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Just Dream Chasin (Andy) - 2014 sorrel AQHA gelding
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I'm not a fan of Clinton Anderson, I think the bottom line of his method is "Scare the horse into submission". However, I'm curious to hear other people's point of view on him. What's your opinion on him, and why or why not are you a fan of his method?
 
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There must be tens of threads about Clinton on just this forum alone.

I'm not a huge fan either but he is honest about his audience being more of the middle aged, first time horse owner that has allowed their horse run over the top of them. His method works good for a first time horse owner needing to be more assertive so their horse doesn't become dangerous out of "love".

I think you can apply some his methods in a quieter way for a little more sensitive horse and a owner who can read a horse. So if you find something you can use adjust it to fit, if not, disregard.

If you don't like his methods at all there are other clinicians out there. I think you need to evaluate your situation honestly and choose accordingly. Unfortunately, people don't know what they don't know. With that said I think online and DVD training systems can be beneficial as a supplement to an in-person trainer who can watch you and see what you aren't seeing or feeling as you're working your horse.
 

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CA's underlying principles seem to be much the same as most everyone elses, and on that note, I agree with them, to a large degree. Tho I've moved on from the predominantly negative reinforcement as the 'be-all' kind of philosophy. There are a few things I've heard from CA though that I strongly disagree with though, such as 'the more you scare them, the quieter they get'(yeah, but...?!?!) CA does seem to be more forceful, more abrupt, less considerate, 'louder'(metaphorically & otherwise) than most other 'guru level' trainers I've seen though. I do not believe the level of aggressiveness I've seen him use as a general tactic is appropriate.
 

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Have you, perchance, read any of the many old threads on him? It's wonderful that he elicits such strong reponses, pro and con.

He seems to have a really clearly explained and approachable program to help horse owners who feel overwhelmed gain some control. When that happens, a horse owner can feel really good, really grateful to not be in such a painfully out of control position. I am sure this is very helpful to a lot of horse owners.

I do feel that seeing horse training as 'systematic, step by step' is a way to create a kind of blindness in humans. It encourages people to think more on the 'steps' than on what the horse is thinking or feeling, at any one minute, and deadens that whole concept of really observing the horse, and dialoguing with them. ( I know that sounds so woo woo).

But, any time you are focussed on following steps, you can't have enough visual and mental band width to observe the horse , itself, and react IN TIME, IN REAL TIME, to that horse's needs , right then and there. If you want me to go on, explain in more detail, I will. But if you want like a survey type answer, that skims the surface, I think you'll do quite well following his program.
 

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I think there can be things taken from every method of training, but am not a fan of any one method for training a horse. Different horses have different needs/ personalities, and thus one horse will not respond the same way as another horse to a single method. This is why professional trainers apprentice other trainers, so that they can get that hands on experience and be taught how to recognize and respond to the horse's signals, then how to adapt accordingly. That is not really a skill that can be taught by any one method, in my opinion.

That being said, the CA method is also much too aggressive for my liking, in the way CA teaches it. I once went to a barn that was sold on the CA method. I do remember taking a clinic from one of CA's underlings and coming out of the clinic in tears. Should of demanded a refund, but then again I was quite young at the time and didn't know how to deal with the situation. My young horse already knew the method and was a calm and respectful horse, who had just gone to his first show the previous weekend without blinking an eye. The first thing I noticed was a big bias for quarter horses, and my horse was certainly not a quarter horse. So, when we were finally chosen for a demo, I was excited...well I shouldn't have been. Long story short, the clinician immediately labeled my horse on appearance and gave my horse NO chance to show him differently...there was a lot of smacking involved and the clinician had my horse so freaked out that my horse was shaking and spinning. The clinician labeled my horse as "hot", which couldn't be farther from the truth and was so surprised when my horse relaxed immediately after desensitizing :rolleyes: . It was quite obvious to me that he only knew how to follow a formula and not how to actually train, even as green as I was then. I can't imagine how bad CA was if that guy learned what he knew from CA.

Besides the general application of the method, I am also not a fan of the majority of the riding. Detest the "bending" exercises, which only teach your horse to ride front to back. Otherwise, the cruising control, 4-leaf clover and other exercises are just old exercises altered a bit and rebranded...nothing new about them. The one-rein halt can be useful in some settings, but I think it can also be very dangerous in the wrong hands and used at the wrong time. I'd hate to see someone use it at high speeds and tip the horse off balance.

The fact that the CA method is targeted at new/inexperienced horse owners with the excess aggression is another problem, in my opinion. I don't think I have seen any one program more abused that the CA one in itself because people without experience employ it without knowing when and how to use it. The inexperienced will mimic what they see and what is seen is CA starting aggressively and I've seen these disproportionate reactions many times over the years. Someone who has more experience may be able to look at a clip of CA training and think CA reacted disproportionately to the horse's actions. They might be able to look through the method and pick up a few things to modify/use, but a beginner in that area simply doesn't know any better.

That being said, the groundwork isn't all that bad and can actually be quite useful without the access aggression. I've used it incorporated with other methods on different horses over the years with good results. I also think he teaches the method clearly, so that it is easy enough to follow for people.

As a single method, CA overall is definitely not the best out there because of the issues outlined above. Taking only parts of it though, could be useful.
 

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I'm not a fan of Clinton Anderson, I think the bottom line of his method is "Scare the horse into submission". However, I'm curious to hear other people's point of view on him. What's your opinion on him, and why or why not are you a fan of his method?
I think there are many lessons and things that can be learned from him. I think he has a knack for explaining things well, why he is doing something, when you do it, how you do it, etc. However, I also think he's too aggressive and too fast. Most people can still take his method, tone it down, and make it work for them.

I was hugely successful with his trailer loading DVD that I bought many years ago. All my horses load like a dream now, because I know what to do. And it's beneficial for other aspects too.

Like with anything, you can always still learn something from someone. But you can pick what information is useful to you and employ it in your own program.
 

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I do feel that seeing horse training as 'systematic, step by step' is a way to create a kind of blindness in humans. It encourages people to think more on the 'steps' than on what the horse is thinking or feeling, at any one minute, and deadens that whole concept of really observing the horse, and dialoguing with them.
THAT!! Cannot be overstated! Regardless of which 'guru' you 'follow', if you are about 'following a program' or a 'method' then you're going to run into at least a few issues, based on the above.
 

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I'm not a fan of Clinton Anderson, I think the bottom line of his method is "Scare the horse into submission".
They do the opposite of that in reality. Horses are naturally scared of a lot of things, in many situations the horse must be given a chance to get over that fear to make progress towards being trained. Take any example you like from the first time being saddled to trailer loading.

The reason that works is very interesting, but basically the horse is processing a lot of information quickly or it wouldn't be of any value and would just create more problems. Fortunately they are reacting to the stress of a situation while at the same time being motivated to find the way to go back to being comfortable. There is a fine line there, and why feel and timing are so important, and why it takes experience to know when to quit or keep going.

Imagine putting on a wet shirt, at first that feels terrible and all that would be on your mind is taking it off. If you left it on long enough you would start to get used to it; if you always wore wet shirts it might not even bother you anymore and that would be what is normal. It is not exactly like that for the horse, but the idea is close enough to convey what Dr. Stephen Peters has learned about what is going on with the horse's brain in these situations.

The more real world colt starting you see and spend time around the more you will realize that no matter who is doing it the basics are the basics. Some of the widely practiced basics are actually wrong, and are based on assumptions that we are learning are not true. If you read much from the revered masters you'll find that they are saying a lot of the same things and were ahead of their time in many ways but they are also terrible communicators. So you try hard to understand it and later on you get it and say "oh, well why didn't he just say it like that?".

If you haven't seen everything Clinton Anderson is teaching from the fundamentals through advanced, and the colt starting you really don't know what he teaches. You don't have a frame of reference to judge how he would do the same things with an ordinary horse that is just green (fundamentals) or a wild mustang fresh off the BLM (colt starting). You've seen a youtube video or TV episode which is a commercial and the audience is inexperienced people with horses that have serious behavior problems. That is his base audience. He didn't make that horse flip over on the lady when she tries to get on, it came to him that way.

I completely get that some people don't like his personality or that he frequently expresses an idea in a harsh or crude way, even if what he really means is sometimes decent advice. There are lots of ways to train a horse and lots of people to learn it form so if he isn't your cup of tea that is completely understandable. My point is simply that people looking for a way to train horses that doesn't involve them getting sweaty or perfect scenarios where the horse just gets us without any of the tough days at the office are looking for a fantasy. Good luck with your search.
 

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They do the opposite of that in reality. Horses are naturally scared of a lot of things, in many situations the horse must be given a chance to get over that fear to make progress towards being trained. Take any example you like from the first time being saddled to trailer loading.
What I've seen CA and many, many others do(it's a very common tactic among 'natural' horse trainers) is to 'desensitise' a horse to something or other by repeatedly applying the stimulus, regardless of what the horse does, how frightened it is, and keep doing it until the horse 'gives up' and stands 'quietly'. In behavioural terms, this is called 'flooding'. I strongly believe 'flooding' is not a great way of getting someone over a fear. It actually doesn't get them over it, but mentally causes them to 'shut down' to it. In time, they might become genuinely blase about it, but that is achieved by way of a lot of mental anxiety which is not just unhelpful but can do some lasting mental 'damage'. 'Shell shocked' is a term for humans who have been through that sort of 'desensitising' during war time. That is what is the effect of his 'the more you scare them, the quieter they get' is.

Imagine putting on a wet shirt, at first that feels terrible and all that would be on your mind is taking it off. If you left it on long enough you would start to get used to it;... but the idea is close enough to convey what Dr. Stephen Peters has learned about what is going on with the horse's brain in these situations.
I'm not sure if you're still talking about frightening things. Yes, basically we(whatever species) do indeed get desensitised to stuff all the time, and in absence of fear or pain flooding type tactics, as you describe are indeed generally a reasonable way to go about it. But when something is really frightening, the horse(or human) tends to 'melt down' mentally. Often 'sink or swim' tactics do cause sinkage!

Is this Dr Stephen Peters an animal behaviourist? A neuroscientist...? I will have to look him up - do you have a link or refs or such that will help me find the most relevant?

The more real world colt starting you see and spend time around the more you will realize that no matter who is doing it the basics are the basics. Some of the widely practiced basics are actually wrong, and are based on assumptions that we are learning are not true. If you read much from the revered masters you'll find that they are saying a lot of the same things and were ahead of their time in many ways but they are also terrible communicators.
I think the first sentence above means, as I said, that the basic principles are similar/same, across the vast majority of 'the board'. Yes, everyone has their own take, so there are always some things 'wrong' in other's eyes. But it sounds like you might be implying certain things are scientifically wrong? Agreed, that whatever the subject, ideas become outdated with further scientific info, but what specifically are you talking about there? Flooding? Using (almost or solely) negative reinforcement & punishment to train, or...? Just like the modern 'horsemanship gurus', some of the old ones were good & some bad at communicating. I'm not sure what you're getting at there though. Are you saying CA is a great communicator & no one else is, or...?

If you haven't seen everything Clinton Anderson is teaching from the fundamentals through advanced, and the colt starting you really don't know what he teaches. You don't have a frame of reference to judge how he would do the same things with an ordinary horse that is just green (fundamentals) or a wild mustang fresh off the BLM (colt starting). You've seen a youtube video or TV episode which is a commercial and the audience is inexperienced people with horses that have serious behavior problems. That is his base audience. He didn't make that horse flip over on the lady when she tries to get on, it came to him that way.
Respectfully I've heard that ad nauseum and it just doesn't gel. I do appreciate & agree with the gist of what you're saying, that IF you've only seen a few snippets from a couple of 'problem horse' DVDs then you aren't in a position to make a very objective, informed opinion.

But where it falls down most for me, is that a) he says he treats all horses the same, and from what I've seen(way more than a couple of snippets, only of problem horses - no, haven't watched the whole ordeal tho I feel I've seen enough to have a good grasp, and I'm no novice who misunderstands what I'm seeing), he does indeed treat all horses I have seen essentially as abruptly, as aggressively, without consideration of their fear or such. Including a freshly caught brumby, which I was not impressed to see him justify his tactics & keep pushing when he caused it to fear of it's life & try to escape through steel panels...

The assumption that the audience are inexperienced people who have serious issues with their horses... yeah, that may well be the vast majority of those who watch his kind of vids. But how is that an argument for(or against, for that matter) his tactics & what we're seeing in these 'ads'? And what of those who watch who aren't of that ilk? Just because I do(believe I) understand fully what I'm seeing, and disagree with it on many levels, how does that justify this stuff being taught to those who don't know better?

As I've said before, if all he shows in his 'ads' is not an accurate portrayal of what he is about, then it's misleading - and if he is indeed better than he comes across, he's shot himself in the foot with people like me, putting them off wanting to learn more from him. If it IS an accurate portrayal, then, the case remains, that I simply disagree with(the style of) his approach.

That last, when it boils down to it, seems to me, gets in the way of rational discussions of pros & cons of different specifics(and for that matter, the base principles, which are essentially the same for most trainers). People who are fans tend to just put down any opposing opinions by saying 'you don't know' 'you haven't seen'...

And if it is the case that the 'ads' & what I've seen aren't accurate, I'll ask you, as I've asked others... show me the money then! I'm more than happy to be shown I'm incorrect about him, to be set straight, but I'm not willing to spend money on it, when I reckon I've watched enough to believe it would be a waste of money. But perhaps you can show me something, direct me towards a clip or some such that you think will give me cause to rethink?

And on to Warwick Schiller - only heard of him in the last year or so, seen his recent stuff, including one time in person. I couldn't agree more with what he has to say & how he deals with horses. He's the first 'clinician' I've come across that I cannot recall anything he's said that I disagreed with. His approach, his philosophy is 'chalk & cheese' to CA. Now... But apparently not so many years ago, he was using the same principles as just about every other 'horseman' on the stage. He has apparently changed quite profoundly, quite recently, and watching his older stuff it is not unlike PP or CA or many others, at a base level. All that really differs is the 'spin'.
 

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With most Thoroughbreds, force simply doesn't work; equestrian tact does. The English call such sensitive horses "high couraged", a characteristic that can be a double-edged sword. No horse will give you more if you can channel his energy in the right direction, but no horse can fight you harder if you abuse him. Pushing and pulling will backfire and is akin to stepping on the gas and the brakes at the same time in an automobile. Finesse, compromise, and an indirect approach to the problem - "going in through the back door" - will usually get the job done much better than confrontations, force and fights.

The American Jumping Style, George Morris, pages 16-17

Don't know if we are allowed to quote George Morris any more, and I disagreed with a number of things he wrote. But I found this to be true of Arabians and Mustangs, at least.

I don't care how many colts CA handled for 2 weeks each. Or how many problem horses he's "fixed" in a session. In my experience, horses don't learn like that. Not if you care about laying a good foundation. And that is what many of the big name horse trainers seem to skip.

A lady I knew took part in a mustang challenge. She didn't win. Her horse didn't do any tricks by the time it was over. She couldn't stand on his back, for example. But he was on the road to being a good trail horse, so she asked to keep him longer (6 weeks it turned out) so she could get him ready for an average trail rider to ride safely in the desert. She swore she'd never take part in another challenge because it encouraged rushing instead of taking the time needed for a foundation. And she had worked with too many horses over too many years whose biggest problem was their cracking foundation!

Clinton Anderson is like a SWAT team busting down the front door. In MANY things with horses, I find they learn better and truer if I find the back door instead. During Bandit's relay racing days, for example, he was whipped past scary stuff because "there isn't time". And "If you can ride out the bucking, he'll go..." was the result. It took months of refusing to push him past, and backing up and then slowly leading him before he even realized I'd let him be afraid. Months more before he began to get the idea I knew something worth knowing. About a year for him to start to relax on a trail. And about 3 years before I think he really believed we were partners who would work together on challenges.

He now is an early warning radar: His smell and hearing will be the first to pick up potential trouble ahead. He'll then trust me to use my eyes as we approach the potential danger. Once I "see" something, and tell him it is OK, he's fine. If I can't see it in the brush, maybe we'll find another path. And if we find ourselves in a tight spot, he pauses and waits for me to "suggest" a good way out - which beats him trying to explode.

Warwick Schiller is the only big name trainer I've seen who seems to see the same things in horses I see. I see horses as cautious, careful creatures with a lot of practicality. We should TEACH them instead of TRAIN them. Maybe it is different in shows.

My problem with CA is the same one I have with most of the video trainers. And a lot of riding. It is positively feudal. Man is King. Horse is Serf. Bow down, serf!

This passage helped shape my thinking:

I had started with the intention of making my [bridleless] horses do all that other horses did. I was treating Nona as a slave and plaything; a piece of putty to be molded to my will, an automaton which would only move at my command. It was not till I met Portia that this attitude began to change. From Portia I discovered the limitations of this outlook. I discovered how cramping is the desire to dominate, how many of the horse's own abilities are overlooked if man replaces by his own judgments the inborn intuition of the animal....

When I gave up trying to control Portia and tried instead to find out what she was, both she and life took on a different complexion. Here in my very back garden and under my own hand was the novelty and thrill I had missed while traveling over five continents. Here was the adventure, knowledge and inspiration which some people seek in outer space, others in the unexplored centre of the earth's surface. Here, in front of my eyes as soon as I opened them to it, was excitement enough for a lifetime...

...As soon as a person is prepared to follow his horse, his seat will come automatically. His only problem then is the eternal one of the educationalist and the politician - that of getting what he wants out of his subject. This is an art, not a technique; it is a skill, not a science. ...

Adventures Unbridled - Moyra Williams 1960
 

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Clinton Anderson does an excellent job of explaining his method and breaking it down into steps that anyone can follow. However, he is rather forceful and I don't think his methods work that well for more sensitive horses. You can learn from him but many of his exercises need to be toned down for a more sensitive horse.

My very hot Paso cannot learn anything under stress. He is so fearful he doesn't retain anything. Compare him to my Paint mare. She is a more dominant type, more self confident, and more determined to get her way. She also has relatively little fear- half the trouble she gets into is because she thinks she's invincible. Both horses have completely different personalities and knowing how much "signal" to apply and when, are the key to getting a response. The Paso, half the time I spend trying to calm him down.

My foxtrotter is very food motivated - she would do anything for a cookie. She also is very lazy- you would never need to lunge her very hard, 2 circles and she would be like, what do you want me to do to end this exercise?

The more fearful a horse is, the more difficult they are to train. Flooding seems to work just fine with many horses, as most either are 1) smart enough to realize there's nothing to be afraid of 2) more trusting in their person or 3) they just want to stand there and not run circles.

Flooding does not work with a truly fearful horse- my Paso would run a hole in the ground before he would decide there's nothing to be afraid of. I tried feeding him a bucket of grain while I introduce a fearful object- he would shake and stand there (learned helplessness). I have not found a good way to introduce objects. Anything I hold is automatically scary. Anything on the ground is no longer scary, unless it is water. Food seems to work best, as does clicker training. He needs to get a recognizable reward for good behavior (like a cookie). Otherwise he just doesn't understand that his behavior was the correct one. Rest or removal of pressure just isn't a reward he understands. I would say it is that he isn't very intelligent, but i think he is so nervous it is difficult to train him. You must calm him down in order for him to learn. I could use Clinton Anderson's methods, in slow motion at a walk.
 

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CA does seem to be more forceful, more abrupt, less considerate, 'louder'(metaphorically & otherwise) than most other 'guru level' trainers I've seen though. I do not believe the level of aggressiveness I've seen him use as a general tactic is appropriate.
I once got to meet CA in a social situation and the impression I came away with was not a good one. He is just as aggressive and egotistical when not around horses and feels his way/opinion is the only way (especially if you are female).


The first thing I noticed was a big bias for quarter horses, and my horse was certainly not a quarter horse. So, when we were finally chosen for a demo, I was excited... It was quite obvious to me that he only knew how to follow a formula and not how to actually train, even as green as I was then. I can't imagine how bad CA was if that guy learned what he knew from CA.
This goes along with my experience with CA. In the course of the conversation, he asked what type of horses I had. When I answered Arabs, he made a face and asked why I would waste my time. Before even giving me a chance to answer, I got to hear his opinion on how flighty and delicate and unreliable, etc they were. He was hardly the first person I have met with a negative opinion about Arabs, but such an attitude seems pretty stupid from a trainer - even if you think it, have the sense not to say it out loud to someone who may have been a potential client! My response to him was my normal one to people who hate on arabs: I say I look forward to seeing them out on the 100 mile trail with me and name the date and location of the next competition. That was the end of the convo, imagine that. :rolleyes:


I think CA can do a good job of breaking down what he is doing and why, but I don't believe in cookie cutter systems because all horses are individuals. But observing any trainer is always a good learning experience, even if what you learn is what not to do!
 

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When I answered Arabs, he made a face and asked why I would waste my time.
I'm guessing he wouldn't think much of Bandit, either: Half-Arabian, Half-Mustang and All-Opinion! But over time, Bandit's become the horse I would want to be on if something really bad was happening. There is a toughness to Bandit that I think requires a degree of intelligence and independence. When he assumes responsibility for making X happens, he really DOES take responsibility. He owns the outcome. But to get that, you have to first give up tight control in order to get willing cooperation.
 

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I was treating Nona as a slave and plaything; a piece of putty to be molded to my will, an automaton which would only move at my command.
I have gotten in trouble more than once, for comparing (normal) horse training to a slave/master relationship...
 

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I think there are trainers better suited to certain types of owners, horses and circumstances. I agree that CA is quite good for horses that have either become overconfident in their status over their human servants or horses that have learned dangerous behaviours out of fear and there has to be a fix NOW or someone or the horse is gonna get buried. I think as well from the numerous videos I could get my hands on that he is quite impatient and will always push the horse to their limit where not necessary, in my opinion. Just because it CAN be done fast SHOULD it? Quality over a longer period or faster progress with increased stress for everyone all round? But I'm sure in the videos time was $$ and he was under pressure to get results fast in addition to his methods. I'm sure plenty of horses out there would quickly adjust to his approach and speed. But there are horses out there that simply would not tolerate his "heavy handedness" much less thrive on it. His theme of training is all about "me me me, I am boss" which works for some people... for some having a horse trained to be a machine in the name of safety is acceptable as is eliminating horses that simply wont be up to that standard. For others who want to develop an authentic relationship over time other trainers methods would serve better.

I would summarise and say that CA is not as versatile a horse trainer and that is OK, he has his niche. He's an extremely charismatic and skilled salesman though :p My opinion is his approach will work with most horses if you have a strict deadline or where a more timid person needs to learn more oomf/control/confidence to deal with an above average scenario... like an aggressive/reactive/pushy horse that is nearly classified or considered dangerous. And honestly most people try to make pathetic excuses for deadlines. The above scenarios rarely happen overnight, either. Like last minute deciding to try load your horse up for a vet appointment booked months ago. Why leave it to the last week or day when you could have been working on it for months? Now the horse is rearing and spinning every time you get near the trailer because of rushing. Now he's learned to rear. Why sedate for a wormer or clipping rather than working on it bit by bit every other day for half a year? People are lazy. And I'm guilty of it too. But the best results aren't always the fastest. And for that... I prefer Warwick Schiller. I would say he is probably the most well rounded trainer I've discovered and I am always binging on as much content as I can from other trainers. Lots have good heart, intentions and methods but none are as comprehensive and as well explained as WS. He can do what CA does and more, basically.

But I would still rather someone use CA approach where the horse can appreciate clear instruction than just do it on the fly and frustrate the horse into shutting down or escalating.
 

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I once got to meet CA in a social situation and the impression I came away with was not a good one. He is just as aggressive and egotistical when not around horses and feels his way/opinion is the only way (especially if you are female).



This goes along with my experience with CA. In the course of the conversation, he asked what type of horses I had. When I answered Arabs, he made a face and asked why I would waste my time. Before even giving me a chance to answer, I got to hear his opinion on how flighty and delicate and unreliable, etc they were. He was hardly the first person I have met with a negative opinion about Arabs, but such an attitude seems pretty stupid from a trainer - even if you think it, have the sense not to say it out loud to someone who may have been a potential client! My response to him was my normal one to people who hate on arabs: I say I look forward to seeing them out on the 100 mile trail with me and name the date and location of the next competition. That was the end of the convo, imagine that. :rolleyes:


I think CA can do a good job of breaking down what he is doing and why, but I don't believe in cookie cutter systems because all horses are individuals. But observing any trainer is always a good learning experience, even if what you learn is what not to do!
It always boggles my mind how many people speak badly about Arabs or have a low opinion of them. Being the most influential horse in the world, the base of many of today's breeds, you'd think there would be more respect. I don't think there is anything an Arab can't do. Once a trainer starts dragging a breed of horse through the mud, that's it for me! See ya bye!
 

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What I've seen CA and many, many others do(it's a very common tactic among 'natural' horse trainers) is to 'desensitise' a horse to something or other by repeatedly applying the stimulus, regardless of what the horse does, how frightened it is, and keep doing it until the horse 'gives up' and stands 'quietly'. In behavioural terms, this is called 'flooding'. I strongly believe 'flooding' is not a great way of getting someone over a fear. It actually doesn't get them over it, but mentally causes them to 'shut down' to it. In time, they might become genuinely blase about it, but that is achieved by way of a lot of mental anxiety which is not just unhelpful but can do some lasting mental 'damage'.
Exactly!! It's really dangerous in the long run as well, because all the repeated stress can make the horse snap.
 
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I just wanted to say that I really liked what @tinyliny had to say. I've seen a lot of new horse owners who, not too long into ownership, were just overwhelmed by everything and really needed that approach that puts everything into steps and boxes. They couldn't read their horses, they had no idea what the horse was thinking, and they just could not connect with the horse. I think it's the same way people get into Parelli, although maybe Parelli has sort of a "kinder, gentler" reputation?

I just really agree that for someone who honestly can't read their horse, using any one of these horse guru approaches, as artificial as it is, is better than putting themselves in harm's way because their horse is running all over them, y'know?

I also think it's much better to be able to read your horse, but that's a LOT harder to teach someone, or so I'd think.

IDK, I'm one of those middle-aged first-time horse owners too, but I got some good advice early on, to just spend time watching horses out in the field with each other, and I did that. After dozens and dozens of hours spent just watching them, I started understanding their "language," and that was way better than some step-by-step, check-this-box-before-you-move-on approach. It's much nicer to be able to have a sort of dialogue with them, where they can feel like they are being heard, than to just try to fit them into some box.
 

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Not a fan at all. First off, he doesn't like Arabians, or rather, he doesn't know anything about Arabians. I also saw one of his disciples give a demonstration at a horse rescue shelter. It was a gorgeous, young Appy gelding. What I saw was a horse that was relaxed and curious when he walked into the arena that turned into a terrified soul five minutes later. Not my way. Also, six years ago, I bought an Arabian that was trained using CA's method. It took me four months of retraining to make him a safe horse. He's a different horse (i.e. better), today. So I'm not a fan.
 
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