08-06-2009, 11:29 AM
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[quote=Spirithorse;370067]I do not like Clinton at all. He treats every horse the same and he is very aggressive. You have to be assertive with horses, not aggressive. I've seen him spur the crap out of horses b/c they weren't bending, yank on their mouths because they weren't softening, and I heard him say, with my own ears, that he doesn't care if his horse is behind the vertical, just as long as he is giving to the bit. Going behind the bit is EVADING, not giving. His horses are robots. He uses intimidation to get things done. You never hear him talk about the relationship, only do whatever it takes to get the task done. He will also not hesitate to put a twisted wire snaffle in a horse's mouth. I can not respect anyone who does that.
The sentences I highlighted were the ones that stuck out to me.
Watch his mare, Mindy, when he picks up a rein. The weight of the slobber strap is lifted from the bit, and Mindy responds, whether it be one rein or both. Sure, going behind the vertical isn't the best, but if you are putting constant pressure on the horse's mouth and he goes behind the vertical, THAT is the wrong kind of behind the vertical. I, personally, wouldn't ride a horse with it's nose to it's chest, but it doesn't seem that Clinton does that to me.
For some reason, I recall hearing him mention a good relationship with his horse (and us with our horses, for that matter) at one of his tour stops, in the tour program, in one of his books, and his video series - heck, I'll bet he mentions it alot.
All the same, Clinton Anderson is a great horseman. His logic behind his methods isn't aggressive, but using the horse's language to speak to him - and if you watch two horses that haven't ever met before out in a pasture, one will bite, kick, chase, squeal - do whatever it takes to get the job of proving himself leader done.
I'm hoping to try that same Apprenticeship program out when I turn eighteen. Good luck to you!