Academy Horse Frequently Asked Questions

Academy Horse Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is Clinton's money-back guarantee?

    Clinton is so confident in the training program that he offers a money-back guarantee. At the end of your lesson day, when you come to the ranch to learn all that your horse has been taught, you’ll be asked if you’re happy with the training your horse received. If you’re not happy with the training and your horse’s transformation, you’ll be given your money back. This is a one-time offer on the day of your lesson.

  • How long is the training session?
    The Academy Horse Program is six weeks in length.
  • How often will my horse be worked with?

    Your horse will be worked with 21/2 hours a day, six days a week.

  • What is the payment plan?
    Each six-week level of the Academy Horse Program costs $7,500 for training and $1,500 for board. Any days the horse is kept at the ranch past 6 weeks, board is $33/day. A $500 deposit is required to schedule a phone consultation with our trainers to discuss enrolling your horse in the program. If after the phone call you decide the program isn’t right for you and your horse, your deposit will be refunded. If you move forward with enrolling your horse in the training course, your deposit will be applied to the training fee and be nonrefundable.
  • Is there an age limit on the horses you accept?
    All horses must be between the ages of 2 and 10 and be halter broke.
  • Do you accept stallions into the program?


  • Do you accept mules into the program?


  • What breed of horses do you accept into the program?
    We accept all breeds of horses for training.
  • Can I submit more than one horse to be trained at a time?
    Clinton highly discourages owners from sending two horses to the same training session. The reason is that just because the horses start the session at the same time it does not guarantee that they will finish at the same time. We always do our best to keep every horse on the six-week training schedule, but there are a million things that can happen during a training session that could cause one horse’s training to be prolonged. For starters, each horse is an individual and progresses at his own rate, and some horses need extra training to get to where they need to be in the program. And, if one of the horses got sick or lame or injured himself and needed some time off, his training would also be delayed. If a horse’s training is delayed or prolonged, the price for his training session stays the same. However, with that being said, if one of your horses has successfully finished the program and is ready to go home and the other horse needs three additional weeks of training, you would have two choices. 1) You could come to the ranch for your lesson with the first horse, and then make a separate trip to come for your lesson with the other horse. Or, 2) You could leave both horses in training until they were both ready to leave the ranch. However, keep in mind that because the first horse successfully finished the program, you would be charged an additional training fee of $500/week for the extra training he’d receive until you came to pick him up on your lesson day. You would not incur any additional training fees for the horse that required extra time at the ranch to successfully finish the program. The bottom line is that if everything doesn’t go exactly according to plan it can become expensive to send multiple horses to the Academy at the same time.
  • How do you determine which clinician trains which horses?
    Clinton invites only the most talented horsemen back to the ranch to continue their studies in the Clinician Academy and work toward the next certification level. Based on the information you provide us about your horse in the consultation phone call, he’ll choose the best trainer to work with your horse.
  • Can I request a particular clinician to train my horse?
    No, Clinton uses his years of experience to assign the horses to the trainers.
  • Will my gaited horse be expected to canter?
    Yes. All horses in the training program will be expected to canter.
  • Will my horse be expected to go over obstacles?
    Yes. Weather permitting, all horses will be worked over obstacles on a regular basis. Some of the obstacles on the course may include water hazards, logs, a cowboy curtain, trenches, gullies, bridges, banks, hills and coops. Going over obstacles is a great way to practice the Fundamentals exercises without boring the horse in the arena and encourages the horse to watch where he’s placing his feet.
  • What health requirements does my horse need before he arrives for training?
    Your horse will need to have proof of a current negative Coggins. If your horse will be coming from out of state, you will also need to have a current health certificate for him. Health certificates expire every 30 days, and since your horse will be at the ranch for longer than 30 days, we’ll have our veterinarian provide an up-to-date health certificate for you. That way, when you come to pick the horse up, all your paperwork will be in order. We recommend checking with your local veterinarian about health requirements when traveling across state lines.
  • What if I can’t trailer my horse?
    If you are interested in the training program but are unable to trailer your horse, you can use an equine transport company. We’ve had customers in the past use Equine Express with great success.
  • Does my horse need to be shod?
    We prefer horses to arrive shod since the horses will be worked over rough terrain. Shoeing your horse acts as a preventative measure to protect his feet. Most of the horses that come for training are either young colts or are older horses that have been turned out to pasture and are not used to being worked with daily. We tell people to view shoeing the horse like an insurance policy. We only have six weeks to work with your horse, and we want to ensure that you get the most out of the program. We’d hate to see your horse laid up because his feet couldn’t handle the rigors of the training program.
  • What if I can’t shoe my horse?
    We understand that because of limited handling or a horse’s habit of kicking, etc., that not all horses will be able to be shod before arriving for their training session. If you are unable to have your horse shod before he arrives, we’ll be happy to have shoes put on him. We have a local farrier who shoes all of our training horses. The fee to have your horse shod will be added to your bill.
  • I’ve heard that horses that aren’t used to being worked every day often develop girth gall. Is this true? And if so, what exactly is girth gall?
    It’s common for horses to develop girth gall – sores from the girth rubbing behind their elbow because they haven’t been ridden very much. When colts are started at the ranch, seven out of ten of them on average will develop girth gall. The area behind the horse’s elbow is soft and tender like a baby’s bottom, so oftentimes when the horse gets girthed up and really worked, they get sore. It’s not a major problem, in most cases you can put Vetericyn and Corona on it and it’ll heal just fine. In more severe cases, the horse will have to be off work for a week or two to let the sore heal. In both cases, when the horse is back to full health, they very rarely develop girth gall again because the area has toughened up. It’s kind of like if you are an office worker and one day you’re asked to dig ditches. Your hands would be blistered within an hour from handling the shovel because they’re not used to manual labor – they’re soft and tender. But after a few weeks of digging ditches, your hands will be covered in calluses and not be bothered by handling the shovel at all because they’ve toughened up.
  • Should I work with my horse prior to sending him to his training session?
    While we ask that you don’t work with your horse prior to training, to best ensure that he leaves the ranch in good weight, we encourage you to generously feed him before dropping him off. Due to the program’s intensity, it is best if the horse is fleshy and a little fat coming into the program. If you’ve underfed your horse and he’s skinny, he’ll have a much harder time gaining weight while in training. Remember, horses are worked six days a week, for at least two hours a day. While your horse will certainly be fed a high-quality forage and grain, he’ll burn a lot of calories during training. If the horse comes into the program a little fat, by the end of the six-week course, he’ll have a perfect body condition score and be in good weight.
  • Will you teach my horse Intermediate or Advanced exercises in Level 1 of the program?
    No. Your horse will only be taught the Fundamentals exercises during the first level of the program. He’ll also be taught to have his feet handled, trailer load and stand calmly while tied. If the clinician training your horse feels that your horse has the ability and aptitude to continue through the Intermediate and Advanced levels of the Method, you may be approached about continuing his education.
  • Do I need to provide any equipment for my horse?
    No. We have all of the equipment that we’ll need to train your horse.
  • What condition should my horse be in when he arrives at the ranch?

    Because the course is physically demanding and only six weeks in length, we want your horse to come to the ranch a little fleshy. That way, when he finishes the course, he’ll be in perfect condition.

  • When does my horse arrive for the training session?
    We’ll work with you to schedule a designated arrival date for your horse that will be about two or three days before the start of the training session. We like to have the horses arrive at least a day before the training session begins so that the horse can adjust to his new environment.
  • Where will my horse stay while in training?
    Your horse will be kept in Clinton’s barn and treated the same as his performance horses.
  • What will my horse be fed?
    Your horse will be fed free-choice hay, including both alfalfa and grass hay. Starting after the second week of training, or when the horse is doing well mentally – he’s not hot or nervous – he may also receive grain. We will safely incorporate grain into the horse’s diet. Therefore, there is no need to change your horse’s grain before bringing him to the ranch.
  • Will my horse be fed supplements?
    If you currently feed supplements to your horse, we’ll be happy to administer them as long as they are provided in disposable containers and are well labeled. Be sure to supply us with enough of the supplement to last the entire six-week course. Please keep in mind that with the quality of hay and grain your horse will receive, supplements are not necessary.
  • If I currently braid and band my horse’s mane and tail, can I expect that to be maintained throughout his training?
    Yes, whether you currently braid your horse’s mane and tail, we’ll do it while he’s in the training program.
  • Will you blanket and/or put a fly mask on my horse?
    Yes, when necessary, if the blanket and mask are provided.
  • If my horse is not suitable for my needs, how will I know?
    After you contact the office and pay a $500 deposit, you’ll schedule a consulting phone call with our trainers. During the call, we’ll have a detailed discussion about what your horse’s problems are, what you hope to be able to do with him and what your goals as a rider are. If during the course of his training it becomes evident to us that your horse will not fit your needs, we will let you know immediately. You’ve heard Clinton say before that there are horses for courses and people for horses. Not all horses excel in or like every discipline, and not all people get along with all horses. We stand by that theory and take it very seriously. Having a horse that fits your needs and skill level is crucial to developing a safe and enjoyable partnership.
  • What if my horse becomes ill or lame during the training program?

    As a horse owner, you know that illness and lameness are a reality when training horses. While we don’t foresee your horse becoming lame or getting injured, and will do everything in our power to ensure that he doesn’t, horses are horses – you can never bet on anything. You can be assured that if your horse does become ill or lame, you will be contacted immediately and the best care possible will be given to him.

    If the situation arises in which your horse does become ill or lame and can’t be worked, his time will be extended to ensure that he receives his full training through the Fundamentals level of the Method. While the training fee won’t increase, you will be responsible for paying for his additional board and care, which the clinician training your horse will discuss with you.

  • What if my horse needs veterinary care during the training program?
    If we feel veterinary care is required, we’ll notify you and see to it that your horse is treated. In the event of an emergency, you’ll always be contacted, but if we can’t get in touch with you immediately, we’ll go ahead with care. You will be responsible for covering all veterinary expenses.
  • What if my horse doesn’t progress as fast as the other horses?

    Each horse will be treated as an individual and progressed at his own rate of learning. With that being said, we can’t guarantee how quickly each horse will learn. The majority of horses will be able to complete the Fundamentals training program within six weeks. However, if the horse came with really bad behavior or goes lame and needs time off, it’ll take longer to get him to that level.

    If the situation arises in which your horse does experience a learning curve, his time will be extended by two weeks to ensure that he receives his full training through the Fundamentals level of the Method. While the training fee won’t increase, you will be responsible for paying for his additional board and care, which the clinician training your horse will discuss with you.

  • Is my horse guaranteed to be able to perform the Fundamentals at an A-level?
    Our goal is to get each horse to perform the Fundamentals level of the Method to at least a B+ level, and we will make every effort to meet this expectation. However, each horse is an individual. Not all horses are good-minded, have willing attitudes and possess the athletic ability to reach an A level. If a horse has a sorry attitude and can’t move well, he might only get to a B level, but he’ll certainly be improved from when he was brought to us. Just keep in mind we’re not magicians – we can’t turn a lump of coal into a nugget of gold. We’ll give it our best effort, but reality is reality.
  • How will I be kept up to date on my horse’s training progress?

    Throughout his training, you’ll be kept up to date on your horse’s progress through the Fundamentals every two weeks by the clinician training your horse. You’ll receive your first phone call two weeks after the horse has been in training, and then four weeks into the horse’s training you’ll receive another phone call. During this call, the clinician will indicate whether the horse will be ready to complete the course in six weeks or whether he may need additional time to get to the desired level of performance. If additional training is required, you won’t be billed for the training, but you will be responsible for the extended board. Additional training would be necessary if the horse came to the ranch with extreme training issues, has a bad attitude and/or had time off due to lameness or illness.

    Other than the phone calls listed above, you will be contacted if your horse becomes ill or gets injured and veterinary attention is needed now or possibly in the future. That means if the horse is injured beyond a basic cut or scrape, you’ll receive a notification call.

    Because of the clinicians’ rigorous schedules, all phone calls will be by appointment only. Please do not call the clinician training your horse every other day or stop by the facility on your own accord.

  • Can I visit my horse during the six-week course?
    No, personal visits are not permitted. Clinicians are responsible for training several horses each and are committed to our goal of bringing the best out in each horse. Allowing owners to randomly visit their horses would consume large amounts of the clinicians’ valuable time. You will be kept up to date on your horse’s progress through telephone calls scheduled with the clinician your horse.
  • How will I know what my horse has learned during each six-week course?
    Once your horse has successfully completed each level of training (Fundamentals, Intermediate and Advanced), you will be invited to the facility for a day’s lesson with the clinician who trained your horse. During this lesson, the clinician will work with you one-on-one, showing you exactly what your horse knows and helping you refine your application of the Method. The date of your lesson and when you’ll pick your horse up will be finalized during your horse’s fifth or sixth week of training. (Lesson and pick up dates depend on the horse’s progress and therefore can’t be scheduled until he’s completed his fifth or sixth week of training.)
  • How much time will I get with the clinician when I pick my horse up?
    The clinician who trained your horse will spend an entire day with you ($1,000 value) to ensure that you thoroughly understand the training that your horse has received. It’s important to us that you understand how to continue your horse’s training at home so you can experience the same level of success and continue to strengthen your partnership with him. On your lesson day, the clinician will work your horse in the arena and over the obstacle course (weather permitting), showing you how your horse was trained and all that he knows. You will then get to do groundwork with your horse and ride your horse in an arena while the clinician coaches you. Throughout the lesson, you’ll be encouraged to ask the clinician questions, and they’ll help you refine your understanding of the Fundamentals.
  • Can I invite my friends to attend my day’s lesson or bring another horse with me?
    No. This lesson day is meant for you and your horse in training. It’s not meant to be a social occasion for your friends, or an opportunity for you to bring another horse to the ranch to receive lessons on. Throughout his training, you will be kept up to date on your horse’s progress, his strengths, his weaknesses, etc. By the time you arrive for your lesson, you will thoroughly understand where he is in his training and what he has gone through. Others who aren’t privy to the horse’s background can be quick to make judgments or jump to conclusions based on what they see during the private lesson. Rather than spending time answering others’ questions or concerns, Clinton would rather the clinician concentrated on helping you learn how to work with your horse. Having one of Clinton’s trainers at your disposal for an entire day is a great learning opportunity, and we want you to take full advantage of it!
  • How can I ensure that my horse progresses at home?
    It is highly recommended that you are a premium No Worries Club member or at the least own the Fundamentals Kit so that you can continue to understand and train your horse after you’ve gotten him home. Think of the Fundamentals Kit as your owner’s manual for your horse. It wouldn’t be practical to invest thousands of dollars into your horse’s training and spend this much time to get him trained without really understanding what he knows or how to operate him. It is absolutely crucial to your success. Even though you receive an entire day’s lesson at the ranch, you won’t possibly be able to remember everything the clinician taught you. Being a premium No Worries Club member is strongly encouraged so you can continue to advance your partnership with your horse.
  • Where will my horse be ridden?

    Your horse will be ridden in the ranch’s indoor arena, outdoor arenas, around the obstacle course and in the pasture.