The 2018 Alberta Equestrian Federation (AEF) Annual Instructor/Coach Symposium was a huge success. There was a total of 38 registrants throughout the weekend. The symposium was geared around daily themes to benefit equestrian instructors/coaches and their businesses and skill-sets.
Friday April 13 was an “All About Business” theme for the coaches featuring Russ Dantu doing a session on “Creating Your Wow’s and Eliminating their Owe’s”, Nancy Smith doing a session on how to better utilize social media and market your business (Nancy also provided all attendees a private one on one 30 minute marketing session afterwards), and Mike King, with CapriCMW Insurance, doing a session on coaching insurance/products and proper risk management.
Saturday April 14 was an “All About the Horse” theme for coaches featuring Tina Watkins from Inhand Equine Therapy doing a session on conditioning programs, and Amanda Kroeker from Ark Nutrition doing a session on equine fermentrics, starch matrixes, protein complexes and microbial protein and how it related to metabolism in the performance horse. Amanda’s session also included a practical portion where feed preference testing took place.
Sunday April 15 was an “All About the Athlete” theme for coaches and featured Sandra Sokoloski from E-Sport Physio doing a session on riding position problems and how to correct them, Carmen Hon with Lifemark Health doing a session on concussions, and Olympic Athlete, Eric Mitchell, with the You Can Play organization doing a session on LGBTQ2IS diversity and inclusion in sport.
The symposium was fully catered and took place at Olds College. AEF opted to have a video conferencing option provided by Gearhead Media. This allowed instructors/coaches across the country to connect to each session and participate like they were actually there with features such as a chat room available to stimulate conversation amoungst remote participants and also allow the ability to ask questions of the clinicians for real time answers. This year AEF had just over 9 participants take advantage of this with coaches from BC all the way to Ontario joining in. With this option participants were also provided access to review all sessions after the symposium for an additional 30 days.
“To have the opportunity to learn from specialists in their field helps me become a well rounded coach and horseperson,” stated one of the participants.
The AEF is looking forward to hosting this symposium again next year with hopes that attendance will grow and more instructors/coaches will benefit from such a great event!