Chat Transcript - Clinton Anderson

EquiSearch readers chat with Clinton Anderson: trainer, clinician, and creator of the horse training series, Downunder Horsemanship.
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EquiSearch readers chat with Clinton Anderson: trainer, clinician, and creator of the horse training series, Downunder Horsemanship.
Clinton Anderson?

Clinton Anderson?

To learn more from Clinton Anderson, download a FREE guide?Clinton Anderson's Ground Work: Tried and True Horse Training Methods.??

EquiSearch - Welcome to this evening's chat with Clinton Anderson. Clinton Anderson was born in Innisfail, Queensland, Australia. He first came to America in 1995. Now, he leads national clinics and seminars on horse training. He also has a video series, which includes round pen techniques, trouble-free trailering, and many others. Clinton also has a television show, Down Under Horsemanship, on the Dish Network RFD-TV Channel 9409. After the chat, visit www.clintonanderson.net for more information.

ClintonAnderson - Welcome everybody! G'day, I'm Clinton Anderson and I'm happy to be here. We'll have some fun.
ClintonAnderson - And who is going to be our first questioner?
Aisling - Hello Clinton
EquiSearch
- Feel free to ask questions at this time.
Spot6254
- hello
segrowth
- I have a question about foals and biting. What do you recommend as a training method to stop this behavior.
Kira
- Hi Clinton - thanks for chatting
ClintonAnderson - G'day Ladies. . . .
Spot6254 - hello Clinton
EquiSearch
- Go ahead and give us the first question if you have one, Aisling
Aisling
- Is a May yearling too young to set a 13 lb. saddle on?
Kira
- My question is also about biting ... but the mare and how to deal with it and not negatively effect the foal.
ClintonAnderson - Right now I'm in Seattle Washington ready to start a 5-day horsemanship clinic. It starts tomorrow. Everyone's registering right now.
horsecrazy - Hi, Clinton
ClintonAnderson - Everyone's excited for the week--a week away from work and with their horses.
Aisling - and what is a good way to start a yearling on lunge? Any suggestions for someone without a round pen?
destinyridge
- Hi Clinton, I have a mare that will buck whenever your attention is not focused totally on her.
Lena
- I have a question about stall walking. Is there any hope to cure this?
Laura
- why do you use rope halters with all of your horses? why not a regular halter?
ClintonAnderson - Aisling--No, not at all. 13 pounds--my socks and underwear weigh more than that! I encourage you to start saddling your horse early--get them used to the saddle, the cinch.
ClintonAnderson - Later on, that will make training a lot easier.
Spot6254 - I have a question about getting my mare to back while ridden
Aisling
- thank you
EquiSearch
- ok, we're taking Aisling's second question, then moving on to Kira's...I've got a record of all the questions that have been asked so we'll take them one by one...
horsecrazy
- Clinton,I watch you on tv all the time...Will the lessons I am watching help with my horse or should I save and get your tapes?
EquiSearch
- hi horsecrazy...we have a few questions ahead of yours, but it's on the list...coming up soon!
ClintonAnderson - Aisling, what I'd recommend you do, mate, is check out my video series, Longing for Respect. We teach the horse how to longe, and how to roll on their hocks and go the other way. What I don't do, is just have the horse go around in mindless circles. The more you can have the horse pivot and stop on their hindquarters and collect themselves, will promote the horse respecting you and paying attention. Remember, you gain your horse's respect by getting him to move forwards, backwards, left and right, and out of your personal space--and always reward the slightest try.
ClintonAnderson - I don't mean this to be a sales pitch, I just know helping you see and hear what I'm talking about will help you more than I can in a few paragraphs. It's kind of like me asking you how to drive a car and getting all the details very fast.
horsecrazy - Thank-you
Aisling
- lol thank you
EquiSearch
- Kira, could you be more specific about your question about biting?
Kira
- To add more info to my question - this mare has had some good back ground in your techniques ... but due to a lameness issue not too much in the last 5 months. She used to attack us in the paddock/stall and turned into a real lady ... but is now a bit too protective with her foal.
ClintonAnderson - Kira, does your horse bite you everyday? On special holidays? Be a little more detailed, please.
Kira - She can tolerate people in her stall paying attention to the foal for a brief period and then will go towards the person, ears back .... we now tie her when working with the foal.
ClintonAnderson - Kira, my recommendation to you, mate, is to go back and get your horse more respectful on the ground. As a good tip, the more you can get your horse to back away from you on the ground, the less they'll want to bite you. Basically, backing cures biting.
horsegirl - Is there a way that I can smooth out my QH's rough trot?
Kira
- Thank you ... and just ignore the foal ... i.e., this won't get to be too much for him and cause a problem in the future?
jill - Clinton, how can you motivate a horse to move.. I have tried the rope, whip plastic bag on the stick and all I can to is get a s
jill
- or two then it becomes a chase game
ClintonAnderson - DestinyRidge, well mate, it's a little hard to say without seeing the horse, but I'd recommend getting her safer and more respectful on the ground. Usually, horses that want to buck a lot have a hole in their groundwork training. They may have a fear or be spiteful--or both. If you go back and look at my Groundwork series and follow through the steps, you'll more than likely find the resistance or fear that's causing your horse to want to buck. I hope this helps you.
jc - My saddlebred is afraid to go anywhere alone, , with other horses he is ok, I want to drive him, but am hesitant due to his fear. thank you
ClintonAnderson - Kira, you're right. Act like the foal's not there.
Kira - thank you ... Hope to get to one of your clinics in IL
ClintonAnderson - Kira, start some of the groundwork with the foal as well. The earlier the better. Don't wait until it becomes a 1000 pound problem. You want respect without fear--that can happen early.
Kira - Yes ... I just got your foal video ... great!
EquiSearchStaff
- Sorry, chatters, we had a few technical difficulties and I lost a question or two...we're going to do our best to regroup ... hang with us!
segrowth
- What is the best training method to stop foal biting (foal is 2 months old)?
ClintonAnderson - We just got a question about a saddlebred being afraid to be alone. Mate, what I'd do is go back and get more control by yourself.
Lena - I had a question about stall walkers and how to cure that habit.
segrowth
- Also, will you be at Equine Affaire this fall in MA.?
ClintonAnderson - Get your horse unafraid and paying attention "on line" with the halter and lead rope. When your horse is away from the herd, his emotions get out of control. Get him to listen to you on the ground first--where he doesn't get his knickers in a knot. Get him to listen to you on the ground and under saddle. When you can do this on the ground and in the saddle, THEN you can think about driving him.
jc - my saddlebred is wonderful alone in the arena with myself, will do anything, with or without other horses, its outside that is so frightening to him.
Spot6254
- I have a 4yr old mare that will back up with a bit or lead with no one on her but wont back at all with a rider. How can I get her to back?
EquiSearchStaff
- hi windy...we're in the midst of a chat with Clinton Anderson...feel free to join in.
ClintonAnderson - Hey Horsegirl, good question. It just depends. If your horse has a real straight shoulder--in conformation, you'll be limited in how much you can change his gait. However, if you can get him supple, get him to slow down, you can probably change his rough stride considerably. Remember to work on suppleness in circles first--Remember lateral flexion is the key to vertical flexion.
Khali - Clinton, saw you at Equine Affaire. Your presentations were wonderful. My question is how old should a horse be before you start serious training? I am thinking about first mount etc.
Kira
- If you have time for a 2nd Q- At what point in a foals training do you start picking up their feet and any techniques you can offer here... especially to instill patience?
horsegirl
- How can I smooth out my QH's rough trot?
ClintonAnderson - About the saddlebred being afraid. We've gotten notice the horse is fine inside.
EquiSearchStaff - Spot 6254 and Kira... your questions are on our list!
Aisling
- If there is time, I was wondering what the weight ratio is for horse to rider?
Williow
- My horse will only step his front legs in the trailer. I have tried lunging then asking again and still nothing he doesn't seem to mind working.
ClintonAnderson - Wherever your horse gets upset--that's where you work. Get respect and get him to listen to you there. Right now, he doesn't trust you in unfamiliar territory. Horses can only think of one thing at a time. If he's scared, get him to think about moving his feet instead. Get him not to be afraid and they'll listen to you.
horsecrazy - My gelding is just starting his training, he's 6,16.1 hands a big boy. He will walk and trot, but I can't get him to canter with me on his back. What could be the problem? I am a beginner and I watch your shows and do what I am learning from them....
EquiSearchStaff
- please address your question to the whole room and Clinton will be glad to answer them...please do not send him private messages!
ClintonAnderson - Kiwi, as long as your horse has adequate shelter from the rain and wind, and you have good fencing, and your horse isn't obese, I can't see any problem leaving your horse outside 24 hours a day. I'd much rather my horse stand in a pasture all day than in a 12x12 stall. Horses love wide open spaces.
EquiSearchStaff - horsecrazy...your question is on our list...it's coming up soon! thanks!
ClintonAnderson - Segrowth, mate, start doing the groundwork as early as possible. Once a foal isn't afraid of a person, he'll start to try to dominate a person. You need to get a horse to yield his hindquarters, move away from pressure. Also, don't stand in a place where he can bite you. When he stands in your personal space (a 4-foot hula hoop), start to work.
EquiSearchStaff - Newscomers, welcome to tonight's chat with Clinton Anderson...feel free to join in at anytime...
ClintonAnderson - Make his feet move backwards, frontwards, left and right. When he tries to bite you, make him move. Horses are mostly lazy creatures--if he knows he'll have to work, he'll stop.
segrowth - Thanks Clinton! He isn't afraid of much and is usually very respectful. We
Khali
- Clinton, saw you at Equine Affaire. Your presentations were wonderful. I learned so much. I have a 3 year old and was wondering how much training time is ok for him. He seems to have a very short attention span.
segrowth
- rt ground work. I started with the mare and he decided to stay off to the side and take it easy.
EquiSearchStaff
- Clinton is in negotiations to be at Equine Affaire in MA this fall ... call the board and tell them you want him there!
RangersOTTGal
- I am about to purchase a 3yr old Of the Track Thoroughbred. How should I begin his training as an English Pleasure and Jumping mount?
Lena
- Thanks, hope you can make it to Springfield Clinton!
EquiSearchStaff
- Thanks for all of your questions....we're getting to them in the order received...stick with us!
EquiSearchStaff - welcome to tonight's chat, dhblack and zipsgolddutch99...Clinton Anderson is with us...feel free to join in
ClintonAnderson - Spot6254, what I'd recommend is get the horse to bend his hindquarters, then back up. Bend the horse's head to the left, and move the left flank. Get your horse to disengage his hindquarters. Pick up on both reins, then tap with both legs. Sit there and wait for the horse to back up. Get him irritated until he wants to back up. The biggest mistake you can make is to pull harder. Have some rhythm. As soon as he even thinks backwards, turn him loose. Maybe get on the horse and have someone else back up the horse from the ground. Or, ride into the corner of the arena, he'll have a natural tendency to want to get out of the corner. Every time he wants to turn, drive him back up there. When he wants to get out, ask him to back up a step. He'll find the only way out of the corner is to back.
Caryn - Clinton, I have a 4-year-old Thoroughbred that is 17.2 and quite herd-bound. I have a heck of a time getting him away from the barn and the other horses--with me in one piece. Any suggestions?
ClintonAnderson - The secret to getting a light back up is not your reins, but to move the feet. I hope this helps you, mate. My suppleness and body collection tape will help you, too, to see what I'm talking about .Good luck to you mate.
Williow - I having trouble loading my horse. He will get half way on then stop. I have tried everything. I have your
Spot6254
- thank you
EquiSearchStaff
- was there more to your question, williow? we have added to our list...
EquiSearchStaff
- hi munizinez...welcome to tonight's chat with Clinton Anderson...feel free to join in!
RangersOTTGal
- Big boy Caryn
ClintonAnderson - Kira, basically, I start picking up their feet when I have pretty good control. I can yield their hind and front quarters and back up. The first step to picking up the feet is to make sure you can rub up and down the horse's legs and have him relaxed. Once he's bomb-proof with that, ask him to pick up his leg, then drop it. This is called approach and retreat. Many people try to get the horse to hold his leg up for too long. It would be like me asking you to stand on one leg for 3 minutes if you've never done it before. If you think your horse is going to drop his leg in 5 seconds, drop it in 4--have it your idea. By the way, who out there has seen Downunder Horsemanship on TV? There's a TV program that talks a lot about this.
Spot6254 - The same horse i have the backing problem with also has a lead changing problem. She will go into a beautiful slow lope but will change leads every 4 steps can you help me with this?
munizinez
- Hi Clinton, can you help me with my mare that invades my space when she gets scared or nervous. What can I do with her in regards to that?
Kira
- I catch as many of your shows as possible. Thanks for the answer ... we are on the right track.
EquiSearchStaff
- hi dixie...welcome to our chat with Clinton Anderson
ClintonAnderson - RangersOTTGal, well mate, the first thing is, be prepared to start a whole new foundation. I'd put the horse in the roundpen and start from there. Start with my ground pen video, then longeing for respect, you'll gain more control of your horse on the ground to teach him to be supple and relaxed--the exact opposite of how horses come off the track. I wouldn't try to ride the horse until you have really good control on the ground. There's no reason you can't have a good horse from the track, but go back and make sure you don't miss any steps.
ClintonAnderson - Good luck! And remember you get out of a horse what you put in.
RangersOTTGal - I have a 17yr old Arabian whose too nuts to be spooky. He's not afraid of much, but what does scare him is deep. Shortly ago, we built a wash area with a slight step up. I have been trying to get this horse onto it but nothing is working. The owner of this horse has been using a whip to get him up there, but I don't see fear as a solution to this. What can I do to get this half-crazed devil up to be washed?
Dixie
- I have an Arabian gelding that came off the track. He is very nervous, invades my space and is stiff as a board when I ride him. He spooks at everything when I ride, but is fine when nobody is up on him. Any suggestions?
jill
- My mare won't move but a step or 2 after about 10 min of working with her I have tried to motivate her by all of your methods but the only way to get more than a step or 2 turns into a game of chase. What can I do to get her moving?
ClintonAnderson - Horsecrazy, what I'd recommend is try the squeeze, cluck and spank method. Start by using leg pressure, add a cluck, if that doesn't work, use a crop and swing it so he can see it. Maybe get your horse on the longeline, and have the person on the ground point, cluck, and spank the ground--or if needed lightly on the top of the tail. It sounds like your horse might be being fat and lazy and isn't listening to you as much as he should. It's a little hard to get into a lot of detail without knowing your confidence level and seeing the horse. Do what you're comfortable with. I hope this helps you in some ways.
EquiSearchStaff - Thanks for all the good questions...we are going to try to answer as many as possible this evening
horsegirl
- Can your methods be achieved by using
horsecrazy
- Yes, it does...Thank-you
Dixie
- I have a four year old Arabian gelding. He came off the racetrack about four months ago and has settled in fine. But when he sees a whip he gets very nervous. Also when I ride him he is as stiff as a board and finds any excuse to spook. Any suggestions?
horsegirl
- can your methods be achieved even by not using your suggested rope halter and lead?
ClintonAnderson - Caryn, don't feel bad. A lot of people have this problem, but the good news is it's easy to fix. Let's think of what most people do, and do the opposite. Most people try to get the horse to leave the barn and pull--starting a fight. Instead, make him work around the barn--until he breathes heavier. Let him know being at the barn doesn't mean getting to rest. Move his feet around the barn, then go a little distance and let him rest. When you go back to the barn, work again. Do the work right beside the place he needs it. Where he wants to be = work. Where you want to be = rest.
ClintonAnderson - By now, if you're working around the barn, your horse will get the idea and understand going back to the barn isn't a good deal. Remember, horses are the laziest creature in the world--use this to your advantage. The worst thing you can do is make him leave the barn. Make him want to leave the barn. This applies to the pasture, too. Does that make sense? Please reply.
ClintonAnderson - Spot, I can, but without seeing the horse and knowing more about it, it will be hard to give you the complete right answer. Go back and get your horse soft and supple, and listening to you. If you do that, you should be able to work more on leads. That answer is hard to give over a chat line, but I hope it helps some.
ClintonAnderson - Jill, are you trying to get the horse to move on the ground or under saddle?
jill - on the ground
Dixie
- My horse does not listen to me when I tell him to move forward. He will stop and stand still. When I cluck or smooch to him and nudge him really hard will he move very, very slowly.
Caryn
- Thanks, Clinton--great advice! I'll start working on it tomorrow.
Spot6254
- ok thanks
jill
- she does pretty good under saddle
RangersOTTGal - Also, I have a very mean Mare, who we call "The Evil Witch." She is quite big and very powerful. She likes to bite and kick whenever people come around her. Nothing is physically wrong with her, and she is a great horse. She not in season, and when she is she's just slightly meaner. Sometimes she gets so bad that we need to use a long pole to keep her away. Any suggestions?
jimbo
- My horse acts aggressive at feeding time. He kicks out when he puts his nose in the manger--not at anyone or anything particular. Is this something to worry about?
ClintonAnderson - Rangers, what I'd recommend, mate, is doing some groundwork. Do my sending exercise. I get my horse to move between me and the fence. This is where I face my fence, have my horse go through with a lead rope between me and the fence and get him to pass back and forth. Send your horse back and forth in front of the washrack. There's nothing wrong with using a handy stick to help the horse know where to go--the difference is using it to guide and help him move away instead of fear. Have him pass back and forth in front of the washrack until he's comfortable all around it. Let him feel safe about where to go. Let him go in and back out. If he doesn't move, tap him. If he still doesn't move, tap him again with rhythm 1-2-3-4. If you're tapping and he isn't moving, you're not tapping hard enough. I hope this helps, mate.
ClintonAnderson - Munizinez, one word, mate, groundwork. Get the horse to respect you. You earn your horse's respect by getting him to move forwards, backwards, left and right--and rewarding the slightest try. Start in the roundpen, then go to the tape Lungeing for Respect.
EquiSearchStaff - RangerOTTGal...the answer to this next question applies to your question about "The Evil Witch" as well...we're talking about gaining a horse's respect....
RangersOTTGal
- Great! I'll try it tomorrow!
ClintonAnderson - If you get your mare to respect your space, you'll have fun and be in control. Get to work and good luck!
ClintonAnderson - Willow, have you watched my trailer-loading video? Or seen my trailering methods? Please respond.
Spot6254 - what is the best way to get your horse to keep its head down for western pleasure?
munizinez
- Thank you for answering, I'll get back to the round pen tomorrow.
RangersOTTGal
- What is the most effective way to introduce a horse to Western disciplines...more towards Contesting than Western Pleasure or Reining?
ClintonAnderson - Jill, on the ground I recommend putting your horse in the roundpen, or on a line, and get a Handy Stick or buggy whip and be clear about your intent. Point your hand in the direction you want to go. If he doesn't speed up, cluck. If he doesn't jump forward, spank the ground once. If he doesn't move again, spank him once on the tail. As soon as he does speed up, immediately retreat and remove the pressure. Be clear about this. Most people cluck over and over and spank the ground over and over. The ground isn't in trouble. The horse laughs at the owner because there's no consequence. Your horse will know what's expected and what will happen if that doesn't happen. Remember, make the wrong thing difficult and the right thing easy.
ClintonAnderson - Remember, horses kick and bite each other all the time in the pasture and in nature. Don't think you're being mean or mistreating your horse if you spank him harder. Most people don't step up to the plate and make something happen. Your horse knows your intent. Hope this helps you.
jill - yes i have tried that and spanked her as hard as I could until her started kicking and bucking and took 1 step and quit and did it all over again?
Dixie
- Some of the advice you are giving me is helping me out, but my horse is whip shy. Every time he sees the lunge whip he tries to run from it. (I have never whipped him, and no telling what his race trainer did to him before I got him)
ClintonAnderson - Khali, On average, I'll spend 35-45 minutes working with my horse on a daily basis. It's not so much a time factor as an attention span factor. Horses have 23 hours a day to play with their buddies. My one hour is my time--and he shouldn't be distracted. Make your horse move his feet and keep focused. When he gets out of breath, back off a little, give him a rest, and start again. Don't make your horse a professional people trainer. Get your horse's attention and if he finishes better than the day before, you can quit. Hope to see you at another expo.
ClintonAnderson - Jill, repeat it, again. Bucking is a sign of disrespect. It may take more than one repetition to help this. You did the right thing. Get her to take another step, then reward her until you can move around the roundpen. This isn't rocket science. You're telling your horse to go forward and it's telling you to go jump in the lake. Be as responsive as necessary. Good luck!
Khali - Thanks Clinton. As usual good advice.
EquiSearchStaff
- We have only a few questions left on our list. We'll be answering just a couple more, and we are taking no more new questions at this time.
jill
- Thanks! I'll see you in Linc NC in AUG
ClintonAnderson - If I don't get to your question, please go to my web site and ask your question there. While we can't answer everything personally, we'll try to give you some direction. And I do apologize in advance for not being able to get to all your questions today.
ClintonAnderson - Spot, first of all, get your horse to be soft and supple laterally first. Second, not every horse's conformation allows him to keep his head down for a length of time. You're trying to get him to round his back more than lower his head. If you get your horse soft and supple laterally, and he'll probably want to carry his neck lower himself. The stiffer he is, the more he'll want to keep his head at a higher elevation. Watch my Maneuvers video.
ClintonAnderson - Rangers, don't think about competing until you have complete control of your horse at home first. Be specific about what you mean about introducing.
RangersOTTGal - starting him Western
RangersOTTGal
- no specific disciplines, just western riding
ClintonAnderson - One of the most common things I tell people is if your horse isn't paying attention, you'll have trouble on the ground. You'll have more trouble when you ride. The problems you have on the ground and in the saddle will disappear if you work on respect. Your problem isn't a problem, but a symptom. My training program helps a horse that's disrespectful. Get off your horse, get respect on the ground. You'll have more respect in the saddle.
ClintonAnderson - I encourage you to keep reading Horse & Rider--why learn from one when you can have everyone. Never stop learning. I'd rather you be safe and keep learning. Until next time, g'day and
keep watching the TV program!
EquiSearchStaff - Thanks for attending this evening's chat with Clinton Anderson.