Yes. During the Method Ambassador program, you must bring two horses of your own to work. The two horses must be under the age of 10, they must be geldings or mares (no stallions), they must not have any previous training in the Method®, and they must be completely sound. If you have a horse that is currently sound, but has had lameness issues in the past, you’d be taking a gamble in bringing him. It’s in your best interest to bring sound horses because if both of your horses go lame during the training program, you’re just out of luck. That’s why we require everyone to bring two horses – if one goes lame you still have another one to work with. Clinton VERY HIGHLY recommends that your horses come in shod on all four feet. This helps to prevent horses from going lame because of sore feet. We do a lot of riding outside on harder terrain and most horses that start the program barefoot will get sore.
During the five individual training modules to earn your Professional Clinician certification, you’ll provide your own horses as well. It’s strongly recommended to bring at least two horses to work with, and you’re permitted to bring up to five. Stipulations for the horses you bring to each training module will be discussed with you at the time of application.
Please note that Clinton highly discourages students from bringing any type of gaited horse. Every horse has a job he is bred to do—work cows, slide to a stop, pull carts, etc. Gaited horses are bred to go fast in a straight line. A large part of the Method® is teaching horses to become soft and supple throughout their whole bodies, and gaited horses are not designed to be supple throughout their bodies. Nor are they designed to be athletic enough to do maneuvers such as rollbacks, circles or tight turns. Can you take a gaited horse through the Method®? Absolutely! We’ve taken hundreds of gaited horses through the Method® here at the ranch. But, when you’re in the Academy, it would be wise to choose horses that are going to help make your job easier, not harder.