Recent Reflections from Students
- "Heidi, you really made me think about what I was doing wrong and made me feel good about what I was doing correctly." -Jess
- "I appreciated the "hands on" approach and feeling like I could complete the tasks thanks to Heidi's kind and gentle approach. Everyone was addressed equally didn't matter what level you were at. Wish the time had not gone by so quickly. I guess that is because I was enjoying it! It did go slowly enough to absorb information, come to think of it. Very helpful for all the old bags like me that attended."
- "The pace was great! I liked the review each day for beginning the day and reflection at the end of each session. Heidi was always open to questions."
"I valued most the reminder that the problems we have with our horses originate from people and how people handle horses. Therefore, do not get mad at the horse when problems occur. Have patience and problem solve."
- "It was great, worth every penny, and I am SO glad I attended. Can't wait till next June!!!!"
- "Wish more people would benefit from this style of horsemanship training. We as humans can really mess up horses and they are truly a gift to us."
“I want to thank you for all your help, flexibility and care of our horses and us......you are a gem...I knew it when I first started lessons with you.....that you would think of the horse first and then find a way to work with the human up there on its back.” --- Bobbi
“Hey Heidi, I have been thinking about you a lot! I find myself using so many of your insights lately from tack fitting to cantering with my inside arm up. I have had a hard time with Makata holding her gait and balancing in the canter. When I hold my arm up she doesn't offer to break gate and is balanced on a very loose rein AND comes down to a walk right when asked without putting her head up! Way more than I had hoped for! It is amazing how much we do get in the way of our horses! Wishing you the Best!” --- DJ
GMHA Trail/Horsemanship Clinic
“Hi Heidi, I just wanted to thank you for your patience and excellent instruction during the clinic. Even though I was only able to participate Friday and Saturday, I thought I got a lot out of your clinic. Today, Tig and I were at the GMHA for their 15 mile Pleasure ride and I got a chance to practice some of the things we did at your clinic. My girlfriend that I rode with today commented on how nice the horses went today. I know it was because I was trying to remember and apply all that I got from your clinic. I am looking forward to seeing you in August and I am trying to talk a friend of mine in Maine into participating in your clinic up there. Thanks again!” Ride On, --- Roberta
“I wanted to let you know that when I led Swizzle out to the trailer yesterday morning to load... with the plan of doing ground work nearby as long as she needed... she wanted to walk right to the trailer so I changed our path so we'd go near it... I let her smell it... she then put her front feet right on the ramp and then looked at me like 'are you going to open up that butt bar for me to go in or what?'!! My mistake for not having it all the way open for her from the start! But, MaryJane was ready with treats and the jackpot bucket for her, Mom had Pi close by... so once I opened the butt bar, Swizzle walked right up (lots of clicks and treats as she went), one pause to think, one step back and a pause then all the way forward to the chest bar where she got the jackpot and I got the butt bar up without even a minor notice from her (she was so thrilled with her jackpot). Pi loaded up right beside her and all was great! SO much better than our loading experience to get up to the clinic. I was thrilled.
I know that she still needs lots of work to get to the point where it's always a comfortable place for her to be on the trailer, standing quietly and contently, butt bar up or down, etc... and I'm excited to work with her to get her there over the coming weeks. I really appreciate you taking the extra time to work with us Sunday morning and giving me some more tools to use and a plan to guide me to make trailer loading a non-event for Swizzle.
The whole weekend was exactly what we needed -- I felt like I had hit a bit of a rut with Swizzle's training. She has come very far in the year or so that I've had her but I know there's a really cool horse under her tough girl / bossy / dominant exterior. You provided inspiration and the tools to re-start our work together so we don't stay in that rut.” Best, --- Aimee
"Dear Heidi, Thank you so much for teaching last weekend’s clinic. I enjoyed it very much and got a lot of enlightenment! I had a long solitary ride with Fancy (my Palomino Rocky mare) yesterday evening in the woods of Connecticut. I concentrated on what you taught us and applied some of the visualization exercises described in Sally's book . I am so happy with the result! I got an amazing connection with her. I managed to control the speed and I was not using the bit at all. (I am waiting for a softer bit that I ordered) We worked on calmness and relaxation (for both of us). Thank you so much again for your help. I look forward to working with you again soon.” Sincerely,--- Alix
"Heidi - Thank you for all that you shared. I learned a great deal and am working on putting it all into practice. The information is still processing. Leading Bud is so much better - he usually balks walking out of the barn, the other day he willingly and happily (ears forward and eager) walked with me:) He will do much better in Showmanship or I should say I will do much better with clear cues that he can understand. We had the opportunity to execute the emergency stop twice in our English riding lesson this week. It worked like a charm and what impressed me most was how quickly Bud's anxiety diminished. It was windy and while cantering my jacket was making a swishing noise that scared him. Once we stopped I praised him and my calm, relaxed approach put him at ease almost instantly! We went right back to work as if nothing happened. This was a huge breakthrough - thank you, thank you, thank you! I ditched the jacket when I realized that was the issue. He is also responding well to the breathing, deep seat, stop riding to whoa. You have given me so many helpful tools - it is very exciting. Bud and I look forward to seeing you in the future. Best regards," --- Tyna
“Hello Heidi, This was a very exciting learning experience for me. First, I re-connected with my "center" and my breath. I discovered part of my issue when stopping was the incorrect execution of grounding my center. Through the hands on exercise I experienced the true connection of my breath to my sit bones. During the unmounted session, I learned how to "balance" my ground work by drawing my horse's energy towards me rather than just sending my energy out in the direction that I am looking at. During the mounted session, I learned some riding exercises to work on when my horse has chosen to ignore my request for stopping and how to position us when he is less than cooperative in the middle of a clinic.
Thanks again for all that you do to help us ride safely and happily.” --- Judy
“Hi Heidi - I want to let you know the 10-second rule you shared is awesome (it rules!)
After reading it I decided to try it at our next horse show in Trail class (this past weekend) and it worked wonderfully for me and Bud. It was very windy, flags flapping, car wash noodles blowing in and out, a lot of distractions. The first obstacle was a white mailbox with a flag and a whirly-gig - Bud stopped in his tracks and I just relaxed and started counting to 10.
At 6 seconds I could feel him relax, gave a little squeeze and he moved up to the mailbox - no problem! I used the technique on two more "scary" obstacles and he responded so well, it was amazing. Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful tip. I even encouraged other riders waiting in line to do the trail course to employ this technique as they were fretting about how their horses might react. For those who were patient it worked and they were thrilled with the positive outcome.
All the best, --- Tyna and Bud:) (he was a happy horse leaving the trail course rather than frazzled)”
Horse Agility Clinic Day Comments
“Heidi's passion for what she does is infectious. I will be forever changed by this new information”
“Heidi seemed genuinely interested in every person present”
“You are a great instructor... calm; non-judgmental and you made everyone feel very comfortable and willing. Great job!”
“I liked that you took time to talk to each of us and worked with us according to our individual skills.”
“I really liked how everyone was very supportive of each other.”
“I really took the principles and applied them to Sam and decided to get on him... He was respectful and confident ... These principles work... And ZERO harsh methods... All about the relationship!”
“Thank you again for an incredible weekend!”
Centered Riding Open Clinic Participants
“Heidi, thanks so much for the clinic. I felt like it was a 3 day retreat in that the focus was primarily on the rider! Jam packed with exercises to experience release of tension and awareness of posture, centering, etc. I'm all about connecting with my quiet self and BREATHING now...certain Cartier will benefit. Thanks again. I imagine Sally Swift was an incredible mentor.”
“Morning, I was in your CR workshop at Arcadia Stables. Although I didn't ride, I learned a lot as an auditor! Your clinic was the first one I've been to as an auditor where I got to do hands on.... I rode an endurance race sat up in Vermont at GMHA. Although I didn't complete (ran over time) I had the best equitation ride. I posted correctly, I used contact (I usually ride with none), I tried to breathe and concentrate on my core and ride on my knees. My mare seems to like the contact and my gallops felt like we were " together" when I was in 2 point My mare's pulse was at her lowest all season and she was not back sore at all!!!!!!! Usually she is a bit toward the cantle and that was a very hilly ride. I never got any foot cramps (still in my endurance stirrups)So just wanted to let you know all that good stuff!”
Bitterroot Ranch Aug 2015:
“I liked the way the clinic and the trail riding complemented one another, particularly toward the end of the week. I liked the focus on the basics, which can get overlooked but make a big difference for riders at all levels. I liked the way Heidi was able to tailor the clinic to the interests of the group; and I really loved the groundwork, specifically the fact that we could see results so quickly and the way it profoundly affected my relationship with the horse.”
“Thank you, Heidi for one of the best weeks of my life. I am still on cloud nine from it. What an incredible group that we had! Your leadership gave us the freedom to encourage, support and enjoy one another. Thank you!” Warmly, --- Marie
“Hey there Heidi,
Thank you for being such and kind and encouraging instructor. The week at Frost Valley has provided me with memories that will last a lifetime and knowledge that will as well. I couldn't have asked for a better group of people or instructors to have spent it with. Thanks again, best wishes”, ---Paige
“Hello Heidi --
I had such a great experience with you and Amy at the clinic. I'm really excited to go back next year to work on my western certification. Thanks for such a great week, --- Lauren
Last week’s clinic was such a great experience and I cannot thank you enough for your encouragement and support through the process.” Sincerely, --- Richelle
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