Monday, March 23, 2009

Review of book "Win Your Horse's Heart"

I have read your whole book! I have sat here in my chair with my blanket over me, only interrupted by the occasional break. This book brought me to tears and then to joy. I have dog tagged the pages that I will reread. I loved the stories about Sunshine, Cisco, Dolly, and Slick.

You have written this book well and my congratulations to you for doing such a good job. I’m kinda glad I was sick as it would’ve been VERY difficult to put this one down! I look forward to learning more from you at the clinic in June and many other sessions after that.

Thanks Sherry for being a stabilizing force for me and my wacky thoughts regarding horsemanship. You really get it and it is very apparent-I look forward to the mentor/mentee relationship we can build.

Ok, just read “Trail of Inspiration for the Journey” and I am in tears. I feel like you wrote this for me. My first real trail ride as Cunningham Lake with Michelle was beautiful and without fault. It was magical. Your poem is that day for me.

I have the last 15 pages to go before finishing your book, but I already know that it's one of the most important ones I've read. AND I'VE READ 'EM ALL!!!!!

I wanted to congratulate you on your enormous, significant contribution to the wealth of equine training/behavioral literature out there. My own personal opinion is that the reason there "needs" to be so many different "how-to" books on empathetic horsemanship is that the most critical first phase to those books is either always missing, or certainly nowhere nearly as well written and cogently presented as you have done in your new book. That missing element is the entire change in THINKING and BEING that is absolutely necessary before all the very best intentioned techniques can have any hope of effectiveness, let alone success.

I'm about to order 10 more copies as (necessary) gifts. I thank and applaud you again,

Your book arrived on Mar. 11th and I have read it from cover to cover. Also, I have highlighted and underlined throughout its entirety. It brought back a flood of memories for me and I did cry where it really touched me. Presently, I am reading from the beginning again and find it difficult to put down.

I just finished your book and I loved it!!!!!!!!! I am going to start reading it AGAIN!!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

The Key is Balance!

Sherry helping Carol with her mustang Rizo.

After going to the NE Horse Expo in March it occurred to me once again that the key to good horsemanship or learning anything new is balance. I don’t mean the kind of balance where one stays upright without falling down, rather I refer to a mental and emotional steadiness which brings harmony.

A horseman who stays balanced has a stability produced by equality between two sides. When we learn not to lean too far to either side of the road and go at a reasonable speed we will have fewer crashes along the way. An aesthetically pleasing integration of common sense elements will keep you traveling in an upward spiral of success. When a balanced approach is taken your journey will be safer and you’ll have a lot more fun.

Whenever many horse people gather together you will find a variety of different experiences, perspectives, styles, techniques, and purposes being professed and applied. Even though we may all be involved in the same endeavor (HORSEMANSHIP) diversity does abound. But if one looks close enough you can find some common threads of similarity underneath the differences. It takes a discerning eye to recognize both the differences and at the same time the similarities. If you can learn to do this you will be able to stay balanced and your horse will thank you for it.

Part of the balance needed to succeed with horses is having a means of judging and deciding what is right for you and your horse. Every horseman will at some time have to cope with several often conflicting ideas, factors, or situations at the same time. To horse owners this can often be confusing and frustrating. Thus to learn what it takes to become really good with horses and develop a system that works for you and your horse it requires a balance of openness, skepticism and common sense!

Everyone of us hopes to find that holy grail of horse training which will solve every problem we have with our horses. We hope to find a perfect working system which fits every horse and every owner. The problem with every system is horses are masters at pointing out the weakness in any system. So it takes a balanced person who is able to work within a system yet think outside the box in order to resolve our weaknesses and allow the system to accomplish our intention.

I believe that if you are with horses it is because consciously or not, you desire to be challenged and to learn. However you will never learn anything new or gain deeper understanding if you go in with the attitude that a certain “way or training system” is wrong or not for you. I used to compete in rodeos and my beginnings with horses could be considered pointing in an opposite direction from where I am now. I have lived and breathed on opposite sides of two very different systems, but for me they were both pointing at the same thing… the horse! As I reflect on the people, horse and systems which have influenced my brand or style of horsemanship I see they share similarities as well as differences. I choose to focus on the common threads between those two systems which I have experienced, as the truth usually lies somewhere in the middle.

The horse doesn’t care what we call ourselves….natural, dressage, barrel racer, roper, cutter, trail rider, competitor, western, english, professional or amateur, the horse just wants us to understand him mentally, emotionally and physically. I believe I now have a better understanding of people and horses because of my diverse experiences and willingness to live somewhere in balance between openness, skepticism and common sense. Plus I have put myself under a proven training system and at the same time I allow myself to think outside the box when needed. I have also given myself permission to experiment and learn from my mistakes.

We can all learn and benefit from each other because at least in the basic form any performance or discipline you choose does not need to be different from “natural horsemanship”. No matter what activity you do with a horse a solid foundation is needed where you can carry freestyle riding into the finesse it takes to compete at higher levels. We will all be better off, especially the horse, if we begin to focus on the commonalities between our systems and celebrate our strengths rather than our weaknesses.

Happy Trails,

Sherry Jarvis


A balanced horseman has the ability to stay poised no matter what situation is thrown at him.

Friday, March 6, 2009

New Happenings at Heart in Your Hand Horsemanship

Sherry's book "Win Your Horse's Heart"(And Become a Better Horseman)

Free to Heart in Your Hand Horsemanship Clients

Save up to $200 on a camp and 15% on a clinic.
Deadline for taking advantage of the savings is March 15, 2009.
So register at the Expo and SAVE! Put the money towards fuel to travel.

March 13-15, Lancaster Event Center, Lincoln, NE

“WIN YOUR HORSE’S HEART” (And Be a Better Horseman)
Buy your personal signed copy at the Expo: Only $19.99 (tax included)
Also available on-line at or Barnes and Noble
They are only $15.95 on-line but will not be signed plus,
I have to pay about $3.00 shipping to get the books to me,
when it is delivered personally I have to charge sales tax, thus the $19.99 price.

At NE Horse Expo, Friday March 13th at 5:00 in round pen.
Handouts will be provided. Learn how to relax your horse while building the relationship
and releasing sore tense muscles. Based on Masterson Method.

at Sherry’s Booth at the Expo

Kent Feed and Heart in Your Hand Horsemanship Caps

50 lb Bag of Kent Dynasty Pro Horse Feed

3 Hour Private Lesson with 2 Hour Trail Ride with Sherry
(Only at Sherry’s place near Burwell, you call to set date, non-transferrable)

50% off Women’s Confident Leadership Camp
(Only At Calamus Outfitters May 15-18, non-transferrable)

The drawings for the caps will be during the Question and Answer Sessions and at her demo on Fri. at 5:00.
(Must be present to win)
The drawings for all the other items will be at 3:00 on Sun.
(You do not have to be present to win!)

Come ask Sherry a burning question and fill out a survey to help her better serve your needs.
Fri. 3:00 & 7:00
Sat. 11:00; 3:00 & 7:00
Sun. 11:00 & 1:00

Only a few sizes left from 2008 inventory.

RIDE FOR FREE by Hosing a 2-day Clinic
Hosts a 2-day clinic and positively gets 7 other people signed up with deposits and ride for free.
You will also be required to make arena arrangements, plus a few other duties. For more info go to our hostess page.


Young Horse Handling Class: April 1-5 and 24-27
Bring your horse on April first and participate in his natural beginning. Leave him for the rest of the month for Sherry and Erica her intern to work with them. Then come back at the end of the month to pick them up and play with them again under Sherry’s instruction.
Call 308-346-5663 for details.

Authentic Leadership

The buzz word about dealing with horses these days seems to be leadership. But what is authentic leadership? I will start with what authentic leadership is NOT!

I am learning that authentic leadership with either horses or humans is NOT as much about communication as we may think. It is NOT about taking personality or horsenality assessments. Authentic leadership is NOT about focusing on what you think someone else needs. Or giving them what you think they need.

We often think leadership is all about management and control. But that is NOT true authentic leadership either. A heavy focus on management and control is about being the boss. Leadership is NOT about telling others what to do and controlling the outcomes.

The real key in leading others is to understand the difference between managing and controlling versus leadership and leading with people or horses. Authentic leadership is about finding what is important to others, what they need and creating environments where they can reach their own potential. Authentic Leadership starts with being able to lead yourself first! You cannot lead anyone until you can first lead yourself!

You cannot lead yourself until you are really committed to the truth. The truth about yourself and the fundamental core values you have will affect how you lead anyone be it horse or human. You must know what your core values are and be able to define them before you can become an effective leader. You must have a clear idea about who you are what you want to become, and where you want to go before you can lead. Otherwise it is the blind leading the blind.

You cannot lead others until you are willing and able to truly listen to them. Listening to those you are leading is a top priority for an authentic leader. I mean really listening by focusing on every word that comes out of their mouth. Also by watching every move or expression of the horse because that is how he is communicating to you. Everything one does or says means something to them even if it isn’t clear to you. When you really learn to listen you won’t have to tell people or horses what to do or what they need. You will ask them what they need and what you can do to help them?

An authentic leader takes a position of service, rather than what can I do to get the ones I’m am leading to do what I want. Authentic leaders have an attitude that helping others be able to lead themselves is of upmost importance. Then when those you are leading can lead themselves they in return become of service to you.

In order to do this you choose to understand what truly motivates the people or horse you are working with to try harder. You choose to commit more to what is important to them than what is important to you. You choose to create things that they never believed possible to become reality.

Choosing to truly listen and understand those you are leading while serving them will create authentic leadership. When one leads with authentic leadership the product is more authentic leaders not a bunch of blind robots who follow without question, or worse yet a forced performance which causes stress and tension.

You can be what ever you choose to be. This is self-leadership. Believing you can create who you are going to be tomorrow is the first step on Self-Leadership. If you want to be an authentic leader for your horse or anyone else you must master Self-Leadership first.

We have created an on-line survey to ask you what you need so we can help you with it. Please Click Here to fill out our survey. It will help us serve you better so thank you ahead of time for participating.

Happy Trails,
Sherry Jarvis

"Horsemen share knowledge. Showmen hide it in a corner and go home." -- AQHA Judge Dale Livingston