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Sam@learnhorses.com
Samantha Harvey

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A natural horsemanship equestrian center offering 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.

Client's Comments  

Please click any of the links below to jump to feedback from clients regarding that subject. Would you like to leave Feedback about your experiences?  Click HERE

Training         Clinics             Lessons            Ask the Trainer         
Long Term Students      Purchased Horses        Hoofprints & Happenings Newsletter

Training

Dear Sam,

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

Samantha,

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 6/2/12

Dear Sam,

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 when worked from the ground. 

You 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. 

Your 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 May 2011

Sam,

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 :)  HF Yuma, AZ May 2011

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!  JR Yuma, AZ 2011

 

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 2011
 

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


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


Clinics

Date:                   April 6, 2014
Location:               Oakzanitas Ranch
Lesson_Training_Clinic: Clinic
Participant_Auditor:    Participant
Submitted_By:           Stephanie Napier
How_you_met_Sam:        Through Peggy Martin at Oakzanitas Ranch

Feedback:
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!



Hi Sam,

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 manner.

 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. 

Best Wishes,
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.

Dear Sam,

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 direction! 

Thank you,
Lauren W. Yuma, AZ 6/6/12

 

Clinic Comments: Full Immersion wk#1, 2011 Auditor

Hi Sam,
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

Dear Sam,
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 fearful situation.

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?!?

Sincerely,
Maribeth

 

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

 

Hi Sam,

       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

 

Hi Sam,

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!

M.B., WA, 2010


Lessons

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!
Thanks Sam!
Look forward to seeing you soon
Kim P  Yuma, Arizona  6/7/12

Hey Sam,

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


Ask the Trainer
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 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.

Maribeth, WA, 2010


Purchased Horse

Hello Sam,
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 relaxed.

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 Fair too!

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.

Sincerely, Ronda
September 2010


Hoofprints & Happenings Newsletter
Hi Samantha,
This is a great newsletter with lots of great tips!  I’m glad I’m on your mailing list. 
Vicki Spring 2011

Sam,
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.

Ride on,
Genevieve
February 2010


Long Term Students

Dear Sam,

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 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- current


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, to assess the mood of my horse that day, to 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 me the confidence to work together and progress toward our goals.
Barbara Schriber,  ID  2004 - 2005


Dear Sam,
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 65 year 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!
With Gratitude & Friendship,
Elizabeth, AZ  November 2006 - 2011


Samantha Harvey is my daughter Ailsa's riding teacher in lovely Sandpoint, Idaho.  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,
Jennifer , ID  June 2005 - 2008


I ride and own 6 year old National Show Horse mare named Tango. We got Tango in August of 2004, since then she had to be laid off for an injury to her shoulder and then a few months later with an injury to her right hind leg. In between her injuries we would have good days and bad, more bad than good it felt. This included stopping for no reason and not going forward, wrong leads, and charging. Just after the first lesson with Sam, I felt a difference. I think I did the most circling there than I have ever done. Now after only a few months of weekly lessons, Tango and I are closer and more trusting of one another. We can canter around the ring and my hands will be out to the side with no longe line. I also had to close my eyes once I got Tango lined up for a small cross rail. Sam's approach on riding has really helped both of us. In one of my latest lessons I rode an hour and twenty minutes without reins, I would have never thought of even dropping the reins before meeting Sam. I have noticed that Tango is a lot calmer, or well, willing to work, and channels her energy into what I am asking and not into running off. I am a lot more patient and trusting with her. I can't thank Sam enough for all of the help and time she has put into us.
Teagan, AZ  November 2005 - 2010

May 25, 2007

After attending a clinic with someone else in  Yuma, AZ while Sam was away, this teenage student wrote us again explaining her huge disappointment regarding how she was asked to ride and work with her horse at a clinic given by someone else.

"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 Teagan


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, which have had training but needed to progress and really needed a trainer who would meet not only my requirements but also 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 privileged to have met such and exceptional equine specialist.
Mary-Ann Hay, Blanchard, ID July 2006 - 2008