Throughout my traditional education in horse riding, I had the opportunity to learn from trainers with various backgrounds, including European, South American, dressage, jumper, and Three Day Eventing. However, their focus was always on my tack, position, and goals, without emphasizing the most critical subject of all - the HORSE!
I never heard them ask fundamental questions such as:
- How is your horse feeling today?
- Is your horse mentally available for riding?
- What was your horse's attitude when you greeted him in his pasture or stall?
- How might his attitude affect today's ride?
It wasn't until I attended a two-day clinic with a horseman who approached horse training differently that I realized the importance of understanding horse behavior. He taught us how to read the horse's body language and recognize signs that indicate what the horse is thinking and feeling. This knowledge allowed me to develop a deeper understanding of my horse and improved our communication and partnership.
I discovered that many issues with horses stem from a lack of confidence and feeling insecure. If you're not fully present and giving your horse 100% of your attention, the horse may take control as a way to protect themselves. Chaotic behaviors are often the symptom of an insecure horse, rather than the issue itself.
As a result of my experiences, I developed Alternative Horsemanship, focusing on learning and communicating with the horse. I approach them as individuals with their own past experiences and work with them from their current mental, emotional, and physical starting place.
Interested in improving your horse's behavior and forming a stronger partnership? Enroll them in TEC's Charm School or Alternative Horsemanship with Samantha Harvey Horse Training.
" I couldn't believe how much insight you had into me and my horse's situation. I've been to so many 'big name' trainers and yet was still feeling overwhelmed and stuck... and a bit bullied. I had so much self-doubt because I knew something was being missed with my horse. Thank you for helping me gain perspective that trusting my inner voice and slowing down to address, as you say, 'the holes' in our relationship. He has completely changed his attitude in just a few weeks. No one can believe it is the same horse. With gratitude," Francis, Wellington, FL, USA 2022
"You have removed the guesswork I used to have when working with my horse. Now instead of feeling overhwhelmed, I feel like I understand and can have empathy rather than get emotionally frustrated.Thank you for helping me find the clarity I always wanted to be the best "support" as you say for my sweet mare."
Syrahh, Turkey, 2023