Saturday, June 25, 2011

4H, Clinton Anderson random-ness

This year will be my fourth year in horse 4H.  I have ended up loving every year by the end and enjoy showing.  But what I really enjoy the most is when I get to work with and train the horses.  That is what makes working with horses fun for me.  The challenge of thinking like a horse and figuring out what I need to do to teach them something new, or do somehthing better.  While I may not be able to go through everything and tell you technically how to do each thing, I do know how to get a horse to move in different directions and it is fun for me.  I have a ton to learn but I think I am getting the hang of everything pretty fast.  I have been to a few Clinton Anderson Tour clinics and have learned so much from each of them.  The things I find stick with me the most are his one liners that make you giggle and/or think.  Like his "One hand for softness and control, two reins to die quickly"  Not only did it sound funny but I it helped me to remember that it is much easier and safer to stop a horse with one rein rather than two reins.  On top of that you won't start to create a hard mouth on your horse.  A few others  I like:
The more time you pick yourself up out of the sand the better your groundwork gets. (everytime you fall off the more you learn how important the grunt work really is.)
Do what you want kill me quickly. (talking about clenching up when you get nervous, pull your arms in, Do what you want, squeeze your legs, kill me quickly.)
I didn't hit him, he ran into the stick! (your horse cant come closer than the stick will allow so if it whacks him it is his own fault.)
Let them commit the crime first! (don't punish for what your horse hasn't done yet, you cant arrest a guy for standing outside a bank with a gun until he walks in and starts shooting)
These are the few that I could think of off the top of my head, there are a ton more.  But Clinton Anderson really is the king of idiot-proof horsemanship.  And listening and watching and reading his material has helped me improve my horsemanship so much over the past 4 years it is crazy!