Heidi travels internationally teaching the clinics below along with “custom made” events. She welcomes all levels and disciplines of riders, and all breeds of horses, including Gaited breeds.
The ideal number of participants needed to host a clinic ranges from 8-16, depending on the clinic. Some exceptions may be considered.
These clinics are all taught as two or three day events with an option of adding a teaching day (after most clinics) for individual or semi-private sessions. Many of these clinics can be condensed to a one-day intro workshop to be offered as a mid-week event or an “add-on” to a 2 or 3 day clinic.
Centered Riding Clinics – 2 or 3 day events
Centered Riding Multi-Discipline Open Clinic
Walk/trot riders to seasoned competitors will benefit from learning the Centered Riding basics of Soft Eyes, Breathing, Centering and Balance. The ideal horse for a Centered Riding clinic ranges from an older, walk/trot horse to a more energetic, athletic horse. These clinics focus on helping riders of all disciplines become more comfortable, confident, effective and better balanced in the saddle. The days begin with fun, educational workshops allowing for experimentation of the Centered Riding Basics. Afternoons are spent with participants riding in small groups learning to apply their new skills.
Centered Riding Specialty Clinics – Choose your topic
Centered Riding for the Western Dressage Rider
Fun, Fitness & Obedience Training – No Experience Needed
Experience how the fun sport of Western Dressage can improve the overall fitness, soundness and obedience of your pleasure or show horse. Correctly developing the horse for Western Dressage begins with rhythm and relaxation. Teaching your horse how to become better balanced and more supple will help to improve his overall fitness, leading him to a longer riding career. Through application of the Centered Riding basics riders will improve their riding and overall communication skills. This clinic has something for the horse and the rider, including learning about the sport of Western Dressage. All levels and breeds of horses, along with riders of all levels and disciplines are welcome, including Gaited Horses & English riders.
In this interview with Jennifer Carcaci-Trumble, published in the Mane Stream, August 2018, Heidi talks about the sport of Western Dressage and how it can benefit your horse and your horsemanship. Read the article here
Centered Riding for Pleasure Trail Riders Clinic – Creating Harmony on the Trail
Pleasure trail riders of all levels and breeds of horses will love this clinic! The goal of this clinic is to explore how the basics of Centered Riding help to develop a more safe, secure, balanced and comfortable seat. Participants will gain a deeper understanding of how best to support their horses, improve confidence and deepen trust with Heidi’s stress-free approach to obstacles. This clinic includes workshops, in-hand practice and mounted sessions, both in and out of the arena, for those who are ready. Participating horses must have some trail experience, be controllable under saddle and able to work safely in a group situation. Discover what is needed to create calmer, more enjoyable trail experiences for both you and your horse.
Centered Riding for Gaited Horse Riders
Learn the basics of Centered Riding and how they apply to Gaited Horses. Although gaited breeds are welcomed in all of my clinics, this one is designed exclusively for them. Participants will discover how they can ride more securely and comfortably while supporting the natural movement of these special horses. This clinic will help clarify some of the myths in regards to training and riding the gaited horse.
Connection Clinic –Mind, Body & Spirit Training
Improve Comfort, Confidence, Communication & Understanding
This unique 3-day clinic is designed for riders of all levels and disciplines who are looking to bring enrichment to everything they do with horses. Heidi will share philosophies derived from her Traditional Eastern Martial Arts training, Sally Swift’s Centered Riding techniques and Sharon Wilsie’s Horse Speak methods. Participants will find improved awareness, calmness and understanding, leading them to a deeper, more connected, harmonious relationship with their horses.
Each clinic day begins with interactive workshops designed to deepen participants’ understanding of horses, their behavior, how we affect them and how we can improve overall communication.
This clinic includes observation, interactions at liberty, in-hand practice and mounted sessions.
The mounted sessions are designed to improve comfort, communication, confidence and balance through use of the Centered Riding Basics. Saddle fit assessment along with the pros and cons of various bits and bit-less options are also included in most clinics.
The goal of this popular clinic is to create safer, more enjoyable, trusting partnerships between horses and their humans.
Horse Speak® “First Conversations” Clinic
Horse Speak is a practical system for “listening” and “talking” to horses in their language. Founder Sharon Wilsie has developed this systematic approach to “Equus” and it is based on what is truly natural in the herd. Sharon has succeeded in translating horse language and putting it into a learnable, teachable, recognizable format. Students of Horse Speak learn to understand how horses communicate with each other and then begin to replicate the kinetic language via gestures, movements, postures, breaths and intensity levels. From there at things are possible!
The First Conversation Clinics can be taught as a one-day “add-on” workshop or a 1, 2 or 3 day clinic. They provide an introduction to Horse Speak and include herd observation, hand-on workshops, awareness training and learning the ABC’s of equine language. This work benefits horse professionals, pleasure riders, competitors, trainers, instructors and simply anyone who owns or works with horses.
Horse Speak™- Phase I, II & III Clinics
Co-Taught by Sharon Wilsie & Heidi Potter
Sharon Wilsie and Heidi Potter have partnered to offer these three phases of Horse Speak clinics. Combined they bring over 80 years of horse experience, a passion for teaching, a sense of humor and a commitment to helping horses and their humans. Using principals derived from their training in traditional martial arts, Heidi and Sharon will set students on a journey of deeper understanding about themselves, their horses, and what is needed to create more safe, calm, trusting, enjoyable relationships.
These 2 ½ day clinics are about approaching horsemanship from a patient, compassionate, mindful, self-aware place. Through interactive exercises, herd observation and hands-on application, participants will learn the fundamentals of Horse Speak. Understanding horses’ incredibly subtle communication system and how to offer a meaningful and appropriate response will bring your horsemanship skills to a new level. The lessons learned will set you on a pathway of understanding and give you the tools needed to help support horses, emotionally, mentally and physically.
If you are in search of a true form of Holistic Horsemanship then this clinic is for you. Join Sharon and Heidi, and experience what it is like to learn, laugh and love your way into your horse’s heart.
Horse Agility Clinic
Fun, Confidence & Obedience Training on the Ground
Horse Agility is a fun way to improve your horsemanship skills, confidence and the overall relationship you share with your equine friend. This clinic is popular for Therapeutic Riding Programs, owners of Miniature Horses, Aged and/or Non-Riding Horses and humans who want to enjoy horses from the ground only. It is also perfect for horses being started or restarted. Each day begins with learning theory followed by skills training in hand. One goal is to improve communication skills through awareness of body language versus halter pressure. The obstacle work builds confidence and provides an opportunity to learn more about your horse and how to best support him.
Horse Agility training will also improve your overall performance under saddle regardless of discipline. These clinics include information on the sport of Horse Agility, handling skills training, Agility Starter Level Course practice and end with a fun, judged Agility competition. Horses of all ages and levels are invited as long as they can be safely handled in a group setting.
Rediscovering Your Horse
Changing Undesirable Behaviors
Having to muscle a horse into submission is not always safe, can be physically difficult and often causes distress in both of you. My positive reinforcement approach to working with a horse requires no muscle. Its goal is to establish a connection with the horse based on understanding and trust. This systematic, reward-based training does not scare the horse or send him into flight mode. It causes him to slow down, relax, think and try, creating an action, not a reaction.
Positive Reinforcement Training will help establish a communication system between you and your horse. This system is based on knowledge, patience and empathy. Clicker Training (no clicker needed or used) is a component of this this style of training. It is proven to help solve fear issues and retrain undesirable behaviors quickly and more safely than many traditional methods. It can assist you in breaking through the barriers that prevent you and your horse from finding success in all that you do. This approach to horsemanship makes sense to the horse, creating a tremendous amount of “try” and results in everyone being happy.
Positive Reinforcement / Clicker Training Workshops
Clicker Training for horses is a valuable tool that helps promote understanding, desire and confidence in your horse. These workshops are designed to introduce the philosophies of this positive reinforcement style of training and the necessary steps to get you started. Clicker training is especially helpful in problem areas such as bathing, fly spraying, clipping, trailer loading, standing quiet for mounting, etc.
Gaining Confidence and Building Trust Clinic
Training for Both You & Your Horse
This clinic is focused on the horse-human relationship and is designed to help participants improve confidence, communication, and control. Learn how to improve both you and your horse’s mental, physical and emotional state. Each day the learning begins in the classroom, proceeds to groundwork with the horse and finishes with exercises under saddle. This progressive format helps riders and horses work in a safe, calm, clear and practical manner. Participation in this clinic will help ensure that your future horse experiences will be more safe and enjoyable. This clinic is complimented by the blending of Centered Riding principals, Holistic Horsemanship techniques and Sharon Wilsie’s Horse Speak™ methods.
Stress-Free Obstacle Clinic
Improve Confidence and Trust with Obstacle Play
This clinic is ideal for all riders and all horses, regardless of discipline or riding goals. Improving communication, building trust and gaining confidence will always help create a safer, more enjoyable partnership, whether you are off to a show or headed out for a pleasure ride. Each day begins with discussion, theory and interactive exercises designed to deepen your understanding of horses, their behaviors and how you affect them. Following that session participants will proceed to in-hand relationship training, skill building and obstacle introduction. The afternoon mounted sessions are divided into groups based on confidence, skill and experience level of the horse/rider team. Learn how to succeed with obstacles through calmness, clarity, understanding, patience and praise.
CHA (Certified Horsemanship Association) Standard Instructors Clinic
These 5-day clinics are hosted by CHA accredited host site facilities and are designed for instructors who want to become CHA Certified. Click here to learn more about CHA. For more information on hosting or attending a clinic please visit the CHA website.
Most of Heidi’s clinics can be offered as a one-day workshop added onto an existing 2-3 day clinic or held during the week as a stand-alone event. Workshops allow hosts to mix and match topics for diversity. (Exceptions are the Pleasure Trail Riders Clinic and the CHA Instructor Clinic For more information about any of these clinics call 802-380-3268, or email Heidi at firstname.lastname@example.org.