as well. Going back to basics and truly developing all around horsemanship skills, pride in your horse, barn and work ethic were the core values that those running the program impressed on all of us.” Karen Verblaauw mother of participant Kelsey Verblaauw said.

The new Stable Management curriculum of EAP continues to receive rave reviews each session. Alexis O’Hara of Great Neck, NY shared, “The most important thing I took away from the EAP experience is the significance of respect between a horse and its rider, and the final product that is achieved when this respect is met. I also learned the importance of truly knowing one’s horse inside and out, especially when one brings their horse to an unknown environment. It is here, in an unknown environment, where a horse and rider’s relationship is challenged and when a rider understands their horse on a level no one else does. It creates an end product that is truly rewarding.”
Georgina de Rham of Bristol, RI added, “My EAP experience left me inspired and invigorated to return to my working student position with a "second wind." I learned from Candice and Erica not only about riding but also about teaching and interacting with colleagues, friends, and the "team" involved in every stable. I will remember the week as a wonderful opportunity, a good challenge, a breath of fresh air, and a fabulous experience. I felt as though the EAP gave me more "tools" to put in my toolbox and equip me to be a better horseperson, coworker, rider, and employee.”

The Hansen Dam Equestrian Center clinic led under the expertise of Anne Kursinski and Anne Thornbury received equally enthusiastic approval. One local attendee, Olivia Champ, who sits on the USHJA Young Professionals Committee as a nonvoting youth representative, shared this insight with the committee-

“The format and organization this year was a huge improvement. Four days of the clinic with more focus on barn management allowed everyone to understand the importance of horse preparation and care, as well as develop a bond between horse and rider. Anne Kursinski helped every rider grow throughout the week, and explained how to care for horses at the top level. Anne Thornbury in the barn was so knowledgeable, and her passion for horses was inspiring.

All in all, I believe that everyone participating took away valuable skills and positive attitudes from all of the clinician's support and encouragement. It was a great experience and all of the riders developed better relationships with their horses. Thank you and the rest of USHJA who had a part in improving the program, everybody was impressed and had fun!”

Kursinski and Thornbury guided students through the detailed curriculum at a pace and understanding for each level of rider to ensure their comprehension of the materials. Having the participants broken into smaller groups allowed each group the experience of riding once a day, auditing another group and to even act as jump crew for the clinician. Kursinski and Thornbury challenged the students to step up their knowledge and expand their comfort zone. Each lesson built upon the previous day’s lessons and led up to the finale EAP Regional course.

“There aren't enough words to adequately describe Anne Kursinski and Anne Thornbury. They are both amazing horsewomen, highly skilled, dedicated, passionate, and inspiring. I can't imagine that EAP could possibly have done better than to have gotten these two top notch clinicians to conduct this program.” Morgan Dickerson of Pasadena, CA said.

Sam Gastelum of Trabuco Canyon, CA added, “Anne Thornbury had unlimited knowledge and Anne Kirsinski was a very good teacher who I learned a lot from, like an appreciation for habit, detail and integrity and hard work. This was probably the most fun I think I have ever had. It reinforced for me how much I love being with horses and just taking care of them. Thank you to everyone involved!"

Once again the curriculum continues to receive well deserved accolades from the participants.

Stephanie Nagler of Santa Fe, NM summed up her experience, “The level at which the clinicians taught, the way in which they taught, and the scope of information offered so far exceeded what I expected or imagined possible in a four day period.”

Kashea Kloss of Laguna Hills, CA was more than happy to share her experience with the clinicians, “They were the most amazing pair I have ever met. I honestly felt like I learned more in 4 days with them, than I would at home for almost 6 months! Best lesson-Horses come first! If you’re not a great horseman, you won't get anywhere, especially with your horse!”

Asked if she felt anything about EAP should be changed Kashea answered emphatically, “Make it longer if possible!!!! I enjoyed every second I was down there!” A growing sentiment by numerous participants nationwide.

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