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Sam’s Background
Back To Basics

In the Beginning…
I began riding with a focus in jumpers, but quickly turned towards Three Day Eventing after a few cross-country rides.  I loved the adrenaline rush of galloping up over hills, down through streams and then out over huge fences!  I left home at a young age to focus on training and competing: my riding brought me throughout the US and finally to England.

Sam & Negative G Ram Tap Horse TrialsMy Experiences…
Although my main focus was Three Day, I wanted to expand my field of knowledge and experience many different aspects of riding.  I worked in Jumper and Dressage barns, schooling, conditioning and training horses.  I attended jockey school, and get to know the ins and outs of several race tracks.

I trained with many people of various backgrounds throughout the US, and was able to experience all aspects of Three Day.  I saw what it was like from a competitor’s standpoint, from the trainer’s standpoint, and from the Olympian’s standpoint.  I found that the more I saw, the more frustrated I was with the lack of concern for the basics.  I realized many people had lost sight of why they were riding and competing, and had let politics and finances fog up their view of their goals.  I felt disappointed in the goal I was working for and had a constant feeling of negativity due to many outside influences.  So I left the sport.

I worked with international caliber competitors, trainers and coaches with varied backgrounds throughout the US, and was able to experience all aspects of Three Day.  I saw what it was like from a competitor’s standpoint, from the trainer’s standpoint, and from the Olympian’s standpoint.  I found that the more I saw, the more frustrated I was with the lack of concern for the basics including both their horse and their own mental, emotional and physical well being. 

I began to see a common trend with the intensity of focus lacking any original motivation of why they were riding and competing.  The stresses, pressures, expectations, politics and finances clouded their enjoyment and quality of the relationship with their equine mount. 

I found myself disappointed and lacking motivation to continue towards the initial goal I had been working towards.  So I left the sport.

Even though I was not riding, I continued to stay in touch with friends from the equine world.  My interest was slowly rekindled when I went as a spectator to an event in Kalispell, MT.  I saw people who were riding for the pure enjoyment of the sport.  This encouraged me to once again become involved with the sport.  I was reacquainted with United States Pony Club, but this time as a trainer and District Commissioner, and I began to teach and ride again.

I also was reunited with a horseman who helped me re-evaluate the underlying basic thought and interaction with the horses.

Refining my own level of awareness, assessment, sensitivity, and timing has allowed me to find within myself and to also offer to others the tools and aids to clearly communicate with their horse to build a quality partnership whose foundation is built on respect and trust.

I now travel throughout the United States as a clinician, offering training and teaching.   In July 2003 my business partner and I opened The Equestrian Center, LLC, in beautiful in Sandpoint, Idaho located in the panhandle of the state.  For the past seven years I’ve spent my winters in Arizona warmth of Yuma based out of Burchbrook Farms.

Present Day…
By now my experience has allowed me to step back and “see” more of the whole picture; I use a mixture of ideas and theories that have helped me define my own training and teaching style for both horses and students.  My goal of achieving respect and communicating with horses before I get on them is a very important part of the actual ride.  From watching, clinicing, and auditing with “horse whisperers” it soon became very clear that winning over a horse’s mind and becoming his friend on the ground would greatly improve the quality of my ride.  I encourage riders of all experiences and disciplines to enjoy this blog!

For a more in depth explanation check out the Alternative Horsemanship and RESPECT pages to learn more about ground work philosophy and the Riding with Sam and Riding Basics for lesson style.

A natural horsemanship equestrian center offering alternative horsemanship, riding lessons and training in ground work, jumping, dressage, cross country, endurance, trail, western horsemanship & riding plus much more.  Alternative Horsemanship with Samantha Harvey offers training with a focus on colt starting, refinement and finishing. Horses learn respect at TEC's charm school. Instruction offered by Sam Harvey, whose background includes 3 Day Eventing, Jumpers, Western Horsemanship, Dressage and more.  Sam is also an alumna of The United States Pony Club Youth Congress. Have your young children come join our Pony Pals Program with Jennifer Harvey. We offer facility membership and rentals for use of:  round pens, dressage arenas, conditioning tracks, beginner trails, jumping & gaming arenas and more! Gorgeous, scenic location with easy access on Selle Road in Sandpoint, Idaho available for recreational and recognized shows with overnight camping and overnight corrals, even for overnight travelers. We winter in Yuma, Arizona and offer lessons, training and clinics.  Samantha offers clinics throughout the United States along with Spring and Summer Full Immersion Camp Clinics in ID, private horsemanship and responses online to Ask the Trainer.