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Tomorrow, Mindy, Clinton’s Australian Quarter Horse mare, celebrates a milestone birthday as she turns 25! Nowadays, Mindy enjoys a life of ease at the ranch (she’s turned out in a big grassy pasture and looks forward to being fed her favorite treat – a slice of bread.), but when Clinton was building Downunder Horsemanship and introducing the Method to horse owners around the world, Mindy was right by his side. “She was the role model for the Method – the ultimate display of what can be achieved if you follow my step-by-step instructions,” Clinton says.
Clinton purchased the mare in 1993 when she was a weanling. The pair competed in the 1997 Australian Reining Futurity and placed second. “When I first started taking her out on the road with me to clinics and expos, I immediately noticed that people were drawn to her. People would often walk up to me and ask, “Is Mindy here?” She became way more famous than myself and even is to this day,” Clinton says. “People can identify more with her than they can with me.”
Clinton officially retired Mindy in 2010 at the Las Vegas, Nevada Walkabout Tour when the liver chestnut mare was 17. “It was an easy one, but certainly an emotional one for me as well,” Clinton says. “When I pulled the saddle off her back and laid it in the arena, I got a little choked up. Mindy was a great partner for me. She never said to me, “I’ve had enough, I’m done.” A lot of horses will go along with things for a while, but eventually they’ll stop and say, “That’s it. I’m done.” They get a little grouchy and tired and give up. Mindy never once said, “No” to me. Not once. There were times when she was exhausted, with sweat rolling off her, but she kept putting forth her best effort. Right until the end, she gave a 110 percent.”
That heart is what separates the truly great horses from the average horses. “I’ve ridden a lot of horses that were more talented than Mindy, but no horse had more try than her. She’d just go and go and never quit,” Clinton says. “When you get a horse with the talent Mindy had and couple that with her try and mind, you’ve got a once-in-a-lifetime horse. I count myself lucky to have had her in my life.”