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Full Immersion Clinic Update- Spots Available

Hello everyone! This is an update for our scheduled Full Immersion Clinic June 10-12 (Fri-Sun.) Because of the EHV-1 breakout in the West people have become a bit weary to travel from far with horses. Several clients from the eastern US who had committed to participating in the first clinic have decided to put those plans on hold.

So in our attempts to get creative, be safe, and still hold the clinic, we have decided to offer up the open spots to either those people who have had their horses at home/private facility (with neg coggins and health certificate) OR for those of you who may not want to bring your horse, but would like to participate, we now have access to several local horses to use for the clinic. If you’ve ever wondered “What exactly does Sam do?” or are thinking, “How would I get as much out of the clinic without using my own horse?” Let me offer you “the sales pitch.”

The clinics are not designed to be “just another horsemanship clinic.” We don’t sit for hours on end in the saddle waiting on another participant and each participant does not “do the same exercise.” The points of these clinics are to raise people’s awareness, understanding, recognition, timing, and fine tune their communication with any horse. This could be your horse or someone else’s.

Too many people get distracted by unwanted or “unmanageable” physical issues in their horse (browse through the hundreds of Ask the Trainer Q&As on the website)- but not a lot of people spend time focusing on their horse’s brain. We have individual time, group time, LOTS of discussions, cover tack fitting, etc. Each session is to be used as the stepping stone for the next session. Each participant will “participate” at an appropriate level that they are comfortable with- all level riders/ages are encouraged to participate. This is supposed to be a safe and fun learning experience- for you and the horse.

So what is the concept of these clinics? Let me put it into people terms. If I were to give you a task and asked you to just physically act quickly, without any mental participation, your physical actions would probably be sloppy and unspecific without much clarity or intention. The same goes for when we ride our horses. How many people get on their horse and just start “riding?” Then they wonder why their horse doesn’t have a clue as to where they are going, with how much energy, and what the “plan” is. Instead if we all rode like we drove our vehicles (hopefully) – first we make a decision as to where we are going, then we start to commit GRADUALLY by turning the steering wheel, and THEN we add gas (slowly) to get to where we want. Let’s exchange that car for a horse and what do you most often see? People adding the “gas” first, then turning the “wheel” without much clarity as to where they are going, and then eventually LOOKING! Yikes. No wonder our poor horse has to keep guessing at what we want, until eventually they get tired of always “getting it wrong” and start ignoring our aids. Instead of addressing the horse’s brain, we reprimand the unwanted actions with foreign devices- harsher bits, spurs, tie downs, etc. Because we tend to ride in a “rush” just as we address most other things in life, people tend to focus on “fixing” the symptoms rather than the addressing the issues themselves that are the real CAUSE of the unwanted behavior.

Why should you really participate? In a clinic here you’ll learn to start to assess your horse before you ever catch him. You’ll start to recognize how and when you can begin influencing the quality of the ride as you’re leading him in from the pasture. You’ll see the “signs” of your horse “telling you” if he’s going to be “heavy,” draggy (not thinking forward,) resistant, etc. and then learn how to influence a change in your horse’s brain to set the tone for the upcoming ride. We’ll talk about YOUR brain, energy and intention. Through lectures, hands on participation, and watching others- you’ll start to have those “Aha” moments when you’ll connect the “pieces.”

How does this apply to you if you don’t have your own horse here? I often switch horses and people are amazed to start to see “the same problems” that their own horse usually displays surface with their “new” horse. So is it really “your horse” that has the issue, or perhaps maybe your own lack of awareness, clarity and understanding?

Every year people say “next year.” Or they say, “yeah, but that’s not the sort of riding I do.” I do blur the lines. From my cutting students to my trail riders, from my dressage enthusiasts to my “working horse” riders there are many, many parallels in regards to the BASICS. Yes, the basics. Many people may have ridden for years, just as many horses that have a lot of “miles” and “exposure,” and yet all too often there are major “holes” in both the person and the horse’s education. So here at TEC I try to create a “safe” and nonjudgmental environment (we leave our egos at the door) where people and horses get to “experiment” outside their “normal” routines and comfort zones, in order to find perhaps an alternative way of viewing and interacting (Alternative Horsemanship with Samantha Harvey) with their horse- or any horse for that matter. If you keep doing the same thing, your horse will keep offering the same response. Instead learn how to change your perspective, and watch your horse let down, relax and appreciate your newfound clear perspective and communication.

Whew- okay enough of the sales pitch. If you’re revved up and would like to come out and spend three fun fill days that will change a lot of what you thought you were clear on and make interacting with the horses fun again- please email or call me ASAP.

Samantha Harvey
The Equestrian Center, LLC

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