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Back to the subject of buddy sour -- my own prescription, and part of my upcoming book Chickens on Horses (we should write on what we know, and I have 66 years of being afraid of horses) is to just go lead your horse away from the herd. I go 3-5 miles on my outings. We get to see all the neighborhood horses in their spring hysteria, get up close and personal with rattling trailers and flapping tarps on moving vehicles, and we get a nice long session to refine our leading manners. By the third day the dancing and rearing is all gone, and soon after we can start riding again. Even us chickens.



such good advice! I remember watching a show about how they train the Lippizan horses, and they do a lot of just taking them out for walks. They are gentled in the most natural and non confrontational manner. It's amazing. Those horses also get years to be out in a herd, running free, to grow up, before they are asked to work. They are constantly petted and loved on, handled, taken for walks, etc. and these are STALLIONS.
 

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I could write a chapter or two in that book :wink:

Oh, you already have. :loveshower:Everybody here has been a part of it. From the people who write in with their problems to all the wise answers to the lecturing, this forum has been an enormous help to me. I wish I had gotten it written in time to have our dear departed Smiley review it, because she was staunch advocate of solving everything while mounted, and I wanted her to see it through my panic-stricken eyes.


But Egrogan, all ideas are welcome!
 

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There is nothing wrong with getting off a horse when things are going bad. I've lead my horse two miles, down the trail because he was having a melt down.

Nothing I did from on his back was working. It was safer to get off and lead him till he settled down. When I got back on he was fine and rode like he normally does.

I've ridden with people that had barn sour horses. The one gal when we got to about a mile from home she'd get off and lead her horse. The mare would otherwise try to take off, buck ,rear and just be dangerous. In time she stayed on an I ponyed her home.

I rode with her for a entire summer every day ,this gal lead her horse out about a mile,then got on. It progresed to me ponying her horse out.

By late fall horse got to where she could ride out and ride home no issues.

No working the snot out of mare no harsh bits ,no crops,just plain patients and miles. Owner was not the bravest didn't want to get hurt. No one else would ride with her, because of her mares barn sour ways.

Better to be a chicken and get off ,then be a hero and get seriously hurt.
 

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I too have learned the value of hand walking. I love taking my youngster out for walks, we take our time, she gets to stop and have a look at anything that is of particular interest, once she is done looking she gives me a nudge for a pat and off we go again. This is also on of the reasons I prefer to ride on my own. I can get off at any time and walk or just sit on a bank while the horse has a think about things. One of my favourite things is to sit quietly on or as near too the object that is creating fear until my horse starts thinking again - I always have my 12 foot line with me so I can do this.



I used to be more about doing things from the horses back but I am getting older and less and less bouncy (though ironically I have so much padding lol), my time with horses is now about mutual enjoyment rather than proving to others (and maybe myself) that "I have what it takes and know what I'm doing!"
 

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This is also on of the reasons I prefer to ride on my own. My time with horses is now about mutual enjoyment rather than proving to others (and maybe myself) that "I have what it takes and know what I'm doing!"

Sadly, one of the main points in my outline is "listening to your friends will get you hurt." I think the worst advice we've all heard from childhood is "if your horse bucks you off, get right back on." Well, if your aren't injured already, that's the best way I can think of to ensure that it happens. There are many reasons a horse might have dumped you, from a simple spook to not feeling like cantering just now. If you don't understand the reason, solve the problem, and improve your seat, chances are excellent you will be right back on the ground. But all your experienced friends will tell you not getting on is spoiling your horse. Ride alone, find like minded companions, or develop thick hide to handle the criticism.
 

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Just had some thoughts on this subject.

One of the best things about Clinton Anderson that I have found is that his method gets people out working with their horses and riding them. How much better to be out doing something with your horse and learning what you like (or don't like) then to spend zero time with your horse because, potentially, your horse frightens you, or is disobedient, or a number of things that is wrong with him/you (hence the reason you would be looking into a training program). Clinton Anderson's program is a straight-forward, step-by-step method that provides a lot of different folks the ability to do something with their horse in an constructive manner. The great part about his method is that you really do not need to put as much pressure on your horse if you feel it is too much. Believe it or not, you are capable of tailoring his training program to suit your horse (meaning alter it, improve it, evolve it over time into what you learn over time). It's not a matter of using his program 100% or not at all, you can use him for a base of sorts and then hive off to greener pastures. If you use his training program as a base, at least you have something to go off of, I haven't found a ton of programs that have enough "raw" material in them that applied to my situation to look into them. Some programs required things I didn't have access to, some trainers were too wishy washy for my taste, some seemed to never get to the point...but I know my personality reflects what I would want to train. Some people are okay with their horse pushing into them because they know that their horse "loves" them.

If you work with your horse, hopefully you are learning, you are learning what works and what doesn't, but guess what? You are learning more than if you were scared of your horse and spent your time inside on the internet looking for online instruction. Clinton Anderson may not be the best, there may be things he doesn't do exactly right, but if you followed his methods correctly (riders generally are at fault, not the horse) you would probably have a decent horse to ride. Your hands, your legs, your timing, your body language reading skills, your training abilities, and your common sense or lack thereof would decide how good of a horse you would end up with and that's with any program.

I, too, was given a book by Parelli and could not, as a youngster with a green horse, understand what he was getting at. Clinton Anderson, on the other hand, gave enough of a no messing around, step-by-step approach, (safe! I learned to keep my horse from running me over!) that I could use to now have a decently broke horse that nearly everyone I put up on him could ride. Was his method truly magical? No, knowledge is power, and once I had some knowledge that made sense, I went out and started working with my horse and that is where the "magic" started. I did not use all of his exercises, and actually my horse does not know much more than basic cues under saddle, but what I trained was more respect and trust than anything. I definitely did things wrong in the beginning but went back and studied what went wrong and why and then tried again. Guess what? I was out there having (mostly!) fun with my horse. I could direct his feet in many directions; "send" him over things and I now appreciate the ability to send my horse through a gate or that he's responsive enough to do what I ask of him. Dead head? No. Decently obedient? Yes! Can I ride him now without worry? Yes!!!! Just because CA gets aggressive to some of the horses does not mean that you would have to take it that far. My horse responds with just a look or touch, do I beat him? Nope, but he respects me enough to do what I want when I want because of the work I put into him.

I don't think that anyone who decently trains horses really needs CA. If you have something good going on already, then you already have a base of sorts that works for you, why bother with a guy you don't like? On the other hand, if you were like me, who didn't grow up with horsey parents or knew virtually nothing about horses, then CA probably would be good for you as a start at least.

For those that say of a truth that his method didn't work on their horse for loading into a trailer, I would have to ask how they were doing it? You have to judge how much pressure to put on and when to back off AND decide how much the horse can take in a day (with his or any program!). Maybe your goal of getting him all the way into the trailer in one session isn't going to happen but you could get him resting beside the opening on the first session. For a horse that had no knowledge of loading, you might want to just work him by the trailer for a time (whether a training session, or a day etc) until he wasn't frightened of the outside. Maybe you would want to put some hay in the trailer and work on loading him at the end of a training session so that there isn't as much "fresh" on him, and once he got in he would not only get a rest, but a little something to munch on. Work on the outside and rest on the inside (or as close to the opening as I could get the horse to be) has worked to load more than one horse for me. Patience here is key and knowing not to overload the horse with too much pressure is vital. Once you can read your horse, there will be more times you get things right than wrong.

Anyway just thought I'd add my two cents, of little value as they may be. :smile:
 

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I'm not really a Clinton fan. I think he has good basics, and a decent understanding of horses compared to a lot of "trainers" who really don't think past the tip of their own nose, but he's too aggressive and "one size fits all" with horses for my taste. I also don't like his tendency to really flex the heck out of his horse's necks. (I can't imagine that's super comfortable - flexing has it's place, but I don't think it should be used that excessively.)

Yeah. He's not my thing. I'll mix and match some of his methods with other trainer's methods depending on the horse I'm working with, but typically I'm dealing with highly sensitive horses and Clinton's methods just don't seem to mix well with that type of horse. I have used some of his techniques on my very pushy, in-your-face gelding(who is sweet as sugar, but has absolutely no concept of personal space), and they're worked with varying degrees of success.

Overall, I don't really like many of the "top trainers" such as Clinton, Parelli, Westfall(I don't know if you'd consider her a "top trainer" but she's decently popular). Anyone who thinks a horse is "out to get them" needs a re-think on what horses are and how they think, because I assure you - the horse's only concerns in life are eating, sleeping, making little horses, and staying alive. Anthropomorphism is where a lot of people wrongly assign emotions and motives to animals that simply do not have them, and that's where a lot of training goes wrong. Horses don't plot revenge or purposely forget things, and likelier than not that issue that they have is something you're causing, not something they're just coming up with.

One thing I can appreciate from Clinton is his bluntness with people. If someone's being stupid, he calls them out. I don't like some of his horse methods, but I think it's high time we stopped tip-toeing around people when they're doing something that can end up with either them or the horse(or both) getting killed. It's not funny or brave, some things are just plain stupid and ignorant.
It is a good idea to mix methods, me and my sister did that, too, with our mare :D I like Clinton Anderson, he works well with horses and his method really improved our mare :)
 

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Hi & welcome Gordon,

If you've read the whole thread, you will see that what CA teaches(horses & people) is not, on the face of it, really much different to what everyone else(as in, conventional 'natural' horsemanship trainers) does. So if you agree with those principles, then you agree(mostly) to CA's principles. His(their) methods ARE effective in most cases, there's no doubt about that. But it is the *principle* of making a horse work hard(or whatever other punishment) whenever they're not doing as you tell them, that tends to lead to 'slaves', not that just some horses are turned into slaves by CA.

Not that, IME CA always follows those principles, and he does, IME take things to extreme compared to many trainers. But it is the principles that lead to the practices/methods. So... couldn't really tell you what 'methods' he does that could not lead to 'learned helplessness'.
 

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jumping in late here. i like CA's Ground work as it is decent. still can be very aggressive but if done by someone who understand how to not go straight to violence it can work well. my arab loves it as its clear for her. my paint is a different story. you want them to trust YOU. they want their buddy because they are pray animals and single animals are food. their entire genetic makeup is saying "you will die if you are on your own!" if you teach them they YOU are their other, that because you are there they are NOT alone, then they calm down. they get emotional and stop thinking. you need them to calm down and realize they are NOT going to die and that they are not alone. making then lope the smallest circle untill they hate their buddy and think being eaten may not be so bad.

so like i said hes ground work and basics are like "horse training for dummies". works for most. easy to fallow, enfranchises human safety. dose not make him perfect and dose not make it the best way.
 

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The principal of what he is showing is valid, if not very common in horse training. The horse wants to go back to the barn, pasture, or stand with their buddy because that is where they get to chill and hang out. So you change that way of thinking by making it more work to be near the buddy, or when you are headed in the direction of the barn and before long they don't think of it as the resting spot while you are riding. In principal it is the same reason you don't get off at the gate every time.

I think you have to put most of what he says in context. His average customer is a middle aged inexperienced horseman that isn't a very good rider that either created a spoiled brat horse or bought one. He talks to people at a 10 knowing they will do what he tells them at a 3 or maybe a 4. If you see the people who show up at clinics some of them literally are not even in control of the horse, it is doing whatever it wants to and the owner has no idea what to do and is just along for the ride.
 

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I saw his posts and I agree that it turns some horses into slaves, but some of his methods seem reasonable enough. Can anyone suggest what methods he did turned out to be effective? Thank you! :smile:
Generally they all do, and I'd say he doesn't do anything that isn't pretty standard stuff. Keep in mind he apprenticed with the best colt starting guy in Australia for 2 years starting hundreds of colts, then apprenticed with the best Performance Horse trainer in Australia for another 3 years, competed at the top level of the Australian Reining Horse world before coming to the states and working for some top Reiners all before starting Down Under Horsemanship.

So what he is showing you is not something he made up but what he learned from the best people in horse training at the time he learned it. "The Method" really is just all that stuff organized into progressive steps with clear uncomplicated instructions, repetition and teaching the pressure and release and timing aspect of horse training. He is quick to credit everything to those people and say that he just arranged it in a way that is easy to teach.

If you see some of his female clinicians doing the same thing with a reasonable minded horse it flows easily from one thing to another and the horse seems to be learning quickly. Clinton Anderson himself is the same way with a horse that isn't a butthead that I have seen, but a lot of the time you are seeing someone's pet monster that they brought him to fix instead. A lot of the clients he is helping are at a 1, so he talks to them at a 10 to try to get the point across and they need that in my opinion.

As for Clinton himself I think he burned out on teaching a long time ago and it is good he retired. If you see anything of his from 20 years ago his whole demeanor is different at least on camera.
 

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As for Clinton himself I think he burned out on teaching a long time ago and it is good he retired. If you see anything of his from 20 years ago his whole demeanor is different at least on camera.
I listened to an episode of "Along for the Ride", Andrea Fappani's podcast about a year ago where he interviewed Clinton.
Clinton admits this wasn't his dream and at one point he was bankrupt due to people mismanaging his money and had to continue in order to get himself out the hole.
He was already burnt out and like you said you can see it in his demeanor.
I haven't been a fan of Clinton but I really enjoyed the interview. If you ever get bored it is worth a listen.
 

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I think that when I saw Buck Branaman at a clinic about 3 years ago, he, too , was burned out. He was only making an appearance, but wasn't mentally really there. It was kind of sad, not the least of why because he lack of presence went unnoticed by so many of the participant/sycophants.


teaching is hard. The biggest challenge, I think, is keeping you ego from taking over.
 

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Back to the subject of barn soured horses, what about this old timey technique? Horses like to go back to the barn because that is where they get unsaddled, rested and fed. So when you go back to the barn do not immediatly unsaddle them but let them stand tied. You never feed them at the barn. Instead you put their feed out in various places along the trails, all away from the barn. Flakes of tasty hay are 'found' by the ridden horse, all away from the barn. This takes time but it is not negative and it works.
 

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^Arago yes, whether it's feed, meeting mates, get off & give an itchy horse a good scratch or roll, whatever Good Stuff you can do when out is also helpful. Just won't work if the reason the horse is 'barn sour' is due to fear of going out - that trumps Good Stuff.

Not tying them up at home, not unsaddling them, etc is also far less of a reward than BEING home in the first place tho. And as we know horses can't associate cause & effect unless it's instant, there's no point in any punishment or reward if it's abstracted from the behaviour we want to effect by more than a second or 2.
 
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