Clinic Topics

Heidi Potter travels internationally teaching clinics in Centered Riding, Horse Speak®, Horse Agility, training with positive reinforcement.

She teaches 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.

For more details on hosting a clinic Click Here. Then contact Heidi to discuss creating and scheduling your event:  [email][/email]  or 802-380-3268

Centered Riding Open Clinics

Multi-Discipline Clinics

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 for Pleasure Trail Riders Clinic

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 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 where you will learn precise equine body language skills. 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” Introduction Clinic

Harmony Happens When Horses Feel Understood

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” which teaches precise equine body language skills 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 how to replicate their precise language system of gestures, postures, signals, and breath messages. Add in mindfulness and self-awareness of the human and you will find a depth of connection and understanding with every horse that will exceed anything you have done before.

As a Senior Horse Speak Instructor Heidi offers “First Conversations” Introduction Clinics, Horse Speak Practical Application Clinics (for those who are ready to dive deeper), and as a one-day “add-on” Clinic topic to your other clinics. Because it is truly the language of the horse you will experience Horse Speak in every topic Heidi teaches. These clinics include herd observation, interpretation and communication through theory, interactive exercises, hand-on exercises and awareness training to learn the ABC’s of equine language. This work benefits horse professionals, pleasure riders, competitors, trainers, instructors and simply anyone who owns, works with, or just loves horses. Facility horses are provided for most of these clinics as we like to learn from horses who are at zero and living in harmony with their herds at their established farms.

Horse Agility Clinic

Obstacle Play & Connection Training on the Ground

Horse Agility play improves your horsemanship skills, confidence, connection, communication, and the overall relationship you share with your equine friend. Heidi’s holistic approach to this stress-free obstacle play combined with the use of Horse Speak® methods create a platform for learning how to move together safely, quietly and in harmony with one another on the ground. Agility helps create the necessary obedience skills needed to navigate some of life’s obstacles while keeping horses in a “curious” state.

One main goal of Agility is to communicate using body language, intention and energy, versus pressure on the lead line or halter. This type of practice paves the way to playing together at liberty, and that is an exciting goal! This in-hand practice also helps to deepen understanding, improve rapport and develop mutual trust in the saddle. Calm, clear leadership offers boundless opportunities for safer, more enjoyable relationships between horses and their humans.

This clinic includes information on the sport of Horse Agility based on the International Horse Agility Club of England. The final day rounds out with a fun, judged competition to put your new skills to the test. Everyone is a winner!

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. Horses of all ages and levels are invited as long as they can be safely handled in a group setting. Facility horses are often available to lease for these clinics. 

Western Dressage Clinic

Fun, Fitness & Obedience Training – No Experience Needed

Experience how the fun sport of Western Dressage can improve the overall fitness, soundness and obedience of all horses, from your pleasure trail horse to your competition partner. The commitment to developing the horse slowly and correctly is evident in the rule book produced by the WDAA (Western Dressage Association of America). This clinic supports classical dressage progression beginning with rhythm and relaxation. Better balance, improved suppleness and clear communication all lead to longer, healthier riding futures. Through application of the Centered Riding Basics (Soft Eyes, Centering, Breathing & Balance) riders will improve comfort, confidence and clarity. Each day begins with interactive exercises that provide riders a chance to learn and experience the CR basics off the horse, for it all starts there. This clinic has something for every horse and the rider. All levels and breeds of horses, including Gaited breeds, and all levels and disciplines of riders are welcome.

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.  2018 Mane Stream Interview Questions for Jen Trumble

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. Heidi’s 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, versus a reaction.

Positive Reinforcement Training helps 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 both horse and human staying in a positive and engaging frame of mind. Simple put…….it’s fun! Each day consists of a morning workshop followed by individual problem-solving sessions.

Positive Reinforcement / Clicker Training Workshops

Clicker Training for horses is a valuable tool that helps promote understanding, desire, and confidence in your horses. These workshops are designed to introduce the philosophies of this positive reinforcement style of training and the necessary steps to get you started. Treats handed out without intent and mindfulness can create issues, sometimes serious and dangerous ones. Learn the “Don’t mug me.” Lesson and how to use different values of treats to keep things interesting and fun, without getting the horse over stimulated. This method of training is proven to be especially helpful in problem areas such as bathing, fly spraying, clipping, trailer loading, standing quiet for mounting, etc. To add in some all important “FUN” we also can use it to teach horses tricks like smiling, picking up a cone, playing fetch, lifting their legs, 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.

Volunteer/Staff Training for Therapeutic, Rescue, Training, Boarding & Instructional Facilities

Horses thrive when they are provided with an environment that best supports their mental, emotional and physical needs. In addition to the facility, when horses are being handled by many different people it can create stress for the horse. Heidi offers educational workshops and clinics for volunteers and staff with the goal of deepening understanding of what each horse needs and offering them the most consistency possible. This helps to create calmer, safer, more enjoyable environments for both horses and humans. Request an evaluation of the facility and their practices to help ensure that your place is the best it can be. These workshops and clinics include theory, interactive exercises, demos and horse handling practice. Add this training onto any other clinic, choosing the 2-hour, 1/2 day or full day session that best supports your needs. Happy Horses=a Happy Barn & Happy People

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 Horse Speak Phase Clinics and the CHA Instructor Clinic For more information about any of these clinics call 802-380-3268, or email Heidi at [email][/email].