Clinton Anderson: How to Get Your Horse to Go Forward

Getting a Stopped Horse to Go Forward

Clinton Anderson from Downunder Horsemanship has a tried and true method for training horses, regardless of their behavioral problems, age or past traumas. He’s devoted his life to creating training tools and videos to help horsemen everywhere take control and gain the respect they deserve from their horses. On this week’s episode, we watch as Clinton explains how to get your horse to go forward when he doesn’t seem to want to budge.

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Every once and awhile, you’ll get a horse that will stop in the middle of the trail and refuse to go forward. He will either stick his feet in the ground and stand still or actually run backwards. A horse that suddenly stops usually does so for one of two reasons. He may do it because of a lack of respect, which means that your “go” button isn’t good enough. When you cue him forward with your legs, he doesn’t respect you. Or, he may do it because of a lack of confidence. You might be coming up on an object or obstacle that scares him and causes him to back away from it.

You’ll be able to tell if your horse is stopping out of a lack of respect or fear by the way he behaves. A horse that is truly fearful of something will be on high alert – his head will be raised in the air, he’ll feel tense, he may snort and be fidgety. If he’s stopping out of a lack of respect, he won’t exhibit any of those signs. Instead, he’ll have a bit of an attitude. You’ll take him out on the trail, and after an hour or so, and he’ll just kind of shut down and decide, “I’m not movin’ anymore, I don’t want to go forward.”

If the cause is the horse’s fear of an object or obstacle that lies ahead, use the Approach and Retreat Method to build his confidence in the situation and eventually get him to pass the object or go across the obstacle.

If your horse is stopping out of a lack of respect, your first order of business should be to go back to basics and work on establishing a good gas pedal. When you ask him to go by gentling squeezing his sides with the calves of your legs, he should willingly move forward until you ask him to stop.

Sometimes bending the horse in a circle and freeing his feet up is enough to get him going forward again. After hustling his feet in a few circles, when you feel him tuned in to you, ask him to go forward. At this point, going forward will look much easier to him than hustling his feet in a circle, and he’ll correct his behavior.

You can also work to turn negative experiences into positive, learning ones. For instance, if the horse just wants to stop and run backwards, use it to your advantage. Since he wanted to go back, ask him to back up. Turn his idea into your idea. Back the horse until he doesn’t really want to back up any more. It’s funny how when it’s your idea to do something it’s no longer fun for your horse. After backing him, bend him around your leg in a few circles to soften him up. Then ask him to trot straight forward.

Once you have addressed the horse’s lack of respect and his lack of confidence, his refusal to go forward on the trail should become a thing of the past. However, keep in mind that before you take your horse out on the trail, you should have mastered the Fundamentals in the arena or a controlled environment. If you don’t have a solid foundation on your horse, when you run into issues on the trail, you’re setting your horse up for failure and putting yourself in a potentially dangerous situation. When you teach your horse the Fundamentals, you’ll earn your horse’s respect, which leads to control. Remember, if you’re a great leader for your horse, your horse will be a great follower.

The Downunder Horsemanship Method is a foolproof way to train your horse and tackle any behavioral problems. To make sure you get the most from your training sessions, Clinton has developed a new platform to deliver his method to you. Introducing, The Mobile Method. Now, you’ll have access to Clinton’s training methods, videos and more wherever you are, any time of the day. Whether you’re on the go or getting ready for a day in the round pen, all you need to do is open the Mobile Method. From the Downunder Horsemanship app, you’ll have access to digital training kits. You can also download videos and training content directly onto your mobile device or computer. Now, you can watch Clinton’s weekly endeavors where he tackles some of the most challenging situations with problem horses, and with problem owners, right on your smartphone.

The Downunder Horsemanship app also offers over 100 hours of free, in-depth training content. If you sign up today and join the No Worries Club, you’ll receive full access to Clinton’s ever-growing training library and a massive amount of membership-only features and information.

Access all of the training materials and download them straight to your device using the No Worries Club and the Downunder Horsemanship app today. Our No Worries Club membership offers low monthly prices with 50% discounts on all purchases plus 8 digital videos per year, 4 digital journals per year, and access to the No Worries Club website. For the ultimate experience, opt for a premium membership and you’ll get access to thousands of dollars of horse training tips delivered right to your fingertips. Plus, with our new Mobile Method, you’ll get maximum results in minimal time.

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 today’s show, head over to Clinton’s website!


Master your horsemanship training through Clinton’s step-by-step method videos by joining the No Worries Club today. Becoming a club member ensures you get VIP pricing on all of Clinton’s must-have training tools and resources. Plus, you’ll enjoy all the phenomenal benefits that come with club membership!

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