26. June 2012 00:05
Whenever you desensitize a horse to an object, it’s important to do so in a big, open area where he has room to move his feet. As a prey animal, the horse has a flight or fight response, which means he either runs from danger or fights it. A horse would always rather run from danger than fight it, but if his ability to run is taken away from him, he’ll do whatever it takes to survive the experience. When every horse is born, his mother tells him to run from danger. If he even hears, smells or thinks there’s danger, RUN! Act first and think later. Your job is to teach the horse to completely ignore what his mother taught him. Instead, you’re going to teach the horse that if he thinks he’s in danger, he needs to stand still and relax and the danger will go away. You’ll do that by using the Approach and Retreat Method-approaching the horse with an object and then retreating (taking it away) when he stands still and relaxes.
Do not introduce water to the horse in an enclosed area like a wash rack or try to tie the horse up so that he can’t move his feet. If you do either of those things, I guarantee he’ll panic and try to fight his way out of the situation by kicking, biting, striking-whatever he can do to survive. A roundpen is the ideal place to practice this exercise because it gives the horse room to move, but not so much that you’ll need a 300 foot hose to keep up with him. But the exercise can easily be done in the middle of an arena or outside on the lawn. Just be sure that you have enough hose to move around with the horse.
26. June 2012 00:04
The summer issue of the No Worries Journal will be arriving in mailboxes at the beginning of July. This edition features bios of our newly graduated Certified Clinicians and is jam-packed with instructional, inspirational and innovative articles. Some of the articles include how to deter your horse from spooking at animals on the trail, tips for achieving true collection, and Clinton’s program for determining his performance horses. You’ll also get to read about a variety of members including one who uses the Method to help at a therapeutic riding center and another who prevailed in the show ring despite all odds.
26. June 2012 00:03
The newest group of training horses arrived at the ranch for the six-week Academy program. The Academy students are each assigned two horses to train and work the horses daily, six days a week. All of the horses are taught the Fundamentals, ridden extensively on the trail and taken over the obstacle course. By the time the horses leave the ranch, they’re at an A-level in the Fundamentals and safe, reliable trail mounts. After the horses complete the program, their owners are invited to the ranch for a full’s day lesson with the student who trained their horse. During the lesson, the owners are encouraged to ask questions and are taken through everything the horse has been taught on the ground and under saddle.
26. June 2012 00:02
No Worries Club members, here’s your opportunity to participate in the next "What Would Clinton Do?" column in the NWC Journal. Channel your inner Clinton and answer the question below in the way you think he would for the chance of being published in the Journal. We'll print the question and three selected answers in the fall issue. Then Clinton will reveal how he would have answered the question and critique the responses. Not only will the winners see their answers in print, but they will receive a $50 e-gift card to Downunder Horsemanship!
We have a 12 month old colt that we are working in the Fundamentals. Of course he is too young to start the roundpenning exercises with. He is a huge biter. He wants to bite everything. We are finding it difficult to work on moving the forequarters when he constantly wants to bite the stick and string. How can we get him to stop biting the stick?
Contest rules: Answer the question in 400 words or less. Email your answers to firstname.lastname@example.org by Monday, July 2.
26. June 2012 00:01
The first Academy class has officially graduated! Bobbie Pickrell, Chris Webb and Jaclyn Sansaver are embarking on their new careers as Clinton Anderson Certified Clinicians, ready to instruct at the Fundamentals level of the Method. Clinton is proud to have all four horsemen represent Downunder Horsemanship and is confident in their ability to help others learn the Method. The four standout horsemen are available for private lessons and public clinics. To learn more about each of the clinicians and how they can help you on your horsemanship journey, click here? Everyone at Downunder Horsemanship sends the newest clinicians a big congratulations for their hard work and wishes them the best of luck!
19. June 2012 00:05
It’s normal for a horse to trip or stumble every once in awhile. Just like us, sometimes they take a misstep, especially if the ground is rough or uneven. But if stumbling in the arena or on the trail is becoming a regular occurrence, your horse is in need of help. First, rule out any physical problems that could be making your horse trip such as poorly trimmed feet, soreness and lameness issues or EPM. (EPM, or Equine Protozoal Myeleoncephalitis, is a neurological disease that often causes horses to lose coordination and stumble.) Once you’ve done that, then the culprit of the problem usually lies in a lazy horse not paying attention. And like everything we do with our horses, the more you let them trip, the better they get at it, and soon it becomes an ingrained habit.
No matter what you’re doing with your horse, he’s responsible for his feet - where he places them and how fast he moves them. Stumbling is a sure sign that your horse is letting his mind wander and not concentrating on the task at hand. If he’s not paying attention, you’re going to give him a reason to. When he stumbles, immediately pick up on one rein, thump his belly with the heel of your boot or roll your spur up his side and bend him around in a circle, hustling his feet. Make it clear that he needs to wake up and pay attention. If he ignores your leg, spank his hindquarters with the end of your mecate or a dressage whip. When he’s moving with energy, is alert and focused on you, put him on a loose rein and go back to what you were doing. It’s important to put your horse on a loose rein so that you dare him to make a mistake. Get out of the habit of babysitting him and trying to micromanage his every step. Put him on a loose rein and let him commit to the mistake. If he trips again, repeat the same steps. Make the right thing easy and the wrong thing difficult. As long as he’s paying attention to where he’s placing his feet, you’ll leave him alone. But if he chooses to get lazy and let his mind wander, you’ll wake him up and make him feel uncomfortable by hustling his feet.
19. June 2012 00:04
It’s all about learning and refining the Fundamentals this week for participants in Professional Clinician Shana Terry’s clinic. The five-day clinic started yesterday and will wrap-up Friday afternoon. Groundwork exercises like Desensitizing to the Stick and String, Backing and Circle Driving will be covered in depth as well as riding exercises like Yield to a Stop, Bending Transitions and Vertical Flexion. Of course, later this week, participants will get the opportunity to test their knowledge and leadership skills on the obstacle course. Shana will be instructing another five-day Fundamentals clinic in October at the ranch. Learn how you too can join in the fun and accelerate your horsemanship at a Downunder Horsemanship clinic.
19. June 2012 00:03
The crowd gathered at the Des Moines, Iowa Walkabout Tour received a weekend full of education and entertainment. The local horses Clinton used for the various demonstrations all provided excellent examples of how the Method can help overcome any problem, and of course, the advanced riding demonstration brought the crowd to its feet.
Besides a weekend full of instruction and inspiration to build a better partnership with your horse, great giveaways by Downunder Horsemanship and our sponsors meant several lucky spectators walked away with great product. We think our fans are the best, and the generosity of the crowd gathered in Des Moines helped the Ritchie Ball Charity Toss organization Quakerdale sell out of balls. Tour feature sponsor Ritchie Industries stepped in and doubled Quakerdale’s earnings and then gave them a $2,500 bonus, making the organization’s grand total raised over the weekend $12,670! That’s money that will be put to good use in its horseback riding program.
As a special bonus for Clinton and his staff, before the tour kicked off, Ritchie Industries invited the Downunder Horsemanship crew to tour its plant in Conrad and treated them to dinner. Being able to see how the industry-leading waterers are assembled not only made for an interesting field trip, but gave Clinton and his staff a deeper appreciation for the innovation behind Ritchie Industries.
Learn more about Walkabout Tours on the Downunder Horsemanship website.
Our next tour stop is August 4th and 5th in Fresno, California in the Save Mart Center at Fresno State University. We hope to see you there!
19. June 2012 00:02
Clinton has been invited to host two training demonstrations at the Joe Foss Institute’s Stars in Service Classic on August 25th. Held at the Copper Spring Ranch in Bozeman, Montana, the event will benefit the Joe Foss Institute which works with youth in schools and youth groups across America encouraging and teaching democracy, patriotism, integrity and public service. The nonprofit organization accomplishes its goal mainly through its Veterans Inspiring Patriotism program in which veterans visit classrooms across American, sharing their experiences and interacting with the children.
Clinton’s first demonstration at the Stars in Service Classic will focus on desensitizing a spooky horse and will take place in the morning and his second on trailer loading will be held in the afternoon. Downunder Horsemanship will be providing Method kits and tack items to be sold at the event’s live auction. Clinton is excited to share the Method with new customers and honored to be involved with an organization of the Institutes’ caliber and commitment to preserving America’s freedom. Learn more about the Joe Foss Institute and its mission at www.joefoss.com.
12. June 2012 00:05
Hot, nervous horse? Do more changes of direction.
Changes of direction slow a horse’s feet down and get him to use the thinking side of his brain. The last thing you want to do with a horse that wants to race around is let him keep building up speed as he circles you. Constantly make his feet change directions which will get him to use the thinking side of his brain.
Lazy horse? Keep him going around the circle longer before you yield him.
Do less yielding and more going around in the circle. The last thing you want to do is keep shutting him down by making him change directions. Get some hustle to his feet before yielding his hindquarters. The faster you make a lazy horse’s feet go, the better attitude he will eventually have. The slower you let him go, the more disrespectful he will become.