Articles

Improving Feel and Connection with Centered Riding Basics

Published in Equine Wellness Magazine, December 2017/January 2018

As riders, our goal is to ride in lightness and harmony with our horses, sharing in balance and movement. We strive to develop and maintain a connection through our reins that least disturbs the horse’s natural ability to do all we ask of him. Sally Swift’s Centered Riding Basics of Soft Eyes, Breathing, Centering and Balance all play a role in helping to achieve this soft, clear connection. Read More >


Don’t Lose Your Guppies! Trailering Tips for All Drivers

Happy Guppies = Happy Horses. Read now >


Why a Picadero Instead of a Round Pen?

A picadero is a square pen. Learn why training in a square pen is better for your relationship with your horse.  Read now >


Ward off the Winter Blues

There are so many things you can do with and for your horse in the winter!  Read now >


Help Your Horse Build Confidence

In this recording from the Horse Radio Network, Heidi discusses how to help your horse build confidence. Fast forward to minute 28 for the good stuff! Listen >


Back to Basics – Reconnect and Build Trust with Centered Riding Basics

Published in Equine Wellness Magazine, August/September 2016

Using Centered Riding basics has a positive effect on both you and your horse! Read now >

 


The 10 Second Rule

Try this technique for a horse who freezes when facing something new and scary. Read now >


Horse Agility

This fun sport challenges and benefits horse-human partnerships of all ages and abilities! Read Heidi’s article published in the January 2015 edition of Equine Wellness!  Read article on EquineWellness.com >


How Much Grazing is Safe?

Watching our horses graze in the pasture is one of life’s finest pleasures. But care is needed when transitioning from winter hay to spring grass! Here are a few tips on how to safely transition your equine friend to grazing. Read now >


Training for Empathy

Waiting for your horse to lick and chew is a powerful training tool. Learn to wait and read the signs your horse is giving you.  Read now >


The Exciting New Sport of Horse Agility

Published in Holistic Horse Magazine, Aug-Sept 2013.  This article by Heidi Potter explores how Horse Agility promotes enjoyable, trusting relationships between humans and their equine partners. Horse Agility enhances under-saddle work and also offers a fun and rewarding activity for horses who cannot be ridden.  PDF > Read online at Holistic Horse Magazine >


Centered Riding Tips and Techniques for All Disciplines

Published in Equine Wellness Magazine, Dec 2013

Through application of the Centered Riding Basics, along with grounding, body awareness and clear intent, a rider can improve her overall comfort, confidence and communication with her horse. The result is a horse that is more responsive, balanced and relaxed. All these applications help free up the horse, regardless of his job. Read now >

 


Teaching the Posting Trot

This article, originally published in the CHA newsletter, provides both teachers and students with techniques for developing skills in the posting trot.  Read now >

 


PATH International Newsletter Articles

These articles were written for the newsletter of the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International (PATH) formerly known as NAHRA, the North American Handicapped Riders Association. Heidi is a member of PATH’s Equine Welfare Committee

Approaching with Mindfulness

You are heading out to catch your horse. Your thoughts are most likely filled with what awaits you once you get in the saddle … rest assured that your equine friend probably won’t be thinking the same thing. This article discusses how to create a better connection with your horse in these first moments.  Read now >


No Eating That Grass!

Have you ever led a horse through a gate and just as you turn to close the gate with your right hand your left arm is pulled out of its socket while the horse on the other end dives for grass? This behavior is not only disrespectful, it is dangerous. Chances are that starvation is not the issue here. Your horse has just not been trained to stay focused and listening to you while on the leadline. Luckily, this is an easy fix. Here are the steps.  Read now >


Safe Tying Practices

Things happen…… Unexpected stimulus, bee stings or other unforeseen incidents can happen while your horse is hitched up. Horses, being prey animals, are naturally claustrophobic. If they feel trapped while being threatened or scared, to the point of flight, they can seriously injure themselves or anyone nearby. Here is a few thoughts on how to help prevent this from happening at your facility. Read now >


Horse Handling Mindfully

Grooming is an important part of caring for horses and building our relationship with them. Along with enjoying each other’s company, grooming serves as a great opportunity to check out the overall health and condition of your horse. Here are some tips to help ensure that the grooming process is enjoyable and productive.  Read now >


Come on Down

Wouldn’t it be nice if every time you went to halter or bridle a horse it tipped its nose in and down so you could easily reach it? Teaching your therapy or lesson horse to do this is not difficult. Read now > 


The Right Horse for the Job

It can be difficult to determine how much weight a horse can comfortably carry. A big consideration is the rider’s physical ability. The feel of the weight the horse receives can differ greatly when you compare a rider with good balance and correct posture, who supports herself, with a rider who does not. A large, well balanced rider can be easier to carry than a smaller, ill-balanced rider. Read now >


The Unhappy Pony – Changing a therapy horse’s feelings about humans entering her stall

The problem: My therapy pony pins her ears, turns her backside to us and threatens to kick upon entering the stall. How can we change this unsafe behavior? Read now >


Need a Drink?

We know that horses always need unlimited access to clean, fresh water. On average, a horse will consume 12-20 gallons per day, depending on weather and workload. However, are we aware of their drinking habits? Read now >


Preserving the Mental and Emotional Health of your Equine Friend

Research has shown that the stress level of a therapy horse can exceed that of a performance horse or a race horse. One way to help a therapy horse deal with the stress of his occupation is to offer him a variety of interactions with people and riders. Read now >


Proper Girthing

As we all know, horses are incredibly sensitive creatures. Here a few ways to help keep them happy while being groomed, tacked up and ridden. Read now >


Retraining the Girthy or Cinchy Horse

You can retrain your horse to associate the grooming/tacking up process with something positive. There has to be something good in it for the horse in order for him to change his behavior. Read now >


Quiet Harmony

Read Heidi’s articles about applying the principles of Centered Riding and mindfulness to achieve harmony with your horse. Includes specific suggestions for quietly improving communication with your horse during everyday tasks such as walking on, backing up and turning.

Originally published in Perfect Horse magazine.

Read > Part 1  Part 2