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Clinton Anderson from Downunder Horsemanship has a truly effective method for training horses, and it often begins with training the owner. He reminds us that the key element to working with somebody that’s lost their confidence or has a lot of fear around a horse is getting them back in control again.
On today’s episode, Clinton gets to know Dusty. He’s a sweet, personable, friendly horse, but he can’t seem to stop bucking off his owner Lisa. It’s an extremely dangerous habit and has led Lisa to incur torn muscles in her ribcage, a badly bruised hip, and a general fear of riding. Even after she sent him to a trainer in Colorado Springs, Dusty still had this problem. Luckily, Clinton has agreed to work with him to get his bucking under control.
Dusty, now 6 years old, has been with Lisa since he was a foal. The first two years of his life were spent in the pasture with his dam. Then he developed a bad eye injury and needed to see a doctor. Lisa believes that this is when his problems started because he didn’t get worked with regularly. He was 4 years old when Lisa decided it was time to start training him. A little into the training, Dusty bucked Lisa off and she knew she was going to need some help.
Clinton immediately recognizes the struggle between Lisa and Dusty, who seems to be marching to the beat of his own drum. During their training, Clinton has his student Chris work with Dusty. He aims to first fix Dusty’s problems on the ground, earning the gelding’s respect and getting him to use the thinking side of his brain before trying to get on him. By the time Lisa comes to pick Dusty up, he’s familiar with the entire Fundamentals level of the Method.
Before Dusty and Lisa go home, Clinton wants to make sure Lisa is confident working with Dusty. To do this, he spends the entire day showing Lisa what Dusty knows, gives her lessons and tips, and essentially puts her in the trenches. Ensuring Lisa is confident and has this knowledge is crucial for her and Dusty’s continued success after leaving Clinton’s ranch. Clinton starts by showing Lisa how to gain a horses respect by moving his feet forwards, backwards, left, and right. They continue this practice through a series of groundwork exercises and riding exercises.
The first exercise they work on is Yield the Hindquarters Stage One. During this exercise, Lisa walks in a big circle towards Dusty’s hindquarters cueing him to yield and pivot his forequarters. When Lisa and Dusty are doing the exercise correctly together, Clinton moves on to having them practice Lunging for Respect Stage One. During this exercise, Lisa works on asking Dusty to circle around her, yield his hindquarters when cued and give her two eyes.
Clinton stresses that his method always includes teaching owners how to gain control of their horses to increase their confidence, which is a great way to eliminate fear. By focusing on groundwork, you show the horse that you’re a leader he can respect and trust.
After practicing groundwork exercises, it’s time for Lisa to get in the saddle. As soon as she gets on Dusty, she notices that he’s very light, which is a huge difference from when she dropped him off. As the episode ends, we see Lisa and Dusty finally in unity together. As long as you follow the Clinton Anderson training method, you can fix any problem you’re experiencing with your horse.
Clinton Anderson is dedicated to helping horsemen everywhere understand how to gain their horse’s respect. If you’re interested in learning more about the Clinton Anderson training method, or want information on any of the products seen on today’s show, check out Clinton’s website, browse his ultimate collection of kits!