Charles Wilhelm Philosophy
Charles Wilhelm is internationally known as America’s most respected horse trainer. His extensive experience spans forty years of training in Dressage, Working Cow Horse, Reining, Western Pleasure and Trail. He is known for his superb skills in communicating and motivating people, as well as his natural abilities with the horse. Charles is one of the few trainers specializing in re-schooling horses with problems. He also offers performance training, including Western Pleasure, Cowboy Dressage, and Ranch Versatility.
Charles’s relaxed, warm, and amusing character has made him a favorite at clinics and demonstrations. Participants comment on how approachable Charles is for his audience and how much practical information they took home and were able to use successfully with their own horses – seeing results right away. His unique approach to horse training empowers horse owners to learn alongside their horses – “Success through Knowledge.” He specializes in working with beginning and returning women riders between the ages of 35 and 55.
Charles is the creator of Ultimate Foundation Training, an equine training technique that combines the best of traditional, classical, and natural horsemanship into a methodology that is applicable to every riding discipline. He believes that “It’s Never, Ever the Horse’s Fault” and his training methods reflect that motto.
There are three Golden Rules that Charles trains by when working with your horse:
1. You can't get hurt: the technique you use should not put you in any danger.
2. The horse doesn't get hurt: training is of little use if your horse is lame or hurt.
3. The horse is calmer after the lesson, indicating he is comfortable and understanding the lesson.
Charles's Ultimate Foundation Training is the process of gaining control of your horse on three different levels: physical (where and how the horse moves), emotional (the horse's fear level), and mental (what the horse is thinking). He builds this solid base using exercises that teach the horse to perform in an efficient physical manner, bring his emotional level down, and focus his mind on what we ask. Foundation development takes time and repetition. Conditioned response - the association of a natural behavior with an artificial cue - is the fundamental principle of this method. To develop a conditioned response to a cue, we need to combine the cue, a natural behavior of the horse, and a reward delivered with accurate timing and consistency. We have achieved a conditioned response when our horse gives us the desired behavior in response to our cue 100% of the time.