There was a post from Anne-Louise on another thread in regard to FT and someone asked to have more information about it.http://friendshiptraining.org/What is Friendship Training?
(paraphrased explanation from Chuck Mintzlaff:)
FT uses an entirely different inter-species communication mode so
that mutually understandable communication can be explored together.
This method seeks to develop a one on one inter-species relationship
based on cognizance(sp) of the equine social order and the human
care giver's role.
FT is for those people who are interested in exploring the deeper
emotional aspects of bonding with their horse. In its advanced
stages FT allows for development of the equine intellect in
conjunction with human language recognition so that the friendship
bonds include the horse's ability to express himself in ways we can
more readily understand and allows him to understand us in the wider
communication arrays of language, hand signals and body language.
FT teaches the human partner how to go about initiating a leadership
role with a horse, asking the horse to join with him as a respected
friend and to become a mentor to the horse. FT does this in a manner
that the horse understands [right from the initial exercise]. With
FT, at no time will pressure of the human acting as the herd alpha
be utilized as a motivator for compliance.
The horse's learn the meaning of praise and "No" for indications of
correct and incorrect behaviors. It is through ONLY positive
reinforcement that learning takes place. The negative reinforcement
methods of 'pressure/release' are not utilized at all.
Because the interaction model used is based on peer attachment,
safety for the caregiver is greatly enhanced. This is because in
peer attachment relationships, aggression, in any form, is virtually
non-existent.Of course everyone always asks HOW is FT done??
Friendship Training is a specific, sequential format of interactions that duplicates how horses acknowledge and nurture a very intimate equine friendship. Unlike animal training formats that focus on submission, the sole purpose of the FT format is to establish and nurture a very intimate, trusting, codependent friendship. FT works within the horse's guidelines and expectations of his perception of Equine Friendship. Utilizing the biofeedback from the body to the central nervous system, the offering and acceptance of Equine Friendship is imprinted on an instinctive level.
Very simple cue/responses are requested in a specific situational environment at liberty. (A relatively open, freedom based area of interaction is required to eliminate any possible apprehension and the oppositional force caused by restriction.)
These interactions are referred to as Friendship Training Exercises (FTXs.) The FTXs are presented in a manner very similar to a teacher presenting a lesson plan to a very special pupil. They are presented in a manner that is easy for the horse to understand and comprehend. The horse incidentally learns all his basic ground and riding cue/responses he will need before he ever experiences haltering or the oppositional pressure of restriction.
Has your horse kissed YOU today?