STANDARD INSTRUCTOR CERTIFICATION
For group riding instructors dealing with progressive skill building in all levels of riders, both in the arena and on the trail. Certification may be earned in English and/or Western disciplines; minimum age for assistant certification is 16, minimum age for instructor certification is 18. Four levels of certification may be earned in both English and Western disciplines, ranging from assistant instructor to CHA clinician. Level of certification is at the sole discretion of the Clinic Staff and no certification of any kind is guaranteed.
THE CHA CERTIFICATION PROCESS… involves evaluation by two CHA Certified Clinicians, in a 5 day certification clinic held at approved CHA Program Member host site facilities. CHA certification clinics involve teaching at least four practice lessons, a riding evaluation, a written test and participation in workshops on risk management, teaching techniques, professionalism and herd management. Certification is awarded at the end of the clinic and the level of certification attained (if any) is the sole discretion of the two CHA Clinicians conducting the clinic. Certification is valid for three years from the certification date; the instructor must maintain annual individual membership in CHA. Instructors may recertify at the end of the three-year certification period by providing documentation of at least 25 hours of continuing education and work within the industry. The only way to raise the level of certification is to attend another CHA certification clinic. Seasonal equestrian staff certification requires a different certification process; please refer to the section below.
They must be able to mount, dismount and ride at the walk, trot and canter/lope on the correct lead, with good form and control in a group, in the arena and in the open. Instructor candidates must be able to ride above the level that they will be certified to teach (for exceptional circumstances, see Special Considerations under "Instructor Competency Guidelines" in the CHA Clinic Instructor's Manual).
For trail guides dealing with rides ranging from short rides to wilderness packing. Trail Guide Certification Clinics are similar in format and content to the Standard Clinic, but involve two nights at a base camp and three nights on the trail and includes camping skills, environmental issues and trail ethics. Minimum age for assistants is 16; minimum age for guides is 18; certification may be earned at seven levels. Level of certification is the sole discretion of the Trail Clinic Staff and is determined by skills and knowledge demonstrated during the clinic.
For trail guides dealing with rides from very short up to day long. Day Ride Trail Guide Certification Clinics are similar in format and content to the Standard Clinic, but there is an emphasis on trail guiding skills displays rather than teaching lessons. It is a three day clinic with renewable certification and includes workshops on topics such as Planning/Supervising Trail Rides, Risk management/Accident Prevention/Emergency Procedures, Horse/Equipment Management and Low Impact Trail Riding.. Minimum age for assistants is 16; minimum age for guides is 18. Level of certification is the sole discretion of the Clinic Staff and is determined by skills and knowledge demonstrated during the clinic.
COMBINED INSTRUCTOR/TRAIL GUIDE CERTIFICATION CLINICS
For use in recreational programs, lower level instructional programs and programs that include both progressive skill building and trailriding. Combined Certification Clinics offer both Standard Instructor Certification and Trail Guide Certification, up to the second level in each program. Certification may be attained in both English and Western as a guide and/or an instructor.
Special considerations are given to colleges offering CHA certification as part of their existing equine studies curriculum, integrated with courses on teaching techniques or horsemanship instruction.
Hosting requirements: an accredited school, college or university may offer CHA instructor certification as part of their equine studies curriculum; the school or host facility must be a CHA Program Member and meet the requirements for host site approval.
Staffing: an accredited school, college or university may utilize the school’s equine studies faculty members or hire a CHA clinician for the didactic portion of the certification program (lectures, written test). A final evaluation and certification is conducted at the end of the grading period, staffed by two CHA clinicians. Clinicians for college clinics must be approved by the Program Director to insure the clinicians have sufficient experience to deal with a larger clinic group.
During the regular grading period, the college faculty member or a CHA clinician conducts the didactic portion of certification using the CHA manuals, covering the mandatory lectures for certification clinics, conducts and grades the CHA written test, prepares the students for their demonstration lessons and assigns the first one or two demonstration lessons for each student.
At the end of the grading period, two CHA clinicians come in to evaluate the two to four demonstration lessons from each participant and issue certification.
Up to a 20:2 participant to CHA staff ratio is allowed, since these students are better prepared for certification and less time is needed during the certification phase (since many of the clinic requirements are already completed).
For instructors working in programs that provide recreational, instructional, or mainstream riding for persons with disabilities - cognitive and physical. The materials and curriculum of these certification clinics are specific to the various considerations, adaptations, applications, contraindications, adaptive equipment, and horses used in riding programs that serve persons with physical and/or cognitive disabilities. CHA awards certification as an Instructor of Riders with Disabilities at the following levels: Assistant Instructor, Level One Instructor, Level Two Instructor, and Level Three Instructor.
IRD Assistant Certification:
IRD Level One Certification
IRD Level Two Certification
IRD Assistant Clinic Instructor (DACI)
IRD Clinic Instructor (DCI)
SEASONAL EQUESTRIAN STAFF CERTIFICATION
The Seasonal Equestrian Staff Certification (SESC) was developed to meet the needs of seasonal riding program operators, such as summer camps, youth organizations, guest ranches and trail program operators. For Seasonal Equestrian staff participant must be 18 an for Assistant Seasonal Equestrian Staff participant must be 16. The purpose of the SESC program is to provide training and certification for seasonal or temporary riding staff that work under the supervision of a certified instructor or guide.
The SESC program is offered only to the riding staff of a CHA Program Member facility that work under the supervision of a Level 2 or higher CHA certified Instructor or Guide. SESC certification is valid only at the Program Member's facility and is a non-renewable certification. The SESC is conducted in 2-3 days and is staffed by one CHA Clinic Instructor (Standard or Trail), who is assisted by the certified instructor on staff at the facility.
SESC clinics require a minimum of 24 hours of clinic time, excluding meals and rest periods. Participants will take a written test of 50 questions on basic horsemanship and safety, will have a riding skill evaluation, will teach two demonstration lessons and attend required lectures on risk management and teaching techniques. At the end of the clinic, the CHA clinician will complete written reports on each participant, which includes evaluation of safety awareness, horsemanship ability, teaching skills and group control.
CERTIFICATION EARNED: Participants may earn certification as Seasonal Equestrian Staff or Assistant Seasonal Equestrian Staff. This certification is valid only at the CHA Program Member facility where the individual is employed or sponsored and enables them to work only under the supervision of a CHA Certified Instructor or Guide (Level 2 or higher). Participants will be evaluated according to Level 1 or Assistant Standard or Trail horsemanship skills. Seasonal certification is non-renewable and expires at the end of the calendar year.
CHA Skills Workshops are single-day or multi-day events covering:
All topics taught in CHA Skills Clinics must be of a nature that is generally covered in current CHA Certification Programs. Topics such as starting colts, round pen reasoning or specific performance level disciplines cannot be currently covered under the auspices of CHA, since CHA does not currently have certifications to support these techniques.
All advertisements for CHA Skills Workshops shall include the content being covered in the clinic and must also include the level at which the clinic is being taught (i.e., Level 1-4).
CHA Skills Workshops may be taught by one or more CHA Certified Instructor(s) with a current certification one level higher than the intended levels to be covered in the clinic. The instructor must receive prior approval from the CHA Program Director to staff a skills workshop. This approval will be part of the clinic application process.
CHA Skills Workshops may be conducted at any suitable facility; the site has to be a CHA Program Member.
An application to conduct a CHA Skills Workshop shall be submitted to the CHA office and referred to the CHA Program Director for final approval. The application will include:
The CHA office will maintain a file on the skills workshops that have been approved and conducted. This file shall contain the instructor’s application material only. There will be no official evaluations of participants or the instructor. The instructor may ask for participant evaluations for their own use and may provide CHA certificates of participation to clinic participants. CHA Skills Workshops may count as continuing education credit for certified instructors enrolled in the clinic.
The cost to host a skills clinic is $255, which includes CHA insurance and certificates for participants. The clinic fee must be paid upon approval of the clinic. There is also a $55 CHA member fee for each participant that is not already a CHA member.
The Equine Facility Management (EFM) program is a twenty-hour certification clinic to evaluate participants on their skills and knowledge of equine facility management. Participants will demonstrate skills and take a written test at each of four levels of certification. Each participant starts at level 1 and may proceed to the next level upon successful completion of each level and may receive up to Level 4 Certification during the twenty-hour clinic.
Certification clinics will be held at commercial equine operations (more than 35 head) that offer a diversity of functions to enable testing the program content through all four levels. Ideal host sites would include boarding/lesson/training operations, trail/dude operations, college facilities, competition centers, breeding farms, etc.
LEVELS OF (EFM) CERTIFICATION
There are four levels of certification and participants must advance through the levels by taking a written test and doing skills demonstration at each level. Candidates for certification must have the knowledge and skills at any given level prior to the clinic; CHA will not certify newfound knowledge or skills.
These four levels of certification are available:
Level 1 - Stable Worker: Qualified to work in a barn under the supervision of a manager. Minimum age is 16.
Level 2 - Stable Manager: Qualified to manage a small private stable of up to 10 head and 1-2 employees. Minimum age is 18.
Level 3 - Herd Manager: Qualified to manage a public equine facility of up to 35 head and 3-4 employees. Minimum age is 18.
Level 4 - Equine Facility Manager: Qualified as general manger of a commercial equine operation greater than 35 head and with five or more employees. Minimum age is 21.
See expanded content in each level below.
For Level One EFM Certification, minimum competency requires the ability to safely catch, halter, lead and secure horses without assistance; safely execute feeding and stable chores; basic horse knowledge including parts of the horse, signs of health and basic behavior.
AREAS OF EVALUATION
Participants will be evaluated on skills and knowledge by two CHA Certified EFM Clinicians, in five areas:
The standard clinic staff certification process will apply to EFM.
In order to receive any certification, the EFM candidate must meet the following requirements:
The following skills/knowledge will be demonstrated at each level, by either a written test or a hands-on skills demonstration, oral examination.
CERTIFICATION CLINIC REQUIREMENTS
Vaulting is the art of gymnastics on the back of a moving horse. It is one of seven equestrian disciplines recognized by the Federation Equestre Internationale (FEI) for international competition and its history dates back to Roman times. It has been an important part of equestrian training, especially cavalry training, for generations. As a competitive sport it is stylized and disciplined. As a recreational activity and teaching aid it is enormously adaptable in scope and application.
Vaulting requires the teamwork of the vaulter, horse & longeur. Vaulting may be done as individuals, pairs or as teams. Vaulters may be doing compulsory exercises on the horse in their first lesson.
Vaulting is a specialized horse activity that is fun. It improves confidence, balance, timing, strength, and suppleness, thus making participants’ better, more secure horseback riders. Since one vaulting horse can address the needs of many vaulters, it is a great way to offer equine opportunity to many participants.
Vaulting diversifies and enhances any horsemanship program, both for able-bodied and disabled equestrians. A growing number of riding instructors, schools, camps and therapeutic programs are using vaulting to improve their students' skills.
To learn more about the sport of vaulting visit the American Vaulting Association web site at www.americanvaulting.org
HOW CAN VAULTING FIT INTO MY CURRENT RIDING PROGRAM?
Lesson Program: Many stables choose to develop a complete vaulting lesson program as an adjunct to their riding program. Others use vaulting techniques on a more limited basis, individualizing their vaulting instruction to address specific rider challenges (build confidence, increase understanding and feel of horse movement, create awareness of rider body position / muscle isolation and its effects on the horse, etc.).
Camp Program : Vaulting is a fun addition to a camp program as it provides opportunities for team building among campers, channels their energy into a positive learning experience, and expands their confidence and sense of accomplishment in a short period of time.
Youth Association or Club: Vaulting provides an exciting challenge for club members to work together while improving their horsemanship skills and equine knowledge. Whether vaulting is used for clinics, demonstrations or competitions, it allows for diversity in rider/vaulter skills, horse breed or use, and economic level of the participant.
Therapeutic Program: As vaulting allows for great variety in rider positions and movements, it provides an excellent way for therapeutic students to set and achieve goals while increasing their strength, flexibility and balance. With options for individual or team efforts, vaulting offers unlimited opportunities for physical and social development.
ABOUT CHA VAULTING COACH CERTIFICATION
Overview of the Vaulting Coach Certification Clinic
The goal of the Vaulting Coach Certification (VCC) clinics is to provide the vaulting community a certification process through which participants may be evaluated in their skills as coaches to provide a safe, enjoyable and effective vaulting program.
A 24 hour certification clinic, conducted in three days, is held as a stand-alone clinic. Certification is available at three levels and qualifies the individual to coach vaulting through walk/ trot and up to canter in either a recreational and/or competition vaulting program.
The Vaulting Coach Certification is conducted by two CHA VCC Clinicians, whose job it is to evaluate the coaching skills of each participant and offer constructive advice for a safe and effective vaulting program. The level of certification granted, if any, is at the sole discretion of the two CHA clinicians conducting the clinic.
Types and Levels of Vaulting Coach Certification
ASSISTANT VAULTING COACH – Qualified to direct warm-up exercises, spot or longe under the direct supervision of a Level 1 or higher certified vaulting coach.
LEVEL ONE Vaulting Coach – Qualified to coach vaulting in a beginner or one-time vaulting program at walk, up to beginning trot.
LEVEL TWO Vaulting Coach – Qualified to teach in a vaulting program or club, at walk-trot, up to beginning canter.
LEVEL THREE Vaulting Coach – Qualified to teach in a vaulting program or club, at walk, trot, and canter either recreational &/or competitive.
VCC clinics will be held at sites approved for hosting by the CHA Corporate Office and in addition to the regular host site requirements; the host site needs to offer safe and suitable vaulting areas, equipment and horse, as stated in the American Vaulting Association (AVA) Camps and Club Manual.
For information on hosting a Vaulting Coach Certification clinic, call 800-399-0138 or email pbarger@CHA-ahse.org.
For driving instructors who teach group lessons in the camp or commercial driving school setting, and for recreational or commercial drivers. Certification includes single and team driving with multiple vehicle types. Both breast collar and collar harness are addressed. There are several workshops included in this clinic including Teaching Techniques for Driving, Risk Reduction, Passenger Safety in Loading and Unloading, Harness Fit and Adjustment, Road Driving, Emergency Procedures and Professionalism. Minimum age for Assistant is 16 years old, minimum age for driver/driving instructor is 18 years old.
Watch for upcoming Adjunct Certification for Driving Multiples!