How to Find the Right Discipline for a Horse

For the past 20 years, Clinton Anderson from Downunder Horsemanship has devoted his life to creating the best training tools and videos available to help bring his method to you. Join him on his weekly endeavors of tackling some of the most challenging situations with problem horses, and problem owners. This week, Clinton tells us how to find the right discipline for a horse.

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To begin this episode, Clinton reminds us that not every horse is designed or genetically bred to do what you want him to do. There are different horses for different courses. This is the same mentality in people. For example, some people are designed genetically to be long distance runners, while others do better at sprints. While we’re all capable of running a marathon with the right training and discipline, some people are going to be naturally better at it while others may feel a bit resentful or unmotivated during the process. This also applies to horses.

Our job as horsemen is to try and set our horses up so that they enjoy what they’re doing. This doesn’t mean that they’re going to love everything they’re trained to do to the same level, but it’s important to get them aligned in the right direction. Clinton tells us that just because he breeds reining horses it doesn’t mean that all of his reining horses were successful. In fact, some of them (worth thousands of dollars) just didn’t want to do that particular sport. They had no talent nor desire for it and simply didn’t have the minds to be a reining horse. But, when Clinton put them out on the trail and trained them to be trail-riding horses, they immediately perked up. He tells us it’s almost like they had a smile on their face with eyes bright and their ears forward—they just loved being trail-riding horses. Then, as soon as he put them back in the arena, he told them, “Hey, you’re going to be a reining horse. You’re going to spin. You’re going to stop. You’re going to slide. You’re going to change leads.” They immediately had a sour, uncooperative attitude.

So, at some point you have to consider what’s best for the horse and what’s safest for the rider. To do this, try to take some time and put in the effort to figure out what that discipline is for each individual horse. You don’t want to try to hammer a square peg into a round hole. Instead, you want to try to get each horse to really enjoy their job as best as possible and then naturally follow that direction. Breeding can help with this, but each horse still need to be treated as an individual. It’s the same idea if both parents in a family are dentists and they want their children to follow in the same profession. Unless their kids have a passion for it, they’re going to end up hating their job as a dentist. You have to let your horse tell you what he’s going to be good at and listen to him. However, prior to doing any of this, it’s important to establish a good training foundation with your horse using the Downunder Horsemanship training method. This helps you master the fundamentals in a controlled environment so you can safely work together with your horse to find the right discipline.

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! If you’re interested in getting accelerated results, let a Clinton Anderson Certified Clinician bring the Method to you!

No Worries by Clinton Anderson

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