The NSBA Foundation is excited to present another Coaches Summit in Nashville, Tennessee this April 12-14, 2021. The Coaches Summit is a workshop presented as a special project of the NSBA Foundation for equine industry professionals, therapeutic riding center coaches, staff, volunteers or anyone interested in exploring opportunities for the engagement and expansion of current or new riding programs for Equestrians with Disabilities. The three-day program features instruction from industry professionals, post-secondary educators, therapeutic riding instructors and business and industry professionals.
The theme of the event is "A Model of Inclusion for All Riders". Instruction will concentrate on the value and inclusion of competition for Equestrians with Disabilities and veterans using horses as a form of therapeutic riding, but also include grant writing, fundraising, strategies for building industry networks and open discussion panels for each topic. Additionally, on site learning activities will be conducted at Ryan Cottingim Show Horses in Shelbyville, Tennessee.
Leading this year's event will be NSBA executive director, professional horseman and judge, Stephanie Lynn; NSBA professional horseman, Ryan Cottingim and Partners for Progress, NFP owner and executive director, Diane Helgeland.
Open to all interested parties, registration includes two nights lodging, meals, local transportation and educational material.
PATH Intl. Certified Professionals can receive continuing education credits for attending the Coaches Summit as outlined in their certification requirements.
Schedule of Activities
Monday, April 12
|3:00 PM||Guests Check In|
|5:30-6:00 PM||Meet & Greet Reception|
|6:00-9:00 PM||Dinner & Welcome|
Tuesday, April 13
|7:00-8:00 AM||Breakfast Open for Registered Attendees|
|8:00-9:30 AM||Overview of Competition and Its Importance |
|10:30-12:30 PM||Depart for Ryan Cottingim Show Horses, Shelbyville, TN|
|12:30 – 1:30 PM||Onsite Facility Visit|
|2:00 PM||Working Lunch |
|3:00-5:00 PM||Depart for Hotel|
|6:30-9:00 PM||Breakout Sessions|
Wednesday, April 14
|7:00-8:00 AM||Breakfast Open for Registered Attendees|
|8:00-10:00 AM||Recap and Next Steps |
|10:15-10:30 AM||NSBA Foundation & How To Help |
|10:30-11:00 AM||Major Events and Local Events|
|11:00-12:00 PM||Workshop Completion & Certificates |
Speakers & Facilitators
The NSBA Foundation is proud to offer a diverse group of accomplished professionals from every facet of our industry to educate and share their expertise on the inclusion of therapeutic riding competition at the 2021 Coaches Summit.
Accountant | Ohio Quarter Horse Association
Treasurer | All American Quarter Horse Congress
Carey Cooper of Columbus, OH is the staff accountant for the Ohio Quarter Horse Association. Cooper is a graduate of Athens Technical College and is now attending Ohio State University where he is studying agrobusiness and applied economics. Formerly the business manager for Showstring, in Boerne, TX, he has extensive experience managing day-to-day financials and client services for a growing business. He has served on staff at OQHA and as the treasurer for the All American Quarter Horse Congress since 2017.
Aside from a busy work schedule with OQHA, Cooper typically enjoys spending time with friends, cooking, traveling and networking within the greater-Columbus area.
Owner | Ryan Cottingim Show Horses
AQHA professional horseman Ryan Cottingim has been involved in the quarter horse industry for over 25 years. Cottingim is a graduate of University of Findlay in Findlay, Ohio with bachelor’s degrees in both equestrian studies with an emphasis in western training and equine business management. Following his graduation, Ryan spent two additional years at the university as an instructor before opening his own training and lesson program in Southwest Ohio. Ryan had an opportunity to advance his career in the show horse industry and took an assistant training position at Tommy Sheets Show Horses.
Ryan and his fiancée, Amanda Gately, opened the doors of their training program Ryan Cottingim Show Horses in Shelbyville, Tennessee in 2011. There, they have established a successful program, earning multiple world show and Congress championships. They specialize in the western and english all-around events, as well as coaching amateur and youth riders.
Ryan also has worked with Equestrians with Disabilities and their coaches for the last several years. He operates as a lead clinician and mentor to many EWD participants. Cottingim serves as a professional horseman extensively with the NSBA Foundation Heroes on Horses program alongside United States military veterans who have competed at the NSBA World Championship Show as well as the All American Quarter Horse Congress.
Editor | GoHorseShow
Laura Gilmer is a professional with a long history in the equine industry. While she no longer shows, Gilmer’s accolades as an exhibitor include 18 Congress championship titles and the record of youngest AQHA All-Around in the nation at the age of 11. Gilmer is a multi-carded judge.
Gilmer holds a master’s degree in journalism from the University of South Carolina. Based in Franklin, TN, she serves as editor for GoHorseShow for the past 12 years with a strong skillset in media, public relations and social media. When she is not indulging her passions for traveling, you might find her spending time with her college-bound son, Hunter, or her foster daughter and foster dogs.
Executive Director | Partners for Progress
As the executive director of Partners for Progress, Diane Helgeland brings over 20 years of personal and professional experience to the 2021 Coaches Summit. The non-profit, based in Wauconda, Illinois, is a goal-based therapeutic riding center providing services to residents in Northeastern Illinois and Southeastern Wisconsin with physical, mental, and emotional disabilities. Helgeland is a former special education teacher and graduate of Illinois State University. She also has a wonderful and much-loved brother with unique abilities.
Developing unique and goal driven programs has been Helgeland’s passion at Partners for Progress. A horse owner all of her life, she realizes what an important uniqueness the horse brings to all programs she developed throughout the years. Partners for Progress’ Power Hour Program is one of the many programs offered to their clients. This program offers goal setting, overseen by a program therapist to assist participants in overcoming fears, breaking down walls, and achieving monumental milestones and thus offering an increase in quality of life. She is looking forward to sharing many of these ideas with the Coaches Summit participants.
As a non-profit, financial sustainability is of utmost importance. Helgeland and her staff spend a great deal of time on community outreach, awareness and fundraising for their efforts. They develop and implement multiple successful fundraising activities to serve their client base and support traveling to competitions across the country. Helgeland is currently working on a large capital campaign for Partners for Progress facility purchase and build out.
When not working, she loves to spend hours and days at the beach, reading books, cooking and going to the horse shows with her granddaughters.
Director of Equestrian Program | Middle Tennessee State University
Ariel Higgins grew up riding and showing quarter horses under the guidance of her mother, Cathy Herrin. She is grateful for the opportunity to compete as a youth at a high level and holds both an AQHA world championship title and a Congress title. She recieved a master’s degree in horse science with a concentration in education from MTSU, where she competed in IHSA. She continues to reside in Murfreesboro, TN and works at MTSU as the director of the equestrian program, equestrian studies instructor and coach of the MTSU IHSA team.
When time allows, she competes as an AQHA professional by catch riding for her mother’s clients. She owns her own horse and plans to compete in the hunter under saddle events with him in the future. However, most of Higgin's time is devoted to coaching the next generation of equine professional and helping them find their way in the industry.
Higgins and her husband are both passionate about the horse industry and agriculture as a whole, so most of their free time is spent immersed in those areas. They enjoy cooking new things and have a dog named Joni that keeps them busy.
Executive Director | National Snaffle Bit Association
Stephanie Lynn is the executive director of National Snaffle Bit Association. A horse trainer for over 35 years, Lynn judged for NSBA, AQHA and APHA before taking her position with NSBA. She is a renowned trainer, exhibitor, coach, judge and author. She coached students to world championship titles in classes ranging from working hunter to western riding and horsemanship.
She is a Congress Champion and an NSBA and AQHA World Champion in multiple events and has judged World Championship shows for NSBA, APHA and AQHA, as well as the largest shows in the country and internationally. Lynn continues to provide education for riders and judges and facilitate educational programs for NSBA and the NSBA Foundation.
Instructor | Middle Tennessee State University
Coordinator | Center of Equine Recovery for Veterans
Andrea Rego's background as an exhibitor, coach, educator and lifelong learner brings a unique perspective to the 2021 Coaches Summit. Rego is an alum of Berry College, where she received her bachelor’s degree in animal science and earned a national title on the college’s Intercollegiate Horse Show Association team. She received her master’s degree in equine education in 2016 from Middle Tennessee State University before traveling abroad to teach AQHA horsemanship clinics in England, Sweden and Denmark. She currently doubles as an instructor at MTSU, teaching undergraduate courses such as Equine Assisted Activities and Therapies, Stable Management and Advanced Western Competition, as well as the coordinator for the Center of Equine Recovery for Veterans. She also holds an instructor’s certificate from the Certified Horsemanship Association.
Rego continues her show career in both American Quarter Horse Association and the American Stock Horse Association. She holds the title as 2020 Region II ASHA Open Champion. Rego also serves as assistant coach to the MTSU Equestrian Team and head coach to the MTSU Stock Horse Team, which she coached to a championship title in 2019. She is the educational liaison to the Tennessee Stock Horse Association and is a carded judge for ASHA.
Rego and her husband, Matthew Rego, share a son. On her free time, she enjoys the outdoors, gardening, cooking and reading.
Made Possible By Our Proud Sponsors
As a special project of the NSBA Foundation, the Coaches Summit is funded by the Champion Fund. The NSBA Foundation is a relatively new non-profit, and does not have any large endowments from which to pull yearly funds. All of our programs and supported annually from the generosity of our community. To learn how you can get involved, visit nsba.com/how-to-contribute.
2021 Coaches Summit
The 2020 NSBA Foundation Coaches Summit was held in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, April 12-14, 2021. The three-day workshop included instruction in the classroom and on site at Ryan Cottingim Show Horses in Shelbyville, Tennessee.
2019 Coaches Summit
The 2019 NSBA Foundation Coaches Summit was held in Westlake, Texas, March 25-27. The three-day workshop included instruction in the classroom and on site at Bridlewood Equestrian Center, home of Stable Strides, LLC in Flower Mound, Texas.