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.