Thursday, March 28, 2013

the REAL clinton anderson

Here's his response today, taken from his own website, to a story that went viral on Facebook after a woman posted a sad post on her Facebook page. Why? Because her horse went to Clinton Anderson's farm in Texas and never came home. He died. And no one seems to know exactly why. He was apparently "low-tied and left to graze." Now he's buried on Clinton's Texas farm.

I shared the story on Facebook because I recently got a Clinton Anderson catalog in the mail and was horrified to see the bull whips (used to crack beside your horse's head for desensitization), bits from hell, and the infamous "Patience Pole" - used to tie your horse after training so he "can process what he just learned."

Then the woman posted on her page that people should stop sharing the story because she'd heard from Clinton and he wanted her to stop the drama. (my paraphrasing)

A lot of people went to the woman's page and pointed fingers, saying it didn't add up, couldn't have happened, etc.

Except Clinton then posted his statement, which I have copied and pasted here. Tell me if you want your horse anywhere near this egomaniac.


by Clinton Anderson 28. March 2013 11:27


First of all, this is nobody's business other than mine and the horse's owner. If people would pay more attention to their own lives, their own horses and their own problems, the world would be a much better place. But there are too many looky-lous and sticky beaks that want to stick their nose in and stir up trouble when there's no trouble to be stirred up.

#1 People need to get a grip on themselves. Animals die. Humans die. It's called life. In fact, there's this bumper sticker that was invented that says "s*** happens." People put it on the back of their bumpers because that's what happens in life. It's called s***  and it happens. Sometimes it's somebody's fault, but a lot of times it's nobody's fault. Again, it's referred to as s*** happens.

#2 It's unfortunate that the horse died. Reality is we don't know how he died because the owner didn't want to get an autopsy. Horses die at my ranch. Yes, it's called life. We have 60 horses on the ranch, we have dogs and we even have cats. In fact, we had a cat fight in the barn last week, and one of them died. Shocking, yes. It's called life. Animals die. Yes, even Clinton Anderson's animals die. It's called life. I know this is shocking to know that as good as I am and as popular as I am and as famous as I am, my animals don't live forever either. Holy s*** , I must be human. For any moron that's getting his panties in a wad because a horse died at Clinton Anderson's ranch, get a life.

#3 It's unfortunate that the owner had to go and start this whole fire because I'm the one that has to go put it out. I've apologized to the owner; it's not my fault the horse died. It's not the owner's fault the horse died either. We don't know how it died. We believe it had something to do with either a brain aneurism or a heart attack because it died extremely quickly and there was no struggling involved. Reality is it was the owner's choice not to get an autopsy - she didn't want to get one.

I apologized to the owner; in fact, I've spoken with her on three separate occasions about this subject. We sent the owner flowers and we refunded all of the owner's money. I did everything I possibly could. In fact, I even offered the owner a Signature Horse free of charge. I went above and beyond to try to help her through the grieving process. A Signature Horse, with all its training, is worth $25,000. She declined the Signature Horse because she said the horse was too small. I had a horse picked out for her that was 14.1 hands high, and she didn't feel like a horse 14.1 hands high was worth having even though it was free and is worth $25,000. Just for the record, the lady is 5'9" and I'm 5'11", Mindy is 14.1. I rode Mindy in front of millions of people for 15 years and never had one email or comment that said I looked too big on Mindy. Just to set the record straight. But she didn't want the Signature Horse - no problem whatsoever. Since she didn't want the Signature Horse, I offered her the opportunity to send another horse to the ranch for the six-week program and we'd train it free of charge. Again, I went above and beyond to take care of a grieving customer.

I bent over backwards to take care of her needs, and now I'm having to fix this kind of bulls***  and I'm tired of it. So reality is if you think your horse is going to live forever, you're an idiot. Do we do everything in our power to take care of animals on the ranch? Yes, we do. The reality is every once in a while it keeps coming back to that bumper sticker "s*** happens." So people, get a life, get out of business that doesn't involve you and start focusing on your horsemanship and your own lives. When people start doing that, they'll have a lot more success with their horses, a lot more fun and a lot less drama. If it sounds like I'm irritated and I'm cranky about this, I am. All we've done is taken an unfortunate situation and turned it into circus and absolute mess. It didn't have to go this direction. This is my statement and this whole subject is done after this.


For anyone who cares, here are Clinton's sponsors. Let them know what you think about a trainer who writes this after a horse dies in his care.

AQHA, ABIequine (arena drag equipment), ADM (Grostrong feed), Behlen Country (farm/ranch equipment) Classic Equine (leg protection) Horse & Rider magazine, Cashel Insurance, Martin Saddles, NRHA, NRCHA, Ritchie (waterers), Safe-guard (dewormer), Smart-pak (supplements) Standlee (hay products), Stephenville Chamber of Commerce, Vetericyn, and Vet-rap

AND AN ADDENDUM 2/7/15:  Someone named Wanda Covington sent a private email, not a very nice one, asking if I "get money for this." 

No, I do not. I was trying to think who in the world might pay me to write about things I see in the horse world and to preserve things big-name "trainers" say and post so that when their publicists advise them to remove the offensive verbiage folks can still google and find their own words. 

The only group I can come up with who might pay me to write this stuff is the horses themselves. 

My take remains the same here. If you live with horses and you want to have a partnership with one or more of them, go elsewhere than CA's "training" to obtain it. I think if you study animal behavior and read the latest research on animals and emotions and the exquisite sensory mechanisms of prey animals and then apply what many call the "golden rule" you will end up in a similar mindset as me. Horses deserve kind, humane treatment. They deserve credit for their intelligence, sensitivity, and the fact that they carry us around on their backs and do our bidding for the most part. They are not there to be "broken" and if we dominate them and treat them like machines that speaks far more about us as people than it does about them. 

CA offers a primitive, dominating, ego-driven method of being with horses that is so behind the times it's an embarrassment. It's past time for him and everyone who uses these methods to evolve and grow. If your relationship with horses has to do with power and control the best thing you can do is take a break, get some therapy, and fix your own issues.

163 comments:

Grey Horse Matters said...

Never liked this guy or his approach to training horses. This "statement" of his just proves what an absolute A$$hole and phony he is.

jme said...

mom sent this to me. wow, what a narcissist and a jerkwad. from a purely professional pov, i can't believe his lawyers would let him post something that stupid. but from a human pov, he's just a soulless egomaniac.

to mr anderson, wherever you are: someone lost their horse under questionable circumstances and she has a legitimate right to be concerned and ask questions; the public has a legitimate right to ask questions. it is everyone's business when you put yourself and your methods out there and ask the world to seriously consider and even adopt them. you have no right to tell people to mind their own business and 'get a life'--you've invited this very kind of scrutiny, and if you can't take the heat, YOU, mr anderson, are in the wrong business. if you want to be 'popular' and 'famous' recognize that it is a double edged sword and that the attention is not all in the form of glowing adoration and worship to stroke your ego. the spotlight shines on your flaws and mistakes too, asshat. if your philosophy doesn't hold up under the heat, it's probably not worth much to begin with. and if your ego is that fragile that you have to beat this dead horse, you're probably a fraud and you know it deep down...

this just makes him sound weak and pathetic, and even more like he's just indignantly covering his ass (how dare anyone question the great and powerful anderson? arrggh!) he comes off as guilty, childish and self-centered. i never liked him or his methods, but now? what a douche.

sorry, done ranting ;-)

Calm, Forward, Straight said...

Doesn't strike me as the sharpest tool in the shed...

After reading this and the follow up post, sounds like this "clinician" preys on over-horsed middle aged women, and folks who like their desire to dominate a "dumb" animal justified and reinforced. jmho

Anonymous said...

Call or email RFD-TV and get his show yanked. Contact any Equine Events in your area and let them know your feelings. Go after his sponsors and let them know you don't approve of their products being endorsed by him.
Scum bag narcissistic horse trainers need to be ousted! Use the power of the internet to prevent any more horses being abused or killed to line the pocket books of these so called horse trainers!

Anonymous said...

Clinton Anderson's response is the most unprofessional thing I've ever heard! I agree he wants his name to be famous so he can make money on DVD's and other products but he gets upset when questions about how and why a horse in his care died are posted. If I had sent a big Freisian horse to be trained why would I want a 14.1 hand QH as a replacement? She may have paid more $25,000 for her horse! What a lame way to try and say you tried to fix things!

efan4ever said...

lets see, point by point. It is nobodies business except Clinton and the owner. If he was just a down the road trainer would we even be having these rants? No. That is a fair statement. And yes you all are sticking your nose where it doesn't belong. Just because he is a public figure (aren't we all to some degree?) You people seem to think you have a 'right' to know everything. Well guess what you don't.

2. He's right animals and people do in fact die. Everyday. I see dogs slaughtered all over the highway cause their owner doesn't want to shut the gate or limit it's freedom by putting it on a chain. Where is the up roar over that? Or the animal shelters having to destroy thousands of animals a year cause you nutters don't believe in responsible pet ownership and spay and neuter? S#@t happens. Sad but true. You want it to be all prettied up in rose colored glasses but life isn't pretty and neither is death. Death is not convenient. Suck it up and grow up. We all will die! Unless you found away around mortality it's a 100% proven fact.

3. He wanted the autopsy she didn't. Fault is hers not Anderson's He wanted to know why? How is it his fault just because the animal was at his ranch? In a pasture? The horse could have died at her home then we would have nothing to talk about.

4. He apologized, he sent flowers. He refunded all her costs. He offered her a well bred well trained QH. He did do all he can for her. What he could not do and what none of you seem to be able to get your heads around is that he cannot give her horse back. Death sucks! It is painful! It leaves a nasty hole in your soul. I would not be consolable either had it been me and one of my horses, but I understand his wanting to do something in the face of her grief. You can't blame the man for not knowing that offering her a replacement would hurt her more. In truth, do any of us really know what to do for someone that is grieving? I've lost several people that I love and over my life time (47) 5 horses. The grief heals, and lessens but I still miss them. No one close to me has known how to help or how to react, So why do we expect Mr. Anderson to know how to react to her loss? He only met her the one time.

5. The horse passed away on 3/11/13. Mr. Anderson didn't post his blog until 3/26/13. 15 days later. After 10,000 phone calls and emails threatening him and his staff, he had enough and wanted an end to it. How many of you would have waited 15 days if 10,000 people were threatening you calling you a murderer? He does not have a right to be a human? With human emotions? He's not arrogant. He's plain spoken, something the lot of you know nothing about. Like it or not wrapped in pretty packaging or plain outspokenness truth is truth and it rankles that he plainly spoke. He did not put the owner down, he told all of you to knock it off. Without knowing anything none of you stopped to think you instantly castigated Mr. Anderson. Yup cool level heads prevail here...(dripping with sarcasm)

6. Last, for those of you calling his sponsors or posting crap about him, I like that you hide behind made up screen names or post as Anonymous. You are all a bunch of gutless spineless jerks. I'm telling off the lot of you and leaving my real name. When you are right, you have nothing to hide behind.

billie said...

It actually is the business of the public when a horse dies in training under suspicious circumstances. That is why he was just investigated by the sheriff's department and an animal control officer.

No one here is saying that death doesn't happen. And no one acted without getting background information. Sadly, although you and CA seem to think so, he does not rule the world. He does not get to take money for training horses and then say "knock it off" when he doesn't like the public outcry against him. He's made himself into a public figure.

As for calling anonymous posters and those who use screen names "a bunch of gutless spineless jerks" - perhaps you should look in the mirror. You did the very same thing.

I used my name when I wrote to sponsors. I have no reason not to do so.

Houndmom said...

No one will ever know what really happened or who, if anyone, was at fault, because the owner didn't want a necropsy done on the horse. If the horse indeed died of a brain aneurysm or a heart attack, are you people saying it was still the trainer's fault? I'm no great fan of Anderson, and I'm not saying he is NOT at fault, but I can't say for a fact that he IS, either. If a human dies under suspicious circumstances, there can be no verdict of murder without discovering the cause of death.

I guess what I'd really like to know is WHY the owner chose not to find out what killed her horse. That would be my first course of action. Without that pivotal piece of information, she really has no case.

billie said...

My impressions are that this owner was overwhelmed in general and simply wanted to move on. I also think that when she was contacted initially the horse was in the process of being buried or had already been buried - so to have a necropsy done would mean to exhume the horse's body. For some people the idea of that is just too much in the face of extreme grief.

What I am saying is CA's fault is that the horse was not under supervision while "tied low and left to graze." Whether the horse died due to a struggle due to being tied in such a way, or whether he died of natural causes WHILE being left out tied that way, it is negligence in my personal opinion if the horse was unsupervised.

Many people had no idea of CA's training methods and this brought them front and center.

His statement and the general attitude he takes does not become someone who makes millions of dollars a year because he is a supposed "expert."

Thanks for commenting.

Anonymous said...

Why the owner refused an autopsy of the horse, if the autopsy in fact was available, does not make sense to me. Or was the horse buried, and then the offer to do an autopsy was alleged to have been made?

That a horse would suddenly die of an alleged aneurism has a fishy smell from the get-go. Mr. Anderson said he has 60 horses on his property but that is not that high a number of head to care for.
No one but an idiot would leave a horse tied without supervision.

When you strip away the PR, they're all the same, as are their tactics. Unfortunately a lot of beginners get taken in, because they can't tell a two-bit horse trader and con artist from a conscientious horseman/woman. And that in my humble opinion is what Anderson is. Learn to read horses first, then watch the people ;) Horses never lie.

Thanks for letting me comment.


horsewelfarenews said...

I don't follow any trainers or online PR "clinicians." Judging from the description given by the website author of the Clinton Anderson "catalog of sadism," it sounds to me like he's just another horse trader with a gimick and a magnet for beginners with very low self-esteem but a very high opinion of themselves and a wad of extra money to burn. Plenty of those people on the Internet.

People must take driving lessons and get licensed before they can drive a vehicle but unfortunately for horses there is no standard of criteria to determine whether a person is qualified to care for them humanely.

Thanks for letting me comment. I feel very badly for the horse whose life was cut short through no fault of its own.






Robert Rosales said...

Ok So i see a lot of you have problems with the way he trains. Its easy, don't take your horses to him. You want to hurt a trainer, take money out of his pocket, don't take your horse to him. Me personally, I understand that there are several training methods in which trainers opt to show to the public, but also have methods that they do not show. If you think a trainer is showing you all of his methods, you are mistaken. Now, What about all the rest of his methods here that now one has talked about? What about all of the other horses he has trained? How many horse have died on his place while being trained? If the owner wanted to make a big deal out of this, she should have contacted an attorney and pursed this in a court of law, but I don't recall anyone here suggesting that course was taken. NO you think it is much easier to try to ruin a mans reputation based on your own beliefs of what happened without being there and this not being your horse. It is my understanding that what you are doing on here defamation and maybe that is why you are refusing to post your full names here. I am guessing that the most (not all of you) will continue to try to ruin this man's reputation and not knowing all that happened. Yes the lady should have had an autopsy, even if it meant pulling the horse out of the ground. But since she didn't, everyone here is blaming CA for killing this horse. I guess you would be the same folks that blame your kid or friends for your car breaking down when you are not driving it. Since no autopsy was done, and no one really knows what happened. I would suggest that you end this here and now, before he takes all the letters and emails you have sent him and his sponsors as well as RFD-TV and gives them to his attorney and you find yourself paying this man for damages from a subject that you don't know much about. IN fact I can tell you, if it was me (the first person that had no idea and was trying to ruin my reputation) I would have had their ass in court. But then again, maybe that is what it will take for you to not worry about someone else and their situation that you have no part in nor any true idea of what happened.

billie said...

Thanks for taking the time to leave comments. You can bet I will never utilize a trainer that does not have a completely open door policy. In fact, I have only utilized trainers who come to my farm and work with me AND the horse where yes, I can see every single thing being done.

Eddie Davis said...

I would have to side with Clinton on this one. The owner need to put her big girl panties on. I am sure the horse was in a safe place. Ground tieing is safe and horses do well with it in general. So, that being said, he did everything he could.

As for being appalled at the Bull whip and other desensitization techniques. It is going to save your ass in the saddle when something unexpected happens. He doesn't touch the horses with it, it just makes a loud sound and the horses get used to the loud sound, so when a truck honks it's horn or a gun goes off in the background your horse doesn't jump out of it's skin and you end up on the ground.

You said you studied Parelli, well that about sums it up. Parelli is not a good horse trainer, a showman maybe, a moron for sure. He is an arrogant a-hole as well. His touchy feely BS is for the city folks. How does the horse feel... bla bla bla ... that is called putting human feelings on a horse. They aren't human and work by a different set of rules. Parelli says one thing and does another behind your back.

The thing I like about Clinton is you get what you see. If you don't like it, he doesn't want your business. I think that is pretty plain, Parelli on the other hand would sell the shirt off his back and call it gold. I know of a person who got killed using the Parelli method. It is total bunk to put it lightly.

billie said...

Eddie, thank you for your comment. We agree on one thing - Parelli not being a good horse trainer but a showman. I have not "studied" Parelli formally - I read one book of his a number of years ago and everything I've seen of him makes me want to run in the other direction.

I suppose one thing we might agree on wrt CA is if in fact you do get what you see with him. However, I am not so sure this is true.

Do you know his history and his experience through the years with training horses?

From what I have read I am not impressed. My impression is that he has not done much in the way of total horse training and he came to the US with the intention of creating a business using the "Aussie" stamp to make it appealing to clients.

I get what you're saying about desensitization and being safe in the saddle. I get why it would be important for police mounts, people who ride in parades, etc.

My goal with horses is not to desensitize them into having no response to anything. I want my horses to retain their "horse-ness" - I do not want a horse that just stands there no matter what happens.

IMO, there is desensitization and there is trauma to the point of dissociation. Which is CA really doing? My guess is it depends a lot of the personality of the horse he is working with, but I don't see anything but an 'in your face' approach from him. There seems to be no care or consideration for the horse.

Horses do not have human feelings. But horses do have feelings. And my experience is that they are not really all that different from any other sentient being's feelings. It is my job to learn to understand them and to respect and honor them, to the degree possible.

I have desensitized horses to things and have never needed to resort to the methods I see CA using. It can be done in a more gentle, respectful way. It SHOULD be done that way.

He definitely doesn't want my business. And I do not want his.

But further - and this is the point I'm making - if he is putting himself out there as a professional with expertise and he accepts money for it, he also accepts responsibility when things go badly wrong. And I think it is pretty clear in this case, it did.

Under pressure, he acted like a spoiled, egotistical idiot. Is that how he acts when something happens in a training session with a horse? Does he lose his temper and throw a big fit?

Is THAT who anyone wants training their horses? Probably not - if they could see that side of him.

The statement he made reveals that side. And that is why it is posted here on my website.

Inform yourselves, horse people. Don't drop your horse off at some so-called trainer's farm without knowing every single thing you can know about what your horse is in for.

Anonymous said...

You all are idiots and you obviously have nothing better to do but scrutinize Clint. Did ur horse die? No. It doesn't involve u. And if u think his methods had something to do with it, then don't u think more horses would be mysteriously dying???! Just look at Clint for his tips and methods he putting out there.If u don't agree with his methods, then don't follow them, but keep ur idiotic opinion to yourself. It's not like he forced you to agree with everything he does. Just don't ruin it for everyone else and shut ur mouths. Thanks ,

Anonymous said...

Ur a moron . Do u have nothing better to do? What has Clint done to u?

billie said...

It's always interesting when someone, posting anonymously, comes onto the blog to call me and everyone commenting idiots.

Let me take this point by point:

Yes, we all do in fact have many things to do in our busy lives. One of those things is to speak out on behalf of horses.

I scrutinized CA because he puts himself out there as an expert. As much as he markets himself and his so-called training, even spamming my real post box with his catalogs full of ridiculous "gear," he has placed himself directly in the public eye. And guess what? Once you do that you are fair game for scrutiny.

When you set yourself up as a business to make a profit from training horses, you put yourself legally into the fray for being held to professional, expert standards.

Of course my horse did not die in CA's care. My horses would never BE in CA's care. But yes, it is in fact my business when I read that a horse died in his care. It is anyone's business who cares to get involved.

I have seen his methods. I think they are hideous. That is my opinion and it is my right to express it here, anywhere.

How is my voicing my thoughts on his training ruining it for anyone?

Tip: if you're going to go on a blog and call people idiots, use your name. If you have something of substance to share, use conventional spelling and grammar. Come across as a serious, intelligent person and maybe someone will give what you have to say credence.

Otherwise, you're just adding to the noise.

billie said...

Ditto to the second anon. commenter.

It's not what CA has done to ME. It's what he does to HORSES.

Anonymous said...

First off, I am so sorry to have offended you by calling you and others idiots. I dot know any of you, so it does not give me a right to do that. I just became very heated and angry to see all this hate against a great horseman in my perspective . Second, anonymous does not mean one is a coward to not put their name up. It could mean they do not want their name online for security reasons. My main priority is my horses; and in my opinion, Clint really helps and gives amazing results. I do not think it's fair to say he is cruel to horses when there is no proof of that. One horse die at his facility recently. How does that prove anything? And on the matter of the bull whip- he doesn't beat them with it, he gets them used to it. Horses are very large animals that are capable of more than we give them credit for. They aren't these fragil little ponies that we make them to be. Horses have been companions for people and also a way of being used. I think some people forget that. Again, I apologize for calling people names. Oh, and I am so very sorry for offending you with my texting lingo. I hope my writing was better and more comprehendible for you . Thank you for letting me comment :)

billie said...

Thanks, anon. I am glad you commented again. We do have one thing in common - our horses are our priorities!

I understand that CA does not "beat" the horses with the bullwhip but is desensitizing them to the sound. All I can say is that it is overkill - no horse needs or deserves to have a bullwhip cracked right beside its face that many times.

There is video footage out there - I wish I had it in my possession - that shows CA kicking a young mare that has gone down during his training - he kicked her as hard as he could with his boot in the barrel, more than once. If you saw this kind of footage would you still view him as a good/humane trainer?

There is more than what you see in his promotional videos.

In any case, if you have learned useful methods and you feel what you have learned are humane practices, then that is a good thing. But I hope you will question anything that doesn't feel right to you even if CA "teaches" it.

I know how incredible horses are and I give them credit for it. It's because of how smart they are that I say they don't need the loud, aggressive behavior he advocates. They can feel a fly land on any part of their bodies. So they need a bullwhip cracked 50 times to learn not to spook? No, they don't.

Anonymous said...

I see your point . It's good to hear people's different opinions and I respect yours. Like I said, it's all centered toward the horses and whatever makes a bond between horses and their owner is what counts. :)

lita robertson said...

I think that one of the things that many people forget is that Clinton gets many 'problem' horses. We have had had great results with his regular training for respect. It is in no way brutal or harsh (IMO). But some of the horses he gets are so spoiled and screwed up that if someone doesn't do something drastic their next stop is the kill plant. And as for his marketing and all, more power to him. He has come to America, sold his signature Aussie horsemanship and done well. How can you say he isn't a horseman with all of the results. Maybe he is to 'life in the real world' for most of you to trash on him the way some of you have just cracks me up. I am assuming that if you think cracking a whip by their head is cruel then you are against running at a rodeo with fireworks for entertainment, or mounted shooting for that matter. I have been to one of his clinics and saw him take some of the most obnoxious spoiled animals one could imagine and at least get them where someone could work with them. To be honest most of them should have been on a kill wagon when they got there, but IMO he saved their lives. Everybody sees things differently, so great if you don't like him - don't take a horse to him. But seriously, just to get on here and castigate him really shows your lack of character rather than his.

billie said...

Lita, thanks for your comment. I posted this information b/c I want anyone who chooses to work with CA to have the full picture - including those opinions of folks who do not feel his training is humane.

My only purpose is to offer something other than his own marketing. If someone researches him and finds this post,at least they know that there are people who disagree with his methods. Then it's their own decision and their own responsibility to do what they feel is best for their horses.

I think CA has revealed his character pretty clearly. And I'm sure that what I write here reveals mine.

It's all subjective, I suppose.

Gina McGee said...

I know the FULL picture of CA's training because ALL of our Performance Horses are trained by CA their 2 & 3 year old year....they are trained with the foundation exactly like the horse brought in by customers...they are trained to ground tie (which is safe)...nothing wrong with this method and we use it at home as well....you cannot read a post and base that on his entire character...I know the details of the entire incident and I can assure you CA did everything in his power to make it right, but the lady just kept bashing...it's unfortunate the horse died, but horses get injured or die everyday in freak accidents which in this case was a freak occurrence...everyone has their own opinion of how a horse needs to be trained and if you do not like CA's methods then don't use them, but why the BASHING when you DO NOT EVEN KNOW HIM much less ever had him train a horse for you...I know one thing, if he trained it, anybody can ride it and you don't have to worry about them getting hurt. There's nothing harsh about his training....have you ever observed horses getting kicked in the pasture...I don't think CA's whip or spurs can hurt that much. I have personally seen some of the horses brought to his ranch to FIX because the people turned them in to 1200 pound pets that they can't even handle on the ground much less ride. He gets the horse back to where the people can actually have a relationship with their horse and KEEP them. He has done nothing but devote his time to people to keep them SAFE...so many people out there have horses and do not know anything about how to handle them...he keeps it simple for them to understand....another thing, my CA trained horses all have unique, funny personalities...they all do...they don't lose that with his training, but one thing is for sure, they are respectful to the point I can bring anybody around them and put anybody on them and not have to worry about them kicking, biting, bolting, bucking, etc. Fireworks can go off and these horses will not overreact....I can move cattle using a bullwhip and my horse will not explode...we use chainsaws right next to our arena to saw up wood for the boiler used to heat our barn and I don't have to worry about them coming unglued....that's for those people who think using chainsaws, bullwhips, etc. are overkill....it's a horse and they are unpredictable, and when it comes to the safety of my KIDS, nothing is overkill!!!! my name is Gina McGee

Gina McGee said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
billie said...

Thanks, Gina, for sharing your personal experience with CA. I am not a fan of what I have seen of CA and his work with horses. If you feel he's done well with yours, I respect that and am glad for you.

My horses are fine with many things - chainsaws included. I don't have to get up close and loud to desensitize them. We had 40 people here yesterday for my son's graduation party and my herd were all wonderful and accepted vsitors graciously.

I agree that large animals living with humans must have awareness of their bodies in relation to ours. I want to live with horses who can manage some regular day-to-day sounds and surprises with ease. It's how to get there that matters so much to me.

And I understand that if you have good experiences with a trainer it's possibly upsetting to read someone else say negative things - after all, you put your beloved animals in his care and if the negative things were true, then what would that mean?

Everyone should research trainers to the nth degree, imo. Go watch, go ask questions, google, read as much as you can. And if the trainer has a closed-door policy, decide if you are really comfortable with that. I would never be.

Just like I would never be okay with ground-tying.

It's clear from CA's release forms that he is liable for almost nothing. I would never be comfortable with that.

billie said...

Meant to add: I know it's done but I would also never be comfortable putting a 2 or 3-year old into full training at all.

Gina McGee said...

I respect your opinion as well...if we all had the same opinion this world be one boring place...lol...however, I will clarify that the chainsaw, bullwhip thing is only at tours....this is not a part of his everyday training but the horses are desensitized enough that these scary noises are not an issue...IMO people make too big of a deal out of that stuff when it's more for the tour demonstration...a lot of trainers do things at the tours that are not a part of their everyday training because they have a longer time to train these horses...as far as liability, I can understand why ANYONE would want to protect themselves...anyone that participates in anyone's clinics at this level will have to sign liability forms to protect the trainer from losing everything...unfortunately thats the case for anything now days because the first thing that goes wrong, people want to sue....I can relate having my own business...I also respect your opinion on not starting 2 to 3 year olds in full training, but I can assure you our horses are extremely well taken care of with constant vet examinations...they are examined to the fullest extent before they are even started in training to make sure they are ready...the health of our horse are our main priority...they are better taken care of than me...lol...as far as closed door training, it's not that CA is trying to hide anything, but could you imagine how many people would be dropping by his place on a daily basis and interrupt the work place....this is an extremely busy ranch with all kinds of clinics going on constantly....these horses are trained right out in front of the clinic participants as well...this is CA's private home as well and I would not want people just stopping by to visit...I can relate having our own training barn...to be honest, not many trainers want someone dropping by constantly interrupting training....this is no different then signing you kid up for 4, 8, 10 week adventure camp somewhere which I have done....I could only visit my child once every 3 weeks and of course I had to sign liability forms and agreements...no different in this case with your horse...I am not posting this to get in an argument, just wanted to put some things out there so people can think about where others are coming from.

billie said...

Thanks, Gina, for the dialogue. I appreciate your civility and courtesy.

I totally understand that drop-ins would be inconvenient, but for the owners of the horses I would have to have the contract say that I could come check on things at any time.

I feel the same with my children. I wouldn't send them somewhere that had a closed door policy.

It might help to know that I am a psychotherapist with 25 years' experience specializing in trauma. I have seen the worst of the worst when it comes to what can and does happen to children and animals when no one is around to witness it. Hence my very strong belief about open access.

It might also help to know that one of my horses is a QH who came to us at age 3 fully trained under saddle in Western Pleasure. We thought he was soon to be 4, but he was actually 2 soon to be 3. He immediately went into very light riding and took a year to finish growing up.

It took years for us to undo the WP gaits he had been ridden in and to let him gain the confidence to relax and enjoy himself under saddle. He is a sweet horse but it was clear that much of his laid-back attitude had been drilled into him and that there was latent anxiety underneath. He would stand for a bath but clearly didn't enjoy it. That's the result of poor training that relies on lots of pressure and rushing to get the horse desensitized to things.

My approach takes a lot of time and a lot of care - allowing the horse to gain trust and confidence that the people he lives with will be fair and give him time to learn at his own pace.

Same with my children - who have homeschooled their entire lives.

I know it's not for everyone but I do feel it's fair to say that a more "canned" program creates some issues that are going to come out later, or will result in internal stress and strain.

Just my opinion, but it's an educated one.

There are very competent and effective trainers locally who welcome visitors and in some cases come to us. I have used several and can't say enough about working with people who operate this way.

Gina McGee said...

Let's just agree to disagree...nice chatting with you anyway!

pam Schiller said...

I am an aussie.have bred,shown, rodeoed trained and taught for 40 yrs, never heard of CA until he made the big time in the US.I have spent years droving cattle ( that means walking cattle on the road and stock routes for feed in drought times, at one time we had a mob of 1100 calve 3 times on the road, all our work was done with horses and dogs, no deaths, no chainsaws no bull whips, our horses (QHs)lived with us, worked willingly with us they trusted us we had a good relationship with them (which I still do today at the age of 68yrs, I just breed now and sell the offspring good quiet trusting horses)our horses worked in traffic conditions, rodeos and horse shows, carnivals etc.,and why because of confidence and trust. I have seen a few of these clinicians come out here to Australia all pretty much basically the same, a high price on fees, mostly women attend and not many have said how much they have learnt and able to put in practice, some get hurt, and I have always said "horses don't lie" so be careful how you handle them because it will show. I also believe these trainers only show you what is good for them, they have other methods which they keep to themselves for home. Desentisation none of ours ever were like the bull whip, the whatever stick, or the chainsaw, horrified when I saw that on CA youtube clip, how cruel mentally and physically for the horse, who is a flight animal it must be terrifying for the horse to have to stand there in fear obviously worse may happen to them if they tried to get away. We tethered our horses our horses out at night for their safe keeping from traffic and also sometimes being in outback, Get to know your horse, think like him and ask yourself what you would like, and how you would react to a lot of these methods. I believe there are a lot of good and great horsemen around today but I don't believe you find these people putting there hand out to take your money, whilst your not learning much they are making a lot. A long time ago and old fellow (dedeased) used to say we are (us Aussies) are about 10 yrs behind America with our way with horses, He never lived to see us catch up and see a lot of the BS..t that is happening. Billie I do agree with what your opinions are. Pam Schiller NSW Australia

billie said...

Pam, loved what you wrote here.

I have heard that CA was not even a horse trainer in Australia but came to the US hoping that he could market and sell himself as an Aussie horseman/trainer. Sadly his plan seems to have worked for him.

I totally forgot about the chainsaw - I did see that video and must have blanked it out. My horses are fine with a chainsaw doing what it is meant to do - cutting wood and dealing with trees felled by lightning, etc. I have no need to test how close I could get it to them - why would I want to?

I shudder to think what CA does "behind barn doors" when the public is not there to see. I have also been told there is footage of him kicking a horse in the barrel as hard as he could with a hard-toed boot because her response to his training was to lie down and shut down. Makes me sick.

It totally boggles my mind how anyone could want to break a horse's spirit - one of the most beautiful things on earth to me - to end up with a traumatized, shut-down creature that has been tormented into learned helplessness.

I have good horses who are friendly and they want to be with me. But they still act like horses. I do not want them "dead broke." I want them to have their curiosity and intelligence and even their instinctual behaviors. Granted, I am not using them for work and I know that makes a difference. But I would rather a horse face something scary with me b/c the horse has a relationship with me than b/c I desensitized him to death.

Take care and thank you for sharing your experience.

billie said...

I'm working on my iPad this morning and when trying to approve a post I accidentally deleted it. It was from an anonymous commenter, and said that the owner of the horse could have paid the few hundred dollars to find out why the horse died, and that CA was blunt b/c he was like an old cowboy dealing with "a bunch of bleeding hearts."

My understanding is that the horse had already been buried on CA's property and would have had to be exhumed in order to undergo a necropsy. Many people feel that process is disrespectful to the deceased - not sure if this woman in fact felt that although from what she posted on FB it sounded like she did.

If I were a professional in the business of horse training, with a reputation to uphold, I would make darned sure that if a horse died I did everything I could to 1) find out why and 2) consult the owner's wishes about how to proceed. It doesn't sound like he did these things.

Surely a grieving horse owner is not held to the same standard in such a moment as is, or should be, the professional under whose care the horse died?

No one here on this blog is crying about anything. We're asking questions. We're holding a so-called professional accountable for what happened on his watch.

To call it "crying" is an avoidance tactic. If you can't answer the questions, call those asking them names.

Anonymous said...

I just had back surgery 3 weeks ago, so not allowed to ride yet. I consider my approach to be natural horsemanship, but also believe it is good to have many tools in your tool box. I have read or watched Lyons, Parelli, Cox, Cameron, and many locals. I had the opportunity to audit a CA certified trainer this week, and also watched a CA DVD ladt night. Point of correction for those that said he never actually hits the horse with the bullwhip or stick, this is simply incorrect. Each individual needs to decide what training methods they are comfortable with. I learned a few things to add to my tool box, but my husband and I agreed that whipping a young colt in the head as a training method is nit something we will do. I have had one aggressive horse in my life that had to be corrected a few times for his and my safety. However, I do not believe in whipping a horse in the face as a training method when he has no idea yet what he is supposed to do...

billie said...

Thank you for clarifying. It's hard to imagine hitting a horse in the head is part of any training regime. I am not surprised. CA appears to have a high tolerance for aggression in general.

I hope your recovery from back surgery is quick and complete!

Heather Morris said...

Wow....a lot of effort to try to tear down one person. I'm sorry to hear about the loss of the horse and the grief the owner has gone tbrough., but Clinton does well in the horsemanship world and is just trying his best to help us by educating us with our horses. He isn't perfect. No one is. We all make mistakes. Let's all say sorry hug move on and forget about it.

billie said...

The bulk of my post is CA tearing down anyone who doesn't agree with him. I feel his own words should remain available for anyone who wants to research a trainer before they leave their horse in his care.

When someone takes on the care and management of a living thing, hangs a professional shingle, and accepts payment for services rendered, there will be and should be some oversight.

I've said it before here and I'm saying it again: before you leave your animal in the hands of ANY trainer, do your research. Especially if that trainer has a policy of no visits and actual warnings that your horse may lose weight, obtain injuries in the process of the "training" and worst of all, DIE.

Any tearing down happening in the name of CA appears to be happening to the horses, in his care.

Cross jk Ranch said...

Any one know how many horse have been through training and/or clinics at CA? How many injured or dead horses out of all those what, THOUSANDS and THOUSANDS? Horses can and do hurt and/or kill themselves in a padded stall. They really are a fourlegged accident looking for a place. I've been to a 10 day CA clinic. NO horses are abused. It is the most carefully managed and maintained facility I've EVER seen. Does a horse experience trauma? Maybe some, but everyone and everything goes through trauma in life and comes out the other side a better being. How is teaching a horse to think and be confident a bad thing? Anyone who has seen his horses at liberty can see that training is NOT dominating.

billie said...

Thanks for posting your experiences, Cross jk - as a psychotherapist and horse owner though I can say with great authority that not everyone and everything comes out the other side of trauma a better being. If only that were so. That it's not is precisely why I put this up - so that potential clients can make informed choice about trainers. Don't buy the bs that your horse needs tough love boot camp to get better. There are trainers who can help you without the rough handling and without adding more trauma to the picture.

Anonymous said...

his a ledgend...your all a pack of idiots who think he has done something wrong. guess what horses die!!!!

billie said...

Legends are generally people who have died - and spellcheck is your friend, anon.

One thing I need to say here - again - coming on to a blog, posting anonymously, and calling people idiots is not an effective way to make a point.

I understand the passion and intensity of believing in something so strongly you just can't fathom others don't feel the same way. I find it interesting how many of CA's fans use the same rhetoric and tone he used in his letter. I have heard he uses that same way of expression when dealing with horses.

IMO there is no place for that in horse training. There is no place for it in discussion with other people.

The way one expresses oneself speaks volumes.

Anonymous said...

Nicely put...

Jayme Hrobsky said...

I have watch Clinton Anderson, and do like his training. Although I learn off his TV shows because there is no way I could ever afford his training EVER. However I have to agree with Clinton on this, nobody lives forever and he did do everything to help this lady out who lost her horse. I'm sure if this was done on purpose he would not offer her money back, offer a $25,000 horse,offer free training on her next horse, or send her flowers. If you ask me the owner is quite selfish and must have money. I'm 5' 9" and have a small 6 year old QH and my husband who is 6'4" rides him and does not look funny on him. Since when did horse back riding become a fashion show, and how good you look. Who cares how you look if you enjoy to ride like most do, it does not matter the size or color of a horse. If you ask me I think most who have been involved in bashing anyone needs to grow up. Maybe its me and the Wisconsin girl coming out but there is nothing worse then to read immature RICH people, "seriously complaining about a trainer who works probably harder than any of you". I say rich and work because if you can afford to take your horse to Clinton Anderson then you have money to spend on a horse or training that your too afraid to do, and probably should not be a horse owner. How would any of you feel if someone was basing you, I'm sure you would be upset as well. REMEMBER THIS EVERY ACTION HAS A REACTION.

Sincerely,
Jayme Hrobsky
BOTTOMS UP!!!!!!

billie said...

Thanks for your comment. I'm not concerned about how someone looks on a horse - but do wonder at big men riding small horses.

And to clarify, I don't think CA did anything on purpose int terms of the horse dying. I think the training technique that was being used is cruel and that in some cases horses could die - and that he could reasonably be expected to foresee that.

I don't know how much money the people who hire him have - he certainly doesn't seem to me to be appealing to wealthy horse owners. I'm sure some people can easily afford him while others might be saving up to do so or using savings they have set aside.

Anonymous said...

Well you obviously don't know a good horse trainer when you see one! I love Mr. Anderson's trainin methods and I love the guy himself! What he said in his comment was just the truth! And he ain't no phony what you said! You have obviously ain't used his methods on your horses! Because you wouldn't be sayin such things bout him! It's the truth!! And whatever happened on his ranch and I know for a fact that he probably didn't leave the horse tied low unattended!! That's just dagum crazy! Not even a two year old would do that!! And just because you don't like him doesn't mean he is a Phony or a blankhole! He is not!! If anyone is a phony or blankhole its Y'all who are against him! Sorry but it's true and Y'all know it! He is a phenomenal horseman!

Dallas Haarmann said...

It's interesting that all of the positive posts about CA have come from individuals who have seen him in action personally or worked with him at one of his training demonstrations. It seems the negative comment come from YouTube viewers or people with a third party opinion. I have seen him at a clinic and at road to the horse, along with parelli and cox. I am NOT a devoted CA follower (I love to watch other trainers and form my own methods) he can come across as arrogant. However, I haven't seen any cruelty at his events. I do wonder if his assistants on his ranch could have been blamed as well(I seriously doubt he does much of the training "grunt work" so to speak) I think the lesson in this is for him to have owner sign a training contract REQUIRING necropsy on any and all animals that die in training. My legal 2 cents it may have saved a lot of trouble and angry blogging :) my work as a VT for 10 years and having a masters degree in equine science has taught me that much if nothing else!

billie said...

Anon before Dallas Haarmann, I am having a hard time believing this yours is a real comment. But if so, you are absolutely right - have not used his methods, never will. And I have wonderful, personable, expressive horses who are terrific partners.

billie said...

Dallas, you make some good points. However, I will say that given what I have seen of his work, heard from him on his show, and read a wide swath of opinion about his work from people who HAVE worked with him, there is no way I would ever hire him to do anything with my horses.

No doubt the people who work on his ranch have some culpability here too.

Thanks for using your name and for making reasonable points. I appreciate it!!

Anonymous said...

Wow I'm sorry but some of you Americans really get a little carried away with saying some methods are cruel and wrong etc. Clinton's words are just how we speak, which is black and white with no shades of grey.
He learnt from some of the best the main guy living 40 ks away from me. And yes I have always worked on 200,000 acre cattle properties and been lucky enough to work with Matt Gaines the cutter in the states.
Clinton has a real talent with horse and yes sometimes sh@t happens. Horses aren't made of glass and he isn't out right cruel. He helps people to understand their horses better, simple.
If you haven't meet him or dealt with the people or horses that he has I don't think you can really comment. So a horse died, big deal! If it was mine I'd think the same thing
Charlotte Fairly Queensland Australia

billie said...

Thank you, Charlotte. I still feel the open statement he made revealed his attitude about an issue that, if in fact it happened with no liability on his part, was extremely unfortunate for the woman who owned the horse. That he refers to it so callously doesn't inspire confidence in me or many of us who bristled at what he said.

I also need to remind you that for most of us who haven't met CA personally we have had the opportunity to see his work on TV and in videos. I don't see anything there that speaks to the kind of horsemanship and training ability I respect and admire.

I understand there are those people, yourself included, who do, and that's your own decision.

Personally I will stick to soft, quiet, respectful, and humane methods and techniques.

Jennifer said...

Jag "chicoutmyblingbling" previously owned by CA is an amazing talented just plain fanominal piece of horse flesh. Well I heard this horse was in line to compete in futurities when CA got the bright idea to tie this horse back to tight causing him to crack vertibra in his neck. I do know this horse was injured and unable to compete in reining futurities causing him to loose a lot of ethos and fame from not being shown when he should have. What I would like to know is this true about why the horse was injured?

billie said...

Jennifer, I don't know - I did a quick google search and it appears that at some point he put Jag at Texas A and M for breeding purposes. Maybe someone can trace the history of competition and try to figure it out. Would be interesting to put the question to CA himself. What happened to Jag?

Thanks for the comment!

billie said...

I did find this on a forum - written in 2010:

2010-11-04 9:44 AM

All anything of CA's has ever done is NOT win. < not a fan. He left the Ohio Wahl center with allot of enemies. Mostly because he's a pig , and he goes to great lengths to hide his abusive nature.

please explain more.

What do you want to know more about?
I have friends that work at the Wahl center/arena/whatever it's called. According to them he was a stuck up self absorbed jerk all the time. He was quite the pig to women. The methods he was peddling werent what he used when other's werent around. Beat them senseless and blame any marks on a pasture accident.
I hate how he rides his horses with their noses touching their chests.
I met him at an equine expo and he sure wasnt all that and a bag of chips...

His stallion has not won anything. Most of his breeding stock are Babcock ranch culls.

Just not a fan.

billie said...

And this, same time frame:


He came to Duncan Ok a few years a go.All the little girls in 4H were giddy and so was the leaders.
Well it kinda went down hill.
Had two round pens set up in the barn.And his helpers all around and the clinic goers, watchers in the stands and in the pen on their horses.
Ya know how to get a horse to lope and ride on aloose rein.Tie the reins to the horn.And grab the horn and the back of the saddle and turn ol Puddin loose and let him goooooo untill he lopes on a loose rein.
Well can you imigin 10 in each pen.Running off all together.Had several good crashes and one bucked off and hit like a sack of salt.Two their saddle rolled over on the horse while they were holding on to the horn and cantel.Couldnt turn loose of the saddle pull ol Puddin up and stop him;
OhOHOH My saddle is turning my saddle is turning
Bang.Oh its alright they had their helmet on.

The 4H leader was telling me this still all giddy and squishy.
The lady that bucked off would not get back on her horse at all so his assistant rode him for her.That was helpfull.
All this at $1000.

And at OKC I saw it on How to score your rope horse.Why they wont stay in the box.He can not build a loop or swing a rope.Never got the horse in the box.Wasnt on a roping horse.On his mare all bridled up and tucked up and not wanting to go.

Didnt have anything to do with Tommy Teamroper pulling like a Freightliner in the box with his horse crammed in the corner rearin him up with a big bit and chain tiedown on and not lettin up.
They hurt bad eneough they wont stay in the corner.With his new pair o spurs on punchin him in the rib hangin on trying not to fall off.

billie said...

And this:

We had the pleasure of Clinton building a facility not far from here, drive by it on the way to grandma's farm. I had seen some of his tv shows and got this feeling on the simplicity to get the results, while understanding that it is tv. Then I went to an open house at the new ranch and saw him in action. WOW will he ever smack the shit out of one with that stick. I was still away when he came to town in the mid 90 to work for a local reiner but it didnt take long for people to realize he wasnt from here, then they moved back and spent enough on a 115 acre ranch to buy half the town. It is a real nice facility, just sold for a fraction of the investment (oops), I hope the new owners make a good go of it.

To make a long story short (I know, too late) I just like hearing others experiences the guy that seemingly could sell ice water to an eskimo. (my internet friendly cliche)

billie said...

This mentions Jag:


Jag broke his back as a 2yr old out in the pasture and had surgery at TX A&M to remove a vert. He's now riding sound only but will never make it to the showpen. His damn, Princess N Diamonds (sp), is a big time producer... Fappani (now HE'S a brutal SOB) won a ton of money on a filly CA raised out of that mare. CA showed at the NRBC a couple years back and did pretty well if memory serves. I found him rather entertaining at the clinic I had free tickets to last year. It was just him and the demo horses and he had some spoiled and extremely belligerent, rotten ones he worked with. The one he rode he made the statement there wasn't anything wrong with her that a good old ass-whipping wouldn't cure... can't say that I disagreed, she was an unholy pig. But I would have also stated right after the owners got their asses flogged first for letting get away with crrp. I think for the crowd he's catering to, tired horses are a good thing as their owners have no business owning horses for the biggest part. They dont want to hear Flicka's a puke and a dangerous one, send 'em straight to Mexico, do not pass go, do not collect $200. Some horses along with their pet people shouldn't be wasting our planet's oxygen supply. He and all the rest like him have found a way to exploit them and make wads of cash, I say more power too them ;)

Anonymous said...

I don't think people understand that Friesians do not have the stamina that a regular horse has. They have a small lung capacity and are not physically able to get a second wind and recover like other breeds. If the horse that died was worked hard, had his head tied low for what ever reason and then put a black horse in the hot Texas sun that could have over stressed that breed and kill it much easier than another breed.

I do also know some details of his making the gaited horse videos. At night behind the scenes he uses bits that are like wood screws. He had a mare so upset that every time it came near CA it urinated. Now these were not problem horses, these were gaited horses that a friend supplied for him to make the video. The owner was in tears and CA pressured her to say that the horse urinated like this when it was in heat. The gaited trainer that got the people to supply the horses took the horse and retrained it for 4 months at no charge to get the horse back to before CA got a hold of it.

His methods are extremely rough and a lot takes place behind the scenes that we are not aware of. This I was told from someone that was firsthand helping make the video

billie said...

Thanks for sharing this, Anon - it certainly fits with what I have read and heard.

I hope that anyone considering sending a horse to him will research him first, hopefully find this site, read the comments, and think twice.

Anonymous said...

Billie,
My name is John Parks.
I have spent the last 30 minutes reading this blog and I have many opinions on the matter. Just to give you my background, I have been working with horses since I was 16. I didn't find Clinton Anderson until I was 27 and it completely changed my view on horse training. I will repeat what others have said on this blog. Everyone I have ever seen or read about that bashes Clinton haven't seen him in person, or if they have, left as soon as they got offended. I attended a 10 day colt starting clinic at Clinton's ranch in the summer of 2012. Was it all smiles and giggles? No. Did Clinton help teach 30 untrained horses to be ridden without anyone being bucked off or injured? Yes. Is Clinton Anderson a perfect human being? No. I haven't met one yet. Most people start to watch Clinton and his method and become offended and disgusted and quit watching. They are then experts on how cruel and mean Clinton is and tell the world about this evil man. If they would just continue watching they would learn what a great horseman he really is. No one, and I mean no one can take an untrained horse and turn him into a willing partner without going through some uglyness. Some horses are worse than others but all horses go through it. I have taken at least 10 horses through Clinton's fundamental series and 3 or 4 through his intermediate series. All of these horses have been wonderful and willing partners. Once you have gone through the first few exercises, the uglyness goes away. The exercises are then easy to teach and easy for the horse to learn. Two summers ago, using only Clinton's method I trained a 3 year old gelding, and my 10 year old daughter showed him in 4-H competition. Nothing extremely difficult, mainly Western Pleasure and Western Riding. Believe it or not, no one was injured, the horse or the girl. Amazing right?

Clinton Anderson is an arragoant hard A**, no doubt about it. He will jump your butt when you do something wrong at his ranch. Later, he will pull you aside and explain what you did wrong, discuss it with you and teach you to learn from it. He is an excellent communicator and has a natural gift with horses. If you would quit focusing on all the negative things you have heard about him and look for some positive, you would find yourself with a lot more to see. You can find something bad about anyone if you really look for it. Again, he isn't perfect.

About JAG. I heard this from Clinton's own mouth. JAG was an exceptional althlete. Clinton said that JAG showed more promise than his brother Whizkey N Diamonds. JAG had his head stuck through the gate when something spooked him and he pulled back really hard and broke his spine. He had surgery and was again sound, but it threw off his balance and therefore couldn't compete. That is what happend to JAG. A freak accident and no one was more upset than Clinton. Long post but had a lot to say. Comments welcome.

billie said...

John, I appreciate you taking the time to comment thoughtfully and to share your personal experience with CA. However, I disagree that anyone needs to see more than the first "ugly" thing to form an opinion.

I have been the first person to sit on a number of young horses. I've watched a number of other people do the initial training of young horses. It can be done with absolutely NO ugliness, meanness, arrogance - and for me, that says it all. Every horse will of course present his/her own challenges - but I do not think rough handling is the answer if and when that happens.

Except for the training at 3 part, I commend you for bringing a horse into work with a 10-year old girl. I have to tell you though, that happens every day without CA's methods being used. A kind, humane approach is the norm among the trainers I would personally recommend - and most horses accept saddle, bridle, and the person sitting on their backs without a bit of trouble.

I disagree with CA's entire perspective on training the horse based on everything I have seen him do (video, TV) and read and heard. That anyone would be expected as a matter of course to be prepared for some "ugliness" and for CA to "jump your butt" is a huge part of why I have no respect for him.

I do not think it is okay to treat horses OR people with that kind of arrogant, hard-nosed attitude - and while it seems clear that some folks seem to be fine with it, I will continue speaking up for the horses - who cannot opt out of that kind of training and handling.

I get what you're saying about finding something good as opposed to all the negative things. The only good thing I can find is that some people, like you, feel he has helped you, and I do respect that. I would urge you to broaden your training and perspective and try out some other kinds of horsemanship - simply as a comparison.

Thanks for the JAG story/explanation. I'm curious to know who was watching, what spooked the horse, and if anyone present had anything to do with the spooking.

If I ever see something good to focus on wrt his direct handling of a horse, I will write about it here.

Again, thank you for your comment - and enjoy your horses!

Anonymous said...

Well for starters I think there's a lot of Clinton Anderson bashers on here. I personally think the man is genius! His method is easy to follow and understand, he has taught both me and my daughter a lot about training a horse. I don't blame him for being angry. We live in a world where people can not mind their own business, and just love to point fingers at other people.
What happened was an accident, nobody's fault.
And just why would the owner refuse to have an autopsy done? When you are in the public eye you kinda get upset when people just won't stop on one subject, it's already over. Accidents happen and everybody has to learn to deal with that.
I bought my horse in February, he is very stubborn and lazy and doesn't want to listen. It was the hardest thing for me to get tough with him and use Clinton's method in the right way. But I only had to whack him a handful of times until he got the idea and now he's much better behaved

billie said...

How do you know the horse was being "stubborn and lazy"? Did you rule out pain, injury, and any other issues such as saddle/bridle fit, your own cues and ability, and illness?

If CA's method is to "whack him a handful of times" then that is far worse than I thought. Whacking is not training.

If you did not understand what was being asked of you at your job or you were unable to do your work due to sickness or pain or injury or issue with your work environment, would it be okay for your boss to "whack you a handful of times" until you did what was asked?

You are the perfect example of everything that is wrong with CA and his methods. I hope you'll look for more positive methods in the future.

Anonymous said...

First of all, the horse was given a complete checkup and had to have his teeth floated before any training was begun.
So there goes your health issues defense.
Whacking the horse simply means to whack him on the bum when he refuses to move. Only as much pressure that is needed is applied. And thank you for complimenting me and calling me a perfect example. Clinton Anderson is one of the best horse trainers out there. In fact my daughter plans on applying to become one of his clinicians. And I couldn't be more proud of that fact. Do you think its okay to harass and have so much drama surrounding someone with an accident happened and it wasn't his fault? Probably cause that's kind of the society we live in today.

Anonymous said...

Also by the way, a horse is not a human its a 1200 pound animal. Kind of need some force when you're dealing with that.
You can't pat it on the head like a puppy dog :)

billie said...

I'm happy to hear the horse was checked out - that's terrific.

As for CA being one of the best trainers out there - sorry - I totally disagree and so do a lot of other people.

It's your decision - if you feel informed and happy hitting your horse, I guess that's the kind of horseperson you are.

With regards to horses and their weights - I have a 1400+ Hanoverian, a 1200+ QH, an 800 lb. pony, and two little donkeys that weigh between 275 and 300 lbs. each. I don't use force nor do I need to with any of them. And they kind of ARE like big puppy dogs - they are wonderful under saddle and on the ground, they have lovely and expressive and distinctive personalities, and they adore humans because they've never been treated badly.

That's the kind of horseperson *I* am.

Brian Begley said...

I do not know Clinton personally but where humans and horses meet accidents happen. I have lost 2 horses in my life. I understand his frustration. Do you think it is not in his best interest to do all he can to protect every Customers horse?

billie said...

Based on the contract you have to sign when you send a horse to him it sounds like it's a miracle any horse survives the training and you are agreeing that you are okay with that.

There's a big difference when you lose a horse to a freak accident and you lose a horse while training using methods that are known to be dangerous particularly if left unsupervised. Anyone who ties horses and leaves them is asking for accidents to happen.

It's not uncommon in the western riding world - I know CA is not the only culprit.

If I ever sent a horse away to a trainer you can believe I would not send one to someone whose contractual agreement sounds like I'm submitting my horse to a boot camp experience that he might not survive.

YMMV.

Anonymous said...

I would have to agree with Clinton. It's a fact of life -
Animals die. He is a great horseman. He has proven that to thousands of people. Just because one horse dies, (unfortunately on his property), doesn't mean he was to blame. He offered a free horse. Who wouldn't take that? I would. If I thought for one second he was to blame for my horse dying, I would get an autopsy done. Gotta move on and live life.

billie said...

Unfortunately for CA, people who conduct business as professionals who earn an income from the work they do have a higher standard of care. If a horse dies on his property while in a training device and not being supervised, that is galaxies different than a horse dying of old age, a heart defect that suddenly manifested during hard work, a meteor falling from the sky and landing on the horse, etc.

No one has ever said anywhere on this blog or in the comments that horses do not die. That is a ridiculous argument to come here and make.

If you feel the need to comment and post your opinion, that is fine - clearly I am putting these comments through as the come - I am not rejecting them. But please, do me a huge favor and make an actual contribution to the thread. If you have worked with him and believe in his methods because you've seen them work, share that here.

If you are a fan and watch his TV show and want to stick up for him, fine.

But don't use the argument that 'horses die." It isn't relevant to this discussion. No one has ever made the counter statement to that.

The obvious statement that has been made is that a horse died while in training with CA and his employees on his property. He took money for it, he put himself forward as an expert. He is responsible for the care of the horses that he takes in training.

The tone of his statement is that of a personality-disordered individual.

I put it here so that anyone who googles him can read it, because it disappeared pretty quickly after he made it on his own site.

If this is the kind of "professional" you want to work with, want your horse in the care of, then go for it.



Jbgohmann said...


I just got home from Clinton Anderson's Walk About Tour in St. Paul, MN. I've been to at least six other tours,a three day clinic in Rapid City and a ten day Fundamentals Clinic at his ranch in Stephenville, TX. In addition, I have read three of his training books and rarely miss his TV show, to say the least, I am a fan.
I have been horse crazy since I was eleven, but did not realize my lifelong dream of horse ownership until I was fifty. Clinton Anderson was the only trainer who followed any kind of a step by step approach with built in rewards and punishments and solid educational outcomes or objectives. In short, I would have been a frustrated old lady without any knowledge and a ton of frustration if not for CA.
I retired a couple of years ago from an inner city public school after thirty years of teaching. So I feel that I can comment on CAs teaching style with some authority; the man is a genius . During my tenure I had the awful experience of having a third grade girl die. I don't want people to think that this precious girl was the same as A beautiful Freasian but many of the emotions were similar to the lady who lost her horse.I thank God that I was not crucified in the blogosphere by people who knew nothing of the situation or anything about me
as a person . Gossip is still gossip, even if it is typed on an iPad or whispered behind backs. So please in the immortal words of Thumper, "If you can't say nothing nice, don't say nothing at all!" At least until you know the facts!

billie said...

Unfortunately Thumper's advice does not work when dealing with situations of abuse and neglect. Saying nothing when animals or children or adults for that matter who cannot help themselves is simply not an option..

It is exactly his use of "rewards and punishment" that is of concern.

I have studied the concepts as trained and licensed psychotherapist so have an understanding of how they are so often misunderstood and mis-used.

Thanks for sharing your experience. Are you saying a child died while in your care as a teacher? I'm sure that was a terrible experience to live through. Was there an investigation done? Were questions asked and answered? My assumption is that yes, that is what followed. In the case of the horse dying in CA's care, there was no such investigation. There should have been. So... there are many unanswered questions. HIs response is that it is nobody's business. Which I think has brought about most of the negative attention he has gotten around this case.

Anonymous said...

So, the owner didn't want an autopsy? Ok, then it ends there. He offered her a $25,000 horse, she declined. Wow! Then he offered for her to choose her own horse and send it to him free of charge? She declined. Wow.l Lets be realistic, he provided excellent customer service, way better than any other business
would have. She caused unnecessary drama, that is a fact. And then she slandered a business that was undeserving, if he wanted to, he could have sued her. He is absolutely right, sh** happens! our pets die. It's tragic but true. He's not bein egocentric or an a-hole, he's being pi**ed off which he has every right to be. She was being rude by saying his tools and methods were inhumane, ummm HELLO! The patience pole is WAY better than a tree! At least the horse can walk around it and not tangle itself up! Whips cracking next to the horses face for desensitizing is bad? Geez, you'll regret saying that the first time a deer or turkey jumps out at your horse when your trail riding and he throws you off into a tree and you break your neck. But, whatever, people die. It's life. Sh** happens.

billie said...

Let's get the facts correct if we're going to talk about facts. No, he could not have sued her. Do you know the definition of slander? No one has slandered him because yes, the horse died in his professional care and he could not provide evidence of HOW.

The patience pole is better than a tree? That's an endorsement of his methods? The fact is that people who wouldn't use his patience pole wouldn't use a tree either. There are better methods.

If you or CA think cracking a whip next to a horse's face desensitizes him to turkey or deer you BOTH need to do more work with horses. Wait, actually, do LESS. Horses everywhere will thank you for it.

If you want to add to this discussion, add something of substance, please. If you want to throw the term "facts" around, please use them.

Karen Maguire said...

I think you people Are full of shit. I'm taking my horse in September to his ranch and god forbid anything happens to him but if it does. Shit happens and if he offered me a signature horse I would dam sure accept it. According to his response he offered everything he could. What the hell do u people expect. I hope one day u folks aren't caring for someone's horse and something happens to that persons horse. Bet u won't feel its your fault then. And besides when u take your horse somewhere for training and u are there to train your own horse it isn't the dam trainers fault if your horse drops dead. Get a fucking life and mind your own dam businesses.. If u wanna comment on my post call me 903-930-0262 you dam sure won't like what I have to say...

Karen Maguire said...

Oh I'm sure you folks won't publish my reply. Only the ones bashing who u all are against... Bullshit..

billie said...

Hi, Karen. What makes you think I wouldn't publish your comment? I've published all the other ones that precede yours.

Again, if you have something of substance to add, and can do it with a bit of courtesy, I'm happy to discuss it. I'm not sure you understand the points of the original post from the comments you just made, and it doesn't sound like you read the other comments either. I encourage you to do so.

In any case, it also sounds like you have made your own decision and are comfortable with it. I hope all goes well for you and most especially for your horse.


Anonymous said...

It's a sad situation when so many people think that violence, whacks and ugliness are part of a horse's training... perhaps that partly reflects the world that humans have made for themselves, and the way we feel about ourselves, rather than the true nature of the horse.

I agree that horses are big, and can injure or kill even unintentionally, and that we should always stay safe, but I have found over the years that the more you restrain, and the more you control, the more likely you are to become a victim.

Horses know they are larger than us, faster than us, and can kick a lot harder, yet they choose not to... (if they do, then it's up to us to change, because we're obviously doing something wrong.) Instead, by nature, they are a peaceful group living animal that relies on co-operation and group interaction for their very survival, and once a bond is formed between a horse and a human, we have to take on the role of trusted herd-mate to ensure that the horse was not mistaken in his choices.

As has been said before, training should not have 'ugliness' it should be a journey from which both sides gain and learn, and the fact that, like humans, horses are all individuals with different rates of learning means that all training should be tailored to each horse... The 'one size fits all' approach is never going to be appropriate for every horse.

My own horses were trained by using Positive Reinforcement as far as possible, there was never any punishment involved... If one didn't understand a particular point, then I changed my way of asking until it became clear what I was asking. The training was done in tiny steps which they were able to absorb... For example the acceptance of a saddle was done by starting with a handkerchief on their backs, and from there we worked our way up through towels and saddle blankets until the saddle was just the next tiny step... Backing too was done in tiny steps, until the day they were finally backed. No rears, no bucks just learning and reassurance. You can perhaps see how easy and sweet it can be in reality with just a little thought.

It is perhaps more that a little sad that training through +R and rewards is seen by and large as 'not really horsemanship' or 'not macho enough' but folk who come out with that sort of comment think far more about themselves than they ever do horses...

In the circumstances had I been CA, I'd have had a vet out to autopsy the horse before I'd informed the owner that it had passed away... that could have saved him an awful lot of abuse and ill feeling.

billie said...

Anon, thanks for adding your perspective. I am a psychotherapist with many many years experience working with trauma. What I see with horses is that in many ways, as prey animals, they have the sort of highly attuned communication system that trauma victims sometimes sometimes have - only for the horse it isn't a symptom but a way of being that keeps them safe. Because of their sensitivity there is absolutely no reason to go loud/hard/strong when training. Your example of a handkerchief when working toward saddling is perfect.

I do believe that when training horses there are dangers of overstimulation, overwhelming them, and if done too many times you end up with a horse who has shut down out of necessity. We all see these horses. It is clear by the look in their eyes. That anyone actively wants that, wants a horse that reacts to NOTHING, that has lost its premier way of being in the world, boggles my mind.

And you are right - the loud, overbearing, controlling way of training horses says more about the ego and personality of the person doing it that it says anything about a horse.

Anonymous said...

Billie. Post a video of your techniques training a horse that bites kicks bucks etc. I love to learn.



billie said...

Anon, thank you for the invitation.

I'm not a trainer, except in the sense that all of us "train" the horses, the dogs, the cats, for that matter, the people we live and work closely with.

Over the years I have had one occasion to call in a professional trainer. She came to my farm and she taught us to work through a fear of loading that developed in ONE day when some overzealous pony club parents decided to chase my daughter's pony onto our trailer with a whip.

The technique involved respect, paitence, and showing the pony that we would not ask him to do more in one short session than he could tolerate. Why did we not videotape it? Because our focus needed to be on him. Compared to what you see with CA (and to be honest, most of the trainers who sell gadgets, videos, etc.) it looked like nothing. It looked like a little girl holding a pony's lead line in progressively closer points to the trailer and then just standing there. It would have showed her asking him to put just one hoof in the trailer, then removing it. Then both front hooves. Etc. It was not dramatic, nobody broke a sweat, and within 30 days - yes, this was intentionally spread out over 30 days - the pony self-loaded and has done so since.

Since that time I have worked through training issues on my own. Using the same basic skill set. Respect, patience, and a willingness to listen, to assume the horse is resorting to behaviors that make it difficult for humans b/c those are the behaviors horses use when they need to say NO or STOP or SOMETHING HURTS.

I check for physical issues first, head to hoof. Then I assume I have done or am doing something that is creating the problem. That takes care of 99%. The remaining 1% go the way of the trailer loading. If I hit a problem that I can't figure out, I call in someone who comes to us, charges an hourly rate, and offers respect, kindness, and a fresh eye.

The big difference I see in the trainer I hired for the pony that one time and CA is this - she taught me how to break things down into small pieces, she reinforced that our insistence on respect and kindness was right, and she gave us the confidence that we could do it ourselves. She didn't "break" the pony of his fear, she showed us how to start over and build confidence in HIM. And that applies to every single "problem" we've encountered since.

We joke that she puts herself out of a job because what she teaches is so basic and so generalizable you never need to call her back again.

No gadgets, no videos, no loudness, no running the horse into a lather to wear him down. Respect. Kindness. Patience. Time.

Same things that work with all of us, really, because those are actual tenets of good relationships. Imagine that!

Cassilee C said...

I have started using CA's Method with mine and my friend's horses. I say that it is one of the most effective ways, in my experience, to train horses. I would like to know how many other trainers out there can get a horse that is rearing and throwing a huge fit, into a trailer in an hour. I went to the Walkabout tour in St. Paul and saw nothing(I am VERY tenderhearted towards any living thing)that made me feel sorry for the animals involved. I mean, why go the hard way when the easy way is conducive to the heath and well being of both animals and humans. You've got to admit, pushy and spooky horses ARE DANGEROUS!! And most of them don't even know it.I don't know Why all of the naysayers are trying to ruin CA!!! You aren't going to change the minds of the people who use his Method!! You are just trying to justify something that you think is a crime on CA's part. I'll say what lots of others have said. This is really no-one's business. It is the owner's fault there was no autopsy. I would have been a slightly different story if he had just told her to buzz off. No! He tried to comfort her! It obviously meant something to him. And I don't see any other claims of horses dying when they're at his ranch. It's not big problem. I know most of you will think I'm one of the 'Clinton can do no wrong' "toadies", but I am grateful that we have these ways to train horses. Ways that obviously work.~Cassilee

billie said...

Cassilee, I do not know what you mean by the hard way. The training methods I admire most are easy and most horses accept them readily and without fuss.

What CA does in most cases is called in the psychological world "flooding."

It does have negative consequences that may look like compliance. If that is what you want to impose on your horses, then that is your choice - at least at this point in time. I hope that someday these kinds of methods disappear and more people adopt the easier, kinder ways that utilize small steps and allow the horses some say in the process.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts here and especially doing so without resorting to name calling and bad language.

Cassilee C said...

I do agree with you that there are other ways to train horses; good ways, too. But this is what works best for me now, and i will probably always use his Method. But I would like to know how long your methods of horse training take. I know that fast is not always best, but I don't want to wait five years while my horse is being trained while he/she stays in his comfort zone.~Cassilee

billie said...

My methods take as long as the individual horse needs. That said, most issues that we have had with our horses and our donkeys are short-lived - I find that with respect and patience and humane methods the issues become non-issues very quickly.

I try to treat my animals the way I want to be treated. It works beautifully. I have happy horses and donkeys who are easy to deal with - they aren't pushy, they aren't spooky, they really love people, and they meet me at the gate when I go out to ride. They are free to express their opinions about things and they are playful, curious, intelligent animals who bring joy to my life.

Cassilee C said...

Despite the fact that I use these "Inhumane" methods on my horses, my horses still meet me at the gate, are still curious, and still like my being around. I don't think you know all what his methods entail. It is basically that the horse finds what the trainer wants, and is rewarded for it. One horse I am training learns VERY quickly. I no longer have to use the "Torture" stick. These Methods work and this three year old filly still meets you at the gate, ready to do some more. I don't think this "poor horse" is psychologically suffering because of the way she is trained. But I respect other people's choices of training. Even Clinton Anderson has said himself that his method isn't necessarily the "Best".~Cassilee

billie said...

I do know what his methods are - but it's lovely to hear your horses are happy with you and that's the most important thing. Best of luck with them and thanks for visiting. :)

Cassilee C said...

You're welcome. Thank you for not dissing what I believe in, making me feel stupid for doing what I think is right. But some horses need a little more firm training and discipline. Have you ever seen CA ride his horse Diez? Even if you do not like his Method, it is something to see, the way they work TOGETHER!!~Cassilee

billie said...

I have seen video - but will go look it up again and give it a second look. Take care!

Cassilee C said...

He may not be a great man in his personal life, but he is a good horseman.~Cassilee

Kaity said...

I 100% agree with you Karen, in no way is he being rude in his statement just honest and people can't handle it. I agree with Clinton and Karen, mind your own damn business!

billie said...

Well, that last statement you make brings me back to my original position - the way he conducts himself personally, as he reveals in his statement to the public above, is at least some part of what he brings to the table in training horses. Ego, arrogance, anger - these have no part in horse training and from everything I have seen and read and been told by many people who have worked with him, he brings those traits into the process on a regular basis. Which is why I posted this in the first place. Not to argue with people, but to offer my own opinion, which many horse people share. BUYER BEWARE.

billie said...

Kaity, as I have written numerous times above, yes, it is everyone's business when there is the possibility that a horse was harmed by a training method. There are laws that govern the treatment of animals. And when someone earns a living doing training of animals, there are laws that address performance and standards and ethical business practices. CA is subject to those laws, and he has put himself in that position out of his own desire to earn money and to be a "name" in the horse training world. So he signed on for scrutiny when he did that as well.

Thanks for stopping by. Interesting that you come to MY blog and tell me to mind my own business - but out of fairness and respect for your right to have that opinion, I approved it and have responded to it. See the difference? That's my approach to the world and to people and yes, to my horses.

Cassilee C said...

Billie, I notice you called the blog'The Real Clinton Anderson'. I as you, how do you know what he is really like? You have never met him(I think), and therefore are not a fair judge on if this is or isn't the real man.~Cassilee

billie said...

The blog is camera-obscura - this one post is titled The REAL clinton anderson. I named it that b/c the statement he made in his own words differed somewhat from the story that was being presented by his "company" - the statement was his "real words."

It was removed a short time after he posted it probably b/c it was a bit too "real" to be palatable by the TV studio and production company that he works for.

I know he has a reputation for being blunt and crude - so I put his own words here and responded to them as a person, a psychotherapist, a horsewoman, a writer.

It's an old post but it gets a lot of traffic b/c, presumably, a fair number of people are googling CA to read more about his work and to see what folks think about him. I'm one person, this is my opinion, and I'm glad to have contributed something so that when folks are looking about info they get this perspective - which they can then put into the pot with all the other things they've read, what they think themselves, what they have heard and read and seen, and come up with their own conclusion.

So, yes, I reserve the right to title a blog post and to write my take on things. I haven't changed my mind about CA since I first posted the piece here. If anything I have learned worse things about him.

Have you seen the video footage of him instructing someone to kick a horse in the ribs 32 times? That is about all I need to see to determine what kind of person he is.

But enough said. On a daily basis I live with a herd of happy, joyful, terrific equines and I've got a book to finish here, so - nice commenting back and forth but I'm done with the CA discussion. I wish you the very best and hope you and your horse(s) have many happy years together!

Randi said...

I just started reading this Blog today while viewing CA's website for some new reins and would like to make a few comments for what they're worth. I have followed CA and other "designer" trainers for many years. I have met him, attended numerous clinics and have seen him do some wonderful things with horses. I have also seen him apply some questionable methods and like any discerning consumer/student have used what I believe works and discarded what I consider inappropriate. I have found him to be effective, funny, obnoxious, a show-off, kind, brass and arrogant and sometimes cruel to people and animals just to name a few of his traits. He's made a fortune being that way. In reading this thread I find it interesting that so many comments in his favor are from those who think the sun rises and sets by him and some are even willing to curse out those who would criticize their "God". Then there are those who seem to take great pleasure in trashing everything he does and personally attacking someone they don't even know. Most folks don't even know what the real situation was with the poor woman who lost her horse, but the fact remains that whatever you think of CA, he did try to make a very bad situation palatable. I don't know what more he could have done. He should have had the autopsy done for his own protection and as a horse owner, I can't imagine not wanting one for my peace of mind or for possible legal action. The letter he wrote sounded like someone who has just had it with being publicly hung out to dry by people with limited information. Yes the letter was in bad taste but it's written by someone with a huge ego and a short fuse. What do you want him to do, resurrect the horse? Let it go people! I hate to put it this way, but you are all beating a dead horse. Sorry, but I don't know any other way to put it.

billie said...

Hi, Randi, and thanks for commenting.

You don't have to know someone personally to make a determination on character and professionalism if their behavior is in the public eye, which I think you would agree, CA's is.

I have not "trashed everything he does" - but I do feel that someone who by your own admission is making money and blatantly being cruel to people and animals, to borrow your own words, should be held accountable for that cruelty.

And I had to smile at the end of your comment. Not about beating a dead horse, but that you admonish people to let it go - when you obviously aren't doing that yourself by commenting here. :)

For the same reason you were compelled to comment, so is everyone else. We all have our opinions and thankfully we have the right to share them.


charissimo said...

Even gifted trainers can become nightmares when their star rises and Ego comes into the picture. There are some good things to be gleaned from many of these natural trainers, but when you go public and have lots of stuff to sell, the pressure to always exhibit a perfect horse will cause you to go down all sorts of ugly paths and completely lose sight of your original goals. Horses become tools for becoming a bigger name and making more money. And once you start viewing them this way, it's hard to regain that part of you.

billie said...

Exactly.

Elizabeth said...

I will first admit to all that I am a huge Clinton Anderson fan. I have bought most of his DVD'S and seen most of his shows and saw him live in Vegas. Also I will admit that I have bought several of his products he endorses and trained my horse that was barely halter broke stallion into a very respectful calm gelding (and trust me gelding him never changed his strong personality even years later).
That said I am not diluted enough to ever believe his or anyone elses training method is for everyone. There are different people like different horses.
That said, he is extremely famous and I personally don't know or heard of anyone who makes a quarter of the money he rakes in by giving a bad product or at least an inefectual product, there just isn't that many suckers out there anymore in the informational world. Also I love a good bargain so I always shop around for product reviews and prices for the same product and I use to believe most of his products were outragesly priced until one by one I compared to other great named companies and also cheap companies with cheap metals/materials and I learned for myself that he is not only competitive in price but quality is pretty much guaranteed. I haven't had to replace anything I bought from him and it has been 6 years including halter ropes that my horse has done everything from drag me to rubbing it against a wooden fence. My horse has stepped and chewed on the whip and still have it 6 years later with minor scratches on it. So naturally I am a fan of his sponsors because he cares about his name and the products that share it, from what I have experienced in the last 6 years.
Most of the comments I see here and plus the article had a lot of wording like "I think" the owner was contacted after the horse was buried about autopsy. So you don't know why the owner didn't want to autopsy. "Your impression" was she wanted to move on which is why she didn't want the autopsy. Well which one is it? your impression or what you think on why she didn't want the autopsy?

Elizabeth said...

I will first admit to all that I am a huge Clinton Anderson fan. I have bought most of his DVD'S and seen most of his shows and saw him live in Vegas. Also I will admit that I have bought several of his products he endorses and trained my horse that was barely halter broke stallion into a very respectful calm gelding (and trust me gelding him never changed his strong personality even years later).
That said I am not diluted enough to ever believe his or anyone elses training method is for everyone. There are different people like different horses.
That said, he is extremely famous and I personally don't know or heard of anyone who makes a quarter of the money he rakes in by giving a bad product or at least an inefectual product, there just isn't that many suckers out there anymore in the informational world. Also I love a good bargain so I always shop around for product reviews and prices for the same product and I use to believe most of his products were outragesly priced until one by one I compared to other great named companies and also cheap companies with cheap metals/materials and I learned for myself that he is not only competitive in price but quality is pretty much guaranteed. I haven't had to replace anything I bought from him and it has been 6 years including halter ropes that my horse has done everything from drag me to rubbing it against a wooden fence. My horse has stepped and chewed on the whip and still have it 6 years later with minor scratches on it. So naturally I am a fan of his sponsors because he cares about his name and the products that share it, from what I have experienced in the last 6 years.
Most of the comments I see here and plus the article had a lot of wording like "I think" the owner was contacted after the horse was buried about autopsy. So you don't know why the owner didn't want to autopsy. "Your impression" was she wanted to move on which is why she didn't want the autopsy. Well which one is it? your impression or what you think on why she didn't want the autopsy?

Elizabeth said...

Regarding his statement, I have never met him in person but one thing is for sure all of his catalogs and videos have always portrayed him exactly the same. He has never acted like a politician with two faces. So when I red the comment from him on your article, it totally does sound like something he would say, so your not revealing a new shocking side of him, he is who he is and its not a secret. That said, I personally did not read anything in his comment that was untrue, or unjust as a fed up owner of a company who experienced a horrible accident and everyone is capitalizing on it from thin air. Unless anyone has proof that he lied about all the offers he made and did for the owner, and if he actually did offer all that and said to her all of that I personally think if I was in her situation that he pulled all the stops to pay for a tradegy, everything short from bringing the horse back to life. But I guess being famous and rich he should have that ability.
Another thing, and perhaps I missed it or simply forgot, or maybe you say it later in one of these million comments which I haven't read them all. But I am curious how do you know...[" What I am saying is CA's fault is that the horse was not under supervision while "tied low and left to graze." Whether the horse died due to a struggle due to being tied in such a way, or whether he died of natural causes WHILE being left out tied that way, it is negligence in my personal opinion if the horse was unsupervised."] ???
Was that Clinton's Andersons' statement? somebody on his property statement? or is it what you think and impression? like your assumption that Clinton Anderson thinks he rules the world. Someone who is succesful and wealthy is just that... anything extra like their thoughts and likes and dislikes don't come with money and success, believe it or not they are still individuals and don't fit in a cookie cut box. Why is success such a condemable offense. Unless he made his money piladging villages and raping women, as long as it was honest with a product that people like and appreciate, why is it so horrible that millions love it cause guess what we’ve tried it.

Elizabeth said...

Also I was reading a few comments about how horrible it is to use a chainsaw around a horse, or I know he uses sometimes a leaf blower on horses or bull whip around the horse to desensitize them.
Do you all have these same horrible feelings for rodeos? Or do you think those are natural conditions for the horses’s psyche to chace cattle (flight animal, why would he chase cattle?), or mounted shooting in carnivals (or is that nicer than a chain saw?) or sliding stops for reining (why would you speed up leg degeneration?), or dressage shows were horses can’t physically see infront of them because of the unnatural way they have to carry themselves with the tight reins or jumping? Especially Olympic eventing must traumatize you because it does for me when they jump straight up in the air because it is so high and straight down into a puddle (who knows how deep, he definetely doesn’t, and in his right mine would never be his idea to jump that when going around works just fine), or equestrian vaulting with the full riders weight hanging off to one side (or are you going to tell me the great saddle fit compensates for that?), or mounted police around crowds that are drunk or rioting, or cattle drives with roping cattle and horses getting gorged by cattle (you are going to tell me that their horse love that?). Or better yet, all these people that do all these disciplines have a magical way to get this horses to do this so the horse thinks “man I am so lucky I get to do this, I mean it is so much better living like this than without people around”

Elizabeth said...

No horse likes any job any human gives them, period. I don’t care how warm and fuzy you put it. But most horses, especially when presented correctly, will accept their new role and hopefully your work for them won’t shorten their life expectancy or quality of life. But to nit pick and say chain saw around a horse is deplorable unlike 6 feet tall jumps, vertical head carriage (working blind), chasing steer with well equipped horns to gorge a horse in the shoulder, or slidding across an arena on their hind legs only or hanging on a horse’s side while he is running (throwing him off balance) and filling him up with so much grain that he colics so he can work harder and no one will call humane society for starving him… now that is ok. I probably gave you all the impression that I hate these disciplines or think they are deplorable, but believe it or not it was because I don’t understand the nit picking. I watch on TV and I gladly go to any horseshow or rodeo I have the time to attend and truly enjoy and admire the people that accomplish in getting a flight lazy animal to trust them and become so athletic and face so many crazy scenarios. Just like I admire when a horse will tolerate a chain saw because the person convinced this animal that of his choices, sticking around and figuring out the chain saw was a survivable experience.
Horses adapt very well, just like people, and one day a horse thinks raising your hand over his head will kill him and then by the end of it he is ok with a chain saw (for example). That is the idea of training a flight animal. As long as it doesn’t maim them and he will tell you ALWAYS if your training method doesn’t work. And someone who has trained over a thousand animals and won so many competitions under millions of spectators probably knows a thing or two.

billie said...

Elizabeth, thanks for all your comments. Unfortunately I have a lot going on this week and can't respond point by point, but I appreciate your thoughts.

The one thing I will say - you wouldn't catch me at a rodeo for any amount of money and I feel the same about competitive dressage in which rollkur is so prominently practiced, 3-day eventing where the jumps were for a long time solid construction and so dangerous for rotational falls, etc. etc.

My horses are calm, happy, and healthy and they love working with me and being with me. I don't desensitize them with chainsaws and bullwhips.

My main point with this post is that there are very effective alternatives to the in your face rude/crude/cruel methods used by CA.

That's all. We all have to make our own decisions about how we will advocate for the horses who depend on us to care for them.

My opinion: CA is a brute. Some people like that. I do not. He's in the public eye. I wouldn't call him extremely famous. He's a wannabe cowboy from Australia who came to the US and figured out how to make a bunch of money.

Wouldn't let him near my horses or my property but that's me. Your mileage may vary and that's fine too.

Anonymous said...

I believe Clinton just tells it like it is and doesn't sugar coat it or anything else for that matter. It's the truth and facts that are told straight up with no sugar added . People can't handle the truth and that's why our society is the way it is today. My sister sugar coated shit for her kids their whole lives, now they can't handle the real life shit because of it. I totally agree with Karen!!!

billie said...

Have to laugh at the notion that CA is telling "the truth." Not in my world.

Elizabeth said...

I totally agree with everyone that he comes across as an a-hole. Truth be told although I admire his accomplishments and I can honestly say because of him, my horse and I get a long very good and he went from crazy spooky reactive, rearing bratty stallion to a calm, relaxed enjoyable teddy bear only using CA methods. He still has that spark behind his eyes and curious and lets me know when something is bothering him. But he also gained that respect and attentivesness when I ask something. Anyway... he helped me communicate with my horse and my horse trusts me now because of it but I don't think I would envite CA to dinner.
Anyway... I am super curious how you or others know he is a hack, in other words accomplished nothing in Australia or wanna be cowboy? I personally never got the opportunity to talk to anyone in Australia thet knew him, all I have is CA word when he described his childhood and showed on several videos interviews of his mentors that trained him and together they broke and sold over 600 head of horses in a year. I mean I am curious everyone definition of cowboy, I think if you are breaking to ride 600 horses so quickly and your not dead and thats not a cowboy, I'm confused. When I say "and your not dead" I mean if they were doing it the old method like rodeos, they couldn't have done it that quick with all the inevitable ER visits because everyone's body on a bronc eventually shows its toll and he wouldn't have enough energy to come here and do it all over again because people bring only problem horses to him that have bad habits (I've seen it). I'm hoping you have a better answer then just saying he is lying...
I mean if you heard about his life from someone who realistically would know, I would love to know more even if its ugly.

billie said...

My impressions of CA are formed from hours of research, corresponding with poeple who know/have worked with him, old documents and interviews found online and shared with me by someone I trust, his own statements, videos, and TV show.

I understand what you mean about "knowing someone first hand" but the point of this post is to say to anyone who happens to be googling CA - DO YOUR HOMEWORK. Don't assume he's the professional just b/c he has a TV show and a following.

Before you put a horse in his hands, check him out.

People make decisions based on other people's feedback every day. Ever heard of Angie's List?

All I'm providing is one perspective that I formed after looking into his "training" methods. I did my homework. I wouldn't let the man near my horses. Have no respect for how he operates, in terms of direct training, overseeing the training done by his assistants, or the way conducts himself in the world at large.

Anonymous said...

I think you CA bashers are full of s..t! I used his method to train a horse that was in a meat pen that wa severely mis-treated and now all the non-horse people ride him, even 4 yr old children, so I think he knows what he is talking about. Also trained 4 miniature horses with his method and they are not afraid of nothing and very lovable. Find something else to do with your time

billie said...

Not really in the mood for this kind of anonymous post.

Sharing your experience is one thing. The rest of the comment is unnecessary and frankly, not welcome here.

I approved it because I'm trying to be fair, but I'm considering not allowing anonymous posters in the future.

If you have something to say, sign your name to it and try to be civil.

Anonymous said...

My two cents: I really feel for the owner of the horse who lost his life, it's devastating when that happens but unfortunately it does. My heart goes out to her. I'm very much of a bleeding heart when it comes to animals. In fact I consider my animals to be my children, I adore them and they get the best of everything we can afford for them. I've had horses most of my adult life and I used Clinton Anderson's method with my current horse and I have to say I've had amazing results. My mare trusts me implicitly and nothing much phases her. She's calm and safe to be around, a world of difference from when we first got her. Yes CA says it like it is, his people skills are rough and he might not be everyone's cup of tea but his method is idiot proof and easy to follow. I'd think it's safe to say it's probably saved quite a few horses' lives too - so many horses are written off as unruly and dangerous but if you follow his method you will get great results.
Hind.

billie said...

Thanks for your two cents. I disagree that his methods are good in any way but it sounds like you have a happy healthy horse and I'm glad she is able to trust you.

Anonymous said...

I totally agree with you, Anonymous...he should have wanted a necropsy just to clear himself..and I would not want to ride a pony either! His tone is just so snobby and condescending....which lets us know what he really thinks of people...I have always disliked his approach to horses..it was take it or leave it, horse...and his response is the same for people...I would never send a horse to him...I am posting anonymously because I work with people that have gone to him and I have to fix their horses, so I understand the messes he makes.

Anonymous said...

So true.

billie said...

Thanks for your contribution to this thread, Anon. I learned yesterday that CA was in NC for one of his "performances." I voted with my checkbook and stayed far far away.

Southern Belle said...

…are you serious? I think you're getting your panties in a wad over nothing. The thing is, Clinton STICKS to the truth, and he doesn't sugarcoat it just because people get their feelings hurt. It is sad that a horse died while in his care, but what HASN'T been told is the background story of the horse, the owner, and the events leading up to the horse's demise. An autopsy would've been helpful in shedding some light, and it's the owner's fault for not getting one. All in all, those of you who are being extremely judgmental and running your mouths about something you know NOTHING about is shameful. Grow up and get a life!

billie said...

I disagree about CA "sticking to the truth."

The bottom line here is that CA takes a lot of $ for what he does, he puts himself out there as a professional and an expert, and the consequence of those actions are that he is a public figure who can and will be held accountable for his work and his behavior.

The rhetoric in your comment does nothing to establish a dialogue here. Thanks for stopping by, though, and note that I published your comment all the same.

Enjoying life with happy horses and hope you can do the same.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Clinton... He refunded her money and went above and beyond to help with offering a free horse, he didn't have to do that because it wasn't his fault but because he is caring he wanted to help and all he gets in return is ignorant people bashing him!!! GET A LIFE!!!!!

billie said...

Anon, this isn't a debate between me and CA. It's my take on things based on his own statement that was very quickly removed from the public eye because it was so obnoxious.

Are you an ignorant person bashing ME? Not sure how to respond to your comment where you basically do the same thing you're accusing me of doing.

And I have a wonderful life. All the best to you in yours.

billie said...

Someone just left 5 really long comments which inadvertently got deleted. I apologize. The only thing I can say is that with regards to dominance and herd hierarchy you are simply wrong. I live with a closed herd of horses and they share hay, feed tubs, stalls, water, partner up with one another in all kinds of configurations, and have complex relationships. There is not an actual "alpha" horse. There is one horse they all want to be with and he is a kind and very clear gelding who happens to be the horse I most want to be with too. He is not passive but he is not dominant either.

There is simply no real basis in fact for the kind of alpha horse dominant leader nonsense that is spouted off by people who say that is the way to train horses and the way to be with them.

I'm sorry the comments were deleted and I'm sorry that all I can remember from reading them is the statement about dominance and herd hierarchy. It stuck out because it was so completely misinformed.

This is all I can write today. My 15-year old Corgi girl is in serious decline this week and I'm focused on her care and on being there for her.

RaeRay said...

RaeRay
Hi everyone! I'm exhausted by reading all about CA for hours in this blog page. I read about the poor Frisian died under CA's care a few years ago. I remember it because I have 2 Frisians with wonderful nature. I'd taken Parelli's method for some years. It helped me to learn lots of things different from traditional training though somehow it never helped me to ride better. In fact my French breed gilding started to misbehave. He hated yo-yo game also he hated silence. After all those horses were no wild horses, so used to being talked to by breeders and owners (especially French, they love to talk and kiss!). He was scared of my silence, so rared and bit me! Also circling game was hated by all of my 3 horses as much as they hated yo-yo game. So I used Klaus Hempfling's lunging method that they love. Only problem with this method is that I have to run with them. I'm 65 years old and getting hard on me. I must cut the story short, my Merens gilding is bossy and challenged me very often, threw me off 14 times by bucking, raring. PP's method didn't help at all. Frisian mare, very gentle but over sensitive, used to get panicked easily even by the hunting gun shot far away from the arena nearly threw me off. I'd never liked CA because what I read and saw how he was to horses and people some years ago. But just by chance when I was checking on YouTube 3 days ago, I saw CA correcting bucking horse. I watched it and very impressed. I know Billie, you don't like him at all, neither did I. But I watched all the dangerous or over sensitive horses that CA corrected in this year 2015 on YouTube. The following day I did exactly what he demonstrated, to my horses, one bossy and another over sensitive. Each took me about 30 minutes. I was amazed that it worked. I don't know about chainsaw or some kind of a whip that I've never heard of. I'm living in France so it's more with English saddle. I just used PP's carrot stick without hitting them, just on the ground, as PP method. CA is almost exactly the same as PP who started many years before CA. The thing is that as many of those who are pro CA wrote, his way is simple and straight forward unlike PP who gibbers a lot and missing main points. However PP's method helped me to get to the point what CA showed. It's a little rougher compared to PP though it's practically the same method. In 2015 videos I found he's become much more polite and nicer to people and horses. I remember clearly why I didn't like him at all some years ago because of his harsh arrogant attitude to people and horses. This year, he's a different person! He also got milder and fatter too. I'm not going to do all what he teaches, I haven't bought his DVD or books, but the short YouTube videos served me well. The rest I want to try Frederic Pignon's method. He's subtle and very gentle to horses and people which takes long time and my horses are not living with me but in a horse place. I wish I had them in my yard! I agree with you about misinformed dominance and herd hierarchy. I think it's Klaus F. Hempfling started to talk about it in '80's...He's OK but his YouTube videos too lots of editing that shows only good part of him. I like few of his method but his feeding people with spiritual jargon sounds too hypocritical. Hope your 15-year old Corgi overcame the crisis. My 13 year-old New Foundland dog is also going down the road. I have been giving Diatomaceous Earth and Vitamin C. It seems working well though one never know what will happen tomorrow. Thank you for the interesting blog page and thank you to all of you for lots of interesting comments! I really learnt a lot from you all.

billie said...

Thanks for your perspective, RaeRay. It's crazy how long this comment trail has become and continues so long after the initial post went up!

It is good to hear that CA is getting maybe nicer in 2015. I just got a big spam email from his company yesterday and took the tme to look and see if anything had changed before reporting it to Google.

I still wouldn't let him on my property, wouldn't pay or be paid to attend one of his clinics, and feel that he is one of the big problems in the world of horse training, but I am also glad to hear that you were able to help your horses. It's hard for me to believe that something done in a 30-minute time frame fixes a problem forever, but since I don't know the problem OR what you did to fix it, I could be wrong!

Thank you for asking about my Corgi girl. She rallied and is now doing really well. Lots of what I thought was hospice care turned out to be nursing her back to health. We're all happy she is back to her bossy self. I hope your dog stays with you in good health for even longer - all good thoughts to both of you.

RaeRay said...

Hi, I'm glad your corgi girl started doing well! Hope she keeps it up. I'm surprised you've got a big spam email from CA Co.! I also wouldn't like to send my horses to his ranch so I agree with you for that respect. And also his letter against the Frisian horse's owner. It's very explosive and immature. And at the same time, the way the owner wrote about her horse on Facebook, too, very immature. I had lots of ??? mark. I just wondered whether it's written by a grown up person or 14-15 year-old... The whole thing was strange that's why I had doubt about the story. Then you posted CA's letter above I found out it was true. However I still wonder about the Frisian owner's age. Very ambiguous, disorganized and immature just like the way CA's childish reaction to his bad reputation. Also I don't understand why she sent her precious Frisian to CA after being told that the horse might die! What!? I'd never send my darling horse to a person who tells me he may die...but why and how he would die. Nothing is clear in her post on Facebook. There is no excuse as an adult for writing in such a childish manner unless the person was very very young. Obviously, CA's reaction to it was just a huge joke, and so was the Frisian's owner's style of writing. I don't like either of their mentality. Since the owner rejected the offer of 25,000$ horse replacement, why didn't s/he ask to pay for autopsy with her appointed equine vet instead (much cheaper), and be there as soon as possible. It's only 200 miles away. I'd have gone there right away and check with the body and demanded to pay for the autopsy (as a grown up person). She did nothing about or for it as if she knew he would die. There might have been something she didn't want to write about her Frisian before she sent him to CA Center...also her writing about expenses, that's also no excuse if she could afford Frisian and also being able to pay for training at CA. Anyway, I'm not believing all what the owner wrote or CA wrote for that matter. The whole thing is too strange and secretive on both parties especially on the owner's part, fishy. I still respect many of Pat Parelli's method. Thanks to him my horses move just by my pushing the air only when I walk out with them or playing with them. I started to have problem with my gilding and sensitive mare. PP's method is too gentle and very slow, by 4 phases (1st touch the hair 2nd skin 3rd muscle 4th down to bone) My gilding knows exactly so before I get to 3rd or 4th phase, he anticipates and goes against me. CA is practically the same as PP's, also how he explains about horses' nature, their reaction, their psychology, halters, even a stick, I guess CA copied PP by 80%. But he doesn't do 4 phases, simply get to 4th. My gilding had no chance to anticipate. He looked shocked but changed the direction right away on lunging. The sensitive Frisian too, PP way is very gentle so she never overcame the sudden sounds. With CA's a bit harsh way (also arm killing on my part) of slapping around her ON THE GROUND over and over until she stopped moving or escaping from it, she stopped overreacting and even the wind blew and flapped the PVC cover she wasn't scared. I was very surprised. I don't want to try other CA's method because my horses are far from dangerous. I still do Parelli in many ways except riding. Yes, your blog has been going on for a long time, since 2013 and took me few hours to read all. Well, it shows that people are very interested in CA for good or bad. Thanks for the interesting blog and reply. Take care,

billie said...

I am scared to ask what the "down to bone" thing is. :/

Usually with horses ime getting quieter and softer works far far better than getting louder.

As does really searching for what is going on behind the problem behavior one is trying to address.

You can scare/hurt an animal (including people) into doing things but that doesn't meant they understand or have learned. I don't want that kind of relationship with my horses.

keria said...

Horses do die, often tragically and unexpectedly. Unless you perform a necrospsy you will never know why. I am not a fan of Clint Anderson - having seen him in a number of venues. I don't like his method of dominance and control. I've always felt that his interactions with horses are fear-based and rather over-the-top. That being said, he did offer to replace the horse or train another. Having had a horse die in his care, I probably wouldn't have the faith or trust to send another. I might, however, have taken the horse offered. Was responsible? I don't know, I wasn't here, a necropsy wasn't done. But if anything dies in your care, no matter how, there is responsibility attached. Do I think he tried to make it right? Yes. Do I think he handled the negative publicity well? No. I think he lacks tact. Lack of tact doesn't make you a killer but it sure does make it hard to get on in the world. His offensive manner is his own undoing.

billie said...

Nicely stated, Keria. Thanks.

Keria said...

I just got a chance to read this blog more in depth. And I want to say to you folks that are pro-CA ... I saw him a few years ago at an Equine Affaire. He did a series of clinics which were quite good - until he got to the last day. He had a horse that had never been ridden and had a lot of fear issues. Without any ground work, hands on work, or anything else he proceeded to saddle, bridle and mount this horse. When the horse got frightened he proceed to kick, whip, spur and run it around so savagely that the horse tried to jump over the ring (in the main arena) to get away. He then proceed to wheel it around, continue to beat it, call it deplorable names (like pig, idiot), etc. I have to say if I were the owner watching this... I would have walked into the ring and ripped him off of my horse. This horse was 100% worse off than when he got on it. It was appalling. It was SO appalling that when he was done, not one person applauded. There was silence in an arena that held close to 2,000 people. This is NOT training folks. This is NOT even humane treatment. I just got back from Road to the Horse where three horsemen worked two horses each - three year olds that hadn't been touched except to have their feet trimmed and get shots. After 1 3/4 hours each day for 3 days each horse was rideable, went through an obstacle course to the best of their ability and are now on their way to making someone a great mount. This, IMHO, is GREAT horsemanship - not showmanship. After the CA fiasco at the Equine Affaire, I will not, cannot, in good conscience, support him, his methods, his training, his products, his ego.

billie said...

I appreciate you spelling this out so clearly. It matches what I have seen and many accounts I have heard of his behavior, which, as you say, can't really be considered training.

I hope people read this and give some serious thought to what you endorse being done to horses when you support CA.

Anonymous said...

CA sat behind us at the NRHA Futurity. He was drunk, obnoxious and rude. He had a group of people with him that evidently were not reiners and our impression was that he had them there to make himself feel important (by his condescending tone) by "explaining" the sport to them...with no regard to his volume or the spectators around him that didn't want to hear it.

Furthermore, I am not informed as to what exactly is a signature horse, but if he has been riding her for 15 years, she is at the youngest 17, 18? How is this horse worth $25000?

And finally, if CA is receiving moneys from associations/clubs/corps as sponsors, I think it is every members/customers right to know where there money is being spent.

Just IMHO...

billie said...

Thanks for sharing your experience.

WRT sponsorship, I know at one point a few years back Smartpak made a huge deal about becoming one of his sponsors. Many people wrote to them with complaints and their response was that they had no problem with his training methods.

I personally have not bought a single thing from them since, and I was a regular customer as I liked their variety of products and their customer service. However, I can't in good conscience support a company who has no problem with CA.

It is interesting but not surprising that someone who is a bully to animals is also generally obnoxious and apparently egotistical and rude. As I have said before, his behavior speaks volumes about who he is as a person and what he brings to his "work" with horses.

i can't fathom why anyone would put their horses into his care. There is simply no way I would allow him near mine. To pay money for his "work"? Completely beyond the pale.

Nicki Gray said...

Definitely agree with Clinton! He is not being rude, he did go above and beyond. IF he has a little bit of a "big head" WHO CARES! It would be hard not to, he has worked hard and IS good at what he does! He IS popular, he's just stating a fact. This blog is stupid!

billie said...

Hi, Nicki,

Thanks for sharing your opinion about CA. I am sure you can find other blogs that are more your style. The wonderful thing about the internet is that we all have lots of choices and information. Might be good to steer clear of this one in the future. :)

RaeRay said...

Dear Keria! Thank God you experienced his madness...And Bilie you were right about him. I'm not living in US but in Europe, so I really don't know what's happening in horse world. I thought he was brutal to horses and rude to people, but several years ago, and thought he changed. It seems like he hasn't. But then why is he still so popular there? My goodness, if it were my horse, I'd have whipped Clinton!

billie said...

I'm frankly more concerned about his treatment of horses than his rudeness to people, but clearly one is probably connected to the other. When someone is arrogant and ego-driven in dealing with other humans it's no surprise when that carries over to their dealings with horses.

As a psychotherapist, I can say that all of us hiring people to work with and treat our animals need to look at the overall personality of the people we choose to bring into their lives.

If you get a bad feeling about someone or feel they are arrogant and rude and dismissive of your thoughts, ideas, and feedback about the animals you live with and know well, LISTEN TO YOUR GUT.

In this particular case I think a lot of marketing and hoodwinking is going on. And not much actual knowledge, integrity, or basic decency.

That's my opinion and I'm entitled to it. And again, this post and long thread of comments exists because I copied and pasted CA's own words so they remain even when someone thought better of what he wrote and put out on his own site and then removed because it just sounds - obnoxious and unprofessional.

Make your own decision but do a lot of research and ask questions. If after you do that you feel your horse is safe in the hands of this man and this training method, so be it. But know that a whole lot of savvy horse people use kinder, more effective methods and GET BETTER RESULTS.

Bri said...

So, I just so happened to find this post and read it. In my opinion I'm kind of in the middle. Yes the horse died and when a horse is on the trainers grounds it is responsibility on the trainer, but the trainer is not to do anything that the owner does not approve of. I personally train horses and riders, not nearly as many as Mr. Anderson has but have had experiences. I've learned that there are some horses out there that have to have force methods and some that don't. But something people have to remember is that horses are a herd animal, it's their instinct. In the wild the 'boss' mare tells everyone what to do, even the stallion, the 'boss' mare will even kill the stallion and can kick out anyone in the group, so ultimately when you first start working with a horse you have to keep that in mind, that's why we use the round-pin to get them to move around where we want them, there for dominance is important in training. But you also have to go back and build a bond with the horse. After we do the join up method in the round pin then we can work on the gentle handling. Personally I don't know Anderson or the owner this happened to but I do understand that when you have as many horses coming in and out of the stable like Andersons eventually there will be a horse that dies. And sense we don't know what the horse dies from officially it's hard to tell if it was anyone's fault. I've heard some weird stories about horses sick and dead. For example look what happened to Hot Shot, the champion barrel horse, his owner came out and feed him that night next morning he was laying dead in his stall. Yes it is a tragedy that the horse died, but honestly none of us know why. A guy was remodeling his barn and boarded two of his young halter horses at my mom's stable for about a month, he took them home, several months later one of them dropped dead with an aneurysm. Honestly if the owner had cared enough they would have had an autopsy done on the horse to find out the cause of death.

billie said...

Thanks for posting.

There is real evidence based on documented observations of herds in the wild that in fact the whole boss mare dominance thing rarely ever happens. In my own herd no one has ever tried to kick anyone out, and in the one instance where there seemed to be a long-standing personality clash it did not in fact result in anything resembling the kind of partnership I would want to have with my horses.

The true leader in the herd does not have to boss and move horses around to prove his or her leadership.

Aside from all of the above, we are not horses. We are humans. I have no desire to dominate my horse in the name of training or anything else, and the very best trainers, the REAL trainers, don't need to resort to round pen running the horses into the ground to train them.

If a horse has been treated with love and respect the training generally goes easily.

My understanding regarding the necropsy of the horse at CA's farm is that he buried the horse before contacting the owner. When told she would have to have the horse exhumed to have a necropsy done, she opted to leave the horse at rest. I can understand that although it is not what I would have done if I felt CA was culpable.



Anonymous said...

I run a barn and in my 5 years of doing so ive noticed that people like you who talk about how majestic horses are, are the first people to get hurt and are the least knowledgeable about these wonderful animals but remember horses wake up with 2 things on their minds homicide and suicide i like clinton and get results with every horse ive used his stuff on i mean every one please lady just stop i have a woman at my barn that her horse literally jumped on top of her, her "baby girl" almost killed her because she let the horse run on top of her and always talks about how majestic they are she literally worships horses which sounds about like you. I love them they are my favorite but horses arent children and dont speak english

billie said...

Thanks for commenting.

You are wrong. My horses are respectful and well-behaved. The difference is that their behavior comes from a very different way of working with them than methods that use total dominance and control.

If you think horses "wake up with homicide and suicide" on their minds then you are seeing a very very warped view of the horse. Perhaps using a different approach would allow for more expression and a richer experience.

To get started do a google search on horses and sentience and research. CA works from the most primitive and rudimentary (and inaccurate) understanding possible. Horses are capable of so much more than he gives them credit for. But when ego is involved that's what happens.

Anonymous said...

WHAT A COMPLETE WASTE OF TWO YEARS TRYING TO BASH CLINTON ANDERSON. GET A LIFE. DO SOMETHING MEANINGFUL. IF YOU DON'T LIKE CA FINE BUT TWO YEARS REPEATING THE SAME GARBAGE OVER AND OVER.... THIS IS WHAT IS WRONG WITH THIS COUNTRY TODAY.

billie said...

LOL. Thanks for reading "the same garbage."

I have a good life and meaningful work.

All the best, and a word of advice: you can choose not to read stuff you don't want to read.

Anonymous said...

I just thought I would share my story regarding Clinton Anderson:

Soon after I bought my horse Remington he started kicking up at the lope. He was also hard to steer, stop, etc. Essentially he didn't want to listen to me. He was my first horse so I lost a lot of confidence and didn't really know what to do. Eventually I stumbled on Clinton Anderson. I bought Clinton's Fundamentals kit along with a halter and lead rope and stick and string. After four years of following nothing but Clintons Method (and working through the Fundamentals, Intermediate, and Advanced kits) I have an amazing horse! He listens to me, he would never consider kicking up at the lope now (if fact he has a really smooth and slow lope), and he is my buddy. He's well trained and respects all of my cues; on the ground and under saddle. I've gotten many comments from people on what a wonderful horse he is; without them knowing that I only follow the Downunder Horsemanship method. Many people have said that following Clinton will ruin your horses spirit or something along those lines. I can tell ya'll that Remington's dignity hasn't been ruined; in fact I would say that he is a much happier horse since I started the Method. Instead of walking away from me in the pasture he happily walks up to me when I have his halter and lead. He loves to be with me whether I am just hanging out with him in the pasture, doing groundwork with him, or riding him. After I let him go in his paddock he will follow me back up the gate and watch me leave (its really sad!). I have desensitized him to the stock whip and when I do, he stands there with his leg cocked, his ears droopy, and half asleep. Definitely no trauma there. And since doing that he is no longer afraid of gunshots. Since starting the Method I also discovered that he has a sense of humor; he especially loves to play with anything made out of plastic. Now as I've trained him have I ever had to whack him with the handy stick? Yes but I gave him a chance to do the right thing before and he never made the same mistake again. I've seen him kick his pasture mates much harder than that for getting in his space and they just walked off a little ways a started grazing. I've also attended one of Clinton's Walkabout Tours and had loads of fun. I learned so much and never saw Clinton abuse a horse. Instead he helped pushy, dangerous horses be productive citizens in the horse world. The owners walked into the arena half scared of their horse and walked out with a horse that was calm and willing. And the owner sure was happy! I've also participated with Remington in one of Clinton's Clinician's clinics and once again I had loads of fun and learned so much. I fully support Clinton because without him I would've given up on horses a long time ago. And when Clinton get's a new sponsor I know I can trust them as well to have quality products just like Clinton Anderson does.

I'm not trying to change anyone's mind; I just wanted to let ya'll know just how awesome his training techniques are from someone who uses them on her horses everyday!
-SP

billie said...

SP, thank you for being so civil and for sharing your experience. It sounds like you're happy with the results you got and I hope you and your horse enjoy many happy years together!

Anonymous said...

Whom is to say this horse really died? Witnesses on the payroll? Shipped off and sold maybe? Just another twist

Anonymous said...

Whom is to say this horse really died? Witnesses on the payroll? Shipped off and sold maybe? Just another twist

Anonymous said...

Woohoo, people who support horse abuse with training based upon fear. Clinton Anderson is a joke. He's only liked because women enjoy his pedophile approaches because apparently they were raised by scum. He's a drunk, rude man. There's video proof of this guy being an asshole. My personal favorite, him abusing a blind horse for not back up fast enough. So if you're the type of person that believes that you need to beat a blind horse for not back up fast enough, I do hope your horse does die so it will be in a better place.

Anonymous said...

hi again! i just looked at this again after posting a comment year ago. and i am upset with what you said back to me. I'm gonna leave it at this. Y'all don't know what happened. and y'all shouldn't judge. I am an REAL user of Clinton's method and I LOVE IT! listen... horses die hard for me to say because I LOVE horses and animals but it happens it has happened ever since Adam and Eve in the garden ate the forbidden fruit. after that everything ,sad as it is, dies. one day that wont happen because God will make everything right,but until then things will die. i feel bad for woman whose horse died,but I'm sure it wasn't Clinton's fault. y'all really shouldn't put him down. he is a GREAT HORSEMAN!

billie said...

Anon, unfortunately I can't go back and figure out what I said that upset you due to so many anonymous comments being made here. If you feel that CA's methods work for you and that your horse is not being abused in the process, then I salute you.

The point of this post was not that animals don't die. Of course they do. We all do. But in my experience it's not an everyday occurrence for a horse to die while in training with a "professional" horse trainer. It's appropriate for the owner to express concern, appropriate for anyone interested in equines and their welfare to have concern over the death of the horse in question but also in response to CA's very rude and UNprofessional "letter" to the public. My point here is to provide that letter so that anyone researching CA as a possible trainer for his/her horse can at least see what kind of response he presented to this situation.

I cannot count the number of people who have contacted me privately and shared other communications CA has made that reveal similar attitude and rudeness. Nor can I count the number of people who have shared terrible experiences with him.

Read here, ask for references, go visit for a day before putting your horse in his hands. That's all I have to say.

I'm a little confused why I shouldn't judge based on the facts presented to me but it's okay for you to say that you're "sure it wasn't his fault" and "God will make everything right." That doesn't really make much sense. Each person on this earth who has a horse has the responsibility to ensure the safety and health and happiness of that animal. I'm trying to provide some information here so that people can inform themselves. I post all comments whether they agree or not in an effort to be fair.

Personally - there is no way in hell I would let CA near a horse under my care. Nor do I have any interest in his barbaric methods. We each have to make our own call. Thanks for commenting.

Angie Sack said...

Raeray after reading through your very respectful comments I couldn't help but reach out to you....i, like you, learned (like a sponge) all of PP (my sweet husband bought thousands of dollars of his stuff, including 2 cradle bridles @ $300 a piece) but I just wasn't getting good results with all horse types so I went on to find CA through Sherry Cervi (a barrel racer he teamed up with at one point). I didn't stick there long as I whacked a horse to back & the look in her eye made me stop! But I then found Tom Dorrance & as I studied & learned him, I found that, although difficult to be patient for long periods, every horse 100% of the time responded the way he said they would. Over the last 4 yrs as I've come to KNOW Tom better & become more refined I'm getting things on levels of lightness I never dreamed possible. I am a trainer & im getting it with problem horses too so not just talking about a few of my own. The overexposure does not work...some horses will withdraw & some will fight but it 100% doesn't work. The sad thing is, often times it looks like it's working...that is a completely false result & at some point will prove dangerous or at the very least, the horse is withdrawn & miserable...True Unity is Toms book & it saved every horse Il ever touch

billie said...

Angie, I appreciate you sharing your experience especially since you are a trainer and have used the different methods with many horses. Several trainers I respect are advocates of Tom Dorrance.

Anonymous said...

I agree with you!

billie said...

Anon, thanks for commenting.

Anonymous said...

I can't believe that there are so many of you idiots out there, well yes I can actually, I watch Clinton Anderson, I use his methods, and they work. Clinton is the best at keeping horsemanship simple. Like Monty Roberts, the great Dorrance brothers and other great horsemen. I agree with Clinton, horses, and animals die. It's life, get a grip!

billie said...

This is the last anonymous post I will approve. If you want to share your personal experiences either for or against CA's methods, or your thoughts about why or why not his methods are humane and effective, create an account and put your name to your words.

Be civil.

The "logic" that animals die so it's okay that one died while in training with CA makes no sense. If you're a professional who charges money for a service and an animal dies in your care you are held to a professional standard for reviewing and explaining what happened.

People die. But if someone dies while in the care of a doctor or surgeon it is reviewed.

I have a very good grip, thank you very much.

Ron Teboe said...

I've had horses a good long while and sure do enjoy being around them. Much like with people, respect is inviting as it relates to my horses. If they're disrespectful they're not as enjoyable to be around. What I endorse regarding Mr. Anderson's training methods is his willingness to set up the situation so that it becomes the horse's idea to respond in a respectful manner. My horses love to work cows but it seems reasonable that they have significant training before I take them to a show and there is always someone willing to peck on a trainer, whatever their name is. I doubt I do everything just as Mr. Anderson but his horses sure seem calm and relaxed which is what I want for my horses. They are part of my family even though they carry me on their back

billie said...

Thanks, Ron, for your thoughts. The place where I disagree is that I think it matters, quite a lot, HOW one sets up a situation so that it becomes the horse's idea to respond respectfully. From what I've seen much of what CA does in setting these situations up is done disrespectfully. And often when the horse doesn't get it CA escalates the disrespect. My entire point with this thread is that there are ways to train and manage horses that respect them, their innate natures, and engage their curiosity so that they are working with us, not shutting down to escape us.

I like reading that your horses are part of your family. In my family we all have voices and choices. I have found it fairly simple to get respectful behavior by offering it myself.

Bonnie McCormack said...

Well, I have read the comments on this blog. Personally, I am not a great fan of CA and I try not to be biased when I read a post defending him. I should also add that I have watched a lot of his videos, I mean a lot, possibly 30-40. The fact that I am here should tell you that I am seriously questioning what I have seen because I googled his name to see if I was the only one that felt this way and I found many sites to support my opinion.
When I found out a horse died while there, I also googled that. Because, as billie said, we should inform ourselves. I also read what billie had posted about the incident, including CA's rant. One part that stands out to me is CA stating that the owner did not want an autopsy. Hmmmm... according to the owner, and I am quoting this from her facebook page:


"What Clinton told me was that he had been tied out low to graze for two hours. When the academy student came back to get him he was laying down and was dead. He could have fallen and broke his neck, heart attack, anuerism. Clinton said that it must have been fast because there was no signs of colic (struggle or rolling). Because it happened so quickly they did not think an autopsy would be able to identify conclusively the COD."

I don't know about that. So it seems she was swayed to decide not to have an autopsy done, not that she just outright didn't want one. That is how it appears to me.

Anyways, there is actually three sides to every story, his/hers/the truth. We will never know the actual facts.

But, what we do know is the true nature of the beast that calls himself a horseman, because we seen it with our own eyes, written by his own hand.

I worked on a ranch that trains cutting horses. I have met many trainers during my time there. In my opinion I feel I have the right to criticize what I have seen him do, not because, as one poster stated, I think it looks wrong or I don't feel a horse should be treated that way, but rather, because I KNOW it's wrong.

Thanks for this blog Billie and thanks for letting us post. :0)

Bonnie McCormack

p.s. to the name callers on here, this isn't Youtube. Your not impressing anybody...

billie said...

Bonnie, thank you for adding your thoughts - I agree with your analysis of things not quite making sense about the autopsy.

As I stated earlier in the comment thread I will no longer approve anonymous comments here. I have rejected several this week. This is not to censor folks but I feel that it's too easy to call names and behave in a rude manner if you don't have to sign what you write. I still welcome comments of all kinds but I insist that names be signed and civility reigns.

Happy holidays to all!

billie said...

As promised, I no longer approve anonymous, rude comments. This morning another one of these rolled in and I rejected it, but the information in the comment was so inaccurate I could not let it go. I have posted the comment and my reply in a new blog post which you can read here:

https://camera-obscura-billie.blogspot.com/2017/01/clinton-anderson-his-followers-and-what.html

Stephen said...

He offered to give that lady his horse Mindy???? Are you kidding me? That horse is the most trained horse I've ever seen. He takes her across the world and does shows with her. I feel sorry for her and the loss of her horse but refusing a generous offer like that is insane. He went waaaay over and above trying to help her out.

billie said...

Stephen, I guess if you consider a horse a replaceable vehicle or object then CA's offer might be generous. For me and for this woman I think the idea of receiving an offer of replacement for a beloved partner is at best insensitive and at worst downright offensive.

But even if you think his offer is reasonable, she had a large Friesian and what he offered was a smallish QH, which would be like substituting an apple for an orange.

Personally I would not want a horse trained by CA. And if my horse died in his care my goal would be to make everyone aware of that so other people could avoid a similar outcome.

anne dacus said...

Agree with Clinton.... and he did go over and beyond to clients. He is right.,. It happens! 18 quarter horses.... one died. Just fell over dead. Same as people..... no one is guaranteed tomorrow. Sounds like CA did the right thing!

billie said...

Thanks for your take, Anne.

My response: when you put a horse out tied low in the full sun and have taken on that horse as a self-named professional getting paid to do a job you also assume responsibility for the care and intelligent assessment of whether your methods are safe for that individual animal. You do not get to use the "horses die, it's a fact of life" line as a way out when something very bad happens. You look at the moment-by-moment decisions that were made in the training for THAT horse on THAT day and you determine whether what you did was a factor.

That is what professionals are held to.

The logic being tossed about here - that horses die, people die, it's a fact of life - is flawed. If applied to a murder case, would that be accepted in any court of law?

What about a case where a child was "forgotten" and left in a vehicle by a day care center worker and died in the heat. Is THAT just too bad because people die every day and no one is guaranteed tomorrow? There were possibly 27 other children who didn't die so that one child is just not anyone's fault. Shit happens.

Sorry, I don't buy it. As I have said many times in this thread, if you feel you would put your horse in that kind of environment, that is your call. I personally would never do it.