Can horses talk? Actually, I suppose one could say that they are "talking" every minute of their lives. Can horses talk to humans? They certainly try very hard to communicate to humans using a great variety of methods. Unfortunately, more often then not, we either aren’t listening or we misinterpret what they are trying to tell us.

Out of the clear blue, on a cool summer evening, I was informed that I was being unnecessarily cruel and abusive to my horse.

These accusations came as quite a shock! I loved my horse! And I respected and appreciated her more then most could ever realize. She gave me a sense of empowerment, belonging and fulfillment like nothing else in the world. I would never dream of being cruel or abusive to my horse! All my life, I had shared a great deal of empathy and seemed to "get along" with not just horses, but all animals better then most. Being of supposedly at least mildly above average intelligence, I was given to wonder what I could have possibly "overlooked." (Or if there actually was anything to "overlook" in the first place.)

Granted, I’d been born and raised on a diary farm, at a time when horses were not kept for recreational use, but as an integral part of survival. The "training" attitude at that time was pretty much the same as it is today, "My way, or else." Yet, overall, I was personally regarded as always taking a gentler approach to "training" horses (or any other animal for that matter.)

Eventually, my righteous indignation to this personal affront on my ego finally faded, leaving a tiny but annoying "burr under my saddle" of self-doubt.

Could it be that I really was doing something "wrong?" If so, exactly what was it that I was doing wrong and how wrong?

Through the ensuing weeks and months, I found myself caught in an exasperating quagmire of utter frustration. Each time I thought I had finally reached some answer to Nikki’s accusatory enlightenment that summer evening, only led to more unanswered questions.

That was thirty years ago. Of course I had no idea at the time that my search for those answers would take me to faraway places and through centuries of time, only to find that they were at my fingertips, and in my heart, all along. As they are there for anyone who chooses to use them.

Since then, through what became an extensive obsession of study and research aggravated by an overwhelming sense of guilt, I have found that everything she tried to explain to me, and much more, was true.

Whatever personal sacrifice I have made through the years developing a "hands on" format of relationship building and the next step in the human/equine relationship, was not done for you, the reader. You are a human and as such, have control over your life.

Nor was that time and effort invested in and grandeur dreams of financial gain or accolades from my peers as some "renowned trainer." For I am not, and never will be a "trainer" of horses.

I am a teacher, plain and simple. I teach horses the two most important things a human can teach a horse.

Teach him I sincerely WANT to be his friend.

I teach him that I AM his friend. A trusted friend, that will never put him in harm’s way.

And I teach others how to teach their horse the same thing.

Thus the Friendship Training© course I offer is not like any other type of training ever offered because it isn’t "training." You cannot "train" a horse to be your friend anymore then you can "train" him to regard you as his friend.

Friendship Training is a philosophy and method of building an intimate relationship of mutual trust, reciprocal communication and complete understanding between a horse and his human.

Only after consummating the friendship, the partnership, the oneness, the true union of two individuals fused together into a singular entity, can any real enjoyment and achievement be attained.

Only then can the horse and his human partner develop their greatest potential in competition.

Only then can they truly enjoy each other’s company, doing anything or nothing, together.