PO Box 234
Danboro, PA 18916
|KENNY HARLOW CERTIFICATION |
I first saw a Kenny Harlow clinic in August 1997. I was amazed at the results he could get by using desensitization and conditioned response exercises. Everything he asked of the unbroke horse was calm and clear. He always gave the horse an option - a way out. The horse developed such trust that the first ride was quiet and relaxing.
Going home that day, I tried Kenny's techniques on several different horses with amazing results. The simple methods improved every horse, whether the problem had been softness, leading or discipline.
Wanting to learn more, I went to a Kenny Harlow three day conditioned response clinic. I learned "give to the bit," "change direction," "bend at the poll" and "give to pressure." I liked the results and started using his methods regularly in all of my lessons and training.
Kenny told me about his certification program and I decided to participate. Before the certification began in July 1998, I completed four of his riding clinics. Then at Kenny's farm in Virginia, my first two weeks of training started in the round pen and ended up in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains. I learned how to teach the horses to respond to subtle cues performing outside and inside turns and standing still facing me. Once the horses were responding consistently and standing quietly, I started the "sacking out" process.
As each horse was saddled and bridled, Kenny used his horse, Blue, to pony each one. For my first ride, Blue led me across the fields. Back in the round pen, I worked on "give to the bit" and "change directions." I spent the next week trail riding to get the horses accustomed to a rider.
My homework for the October session was to trail ride and do the riding exercises to get the horses soft and responsive. Since then, Kenny added exercises to teach the horses how to "step on the numbers of the clock." Using one rein, I can ask any foot to step in any direction.
The next assignment was to teach the horses to drive by getting them ground driving and dragging tires at home, so that by the time I got to Virginia in April, I could hook them up to the cart. I was able to hitch up one of my horses and drive her, but the other horses were not quiet enough for even the tires.
The last exercise was more advanced ground work, teaching them to stop and drift more smoothly. I have also been jumping small fences and working on dressage patterns. In the final training sesson in July, I worked on canter departs, side passes, and an obstacle course.
The certification program ended in July 1999 with a final exam. I spent two days starting a horse in the round pen and then two days riding in the mountains teaching the owner how to safely continue the horse's training.
I have been a professional dressage and jumping trainer for years and have now added a new dimension to my program. I use some of Kenny Harlow's methods with every horse I work, no matter what age or level. I immensely enjoyed Kenny's program and met some wonderful people.
Since working with Kenny Harlow, I have observed many other "Natural Horsemanship" type trainers. They all have similar components and seem to help many horses. I am currently working with Robin Millett of Durham Creek Farm to further my knowledge of Classical Dressage. I continue to find ways to blend my Natural Horsemanship training with other riding styles.
Please visit Kenny Harlow on the web.