When my horse and I met Robbie Potter last summer we had not cantered in nearly two years. My horse Ziggy would occasionally buck when asked to canter. Over time it grew stronger and more frequent. One evening when we were riding I asked Ziggy to canter he and he began bucking. I came off and collided with one of the gates in the ring on my way down. I badly hurt my back and had a severe concussion. It was the worst fall I have ever experienced. Thankfully, I was wearing my helmet. I threatened to sell Ziggy numerous times after that night for sheer lack of not knowing what to do and being scared to death to canter him again.
Over the years I relentlessly searched for a solution to our issue. I took him to several veterinarians and had him checked from his ears to his tail. We rode with many different trainers, but the bucking never ceased, it just got worse. One individual’s “solution” was handing me a crop and telling me to hit him as many times on the haunches as I could when he began to buck. I knew in my heart it was more than a behavioral issue and I refused to do that. On another occasion we traveled to Kentucky and participated in a three-day clinic with a “well- known trainer”. Before the clinic began I told him a little bit about our background and what we were struggling with. He told me he didn’t care. We were so harshly criticized from that point on I was afraid to ask any questions at all. He never once offered any solution as to what was causing Ziggy to buck. Many other trainers have helped us along the way with countless other things. They each offered advice, but this problem stumped them all. I was very frustrated and was not sure we would ever be able to work through our problem.
I then found Robbie Potter through a mutual friend on Facebook. She had ridden with him multiple times and spoke very highly of him. I combed through his website and read all his reviews. After putting it off and making every excuse I could think of, I signed Ziggy and I up for Robbie’s Confidence Clinic. If this man couldn’t help us I didn’t know what we were going to do.
On the first day of the clinic, to my delight, we openly discussed what was holding each of us back and what we wished to work on. Though we were all battling different demons, and all at various points in our riding, Robbie met each of us where we were. He was very encouraging and his confidence in each of us, and our horses, was palpable. This was a FAR different experience than we had been through with trainers before. When it was our turn Robbie took Ziggy into the round corral. He asked Ziggy to canter and he immediately began bucking. In less than thirty seconds of watching Ziggy, Robbie turned to me and not only told me what was causing the problem, but how to fix it as well! His solution and approach made all the sense in the world! Just as I suspected, Ziggy was not being hateful in his bucking problem at all, he needed help finding his way! After working with Ziggy and explaining everything in thorough detail, Robbie helped Ziggy succeed in cantering both ways without bucking several times! Then, Robbie confidently climbed aboard. I cried with joy as I watched Robbie literally pet my horse into a beautiful, quiet canter! That afternoon, with Robbie’s confidence and guidance beside us, Ziggy and I successfully cantered several strides going both directions!
Since that time, Ziggy and I have had the pleasure of working with Robbie in both private lessons as well as clinics and each time we have built upon the last. Robbie is helping me become the partner Ziggy deserves! We have learned more in our few months working with Robbie than we have in our five years together previously. Ziggy and I have grown tremendously as a team, our confidence in each other has immensely improved, we have built on our trust and respect, and I can proudly say we are successfully cantering! For all these reasons and so many more, Ziggy and I will forever be indebted and grateful to Robbie Potter!
— Molly Sutton
Having ridden with 4 nationally known and several lesser known clinicians, I asked myself why should I continue to drive many miles and spend saddlebags of money when I have found the same quality of information and instruction practically in my back yard (western NC). Robbie won’t brag about his credentials, but he’s got them. Formerly a teacher, he has the communication skills to help you get right with your horse if you are willing to work at it. His clinics have an easy going, non-judgemental, learning atmosphere. He will specifically address your needs and goals plus you get to watch others work toward theirs. To top it off, it’s FUN.....come ready to ride your bottom off!
— Jace Buchanan
When I told Robbie I felt like I was “stuck” and couldn’t get past a certain point in my horsemanship, he said THAT is when learning occurs. He was absolutely right. Thank you, Robbie. I needed to hear that.
— Karen Kiser
I have been to four of Robbie’s clinics. My first clinic with Robbie was a cow clinic and I liked his techniques and passion for teaching and helping riders with their horses. I keep coming back because I enjoy the clinics so much and I learn something new each time. One thing I love best about Robbie’s clinics is that we ride!! I have attended other clinics where I felt like I did not get enough time in the saddle. At Robbie’s clinics we are in the saddle for two full days. (If someone needs ground work they are able to do that before riding!). He will keep teaching until you are done. It does not matter if you are western, english, dressage, trail rider, or a barrel racer...you will learn something at Robbie’s clinics that you can use.
— Bronya Redden Amos, DVM
I have taken 4 or 5 clinics with Robbie! He has helped my horse & I develop trust. He is very patient, can watch you and your horse and know exactly what you need to work on. I learn so much in each clinic and can’t wait for the next one.
— Marilu Jason
I recently decided to go to a VERY big name clinic, instead of the closer more affordable Robbie Potter clinic. I have to honestly say, that was a BIG mistake! Robbie doesn’t toot his own horn, he doesn’t make a big deal, but he does make a difference and there WILL be a change in your horse, and hopefully, you, by the time he gets done! I have a horse that is really sensitive and over reactive. She has always been a racking horse. He hopped on her and had her so relaxed she flat walked for him. That is HUGE!
— Cathy Wicker
Robbie, you have no idea of the positive influence and knowledge you have given me throughout the 5 or more years I’ve studied with you. Thank you so much for your patience and understanding with my growing process! I will never forget the advice you gave me several years ago. “Never let a horsemanship program define you.” Smartest words I’ve come to live by through my horsemanship journey! Until we ride again, take care my friend. You are one of the best!
— Margo Barrett
I can honestly say that Robbie “saved” my horse from becoming a permanent yard ornament, and me from reaching the point of giving up riding. Robbie’s deep knowledge and skills helped my horse to trust and work in a partnership with him. Now the work began on me, and developing a relationship with Chester. Robbie’s concise explanations and analogies taught me how to “let go” and feel. Thanks to Robbie, I can ride off my seat and feel and love my horse. Robbie has a gift, and I’m so thankful he is willing to share that. He has given me the opportunity to have a relationship with Chester, and I am greatful every minute in the saddle.
— Libby Carter
Love Robbie’s clinics. If you want to be on your horse learning and increasing the boundaries of your comfort zone you will enjoy and benefit from what Robbie has to teach you. I always leave his clinics feeling my horsemanship improved and looking forward to the next one. Cannot recommend Robbie’s clinics enough. Get prepared to have fun and learn. Robbie teaches you to give your horse a job and responsibility.
— Janet Fisher
I learned more in 1 day that I have ever expected.....Robbie is a GREAT instructor and horseman.....I will do another one any time he is within several hours of Hendersonville, N.C.
— Ted Owen, DVM
I have done quite a few clinics with Robbie and they have all been amazing experiences. He is patient, insightful and a great teacher. I always come away from these clinics with more confidence and a game plan on how to better myself and my horse. Always a positive experience.
— Elise Clark
Words are not enough to describe what this past weekend has meant for both me and my horse, Free. Robbie, what a pleasure to meet you and get the reassurance, guidance, and confidence I so very much needed. Thank you for showing me that I can ride my horse! This is from an old rider that got a hold of an extremely misunderstood big horse with some baggage. I did a lot of work at the clinic and you set us free to ride and have fun.
— Elizabeth Crabtree
Robbie is fantastic! I have learned so much and he has helped me with my relationships with my horses on so many levels! I have the utmost respect and appreciation for him.
— Maile Pardue
I cannot say enough good things about Robbie’s level of horsemanship and how he has helped me develop as a rider and a trainer! Big thanks to you, Robbie!
— Michele Parrish
Robbie has taken me to the next level with my current partner Dillon. We have had some struggles with our partnership in the past. While riding with Robbie it has all come together for us. We had the best time riding in the Advanced Horsemanship Clinic and truly rose to the next level together with Robbie’s guidance. I have ridden for many years and fox hunted, competed in horse trials and hunter shows with past horses, but now I am just enjoying having fun and moving toward a more harmonious relationship with Dillon! Robbie is such a great teacher and provides inspiration and positive reinforcement for all levels of riders. His clinics are FUN and you RIDE! We apply his teaching to each move and progress with energy and finesse. I look forward to our next time together!
— Cobie Ellington
When I think about the present stage of my life, after decades of riding without understanding the importance of relationships built on trust and respect, I am so blessed to have received weekly instruction from Robbie during the past year. The pursuit of learning to connect with my horses through feel has enlightened my heart, brought tears to my eyes, and helped me to be a kinder, more understanding/patient person in all aspects of my life. In many ways, Robbie’s instruction has surpassed all of the expectations I had when starting this determined journey to learn to better communicate and have a safer relationship with my horses. I’m so grateful for the opportunity to learn from him, for his ability to instruct in a meaningful way, and for his willingness to be there for me, at the place where I am with the understanding of my fears and aspirations to move forward. Every time my lesson is over, I look forward with hope and excitement to working with him again. Robbie, you have impacted my life in multiple ways, all of which have been positive. Here’s to you, Mr. Potter!
— Lee Hardin
I’ve known Robbie for over 20 years. He has been a true inspiration with my horsemanship. He was good enough to let me get the first ride on the colts that he put all of the ground work on just so I could FEEL how a colt should be on the first ride. After a few years working with him and riding some colts, I decided I wanted to shoe horses for a living. Robbie showed me how to work with a horse and how to properly handle his feet so I could get my job done easily and quicker. To make a long story short, Robbie taught me to be a better horseman and that has kept me in business as a farrier for over 16 years.
— Travis Dale
Our clinic with Robbie was a game changer for my horse and I. I have never felt so connected and in sync with my horse in all the years I’ve had him. Robbie instilled a trust that I don’t believe we could have gotten any other way. This was truly an irreplaceable experience.
— Kris Fulcher