Interview with Clinton Anderson

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Clinton Anderson
Titan, a 3-year-old reining futurity prospect, is Clinton’s current favorite horse.

Seventeen years ago, Clinton Anderson arrived in the U.S. with just $400 in his pocket. Since then, he’s gone on to become one of the industry’s most popular clinicians. Here’s a look at what makes him tick.

Who is your favorite horse?

Titan (Tellin White Lies), my 3-year-old reining futurity prospect by Colonels Smoking Gun out of Princess In Diamonds. Titan is by far the most talented, athletic and trainable horse I’ve ever worked with.

What do you see as your greatest achievement with horses?

Winning the rein work prelims at the 2015 NRCHA Snaffle Bit Futurity on Chip (Hez The Kats Meow), owned by Lynn Thomas.

My true passion lies in breeding, raising, training and showing performance horses. I’ve finally gotten to a point in my career where I have time to focus on my competitive career.

Who are you most inspired by?

My mentor and Australian horseman Gordon McKinlay because he had an extremely tough life, but he never let it get him down. He had two daughters and both of them were severely handicapped.

He was a workaholic, he was a family man, he tried extremely hard, he was loyal, he was dedicated. He taught me not only horsemanship skills but valuable life lessons as well.

If you could only give one piece of wisdom to every rider, what would it be?

Ride the horse that you need to have at this point in your horsemanship career, not the horse you hope to one day be able to ride or compete. If you’re a beginner, that means you need a been-there-done-that horse, not a 2-year-old colt or a Thoroughbred off the track.

If you’re an intermediate level rider, you need a horse that can keep up with your skill level, but not one that’s so far beyond your ability that he ruins your confidence.

Horses teach people and then people teach horses. At first, horses will teach you how to be a horseman, and then once you’ve built your skills, you can start teaching horses.

As a clinician, I see way too many people matched with horses they have no business being with. Horsemanship is a partnership between you and your horse and you should both enjoy it. In a lot of cases, bad matches result in people getting seriously injured or worse.

Clinton Anderson
Clinton treasures his Australian Quarter Horse mare, Mindy.

Do you have any phobias or superstitions?

I’m deathly afraid of snakes. If I see a snake, I take off running and screaming like a little girl. In my defense, I grew up in Australia, where the most deadly snakes in the world are. I learned early on to keep an eye out for snakes, and when I saw one, I ran like hell.

What are you reading at the moment?

Right now, I’m really getting into The Color Code by Taylor Harman. It’s a book about measuring personalities. It helps you focus on what your personality is and what the personality profiles of the people in your life are, from loved ones to employees.

If you didn’t work with horses, what would you be doing?

I would either have liked to have been a racecar driver or a defense trial attorney. The speeding tickets I’ve collected over the years are proof as to why I’d like to drive a racecar, but I think I’d enjoy the challenge and pressure of being a trial attorney.

How do you relax and unwind?

I like to go to the movies, often by myself, especially when I come home from a tour. When I come home from events, I’m mentally and physically exhausted to the point where I’m no good to anybody else. I also like to go backroad driving on dirt roads near where I live. I find I come up with a lot of my ideas when I’m able to let my mind wander like that.

What’s your favorite city or region to visit when you’re on tour?

My favorite city to visit is Las Vegas. I don’t like to gamble, but I love the atmosphere of the city and being able to blend in with the crowd and going to shows.

Keep up with Clinton at www.downunderhorsemanship.com.

6 COMMENTS

  1. It’s sad to see that articles like this help him hide his horrible treatment of animals and people. From what I saw on TV and read about him several horse magazines made me believe that he was reputable trainer, until I spent 9 week with him in his Ambassadors program. During that time I saw him spur horses until they were bloody, use bits so hard the blood was dripping from the mouth and cause many eye injuries, one horse will never see clearly again. His treatment of people just is as deplorable, it’s so sad to see that he has a great ability to hide what and who is until it’s too late and he has all of your money. He has a very bad hatred of women and make fun of many people who email or reach to him for help with their problems, st his staff and trainees.

  2. Love the anonymous comments of people disrespecting him as a trainer. Let’s take a look at your local John Doe and watch them behind the arena, you’ll see shit happen also. They’re huge animals with the mindset to fight or flight. You dont say please don’t kill me, and give them a carrot. Go back a hundred years and watch how they “broke” horses then. Go educate yourself and do it the way you want. Don’t bash other people for being successful.

  3. Brooke, people need to see his process for what it is. Clinton, at one time enjoyed training and teaching. Now he hates any part of it that involves a person. Yes, you don’t beg a horse not to kill you and give them a carrot, and you are also right about how horses were trained in the old days, but I have worked with other great trainers who work with stallions, young horses and problem horses with out skinning them, blinding them or bloodying their mouths. Accidents do happen and they are unfortunate, but that should never be your goal. The problem with Clinton is that he no longer cares about the health and welfare of the animal they are only tools to more money in his pocket. This is a man that openly in his videos hope that women attempt to train a stallion so they can get themselves killed. I believe in natural horsemanship and believe that you need a firm hand, but it doesn’t need to be cruel. Horses bite, kick and chase each other as a part of there nature, but they are not cruel animals that need to be treated like inanimate objects.
    I honestly would like to see more articles on Chris Cox or Julie Goodnight, but Clinton no longer has anything to offer the horse community. Many people, I asume like you, have only met him at a short clinic or have only watched his videos, working with him day after day for a few months really gives you the full picture of him as a trainer and a person.
    Clinton is very good at scaring people with legal documents and threats (hence why I am Anonymous), that is why much about his treatment of animals and people is just now coming out. More and more people are seeing his distain for women or honestly anyone not exactly like him. I only hope that some of this helps people make good decisions when it comes to expensive clinics and trainers.

  4. I guess you can’t put links to his other interviews, but anyway check out the Titan Part IV video. That is where the link was supposed to take you.

  5. Just FYI, Gunner never produced another champ! I use to work in the barn that housed him and breed him for years and not one of his babies produced what he was. Gunner was also deaf which was part of why he was so good. He doesn’t get distracted by crowds or other horses. Not saying Clinton can’t make a champ out of Titan but chances are with that Bloodline, I wouldn’t expect much from his babies.!

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