With clinic season just around the corner, I’ve been getting a lot of inquiries from people wanting to know what my clinics are like, what levels of riders can benefit from them, what kinds of things we cover, and so on. Instead of me trying to answer those questions, I thought I would post this letter I recently received from someone who attended one of my home clinics a couple of years ago. Here are her impressions:
I just wanted to write and tell you how much I am looking forward to attending a clinic again this coming summer at Eagle’s Wing Ranch. When I came up there from Nevada a couple of years ago, I really had little idea of what I was going to see. Sure, I was familiar with your early work from many years ago, when I attended several of your clinics in BC, and I had found your way of working with horses truly life-changing even then. But, I could never have imagined how far your whole Relational Horsemanship approach has progressed, and how profoundly you are now able to help every horse and rider team, no matter what their discipline, what is going on with them or what their level is. I watched you work with everyone from a professional trainer who came (all the way from Sweden!) to refine her already considerable abilities, to a woman who was having trouble just handling her horses while walking on a lead. I was riveted watching you teach both of them, as I was with every student and horse there. From Dressage riders to Western riders, untouched horses to those with a lot of training, you took every one of them to a much better place than where they started. It was both inspiring and amazing.
As for me, I gained an entirely new level of understanding of the mind-body connection in the horse, of how all the pieces unlock other pieces and allow the horse to use its body correctly while remaining calm and focused in its mind. You also gave me much more clarity on the difference between lightness and softness, and why it is so important to focus on softness first. While I didn’t have my own horse there, the lessons I took home were invaluable in helping me achieve a much deeper connection and more balanced movement when working with my very sensitive, easily worried mustang. I have also been able to apply the lessons I learned from you to other horses, and have been “spreading the word” to my friends. Even just learning about the differences between Mind, Space, and Pressure horses and how we can best approach those differences has been hugely beneficial to the people I have explained that to!
While I am super excited to increase my comprehension this time around, I am also just looking forward to being at Eagle’s Wing Ranch again. Both the people and the environment were so welcoming and warm, it somehow felt like coming home, even though I had never been there before. I would honestly attend any clinic of yours that I could manage to get to, but seeing you in your own space, with your family around you and your own horses right there, was really something special — best “learning vacation” ever! Thanks for putting up with me and all my questions — I know I’ll have lots more this summer!
Susan K, Reno NV