Wednesday, October 16, 2013


When it comes to the type of horse person I am I hope to always be evolving.  Never think that I have arrived or 'now I've got it'.  If the day comes that that happens that is the day that I need to move on and find a new passion in life.  Because these creatures deserve more than an arrogant human on their side.  We ask them to be flexible, forgiving and teachable I think that is the least we can offer them. A goal: to not use terms like, "yeah I know that", "I've done that" even if I think I have.  Strive to listen more than I talk and understand that everyone one has something to teach me.  Sometimes even if it is what not to do.

So to write off someone or something because of the way it comes across or the way it is presented is not wise.  I have to say it is something I have been guilty of and now have to publicly state that "I was wrong" about the Clinton Anderson method of training.  Not wrong because I openly disagreed with it because I didn't.  I never said his method was not helpful nor that it didn't work for some people.  I just looked at it more as, oh thats great I am glad it worked for YOU.  But this is what works for me.  It was more of the, 'wrong' like when I tell my kids to eat their vegetables and they, before even taking a bit say, "I don't like ____."  I just had decided it wasn't for me before I had ever given it a fair shot. 

There are several reasons why I didn't ever give it a go.
  • I don't really like lunging
  • I strongly dislike commercialism and Clinton Anderson is exsessivly commercialized.
  • I don't love "playing" with my horses I like riding them.  And I sort of felt it was for people who were just too afraid to ride their horses.
  • I felt like I saw too much "become a trainer in a day" type people who resulted from such systems.
Buuut nothing changes your mind than having some pretty serious issues and needing to seek out a way to correct them because all your "old tricks" aren't cutting it.  I had a friend recently introduce me to a trainer who is gung-ho Clinton Anderson.  Said friend had already implemented similar techniques into her training but was renewed when she sent a "problem child" to this trainer and saw dramatic results in a typically stressed and reactive horse.  Even still I looked at it more as Oh that will help Lily and didn't really accept it as useful with Steady.  I mean much of it is about gaining respect and becoming the leader and them submiting.  And in my mind Steady was submissive enough and respectful enough.

Enter bucking problem.  A new evasion tactic on the part of my "submissive" beast.  Whaaaa...we are going to the only recognized event I could pull off this year in a matter of days and my horse decides that bucking during every ride is his new 'thing'?  That instead of complying with a canter transition when asked that a buck(or two, or a buck and twist and flip your head) is a more suitable response.  I went down the list, is he in pain?, Is he uncomfortable?, Am I doing something wrong?.  When the list was exhausted it pretty much boiled down to, there is nothing wrong except jerk knob doesn't want to do it and he is going to let me know.  Things you don't want to hear in your lesson the week before a big Horse Trial, "you rode that well, I am sorry he tried to buck you off."  And yes in this lesson last week it happened several times.

Since this is awfully wordy already I won't go into specifics but I just started the begining stages with him and only been at it 3 days and the difference is night and day the attitude I am getting. He has still been having his "F U" moments but they have been from the ground where I can deal with them without any fear of being catapulted through the air and I can have a far quicker and more accurate response which in turn he very quickly gets through his brain and his entire demeanor changes and becomes submissive and he starts to give proper responses instead of over reactive knee jerk ones.  I am beyond excited about it and when I get on his back he gets to work.  More on the subject later but here's to getting through Team Challenge with NO bucking and having the ultimate horse/eventing/friend weekend ever!!!  Is the really my life??!  Can't wait!  Now can someone please come clean my tack and pack for me?!  Cause I haven't quite figured out how I am going to fit that into my quickly disappearing week.


  1. Good luck this weekend!! Stupid full time job is making me work so I won't be able to come watch but will be thinking of you and Steady! :)

    1. Boo, poo, boo on real life!! I am quite sad about this. Is Hampton remotely close? Maybe we can work it out that I can at least come by as say hi to the both of you. Call or text if you think we can make it happen.

  2. Good luck at the show. I'm glad to hear that the training methods you are using are working out.

  3. enjoy and have a great time this weekend!

  4. I'm glad you found something that works! Good luck and have fun at the trials!!!

  5. Hope you have a great weekend!


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