ALBION, Maine (WABI) - Meet Kevin Crane, an intuitive horseman that has dedicated his life to changing the way people ride horses.
"The thing is getting to the horse's mind to get trust, to be a friend and a companion and having the horse willing to work the human being."
For the past 26 years, Kevin has owned a year-round training and boarding facility.
But, he says rather than training he educates people and their horses.
"I don't like calling it training. Education starts with my horses when I come through the doors. Not when I'm on their back."
Most days you can find him in the barn with his horses and two pigs educating the horses on how to be a good companion and partner.
"I talk about 2 things when I do this, ballroom dancing and sign language. Ballroom dancing is 2 beings as 1. It's very effortless and it is very fun to watch and sign language. Every position has a meaning."
Kevin is known for his calm and gentle nature and provides horses that are considered "problems with no hope" a second chance at life.
You won't find any spurs or whips with Kevin Crane, instead, he focuses on teaching horses sign language and subtle movements.
"I love my horses but they have to understand fear and they have to understand love. They want to be with me, they don't want to be away from me. So, if these horses were educated or trained by force, they wouldn't be hanging around me right now."
"We talk about body motion, I want you to go to the left, please. I want you to go to the right, please. Now I am going to put it in park for him to stand. Now, observation, he has cocked a leg and he is relaxed now."
You won't find Kevin hollering at a horse or using words to tell them what he wants, well, unless something good happens of course.
"With horses, it's not the saddle I work with, it's what inside the horse and that pertains to any kind of horse that is out there."
"I want to speak the same language but they have to learn what I do on 2 feet to do things, not on 4."
"When I free lunge, not one horse can stay in front or stay behind and I want them to know that I can control their feet and that is part of what I do is me controlling the horse's feet. When I first educate them to move the horse's feet I teach lateral flection, disengage the hind-end, cross over in front and back up. See how little it takes? It is the motion I am looking for, not the pressure."
Kevin focuses on 4 keywords when it comes to educating horses.
Communication, criticism, observation, and consistency.
"When they meet me, their life is changed for the rest of their life and I have to get them to understand that this is what they have to do and be real consistent so they understand what they have to do."
"I've learned by my mistakes, I have not learned by success."
Kevin believes following these types of techniques allows for a happier horse and human while giving both the best quality of life together possible.
"It's very enjoyable to see horses change and it's very enjoyable to see horses change if they want too."