Horsemanship: Round Pen Use

 There was an article on anti round pen usage... Here is my perspective/response: 

 I find 95% of folks misuse a round pen, whether under the guise of "exercising" or teaching conditioned responses, such as the lesser of two evils is to turn, face the human and be caught; which is a bullying tactic. 

Dear Sam: Horse Help Horsemanship Series *Defensive Horses


Dear Sam: Horse Help Horsemanship Series by Alternative Horsemanship with Samantha Harvey *Defensive Horses* Difficulty Leading Trouble Trailer Loading Horse Quits Moving Forward Why Remote Horse Coaching? My goal as a professional is to address the horse & rider- mentally, emotionally, and physically. To illuminate and discuss the nuances and the details that so many folks in the equine industry skim over. To offer specific and clear ideas and instruction that is adapted to the current abilities and experience of the student. The innovative teaching style shared as the Remote Horse Coach empowers students to evolve into confident, pro-active horse enthusiasts by learning to recognize and understand horse behavior and how to communicate clearly with their equine partners. Learn practical and realistic skillsets to recognize patterns and habits that limit you from creating a respectful partnership with your horse. The Remote Horse Training Programs have Individual and Group Memberships options. Students can subscribe to a suitable mentorship level that best fits their lifestyle, time, and budget. It is up to the individual to choose the degree of support. From a one-time session with Samantha Harvey to on-going support including horse webinars, online horsemanship clinics, daily horse training tips, to live weekly #FifteenForFriday video feeds with Q & A opportunities. Sam Harvey's equestrian and horse training strategies apply to both competitive and pleasure riders. Her adaptable format can be used to supplement a rider's current horse training program or used by itself. She has had proven success in working with a variety of students, irrelevant of their chosen riding discipline or years of horse experience. Her students vary on a wide spectrum from those facing equine-related trauma or fear to those needing the mental edge when competing at the international level. Learning options include: Horsemanship Clinics Worldwide Horse Webinars & Lectures Equine Retreats Group Membership Program with Live Videos plus Q & A Horse Phone Consultation Equine Partnership Series Horse Video Evaluation, Assessment & Instruction 165+ Video Catalogue

Horsemanship: Raising the Human's Awareness

So much of our horsemanship can be improved in the time spent bringing awareness to our own behaviors and thoughts before we involve the horse. 

Horsemanship: Tips in Improving the Equine Partnership and Spring Horseback Riding Season

Preparing for Spring Riding Season

Looking ahead to the upcoming riding season, whether you ride for pleasure or are a competitor, you can strive to offer a supportive partnership towards your horse. I will touch on two concepts that you can start considering, without even having to battle the outdoor winter conditions!

The first is addressing your mental focus. Often we think of riding as an escape from the everyday challenges and stresses of life. The horse on the other hand can immediately recognize if the person is not mentally present or if they are distracted, stressed, tired, etc.
I suggest folks learn how to mentally “leave reality at the door” when they are heading out to ride. My perspective is that the ride begins when someone thinks about going for the ride. Mentally separating other aspects of life from the time spent with the horse allows a rider to offer the same level of consideration, conversation, and focus they are asking from their horse.

Horsemanship: Tying a Rope Halter Correctly

Rope Halter  Typing Tip

Most people using this type of halter are not tying the knot correctly. Often the halter slips and loosens after a short while. This can become dangerous if the bottom section gets "stuck" around the horse's jaw and he panics.

Another common issue from "standard" store-bought halters is that the pressure points the knots on the halter should sit on are laying incorrectly on the horse's face. Often the cheek section is either too short or long, causing the know to sit above the lower end of the horse's cheekbone, or it too the length is too long, the knot sits in the sensitive soft tissue pocket near the horse's nostril.
This makes the halter not only ineffective for the initial purpose but also creates continuous unintentional pressure elsewhere, leading to defensiveness in the horse.

One more time, I don't use rope halters when I'm trailering horses. Especially if hauling long distances, there is continuous pressure and often causes raw spots and discomfort. 

Dear Sam: Horse Help Horsemanship Series by Alternative Horsemanship wit...

Horsemanship Webinar: Ground Work, Trailer Loading, Riding and Clear Conversations with the Horse

Alternative Horsemanship with Samantha Harvey Webinar #FourForFour

*Hopeful Handling
*Tentative Trailer Loading
*Rigid Rider
*Clear Conversations
60-minute lecture followed by Q & A
Don't miss out on the FREE 45 minutes of bonus video material
March 20, 10am pst or 5pm GMT

Misunderstanding Helping the Horse

 The theme of the past few days has been new folks asking for help with horses that are going "fine" and then the horse "randomly" or suddenly stops, or quits, moving forward. 

Improving our Horsemanship

Most folks approach riding with a focus and priority on the human's wants and a whole lot of emotion. 

This filters their perception of why a horse is behaving a certain way, and then they create a "story" around that usually with the plot lot line being them vs. the horse. 

Sometimes out of ego but mostly due to instruction from others. 

When the story is eliminated, the person can begin to have an empathetic approach and realize all of the unwanted behaviors are a reflection of the horse needing clear, specific, intentional communication to help him receive the same support as if in the herd. 

 The horse demands a mental presence from the rider that most people have never even considered. 

If a quality relationship is desired it takes adaptability, effort, experimenting, and follow-through. 

 But those traits are becoming less present in our instant gratification society. So our Horsemanship is a reflection of our personal choices. ❤️🐴🐴

Horse Help- How did Alternative Horsemanship Begin?

 I've had a lot of inquiries lately as to how I began Alternative Horsemanship over 20 years ago. I thought I would post an interview from a while back sharing my story in segments.

Be sure to visit the updated Remote Horse Coach website.

Horse Help: Spooking, bolting, dangerous behavior- Symptom vs Root Cause

Recently I did an interview sharing my Alternative Horsemanship with Samantha Harvey the Remote Horse Coach horse and riding training approaches. I wanted to share a video clip from it regarding unwanted, dangerous, behavior in horses. Scary horse reactions such as a horse that will spook, bolt, buck, or those that seem to outright ignore the rider can cause fear and anticipation in both the human and equine. 

Horse Health Discussion: 20 Questions Horse Owners should be asking!

Assessing and improving your horse's health...

Below are some basic questions to ask in regards to your horse’s health. I suggest keeping a horse health journal making note of diet changes, farrier care, odd behaviors, etc. It can be used as a future reference point to learn from and find what works best for the horse.

165+ Horsemanship Coaching Video Catalogue by Alternative Horsemanship

Join me in the all NEW Remote Horse Coach 165+ Video Catalogue
Horsemanship clinicss, horse behavior courses, horse webinars, rider's mental approach, fearful horseback rider, returning rider series, behind-the-scenes with the horse trainer and more!
Use Discount Code:
2021 LEARNING for 15% off all purchases before Feb 22, 2021

Are You Overwhelming Your Horse?


This isn’t about repeating something mindlessly over and over. Repetition can do two things, it either causes your horse to mentally shut down and check out – seemingly quiet – until you change

something and he “suddenly blows up,” or you continue putting him in overwhelming scenarios that overwhelm his mind (i.e. then the spook happens.)

Decreasing Human Fear and Diminishing Spooky Horses

Horses have tugged at the heartstrings of the human race for centuries. There is something awe inspiring about the emotional connection we share with horses. That idyllic partnership is far easier imagined than experienced, with unexpected challenges and steep learning curves along the way.

Humans Creating Defensive and Dangerous Horses


Horsemanship: Spatial Pressure and Release

This week's theme of learning about, with, without the horse continues with this video captured this past year at my summer base at The Equestrian Center, LLC in Sandpoint, ID.

Horsemanship: Spatial Pressure and Release
I often have "help" from the deer, moose, bear, wild turkeys (who always insist on arriving when I'm getting on a colt for the first time,) and other critters. Of course, the domesticated cats also enjoy participating.

Even though this video is "cute," it is really a great example of spatial pressure, how little it takes to "send" it, and how strong it can be felt!

Do you have any animals who "help" you when you're working with your horse?

Horsemanship: Continued learning for the Human

How often do you continue to practice learning with, about, without your horse?

This picture was captured a few years back at Horsemanship clinic in California. It was a Demo Day where the 15 participants learned WITHOUT their horse. Demonstrations, discussions, exercises, etc. were all taught.

Horsemanship: Learning to Observe the Horse

A session of Learning 
 I'm always talking about being an observer of the horse. Often incredible things will unfold before you. 

Sleep Deprivation in Horses

Arrived  at a client's house and saw this... 

I  was very happy to see her mares were napping. 

 It took some experimenting and changes in herd dynamics for them to reach this point. 

 How often do you see your horse lie down? 

Are they always in the same location? 

Sleep at the same time of day? 

How long do they sleep? 

 Over the years I've found a major contributor to many unwanted behavioral "issues" can stem from sleep deprivation in the horse.

Many fearful and anticipative horses cannot find a "safe" time/location to sleep, this can lead to a variety of dramatic and inconsistent behaviors that seem unaffected by training methods.

I believe it is one of the most underassessed, and overlooked aspects of the horse's health and well-being.

I've lost track of how many horses I've seen transition into amazing equine partners once their health issues were addressed.

Improving your Riding without the Horse

 Missing time in the saddle? 

I've found 50 gal barrels have helped countless students find their seat bones and center. 

This has helped them learn to discover and engage the correct muscles to become balanced and what I call "plugged in" when sitting in the saddle. 

 Practicing while keeping the feet off the ground allows the barrel to reflect the human's imbalance if it begins to roll. 

Recently a student posted this, 

"How often do we get to take the time to work on the finer details of our horsemanship? Well when its 36 degrees and blowing snow Samantha Harvey of Alternative Horsemanship Remote Horse Coach says its an "opportunity ". I had an amazing lesson today!"

What other non-horse activities or creative things do you do to help improve your body movement awareness and balance?

Opportunities to Improve your Horsemanship


One common word I teach my students is to call ALL scenarios whether initially appearing to be potentially overwhelming, stressful, or less-than-ideal, as 

Opportunities. It may be a "simple" approach, but it is amazing to watch the direct correlation in students who are persistent in practicing changing their vocabulary and the leaps and bounds of progress they make in the journey of horsemanship leading to a rewarding partnership with their horse. 

Horsemanship: Mental Approach

 "I have to..." vs. "I get to..." 

Horsemanship and Equine Partnership

This post comes as a result of several recent comments I’ve heard from horse people as they are getting “amped up” for the upcoming spring riding season. Especially in areas of the country that are affected by nasty, cold winter weather, it seems that winter brings on a lethargic feeling, and so instead of the actual hands-on time with their horses, people tend to try to learn via technology, books, etc.

Horsemanship: Misinterpretation of horse behavior and communication

Frequently I've had posts shared with me about how "cute" something is in a horse, mule, or donkey's behavior. Unfortunately, when folks filter their interpretation of an animal's behavior with human emotions, it clouds their judgment in learning, recognizing, or believing what the animal was experiencing and communicate.

How to create Adaptable and Reasonable horses

How do YOU and YOUR horse respond if: 

 You go into the pasture/stall with a halter in your hand, but don't immediately catch your horse. 

 You open the gate/stall door but don't go out it. 

 When you do go out the gate, you stop and talk to someone, instead of continuing on to wherever the tack up area is. 

You tack up "wrong"- place your saddle blanket on the horse's neck or rump instead of the "normal" area, or change the order by bridling before you saddle. 

 You lead from the horse's right side. 

Horsemanship- Tack Fit Challenges


Tack fit... or perhaps I should say Mis-Fit. Probably ranking in the Top 3 challenges faced by riders. It is a major contributor to unwanted experiences in the equine partnership. 

Challenges or Difficulties with your horse? Improve your Horsemanship

Alternative Horsemanship with Samantha Harvey Remote Horse Coach Empowered Equine Partnership journey. Learn to understand horse behavior, improve your horsemanship, communicate with horses, decrease your fear, build your horse's trust, improve your skill-set, and more.

Horse Rider Help- Anxious, Fearful, Concerned horseback rider

 I receive a variety of inquiries every week from fearful, anxious, concerned, and stressed horseback riders worldwide. I've noticed a consistent theme that is diminishing the quality of their Equine Partnership- Mind-Set Mayhem™.


Horsemanship Class: "Reading the Horse" Online Course

*Seven Horses * Seven Days *Seventeen Minute Sessions

Presented by
Alternative Horsemanship with Samantha Harvey: Remote Horse Coach

Who: All horse folks wanting to learn to recognize and read the horse’s body language and behavior in order to learn how to work towards creating a respectful and fulfilling equine partnership.

Why should I take this course? Many horse enthusiasts truly want the best for their horses. As with everything, there can be a steep learning curve, irrelevant of how many years that you have been around horses. Every horse has something new to teach us. As a client of mine once said, “You don’t know what you don’t know.”

Ask yourself the following questions- Do you:
Struggle with the “same” issue(s) with your horse?
Feel overwhelmed by your horse’s behavior?
Want to help your horse become more confident?
Feel like your training has reached a plateau?
Experience your horse resisting your requests?
Feel like your horse ignores your communication?
Have a horse that is a “hard” keeper?
Have a horse that has “issues” with every day handling such as with the farrier, vet, trailer loading, catching, tacking, mounting, riding out, or?
Have a horse that is really great, except for _____?

Find out more and sign up by click HERE

Horsemanship Webinar Series: Self-Awareness Improves our Horsemanship

Improving our Horsemanship: The Human

Working with horses sometimes appears like a magic act. We can get distracted by their big, dramatic, unexpected behaviors, unsure of when, how, or what caused them to begin. This leaves folks unsure of how to influence a different outcome or response in the animal.

Mindful Horsemanship Significance Webinar Series

 Mindful Horsemanship Significance Series 

 What: 3-part Horsemanship Webinar series discussing, addressing, and coaching equine enthusiasts how to make long-term changes in regards to: 

  • Trigger Thoughts limiting our Horsemanship 
  • Balance in our Behaviors 
  • Pro-active Participation 

When: Saturdays, January 9th, 16th, and 23rd, 2021 

Time:10-11am MST (5-6pm GMT) 

Where: Closed Facebook group 


What if I can't attend all three LIVE coaching sessions? All sessions will be available for review and replay for one week following the event. 

What is the learning format? There will be 45 minutes of instruction, and 15 minutes for group discussion with Q & A opportunities. 

How will this help me improve my Horsemanship? Whether you're a novice or have decades of horse experience there are always opportunities to refine your thoughts, awareness, timing, and communication with your horse. This series is designed to help you recognize your limiting patterns and replace them with practical and realistic thoughts and actions. 

Click HERE to learn more and sign up