Having tried several trainers, I was on the verge of replacing my gelding. He would become defensive and refuse to go forward, start spinning, backing, or bucking at the lope. Other trainers had tried to "ride the buck" out of him. This only made him more resentful and insecure.
I tried everything, from chiropractic treatment, replacing his saddle pad, changing his feed and starting over on the ground. However, riding him into a lope was beyond my comfort level and he would buck going into the lope even on the ground.
Sam not only had the patience to rebuild his confidence, but gave me tools to help him as well. Now I have a horse that is learning to trust again and thanks to Sam, when he gets stuck, I can help him through it.
Sam's approach is very effective and I have learned so much from her. I look forward to continuing to work with her and my horse.
Elizabeth K. Yuma, AZ 2011
I'm still trying to figure out how to apply everything you taught me. We trust each other more and it is still so amazing to me to see the change in their brains when they “let it go” and realize right here and right now everything is just fine. I was proud of myself for being able to convince Oreo that he didn't have to think about the grass he was standing on while he was being groomed- he believed me so well that even when I tried to turn him out he still followed me until I was completely out of the arena! Little victories :)
Heather F, Yuma, AZ
Please let me know when you come back into town. I’d love to have you work with my horse more. Riding has become more fun rather than a battle!
Jennifer R, Yuma, AZ 2011
"Skip is doing GREAT!! He and I have had some fun times already. He is a changed horse and a real pleasure to be around. We even went trail riding with some kids and he was good. HE STOOD BY THE STUMP FOR ME TO GET ON! Even when there were other horses around. Talk to you soon,
Joy C, Garwood, ID 2009
Clinic Comments: Full Immersion wk#1, 2011 Auditor
I hope you have a
great clinic in Coeur d'Alene.
I'd also like to send Clint a big kiss! He taught my young whipper snapper all about herd behavior. (Jax still has a few shaved spots from a well placed bite or kick! He found out who the BIGGER horse really was!)
Thank you for a great time and the little journals you gave each of us to take notes. Every time I look at it I have another idea to ponder. You have made me a thinking rider which will, no doubt, be a big bonus for my horse and our relationship.
I am hoping to return next year, providing all body parts are functional. For those of us who don't live in Arizona in the winter and really like air conditioning, could you place an order for milder temperatures?!?
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!
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 the entire 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 my horse and myself as we progressed. You opened up my eyes to see so much more that 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 ever 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 DeeDee. 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.
I think it's taken a week to try to digest all that we learned at the immersion clinic...I guess some things needed to be processed more than once to settle into my brain. It's hard to verbalize just what all happened at the clinic but I can try. I feel like you opened my eyes to so many things, like opening a door to a whole new view of the world. I know the focus was improving our horsemanship, but the personal insights that kept occurring were such a bonus...those little "aha" moments, when suddenly you see clearly.
There was no part of the week that wasn't valuable. I felt like everything we did, from watching each other, to working individually, to working in a group, all combined beautifully to re-enforce your message. The art of it all was the way that you wove our individual requests into the daily plan and we ended up learning even more about such specifics as posting and body position. Every day was so filled with learning I didn't want the week to end. In many ways it was one of the steepest learning curves I've encountered, but at the same time, it was hands down one of the most rewarding weeks in my life. My horses are indebted to you for helping me understand them better and communicate more clearly.
Now when I ride, I'm trying to "plug in" my seat bones, have a plan, ask clearly and hold the thought...and remember to breathe.
Thanks for an amazing week, I can't wait to come back next year!
Ask the Trainer- Response to
I e-mailed you a question a couple of days ago about trust building with my horse.
Your answer was so right on that you must be peeking around the corner of my barn! You told me exactly what I had felt in my heart about my horse, Jax. I had talked to some other "horse knowledgeable" friends and trainers and, of course, got an array of answers, none of which "felt" right. My gelding is just tolerating me. (Boy that hurts to admit!) There have been moments of trust and even a few days of relaxed stress free rides, but nothing long lasting.
This is a great newsletter with lots of great tips! I’m glad I’m on your mailing list. Vicki