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by Downunder Horsemanship

Fundamentals is the Answer

    • My horse bites me.
    • My horse kicks.
    • My horse bucks.
    • My horse canters too fast.
    • My horse won’t move forward.
    • My horse won’t stand for the farrier.
    • My horse is head shy.
    • My horse is cinchy.
    • My horse is buddy sour.
    • My horse is afraid of men in black cowboy hats.

The list of horse problems Clinton has heard throughout his career is endless. And while each horse is an individual and the circumstances surrounding a particular issue can be different, Clinton’s answer to fixing the problem is always the same – start the Fundamentals. He may sound like a broken record saying it, but the fact of the matter is earning a horse’s respect by moving his feet forwards, backwards, left and right, always rewarding the slightest try and proving to him that you’re a trustworthy leader – all topics learned in the Fundamentals Series – fix 95 percent of all horse problems. (The other 5 percent are extreme cases that are cured using the same principles with slightly different approaches.)

“Horse problems are nothing but symptoms of a cause. Any problem a horse could possibly have comes from a lack of respect or fear, or in some cases, both,” Clinton says. “Most people think that their horse’s problem (biting, bucking, rearing, pawing, etc.) is the real issue, but it’s not. They get so focused on the horse’s bad behavior that they can’t see what is actually causing it.”

If you have a horse that likes to bite, your problem isn’t really that the horse is biting you; it’s that he doesn’t respect you. “Earn his respect by gaining control of his feet and the problem will disappear on its own because biting is nothing more than a symptom of a cause,” he affirms.

He often tells Walkabout Tour crowds that he would be put out of business if all owners taught their horses the Fundamentals. With the Fundamentals, not only does your horse become a safer, more enjoyable partner, but you become a better horseman and learn how to effectively communicate with him. Once you know how to communicate with your horse, there are no boundaries on what you can achieve together!