Clinton Anderson - Page 27 - The Horse Forum
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post #261 of 394 Old 09-19-2016, 12:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Foxhunter View Post

The thing that I see is that when the horses are trained solely by hos method they all look bored and uninterested, acting rather like clockwork.
And in some circles that is EXACTLY what they want. That clockwork reaction is seen as dependable and reliable and is what they're looking for. The horse who is raiding my pockets or trying various things to get my attention is seen as 'spoiled' and not worth having. Basically CA is giving his clientele exactly what they want.

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post #262 of 394 Old 09-19-2016, 01:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Dreamcatcher Arabians View Post
And in some circles that is EXACTLY what they want. That clockwork reaction is seen as dependable and reliable and is what they're looking for. The horse who is raiding my pockets or trying various things to get my attention is seen as 'spoiled' and not worth having. Basically CA is giving his clientele exactly what they want.
I imagine that a lot of CA's clientele are "Trail Riders". How far away from the trailer do you want to be when your horse spooks, spins and bolts at an oddly shaped stick. 5 miles, 10?
He knows who the people are who want this information, and they want the horse to not be a bomb waiting to go off at the worst possible time. If he were talking to a Barrel Racer or Team Roper I am pretty sure his information would be adjusted accordingly.
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post #263 of 394 Old 09-19-2016, 01:27 PM
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Originally Posted by jgnmoose View Post
I imagine that a lot of CA's clientele are "Trail Riders". How far away from the trailer do you want to be when your horse spooks, spins and bolts at an oddly shaped stick. 5 miles, 10?
He knows who the people are who want this information, and they want the horse to not be a bomb waiting to go off at the worst possible time. If he were talking to a Barrel Racer or Team Roper I am pretty sure his information would be adjusted accordingly.
I don't actually dislike or disagree with a lot of what he says. I do think there are different ways to accomplish the same 'bomb proof horse' results without destroying personality.

And I think you're very correct on how he would tailor his approach based on different disciplines. What I like and what your basic trail rider likes are not even close, so for me he would not advocate that trail horse method. He'd approach it from a much different stand point and still give me a well trained horse.
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post #264 of 394 Old 09-19-2016, 01:44 PM
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All I can say, having ridden about as extreme trails that there are, over many years, on many different horses, I would rather ride a horse trained by CA then by many posting here, esp on trails where you don't have acres to use the gradual approach, where it is downright unsafe to get off )(middle of fast flowing river, bog, or middle of a steep and tricky trail, where you have to keep foreward, or risk, going backwards, whether you want to or not!
There is also the fact, that there are basic safe horse handling principles, used to teach,. 4H and other programs, introducing people to horses, are an example of this , as is showmanship, which is an amateur and youth class only
Sure, those of us who have been around horses lots, know our horses, deviate from this, thus at times feed hand treats and use other techniques that would be frowned on, based on basic good horsemanship
I don't think CA suggests to intimidate a horse, but rather to not let a horse intimidate you-there is a difference!
Exceptions, as wht you do with your own horses, knowing them, does not mean one should then project those methods to someone that does not know how to read a horse, when to recognize that the horse is crossing that line, and when something considered harmless, becomes habit-like a horse walking off while being mounted,easy enough to still get on, UNTIL it escalates, tot hat horse bolting when mounted
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post #265 of 394 Old 09-19-2016, 02:25 PM
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My big guy is a nervous horse. He is nervous about new sights, sounds, smells, and situations. In the first winter I had him he went through the fence when a neighbor turned on his Christmas lights.

I was terrified to ride him after the first time he spooked on the trail, wheeling 90 degrees while talking off at a dead run and leaving me limping after him on the ground.

Two things I learned from Clinton Anderson changed that. First, after applying his lunging technique my horse walked calmly past objects that spooked him before. Possibly he got the idea that I am the one who gets to decide what is spooky. Whatever the case, it was transformative.

Second, the one rein stop is magical. I have had two serious spooks in the last ten years, both detonated by livestock on the other side of the fence. In the one case five spooky heifers panicked and ran off, spooking my little guy who was in the pasture with them. In the other, a horse came up to the fence to check out my horse, and as he was pawing got his foot over the electric wire and shot backwards at high speed. Both times my guy exploded and both times he stopped within 20' thanks to a one-rein stop. We did a few circles both times while our heart rates slowed down, and then life went back to normal.

I don't try to push Clinton Anderson on people who know how to train horses. But for people like me he has been a life saver. So I recommend him to other beginners who don't know where to turn. Nobody else out there offers the same clear and comprehensive instruction.
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post #266 of 394 Old 09-19-2016, 02:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Smilie View Post
BSMS, see, you just proved my point that one big reason many don't like CA's solutions, is because they both take them out of context, and just take what they want, leaving out key information

First, CA, and any other trainer, like Larry Trocha, or even Cheri, will tell you that you first have a horse with body control on him, have used the oen rein stop, or simply taken his head away, at home, at all gaits, before YOU EVER TRY IT out on a trail...

...No horseman, CA included, is going to suggest using the one rein stop, on a horse never taught it...

...Far as that trail example, you will note, that CA said not even to start on a SLIGHT hill, if that horse is not soft to begin with. In fact, that technique should have been shown on no hill, as there is going to be people like you, that focus on the hill, and not the message.

He is simply showing a basic technique so a horse does not learn to be strong, and rush, and that begins by never letting the horse lean on that bit....What you and |Bandit do on a trail, has zero to do with riding a reining pattern.
I did not take anything out of context or leave out key information.

I have had plenty of people tell me the solution to ANY strong willed horse is to get total body control in the arena before heading out - which simply does not work on a truly strong willed horse. A) A truly strong willed horse NEVER totally yields control, and B) many horses will always behave differently outside the arena than inside.

I have made it very clear I am not discussing reining or any arena sports. But the term "body control", IMHO, is utterly bogus and creates the wrong impression on new riders. The horse ALWAYS has a mind, at least unless he is a stupid horse who has had independent thought trained out of him. And it is the MIND that a good rider works with!

A horse obviously needs to learn a few cues - turn left, turn right, slow down & stop - before heading out on a trail. Those cues can be simple. The rider may need to be ready to use them forcefully on the trail. But you NEVER control the body of a horse. Not unless you have a plug that enters his nervous system and bypasses his brain.

A huge key to teaching a person to ride safely on the trail is to work with the mind and not assume 'body control'. If you work with the mind, then a few very simple cues will keep you riding safe on a trail. If you ignore the mind, then you will find the horse has one at the most inopportune moments.

I realize a great many experienced riding instructors disagree with me. OTOH, I write from the perspective of someone who started at 50 and who quickly found himself faced with the puzzle of how to stay alive on a nervous horse in the desert (or neighborhoods, which were harder still). I think the emphasis on teaching riding in the arena, and promoting the myth of 'body control', harms the new rider. They don't know what to do when confronted with a scared horse in the open because they haven't been taught. Nor have they been taught awareness of the warning signs that often precede an explosion. So they push the horse into an explosion, then agitate it further by trying the CA version of the ORS, scaring the horse even more than it was before:



What CA teaches in response to a spook or startle will cause many horses - NOT ALL - to become more afraid, not less. With nervous horses and some others, it turns the startle into a confirmed fear. When you punish a horse for being afraid - and many horses will feel they are being punished if you whip their head to your knee and start turning them again and again for 3-5 minutes - then what James Fillis (a dressage rider, BTW) wrote in 1890 applies:

"...I have already said that a horse has but little intelligence. He cannot reason, and has only memory. If he is beaten when an object suddenly comes before him and startles him, he will connect in his mind the object and the punishment. If he again sees the same object, he will expect the same punishment, his fear will become increased, and he will naturally try to escape all the more violently...."

Been there, done that. Made my horse worse. Eventually started to climb out of the hole I helped create when I started trying the advice of Tom Roberts, giving my horse freedom instead of trying to take total control:



That - plus going to a curb bit - was the key to turning Mia into a better horse.

And that is the root of my disagreement with the "Clinton Anderson Method". It puts me at odds with a great many experts. I have found very little written or put on DVD about the horse's mind. Most of what I've seen indicates the same as what I was told when I started: "safety in riding comes from complete control, not from trusting someone who is fundamentally stupid and skittish". Much of modern riding instruction seems to assume the horse has no sense, while I accept "horse sense" as a valid synonym for "common sense".

"How far away from the trailer do you want to be when your horse spooks, spins and bolts at an oddly shaped stick...and they want the horse to not be a bomb waiting to go off at the worst possible time." - @jgnmoose

If one rides the horse's mind, then the horse might STARTLE at something, but he won't spin or bolt. He won't even startle much. That is why I believe safety is founded in riding the horse's mind rather than 'body control'. If you ride the mind, the horse will NOT "be a bomb waiting to go off at the worst possible time". Safety is rooted in a horse who is a team mate, not a mindless servant. It is a variation of Harry Whitney's phrase about keeping the horse's mind between two reins.

But very few, if any, NH trainers discuss it. In truth, almost no one seems to discuss it. We teach people to ride lesson horses in circles in an arena, and then wonder how they find themselves overhorsed...

BTW - Bandit IS a horse trained by someone following Clinton Anderson's methods. He was still a time bomb, and put a life-long, 6'3" rider on the wrong side of the saddle horn. With Bandit, CA's method worked until it didn't work, and then Bandit was a bomb. I've done the spins, the running sideways, and the bucking...on a horse who was trained by a guy using the CA approach.

I have granted, many times now, that CA's method works for many horses and riders. Not all, and I think there are better approaches for a new rider.
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Riders ask "How?" Horsemen ask "Why?"

Last edited by bsms; 09-19-2016 at 02:46 PM.
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post #267 of 394 Old 09-19-2016, 03:59 PM
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Originally Posted by bsms View Post
I think there are better approaches for a new rider.
Please share your list.
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post #268 of 394 Old 09-19-2016, 04:03 PM
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There is always not just one way, but, taking the head away, re directing the horse , to do some familiar movements, is not punishment, done correctly, but to get the horse;s mind back on you, defusing his flight mode
You darn well can control that horse;s flight, IF YOU have the training and body control on him, as I have had that proven many times over the years.
Conversely, while going against standard theory going to a curb, fro control, works, sometimes, might have worked for you, it in no way has ever been shown to work on a large majority of horses, as I have seen horses bolt with curbs and buck people off, well as with a snaffle, and many horses will learn to run through any bit, soon as those new pressure points become dulled, and basic holes in training not fixed.
In fact, BSMS how can you in the same breath, proclaim the importance of getting into a horse;s mind, not depend on body control, yet advocate going to a curb for control-you don't see the paradox????
Of course, good training involves getting into a horse;s mind, earning that trust, convincing him through correct training, never to challenge any bit or halter, and body control just helps tap into that mind connection, whet that mind temporarily leaves you. That is part of the entire point of not going to a curb for control, in the first place! No bit controls a horse, not for long at least!
I am not implying that body control alone is going to make you successful in controlling a horse, but it sure as heck helps you get the mind back on you, and makes it more difficult for the horse to just stay engaged, and ready to react to that inborn flight alert.
I rode enough colts out when I was younger, to know this is true. Not one or two previously maybe spoiled horses, but many green horses, year in and year out
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post #269 of 394 Old 09-19-2016, 04:09 PM
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Far as Bandit being a horse trained by CA's method, I can tell you both Pat Parelli and CA would cringe at some horses, touted as having been trained by their methods!
Mannuals are only as good as the person reading and applying what they THINK they read!
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post #270 of 394 Old 09-19-2016, 05:14 PM
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Originally Posted by bsms View Post
Smilie asked what happens when crossing a stream if the horse decides a rock on the far side is scary - do I dismount mid stream?
I just can't pass this up. At the risk of exposing myself to some as a complete nincompoop, yes, absolutely, if Hondo told me emphatically, "Harold, if we finish crossing this stream we're are going to die".

Then I'd talk to him about it and try to lead from the ground. If that failed, we'd go back to the other side and talk about it for a while.

We would eventually cross, unless a mountain lion appeared. Then I'd try to get mounted before we ran like hades.

This approach happens to work for Hondo and I and he just keeps getting braver and braver.
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I think it important to always be mindful that the horse actually owes us nothing at all and it is we who owe the horse. "It's a goal"
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