The first time I teach a student, I want to understand their background and past experiences. In the US, anybody anywhere can hang a sign on their door and say that they are an instructor. Because of this, equestrians have been taught in various ways.
Watching their warm-up gives me a quick overview of both the student and gives me a starting point for the lesson. I realize that it can be a nerve-wracking experience to ride in front of someone new.
We discuss how their warm-up went, what they are feeling, what their horse is feeling, his mood, and attitude that day, and so on, and how it affects what we will focus on. I may need to explain an issue or topic in several different ways for students to understand my point.
By understanding the rider's past experiences, expectations, and goals, I can assess both the horse and rider as individuals. I also assess them as a team: their ability to communicate, to respond to one another, as well as each of their physical abilities and limits, their age, and experience.
I love questions; they show me the student is interested in absorbing the philosophies and skills being taught. I work towards developing THINKING riders, rather than one who is trying to please the trainer. I WANT my students to assess a situation, and then understand how to address their horse's mental focus and physical actions.
Many people ask if I teach both children and adults, as they are VERY different in their learning styles. I love the challenge of teaching both.
I believe for a quality coach/student relationship, there must be TRUST. If a student does not trust their trainer, they are wasting their time, money, and effort. I want every ride, no matter how: mentally or physically challenging, and difficult for the rider and/or horse, to be a positive learning experience. I want the rider to come away happy. I know some days we all have good and bad days. My goal for every student is to empower them on their horsemanship journey.
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"I have worked with a lot of trainers but once I audited one of Samantha's classes I was hooked. It was and continues to be the best training for me and my horse. So blessed to have found her." Theresa, CA 2019
"Samantha Harvey has helped me with my horses for many years. She has given me the ability to relate to them in a new way that has let me slow down and take the time to address the underlying holes in their training. It has been very rewarding and I can see new interest and partnership with all of my horses. I look forward to working with my horses and seeing what we can accomplish!" Laura, AZ 2018