‘‘With the Right Horsemanship Tools, Our Industry Could Be Revolutionized’’
By Annie Birmingham
Raegan Comeaux has trained riders from their first lessons all the way to the Indoor finals, but began to notice a growing trend among the industry in recent years—riders would compete every weekend all year long, but fail to obtain the basics of horsemanship. “I decided it was time to help change the ‘product’ we seemed to be producing,” the USEF “r” licensed official, owner-operator of Double Rainbow Farm, and founder of EMES Academy tells The Plaid Horse.
“We have to shine a bright light on the training and coaching methods that led to dangerous and inhumane practices,” says Comeaux, who is also a USHJA credentialed coach. “The older generation of students gave me inspiration that with the right horsemanship tools, our industry could be revolutionized.”
With these concerns, the Equine Mastery System (also known as EMES) was born. EMES is an all-inclusive and affordable equestrian education system that covers every aspect of the industry, from groundwork to riding and everything in between. Unlike other programs currently offered, EMES utilizes a curriculum that applies to any equestrian from the bottom, up.
Says Comeaux, “The USHJA and Pony Club programs are outstanding and timeless. Our program is designed to complement those programs and provide extra layers of credentialing to our members.”
The program features what are described as “bite-sized” learning units and tests that can be completed at the student’s pace, allowing for better retention and a measurable growth in knowledge. It is a unique approach in that riders who are just learning to post the trot can benefit just as much as a top level trainer. Even those with more advanced knowledge start at the beginning in order to fill in any gaps they may have missed.
And as the program continues to grow, Comeaux utilizes members’ opinions and experiences to further develop the curriculum. “We want to hear stories from trainers all across the country about what does and doesn’t work. We want the trade secrets! Stories about horses and horse people are what connect us and help us to learn.”
The program requires all of its members to first complete and master the beginner rank before offering four specialized curricula: Riding and Horsemanship, Horse Management, Facility Management, and Competition. Students can mix and match the programs as desired, or even study all four for the most all-inclusive experience. From there, each curriculum is broken down into rank, level, and unit, and members work their way up.
Textbooks accompany each program, which allows students to learn at their own pace and regardless of their location. These lessons are followed by standardized written and practical tests that are used to assess a member’s knowledge and provide feedback on which areas need work. From there, the student can move on to the next unit, or go back to the textbook to re-study the material.
“Whether your goal is to be a judge, a boarding barn owner, a horse show manager, a vet tech, or an international show jumper, the EMES program will guide you towards excellence,” says Comeaux.
To start learning with the Equine Mastery Education System, visit www.emes.academy to join. The first two textbooks, Beginner, Level One, Unit 1 of Riding and Horsemanship and Beginner, Level One, Unit 1 of Horse Management are now available for purchase, with more coming soon.
*This story was originally published in the December 2022 issue of The Plaid Horse. Click here to read it now and subscribe for issues delivered straight to your door!