Clinton Anderson Presents: Gun Shy


How to Get a Jittery Horse Under Control

Clinton Anderson from Downunder Horsemanship has a one-of-a kind method to help train horses and their owners. His method is based on his mentality towards horses. He understands that they’re beautiful creatures, filled with grace, strength, and athleticism. Unfortunately, horses don’t realize how big and strong they are and they move very quickly. If your horse doesn’t respect you, these qualities are a recipe for disaster. Clinton aims to inspire the dreams of horsemen by showing you that there isn’t anything that you can’t teach your horse with a little training. Clinton believes that getting horses to behave is simple, as long as their owners understand how to effectively work with their horses. On today’s episode, Clinton works to help Grady and Dorene get their horse Soda Jet under control.

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Soda Jet is a 13-year-old horse that has a terrible bucking problem. He’s extremely disrespectful and very reactive to his surroundings. The first time Doreen knew there was a problem was when her husband and Grady took the gelding to a barrel race. Soda Jet ended up bucking her husband off onto the asphalt in the parking lot.

These problems persisted and Soda Jet would insistently spin in circles at any sign of being ridden. Once anyone successfully mounted him, he immediately started to buck. Now, Grady and Dorene are fed up and want to get to the bottom of what’s going on with Soda Jet.

Clinton begins Soda Jet’s training in the roundpen as it’s the safest approach and allows Clinton to gain the gelding’s respect and trust without being connected to him. He starts by establishing direction, and then works on getting two eyes from Soda Jet and then changing directions. As Clinton continues to work with Soda Jet, he focuses on making sure that Soda Jet understands that doing the right thing is much easier than resisting. Once Soda Jet gets the hang of things, his attitude and behavior change dramatically.

After they’ve warmed up, Clinton starts to desensitize Soda Jet so that the gelding is not afraid of him or his tools. He starts with throwing the rope and then his stick and string at Soda Jet to show him that it’s not going to hurt him. The more they practice this, the less reactive Soda Jet gets and the more he relaxes. Clinton explains that horses don’t learn from pressure, they learn from the release of pressure.

Clinton then proceeds to give Grady some hands-on experience so that he understands how to desensitize Soda Jet. Clinton believes that Grady has to learn that the only way to get the horse over the fear is to take the pressure away when he relaxes. He tells Grady not to take away the pressure until the horse stops moving his feet and relaxes. This helps show Soda Jet that he isn’t going to keep getting away with bucking. Clinton advises Grady while he’s in the roundpen practicing. They move on to more desensitizing with the stick and string.

Grady spends some time whacking the ground and swinging the stick and string around to desensitize Soda Jet. Clinton wants Soda Jet to realize that no one is out to get him and to start using the thinking side of his brain. When Soda Jet does the right thing, he’s praised and rubbed. Soda Jet starts to lick his lips and lower his head, which are both visible signs of relaxation.

Next, Clinton moves on to the Jeffrey’s Method—invented by a man in Australia named Kel Jeffrey. The way it works involves lying and moving around on Soda Jet bareback and showing him that just because something’s on his back doesn’t mean he needs to panic. Doing this is a good way to bond and desensitize him before putting the saddle on him and preparing to mount him. Clinton has Grady jump up and down next to the gelding to desensitize Soda Jet from a new, intense stimuli. By the end of the training, Soda Jet shows remarkable progress and Clinton congratulates Grady on the progress they make.

Clinton Anderson is dedicated to helping horsemen understand how to gain their horses’ respect. Learn more about the Clinton Anderson training method, or get access to the Downunder Digital Library from Clinton Anderson today.


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