With a mother who worked for World Bank, Ema Klugman was a bit of a globetrotter in her youth. She was born in Australia, then moved to Nairobi, Kenya when she was 7 years old. Her riding education began there in a Kenyan Pony Club aboard a pony named Hedgehog.
Ema and her family moved to the US when she was a teen, where she immediately sought to continue her riding career. She joined Seneca Valley Pony Club and evented to the Preliminary level aboard an Off-The-Track-Thoroughbred. During that time she found a young Saddlebred cross named Bendigo and began working her way up the levels, training with Packy McGaughan and Marilyn Little.
During her Pony Club career Ema became one of only two people in the US to achieve three A-level certifications from the US Pony Clubs - in showjumping, dressage, and eventing.
In 2019, Ema and Bendigo finished third in the 4*L at Ocala Jockey Club, a performance that earned her a spot on the Australian High Performance NEXT squad, which identifies future riders for the Olympics and World Championships. In 2021 she and Bendigo made it to the 5* level, finishing the Kentucky Three Day Event as the highest-placed Young Rider.
In the meantime Ema has also been busy bringing several other young horses up the level, including Bronte Beach, who scored a top 10 finish at Morven Park 4*L.
In addition to accomplishing so much in her riding career at a young age, Ema has also been busy as an academic. She graduated from Duke University in 2020 and is currently earning her law degree from George Washington University. While juggling law school and a career as an upper-level rider, Ema also teaches clinics around the country and runs a sales and training operation out of her base in Maryland.
Ema has a passion for both education as well as systematic training methods, a combination which make her particularly suited to being a Ride iQ coach!