Here are some testimonials from owners and show organisers. Grant Bazin is Dan Wilson's partner in Practical Horsemanship, a collaboration between the two to bring non-violent training methods to the public.
"Dan Wilson has been part of my European operation since 1999.
Dan was educated in my concepts under my first instructor Kelly Marks. Willow Farm provided us with extremely raw yearlings, two year olds and three year olds to work with at that time.
From the outset, Dan Wilson exhibited talent, but most of all dedication to the art of becoming a horseman. Through the years he has matured and improved in his ability to execute my techniques.
Recognising Dan’s talents I have chosen to use him on many of my demonstration tours. The UK, Germany, Switzerland and Italy are all on the list of countries where Dan has acted as a primary rider for me.
Dan’s greatest assets are his responsibility and dedication. He would be an asset to any community where horses are a part. Dan is going places in my opinion and will in the near future be recognised as an outstanding member of the equestrian world.
If I can answer any questions regarding Dan Wilson it would be my pleasure to do so."
Monty Roberts, Solvang, Califonia (www.montyroberts.com)
"I met Dan through Monty Roberts and I instantly admired his skills in handling young horses.
Dan spent several days at our training yard “Ludwig Quarter Horses” for an exchange of experience and to get insight into the training of reining horses.
Dan is an extremely cool bloke and an outstanding horseman, I highly appreciate him!"
Grischa Ludwig, internationally successful Western rider and trainer, Germany
"In 2007 Dan Wilson gave his first clinic on Horse Event together with Monty Roberts instructor, Annemarie van der Toorn. This year Dan will be present again together with the Monty Roberts Team and he will fulfil one of the leading roles. This is because we, the organisation, were impressed by the huge amount of horse lovers that visited their clinics in 2007. If you think logically it’s just a result of the developments of the equestrian sport. Horses, especially in Holland, are booming business, the sport has become more and more within reach of a bigger group of people. Nowadays you don’t need a house in the countryside and your own grass-land anymore. When you live in a flat in Amsterdam you still have a lot of possibilities for horse riding because on almost every corner of the street you can find a riding school or pension stable. But every medal has his reverse. With the enormous grow of the equestrian sport, we see more and more ‘men with horses’ and the group of ‘horsemen’ becomes smaller and smaller. The first group haven’t been raised among horses so these new horse riders need knowledge and proper education. Not only for the wellbeing of the horses but also for their own protection. That’s why we organise Horse Event, the biggest educational equestrian event of the Netherlands. And we are honoured that experts like Monty Roberts, Dan Wilson and Annemarie van der Toorn want to share their knowledge with over 30,000 horse lovers.
Often they are called ‘horse whisperers’ but I prefer to call them ‘horse listeners’. With their clinics all over the world they proved in front of hundred of thousands maybe millions of people that they speak the real language of a horse. Their methods, based on non violence and respect are a great source of inspiration.
I’ve seen Dan working with several problem horses not only on Horse Event but also during shows of Monty Roberts. And every time he gives me new knowledge and energy to go on with my horses on a non violent and respectful basis. I’ve got great respect for Dan and I think he will become one of the biggest horsemen in the world. That’s why I want him to come back to Horse Event 2008 so that he can fascinate more and more horse lovers. I am glad and honoured that he’s willing to do that!
I can ensure you that we will hear and see a lot more from Dan in the future!"
Evelien Bouten, Project Manager Horse Event
Translation of Letter from Domenico Lombardi. President of International Police Association, Garano North:
"On the 14th May I was invited by Sandra Gunn to participate in a non-violent methods demonstration held at Masseria Le Ville, Calenella. The demonstration offered spectators the possibility to witness that a non-violent approach with young untrained horses and remedial horses, in very little time, left them calm and cooperative. It demonstrated and helped us understand that tough and severe traditional methods do not produce good results. The tranquillity and calm of the horses after applying these methods left us all amazed.
Certainly these results are due to the professionalism and experience of Grant Bazin and Dan Wilson. They used various techniques to help the horse understand what they wanted it to do and that it should not to be afraid of humans.
Both spectators and horse owners were moved and surprised. With the use of these methods, many horses destined to slaughter, could definitely be saved.
In my opinion, using these methods here, where they are still unknown, would favour the culture of the horse and how its treated, and for example, could bring children closer to the equestrian world with the understanding and respect for this noble animal known as the horse.
It would also favour the development of interest in the territory and enhance tourism and economy.
I would like to that the organisers who made this event possible, in particular Sandra Gunn and Architect Vincenzo Zaffarano, Head of local voluntary group “Giacche Verdu” Vico Del Gargano."
Nicola D’Avolio and Domenico Lombardi
"I am writing to thank you once again for support and collaboration in our mission to help horses here in the South of Italy. As you yourself witnessed, the local people are very closed-minded and not so keen on novelty and change. Although the initial organising of the non-violent methods demo proved to be rather difficult, I’m pleased to inform you that the outcome has however been surprising.
During the weeks to follow the event, many people, not only horse owners but simple spectators complemented on the initiative, and admitted to have known very little of what the ‘horse’ actually is, and about it’s incredible intelligence and beautiful nature. Many have asked about future demonstrations and course, even a couple of Carabinieri (military policeman) have asked for information after hearing all about your work from Captain of Vico del Gargano…. I really believe that together we can change the way horses are treated here and maybe in the years to come, we’ll no longer hear of traditional methods and ill-treated horses within this territory.
I could write forever about just how fantastic and effective the work you and your colleague Grant Bazin do, but I think it’s easier and simpler to say Thank You. It’s because of people like yourself that tomorrow’s world will be a better place.
Looking forward to seeing you here next spring."
Sandra Gunn, Yard Owner, Cantrada Calenella
"Grant & Dan's methods and work is vital in the preparation of the horse for the farrier. I strongly advise my clients to prepare horses in this way."
Darren Bazin, 3-times World Champion Farrier.