Desensitizing the Horse vs Supporting the Horse

I don't try to desensitize or de-spook a horse. Instead the more the horse is mentally available and engaged in a Conversation with the human, the less overwhelming the world can be.

Addressing the horse's thought before his physical behavior...

Rather than the handler or rider critiquing the horse's unwanted behavior, the person needs to "dig deeper" and address the root cause of it.

Getting fixated on stopping the obvious physical actions may temporarily curb the horse's initial actions, but it will not address the root cause of them.
If the behavior is only contained or criticized, the original unsought movement will evolve into a new undesirable one.

The horse's actions are a reflection of his mental and emotional state. If we prioritize having quality conversations with the horse helping him to learn to think through what we are presenting, he can then offer a soft, reasonable, physical "try" in his response to our requests.

Horse Video-Supporting the horse

Upcoming Alternative Horsemanship Webinars
April 4. 2020   11am PST or 6pm GMT
May 2, 2020  11am PST or 6pm GMT

June 6, 2020  11am PST or 6pm GMT

Horsemanship Webinar with Samantha Harvey

What: Horsemanship webinar with Samantha Harvey
When: Saturday April 4, 2020 @ 11am-noon pst
6pm-7pm GMT
Where: Closed, private Facebook Group
Cost: $20 USD or £16
Discount Available- Email Me for 30% off

What you get:
This will be a one-hour, live, interactive, four-part webinar that will address:

  • Assessing the horse
  • Assessing the human
  • What do defensive thoughts look like physically?
  • Changing Patterns in Humans & Horses
How does it work? You click HERE
to sign up. Complete the form with your payment. You will be sent an invite link to the Facebook group. 24 hours prior to the event you will receive a reminder about the Webinar. Join in on the group about five minutes before the scheduled LIVE event.

Discounts: Have a friend you want to join in with? Use code

What if I can't join in part or all of the LIVE session? No problem. The webinar
will remain posted in the group for one week following the event. 

What if I want to watch it again? No problem. You can replay it as many times as possible.

Will there be an opportunity to ask questions? Yes, if you are participating during the LIVE event version.

Have questions? Email me
Join: Click HERE

Three Mares in a pasture: Curious Horse Video

This was an unexpected moment I captured in the pasture with a client's three horses. One is a rescue paint mare, another is a filly brought in from the wild, and the last is an endurance Morab mare. Each horse has their own confidence and curiosity levels that they offer in their human interaction.

Supporting the Defensive "Purging" of a Horse

This question was posed by a student of mine and I thought it'd be a great way to start the week.
"During several of your training sessions with my horses, you reported that they were "purging." They were definitely different horses following this event. Could you explain what this is and how to tell when a horse is doing this.....and maybe why." Many horses I encounter have a level of continuous emotional containment. This creates mental stress and a physical tightness in their behavior.

Opportunities: Improving Horsemanship Horse Video

Ready to take a new path? Make proactive choices? Rebuild your confidence? Learn to recognize and understand what your horse needs?
Horse Webinars
Online Horse Clinics
Remote Horse Coaching- Individual and Group Options
One click... one choice... Why not?
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Evolving your Horsemanship to Improve the Equine Partnership

Too many people are unclear in what, where and how they communicate with their horse. They unintentionally "challenge" the horse into guessing what they want. Then they reprimand the horse every time he can't figure it out. Or they present a task using the same manner of communication repetitiously, driving the horse's stress levels up, until he accidentally figures out what the person is asking. The more the horse has to "guess" at what the person wants, the more he will tune out the person's aids or communication and can become dull and unresponsive to the aids or feel like he is "taking over" during the session. 

Self Reflection Opportunities Improving the relationship with our Horse

I find during these stressful times, self-reflection in the emotional struggles folks are currently experiencing can also be applied to better understanding the challenges they may also be facing with their horses.

Horse Help: Conversations with Horses

Use the format that will suit your needs!
What does Alternative Horsemanship with Samantha Harvey Remote Horse Coach offer?

  • Equine Retreats
  • Online Horse Lectures & Webinars
  • Horsemanship Clinics Worldwide
  • Group Membership Coaching with LIVE videos plus Q & A Opportunities
  • Individual Remote Coaching Options: Equine Partnership Series, Telephone Consultations, Video Assessment & Instruction

Start your journey today Remote Horse Coach

Enjoying the horse journey- improves our Horsemanship

Many times when I'm teaching a student, if a tense moment arises, I will instruct them to pat their horse.

This is not for the sake of being "touchy-feely," rather for the release that happens within the rider when they touch their horse.

Q & A with Samantha Harvey- Jumping Students and Resistant Horses

I had an instructor write from New York recently and thought I'd share our Q & A.

Question: I have just recently changed stables where I teach hunt seat. All of my students have also made this change with me. This new barn has some older lesson horses who have been allowed to follow closely behind each other. I have never allowed this and have always had my students ride separately and independently. These horses know absolutely nothing about steering! When my students attempt to steer they pull in whatever direction they may wish to go, usually into a corner or into the center of the arena. I've tried having them ride straight and then apply leg aids along with either a direct or indirect rein but to no avail. The students are getting frustrated which I am trying hard to avoid. At this point both the horses and riders need reinforcement! I'm open to any suggestions you may have. Thank you very much!

Rock Bottom Motivation with the Horse

Rock Bottom Motivation

My horse is really good... except when I ask him to ______.

I often go out to ride concerned about who will be at the barn or stable...

I can only do ____ with my horse if I first _____ with him.

When I first bought my horse he was great, but now I feel unsure about how he will react to things.

I've been riding for 30 years, shouldn't I know enough by now to stop taking lessons?

My friends' comments when they try to help me at the competition/on the trail/at home schooling just stress me out to the point that riding isn't fun and I'm now avoiding going to the barn.

I feel overwhelmed in where and how to get my horse to respect me.

When I rode as a child I had no fear, now it seems to be a constant in the back of my mind and overshadows enjoyment in time spent with my horse.

I dutifully work my horse, but it seems the more I practice something the worse my horse gets.

When I'm sitting in the saddle I'm exhausted after just a short ride.

Horse Help- Supplemental Horse Training

Samantha Harvey Remote Horse Coach assists riders in transforming their equine partnership. Her direct and specific support offers realistic and empowering strategies. It can supplement your current riding program or be used to build a foundation. She teaches skill-sets to address mental strategies, translate and address horse behavior or issues, and how to overcome hindrances in achieving riding goals.

*Fear * Trauma *Competition Anxiety *Lack of goals *Bullied by your horse *Reactive Horses *Disrespectful Horses *Improving Your Bio-mechanics in the Saddle *Building Confidence in Yourself and Your Horse * Improving your horse's attitude * Creating Trust in your Horse *Interpreting Behavior

Individual Programs- Group Memberships- Daily Support- Weekly LIVE Videos with Q & A

Your choice, your program, your budget.

Group Coaching Membership Opportunity

Join me on the journey today.... ALL NEW 2020 Group Membership program...

Weekly LIVE #FifteenForFriday videos with 15 minute Q & A regarding that weeks topic.

Watch anytime.                 Change or Cancel your membership anytime.

Join me

Group Membership with Remote Horse Coach Samantha Harvey

For those of you who have enjoyed the posting of my #FifteenForFridays live videos, on Facebook it is hard to believe that I have been sharing them from around the world for over ONE year!

As endeavors evolve with my Remote Horse Coaching, I'm very excited to be introducing the ALL NEW 2020 Group Membership Program with weekly, monthly and yearly subscriptions available.

Mentally Available and Willing Horses

Starting a Conversation 

Starting a session with a mentally willing horse. It isn't about the behavior of the horse following you loose.

It is about the opportunity to assess where your horse is mentally, emotionally and physically on that particular day.

This feedback from the horse helps dictate what needs to be expressed by you in the conversation to offer guidance and leadership that will build the horse's curiosity and confidence rather than diminish it.

No treats, no bribes. Just a simple offer "to be with me."

Would you like to evolve the partnership with your horse? Sign up for Sam's Remote Horse Coach program today!

"I have to..." vs. "I get to..." with our horses

"I have to..." vs. "I get to..."

I recently was listening to a non-horse related lecture and it reminded me of something I "knew" but I wanted to revisit more specifically.

For many people, as they experience unwanted scenarios with their horse, they start fixating on the potential unwanted outcomes. I did a #FifteenForFriday (you can sign up HERE to participate) talk on this a few months back. It is very easy to fall into the pattern of thinking negative thoughts and then acting defensively about the potential experiences that can occur with the horse.

The Quality Conversation with the Young Horse

During a lesson the other night we captured this shot... a young horse learning to be supported by the handler...

Learning the conversation skills that will last a lifetime. Without that key mental factor, the conversation between human and horse becomes limited and patternized.

It isn't about the obvious physical scenario presented, but rather the quality of the conversation.

Without two way conversations the equine experience becomes "hopeful" on the human end and anticipation builds in the horse.

Find out how Sam can help you and your horse negotiate the conversation! Click here for more on her Remote Horse Coaching program.

Alternative Horsemanship WEBINAR- Limit 10 Participants- Join me LIVE

When: February 15, 2020 @ 10am-11am PST

What: Enjoy this one-hour, LIVE, online webinar from the comfort of your own home!
*challenges you face with your horse
*mental approaches when working with your horse
*strategies to decrease your own insecurities

Winter time Horse Tack & Equipment Assessment and Cleaning

If weather still has you limited to the time you spend with your horse, this is a good opportunity to do a clean out/tack check... Too many folks go far too long in between actually checking their equipment and many tack related accidents could have been prevented with basic "maintenance.

Here's the basic checklist I suggest every six months:

Horse Leather Equipment check list-

Stitching- anything frayed, loose or about to come apart?
Holes - have they stretched over time?
Cracks- visible anywhere on the leather
Uneven wear- (especially on saddle seat, also visible on fenders or flaps depending on saddle type)
Stirrup leathers- English saddle leathers tend to stretch and I suggest switching sides they are on every six months
Latigos- especially where they attach to saddle leather tends to crack
Bridles- check where the bit attaches, leather tends to crack there and on chin straps, notice if any buckles/ties/screws are loose/missing, etc. Are all the runners and keepers there to keep tail of leather straps "neat and tidy?"
Reins- do they cracking if you "fold" them tightly at any spot?
Saddle Tree- How often do you look at the underside of your saddle? Have you held the front and rear of your saddle and "pulled" each end towards one another? If there is a "collapse" or "give" in the middle of your saddle seat, your tree is most likely broken.
English saddles- do any knee rolls need re-stuffing or the seat need re-flocking?
Breast plates, cruppers, martingales- no cracks, buckles working, etc.

Other Horse Equipment
Halter/Lead rope- Condition of the snap or attachment end to halter? Anything fraying? Does the halter fit appropriately?
Saddle lifter/riser pad/gel pad/etc- is there uneven wear, does it need to be cleaned?
Girth check- for those using English equipment, is the elastic on your girth unevenly or over stretched?

Rider equipment
Helmet- when was the last time it was replaced, even if you haven't had an accident? Have you dropped it/squished it? Replace it. Are buckles cracked/missing? Does it fit appropriately?

Chinks/Chaps- buckles, straps, etc. all working?
Half chaps- zippers/snaps, elastic in good condition?
Boots- what is the condition of the soles and area around your ankle?

Equipment Cleaning
Everyone has their own preference but I typically lightly clean initial dirt/grim with damp cloth, then use leather soap, then a conditioner to keep moisture in. I use a butter knife for cleaning the grime that accumulates around the buckles.

Leather- Saddles, girths, bridles
Saddle Pads/ Blankets (hypoallergenic dye/perfume free detergent)
Material cinches
Horse Boots (notice if any straps/buckles are missing or cracks in material)
Bits- have you soaked it in clean, non soapy water and cleaned the gunk off lately?
Washing anything synthetic that touches the horse's skin

There's more I could add but this will at least give you a good place to start an assessment and the time to get everything organized for when the riding season starts!

Trailer Loading Trauma- Horses

Today I worked with three different horses that had all issues with trailer loading... the most important message I could convey was the conversation with the horse should initially focus on refining the tools needed in order to present the trailer loading itself.