Strive for Perfection

As you progress your horse through the Method, start to expect more out of him. In other words, don’t fall into the trap of just accepting whatever he gives you and never challenging him.

When you’re first teaching a horse a lesson, it’s what I like to call the concept lesson – you’re giving him a chance to understand what you’re asking of him. If he even half stumbles on the right answer, you immediately reward him by releasing the pressure. But once the horse understands the concept of the lesson, then you can start to work toward perfection, asking the horse to put in more effort. If you don’t ask your horse to raise the bar and increase his performance, I guarantee he’ll never do it on his own.

So each time you work with him, look for a little more improvement. It’s like teaching a kid how to write. In the beginning, if he keeps one letter on the page you think he’s Einstein. With encouragement, every year his handwriting gets a little bit neater. You don’t expect a kid to be able to write his name and keep it neat all in the first lesson. You build on what he knows and keep encouraging him to get a little better every day. Follow that same concept when working with your horse, first make sure he understands the concept of the lesson and then start to raise the bar. Remember, you always want to establish a starting point, but once the horse understands what he’s supposed to do, then you can work on perfecting the lesson. But if you try to perfect the lesson before the horse understands the concept, you’ll run into trouble.

About Clinton Anderson
Born and raised in Australia, Clinton grew up with a love of horses. Although he lived in the city with his father, Rob, mother, Cheryl, and sister, Andrea, he looked forward to the weekends he got to spend on his grandparent’s farm where his grandmother would give him rides on her old Thoroughbred mare. By the age of 12, he began playing polocrosse and was eventually chosen for a national team representing his state.
In 2001, he became the first clinician to create a made-for-TV horse training program that aired on RFD-TV. The use of untrained horses and a variety of topics covering common problems faced by horse owners quickly made Downunder Horsemanship the network’s number one equine program. Nearly 15 years after establishing Downunder Horsemanship, Clinton continues to instruct horsemanship clinics, presents Walkabout Tours across the country, produces two television shows, hosts an internet TV website and is constantly creating comprehensive study kits and training tools to make learning horsemanship as accessible and easy as possible. Clinton and Downunder Horsemanship are recognized as world leaders in the equestrian industry and continue to offer the very best in innovation, inspiration and instruction.