Choosing a Life of Abundance
by Kim Roe
When I first spoke to Heidi Snider Kauffman I felt an immediate connection. Both of us busy horsewomen, we played phone and email tag for a few days before I caught up to her. She told me about her life as a hunter-jumper trainer, a mother of three, a performance and life coach, and her most recent enterprise representing the nutritional system, Thrive. Typical horse trainer, I thought. She’s ambitious, a hard worker, and over-the-top busy. Then she said something profound that really hit home: “I choose to live a life of abundance, and not be overwhelmed.”
Snider Kauffman graduated from Seattle University in 1996 with a degree in criminal justice and minors in psychology, philosophy, and women’s studies. Soon after she chose to pursue her passion for training horses and riders.
From 1997 to 2016 Heidi trained many state, zone, regional, and national horse and rider combinations. She qualified for the United States Hunter Jumper Association International Derby finals in Kentucky two seasons in a row with Barbara Snider’s HJ Cordova Bay, a horse Heidi trained from a 4-year-old on up.
Early on she realized that she was able to train riders through her duplicatable system to exceed expectations, not only in the show ring, but in all areas of their lives. Now based in Woodinville, WA, she helps people see a vision for their lives that is bigger than they (or their parents) can see. Her junior students have highly successful riding careers, and often go on to have highly successful business careers. Some have returned to Heidi as adults to continue their riding.
Heidi describes her system as one that keep riders focused on keeping it simple. “Horses can’t handle a lot of information at once or mixed messages. I teach my riders to communicate simply and clearly with their horses so they consistently get the results they want. When it comes to jumping I teach riders to be 100% responsible for track and rhythm to the jumps, and then allow the horse to jump. This results in a ride that can be duplicated on every horse and pony. It also builds confidence in both horse and rider. Everyone knows their part.”
Snider became a USHJA certified trainer in 2010 but she always felt like something was missing. She was working 14 to 18 hour days and spending 18 to 22 weeks per year on the road. This schedule was taking a toll on her health, both physically and mentally.
“I tell my students to eat healthy and drink water, yet I was living on a diet of coffee, candy, and whatever I could grab on the fly that was gluten free. My body hurt everywhere and my mind was foggy. I was tired all day long yet I couldn’t sleep at night.”
In early 2015 she knew she had to make a change and make her health a priority. “So many health programs were complicated and pricey and that didn’t fit into my life. I had a wonderful life, family, and husband, but I was burning the candle at both ends and I couldn’t fake a smile anymore.”
“One night, while crying on the floor behind the bed, I was scrolling through Facebook looking for a funny cat video to make me laugh. I saw a picture of a judge friend of mine. She had a happy smile, looked amazing, and was wearing a patch.”
Heidi was intrigued. She contacted the judge and ordered a package of a supplement her friend had been taking. Thrive, by Le-Vel, is an innovative nutritional supplement. Within 10 days Kauffman felt transformed. “I realized my back and hip discomforts were easing, my digestive issues were subsiding, I felt happy (for real!) and I hadn’t needed any coffee to stay awake for 10 days! I was craving water, protein and veggies instead of chips and candy. A month later I was sleeping better, my bloated belly was gone, and I had shared this incredible product with people who felt better and loved it too.”
Heidi just completed her first 5K run on March 5. “I am not a runner, but I am an equestrian athlete so I utilized the same champion mindset to run the 5K finishing in the top third. Anytime I have a chance to do something that is so far out of my comfort zone like running a 5K, I lean into it and do it, because I know I will grow.”
For more information about Heidi Kauffman’s equestrian program, visit www.hillcresttraining.net.
Kim Roe grew up riding on the family ranch and competed in Western rail classes, trail horse, reining, working cow, and hunter/jumper. She trained her first horse for money at 12 years old, starting a pony for a neighbor.
Kim has been a professional dressage instructor in Washington state for over 30 years, training hundreds of horses and students through the levels. In recent years Kim has become involved in Working Equitation and is a small ‘r’ Working Equitation judge with WE United.
Kim is the editor of the Northwest Horse Source Magazine, and also a writer, photographer, and poet. She owns and manages Blue Gate Farm in Deming, Washington where she continues to be passionate about helping horses and riders in many disciplines.