APRIL 1997 BACK ISSUE
Part of Horse Previews Magazine website. Posted on 4/1/97; 10:00:00 AM.
Horse and Human Can Reach Ultimate Unity Through True Horsemanship
by Jan Honey
Peter Campbell is a 32 year old Canadian native. Thin, tall and dark haired, he wears Wranglers, Wilson's and a Stetson, not because they are fashionable, but because they're functional. He was born and raised a true cowboy and lives life by those standards.
"I've wanted to be a buckaroo all my life," Campbell says, as he leans back in his chair and coaxes a slight smile from his mouth. "I didn't want to be anything else." For those who grew up on Roy Rogers and Monty Montana, a buckaroo, loosely translated in Canadian, is a cowboy. And a cowboy he is.
But Campbell's forte is more than that of a cattle puncher. He's a stockman who understands the intellect of the equine and has the uncanny ability to pass that information onto the rider. It's an ability Campbell has been working on since childhood.
Raised in the pristine Canadian Rockies near Banff, Alberta, Campbell's first horse experience came as a child. He began making his living partnered with a horse at the age of 15 when he went to work for a pack outfit.
From there it was onto three years of taking care of the stock used for packing in supplies to park "wardens" (rangers in the U.S.), who were stationed in the back country of national parks He stayed with the government job and was later transferred to the Federal ranch where some 400 horses were raised and trained. By the age of 20, Campbell was cow boss for one of the largest ranches in Western Canada, starting colts and doctoring cattle.
In 1988, Campbell immigrated to the U.S. to pursue his idea of horse training clinics. With ranching still in his blood, Peter makes his home in San Lucas, California where over 25,000 head of steer, come to winter each year.
Today, Peter is noted for his ability to act as an interpreter by having an exceptional sense of what is going on within the horse. People have been known to bring him the toughest of the tough horses to fix and with Campbell's intuitive approach, he works with the horse as a partner, not as an adversary. A "problem" horse to us is just a "project" for Peter.
His latest accomplishment was a horse that had been to every trainer around, no one could get it bridled. The mare would bite, rear, strike anything or anyone that tried to go near its mouth. The horse was a top paintbred mare and if Peter couldn't fix it, it was going to the fox farm. Within 1/2 hour, the owner could bridle the horse herself. The stories range from Campbell fixing killer broncs to halter breaking a back yard colt. Some say he is magical with the horse and puts it in a trance, others say he is a "Horse Whisperer".
If you were to ask Peter, he would tell you,"These are not my concepts, they date back to the beginning of time, but they are often misused or misunderstood. If you can get the horse to understand what you are asking, be let down and have respect for each other, you can get a willingness- a bond that can't be broken. It's like a dance, someone leads but it's just a suggestion not a poke in the ribs. The horse will tell us what we need to do to work with him if we only learn to listen, understand and feel the horse."
The unity and trust built between horse and rider is amazing once Campbell's techniques are put into place. Students learn to work willingly with their horse and create a stronger partnership between them. Campbell clinics are now held across Western North America and have helped over 500 horses and participants a year. For many years, Peter has been teaching his technique to all ages and types of horse people. Clinic include colt starting, cattle working, ranch roping, trailer loading, and problem horses. Whether you ride English or Western, for pleasure or competition, Peter's approach gets you and your horse soft, willing, and united without force or fear.
Along with the Clinics, Campbell offers a Video Series which enables you to work your horse from the ground up. The first two tapes; Colt Starting- Ground Work and Saddling and First Ride, teach you practical ways to get your horse started from ground work all the way up to the first ride. His Horsemanship/Trailer Loading video offers a unique opportunity to see three different horses at three different stages of training. Included in this tape is a trailer loading section which teaches you logical and safe ways to load your horses in trailers. He also offers two Ranch Roping tapes which take you from learning how to handle a rope to doctoring cattle in real ranch situations. It was filmed outside at his ranch and it's as close to real life as you'll ever see. All Peter's tapes offer safety, practicality, and essential ideas on how to handle colts/horses. The "Willing Partners" Video Series is the most unique set of videos on the market today.
For more information on videos or upcoming clinics please contact: Peter Campbell, Willing Partners Horsemanship Clinics, P.O. Box 102, San Lucas, California 93954. 408-382-4203 or 1-800-349-7978.