Positive Influence with the Horse

Someone recently asked the question below. I figured others might not be clear either, so I've shared my answer.

What is the definition of "positive influence?"

My answer:
Using clear communication through pressure, either physical or spatial, that directs or refocuses the horse's thought, and then his movement.

It is a way to proactively communicate with the horse what your intention is- where you want him to focus, how fast you want him to move, rather than being a passenger, waiting and seeing what the horse does when he had no initial instruction and then critiquing him for not doing what you wanted correctly.

Mindful vs Mind Full behavior with the horse

For people who are new to my teaching and training theories, there are many questions and frequently a great deal of pondering and brooding as folks start to question “the way they’ve always done things” with their horses.

Florida Full Immersion Clinic October 5-6, 2019

A mini Full Immersion Clinic has been added to the calendar for October 5-6, 2019 in Coconut Creek, FL.  Several participant spots left- auditors welcome!

What: Full Immersion Clinic When: October 5-6, 2019
Where: Peaceful Trails, Coconut Creek, FL Cost: Participant $400 or $50/auditor/day
Haul-ins welcome. Limited overnight facilities.

Sam’s goal is to teach riders how to offer clear and effective communication with the horse to create a trusting and respectful equine partnership.
You will be learning in a safe, supportive, non-critical, fun environment with both individual and group instruction. Horse behavior, anatomical lectures, tack usage & fitting, overall health care and much more will be addressed!
Clinics are adapted to offer and address appropriate, realistic confidence-building skills with lasting, long-term results.
All level riders and horses welcome. Limit 6 participants, auditors encouraged.

Learn more about Samantha Harvey at www.learnhorses.com , visit her BLOG or keep up with her on Facebook

Please email for participant availability. 50% non-refundable deposit required.

Click link for Details

Clinic Sign Up

Auditor Sign Up

Remote Horse Coach: Horse & Human Behavior

Breaking Traditional Barriers in our Horsemanship

I just happen to be reading a book with a short synopsis of things throughout human history that perhaps seemed like a good idea at the time but in hindsight were not or eventually had become outdated. Below is a brief history of railroad track building... bear with me as this relates to our horsemanship.

Unwanted Behavior: Horse backing when mounted

Ask the Trainer... Q & A

Hi, I just bought another quarter horse. When I went to check her out 2 different people a man and a lady got on her to ride she did back up a step or so. So when I got her home I tried to mount her and she just keep backing up. I tried for about an hour to go get on her and she keeps backing up. I tried to do this in my field. She let me put the saddle on her easy and the bridle.m I tried this 2 different days. I don't have a round pen, should I try to do it in the stall next just to get on and off of her a few times? Thanks for your help I might have to get rid of her.

Thanks, Paul
Sam re-educating a 4 yo that had a rough intro to humans.

Keeping Perspective to Accomplish Goals

Too often folks have a laser focus on a task rather than assessing being able to step back and notice if they have the necessary pieces in order to present a scenario to the horse.

Mid-Summer Horse Health Assessment

Unfortunately for those who live in the Northern Hemisphere, we're about halfway through the summer.

Now that the weather has warmed up, you're potentially spending more time with your horse and perhaps riding frequently. This is a great time for a mid-summer health assessment.

Take pictures from the front, rear and each profile. Take a weight measurement. Perhaps reassess your feed regime and if it appropriate for your horse's current fitness schedule. Be sure to keep track of the weight of feed and grain you are currently feeding rather than relying on the trusty old coffee can as a form of measurement. I notice a lot of folks "vamp up" on feed in the early spring, but forget to decrease as the horse has more time to forage on pasture throughout the summer.

#FifteenForFriday LIVE Q & A with Samantha Harvey

As a reminder each Friday I do a FREE 15 minute live video in my Facebook group, Alternative Horsemanship Remote Horse Coach

Each discussion I address a variety of topics including things such as: handling the horse, influencing his thoughts, riding position, tack fit, desensitizing issues, behavioral resistance, mental approach in the human and so much more.

Today's video is happening at 2pm pst. Join me for today's topics: "Obedience vs Curiosity, Tolerance vs Confidence" The videos can only be viewed in the group. Come on over and participate with me!

Indirect vs Direct Rein- Understanding the difference

Rein usage- Direct vs Indirect rein What you'll need: Chair, desk/table, string ( or something similar such as baling twine, clip-on reins, etc.), strainer/pot with two handles, something slightly heavy- box of rocks, etc. Attach the "reins" to the handles of the pot or strainer. Place the box or weighted object in the middle between the pot and where you are sitting- with it resting against the pot. Sit in the chair with your forearms resting on the table, hold the reins as you would when you ride with your thumbs up. The pot is your horse's head. The weighted box is his neck.


In my lifestyle every time I check one thing off of the “to do” list, I always seem to add four more things. There is never enough time nor enough hours in the day.
This will be more of a rambling of thoughts to put out there into the universe. Perhaps you’ll be able to relate to some of my thoughts, laugh at some or they may be something for you to consider in your own life and time spent with the horses.
I am grateful that during the past 25 years of working professionally with horses I have learned to listen more and more to that little “voice” in my head that has steered me through many “forks in the road.”
I am grateful to all the horses that have taught me much more than I will ever teach them.
I am grateful to have “been there” in the last moments of a horse’s life and to watch the moment they have accepted “letting go” and peacefully passed.

Holes in our Horsemanship

Dogs from years past gearing up for a ride out!
Filling in the Holes in our Horsemanship

I’ve had a new horse come in for training fitting in sessions with him in between this crazy ongoing bizarre "summer" weather. He is a four-year-old that has had a lot of handling, though his owner’s experience is limited, she has gone “slow” with him…

It is my job when a horse first comes in to evaluate “where the horse is at,” mentally, physically, emotionally and experience-wise. So I thought I’d share with you some of the more common “holes” I tend to find in working with horses of all ages… I believe a majority of the time the holes are present because owners and horses learn to get comfortable with how or what they present in a scenario. The horse learns what is expected of them and then can comply. The problem occurs when the “rules” or expectations change.

Mind over Matter- Improving the Equine Partnership

This quote could apply to all aspects of our life, especially when it comes to the partnership with our horses.

I frequently have people jokingly tell me what I teach in the sessions with their horse, my philosophies and approaches, could be used in other aspects of their life.

Connecting Ground Work and Riding Horses

One of the challenges in offering instruction is to communicate clearly with students AND horses. As I overhear, read or watch many “horse training” sessions/clinics I find that there’s a general lack of “connection” in the student’s ability to understand how the “here and now,” especially in how the quality of their ground work relates to their future ride.

Often new students are able to “talk the lingo,” sounding like they’ve seen a lot, and attempt to go through the steps or concepts they've been taught, but are still experiencing problems with their horse.

After watching other riders or professionals, too many students want to imitate “how it’s supposed to look,” or a specific exercise, task, etc. with no concept as to what the point is of what they are asking their horse to do.

YOUR OPPORTUNITY- Sam will present a DEMO with your horse!

ATTN: Schedule changes= Adaptability!!!

Upcoming Alternative Horsemanship with Samantha Harvey Full Immersion Clinic at The Equestrian Center, LLC, in Sandpoint, ID
Dates- July 19-21, 2019

There have been SO many adjustments with random "life events" intervening with some planned participants that I've decided to add a BONUS per request to the upcoming clinic- here is YOUR last minute opportunity.

Would you like to audit the clinic but can only do so for a day? Would you like ME to work with YOUR horse as a demo as to what I'm teaching other participants???

If so, don't wait! Sign up your horse for one, two or all three days to be worked with by me- YOU get to audit all day as a bonus!!!

Enroll your horse NOW