April is available for the following clinics/seminars/workshops
April is a CHA Level 3 Instructor: English – Flat/Jumper and Level 3 Western – Flat
Marketing/Advertising/Social Media Application – Seminars, Workshops: When she’s not teaching Horsemanship clinics, April travels for workshops and seminars on marketing for the Horse Industry. Most of the seminars are private and custom built for the client. Contact April at: aprilreeves17 @ gmail.com OR 403 224 3893
April has owned countless horses throughout her lifetime…
…competing in various disciplines and breed categories. She trained and showed for many clients in Arabian, Quarter Horse, Open and Hunter/Jumper divisions. She is a Clinician, Instructor, and has taken many young and Senior riders through the show circuits. Her style of teaching is unlike any other Clinician. You will learn techniques and tips only top professionals know, and she breaks down difficult exercises into simple, clear steps anyone can grasp. April doesn’t just teach you how to ride – she teaches you how to train your horse!
2013 Horsemanship/Riding Clinics and Information
You can achieve the results you want with your horse:
- Natural Soft Headset
- From Hard Mouth To Soft Brain
- Learn Foundation Training Methods and colt starting techniques
- Suppling and Bending exercises for all horses
- Teach Your Horse Rhythm and Cadence easily – even speedy horses!
- Using Groundwork to Gain Control in the Saddle
- How To Integrate Natural Horsemanship & Energy Techniques into the English Disciplines – Hunter, Jumper and Dressage
- Turning Problems Into Solutions – When ‘bad’ horses turn ‘good’
- Beginner Horsemen and Riders introductory exercises
- Discipline Specific and Breed Specific Instruction
- Equitation for English and Western disciplines and Saddle Seat
- Hunter and Jumper Group Clinics and Individual Instruction
- I Just Want To Ride For Fun! Make Trail Riding safe and happy and help me with confidence!
- Groundwork – for Manners, Obedience, Control and Safety
- Energy Work – What energy is, how it affects the horse, and how you can use energy to your advantage in training. These classes are full days, and include individual work with the human first, then on to groundwork with your horse, and finally under-saddle work. One of BC’s finest Equine Energy & Body workers, Guliz Unlu also travels and works with April in this clinic.
- Equine Agility Horsemanship – learn how to get your horse’s mind and body fit for the saddle work ahead. Teach him how to use his feet, his brain, and how to think problems through without getting emotional. These skills learned on the ground will transfer to saddle. Agility is also just plain fun, and another way to enjoy your horse, bond, and help him become healthier.
- In-Hand: foundation to finish. How to set up your horse to become a better ride.
All individual lessons are discussed with the student before the clinic. April ensures that every participant receives the instruction they need to get the results they want!
Want to know about a clinic in your area first?
Sign up ahead of time and you will be notified first! Leave us your name and contact information at: aprilreeves17 @ gmail.com, and we’ll call you first if a clinic comes to your area (your information is kept under strict privacy regulations).
Host a Clinic With April Reeves
HOST A PRIVATE CLINIC – Earn Additional Income and learn for free!
Host a clinic at your facility, and you can attend at no charge! Plus you get to keep all your audit fees! Hosts may use or sell their clinic space.
Host a Community Clinic – Add Funds To Your Club!
When you host a clinic at your club grounds your club receives all the audit fees! Most clubs charge $20/day per person or $30 for the weekend. If you only have 20 audits, your Club receives $600!
Types Of Riding Clinics
1, 2 or more days, 8 hour days, individual instruction.
You may book one hour privates, half hour privates, 1 1/2 or 2 hour groups.
Groups and Specific Learning – If you have a group who needs to solve the same problems and learn the same work, you can book entire days, half days or hourly splits. This is particularly helpful for jumping lessons, recreation riders and those riders who have problem horses (no stop and go buttons).
After quietly searching for a new instructor I found April. Having 3-4 friends highly recommend her I decided to try a lesson with her. That was one of the best decisions I have made! Not only does April explain things well she is positive & enthusiastic which really rubs off on her students. My stallion is learning at an incredible rate & even in such a short time I can see & feel the improvements with both of us. I have been recommending her to all my friends & so far everyone has nothing but great things to say. After every lesson I have with April I can’t wait to schedule the next one.
Kara Lingam & Regalo, Andalusian Stallion
What Does April Teach?
English: the disciplines of dressage, hunter/jumper, flat, preparing for shows, breed divisions, equitation.
Western: reining, flat, show (breeds), trail, equitation.
In-Hand: how to set your horse up for better balance and manners on the ground. Great for new starts.
Ground Work: round pen exercises, breaking, problem horses, trailer loading, ground driving.
Energy Work: What energy is, how it affects the horse, and how you can use energy to your advantage in training.
General Care Issues: feeding, nutrition, care, grooming, braiding, handling foals.
I help people reach where they want to go with their horses. I teach people how to train, not just ride. I don’t keep the ‘secrets’ to myself: I reveal everything I know, and love to see my students excel, take on new challenges, train horses and sell them for higher prices, and beat me in the show ring.
My goodness, fantastic info. Thank you again, Barbara
Solve those problems!
Quit fighting with your horse. Learn to work quietly and softly, getting results you never knew you could accomplish.
What and How I Teach – The ‘Common Thread’ of Riding
I work on both horse AND rider. I think the rider has been left out of the equation lately, and my forte is not just equitation but teaching riders how to sit, balance and feel what’s happening around them. Horses can only perform well when the rider rides well.
I see many people struggling to achieve a particular step in their training and coming up against barriers. In most cases, by working on the rider’s position and mindset, you can break through those barriers for faster results. Over time, we as riders pick up habits that sneak up on us quietly, and many simply have not been shown basic elements to position and technique.
“Thank you SO much for your help! I noticed a difference in my horse’s behavior the first day that I trotted him in circles. I was so amazed! He’s been doing awesome.” Christine
An integrated riding system that gives the rider all the tools to perform the task
When instructing, I look at the whole package, as riding technique, mindset and attitude, and horse’s talent and performance go hand in hand. It is all connected, and you cannot change one without affecting the other.
Having a multiple discipline background (hunter, jumper, dressage, reining, cutting, driving, breed specialties, show ring) allows me to use the best or appropriate method for the individual rider and horse.
About the Rider
I believe that riders should not be taught just to ride, but to have a full comprehension of what goes on underneath them and within the horse’s mind. I set my students up to learn beyond mechanics, and to grasp a deeper understanding of skills and knowledge that lives intuitively within. They learn how to train their horse.
The Important Steps
It is important to fully understand and accept the level of training your horse is at, and take your training one step at a time. It is important to understand how to move through each level and why. And it is important to do it all with consistency. I see too many people jumping from kindergarten to grade 6 in one day, and not having important foundations first. I show people how to build that foundation and keep it.
On another note, regarding levels, while there are sequential steps to obtaining specific movements or maneuvers, there is no set pattern that applies to all horses. Each horse has abilities and challenges that ask the rider to be creative and spontaneous when training. To be rigid and conforming to ‘the book’ in training (and teaching), you run the risk of failing. I have found this to be a frequent cause of where horse and rider get ‘stuck’. I work at obtaining foundations that are solid, and stay flexible to the horse and rider’s abilities and skills. For instance, one rider may have a young, brilliant, calm, straight horse that is capable of advanced movements, while another rider’s horse with more years of training on it, may be capable of very little and have to go back to calm, supple and straight first.
I also teach riders how to quietly refine a horse and their aids for better results. Put all the right “buttons” in place – keep the horse soft and supple.
Knowing where you are in your training, and doing it one step at a time with consistency is the key to all training. Yet knowing where your training is at, is the least understood. Like my good friend Jay O’Jay says, “We train our horses in the future, when we should be riding in the here and now.”
“I am so glad you took over – now you see my frustration all along. Thank you so much for all your help!! You are awesome” … Jo Salley
The Disciplines and Levels I Work With
I work with both English and Western disciplines, for pleasure riding or show and competition.
Although I have ‘polished’ many show horses and riders, I love to work with beginners and recreational riders who just want to enjoy their horses more. The art of trail riding and pleasure is often where the majority of problems reside, and the place where riders just want to be able to enjoy their horses. By learning basic techniques and methods on the ground and riding, and refining the aids and their application, many of the ‘trail bugs’ can be worked through.
I have always taken my show string out on the trails. It improves their minds and mine! Less barn injuries result from happy horses.
I believe in respecting all breeds and disciplines. Although many of them teach and use methods that may not be of use to you, they still are part of the big wide horse world, and becoming a ‘horseman’ is about knowing or respecting what and how other breeds and disciplines do things.
What I do not believe in, is the abuse many of the breeds are now suffering in order to win. At what level does it cease to matter anymore? If we, as horsemen, continue to add training methods to ‘get that one step ahead of the competition’, then it’s only a matter of time when everyone does it anyway, and the entire group is right back to square one: finding another ‘trick’ to gain the edge while our horses pay the price. We have lost the real point of competition: what happens when you take the raw material and refine it without gimmicks.
I believe the horse’s welfare should not suffer for our egos. In each of my clinics I ask the students to leave their egos (plus spurs, crops, hard bits) at the gate and enter clear and willing. When the horse begins to feel constant and continual pain, physically and emotionally, and when longevity no longer matters over the dollar, we have diminished our industry to a place I am no longer willing to participate in.
What winning really boils down to is hard work. You get out of it, what you put into it. If THAT criteria was the only difference between a first and second ribbon, that would level the playing field for all riders and trainers. THAT would truly be the art of competition. It was like that in the 60’s and 70’s when I showed heavily.
Going back there would open up the chances for those who are not willing to use some of the techniques it takes to win. It would also open up the opportunities for groups and associations to gain more members and growth.
“Thank you so much for your answer! I will check out the material you recommended and I will try your exercises with Spike! I can tell from your answer that you are VERY experienced with horses. I’ll follow up and tell you how it’s working. And oh my gosh! Your website is so cool! I’m definitely bookmarking it.” Mattie
“Are you a Natural Horseman?”
I do not consider myself a typical “natural horseman” as many of the others are. I use Natural Horsemanship in groundwork and many of my foundation training in both English and Western. I work quietly and treat horses with great respect, but I also train for the show ring and work with students to take their horses to the next level, whether that’s a safer trail horse or a softer show partner. There are many great ‘Natural Horseman’ clinicians and teachers such as Adiva Murphy, Jay O’Jay and Jonathan Field who do brilliant work.
I do believe however, that all riding must blend in the principles of Natural Horsemanship, in the sense that we need to understand how horses evolved and developed, and how they think, act and relate to humans. This is important in ANY discipline. I have always taught this ‘common thread’ in all riding and horsemanship.
I integrate groundwork techniques when it’s appropriate to advance saddle work and when it’s important to have a safe horse on the ground. I train horses to fit the riders that own them, not for me. In my world, safety comes first, and groundwork techniques fill that void.
A great deal of my methodology involves the use of energy work, both on the ground and under saddle. I feel it’s important for riders and handlers to fully understand what energy is, how it affects the horse, and how you can use energy to your advantage in training.
Horses are creatures with great spirit, each with their own energetic patterns. We often do not give them enough credit for their sensitivity and ability to adapt and change for us. By understanding this and learning how to read energetic pathways, you can tap into a whole new world of closeness and bonding with your large friend you never thought possible.
I also work closely with one of the best Energy Workers in the business, Guiliz Unlu, a certified Energy and Bowen worker in BC Canada. If you live in the lower mainland of Vancouver BC, Guiliz can be reached at: fourhoofsgrounded at gmail dot com. Guiliz (pronounced Goo-leez) works all over the Vancouver area and the BC interior/Okanagan.
Can you teach show techniques?
Yes and no. Although I have competed in most disciplines, there have been changes in how horses have been ‘worked’ and ‘manipulated’ to win classes over the last 20 years, and I have ‘bowed out’ from teaching some of those methods. I strongly believe that the pressure to win has moved ahead of the horse’s priority and welfare.
Can you show us how to use certain equipment?
Yes, and that is one area I am willing to show people. I think it is important that riders understand what equipment is used for and how to USE IT PROPERLY (and sparingly). I especially love to show people how to get the same results without specialty equipment.
I have taken many students with ‘hard-mouth’ horses and within a single lesson found softness. Hard mouths is more of a ‘conditioned response’ horses get from pain avoidance, and you don’t need a martingale to further force a horse into submission.
I have video on Youtube (German martingale) but I also state that it is used sparingly. It is not for daily use.
April produced and hosted HorseTales TV for 6 season. The show ran monthly on Delta Cable, and educated all levels of riders on how to improve every aspect of horse ownership and riding. She is now working on a new series of Equine television.
The Business Side of April Reeves
Since 1975, April has owned and operated 7 Advertising and Graphic Design Agencies across Western Canada. She has been in TV and radio production, Corporate Communications, Event Planning, Media Buying, PR, Industrial & Graphic Design. Her walls are adorned in American Design Awards, and she won ‘Project of the Year‘ for her efforts in ‘The Essor Project‘
April has renovated homes and farms since 1978. She created ‘Horseman’s Park Alberta Ltd.‘, a bare land strata Equestrian Development outside of Calgary Alberta in 1979, years before such developments became common.
April is a publisher, writer and expert author for online and print, and co-owned Trading Trends Magazine in Calgary, Alberta. She volunteered as PR and Advertising Director for Babe Ruth World Series and BC Games, and taught daytime and evening courses at Selkirk College. She currently writes for Equine Wellness magazine.