From October 24–27, Houghton College will host this year’s Certified Horsemanship Association International Annual Conference. The conference, held at Houghton College’s Equestrian Center, features workshops and lessons from CHA Master-Level Instructors, top veterinarians, behaviorists, and horse trainers. In addition to learning from top experts in the equine industry, participants can take part in roundtable discussions, a silent auction, and the annual CHA Awards Banquet.
According to CHA, the event offers something for all horse enthusiasts, from hobbyists to professionals. The conference includes workshops in topics including dressage, jumping, lead changes, lateral work, and ranch horse versatility. Certified CHA Members, meanwhile, can use the conference to fulfill their continuing education requirements for recertification.
“We are very excited to have folks from all corners of the country and from Canada come to join us here in Houghton for a few days of learning and making new connections,” says Larissa Ries, director of the equestrian studies program at Houghton. “The conference brings together equine professionals who will be presenting on a variety of topics related to the equine industry.”
Before the main conference schedule, Houghton College will also host a tour stop of the EQUUS Film Festival on Wednesday the 23rd. This special event will be held in Houghton’s College Recital Hall at 7pm. The screening will feature three equine documentaries: Desert Flight, A Pony and His Boy: The Story of Berry and Josh, and The Wild Ponies of Chincoteague.
Equestrian Studies at Houghton College
Conference attendees have the opportunity to ride and practice with the 28 trained lesson horses housed at Houghton College’s Equestrian Center. The college’s equestrian facilities include 386 acres of farmland and trails, two indoor arenas, an outdoor stadium jumping ring, and a designated dressage arena.
Houghton College offers both a major and minor in equestrian studies, as well as a minor in equine-assisted therapy. Students can develop their skills in five different disciplines: dressage, hunter/jumper competition, eventing, western, and trail riding.