Horseback Riding in Wyoming

Heidi Potter Centered Riding® / Natural Horsemanship Clinic

Overview

This clinic taught by Heidi Potter combines clear, gentle training techniques with Centered Riding® basics and philosophies for riders of all levels, from pleasure trail riders to accomplished competitors. Clinic mornings include ground exercises for the humans, followed by in-hand exercises with the horses. These sessions will focus on self-awareness, understanding body language (of human & horse) and the use of energy to communicate our desires. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday afternoons will be reserved for riding instruction under saddle. On Wednesday afternoon and all day Saturday guests will have a chance at practical application of the lessons learned as they enjoy scenic trail rides in the beautiful Wyoming countryside.

By the end of the week this well rounded Centered Riding® and natural horsemanship clinic will help participants improve their understanding of the horse, their confidence, their comfort, their communication skills and the overall relationship they share with their horse. We invite you to come to Wyoming and take part in an experience designed to give you the skills necessary to safely establish respect, confidence and trust with your equine partner.

Guests stay in comfortable log cabins on either side of the river which are situated for privacy and to afford magnificent views of the surrounding mountains.

Meals are taken in the main lodge and particular attention is paid to the cuisine and wines served.

  • Overview:
    There are over 120 riding horses on the ranch, consisting mainly of Arabians and Quarter Horse crosses (14-16hh). The Arabian horses are raised and trained exclusively for the use of the guests, who often like to visit the mares and foals. The ranch also has some excellent Welsh ponies for children. The horses are trained western and are used to being neck reined; they do not go on contact. All guests are asked to post the trot and to stay in two point or galloping position for the canters and when climbing hills. This is important to us as it keeps the horses from getting sore backs. Those who do not comfortably adapt to riding in this manner will be kept on slower rides.
  • Equipment Required:
    Helmets are required, there are some available to borrow.
  • Horse Breeds:
    Arabians, Quarter horses and draft crosses
  • Trip Pace:
    Slow to moderate, to suit riders
  • Tack:
    Western saddles with snaffle bits
  • Weight limit:
    The ranch has a limited number of horses for riders over 180 lbs.
  • Hours of Instruction:
    5 per day
  • Instruction and Training:
    This clinic combines unmounted exercises, groundwork, arena instruction and trail riding. Heidi Potter has been an avid rider and horseperson since her childhood, when at the age of 14 she saved up $350 to buy her first horse. This horse became one of her lesson horses, as Heidi became a Centered Riding instructor in 1998 and was teaching and training full time in Vermont. She is one of 16 Level III CR Instructor/Clinicians in the United States and was able to study with Centered Riding founder, Sally Swift, who resided nearby. At this time Heidi was also training in Natural Horsemanship, especially under Jon Ensign of Montana. This training focuses on understanding the individual horse and interacting with him in a way he can understand. Heidi specializes in using calmness, clarity and positive reinforcement to improve behaviors and relationships. In 2000 Heidi became a CHA (Certified Horsemanship Association) Certified Instructor and later earned both her Master Level certification and Clinic Instructor certification. In 2010 she was the recipient of the Clinic Instructor of the Year award presented to her at the CHA International Conference, in honor of her ability to conduct meaningful clinics and for positively influencing the careers of many instructors over the years. To insure a maximum learning opportunity, classes are limited. Topics covered include horse psychology, self-awareness, ground work methods, safe and effective horse handling techniques, and riding to release tensions, become more sensitive, and improve stability and balance.
  • Types of Instruction:
    Centered Riding Instruction, Clinics and Lessons, Horsemanship Skillbuilding

There are no separate activities planned for non-riders, who can take advantage of this unique location to fly fish, hike and visit with the ranch animals. With a rental car the town of Dubois is about 40 minutes away.

Hadley teaches four flowing yoga classes a week in the ranch’s yoga yurt, Monday and Wednesday afternoons, Friday mornings, and Saturday afternoons. The classes are designed to stretch the muscles that typically become sore during riding. They are friendly for people without much (or any!) yoga experience, but they also offer something to the more experienced yoga practitioner.

At the ranch. We can provide details for services for transportation from the Jackson Hole airport or the Riverton airport.

Trip Itinerary

Day 1

Sunday: Arrival at the ranch in the afternoon

Day 2

Monday, Tuesday & Thursday : Each day starts with a session designed to improve body and mind awareness from 9am-10:30am. This is the first step towards improved riding.

Exercises include:

-Breathing exercises to release tensions, increase strength, improve clarity and re-balance the mind & body.

-Learning skills that will lead to more quiet, clear communication on the ground and under saddle.

-Self Awareness Exercises to improve overall body language and awareness.

-Horse Psychology and how we affect our horses mental, physical and emotional state.

-Learning to blend energies to avoid resistance.

-Centering & Grounding exercises to access the strength from your center and improve stability in the saddle.

Then from 11am-12:30pm learn how to progress from halter work to liberty play by using clear, calm, consistent communication.

Participants will experiment guiding their horses through body language, breath, energy and the most subtle of cues. Lessons will include improving the timing of requests, understanding how and when to ask for more and knowing when to quit. The main goal is to maintain a calm and positive learning experience for the horse and the human, leading them to a more safe and enjoyable relationship.

After lunch there is afternoon arena riding instruction from 3:15pm-5pm.

Exercises to improve riding both in the ring and on trail:

-Transitions through use of breath, turning from your center, rising trot with ease, improving rhythm and freedom of movement.

-Exercises for releasing tensions, increasing comfort and improving communication.

-Grounding exercises to improve stability.

-Developing a more sensitive “feel” on the reins to improve softness and reduce resistance in the bridle.

-Exercises to improve overall balance of horse and rider.

Day 4

Wednesday: After a similar schedule in the morning, your afternoon riding will be spent on the trail. This will allow you to put into practice the new skills learned over the course of the week and will give you a chance to take in the magnificent wide open spaces that Wyoming has to offer.

Day 6

Friday: After instruction in the morning, after lunch the afternoon will be spent riding in a friendly team sorting competition.

Day 7

Saturday: Your final day of riding at the ranch will be spent on an all-day picnic ride into the National Forest. This is an appropriate way to say farewell to Wyoming and your week of riding here, and an opportunity to put in practice some of what you have learned.

Day 8

Sunday: Depart the ranch after breakfast.

Trip Map

Trip Dates & Pricing

Departure Dates

Trip Starts
Trip Ends
Jul 19, 2020
Jul 26, 2020

Pricing & Options

  • Base Price
  • $3,075
  • Pricing Variation
  • $2,950Sign up with a friend and each receive a discount of $125!
  • Single Supplement
  • $300

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Do you have questions about this ride itinerary? Do you want to make sure that this it is the right ride for you? Or are you ready to book? Please call or email our experienced and friendly ride consultants for more detailed information. With first-hand knowledge of the exciting tours we offer, the ride consultants at Equitours look forward to answering any questions you might have

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1.800.545.0019

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Contact Hadley Fox

Of all our ranch vacations, this one offered the most variety of terrains and rides. Every day a different surprise - Wind River and Absaroka ranges, Elk range, river canyons, volcanic ash hills, cattle driving, riding lessons, yoga, fly fishing, easy hikes to great scenery between rides, very well cared for horses, healthy but hearty meals with fresh veggies and wine, immaculate rustic cabins and excellent entertaining and knowledgeable hosts, the Fox family, attending to every detail. A total escape from the business stresses! This was the best ranch vacation we have had. So we're going back again this year!

Ferguson, 2019