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.
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 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.