Doug Mills has built his training program around horses and people. Born and raised on a working cattle ranch in Price, Utah he started his first horse when he was eight years old under the guidance of his brother in law, George Fasselin. That experience was invaluable as he learned how to safely get around the wild ones. Although there was no violence we did use restraints and wet saddle blankets. He also learned the value of giving a horse a job then leave him alone.
In his early teens Doug watched a round pen demo that would forever change how he thought about horses. The trainer had a BLM Mustang that he rode in a couple hours with no restraints. That was unheard of in those days. That demo ignited a passion in Doug and set him out on his path to developing one of the most trusted and proven methods available. More information became available via clinics, videos, books and articles. Doug became a junkie. Working horses at liberty he learned how to teach horses without restraints.
After experiencing the incredible results using his newly developed technique, Doug's excitement turned into a passion of needing to share what he had learned with others through clinics and demos. Most of the people at the first clinics were new to horses so he learned how to break down difficult tasks into simple steps. He found a couple of common problems people were having, one was communication. The commands were too fast with inconsistent angle, pressure and timed release. The other was a lack of leadership, horses were walking all over the owners. Doug came up with the simplest manoeuvre he knew of that would address both problems, then tested them at clinics. The goal was for the greenest rider to have success with the toughest horse. This was the beginning of Training Thru Trust! He continued to add steps to the program teaching more and more body control on the horse using the same communicative steps. He knew he was on to something when he recognized a tremendous improvement in himself and his horses. Slowing down, being very clear and working in patterns made things simple to teach to both horse and people.
Doug has always had a passion for well broke, athletic horses so showing reining and working cow horse was the likely place for him to learn from the best in the business. He took all he learned about training and showing performance horses and applied the Training Thru Trust philosophy and techniques. Doug believes the key to willingness is choices without restraints.
Some of his greatest achievements have been making the finals at the Snaffle Bit Futurity in Reno Nevada in the Ltd Open where he finished in 6th place along with winning the Ltd. Open at the Stallion Stakes in Nampa, Idaho. He rode a horse called 'He's Wright On', a stallion that he bought as a yearling, trained and showed him to his 4 year old year, then sold him to Gardiner Quarter Horses from Ashland, Kansas where he went on to win over $150,000 in NRCHA premier events. Doug also made the Open Finals and won the Ltd. Open at the Stallion Stakes the following year on a stallion called 'Shiney Playboy' that he is still co-owner of today. He is also a 5 time Mane Event Trainers Challenge Champion and winner of the first European Trainers Challenge.
Doug credits many clinicians and trainers for the success of his program, but the horse is still his most influential teacher.
In (1989) with his wife, Lynette and their four children, (Kyle, Kade, Kaylee and Kelcie) he moved to British Columbia, Canada as a farrier and horse trainer, where he has continued to build his "Training Thru Trust" program. Doug and his students have a slew of success stories in all disciplines but seeing the whole family train and continue to improve their horsemanship goals is his biggest achievement, Doug says with a grin.
His unique ability as a speaker and teacher allow him to present an exciting, educational, and inspiring program to audiences. With a calm and easy approach, Doug teaches practical horsemanship skills that EVERYONE can take home and put to immediate use, using his interactions with the horse to emphasize the most fundamental lesson: allowing the horse to make choices.
Doug Mills and his Training Thru Trust method have helped thousands of horses and riders realize their fullest potential as horsemen. See for yourself why so many people around the world have become so inspired by the simplicity and common-sense approach of his program.