Driven by a lifelong passion to connect with horses on the deepest possible level, Josh Nichol has been honing his unique Relational Horsemanship approach to horse training for over two decades. In his early years, Josh studied in the U.S. under world-class mentors who had him starting colts and learning the art of the working cattle horse. He continued to develop his skills through activities as varied as rodeo pick-up work and the study of Classical Dressage. As he explains, "My personal focus has been on blending an understanding of the functional training of the working cowboy with the High School approach of the Classical system. My ongoing desire is to continually honour both the mind and the body of the horse in order to allow both peace and proper function."
Josh brings key aspects of his varied background together in his Relational Horsemanship training, which is based on the core principle of building a deep connection with our horses by continually striving to meet their mental and physical needs. When we make this the foundation of our horsemanship, we create a positive learning environment for both horse and rider without any need for force. Josh believes that by fostering understanding, softness and lightness in the horse -- instead of the tensions that so often result from dominance-based training -- we empower our horses to feel and give their very best.
Working with clients ranging from trail riders to Olympic competitors, Josh has gained an international following among horse owners and equine professionals alike. While his highly regarded live clinics continue to draw students from around the globe, Josh now also has a popular online training program that allows anyone seeking to advance their horsemanship to learn his methods.
Josh is a regular contributor to Horse Canada and has had many articles published in other magazines such as EQUUS and Western Horse Review. He has been featured in events as diverse as “The Horse” Exhibition at the Nevada Museum of Art in Reno, and The Mane Event in Red Deer, AB. He also gives team-building seminars for businesses and other organizations, works with equine-assisted therapy groups, and now has protégés of his own going out into the world to teach his methods. Ultimately, Josh aims to help both horses and people make the changes necessary to become their best possible selves by finding connection, joy, and freedom in both body and spirit.
"Because of the horse..."
I have a deeper understanding of how my presence is received by the world around me and that understanding challenges me to grow every time I step into the arena of life.