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 Courtesy of 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 Intercollegiate Equitation Championship to enhance the college riding experience.
  • ANRC Junior Horsemanship Challenge competitions and a National Championship for both high school and middle school students designed to promote sound horsemanship practices for young riders.
  • 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 Intercollegiate Equitation Championship

The ANRC Intercollegiate Equitation Championship, traditionally held in April, is a National championship where colleges showcase their most talented riders in a team competition judged and scored on equitation skills in four phases:

  • A Program Ride (includes USEF Hunter Equitation Tests)
  • A Hunter Seat Equitation Medal Course at 3’
  • A Derby Course (natural jumps in a field) at 3’
  • A Written test based on riding theory and stable management

Students may compete on a college-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.  In addition to the National Division level of competition, a Novice Division at 2’6” provides an introductory level of competition for riders with similar goals.

 ANRC Junior Horsemanship Challenge and National Championship

The ANRC Junior Horsemanship Challenge is a team competition for schools and organizations with students in grades 6 through 12.  The competition is modeled after the ANRC National Intercollegiate Equitation Championship and conducted in three or four phases—- a Program Ride in the constraints of a ring; a Medal Course in a ring; and an optional Derby Course in a ring, field, or in and out of a ring, and a Written Test provided by ANRC based on forward riding theory and stable management.

Each academic year, member schools and organizations that participate in ANRC Junior Horsemanship Challenge local team competitions can qualify for the annual ANRC Junior Horsemanship Challenge National Championship held annually in May. 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.