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Long Term Students
Hoofprints & Happenings
Thank you so much for what you did with
Isis during your two weeks of working with her. She stands well now.
We have been pulling her out and tying her with no setting back or trying to
flip over. We are even able to wash her now! She is becoming a
happy trail horse!
Jenna, Yuma, AZ June 2013
Star is doing great. I hadn't done much
with her in the last year because of her injury until recently. I started
working her on the ground recently and rode her briefly around the round pen
a couple of nights ago. It's amazing how well she responded after a year
off. The training you put on her is so awesome. She totally retained all
the basics and remembered first time on everything I asked her to do. She
really is better trained from her time with you than my older horses that I
have ridden for years. Thank you again!!! Michelle S. St. Maries, ID
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.
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 when worked from the ground.
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 you, when he gets stuck, I can help him through it.
approach is very effective and I have learned so much from her. I look
forward to continuing to work with her and my horse. EK Yuma, AZ
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
:) HF Yuma, AZ May 2011
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! JR
Yuma, AZ 2011
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
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,
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,
This in from a half Belgian/half Quarter horse who
came for one week of ground manners:
"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
April 6, 2014
Location: Oakzanitas Ranch
Submitted_By: Stephanie Napier
How_you_met_Sam: Through Peggy Martin at Oakzanitas Ranch
I started riding when I was 11 years old, I am 57 now. I never had any
formal lessons. My training was as I rode. Sam taught me things that make
so much sense, and I have seen amazing results with my horse. I really feel
as if he and I are a team, and I have a stronger bond with him. Sam is
extremely knowledgeable, patient, and thorough. For me, simply learning how
to keep my horse's attention and how to remain calm has changed my total
relationship with my horse. I can hardly wait to go ride again and see how
he and I are able to connect better!
I wanted to let you know how much I
enjoyed your 3 day clinic even if we did try and freeze to death in June...I
really appreciate your expertise and innate ability to read what horses need
and allow the riders to work with their horses in a more safe and humane
I have been around horses most of my
life and I learned a lot of new skills which I have taken back and used on
my pony. She responded wonderfully. A great balance between clear
expectations and enjoying a horse's amazing ability to learn from us. I
have known for a long time when working with horses that if they are not
doing what I want them to, I am the one that needs help, (even when it seems
like they are being difficult). Sometimes that is hard to remember when
your horse is not "getting it". You have a wonderful facility that mirrors
your belief about allowing horses to be horses.
Being a teacher for 30 years, I
enjoyed watching you demonstrate the ability to expect the rider to improve
and learn without being condescending or impatient, yet you still pushed.
The horses are the best teachers! Thanks again for allowing me to watch you
practice your awesome talents. The equine community in Sandpoint is lucky
to have you. I hope to learn from you again.
Laurie Kelly- Auditor, Full Immersion Clinic June 2012, Sandpoint, ID
p.s. If you can use this letter on your blog, part or all, please feel free
to do so.
Since I moved my mustang to your property last Fall, and had the opportunity
to work with you in several private lessons and in one of your clinics, I
have regained my confidence as a rider, developed a stronger relationship
with my horse, and gained a greater understanding of what my horse is really
trying to tell me with all of his "neurotic behavior" (who would of ever
thought he was actually insecure, and not just stubborn!).
After a productive session in the round pen this afternoon, I returned Ninja
to his stall, took off his halter, and sat down on his hay feeder. Instead
of walking away from me, he just stood there next to me for the next ten
minutes, yawning. Then he actually put his nose on my shoulder and started
to fall asleep! I couldn't believe this was the same horse that used to be
"difficult to catch" and "untrusting". Last weekend we went down the trail
and enjoyed it - instead of just surviving it as usual. This past week we
have had several great rides, and I know it is because I now have the
confidence and knowledge to let my horse know exactly what I want from him
(we are now communicating and working together, instead of fighting against
each other - what a concept!)
I can't thank you enough for everything you have taught me... I have learned
so much about my horse, myself as a rider, and horsemanship in general from
working with you. I know my horse and I still have a long way to go in our
relationship, but after that peaceful "moment" that we shared today, I
couldn't stop smiling - Ninja and I are finally headed in the right
Lauren W. Yuma, AZ 6/6/12
Comments: Full Immersion wk#1, 2011 Auditor
As I was discussing the Saddlebred with you I heard what I was
saying........what a dumb move..... so I'm walking away from that one too.
Now we continue the search!
I really enjoyed the clinic. There is so much to think about. It really
makes sense. I love the concept and more than that the end result. Thank
you so much. Hopefully I will find a horse or two in the near future and
can put what I learned into practice.
I hope you have a
great clinic in Coeur d'Alene.
LD, Naples, ID 2011
I was not going to write anything due to the fact that I didn't get
to participate as fully as I would have liked due my sprained foot
and torn ligaments and heat exhaustion the last afternoon. I
decided however that my perspective of camp was a little different
due to the fact that I was a "tent sitter" with foot up all wrapped
in ice. The light bulb moment for me was when you taught the part
about making your horse a thinking horse. I am a preschool teacher
by profession, and there are so many similarities between young
children and horses. (Parents would not appreciate my parallel.)
When children first come to school they have not necessarily been
encouraged to think or had parents that modeled thinking with them.
When those children are asked to do something out of their comfort
zone they are fearful, cry, voice resistance and tantrum. What does
a non thinking horse do in an uncomfortable situation? It becomes
fearful, shows resistance and tantrums. ( Throw in the prey factor,
a 1,200 pound athlete and something really ugly can happen!) I am
so intrigued with the idea of a thinking horse, I'm planning to make
that my focus for the next few months. I know my guy can be a
thinker if I encourage and am patient in guiding his thoughts and
gaining his trust so he knows he can depend on me to help him in a
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!
Judy D, Sandpoint, ID 2010
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.
Jenny R, WA, 2010
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
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!
M.B., WA, 2010
I have only had the opportunity to ride
with Sam now for less than a dozen rides BUT...I feel that she has really
opened my eyes and given me a brand new and exciting way of RIDING my horse.
I have competed for the last 15 years or so and with some nice success but,
I realize I only rode to compete if that makes sense. I told Sam that I
really didn't like riding by myself, basically keeping my horse legged up
and in shape to compete but what I realized in riding with Sam in just a
short time is that most of that riding was mindless and realized that I was
missing the best part! I am never by myself if I ride with my horse and pay
attention to "every step". I never get bored on the contrary rather am
amazed at how much she was communicating to me that I missed totally. I am
so looking forward to bridging that gap between myself and my horse more
which will make us both happier! These are amazing animals that we have the
opportunity to be engaged with and it is truly a blessing!
Look forward to seeing you soon
Kim P Yuma, Arizona 6/7/12
I just want to thank you for your positive and helpful
techniques. About a month ago we, my mom and I, trailered up to your
facility in Sandpoint and had a lesson from you on my horse, Fanci. Wow!
Your teachings have really made a big difference in her performance as well
as mine. She is calmer and more confident when we trot over little cross
rails while practicing and our relationship has grown immensely.
I still have to remind myself to keep my shoulders back but my riding
posture has improved. When Fanci and I rode in Kootenai County's 4-H Show
our ride was more controlled and calmer than it had been in past shows. I
want thank you for you time and a wonderful experience.
Makendra P Sandpoint, ID Summer 2011
Dear Ms Harvey,
I'd just like to say a massive thank you for your detailed and insightful
reply - it made me cry. I feel like I've been so deluded by trying to do
things 'right' that I've forgotten about Poppy! I will groom and tack her
up, often in a rush, before realizing that I haven't even properly looked at
her. How inconsiderate is that? No wonder she's learned to tune out people!
She's just learned that whatever she does, no one listens, and she just has
to put up with whatever is thrown at her. Everything you have said is right
and I think that, in a way, I've known it all along. I have been ignoring my
instincts for so long that I've forgotten how - and when - to listen to them
and behave accordingly. I love this horse so much and it makes me really
unhappy to fully know my part in her unhappiness.
Emily, United Kingdom, Spring 2011
RE: Trust - Don't Touch Me!
I e-mailed you a question a couple of days ago
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.
Maribeth, WA, 2010
We purchased Honest from you last fall. My daughter calls him
Q.T. I thought I would send you a little update.
She has spent the past year getting to know him. He had to
learn how to be a family guy, we made him nervous for months for
no apparent reason, nothing crazy he just always had his guard
up. He now knows we all love him and he is safe and he is
He is Kolby's ( my daughters) best friend and I trust him now
too. She has competed in 4h with him this year and will add
reining next summer and then they will join the high school
equestrian team fall of 2011. (she is just in 8th grade) She
has it all planned out LOL. They were a big hit at the Spokane
She has to learn to
work his gas pedal, that boy can move.... they did some gaming
in 4H and had a blast. He changes leads like melted butter for
her in western eq patterns. I don't even ride him anymore. He
works better for her and he likes/trusts her, they are a team.
He will follow her around like a dog. When she is having a bad
day you will find her in the barn talking to her horse.
I am attaching a
couple of photos for you to see them together. Thank you for
picking us to be his family.
Hoofprints & Happenings
This is a great newsletter with lots of great tips! I’m glad I’m on your
Vicki Spring 2011
I so enjoy reading your newsletter and blog spot (I think this is my
"maiden" blog comment). As I read through all your stories and thoughts, I
realize how blessed all of us "sick" women are to have had you touch our
lives and how lucky our horses are as well. You are a truly gifted teacher.
All my life I dreamed of having my own horse. It took me 40 years, and
another 5 before I found you and your wisdom. Both me and my horses are
still learning and practicing what we have gleamed from your teachings. I
feel like I haven't even begun to scratch the surface and look forward to
learning more from you this summer.
Long Term Students
Thank you! Simple words for such a huge
difference you’ve made in my horsemanship. I’ve had a great time learning
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 7th
World Finals, $3000 Novice Horse, Non-Pro Rider, Finished 5th in the world
AZ Cutting Horse Association, First Place $3000 Novice Horse Non-Pro
Pacific Coast Cutting Horse, $50000 Amateur Summer 2008
Qualified Western National Championships, 2009 in Non-Pro & $50000 Amateur
Circuit Champion, $50000, San Diego Cutting Horse, Brawley, CA Fall 2008
Circuit Champion, $50000, Casner Ranch, Temecula, CA Winter 2008
World Finals 2008 $50000 Amarillo, TX Finished 15th in World
Circuit Champion, $50000, Diaz Ranch, Woodland, CA Spring 2009
Circuit Champion, $50000, Rancho Murietta, CA Spring 2009
Thanks, Harolyn D. Yuma, AZ 5/2008-