The Association for the Promotion of the Art of Horsemanship in America (APAHA) is dedicated to supporting educational opportunities that advance horsemanship as an art form in America. By providing opportunities for professional riding teachers and trainers to learn on trained horses, APAHA is working to ensure that horsemanship as an art form is preserved for future generations.
APAHA was founded by Bettina Drummond, who spent her formative years training with Master Nuno Oliveira in Portugal. The many years spent with Oliveira gave Drummond the opportunity to develop her skills as a rider and trainer with not only Oliveira as her teacher but also his trained horses as her teachers. She came to realize the value of these horses in providing her with an understanding of balance and lightness that few riders and trainers gain. Hence, Drummond set as her goal the creation of an organization that could give American riders and trainers access to horses that could provide them with the opportunity she had in studying with Oliveira. APAHA is now dedicated to providing American riders and trainers with a higher level of education with the hope that they will then pass on their knowledge to their students. In that way, APAHA hopes that horsemanship as an art will spread to more and more riders and trainers and will therefore be preserved for future generations.
APAHA educational programs are designed to allow professional riders and trainers a period of time to begin the study of new skills. This is done under guidance of an experienced eye in order to make the transmission of learning easier for the student by garnering the feel of certain advanced techniques on trained horses. The program is designed to provide students with two years of support. In the first year, four teaching sessions are encouraged in order to create in students a cornerstone of reactions in aids and balance. The second year is to encourage a natural progression with the student’s own horse, to expand the training platform and to create an echo of those newly acquired skills. All of this develops a finer comprehension in both horse and rider of throughness in contact and immediacy of collection.