Start with the Fundamentals
Clinton Anderson from Downunder Horsemanship has a method for training horses. He believes that getting horses to behave is simple; it’s training people that’s the real trick. Join him as he tackles some of the most challenging situations with problem horses and with problem owners. This week, we’ll watch as Clinton works with Clay Walker, the country music singer, and his 2-year-old colt.
Clay starts out their interaction by telling Clinton about how he’s used the Fundamentals Series to work with his older horses, but he really wanted to start this colt out right, so he figured it was time to pay Clinton a visit. He wants to train his colt to do cutting, so he needs to have a good foundation in place. Clinton explains that the Fundamentals level of the Method and his approach to colt starting are very similar, but there are a few things that are a little bit different when starting a colt—especially concerning safety and preparing them for their first ride.
Clinton begins the training session by reminding Clay that the real secret to colt starting is the preparation. That’s why it’s important to spend an extra day or two, or however many days it takes, to really prepare the horse. You can’t skip any steps, that’s why it’s called a method. If you move on to a new step before you’ve mastered the Fundamentals, you’re going to run into some behavioral problems. Clinton has Clay desensitize his horse to the lead rope and then has him move on to spanking the ground with the stick and string. When Clay begins desensitizing his colt to the stick and string, he starts spanking the ground far away from his colt and then slowly moves closer and closer to him. The next exercise they work on is Yielding the Hindquarters Stage One. Clinton draws a little circle around the colt’s front feet as a visual guideline. The goal is to keep the colt’s front feet in the circle while his hindquarters pivot. After this exercise, Clay realizes that his horse is a bit lazy, so he’s going to need some more work.
As they continue to work together, Clay realizes that by following Clinton’s method exactly, horses can progress quickly. Even though Clay had been following some of Clinton’s work, he had skipped a few steps. This showed up during the training session, so it gave him some insight as to how to continue the training once he’s back at home. Once Clay knows what he needs to improve on at home, Clinton has him move on to practicing the Jeffery’s Method with his colt – rubbing the colt, jumping up and down beside him, and jumping up on to his back while rubbing him down.
While the Jeffrey’s Method looks unsafe, it’s actually extremely safe as long as when you jump up on the horse’s back you keep your knees together and don’t “ride” the horse. However, Clinton understands the apprehension and remembers what it was like when he first did the exercise. The thing to remember is that it works, and it creates a wonderful bonding opportunity for both the horse and the owner and is extremely effective in the training process.
Clinton Anderson has developed a method to help train any horses, regardless of their problem. Unfortunately, up until now, it was nearly impossible to access the method when you were on the go or at the barn. That’s why we’ve created three ways to get the content you need at the price you want. Our Downunder Horsemanship app gives you access to your digital training kits and allows you to download videos and training content directly to your mobile device or view them on your computer. The Downunder Horsemanship app also offers over 100 hours of free, in-depth training content. You can also access all of the training material through three different levels by joining our No Worries Club.
To learn more about the Clinton Anderson training method, become a member of the No Worries Club, or to get information on any of the products seen on our show, head over to our homepage and download the Downunder Horsemanship app today!