Are you a horse whisperer?

Of course I am not. Well maybe, actually I don’t know…. I don’t even know who I am anymore!  

If I had a dollar for every time someone has asked me the question ‘Are you a horse whisperer?’, I would be a rather wealthy.  I always approach the answer to this question with a humorous response, such as ‘no, I talk really loudly to horses’ or ‘no they cant hear me when I whisper’.  In my experience It’s mostly the sarcastic, non-horse person who asks this question, or the ‘set in their ways’ battle hardened equestrian competitor who does the one eye brow lift and looks at me a little oddly.  I never take any offence to this question!  As you may have all learnt horses don’t respond greatly to whispering, they do however respond to very clear and concise intent, presence, body language, cues and of course FOOD!  Throwing it all out there, perhaps I am a whisperer of sorts.  Not a horse whisperer, but a human whisperer, big call I know but stick with me.   

In response to the question ‘Are you a horse whisperer?’ something I regularly say to describe what I do is that I help horses with people problems, which is pretty fitting I think.  This is a phrase that has been coined by many a great horseman over the years and I feel it to be quite an apt description for people in my line of work.  I have been asked this question twice lately, once on the plane flight from Dubai to London, by a middle-aged man and it was just before we were about to depart Dubai.  So I did my usual act, no mate ‘I talk really loudly to horses’! Knowing full well thats not what I do, I just wanted to appear all masculine and tough so he could put me in the correct social box and we could move onto to our inflight entertainment. Another occasion I had a guy (funny two men examples!) ask me just after a clinic ‘ohh your the horse whisper guy’ and yep you guessed it I said no, ‘I talk very firmly to horses’ again a blatant lie, but it shut him up and I could move on talking with my students. I realise I haven’t quite figured the best way to respond to this question as yet, but Im toying with the idea of saying something like this for effect ‘no but Im a human whisperer, lean a little closer and I’ll tell you the meaning of life’. That will scare them off.. Ha!

So, if I was a horse whisperer, I reckon a lot of the time I would hear the horses say ‘Its not my fault, I just don’t understand what you want!’ Well this is what I pick up alot of the time, the horses are only acting out how they believe they should respond in any given circumstance.  As with all great leaders, we need to inspire our horses to want to be with us and achieve a common goal with purpose and dignity.   So back to the human whisperer ideal, perhaps my real gift is that am here to help people grow and transform into better versions of themselves and horses are just my vessel to instigate the change. 

The horse training events I run all over the world are my place to share, but also my place to grow as a human.  I am constantly challenging myself to grow and improve my techniques with both horses and humans to ensure that I can make the biggest possible impact in the world.  My students would have heard me talk about the principal of CANI (constant and never ending improvement) – I first heard about it back in 2012 and it has become ever more prevalent in my teachings of late.  It is a philosophy that I propose my students adopt with their own horsemanship journey and it puts them in a state to be ever present and always seek improvement. 

What ever you want to call me – Im just here to help.


Justin Colquhoun

Hi There! I’m Justin Colquhoun. I founded Elite Horsemanship out of a dream to make real and effective horsemanship available to anyone at any level in the horse industry.