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Proactive Trail Riding Clinic

Do you feel like your horse is unfocused or reactive on trail?

Do you feel like you have lack of control of your horse?

Do you feel anxiety about riding in new places or with new people?

Are you frustrated?

Do you fear getting hurt on your horse?

We can help!

Awareness as a rider

Proactive responses

to make a

Thinking Horse

Join Daniel and Sophia in a trail riding clinic designed to develop your AWARENESS as a rider and learn how to PROACTIVELY RESPOND to get your HORSE THINKING.

Learn how to become a better rider, have more fun with your horse, participate in more trail rides that are safer, and become a more confident horseman.




Sophia Harris teaching a clinic at Versatile Equine

Rider Awareness:
Knowing what's going on

knowledge and understanding that something is happening or exists

  • What is my horse thinking/feeling?

  • What am I thinking/feeling?

  • What's going on in my surroundings?

Proactive Response Goal:
To take a situation from dangerous to safe

Proactivity is a mindset that involves controlling a situation by making things happen, rather than waiting for them to happen and reacting to them.

Thinking Horse Goal:
Develop the horse's puzzle solving skills to become more confident and relaxed on trail

Clinic at Versatile Equine

You are out on a ride with a group of your friends and their horses.  Your friend's horse takes them through the oak brush.  The branches touch the sides of her horse.  Her horse decides that's very offensive and tries to buck her off.  Your horse, never one to be left out of a party, thinks this is a fabulous idea and tries to join in on the fun.  You test the strength of your bridle reins, making a mental note to double check the beneficiary of your life insurance.

Imagine this:

There are a couple of backpackers and their dogs coming down the trail toward you.  Maybe you noticed them, maybe you didn't.  But your horse sure did.  They feel like a statue underneath you for a moment, and then they shy to the side and whirl away from the backpackers.  Off you go, on a "joy" ride.  You finally get your horse stopped, but now there is no way to get them to turn around and go toward the backpackers.  The backpackers are clueless as they continue down the trail toward you.  Your horse runs sideways past them, with you yelling "whoa" and wondering why you spend so much money for this particular brand of enjoyment.  Your horse takes you to what they consider a safe distance away from the danger. 

Image by Christine Benton
Horse Racing

A few miles later, your group turns around and heads back to the trailer.  Your horse decides to start training again for the Kentucky Derby and hopes that you're clocking how quickly he can cover the distance back to the trailer.  You get there and notice that each time, the ride back to the trailer gets faster.  But that's typical, right?  Another "fun" ride in the books.

But what if it could look like this:

You are out on a ride with a group of your friends and their horses.  Your horse's friend tries to start a bucking party.  Your horse looks at them and thinks: "What's his problem?"  You soften your horse and give them a pat.


Later on, you see a couple of backpackers and their dogs coming down the trail toward you.  So did your horse.  But instead of freezing and then bolting away, your horse allows you to calmly guide them around the backpackers.  Both of you continue on your joy ride.  Calm, safe, and confident.


A few miles later, your group turns around and heads back to the trailer.  Your horse calmly walks back the whole way without wearing out your bridle reins.  Back at the trailer, you give your horse a well deserved pat and wonder how much more money you can spend this particular brand of enjoyment.  Another fun ride in the books.

Couple's Ride

Clinic Format

Friday: New Basics and New Rules

8 am - 12 pm: Ground Work

​12:30 pm - 2 pm: Lunch (provided) and Recap

2 pm - 5 or 6 pm: Riding, Body Control, Handling various situations

Saturday: Desert Riding

8 am - 9 am: Trailer Loading and Unloading Safely

10 am (at trail head): Parking lot etiquette

11 am - Whenever: Desert ride

Sunday: Mountain Ride

10 am (at trail head): Parking lot etiquette review

11 am - Whenever: Mountain ride

Friday 5pm

Sophia Harris of Versatile Equine

Clinic starts with Internal Horsemanship

Everything that you deal with in your life is a reflection of your thoughts and beliefs.  If there is something in your life that you would like to change (have more or less of), how can you do that if you aren't aware of the thoughts/beliefs that got you there in the first place?

That's why we start with the internal work: your breath, thoughts, feelings/emotions, and triggers.  You'll get exercises/tools that you can use on a regular basis and any time "stresses" pop up.

Saturday 9am

External Performance Begins

Now that you are a little "clearer" in your thinking, we can ride your horse and hear, maybe for the first time, what they are thinking and feeling.  They will have their own opinions, and the relationship between those opinions and your reaction to them will be addressed.

At the same time, you will be learning exercises to help your horse achieve self-balance.  

Sophia Harris of Versatile Equine
Sophia Harris of Versatile Equine

Saturday 2pm

Continue both internal work and
introducing new concepts for riding

Back to the drawing board for a bit of "self-clearing".

We'll discuss the Responsibilities of the Horse and of the Rider.  They are different.  Often times, we take over the horse's job, or ask them to take on some of our "stuff".  We'll get all that sorted out and gain clarity on our respective roles.

Sunday 9am

Build upon Saturday's work

Let's look at what these Responsibilities look like in action!  We'll touch on biomechanics and Expression.  More tools/exercises will be given to achieve more specific goals.

Sophia Harris of Versatile Equine
Sophia Harris of Versatile Equine

Sunday 1pm

Individual mini sessions and wrapping up on the weekend

Personalized sessions with Sophia to address your partnership's unique concerns.

Then we close up the weekend with one more session of internal work to send you home feeling empowered.




Clinics will be held at Versatile Equine facility

Price includes stabling for 1 horse

The clinics will be recorded and put into an online course format

All participants will have access to the online course for life (along with any future updates)

Space is limited to 10 participants.  Reserve your spot today!


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