December 18, 2017

Are You Worth It?

Cheryl & Christy Landwehr, CHA CEO

            I just got my contract for my next CHA Riding Instructor Certification Clinic! Every time I get contracted to facilitate a new clinic I get pretty excited. I learn so much from all the participants and enjoy their energy. It revitalizes my teaching and gives me some great new ideas for my program. 

            Of course running the clinics is also hard work. The hours are long, sometimes the weather is an issue and the participants are always stressed. They have usually traveled a long distance and paid a lot of money to be there. Most have left their jobs, families and homes behind for the week. Some, like me, had to close their business and entrust the care of their animals to others. Plus, just the process of getting a CHA Certification is stressful. There are written tests, classes to attend, new concepts to grasp and lots of evaluations from the staff and other participants. It seems like everything they do is being judged and commented on. Or they are doing the judging and commenting. All the participants are trying to get the highest level of certification they can, so they work very hard to impress the staff. Sometimes the stress gets to them. Very often, someone will end up in tears. Some of the participants are there because attendance is a requirement of their employment. Some of these participants are resentful of being put through this extremely stressful process but others are grateful for the opportunity.  After all is said and done and they have time to reflect on the process, most of the participants will be extremely happy they came.

            So why do people put themselves through this? Would you spend your hard-earned money and time to be stressed, judged, and pushed by people you don’t even know? Does certification really make a difference? After all, everyone has a driver’s license and there are plenty of bad drivers out there. So what difference does a piece of paper really make? I can only speak to my experience, but this is what it did for me…

            Certification tells the world that I am serious about my job. I’m not just someone who hung out my shingle proclaiming to the world that I know how to teach riding. I didn’t get into teaching because I needed some extra cash, own a horse, took lessons as a kid or because I couldn’t get a job anywhere else. I’m not doing it to pay the bills until I can get my real career on track. This is my career. I want to be the best instructor I can be and certification helps me be just that.

            Being CHA Certified tells the world that not only do I think I’m good at the job, but really talented, experienced instructors do as well. At least 2 clinic staff had to agree that I have the necessary skills, education and talent to teach riding at the level of certification I received. Plus, all the other participants got to give their opinions as well. For my certification I taught eight lessons- six mounted and two un-mounted, lecture-type lessons. Every lesson I taught was evaluated by 11 people. That’s a lot of feedback! All the feedback was greatly appreciated, but the constructive critiques helped me the most. I had to teach many different levels of students and topics correctly. Teaching riding requires a very unique type of person with a very specific skill set. Not everyone can do it well. I am a great riding instructor and I have the piece of paper to prove it! 

          Participating in a CHA Certification Clinic improved my education and ability to teach. During the clinic I had to take classes on many different topics crucial to being an excellent instructor and business person. Since my certification I have had to keep taking classes every year to keep my certification current. As a Clinic Instructor I teach those same classes, so I have to to really understand the curriculum. I have since researched these topics further and created interesting ways to bring the information to the participants. I also keep on taking classes and attending clinics to fulfill the continuing education requirements my certification requires. 

          Being a CHA Certified Instructor proves that I am willing to invest in the most important asset my business has. If I was going to buy a school horse, I would take plenty of time to decide what type of horse best fits my needs. Once I found a prospect, I would do lots of research into the horse’s training, background, temperament, health, etc. I would try the horse out on several different occasions, perhaps even bringing it to my barn for a trial period. Then I would spend my hard-earned money on a vet check before I spent even more hard-earned money on the horse itself. I would do all that because a good lesson horse is an important asset for my business. When I got my CHA Instructor Certification I invested the time, money and effort in myself because I am the most important asset my business has. Unless I am the best instructor I can be, all the horses, or saddles or facilities won’t make any difference.  I don’t sell T-shirts or saddles or even horses, I sell my knowledge and skill. My ability to impart that knowledge to my students is my product. CHA Certification has improved my product beyond measure. I am a better instructor because of it. I know it was one of the best things I ever did for myself and my business.  

          Do you believe you are worth investing in? Do you want to be the best instructor you can be? If so, then you deserve to be certified by CHA. Go to to find a certification clinic near you. Or you can come with me to the Palomar Christian Conference Center in June. We’ll have a great time!

          Cheryl Rohnke Kronsberg is a Certified Horsemanship Association Master Instructor and Clinic Instructor. She is also an AQHA Professional Horseman. Cheryl has been teaching riding and horsemanship for over 30 years. Currently she and her husband own and operate CRK Training Stable in Yorba Linda, CA. We welcome your comments and questions. Please feel free to share this article with your friends, but rights to publish this article are restricted. For more interesting articles from Cheryl go to








  1. It is a pleasure to have you as part of the CHA Family Cheryl!

Speak Your Mind


Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.