- Vermilion Voice
Tom Durocher - The Canadian Horse Whisperer
Horse Whisperer, Tom Durocher is Canada's only certified Canadian Horse Whisperer instructor. Durocher says that Horse whispering is more about listening than whispering. The professional horsemen who practice this skill understand how to read the body language of horses and are fully aware of the psychology of the horse.
Durocher lives on the Fishing Lake Métis Settlement in Frog Lake, where he was born and raised. Durocher is a Métis and takes pride in his First Nation upbringing.
On June 5, 2005, Durocher received his Instructor certification and was endorsed by Monty Roberts as being Canada's only Certified Monty Roberts Instructor.
With over 35 years of experience working and training horses, Durocher is a gifted horse whisperer.
Durocher travels all over Canada today working as a horse whisperer and teaching others how to communicate with horses using ‘The silent language of horses’ and the skills he has learned.
“Not only is this training applicable to horses, but it can also be used and implemented in our day to day interactions with others.”
Tom worked as a farrier/horse trainer using the “Old way” for 25 plus years before going to train under Monty Roberts, award-winning trainer of championship horses, best-selling author, and Hollywood stunt man, in California.
“I learned more in one month with Monty about horses than I did in my whole life in 2001. We had to study the inside of the horse to know the outside of the horse.”
Durocher spent years studying horses and their behavior in their natural surroundings learning to read the silent but powerful communication called body language.
From the most subtle changes in facial expressions, drooping lower lips, ear movements, the flick of a tail, the stamp of a foot, to rolling eyes and rearing, the horse’s entire language of communication is expressed in clear terms, for those who learn to interpret it.
“Monty watches you, and he decides who moves on to become an instructor,” explained Durocher.
“You are dealing with trust, respect and honesty with the horse, and we have to learn and understand that the horses can also heal you. You have to love what you are doing. I tell people that more often, you are healing each other, horses can heal you more than you think.
A lot of feelings come out. A lot of people don’t treat horses with respect; they treat them as a tool. You have to watch the horse and understand fear,” said Durocher.
Durocher worked with Mustangs (wild horses) in California, “they are quick and intelligent, and a lot of times they are not wild their just free.”
Durocher agrees that horses used in Chuckwagon racing are doing what they love, and they were born to run. “These horses are bred strong, and their adrenaline is always high. If you are excited, the horses feel that, horses will feed off your energy.”
Durocher also works on injured horses that comes back, but says that “you need to know when to call a vet.”
Durocher says his horse Thunder was one of the best teacher’s he ever had in life.
“In the mid-1990s, Thunder had a lot of issues. I didn’t realize it, but I was causing the problem, and he was trying to tell me to slow down, ease up, don’t pressure me and I won’t pressure you.
Tom And Thunder
Horse Whisperer, Tom Durocher pictured with his horse Thunder.
It took four years for me to understand what was wrong. It really broke my heart when Thunder passed away. I always tell my students when I’m teaching, never give up on a horse, find a way around the problem and listen to what the horse is telling you,” said Durocher.
“Once Thunder and I understood each other we were the best team, I used to call him the professor because he taught me who I was.”