Office - IRAoffice@ymail.com
1. Become a member
2. Register your horse
Membership includes (Sept 1-Aug 31):
BECOME A MEMBER!
REGISTER YOUR HORSE!
You can pay with Paypal or email us
Need to order a replacement certificate?
When you take part in the academic evaluations, you become part of the Hippology Society, dedicated to preserving and promoting the ancient art of classical horsemanship through enlightened equestrian education, monitored by the International Riding Academy and evaluated by some of the best riders across the globe.
International Certification Board of Evaluators
All of the following people ride high performance and have attained wonderful achievements in the equestrian field. The dressage evaluators have all ridden upper level, have trained fellow riders and most are listed or have been in the Olympics. It is a wonderful opportunity to ride with them.
List of Evaluators:
Dorita Peer Show & Sport Performances, co-Rider Levels & Equitation
EC &, USEF Senior Dressage judge, COAI Master Coach, CCCP Level III, CSHA Senior Inspector, Dressage candidate, Bronze, Silver and Gold Certified Rider Awards
Lyle Jackson Stock Performance & Equitation
National Reining Horse Association, FEI Reining (I) International Level, AQHA—American Quarter Horse Association, NRCHA—National Reined Cow Horse Association, APHA—American Paint Horse Association.
Melanie Patton co-Rider levels I - II
Equine Science diploma with honors, Classical Dressage Bronze medalist, Equestrian author, training at Spanish Riding School.
Heidi Smithson - Thesis - master graduate, professor and technical writer of the University of Saskatchewan and formerly the University of Regina.
Allison Page - Young Rider tests & Level 0 tests - Senior show competitor and multi-champion in various disciplines.
Also, a special thankyou to Jacqueline Oldham for helping us set up the system for the academy. With all of her years of experience and expertise we were happy to have her. Best wishes and rest in peace.
Equine Science (Diploma and Master Diploma) : This program is designed to help you manage the health and welfare of horses to the highest degree to keep them healthier and with a higher longevity in their riding and/ or breeding career. The program involves the International Rider Levels I through IV, with optional higher riding. Students may opt to aim higher for a Masters Diploma upon completion. Better your horsemanship. This program is ideal for every horse owner.
Professional Certification: If you are working or want to work in the equine industry this program is vital for references, credentials and even for better insurance prices and protection. Earn a certificate as a professional riding coach, horse trainer and/or stable manager. The horse training courses are perfect for the every day rider as well. Specialty courses for equestrian judging allows students to hone their judging skills and those who complete the credentials may be put on the board!
Discipline Program: This program offers a variety of disciplines all tested by video test patterns. This program is perfect for those who just wish to ride and already feel confident in their abilities. Students will find faster progress upon completing the International Rider Levels first. Regardless, there are many awards to earn as you ride!
Equestrian-4-Kids Program and Young Rider Progam: This program is perfect for children from pre-school all the way through Grade 10. It is also ideal for those with learning disabilities. This program involves the equine theory work but can be added to the Young Rider program, where young and/or disabled riders can ride their way through the levels before starting the International Rider Levels.
"Awesome this is a fabulous program as a adult amateur I could not find out information on Dressage and the Academy has excellent information and access to world class Judges. You compete and progress on a Level that suits your life style." Janette Reinson
"One of the reasons I love riding with the Academy is that little no one me, from small town Saskatchewan gets to have my ride marked, and more importantly gets helpful judges feedback from judges like Dr Cesar Parra. There is no other way that I would get an opportunity like that." Denny Moodie
"I love the fact that I can school my horse at home and get expert opinions. I don't have to travel. I don't have all the extra fees with travelling and showing, and the best part is that it is personal. No one else watches me ride unless I want them too!" Cathy Johnson
"My daughter is a horse crazed nut! The Equestrian program is perfect for her. It gives her something to do that is still horse related. Love it and she loves it. Best yet she LOVES the ribbons." J. Korbinski
"I've saved $500 every year on insurance, just by having my coaching credentials! That alone pays for tuition in just a few years!"
The International Riding Academy incorporates riders with disabilities into rider’s disciplines of choice. There are no special tests, except Grade 1A may use the Young Rider A and B test for whichever discipline. Every rider is allowed to partake in whichever test he or she feels comfortable and safe in. Because there is such a wide range of disciplines, progressing in difficulty, it should be easy to pick which test a para-rider belongs in. Awards are the same. When you send in your membership, just send in the dispensation note saying which para-grade level you are in signed by a physician or physical therapist (sent it once only- unless it is updated). Self-evaluation is only allowed for Grade 1A and for those choosing to ride in Level 0 in the English and Western disciplines, only excluding Dressage. Use the FEI profile system to determine which grade level. As for tack and attire, everything is the same as per discipline, however the para-rider may use safety harness, safety reins and or whips that do not exceed 4 feet in length. The salute may be done by a nod of the head when letting go of the rein is unsafe. Any well fitted saddle can be used in any discipline. Devonshire, Western, or Oxbow stirrups may be used. Stirrups may be tethered to the girth. Safety stirrups are required if the feet are secured in stirrups. Boots with a heel must be worn. Any additional article as listed on the dispensation note is allowed. Riders in Test A, may be led using a halter and lead, but the rider must use reins as well.
DISPENSATION NOTES: Riders with other challenges, either temporary or long-term that do not qualify for para-equestrian grading, can message the office when sending in tests as to what additional equipment was used, such as braces, splints, casts and so on. You will need a physician’s note. This is needed once only, unless there are changes and updates. The only time it is necessary is when the article may impede flexibility, control or cannot wear an article, such as stirrups or gloves, and likewise that may affect your riding to a slight degree.
Dispensation Notes will include the rider’s name, date of birth, current address, email, grade profile, Briefly explain how your disability affects you in everyday living skills i.e., strength, mobility, etc. (also include medical diagnosis), List the compensating aids and adaptive equipment you are requesting, List the exceptions to dress requested, List any other allowances requested.
IA = Mainly wheelchair users with impairment of all 4 limbs, may be able to walk with an unsteady gait, however trunk and balance are severely impaired.
IB = Mainly wheelchair users with poor trunk balance and or impairment of function in all four limbs, or no trunk balance and good upper limb function, or moderate trunk balance with severe impairment of all 4 limbs.
II = Mainly wheelchair users, or those with severe locomotor impairment involving the trunk and with good to mild upper limb function, those with severe arm impairment and slight leg impairment or severe unilateral impairment.
III = Usually able to walk without support. Moderate unilateral impairment, or moderate impairment in four limbs, severe arm impairment. May need a wheelchair for longer distances or due to lack of stamina. Total loss of sight in both eyes, wearing blacked out glassed or blindfold. Grade III may be intellectually impaired.
IV = Impairment in one or two limbs or some visual impairment.
It is about ample opportunity for everyone where ever you are across the globe, from big cities to remote areas; and for equality in equestrian standards. There is next to no travel. It is cheaper. There is no risk of sickness. It is less stress and takes up less of your time. It is easier on the horses and there is no chance of catching contagions. But it runs much deeper than that…
I don’t know about you, but I struggle to try and remember everything horse related. From lessons, to clinics, to equine seminars, not to mention tons of books and magazine articles, the average horse person is overloaded with information. I started writing everything down and when some of my clients and friends looked at it, they said I should publish a book. So it was put together and presented to publishers and marketing analysts, who all agreed, there was too much information for one book. It needed to become several books! So it was divided into parts, then units and finally topics.
But I had clients of all ages and the kids wanted something to do. So I began creating activity books that got harder for each school grade. It was then, somewhere and somehow Children’s Wish got wind of this project and contacted me about purchasing the entire package of books. However, the program was still in the initial pilot stage with my crew of kids and it would take a long time to finish. I was touched by the story. It is the saddest, most tragic, painful and unfabricated story that I will ever write. It was in 2007 that the lady from Children’s Wish contacted me about Mackenzie Popoff, a 12 year old girl suffering from a brain tumor. It was her wish to have a horse, but also to know how to ride and to learn about horses. Of course, I was touched and immediately said yes. However, it was summer and I was bogged down with lessons and doing construction in my spare time. I usually only write in January, when the winter weather is terribly cold, making it near impossible to ride. It was not long after that I received a phone call, saying that Mackenzie was getting very sick and no one knew how much longer she had. I could not wait any longer. By then it was September, so I booked time off, and I wrote steady for two weeks straight, surviving off of 2 hours of sleep per night. I did what I had to in a bit of a frenzy to finish. I spoke with the publishers and there was no way that they could speed up the process, so unfortunately I had to pull out of the deal. Not really knowing what else to do, I was told about the idea of setting up a publishing house, or rather a company that could back the job. That was when the International Riding Academy was born. By the time all of the legalities were in order and the books were published, it was already the end of September. I remember packaging up the parcel as fast as I could and sending it out special delivery. But, unfortunately, Mackenzie’s cancer had developed so quickly and she passed on, without ever seeing and learning any of the information.
It was this pressing order and being too late that I decided to not stop. I wanted everything to be readily available to anyone all over the world, no matter how big or how small, or in the city or in the remote farm somewhere next to the middle of nowhere. There was a need for the equine science courses to be readily available to all ages, not just children. That was when I decided to dive in further and start setting up the equine science program.
At the same time, some of my clients asked for something like a show instead of having to travel so far. They were tired of all the expenses and from working full time. It was a challenge to find the time to ride, let alone find the time to travel to a show. Many had trouble even just booking holidays. Worse, it is heavily competition based, and the emphasis is always on winning. It really is not the right environment to meet new friends. It is not even a relaxed environment. If some of my clients wanted to book days off for a little rest and relaxation, it certainly was not a show, but rather to go fishing! That I can understand and as well, I was tired too. It is exhausting trying to help students, prep my own horse or horses, and have to deal with the other competitors. It seemed funny as most were so nice to meet with, yet it was always those who were threatened most, or those who seemed to be jealous the most, that would make the experience terrible. I definitely did not need any of it.
So, the office began contacting a multitude of judges, coaches, trainers and alike from all over the globe. Together, the academy developed many disciplines for riders to do their testing at home. This just meant to do their patterns, or dressage tests, and videotape them. The entire program is a huge hit and is continually developing still. We got the ball rolling with dressage and the goal was to keep changing with modern dressage, but many of the riders objected, saying that is what they disliked most about showing! Soon it developed into a bit different program from modern dressage, or competitive dressage, to be older, and with the aid of some of the old teaching and training techniques, classical dressage became the root of all of the other disciplines in the academy.
Then there in the Show, or English, performance program, the Stock, or Western, performance and the Sport, or Hunter Jumper program is still in development. The best part is that all of the disciplines became a little different than modern riding. The academy could now focus on natural gaits and riding, rewarding those who stick to classical rules, rather than modern fads, gadgets and likewise. There would be no need, keeping the horses less stressed and helping keep longevity in their riding careers!
Yet, still there was a pressing need for the development of proper horsemanship. It seemed as though there were different organizations who promoted coaches, yet these coaches were struggling with some basic concepts. With their credentials behind them, it seemed as though it was birthing many arguments and combined with social media, there began an explosion of the divas on the net! Perhaps it was always there, just not as magnified.
Anyway, to deal with the problem, the office scrutinized over ever organization’s courses and testing procedures and began compiling a basic list. It goes back to the four classical and oldest schools of proper horsemanship and equitation, from Jerez, Lisbon, Saumur, and of course the highest prestigious school of all, from Vienna. The information was put together to form the international rider levels. These were then put together with the Equine Science theory courses, so that by the time a rider finished Rider IV, they would have an excellent basis of horsemanship and earn a diploma.
However, not everyone is set to start in the rider levels right away. Children really need to take time to learn basic concepts, before rushing into faster gaits and fast disciplines. After all, it is really the horses who suffer most from the hands of ill riders. Going back to the grade levels of the Equestrian-4-Kids program, new textbooks were done in order to help the kids learn better, faster and easier. But it didn’t stop there. It used to be called the Horsemastership program, however Equestrian was a better word because it could be broken down. E-Quest-Rian evolved out of the fact that things were done online now, the kids had little quests to do in their activity books, where they would travel to a fantastical land called Rian (Ree-ann). Little personal stories were inserted into the units of their activity books in grades 2 to 10. The website may tell and show a bit more as kids find their way to the secret wing of the virtual library and hopefully find the hidden office with a map of the academy’s grounds to explore. The activity books tell a personal adventure up to the lost unit 13, where the kids need to do the quests to be able to read the last unit, that ultimately leads to the next grade level’s storyline. The primary kids in grades 2, 3 and 4, learn just a bit of the story line, with more personal stories. The junior kids in grades 5, 6 and 7, learn a bit more of the actual story of the main character, who so-called founded the academy. The teen kids in grades 8, 9, and 10, will have a better understanding of horsemanship and the events that led up to the start of the academy, with all of the reasoning of why one should learn about horses and carry on the knowledge. It is grade 10 that concludes the storyline, bringing the entire program together. But the best part, is that kids can jump into the program at any grade level and will be able to catch on to the story in no time. It has just a bit of mystery and cliff hangers at the right moments to try and keep the kids inspired to keep reading and learning.
Nevertheless, the academy did not stop there. The International Pony Camp is just underway, to try and tie the kids storylines together in a fun and exciting way. By the kids getting together in a group, they will be able to help each other out and also drive each other forward to the finish line. Letters from the founding character are given to each pony camp, per unit, as to why he cannot attend to teach them in person. These letters will chronologically tell an endless story of adventure, due to his time travel machine and vortices into fantastical worlds. Each year is a new storyline with wonderful characters and an air of mystery as well as action and adventure. Every year is based in a different biome, learning about animals, in the search of horses or horse like animals, as well as fictitious characters, like gnomes, fairies, dragons and so on. Oh, to be a kid again!
Pony camp goes well with riding lessons, as the kids learn theory, have fun together and also can take their rider levels. If they are not ready for levels I to IV, the Young Rider program is perfect.
There are many awards to keep riders inspired and striving higher, progressing their riding. Riders can ride several horses to never become bored and to keep earning!
After Rider IV, riders can try for an equitation medal in the Equitation Medal program. It is easy to finish the Stable Management certification process. Or they can strive for certification in horse training and or coaching. Once certification is granted, there are many titles that a trainer and or coach can strive for. Aim for discipline titles and specialties, including being a children’s coach. Upon finishing some master courses and an equine related thesis, a master diploma is granted. Even the horses can earn titles like Lifetime Champion in Classical Dressage. Or for multiple disciplines, earn titles like Reserve Champion, Champion, Grand Champion and Supreme Champion in Show, Sport, and or Stock. The possibilities are endless and the academy hopes to inspire everyone. The academy was not born out of vanity, but rather by the incessant need for a better horse world. We hope everyone can have fun and define their own learning curve with their horses.