We hear it pretty frequently, “I have all the Clinton Anderson horse training videos!” We like Clinton Anderson or we wouldn’t give him the indirect plug that comes in using his name in this blog. We appreciate his belief in training on the trail instead of riding circles in a round pen. But buying the videos from any clinician doesn’t prepare you to train horses. Sometimes folks leave us the impression that owning the videos combined with buying a few horses is all that it takes to train horses. They almost leave the impression that you set up the big screen T.V. in the barn and show the video to the horse in order to train him. “Here ya go, watch the tape and then we’ll go see how well you learnt’ it!”
Sorry to burst your bubble and no offense to Clinton, but thinking you’re going to watch some videos is going to make you a horse trainer is almost as funny as opening a surgical practice after watching a season of E.R. or House. You know the television shows about doctors and medicine. Granted you can learn things by watching videos, but you are not likely to develop the skills attained by someone who has spent the last 25 years working with the equine species.
Clinicians like Clinton Anderson are trying to educate, but we seriously doubt he would tell anyone to watch his videos and read his books once or twice and then open a horse training facility. Nonetheless, we hear exactly these type operations starting up with novice horseman going into the training business. We don’t mean to bash the competition as it were, but we like to think our two-year training program offers a little more to a horse than 60 days “training” by a recent clinician proselyte.
The next time you talk to someone who wants you to believe they know a lot about horses and are carrying in their hand the “magic” rope or halter or whatever they just bought from an expensive clinic, stop and listen to what you just heard. There are no substitutes for experience, hard work, and “wet blankets”. You don’t teach your child to play the flute or the trumpet by watching a handful of DVDs and there’s no special instrument you can buy that will make them an overnight success. It’s not rocket science to train horses, but it may take a little more than a couple of weekend clinics to learn how. If it were as easy as some want to make it, then we wouldn’t have a market for our horses when they finish the two-year curriculum we give. Oh yeah, and just to make sure we weren’t mistaken, we just put a new colt in the barn all last week with the DVD player goin’!