ALBION, Maine (WABI) - Kevin Crane has dedicated his life to changing the way people ride and communicate with their horses.
While he takes in horses that seem to have poor manners and need some work he says many times it's the humans that need the most work.
"These are things I try to convince people to understand. If you do too much, oops I made a mistake. They'll forgive you. Humans don't forgive like a horse does. Then you do right the next time and they are fine. Then you say that's how I am going to do it for the rest of my life and they understand that."
For the past 26 years, Kevin has owned a year-round training and boarding facility.
While many think that by bringing their horse to Kevin he will be training the horse, he will also train the human as well.
"When people come here I will not take a horse unless you show up because it's not fair to the horse. You're supposed to be a team."
"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."
"It's very amazing how sensitive and how well a horse can react to pressure. The slightest change to a 40-pound saddle, or an English saddle. That horse can feel what you do through feel and that's what I am looking for."
"Another thing is the more pressure you put on the horse the less they do because they can't feel. If you start with 5 pounds of pressure and I put on 5 pounds 1 ounce you can't feel a difference. But, if I zero pressure to a light pressure it is a big change."
While Kevin focuses on teaching the horse sign language and subtle movements it's just as important for the human to learn that as well.
"You are getting on, mount up, please."
"I have a third eye. We all have a third eye when we ride, I tell everybody it's your belly button. Your belly button has to go where you are going."
"Turn your belly button again. Take your leg off. Not your hand. Good girl. There release, very very very good."
"My heels go up they go forward. My heels go down they back up. Forward, back, forward, back."
When people come to Kevin it is almost like learning how to ride all over again.
"One of the things that may be a little bit different than Kevin Crane is when I get on I never allow my horse to go forward. I want them to think that there is a wall there. So, once I am on a horse I am never walking forward, I change the plane to go away."
"I am going to disengage the horse's hind-end. Minimal, always ask minimal. There that is a 10. When she is a 10 I will say thank you. So, that is disengaging the hind end."
"I can go any speed that I want so when I drop and relax they stop."
Showing the rider how to calm their horse down without any force is also key.
"Lateral flection is I am asking the horse to relax. I call that the happy place, so whenever a horse gets tense I take them to lateral flection to relax."
"When you rubbed on her did you see her head go down? She is being a good girl."
He also takes riders through a series of obstacles to show how important trust is.
Look straight, look straight, now turn. Heels down. First time!
"I am like Dupont. I don't make the product, I make the product better."
Kevin says he will continue to do what he loves, educating people and their horses, for years to come.