Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Clinton Anderson, his followers, and what they know (or don't, as the case might be)

This morning I received the following comment to an old blog post  about Clinton Anderson and his website response to an outcry in 2013 about his way of handling the death of a horse in training on his ranch. The post has generated a huge amount of traffic and currently has 158 comments.

I recently edited that old blog post to say that I would no longer approve anonymous comments due to so many people writing rude and hateful things without being willing to sign their names. But I still get them, and this is the one I received this morning:

"You people piss me off. In the wild herds of horses are based off of what? DOMINANCE!!! Hello people are you that fucking stupid? If a stallion in the wild lost to another one he loses his rank and gets cast out. In the wild if you are not of high rank you get walked on. So to you uneducated morons Clinton Anderson's methods seem primitive, but to the ones that are educated his method is true. You see it as dominance I see it at putting my foot down with a toddler like animal that will eventually understand that I am the "stallion" and grow to be apart of my herd...Aka my companion. Remember respect isn't given its earned. Fucking twats"

Whew! I did not approve this comment - its writer adds nothing of substance to the discussion, is rude, calls names, and is unwilling to put a name to his/her words.

The reason I'm posting it here and writing an entire blog post in response is twofold. First, it's a good example of a reactionary, close-minded, "my way or the highway" comment, very much like CA's statement which he put on his website back in 2013 and then removed, probably because he was told it wasn't good public relational strategy. It reveals buckets of information about the kind of person he is, and the kind of person the commenter is. 

It doesn't say anything correct or valid about horse herd behavior in the wild.

I'm happy to share some educated, documented information:

Wendy Williams, in an article in the October 2015 issue of Scientific American, describes the newest and most accurate information we have about wild horses living in bands and how they behave. 

She writes:


  • Scientists have long studied the best ways to train and treat domesticated horses, but they largely ignored the behavior of free-ranging horses. Recent research has begun to fill that gap.
  • Observations from long-term studies of wild horses show that the conventional, male-centric view of their power dynamics is wrong.
  • In fact, females often call the shots, employing tactics such as cooperation and persistence to get their way.
I urge you to read her entire article which you can find HERE. The article was adapted from her book, The Horse: The Epic History of Our Noble Companion, published in 2015, available HERE. There is much more information out there which validates her information.

I guess CA and his followers just haven't read it yet.


Grey Horse Matters said...

I wouldn't count on them reading anything that might disagree with their way of thinking. There is no educating people like this. It definitely is their way or the highway. They are small people with smaller closed minds. The End.

billie said...

Being a psychotherapist I have to hope that people can change - but it takes a huge amount of courage to look at entrenched beliefs and consider that perhaps they are wrong. The people who make it to my office generally already WANT to open up to new ways of being. It always surprises me when I encounter people who are so rigid in their own ways of thinking they feel it appropriate to go even further and tell OTHER people how stupid and wrong they are! It is sad, and as I keep saying on the CA long comment thread, this kind of thinking and communication, with both people AND horses, simply reveals the kind of people THEY are. I wish for everyone that they develop the grace to read something they think is wrong, to allow for the possibility that there are other ways and ideas. Whew, though. This one was a doozy.