Heart in Your Hand Horsemanship LLC
with Sherry Jarvis
Way more than riding lessons. Become a better horseman.
Serving Horse Lovers Since 2003 

 Sherry on Sorry a foggy morning ride at home. Photo taken by Jane Perez
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Uncover the Joys of Horsemanship
by Turning to Our Expert Instructor Sherry Jarvis

Young Horse Handling and Development

Every Spring and Fall in Burwell, NE 
Come for a 3 day Young Horse Handling Class and then you can leave your horse
for 30 days or take him home and finish him yourself after the class.
CLICK HERE to Register or Email Sherry 
CLICK HERE for Information Packet   CLICK HERE for Class Handbook
 "You can't control a young horse unless you control yourself." Lincoln Steffens, 1866-1936

Enjoying a quiet moment with Ace
Presenting a natural beginning for your young horse. Your horse will learn to trust and respect people and go home with good ground manners. 
Helping Dusty relax
and be confident.
We will teach both the horse and human to be in a relaxed learning frame of mind so that communication improves resulting in a confident horse.  
Teaching Ace how to think and place his feet. 
We will help your horse develop qualities of calmness, willingness, attentiveness and adaptability both on the ground and while riding.
Sandman learning to move in good circles.
We will help your horse develop movement which has energy, balance, relaxation, rhythm, flexibility, straightness, mobility, collectibility, and overall freedom. 
We will do both arena and trail riding on your horse. They will be exposed to lots of situations like cattle, wild life, water crossings etc.  
Milo standing on the pedestal gracefully. 
We will help your young horse find his balance while carrying a rider, and move gracefully with better posture for stronger carrying power. We will give them experience with lots of different obstacles and give them opportunities to solve problems. 
Sandman and Erica making a connection.
We aspire to develop a mental, emotional, and physical connection with your horse through join up exercises and help him learn to accept and receive proper handling. We will not force or intimidate your horse into performance.

"Unjustified punishment leads to a lack of understanding, in the case of any living creature, not just the horse. As a person, you should always have your negative emotions under control when around your horse. Self-control is a prerequisite for being able to think clearly. Horses have a fine sense for a person's mood." From "Schooling Exercise In-Hand"by Oliver Hilberger

What will your YOUNG HORSE KNOW AND DO after time with us?
Testimony: Young Horse Training:

Erica and I started Jessica’s Morgan Mare Babe this past Sept.
These are pictures of Jessica with Babe after we had her for 30 days.
Report by Jessica: Breath…. Relax….
Wednesday with a nice easy hop into the trailer we headed out for Sherry's. She unloaded with the best attitude I could have hoped for. Julie Williams was there talking to Sherry and since she is a morgan lover she was able to look over Babe as well. She liked her and thought she had a very pretty head and neck. We all chatted while I saddled Babe and went over and we started our lessons.

They started with some work on me first. I was wishy washy on my cues with my body. I had a huge BFO with the help of Sherry and Julie. I always thought I was using my core but I was really using only my shoulders and doing nothing with my abdomen and pelvis like I should be. They helped me to use my core better and Babe instantly picked up on the difference and it was much easier to communicate with her. We worked through several more exercises and I found a huge hole in my friendly game. Babe could stand still and I could desensitize but I couldn't do anything in motion without her squirting out on me. So we worked on that until she was calm and relaxed. We went in and had a great supper then came back out to do some round penning. I don't have one so we were able to play at liberty and start asking for more of a canter. After that we unsaddled and desensitized for a while. I was able to start laying all over Babe and was even able to sit on her for a while bareback. It was a ton of fun and she was calm and quiet, soft and accepted me on her.

When we were at Sherry's in the spring and they were doing the colt starting all of the horses had this calm, quiet trusting look in there eye, it was almost beyond words. I've never seen it before quite like that in young horses or even very often in horses that are being ridden consistenly. It's the look you see when a horse and rider have a deep partnership. It's when people take notice of a special bond and comment "They are a great match". That's what I saw in those colts. The trust in their eyes showed through and that really stuck with me... I wanted that for Babe and I but up to this point I had only seen glimpses. It struck me right before we went in for the night that Babe was finally wearing that look. It warms me to see that expression in her eyes and it's taken lots of time, sacrifice and the help of a great teacher to get us to the beginning of that relationship.
Whhhhhooooo…. Lick and chew….

Thursday morning we got up and played again. Taking advantage of the round pen we worked on the canter again and then played a little join up. We did some more desensitizing and worked on being soft instead of being reactive. There were a few things we were doing but just going through the motions so we cleaned those up and got them soft.

Then we played with the long lines a little and introduced her to those. This was helping with straightness on a circle, transitions and it was her first exposure to pressure on the snaffle bit. Sherry started her out for me but then I had to take over. Long lining was a little challenging for me as it's only the second time I've done it but we were getting better. I was able to get walk/trot/stop and back on both sides. We played some friendly on the fence with the saddle and I was able to get on her, sit and get off with her quietly standing. Whoo HOO!!!

I still stand in amazement at what we actually accomplished yesterday. I can hardly express the emotion as it's still spinning around in my head. All I can really tell you is I've had this big stupid grin on my face all day! The reason is, with Sherry's guidance, I was able to RIDE Babe yesterday.

Okay ~ Don't send out the parades ~ as it was more of a pony ride because Sherry was directing and I was just a sitting up there but this was a huge accomplishment for us. Babe was the most relaxed and accepting I've ever seen her. She gave us huge licks and chews and she was so soft and calm you can hardly imagine. I feel so blessed that I was able to do this with her and Babe's first exposure to being ridden was such a wonderful comfortable experience for her. It was only up there maybe 5 minutes but it felt like 4 days.

I truly had my doubts if we (I) would ever be able to get her riding. Sherry didn't have any doubts but I sure did. We've got even more work ahead of us now but it's been proven to me and Babe that will the right prep work and time we will be riding confidently some day and that day isn't an infinite amount of "some day's", it's the near future.

Sherry and I talked about pivotal moments in a horse's life with humans and how those times can happen as chance or you can create them. We created a huge wonderful one for her at that moment. Babe's expression, acceptance and willingness in that last half hour of play proved to me without a doubt that with consistent handling and good horsemanship that it will be a one of those moments in her life. I hope that it will always stand out as a before and after point. Do I think that everything will be easier now or that nothing bad will ever happen because she was calm/willing and accepting at that moment… of course not but what a great way to start her saddle horse career.
This is what Jessica said when she came to ride her horse after we had Babe for three weeks.

What a day!! What a ride!! Sherry said I was going to be blown away and that was an understatement. This is what I wrote to her about the ride: I just can't get over how good that was. I am so excited about it all. You were so right when you said it was so easy it was almost a let down. There was no let down about it but I think I got myself so wound up about it and all that was really required was just to ride my horse and trust her. It was so good, she feels so soft and solid. I felt our relationship was still quite solid despite not seeing her for a few weeks.

I was a little wound up because of the unknown when we started but she felt so good and solid under me that once I stopped thinking about it and just rode her like a broke horse all of the tension melted away.

We did a few minutes of ground work and I mounted up. She stood stock still, flexed very soft to both sides and then off we went. In the pen we did some walking, changing directions, and backing. She tucks her nose so sweetly and backs so softly it's fantastic. Then it was time to do some trotting. After I got over my butterflies we started moving together nice and she has this lovely springy little trot. Then it was time to canter... gulp! The first time wasn't so pretty because I had a hard time letting go of my tension to relax enough for her. The second time was a little better. Sherry assured me it would improve when we got on the trail.

And we were off... out into the wild blue. Babe walked out great, relaxed and really enjoyed herself out on the trail. She seems to really excel out in the open. Any amount of tension she was holding was all blown out and we had a GREAT trail ride. We did lots of walking, trotting, transitions, turns around trees, up and down blow-outs (burms), squeeze in between cedar trees, crossed water!! It was very eventful. We did a few canter transitions and they were much better out on the trail. I was able to relax and encourage her and she never got worried she just held a canter as long (a few strides to several) as she could then slipped quietly back into a trot. I didn't ever have to completely one-rein stop her. We did circle into the down transition but it was all very soft and controlled.

We rode about 2 1/2 hours and she felt so solid the whole time. She has nice impulsion but it’s pretty balanced in her downward transitions also. She doesn't really have any "drunkeness" to her any more. I was very happy with her straightness. OH... and her HQ disengagement is wonderful. Sherry is going to start working more on FQ, sidepass and etc. next week.

I am thrilled with the progress and basically she was ready to go home. They have already far exceeded my goals for her training time. I will ride her next Saturday at camp and then she'll come home with me. I can't wait!!

Report for Banita's Owner after going home. 
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I took her outside today and I have to tell you what a wonderful job you have done with her.  There were power tools going off outside of the arena, people walking around and a newspaper blew off the burn pile and came right at her.  She did not flinch at all, no Arab moments.  In fact, she was better outside today than in the arena yesterday.  Thank you for the great work with her! 

I have a 9 year old mustang who was green broke several years ago and then I did nothing with him. After watching Sherry work horses and reading her book I knew she was who I wanted and trusted to retrain my horse and to help me build my confidence. Xen, my horse, was a real hand full at times and with the skills Sherry and Erica have they were able to work through all of his issues. Sherry is a great teacher and knew after a few minutes of watching me  what it took to train me also. I now have a horse who is safe to ride and I have learned skills to keep it that way. Thank you Sherry and Erica this has been even better than I knew it would be, you are the greatest. Beverly      Xen says thank you also. 

Ann's  testimony during the Young Horse Handling  Clinic with Sherry and Erica April 1-4, 2010:

Let me first think of some words that might describe my experience with Sherry during this clinic;










I found myself looking within right from the beginning of the clinic; in fact I started doing that prior to getting to Sherry's because I had reviewed some things she had written and one was to prepare not only physically, but mentally.  I was mentally prepared to step back, slow down and take those very small steps to get the big result.  What I mean is, I was able to fully concentrate on what Sherry was trying to teach us.  I wasn't the fastest person working with my horse in the manuevors and steps to accomplish an end result, but by concentrating and knowing that it was ok by everyone and mostly the horse that taking the small steps and taking the time to get it right was ok.  In fact, my horse could see that I was trying and wanted to communicate well with him.  So forgiving they are.  That was much of the insight for me; looking within and then for Sherry to tell us that us that our horse was a mirror of ourselves, and that REALLY hit home for me!  By looking at what my horse was doing, then looking back at myself and realizing that my horse was mirroring my moves, that was a HUGE learning curve.  That is how so precise and aware our horses are of each little minute movement we do.  That is where a lot of self-evaluating came in place, because I couldn't help but self-evaluate myself, as my horse was evaluating every move and request I made!  I also came to find that I needed to believe in myself in order to earn the trust and confidence from my horse.  Why in heck would a horse or even human being trust or confide in an insecure person who doesn't believe in themselves or what they are doing??  And the last word; 'patience'....that of which my horse has always shown looking back, but I also found that I need to be patient with myself and realize that I can't know it all, all at once, nor will I ever know enough!  The horse will always know more and is always showing me what I need to realize is the wrong or right thing to ask....they never lie, and are always teaching us with the reflection of ourselves in the mirror.  What a journey, and I am so looking forward to continue that journey with Sherry in my learning in embracing my partnership with my horse.  As I've mentioned previously, I thank God that he has set me on the path in Sherry's direction to help me on my journey to build a solid partnership with my horses.

Ann Sampson

I have had Sherry train two of my horses and I am ready, at the end of this month, to pick up my 3 year old.  I decided to have Sherry train my horses because I have taken several clinics and lessons with her.  I knew she would give 200% to the training of my horse, because that's what she's given of herself in the clinics and lessons I've taken with her.  I have one horse, a 6 year old who I had trained for 90 days with a different trainer.  The two I had trained with Sherry are far and above where the 6 year old is.  I feel the two geldings have had more training in 30 days and are more broke and confident than the one I had trained in 90 days with the other trainer.  I just recently rode my 3 year old mid month of his training.  He had about 7 rides on him by the middle of the month.  He was calm and confident- I actually could not believe I was riding him and he was doing so well.  I was so pleased.  I can't wait to pick him up at the end of this month to see how much more he has learned.  I only wish my 6 year old could have had this good of a foundation put on her when she was trained.  The "proof is in the pudding" as they say and my two geldings are proof of Sherry and Erica's finesse in training young horses.  If only every horse could be given this start. Sharon


4-Day Young Horse Handling Clinic Report: Yesterday was stellar despite gale force winds. At least it is not raining and snowing like last year. It's warm enough to be comfortable. Every session there's huge improvement on stick and lead/lunge handling abilities. Postures and body language improved dramatically yesterday compared to the 1st day. The students keep remarking about their realization and practice of the whole concept of their own body positioning and placement. Horses that were very distracted or non-responsive at the beginning are becoming soft and fluid to their owners in all movements now. It's fun to see how excited the students are. I'm having a great time. It's fun to get to know new women and their horses. Sherry is such a superior teacher. Students are making BIG improvements in their skills.

Oh, I almost forgot----Sherry's new panel stalls are really nice. 12x12 too. Julie W.

Reports of Mid-way through month lessons: This is where the owners come for a lesson with their horse half way through the month we have to develop them. We feel it is so important to train the people with the horses to ensure their continued success at home.

Awesome - today was awesome!! I got to ride my soon to be 3 year old at Sherry's today.  He's had 7 rides on him so far and he was just so awesome!!!!!  Erica and Sherry have really done the most wonderful job with all the horses.  Sharon

Lots of remarkable improvement today! It was great to see all that Sherry and Erica accomplished since the horses arrived April 1st. Stories of challenges and accomplishments reinforced the lessons Sherry tries to instill in each of us. We're seeing how the pieces connect now; understanding more about how the smallest things can make a big difference---and how we miss allot of them. Sherry also reinforced the point that the moment the horse sees you at the barn/pasture, the training session begins. Everything that happens between us and our horse during gate opening, petting, feeding, grooming---at sets a tone for unity and fluidity or chaos and pushiness. Everyone rode their horses. I had fun capturing the moments thru the cameras lens! Julie

All I can say is WOW!  I absolutely cannot believe in just some short few days what a difference has come to PJ!!  HE STANDS STILL!!!  HE WALKS NICE AND RELAXED!!  Yes!  He does get to thinking from his right brain in between but Sherry enforced the one-rein, bringing him to relax again and slow down, figure eights, etc.  I haven't EVER seen him stand still!!  I've never seen him EVER stand still after mounting!!  PLUS!!!! His EARS can be touched without any flinching on his part!!!  UNBELIEVEABLE!!


As I've said before, thank God for Sherry, and add to that, Eric as well!!  What fantastic horsewomen!! I love you Sherry and Erica, and thanks so much!  I have to say I had tears well in my eyes a couple times today just becuz I thought I would never ever see this much relaxation and confidence in PJ, or coming back to me!!  



This video is Milo (3 years old) and Erica (apprentice trainer) after we had him for just 30 days of training. Even though he only has 20 rides on him in this video he is turning into a nice little riding horse. We have had him on lots of trails and he handles himself well. We think he has a good mind and will make a great horse for his owners son.
Young Horse DEPOSITS
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What will your YOUNG HORSE KNOW AND DO after time with us?
Many years ago Robert Fulghum wrote a book entitled, “All I Really Need To Know I Learned In Kindergarten”. His theory was that the early education of a child is really the foundation of life skills that everything else is built upon. Regardless of your equine discipline, the foundation your colt receives will determine how well they perform, once in advanced training.
Get Sherry's Book:
"Win Your Horse's Heart"
(Be a Better Horsemans)
Photo by Holly Phillipps

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Also header photo by Julie Williams 
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Muscatine, IA 52761

Heart in Your Hand Horsemanship LLC
with Sherry Jarvis
308-730-2150 cell  
82507 465th Ave. Burwell, NE