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Practical Apprenticeship

I believe modern day horse owners have needs and expectations which are different than what "traditional" apprenticeship programs are offering. I believe you want to learn how to develop a relationship with your horse based on trust, communication and mutual respect. I believe you will not tolerate what you view as harsh or abusive horse training techniques. I believe you want the horse's point of view integrated into your training programs. I believe you want to learn how to develop a partnership with your horse that will last a lifetime. I believe many of you want to learn how to train your horse yourselves and/or learn how to keep your trained horse responsive to you. 

About Sending Your Horse to a Trainer
Many horse owners send their horse to a horse trainer hoping their expectations will be met. Most trainers offer the horse's owner lessons on how to ride and handle their horse. Although this is a good way to quickly accomplish specific training goals, it is the trainer who establishes the partnership and relationship with the owner's horse while the horse is in training. The horse owner learns the mechanics of riding the horse in the way the trainer has taught the horse, but, after the training is complete and the owner brings the horse home, the owner is left to try and figure out how to develop that long term partnership they desire. 

About Clinics
Horse and rider clinics are an excellent way to be introduced to a particular clinician's training methods and techniques. They are usually reasonably priced ($250 - $500 range). They are fun and an excellent way to learn from both the clinicians and other riders attending. However, the information presented is limited because clinics are usually only 2 or 3 days long. For those of you who have a desire to learn how to develop a long-term partnership with your horse, a clinic will only whet your appetite.

About Present Day Apprenticeships, Horsemanship Schools, and other Educational Programs
Some apprenticeships, horsemanship schools and other educational programs are excellent and provide lots of information. However, they are essentially a cram course that attempts to take the you and your horse from kindergarten through college in just a few short weeks. They often do not allow enough time for the student and their horse to digest, learn and apply the information presented. They do not have the benefit of teaching the information in bite sized pieces and do not provide the opportunity to practice at home between lessons. Those programs also usually require the horse owner to spend from one to four weeks at the instructors facility. They are usually priced in the $5,000 - $10,000 range. Travel expenses are often significant. Also, many horse owners  find it difficult to take a significant block of time away from home, family and work.

About Heart Centered Academy’s Study Courses

There are 3 programs available.

1. Bridging the Gap: This program is offered to anyone who is interested in taking their horsemanship to a new level. It is an in-depth study course offering horse training techniques as well as mental performance skills for everyday riding.

2. The Elite Program: This program is offered to students who wish to continue their education with their equine partners and have successfully completed the Bridging the Gap Course.

3. Trainers Certification: Trainer's Certification Program is now approved for GI BillŪ Benefits. This program will take a minimum of 2 years to complete. This is an extensive course teaching upcoming trainers about professional horse training, professional coaching, and how to run a successful Equine Business.

  • These programs are designed to work for novice riders, intermediate riders and advanced riders. In other words, the curriculum is flexible enough to be custom designed to fit your level of experience.
  • You will be given many opportunities to test your new skills both in and out of the arena. From hauling to different arenas( indoor and outdoor) in the local area, to trail rides in the beautiful Bitterroot Mountains you will enjoy a wonderful feeling of satisfaction when you see the difference in your confidence once you have mastered these new skills and get to apply them in real life situations.
  • The program is broken down into small pieces so that you have both the time and the ability to take it all in. Students are encouraged to go at their own individual pace throughout the program.
  • The program is unique; in it is both affordable and does not require you to take a significant block of time from work or family.
  • When you have completed the program you will have a new found confidence and knowledge to be able to continue on with your horse in whatever direction you choose. Your horses training will have excelled in ways you had only dreamed of and he will be ready to ride in the show ring, on the trail, or to perform a dressage test.
  • GI BillŪ is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs (VA). More information about education benefit offered by VA is available at the official U.S. government website at https://www.benefits.va.gov/gibill

You may use a horse that hasn't been started under saddle, a green horse or a "trained" horse. I do insist you use the same horse throughout the entire program.

By the end of this practical apprenticeship program, you will have the knowledge and confidence to do the following:

  • Use a round pen safely

  • Use the 20 steps of round pen reasoning to start a horse

  • Safely and confidently "sack out" and saddle a horse in preparation for it's first ride

Additionally, you will know how to teach a horse to: 

  • Have an excellent set of ground manners

  • Perform advanced leading maneuvers

  • Become soft and supple by giving to the bit  and understanding "Communication through the Reins"

  • Disengage the hips in response to a single rein

  • Move its shoulders both with and away from a single rein

  • Sidepass fluidly and willingly

  • Neck rein

  • Perform collected  stops

  • Back-up with collection

  • Control its speed

  • Move its hips in response to a single rein

  • Have a relaxed movement over trail obstacles

  • Make smooth transitions

  • Have excellent canter/lope departures

  • Perform flying lead changes

  • Do spins

  • Do sliding stops

  • Respond to a calm down cue

  • Clip

  • Bathe

  • Trailer load quietly and safely

  • Stand tied

Additionally, I will also teach you about your own mental, emotional and physical self which will enable both you and your horse to achieve the highest possible level of performance. You will learn how to tap into your inner strength so that your mind, body and emotions become more flexible, responsive, resilient and strong. As with horse training, I will break this down into easy steps so that your physical, mental and emotional self become stronger and more confident than you have ever imagined.

Fall trail ride, Rachel and Tawny

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