Friendship Training was initiated over 25 years ago by an extraordinarily compassionate Quarter Horse mare named Nikita. Her gentle but firm persistence that her owner was “doing something wrong” eventually forced him to finally concede that (being a horse) it was entirely possible that she knew more about horses than he did.
That gentle, but relentless prompting forced him to “think outside of the box,” and in turn, initiated a completely different perception of the human/equine relationship.
Trusting her judgment, he was forced to disregard everything he had ever learned about horse training. Instead of studying various methods of how to control them, he began studying the horses themselves, how they related to each other, interacted with each other and their perception of the world around them. He expanded the pasture of his herd to surround his house so he could literally “live with them” and study them as much as possible unobserved. He spent countless hours comparing his research data with highly reputable equine research scientists and cross-referenced his findings with any and all accredited equine behavioral documentation he could find. Each year he gained a deeper insight and understanding of not only the Horses world but also how they perceived their world of servitude.
Eventually, the day came when the factual evidence he had compiled became overwhelmingly, undeniably conclusive. It was a day that left him both regretful and humiliated. Nikki had been right all along. The methods of control and submission he had been using had actually made any true bonding and compatibility between them virtually impossible.
The problem stemmed from the fact that he had never looked at the accepted traditional training formats he had been using through her eyes. His own ego, preconceived expectations, and the overwhelming impact of tradition, had actually prevented them from ever sharing the intimate partnership he had dreamed of and hoped for.
As his research and study continued, he learned that horses share very intimate friendships they do not share with other horses in the herd. Their bonding literally becomes “a distinctly separate herd of two within the herd.” Of course this was obvious all along to anyone as “horse buddies” can be found in herds all over the world. But along with his peers, he had been so deeply immersed in control and “training an animal” that he had completely overlooked the significance of that Equine Friendship.
He also learned that there are very specific, sequential steps that all horses use to develop those very special relationships. Most importantly, he learned that by duplicating those steps, anyone could share an intimate, trusting friendship and harmonious partnership with any horse, regardless of age, breed, gender or previous life experiences.
Chuck Mintzlaff, is wholly committed to helping horses and their owners live the safest, care-free life possible.