Living and working in Las Vegas has taught me never to say “nothing amazes me anymore” because every time I do, I get amazed.
The weekend of June 12 and 13 was no exception. The PA and I were invited down to the South Point to attend a horsemanship clinic. I didn’t know what to expect… when all I knew was the title “The Clinton Anderson Walkabout Tour.” What did that mean??
Now the first thing that surprised me was that the arena seats were full. Not something that happens everyday at the South Point arena during horse related events. The arena was divided in two, half for a merchandise and sales area and the rest for Clinton and a horse.
I will admit that I was skeptical at first. The sales area set up reminded me of those “free seminar on —-.” Where people get all worked up over some smooth talking speaker who is promising riches. Than they get sent over to the sales area to buy all his branded merchandise.
And they were lining up to buy his merchandise. The guy has the marketing end figured out. But, what exactly was he selling?? Well, I was about to find out. Which turned out to be anything and everything to do with horses, horse training… including books, dvd’s, training aids, saddles, bridles. If it had to do with horses it was there and Clinton had come up with a way to incorporate it into his training method and brand it with his name. Brilliant!
Soon the music started to play, a sign that everyone needed to move back to their seats. Now I get to see a lot of snake oil salesmen at work, so my mind was set on seeing another one. (Sorry, just been to too many “get rich quick” seminars and this was looking to be one.)
So there in the middle of the arena, in a round pen was a horse. A typical, misbehaving, spoiled to the core horse who was not paying any attention or respect to his owner.
To my amazement, the stands are PACKED! I figure around 1,500 people shelled out $45 to see what this guy can teach them about training their own spoiled horse. Or at the very least entertain them with some fancy techniques and cute horse stories.
Like me, there were more than few skeptics in the crowd. We have all seen them… the people with their arms crossed and a tough, poker look on their face as they watched Clinton try to approach the horse. The horse had other ideas and walked away. You could hear the audience sigh and murmur in agreement… they have all experienced the same problem with their horse.
Clinton Anderson walks over to the owner, and asks specific questions about the horse and her problems with him. Being a former horse owner and rider, I can sympathize with her plight. The horse is a hobby, and gets more days off than days she rides him. So he tends to be a little pig headed, arrogant, and disobedient.
Afterward, he looks back at the horse who turns away. Clinton begins talking and there is no doubt in your mind that he is a true Australian, with a great sense of humor even if it is at his own cost. He talks to the audience as if it were a private class… just him, you, your horse, and all the time in the world. Walking you through the beginning steps to getting your horse to behave better.
After about fifteen minutes of working with the horse and talking, and to the amazement of just about every skeptic in the crowd, Clinton had the horse following him around begging for his attention.
The skeptics became believers. And he had me sold. I just wished I knew him a few years ago when I had horses. His approach was normal, non-threatening. Contrary to Internet lore, Clinton Anderson does not abuse the horse or do anything other than have a more defined approach to working with the horse and understanding the horse mentality.
What he teaches and what he uses in his teachings are all conventional tools of the trade… a stick and a string, a rope, a halter, and the will to win the horse’s trust and devotion.
Consider him the horse world’s version of a self help seminar, with him as Napoleon Hill His principles and his techniques are what people use every day, just using what you know and do in a better way with more of a focus.
Clinton Anderson may be from the land down under, but he is a respected horseman who can show you a new way to work with your horse, using skills learned from other respected horsemen in the industry. Clinton believes in himself and his horses. He has the skills, the knowledge, and will to help you become a better partner with your horse.
Unfortunately he claims this will not work on husbands, boyfriends, wives or girlfriends..
Thank you to Clinton for allowing us to attend a great clinic.
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