Although I started my
life with horses with an orientation toward natural and eclectic horsemanship principles, when I first met Kathleen, I was thinking things like "it's so boring riding around an arena or a pasture"
and "all I want to do is mosey down a trail with my horse." Through purely positive conversation and demonstration, Kathleen has been able to open up my eye to the limitless things to do with a horse
even in a confined space and the depths of interaction to those which those things could take us.
Even though I
still mostly want to wander down trails with my horse, I have learned from Kathleen that it will be infinitely more satisfying to do that if the horse and I are both mentally and physically fit and
confident and are able to communicate with subtlety and grace. Kathleen has also shown me how to work towards achieving those conditions, without ever being didactic and without ever compromising on
the importance of the magical world of feel or the two-way conversation between me and my horse. The relationship I am building with my horse is one of the chief joys of my life, and Kathleen
Sullivan has had, and will continue to have, everything to do with that. Thanks, Kathleen!!
Kate Burke - Colorado
I had the pleasure of meeting Kathleen for the first time this past winter (Jan. 2007) when she traveled to Texas to conduct a series of clinics. I had heard that she was a talented natural horsemanship trainer. However, I am very skeptical of trainers who claim to be “natural,” so I first checked out her website. I found that she had a very impressive background having studied with several renowned natural horsemanship professionals whom I admire. My local natural horsemanship trainer that I have been working with for several years also recommended that I attend one of Kathleen’s clinics for a different perspective and we both ended up participating in a two day clinic. Kathleen introduced some new techniques for both ground work and riding. With practice, these new tools have really helped me improve my feel and timing. There were many good learning breakthroughs for me in the clinic but in addition, the clinic also revealed a lot about Kathleen’s training philosophy. I was very pleased to know that she is committed to the truest form of natural horsemanship and this was reflected in her ability to read the horses we were working with and in her teaching style. I look forward to attending future clinics taught by Kathleen to accelerate my skills on my journey through the fascinating field of natural horsemanship.
I met Kathleen after
a year in a well know horsemanship program.
The way she
approached the horse-human relationship was such a breath of fresh air for me and my horse. We needed to start thinking about expecting more from each other and Kathleen helped us move in that
direction. Our improvements in riding and groundwork have been drastic in a very short period of time! I've now ridden in two of Kathleen's clinics. I've been so impressed I decided to host some
of Kathleen's clinics this summer. She's got a lot to teach and I look forward to many more clinics and private lessons with her."
Jones - Colorado
Hello Kathleen, I appreciate your follow up on Chelsea and her trailer loading. That trailer loading issue has completely disappeared as far as a problem, proving you most certainly gave me the key to solving MY problem. I had apparently begun treating Chelsea differently after putting her dam down, likely because I forgot to get on with the business of living. Chels had no problem taking advantage of my guilt over her dam. Anyway, you knew none of the underlying issue yet you knew something needed fixed. Thank you for fixing my confidence. I took my boss & her gelding to Sand Canyon last week and her horse wouldn't load first in the trailer, to come home. So I got Chelsea and asked her to load first while the gelding watched... it was pretty. Real pretty. The gelding then walked in too, no big deal. I am grateful I had the your clinic in April. Thanks again for your excellent help.
Debbie Michael - Colorado
In the seven years I've been working with Kathleen Sullivan, the progress I've made with my very challenging and defensive, Arab mare has been incredible. I had the kind of horse who wouldn’t (or couldn't) stand tied, couldn’t bear to have her feet picked, her nose touched, let alone petted, and spooked at just about everything on the trail. Those problems are no more. Not only is Kathleen a professional in every sense of the word, she has the unique ability to make learning fun, and taking on challenges a whole lot less scary. My relationship with my mare is developing into one beyond what I ever could've have hoped for - one of mutual trust, two way communication, and more fun than fear. Our trail rides are now more joy than caution, and I NEVER have a problem catching her in her 2-1/2 acre pasture...she's waiting for me at the gate from the time I arrive, and trots to me willingly, eager to spend time with me. I recommend Kathleen highly.
Patricia Conoway - New Mexico
I was raised on a Quarter horse breeding ranch, and have a good working knowledge of raising and training horses, so I thought I was a little beyond riding in Kathleen’s clinic. However, as a favor to my girlfriend, who is new to riding I agreed to ride with her. I was amazed at not only what I learned from Kathleen’s clinic, but also how easy she made thing for the students. Kathleen took the time to break things down so that a novice rider like my girl friend as well as an experienced rider can understand, and execute. We both learned a great deal, and had a lot of fun along the way. We are planning to host a Kathleen Sullivan clinic at our family ranch this year.
Hi Kathleen, Even though I was not able to watch your performance on Saturday at Wrenwood Farms, many others did and loved you! I've heard nothing but good things about you and your horse/friend! It was nice to meet you, thank you for being part of our day, and good luck in the future!
Mary Ann Smiley- Dir. of Special Projects, Comunity School of Naples, Florida
My kids are horse crazy, and are presently in the 4-H program in our community, so when they saw a flyer advertising a Kathleen Sullivan Horsemanship clinic coming to a facility near us, I called and signed them both up. They both rode in the clinic, and I watched from the fence. All three of us learned so much, and now my kids are true Kathleen Sullivan fans. They continue to practice the things they learned from Kathleen, and at a recent 4-H meeting I could hear them bragging to the other kids about their experience. Thank you again Kathleen.
Kathleen: I just want to thank you for the great clinic this weekend. You are a great instructor - explaining the how and the why – demonstrating when necessary - giving us time to practice - laughing with us as we stumble along the journey - not criticizing - always encouraging. Thank you for a very worthwhile experience. I have upped my goals and my motivation - and will work to achieve them. Your help was great! Thanks again!
I am a new horse owner, and have very little experience with horses. I wanted to make sure that I got a good start with my new friend, so I attended a horsemanship clinic conducted by Kathleen Sullivan. I learned things that I had no idea about, and am confident that I made the right choice in Kathleen. She took the mystery out of the things that I had been unsure about. Kathleen also gave me the one on one time that I had hoped for, and during the clinic there was absolutely no intimidation. Both my horse and I were relaxed, and in a comfortable learning mode.
I have been involved with horses for my entire life (we won't go into how long that has been:-). I started out with the magnificent American Saddlebred, but eventually my husband and I got interested in raising and racing the wonderful Arabian breed (successfully, I might add). I have always been interested in furthering my knowledge, skill, and communication with all breeds of horses. With that in mind, I recently had the opportunity to participate in a Clinic in Brooksville, Florida and then 3 weeks later I participated in an Advanced Clinic in Morriston, Florida. Kathleen Sullivan taught both clinics. Both of these clinics were OUTSTANDING. The level of knowledge and understanding that she has is truly wonderful. Made so by the fact that she is able to actually teach and pass on her skills to all levels of horsemen and horsewomen. This is no easy task, yet she was able to take a group of relatively unskilled horse people and give them the knowledge and confidence to continue on with their search for the ideal relationship with their companion horses. Kathleen has the ability to fully explain, and demonstrate the principals of Natural Horsemanship. This ability along with the patience to let the participants find the answers without belittling anyone or making anyone feel foolish when mistakes are made is quite remarkable. She steps in when it is needed and backs off when it is needed. Giving everyone the encouragement that is needed. Does so with compassion and a sense of humor. The horsemanship skill she possesses is very impressive and obvious. This is the first clinic that I have attended that we have actually gone through numerous groundwork exercises and had them all explained in detail giving purpose to the principals of natural horsemanship. I have previously attended and participated in clinics held by much older and “more experienced” instructors and not learned nearly as much as I did from Kathleen. Kathleen Sullivan is outstanding. It is my prediction that she will go far and will attain whatever goals she has set for herself. I look forward to having Kathleen come back to the Florida area and continue with her clinics.
Kathleen, Thank you so much for the clinic and for your instruction. I HAVE MY HORSE BACK!!! He is doing really, really well. Can't wait to go to the next level. I started my new horse on the groundwork yesterday. She did very good and caught on fast. She is not sure about that flag yet. Not scared - just watchful. We will get better. Thanks for your dedication and knowledge.
Audrey Nichols and Texas (no longer going to auction)-Texas
My husband an I were unable to participate in the clinic that Kathleen put on in our town, so I called to see if it would be possible for her to give us a private lesson at the conclusion of the clinic before she left town. She agreed, and we ended up taking a horse that we had been having some troubles with. After the session we put this horse through some of the exercises that Kathleen had us working on, and the change was unbelievable. Our horse was willing to do things that had previously been out of the question. The problem turned out to be us rather than the horse, so I must say thank you to Kathleen for showing us the things to help our horse understand what we were asking. After this experience I assure you we won‚t miss the next clinic.
I just wanted to say thank you for all that you taught me. I wanted to say more before I left but found myself a little too emotional about leaving so this is easier. I admire your dedication and sacrifice to your teaching for which the rest of us benefit. You are an inspiration, so thank you. It was a pleasure and an honor meeting you.
Wendy Gutman and Brandy-Florida
Hi Kathleen, I just wanted to say thank you for a great job of teaching the clinic I attended last weekend. Judy and I really got a lot out of it. The next morning, she went to the barn, got Teddy out, and started working on groundwork! This was a HUGE step, since before the clinic, she was really too timid to put a halter on him and get him out of his stall all by herself!!! Sooo- congratulate yourself on a job well done! She gained A LOT of confidence! Thanks again for everything.
I recently bought a horse that is big and beautiful, but had obviously been mishandled, and missed several training steps along the way. After several attempts to calm what appeared to be fear in this horse, I called a friend of mine for advice. She told me about Kathleen Sullivan, and all that she had accomplished in one of Kathleen‚s clinics. I took her advice and signed up to participate in a Kathleen Sullivan horsemanship clinic. The results were incredible. My horse settled into a soft willing flow that I am so happy with. I have recommended Kathleen‚s clinics to several of my friends, and am looking forward to riding with her again in the near future.
Kathleen, I just want to express my gratitude for the wonderful clinic you put on at our farm in January. You are very professional and excel at relating your knowledge to others. I am very proud to say I hosted one of your clinics and would not hesitate to host another in the future. Everyone who came left very satisfied. I personally learned quite a bit. I am excited to be able to ride my Arabian with just the halter and lead - bareback too - down to the pasture for his turnout! I was trying to convey to you before you left (but couldn't find the words) that I learned a lot about the way your intentions are conveyed to your horse. I saw with one of the horses there, that he actually hadn't figured out for himself when his owner was being "friendly" or "asking with intention". I have one such horse and now have a direction to go with him to help him to overcome his fear of humans. Again, thanks a million for coming to Spring Lake Stables.
Wendy O'Brien-Grande- Florida
Recently I had the opportunity to attend one of Kathleen's clinics. I was so impressed by what I saw that I called many of my friends upon returning home that evening. She has taken what she has learned from her teachers, her own experiences and obsevations of horses and rolled it into a unique and highly effective teaching style. She was able to either explain and/or demonstrate all the concepts in a way that was clearly helpful to the clinic participants. What was especially neat to me was watching her handle the horses on the ground. Kathleen has developed her feel to an extremely high level. It was a true pleasure to see .
Lynn St. Peter - Colorado