Alternative Horsemanship Learning Testimonials and Success Stories"Another great moment with my submissive, formerly herd-bound horse, Sunny. She and her two gelding companions made their escape from the pen a week or so ago and went straight for the sweet grass. When I found them, and holding a halter, they of course moved away because they knew that meant back to the pasture with the dry grass. But when I looked at Sunny from a distance and did my whistle, she walked away from her buddies and came up to me. This all started with your tape on building trust with your horse. We've had a really great summer of trail riding, and it's all thanks to you and your technique. Wishing you well on your winter training." B.B. 2023
P. Martin 2020
"I have shown horses, done parades, and miles of trail riding. Did I think I needed to attend a clinic on alternative horsemanship?? Well, I went and two years later I cannot believe how much I have learned from Sam. I just wish I had Sam in my life years ago, but better late than never. Now my husband is doing the clinic as well. Looking forward to the March clinic."
Pam R 2020 CA
Feedback Horse Owner
"I am so grateful I had the opportunity to take Sancha, my little Paso Fino mare, to Yuma and have Sam work with her. Sam concluded that Sancha did not trust humans. I bought her a month before Sam took over, so I really didn’t have much time with her to see “the real deal”. We decided she was probably a rescue horse and had been broken very harshly. She had had a fractured wither with trauma marks on her back and ear. And she was used to "jump on and go,go,go!” But luckily, once Sam started training, she saw that Sancha has a sweet disposition and really wants to be with people. I got to go to Yuma once or twice a week in the beginning and saw a change almost immediately. I wish I could have gone every day to watch Sam train and learn some of her tricks of the trade! LOL Sancha is home now and is doing so well. I’m working on getting her to slow down in all that we do and building a trusting partnership. She is a pleasure to be around and everyone at the barn loves her. Thank you, Sam. Can’t wait for you to return to Descanso in the fall. " Gayla, Crest, CA April 2017
Feedback Jumping Lessons
We moved to Sandpoint in the spring of 2005 from Hilton Head, S.C. While living in South Carolina my daughter trained at the Moss Creek Equestrian Center. The Moss Creek Equestrian Center is an extremely professional, high-quality riding and jumping center. Arriving in Sandpoint we searched for some time to find a truly capable and talented person to work with our daughter. We have found that is Samantha. We were/are extremely pleased with the seasons we have spent with her. Samantha's professionalism, ethics, knowledge, and people skills are top-notch. Her horses are beautiful creatures that are clearly well trained and cared for. The progression of skills presented, and care in teaching, all helped our daughter excel and have a wonderful experience. I highly recommend Samantha Harvey as a trainer. Our experiences with her have been enriching and appreciated.Sincerely,
J.B , ID June 2005
Feedback "Problem Horse" Owner
"Anyway, I really appreciate all the work you have put into helping me become such an effective rider and to be in tune with my horse. Tango has come so far with your help, and I don't know what we would have done without you. Tango is a pleasure to ride now, and it is not a chore like it used to be before your help. And I am never going back to my old habits again!" Thanks, T.H., A
Feedback Cutting Competitor (Currently 3rd in the world)
Thank you! Simple words for such a huge difference you’ve made in my horsemanship. I’ve had a great time learning from you!
I learned so much about myself and Twist. I have more time than I think. Plan ahead. Lower my hand. I used “fall apart” when I messed up. I’ve learned to re-direct Twist’s thought, been reminded there’s a sliding scale in discipline and challenged to “feel” his feet. Be clear; be smooth, if I ask for a change-get a change. Be consistent- sit balanced- let it go when Twist or I make a mistake- look where I’m going. There’s more I’ve noted- you are very good- I wish you success- you and believe the best for you again!
Since I’ve been riding with you, we have competed and accomplished:
Western Nat’l Championship 2008 Ogden, UT Finished 7thWorld Finals, $3000 Novice Horse, Non-Pro Rider, Finished 5th in the worldAZ Cutting Horse Association, First Place $3000 Novice Horse Non-ProPacific Coast Cutting Horse, $50000 Amateur Summer 2008Qualified Western National Championships, 2009 in Non-Pro & $50000 AmateurCircuit Champion, $50000, San Diego Cutting Horse, Brawley, CA Fall 2008Circuit Champion, $50000, Casner Ranch, Temecula, CA Winter 2008World Finals 2008 $50000 Amarillo, TX Finished 15th in WorldCircuit Champion, $50000, Diaz Ranch, Woodland, CA Spring 2009
Circuit Champion, $50000, Rancho Murietta, CA Spring 2009
Thanks, Harolyn D. Yuma, AZ 5/2008- current
Feedback long term client
You helped me realize a dream come true. I've wanted to ride English, but more important be able to ride my horse Charlie well. Thanks to your encouragement, patience, techniques my horse and I now work together, we still have more to learn but with you I know we will excel. I am a 65yr. old woman and you took me and my horse on and I thank you from the bottom of my heart. P.S You are worth every dollar I spent and more! E.G. Yuma, AZ
"I've always loved horses and as a child dreamed of learning to ride and someday owning a horse of my own. Unfortunately, where I grew up the horse community was very exclusive and I always felt it was a sorority I would never fit into. As an adult, I attempted lessons with three different instructors in California and Idaho. These lessons were typical and didn't start until I was mounted, lasted 50 minutes, and were filled with the instructor hollering at me to "Keep my heals down" and "slide". I never understood what I was supposed to be feeling or working towards. Never once was I asked to think about the horse. Consequently, I never felt that I was a "rider".
Lessons with Samantha Harvey in no way resemble the lessons of my past. First, Sam's lessons do not start once you are on the horse, they start on the ride to her facilities. She taught me to consider more than the mechanics of sitting on a horse and riding. She taught me to plan for my lesson, think about what I wanted to accomplish, assess the mood of my horse that day, feel my horse's energy and use my own to work together with my horse. Sam often asks me questions during a lesson, forcing me to think about what I'm doing, how I feel, how my horse feels, etc. Consequently, I was able to not only learn how to ride but about horsemanship and partnership.
In the summer of 2005, Sam was able to turn a timid, insecure rider and her 14-year-old broodmare into a team. My mare had never done anything but make babies, but by the end of the summer, she had evolved into a fearless trail horse capable of successfully completing a series of jumps in the arena, a dressage pattern, and jumps in the field. She gave both my mare and I the confidence to work together and progress toward our goals." Barb S. Sandpoint, ID
I have used Samantha as our trainer of choice for years. I have witnessed that she is very in tune with the horse and rider combination. I highly recommend her methodology. If you want to really be a combination with your horse...Alternative Horsemanship.
Chip L 2019 ID
Feedback Training Program
My first exposure to Sam was last year. Due to a debilitating chronic back condition, I found myself unable to ride my horses. I have two horses that have had training but needed to progress and really needed a trainer who would meet not only my requirements but for someone who had horse savvy and utilized natural horsemanship. Sam is the first person in the area that I felt comfortable leaving my horses with. Sam has an innate ability to discern the emotional response of each individual horse. She never pushes a horse beyond what the horse is ready to assimilate and specifically tailors each session to the individual horse. Sam does not just train horses she interacts with the horses and their owners. My entire perspective changed as I saw the progress made with both of my horses. Sam is a phenomenal communicator with people and horses. I feel the privilege to have met such an exceptional equine specialist. Mary-Ann H. WA
Samantha Harvey has helped me with my horses for many years. She has given me the ability to relate to them in a new way that has let me slow down and take the time to address the underlying holes in their training. It has been very rewarding and I can see new interest and partnership with all of my horses. I look forward to working with my horses and seeing what we can accomplish!
Laura M Jan 2020 AZ
I really enjoyed working with Sam and her calm, patient teaching manner. She is more about understanding the horse and working with it in a way that makes sense to the horse instead of forcing it to go through the motions. Very professional setting and everything was easy for me to understand and work on at home. My understanding of my horse and horses, in general, has improved and I have been able to notice more issues come up and deal with them in a healthy way before they become dangerous.
Kari G. ID
I think of Sam as a gifted translator between horses and humans. She’s able to show you what your horse is thinking through its carriage, breathing, and behavior. What I have learned from Sam is that the physical follows the mental which is very eye-opening coming from a traditional riding experience. This is so different from the conventional trainer who is ONLY focused on the physical.
It’s so rewarding to watch Sam work because she is incredibly patient and she has such a vast wealth of knowledge across all disciplines and breeds. The best part is that she does it without gimmicks and props. She’s so clear and consistent with her energy that the horse can finally mentally relax and then the desired physical result follows. When you see it right before your eyes it produces a lot of ‘aha’ moments and it’s so transformative that you truly appreciate the basics and foundational work that’s so essential.
Sam changes your life and your horse is forever grateful.
Vanessa H Jan 2020 FL
Feedback Full Immersion Camp
I am at a loss to put into words what an incredible experience your full immersion camp was!! I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for everything. It was one of the most rewarding weeks I have ever spent with my horse. You have a truly amazing talent with teaching that you passed on to us at camp. You have a gift and the knowledge of understanding horses and the ability to explain what you are seeing and show us what to do about it. I completely enjoyed all the one-on-one time that you gave us and the time to watch the others work with their horses. It was so fun to watch the changes in the other horses and riders as the week progressed. It was wonderful to feel the changes in myself and my horse as we progressed. You opened up my eyes to see so much more than my horse and I could accomplish. I gained the confidence and the knowledge to work with my horse in a way that I didn't even know was possible. You were so good at explaining everything to us, if we didn't understand one way you could tell us another way. I am excited to work on everything that I learned with her. I have so many more tools to use now, thanks to your training. I feel like I am still processing all that I learned. Again, I am so very thankful for everything you did for us. I am looking forward to coming back again next year.
J.R. WA 7/07
Thank you so much for having this wonderful week of eye-opening lessons. The horse world is sometimes a scary place. You are such a soft-spoken, gentle person with so much knowledge, patience, and insight that it's just what I needed. Your love of horses is a blessing to all of us.
The camp was so much more than I expected. I learned from you, from my horse and all the other horses, and from the participants. But, most of all I learned about myself. It was an experience I will never forget. Thank you for making my fears manageable, my horse happier, my future brighter and my enthusiasm unbridled! J Sandpoint, ID 7/07