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Where the Horse is the Teacher

by Joseph Sugarman
Maui Island Weekly, March 1, 2000

Mother Horse with FoalLike many on this island, Franklin Levinson flew to Maui as a visitor and never left. That was 21 years ago Levinson now has a thriving business that is creating a small revolution in Hawaii. Here’s why.

Levinson runs a seminar that uses horses to teach his students. According to Levinson Horse whispering is communicating with horses in such a way as to instill a sense of safety, peace and confidence in the horse. But there’s more.

Levinson teaches the cognitive and communications skills used to communicate with horses. Yes, you can communicate very nicely with horses if you understand the techniques the same techniques that you can apply to everyday life.

"Learn the skills," says Levinson, and you’ll be able to use those skills to enhance your life beyond anything you’ve experienced before.

"You also learn patience, timing, intuition and awareness and you can carry these skills home with you," claims Levinson who has taught these skills to everybody from AT&T to bank presidents all the way down to youngsters who he teaches for free.

Levinson is a former singer, songwriter and performer who started riding horses when he was six years old. His father was a part-time polo player who was in the mortgage business even though his passion was horses.

Levinson then spent summers as a camp riding instructor teaching 125 kids to prepare for the summer horse shows. In 1982 Levinson went to Maui and started his Adventures on Horseback a company that specializes in giving trail rides on horses through the beautiful Huelo countryside on the North Shore.

"It’s great horse country out here," states Levinson when questioned on why he chose Huelo. "I just fell in love with the area, the lushness of the scenery and knew that this was my new home."

Levinson is married to Adrianna an accomplished colon therapist in Kihei. Both Levinson and his bride rode into their wedding site on a big white horse.

"I have a great relationship with Adrianna. In fact, it’s one of those dream relationships. There’s a level of commitment, honesty, and great love that one rarely experiences."

But Levinson can’t contain his enthusiasm for Horse Whispers, his second love. I’ve seen it work miracles for many who have attended. We practice patience, timing, intuition and awareness while playing with the horses. And these traits are carried home with us, stay with us and coupled with a desire to improve ourselves, becomes a more conscious part of our daily lives.

For those who are afraid of horses Levinson claims that they can easily overcome the fear in his one–day horse whispers course. "Anyone can learn about the nature of horses, their language and communication skills required to have successful relations with them including overcoming fear.

Even if you don’t like horses, the skills you learn coupled with a desire to improves oneself will permit you to leave the experience with a great feeling of accomplishment," says Levinson turning more serious. "Clinical studies have shown that just being with horses significantly reduces stress levels in humans. When we bring our attention to the horse, we are brought wholly into the present moment.

People come here feeling separate as if they are coming to a new place. "They feel disconnected but at the end of the course, they feel totally different. They feel at one with humanity truly connected with nature and with themselves. They realize they are not separate."

Levinson has just completed a new ranch house next to the riding ring where he can now hold sessions with groups and be protected from the elements. Says Levinson, "We are now equipped to hold daily seminars regardless of the weather here in Huelo.

If you would like to contact Levinson and find out first hand what horse whispering is all about, call him at (970) 300-1868. He’ll be glad to show you how much you’ll learn and how much fun you’ll have in an experience unlike anything you’ve done before.

These effective programs are springing up throughout the country because we have begun to "listen" to what these wonderful animals are "telling" us about who we are as individuals and as human beings in relationship with the world around us. In part, we share "the spirit" of the horse. The qualities we celebrate in humans are the same qualities we attribute to horses: loyalty, courage, integrity, heroism and honesty.

The mission of The Maui Horse Whisperer Experience™ is the skillful use of the human-equine relationship to develop mindfulness, self-awareness and understanding toward the goal of enhancing the lives of those who participate in these fun, unique and extraordinary programs. Several programs have been developed for varied participants and applications. No matter who the specific program is designed for, we guarantee that every Maui Horse Whisperer Experience will be filled with beauty, insight, fun, laughter and growth. Simply put, our mission is to enhance the lives of all our participants, including the horses.