I was born in Ontario and lived there until I was 12 years old. My dad worked in the Pulp and Paper Industry and my family lived on a small farm in a very rural center. My younger years were spent in the forest; we didn’t have a TV so we spent most of our time outdoors. We moved to Alberta in 1992 when Dad took a new job in Athabasca. It was a vulnerable time to move and the transition was filled with highs and lows, but the biggest high of them all was horses. I took great solace in my horses throughout these years and really enjoyed just being with them, not really understanding the idea of training.
Throughout my teens I became acquainted with many different horse professionals and as my intrigue for training grew, so did my parents support to take me pretty much anywhere I needed to go. We travelled to clinics, ranches and training demonstrations all over the place. I am thankful for all the horsemen and horsewomen that have helped me along this road!
I have always felt a divine oversight through my horsemanship learning. Almost all of the people I ran into were seeking a deep connecting with their horses. This gave me an excellent start as I branched out on my own. After high school I went to university and continued to learn, train, travel and teach throughout the summers. During that period I was able to get some valuable experience all over North America, working on amazing ranches and meeting some excellent hands.
Ranch life was my favorite - I loved working horses, cattle and dogs. Here was a place they all came together. There was a point in time that I believed I would be a working cowboy somewhere in the hills but that didn’t seem to be God’s plan. Initially it was never my intention to teach. However, after travelling and meeting many folks all over North America, it became clear that my style of horsemanship inspired many. Soon teaching and training was to became a big part of my story.
As the years passed various changes were made to the business. I moved from training for the public to training and selling my own horses. To better support the demand of my students I developed our Day Work and Mentorship programs. Mentoring people, building relationships and watching growth is truly my passion.
I currently teach clinics throughout Canada in the summer and work out of our home ranch in the winter, helping people develop their relationships through horsemanship. I have commented many times - and still do to this day - that I don’t have everything figured out. But I am willing to share my understandings and what makes sense to me. I like to think of myself as a professional student of the horse; learning is what I do first and teaching is second. That said, I have been very blessed by teaching as it has allowed me to earn a living in the world I love.
This style of horsemanship is very relational, it allows you to see yourself through your horse and continues as you advance through the process. Mastery in horsemanship begins with a commitment to bettering ourselves! This starts with taking ownership and responsibility for our part of the story, thus interpreting the horse's actions and performance differently. When we are aware of - and work on developing - our side of the relationship, we truly facilitate not only growth in our horses, but growth in ourselves. Good horsemanship challenges everything about our inner person. What an amazing gift: progressing in our horsemanship goes hand in hand with developing our
My wife, Cindy and children, Taylor, Jackson and Christopher live in Athabasca, Ab. Family is a major part of my life and raising my kids in a rural family focused setting is important to us. Being able to pass on what I have learned to my kids has been a great gift to me and only continues to make this journey more enjoyable.
- Josh Nichol