Hmmm...we only have his word that there was no struggle. It is awfully rare that a horse, while at rest, suddenly just drops dead. I doubt CA is giving the owner the straight facts but, we will never know.
Nope not rare at all, it happens, horses have heart attacks, anurisms and ruptured diaphragms, heck a pony can break its neck in a field.
I've had it happen to me. Pony fine in his field at 11am, dead by 3pm checks. No signs of struggle or thrashing (and on a wet day in a muddy field so you would have seen it). Pony had won at a major county show 3 days previously.
He had ruptured his diaphragm possibly when he lay down to roll, vet reckons it was a weakness that he probably had all his life and it just chose that moment to give. Why it gave then is a mystery.
I will add Friesians are well known for being very inbred and having LOTS of associated health conditions. Aortic anurisms happens to be one of them.
Heck Reeco nearly died during his training. He came exactly 2 inches from death (I Know because I measured it). When retraining dangerous horses sometimes things go wrong. With Reeco that was the first time we did his girth up, he bolted blind, head first into a wall, knocked a brick out of the wall and fractured his skull. There were no warning signs, no tensing up he just went.
2 inches from where his head met the wall there was a bolt sticking out at least 4" which would have pierced his skull and killed him instantly had he hit that and not the wall.
I don't know CA, I havnt knowingly used any of his techniques but as a realistic owner of a problem horse that went through retraining (and for the record I spent the equivalent of $6000 on retraining him) I would not judge him without having been there and seen what happened.
I am realistic enough to know that retraining problem horses is not rainbows and butterflys. Heck my lads trainer sat me down and told me that the technique she was about to use on him was an absolute last resort and that if it went badly wrong it could result in a broken neck. It didnt go wrong due to her and her teams skilled use of it and it did solve his problem.
CA's boot camp sounds to me like a last resort for problem or dangerous horses. There is more potential for things to go wrong when horses have gotten to that stage.
My trainer was happy enough for me to watch however she did not want a group turning up on the yard, you would have to fit in round the horses training and no you wouldnt be given a guided tour or individual attention.