02-02-2013, 11:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Padrona
My opinion is that Clinton Anderson is a bully. I have never seen ONE interaction between CA and a horse that was positive...
I think many people love CA because his heavy handed comandeering type of training is more in line with classical, traditional horsemanship, than with natural horsemanship. If the horse doesn't respond to what you want - just get out a bigger bit! Get a bigger whip and lash him with it harder. Put on a die down. Put a bicycle chain over the nose. Snub him to a post and let him fight until he falls down. That is the type of horsemanship that most people embrace, for reasons unknown to me.
Gotta waive the BS flag on this! That doesn't describe any horse training I've seen, apart from snubbing to a post and letting the horse figure out he isn't going anywhere. And THAT is a pretty useful thing for a horse to learn.
But I haven't seen ANYONE grab "a bigger whip and lash him with it harder". Ever. And I have never read a book or seen a DVD suggesting it. The one exception is for a dangerous horse - one who is willing to attack and try to kill a trainer. And no, I don't think Pat Parelli would climb into a pen with a horse like that and rely on his carrot stick. The trainer who worked with my horses told me about seeing a horse try to kill a trainer. A bunch of them jumped in and beat the horse back with anything they could grab, but the woman was nearly killed. That isn't carrot stick time...
This month's Horse and Rider magazine has an article on what to do if your horse won't stad for shots for the vet. The short term solutions are twitch, lip chain, sedation, snubbed up to a post..... The only truly KIND and compassionate of those options is sedation...
A twitch probably has less chance of serious side effects (death) than sedation does. I had a vet who wanted to sedate Mia with a shot once, but she was too afraid of Mia to chance giving the shot...and Mia is NOT a mean horse.
So most people see nothing wrong with CA because his techniques fall in line mostly with that old fashioned mentality that a horse is nothing but a hunk of hide and hair to be dominated and wrestled into submission.
Give me a break! I'm not a Clinton fan, but that doesn't mean dominating a horse is always wrong, either. Mia is a dominant horse. She has no respect for those who are intimidated by her. She won't attack them - she isn't mean. But she won't respect and cooperate with someone who is intimidated by her.
I've "abused" Mia. I've made her run until sweat was pouring off her face and her body was covered with lather. I had given her many chances to call it quits, and she wasn't willing to give in. Not until she understood that I would push her until one of us dropped. Then and only then was she willing to take me seriously.
Mia wants a dominant rider. That does not in any way suggest that I think she is just a chunk of hair and hide. From the moment I met her, I liked her. She was a horrible choice for a brand new rider, but I wanted her within minutes of meeting her. The trainer who worked with her last year said Mia was lucky to run into me, because she had a lot of clients who would have sent her to the auction long ago.
But if you aren't willing to look her in the eye and shout, "Just who in the hell do you think you are?" - and back it up with action - then you are just copping a ride. You're a sitter, not a rider. I don't think Mia would ever intentionally hurt a human. She isn't mean. But she won't respect anyone who isn't at least as strong-willed as she is.
Everyone hates Parelli here, so maybe I'll use Buck Brannaman instead as an example....he is firm and determined without ever getting his own heart rate up. He doesn't chase horses around the round pen or get himself worked into a lathered up tizzy chasing the horse with lariats. He asks for the horse's respect with a sort of quiet, calm, gentle demeanor...
And if I had as much experience with horses as he does, maybe I could imitate him. Or maybe it is a function of his basic personality. Horses respond to the truth. But Buck also isn't afraid of horses, and a LOT of the middle-aged women who take up horses are afraid of them. Maybe a lot of men who take up horses late in life are too. But horses don't respond well to fear. Maybe some of the value of that dominant behavior is that it teaches the human to stop being afraid and to be more controlling - because the horses I've met LIKE someone who is strong.
Mark Rashid talks about the difference in LEAD horses, and DOMINANT horses. Lead horses have that calm, confident temperament that makes members of the herd WANT to follow their authority. The lead horses can direct members of the herd with the slighest flick of an ear. The lead horses in a herd are the strong pillars that reinforce their position only if directly physically challenged. But otherwise, they do not chase or stir up trouble in the herd. Dominant horses are the ones running around stirring up trouble. They are constantly busy. They are always moving, and nit picking other herd members. They create fights and beat other horses into submission with physical force. Dominant horses move a foot and everybody scatters in fear of getting kicked or charged.
No one I've met, read, or watched advocates cruelty or mindless violence. When I walk into the corral with food, the horses get out of my way. If they don't, a glance will make them move. Why? Because I bring the food in on a fork, and a horse who refuses to get out of my way will get a fork in the ribs or butt.
A bully horse acts mean without reason. A dominant horse has a reason. And in my dealings with horses, if I get mad, there is a reason. And the horses know that...
CA behaves like a dominant horse. Buck behaves like a lead horse. Same end result but ENTIRELY different path and journey to arrive there. Buck leaves the horse's dignity intact and Clinton breaks the horse down mentally. Buck creates a partner. Clinton creates a machine that goes through the motions...
Sorry, but very few people who watch Anderson agree. I'm very dominant with Mia, but that dominance creates a partnership - one that would not exist if I wasn't dominant. I take a very different approach with Trooper, because he's a different horse.
...He can stand still and get more done with a horse than Clinton accomplishes running 5 miles around a round pen.
I guess the bottom line is that whenever we have these polls, the clear majority say that CA's methods work for them better than Parelli's - by a 42 to 9 margin in a recent thread. I would avoid buying any horse trained according to some DVD trainer, but if I had to choose between a Parelli horse and a CA horse, I'd get the latter - because most folks say they get better results using his methods than Parelli's.