Friendship Training With Chuck Mintzlaff

Friendship Training With Chuck Mintzlaff

Chuck Mintzlaff

This is an interview Mark did with Chuck Mintzlaff of Friendship Training, whose philosophy and way of life can be summed up by the phrase: ‘First do no harm.’

As Chuck says,“But as with many things that are simple, the underpinnings are a bit more complex. ‘First do no harm’ entails every aspect of our horse’s mental, emotional and physical well-being. That involves quite a few different aspects!”
Friendship Training Interview With Chuck Mintzlaff

You can learn more about Friendship Training below and at:

Chuck Mintzlaff

Further Information On Friendship Training by Chuck

“I always recommends to prospective students a preliminary if not greater in-depth understanding of equine culture and normal herd dynamics in their natural environment that can only be gained from equine research scientists and ethologists (NOT the anecdotal musings of ‘trainers’). As you continue through the Levels, various other reading/study requirements are strongly recommended in addition to the required study curriculum.

We realize that for some, this may be regarded as ‘going back to night school.’ But really, the required reading/study material is minimal, and it will give you a much greater, in-depth understanding not only of your horse, (and ALL horses) but also WHY we still have so many behavioral issues and ‘horse problems’ after working with an animal that has remained unchanged mentally, emotionally and instinctually for 6,000 years.”

*The first of these essential study requirements and undoubtedly the most important is the audio/visual life documentary of a wild mustang chronicled by Emmy Award winning filmmaker, Ginger Kathrens. The VHS tapes or DVDs are available if needed.

A free online version of all three parts are available at:

*The next is Dr. Burton’s Chapter 7 excerpt (one page) as a neural/physiological primer at:

* This paper has been kindly reproduced with permission from the Proceedings of the BEVA Specialist Days on Behaviour and Nutrition. Ed. P.A.Harris et al. Pub. Equine Veterinary Journal Ltd.

As is this documentation from the Havemeyer Foundation.

These are BOTH ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL to gain a more complete understanding of our horse’s perception of the domesticated world he lives in and gain at least a minimal appreciation of the Horse’s extremely sensitive sensory systems and the fact that they can see things we cannot see, hear things we cannot hear, smell things we cannot smell, and sense things we could never imagine.

*Perhaps of most importance is Dr. Sue McDonnell and Daniel Mills (The Domestic Horse: The Origins, Development and Management of Its Behaviour). This is not furnished in the course but may be economically obtained at

Most libraries also carry it, (or can have it available through intra-library loan).

Another prerequisite is Andy Beck’s E-book at:

A brief starter on barefoot hoofcare:

Short saddle fit primer:

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About the author


Mark is the founder and editor of HorseConscious, which provides a haven for those seeking a gentler, more equal way to be with horses that doesn't involve force or pressure. As well as building a community, where people can meet and exchange ideas, HorseConscious is also a focal point for education in these methods. The site is free for all and we are continually adding new articles and features and we'd love to hear of your experiences too!


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