Sam's goal is to create a mental and emotional availability in your horse in order to achieve the physical response you are asking for. She does not use a repetitious or "routine" approach in helping educate the horse. Each equine we are working with is treated as an individual, and training or re-education must be presented in an appropriate manner for his own set of emotions, confidence levels, fear, etc. Teaching the horse any of the following scenarios is not about demanding a conditioned, obedient response, but rather giving the horse the "tools" to not only survive the human experience but thrive in the unnatural scenarios we ask of him.
Because many horses have unintentionally been "taught" unwanted responses because of the lack of initial quality education, much of the initial time Sam spends with the horse is about "undoing" his defensiveness, fear, and worry.
For many horses much of the initial interaction is undoing what they have been taught by humans in the past, helping them replace their fear with curiosity, developing trust, and building their confidence.
Then as the horse is mentally available to the human's input, the goal is to establish a clear, and specific form of communication that has value to the horse.
Horses are not machines. Therefore Sam REQUIRES all horse owners to commit to at least one week of one-on-one time with her and their horse before they take their equine home so that they can better understand her approach and "tools" in communicating and helping the horse.
A three-month minimum is required for the starting of young horses under saddle education, along with owner participation.
Assessment - To evaluate where your horse is mentally, emotionally, and physically when you interact with him.
Adaptability- Does the horse seem to get mentally distracted and physically reactive if things change in his world?
Basic Safety- Does your horse acknowledge your personal space and offer 100% of his attention when you are in proximity to him- whether or not he is haltered?
Catching- Whether in a stall, pasture, or in a herd, does your horse willingly offer to be caught at any time of day?
Feet/Farrier - Does he stand confidently and patiently, and offer the hoof while bearing his own weight?
Fly Spraying - Will your horse stand relaxed when you fly spray him?
Jumping - If you present an obstacle while you are on the ground or mounted, will your horse mentally address and quietly step over it?
Leading - Does your horse respect your personal space? Will he softly follow the feel and energy of the lead rope, and adapt his energy, balance, and movement without becoming defensive? Can you direct his thought and focus with or without the lead rope?
Pressure- Does your horse follow and yield to pressure whether it be with the spatially, or with the lead rope, rein, or your leg? Or does he react heavily and drag you around?
Ponying - Can your horse be ponied comfortably from either side of another horse while maintaining a respectful space?
Refinement - Does your horse seem compliant but has “just one issue” caused by a lack of mental availability which prevents his physical try?
Round Pen-Ground Work - Can you direct, influence, or send your horse's thoughts and attention to where you would like his body to move? Can you ask everything you'd want when in the saddle, first from on the ground?
Saddling/Bridling - Will your horse accept all aspects of tacking up either loose or tied without resistance or excessive movement?
Starting - The gentle initial education that builds the foundation for preparing the horse for riding and all future human-presented scenarios. Horses that have 45 days or less interacting with humans.
Streams/Puddles - Will he first mentally address and then quietly, physically cross or stand in water when asked?
- Will your horse mentally address the trailer without excessive movement?
- Will your horse slowly, quietly, and confidently load and unload?
Tying - Will your horse stand still when tied to cross ties, hitching posts, trailers, ground ties, etc.?
Water/Bathing - Will your horse stand quietly while bathing him?
Sam accepts a limited number of training horses each season. Please click HERE to register and get on the waitlist. A three-month minimum is required for starting a young horse under saddle education, along with owner participation.