Article by: Dr. Marjorie Bommerbach, CHA Certified Instructor, EqX Volunteer
Certified Horsemanship Association (CHA) promotes excellence in safety and education by certifying riding instructors, accrediting equine facilities, producing educational conferences, and publishing educational resources. CHA launched a brand-new website this month, go to www.CHA.Horse for more information.
The unit of a horse’s height measurement is hands, and “hands on” and “helping hands” describe Equestrian Crossings’ adaptive riding program located on Whidbey Island, Washington.
Equestrian Crossings (EqX) was established in 2009 and is member-run. Our program offers a range of horsemanship lessons (lunging, grooming, riding) to able-bodied and adaptive students alike. Riders’ ages range from five to seventy-plus. Newly added in the past year is a program for retired disabled veterans.
The program’s success relies on dedicated CHA certified instructors and a team of wonderful gentle horses donated for use by EqX members and friends.
Our riding season runs from March through October. This year, our start date was delayed by mandatory stay-home orders to prevent coronavirus spread. Our instructors met this challenge by brainstorming about how to safely continue our program this year, which recommenced in June.
We adapted by eliminating group lessons and offering half-hour individual lessons, spread over longer periods. Riders’ families were asked to stay in their cars to maintain social distancing. We sanitized. We dropped our prices to make sure our service was affordable. We’ve just closed out another successful year. Our students expressed immense gratitude for having a structured weekly riding session to help them through the uncertainty of the COVID pandemic.
CHA is moving forward with the CHA Region One conference February 25-28, 2021 at Warm Beach Horsemanship in Stanwood. Find more information about Northwest programs and certifications at www.charegion1.com .
The Northwest Horse Source is an independently owned and operated print and online magazine for horse owners and enthusiasts of all breeds and disciplines in the Pacific Northwest. Our contemporary editorial columns are predominantly written by experts in the region, covering the care, training, keeping and enjoyment of horses, with an eye to the specific concerns in our region.