This coming July we will host a series of back-to-back horsemanship clinics by legendary horsemen Jack Brainard and Eitan Beth-Halachmy!  Between the two, they are in four horse-related Halls of Fame, and they have bred, started, trained and/or ridden more than 16 World Champion horses in their careers!  These few facts only brush the surface of their vast accomplishments in the horse world, and you can read more about Jack or more about Eitan by clicking on their names and going to their bios.  Their respective achievements are simply too extensive to include on this page alone, but we encourage you to read their bios to fully appreciate the level of expertise and experience available to you in these clinics.  There is nothing else like this series of clinics anywhere in the whole of New England.  We are both honored and privileged to feature both of these highly esteemed and world renown horseman in the same month right here in New Hampshire!

The clinic dates are as follows:

July 6 through July 8:  Jack Brainard’s Virgins Clinic, 3 days

July 11 through July 13:  Jack Brainard Advancing Clinic, 3 days

July 17 through July 19:  Eitan Beth-Halachmy Cowboy Dressage Clinic, 3 days

July 22 through July 24:  Eitan Beth-Halachmy Cowboy Dressage Clinic, 3 days

July 17 through July 24:  Eitan Beth-Halachmy Cowboy Dressage Clinic, 8 days*

* Students may choose to combine two 3-Day clinics back-to-back for an 8-Day clinic with two days off in between, or just do either the first or second 3-Day segment. 

To read more about our Jack Brainard Clinics for 2012, click here.

To read more about our Eitan Beth-Halachmy Clinics for 2012, click here.

For all clinics:  On-site student housing in the “old farmhouse” is available at no charge on a first come, first served basis, though a small preparation and clean-up fee applies.  Power is available for LQ trailers.  Riders have their choice of grass pasture turn-out or stall board for their horses.  Photos of the farm and facilities can be viewed in the Farm and Clinic Album.

Details about our unique equestrian facilities at Kokonini Farm can be found by clicking here.

Auditors are welcome at all clinics, and the cost is $30 per day.  Only a limited number of auditors will be accepted each day, and advanced reservations are absolutely required.  Please contact us for further details or to reserve your auditor position.

What our students say:  “It was the best clinic I have been at.  The hosts were exceptionally accommodating, obliging, wonderful, warm, etc., etc.  The instructor, Jack Brainard was patient, extremely knowledgeable, witty and saint-like.  It was a great time.  I learned a lot and had fun doing it.  The farm and Chris and Deda are so nice, it makes it that much harder to go back to the real world.  It’s like a piece of heaven!”  Tawnya Elworthy, N. Reading, MA.

To read what other students have to say, click here.

Chris Newbert rides with Eitan at the World Equestrian Games!

In January of 2010 I received an email from Eitan and his wonderful wife Debbie I will never forget. Eitan told me he had been selected to ride in the opening ceremonies of the World Equestrian Games 2010 in Lexington, Kentucky that coming September and October, and that in addition, he would be doing Cowboy Dressage demonstration
clinics for the public during each of the 16 days of the Games. 

The World Equestrian Games would be the biggest horse event ever to be held in the U.S.  There would be riders from 60 countries, 1000 horses, and over 500,000 spectators anticipated. The Games would be held at the spectacular Kentucky Horse Park, a gorgeous 1250 acre facility in the heart of Kentucky’s Blue Grass horse country. 

Then he dropped the bombshell:  Eitan asked me if I would like to ride with him in these demonstration clinics!  Never having even been to a horse show, much less shown a horse, I was panicked at the thought.  At the same time, I realized I couldn’t turn down what was most certainly the chance of a lifetime. 

Those who followed the events at the Games may be aware of the drama that transpired.  With 30,000 people at the Opening Ceremonies and both domestic and international television coverage, Eitan put on a beautiful featured solo performance.  At the very end of the Ceremonies, when all the riders were parading around the perimeter of the stadium in a grand finale, Eitan began to feel weak and dizzy.  Realizing something was wrong, he broke ranks and rode out of the public view. Just as he was exiting, he lost consciousness while still in the saddle.  His heart had gone into the nearly always fatal state of ventricular fibrillation and was no longer pumping blood.  In a twist of fate that has to be considered nothing short of a miracle, a retired Emergency Room Physician was sitting close to the exit Eitan was trying to get to, and was watching Eitan ride out of the stadium.  He was in attendance only at his w
ife’s insistence that they should go, and he eventually assented to her wishes. He immediately recognized that Eitan was in trouble, and knew from experience exactly what was happening. He leap into action instantly, and was commencing the resuscitation effort within seconds of Eitan hitting the ground. Had Eitan fallen at the other end of the stadium, the consensus among the doctors was that he wouldn’t have survived.  Instead, Eitan was attended to immediately then rushed to the hospital, arriving with a weak pulse -- still alive, though barely. To make a long story short, the ER doctors
stabilized Eitan, then discovered that as a result of the fall, he had damaged his spleen causing internal bleeding.  They removed his spleen that night and Eitan was put into a chemical coma for two days.  As a result of the vigorous resuscitation, Eitan also suffered 9 broken ribs, a broken sternum and a punctured lung.  But those frantic and heroic efforts most surely saved his life.

Those first days following the Opening Ceremonies were dreadful, not knowing Eitan’s eventual fate.  At an event that started out euphoric with confidence and great cheer, the darkest of clouds now hung over us. But Eitan is the very definition of the word tough.  He began making a remarkable recovery.  Within two days he was brought out of the coma, after another day or so he was taken off the respirator, and he was actually on his feet by the end of the week -- wobbly, but walking with assistance nevertheless.  He was released from the hospital within two weeks, a much shorter stay than originally anticipated.  The upshot is that
on November 15, a mere six weeks after all but dying, Eitan got back in the saddle once again, riding his magnificent Morgan stallion Santa Fe Renegade, the horse he rode in the Opening Ceremonies. 

As for me, the show must go on, as they say.  I came well prepared I believe, to ride under Eitan’s direction during our clinics.  But I never gave a second thought to actually conducting the clinics myself, and never dreamed the occasion would arise that I might  have to do so.  Fortunately, Eitan is well-loved and highly respected in the horse world, and immediately offers of help from other trainers and clinicians also demonstrating at the games came pouring in.  We decided that we would carry on with the scheduled clinics, selecting a different “guest star” clinician to substitute for Eitan each day (to the extent even possible). In the ensuing two weeks I rode with such luminaries as Lynn Palm and her husband Cyril Pittion-Rossillon, Jean Philippe (JP) Giacomini, Pat Parelli and Dianne Olds Rossi. We pulled it off quite well I thought, especially considering we went into each demo completely cold, without the benefit of practice or the opportunity to even plan what we would do.  Our preparation each day was limited to a minute or two of hurried discussion as we were about to ride into the arena.  

I have posted some video excerpts from my sessions with Pat Parelli and J.P. Giacomini on YouTube.  If you would like to view them, click here.

For additional excerpts of my sessions with J.P. only, click here.

So in the end, my riding with Eitan at the Games was limited to our practice sessions in those few days prior to the opening ceremonies, when Eitan, Debbie, Deda and I were all so full of optimism and anticipation of the weeks to come, when laughter and jokes were non-stop and we almost had to pinch ourself to be sure we weren’t dreaming.   As it turned out, it wasn’t what we planned so long for and worked so hard towards, yet those are times I will never forget at the event of a lifetime for me.

You can read Debbie’s and Eitan’s first-hand account of these dramatic events on their website by clicking here.  During the Closing Ceremonies, the World Equestrian Games honored Eitan by playing over the giant Jumbotron screens in the stadium a specially taped and very touching bedside interview with Eitan and Debbie.  You can see this interview by clicking here.  And you can meet Debbie and Eitan in person by riding in or auditing one of their clinics this coming July at Kokonini Farm!

Cowboy Dressage Article in America’s Horse Magazine

Holly Clanahan, editor of America’s Horse Magazine, the official publication of the American Quarter Horse Association, attended the World Equestrian Games.  Holly watched a couple of our Cowboy Dressage demonstration clinics, and because I was riding a Quarter Horse in the demos, Holly interviewed me for part of a feature article on Western Dressage she was writing for the magazine.  She also includes interviews with Jack Brainard and Eitan Beth-Halachmy.  It’s a delightful piece entitled, “No Breeches Required”.  You can read Holly’s story and learn more about Cowboy Dressage by clicking here.


July, 2012: A Blockbuster Month of Clinics at Kokonini Farm!

Horsemanship Clinics