American National Riding Commission

American National Riding Commission

Providing Quality Educated Riding For All Levels


What Is ANRC?

The primary goal of ANRC is to promote the American System of Forward Riding.  This system is based on the idea that the rider’s position or seat, control, and schooling of the horse are integral parts. The training objectives seek to develop the horse’s agility and strength under the weight of the rider, and achieve balance of the horse independently of the rider’s aids. Emphasis is placed on the rider’s ability to achieve a cooperative performance, allowing the horse to move forward freely with connected movement, while remaining calm and alert.

The DVD series, “The American System of Forward Riding: Life Lessons Learned with Horses”, was produced by R. Scot Evans and Shelby French to guide the rider through the system.  The series gives excellent visual representations of good performances, as well as specific program and schooling techniques for the rider to follow.

Photo: Katherine Cameron

ANRC is an affiliate of the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) and the United States Hunter Jumper Association (USHJA).  Our purpose is to promote the highest quality of educated riding and related services within schools, colleges, universities, and public or private riding establishments by offering:

  • Instructional riding clinics
  • The ANRC National Championships to enhance the intercollegiate and interscholastic riding experience
  • Symposiums on related topics
  • Opportunities to work with other organizations whose purposes are in accord with those of the ANRC

Brief History

Established in 2006, ANRC fosters the mission of the former Affiliated National Riding Commission, which existed as part of the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance (AAHPERD) for more than 60 years. ANRC’s educational system is based on the teachings of Captain Vladimir Littauer, who came to the United States in the thirties and established a riding school and is author of the book Commonsense Horsemanship.   His progressive forward riding system influenced many professional riders and trainers, including Jane Dillon, George Morris, Joe Fargis, Lendon Gray, Pam Baker, and Bernie Traurig.

ANRC National Championships

The ANRC National Championships are traditionally held in April. The championship is an invitational competition for intercollegiate and junior teams that pay an annual ANRC membership fee.  The intercollegiate championship and junior championship are held the same weekend and judged separately. In each championship, teams may compete in a 3′ or 2’6 division. The competition is judged and scored on equitation skills and sound horsemanship practices in four phases:

  • A Program Ride (includes USEF Hunter Equitation Tests) worth 35% of the total score
  • A Hunter Seat Equitation Medal Course worth 30% of the total score
  • A Derby Course (natural jumps in a field) worth 30% of the total score
  • A Written test based on riding theory and a selected stable management topic worth 5% of the total score

Students may compete on a school-owned horse or a privately owned horse. The highest score in each phase will be awarded to the rider who demonstrates excellence in equitation and produces a smooth, cooperative performance exemplifying quality hunter movement both on the flat and over fences.  Throughout the year, coaches are encouraged to incorporate forward riding theory and sound stable management practices to improve the rider’s mounted and unmounted horsemanship skills. Students are encouraged to set personal goals as well as team goals, study ANRC materials, practice fundamentals, and apply knowledge.