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Down Under Horsemanship Walkabout Tour comes to Lexington

Clinton Anderson demonstrating his method.
Clinton Anderson demonstrating his method.
Vickie Palmer

The Down Under Horsemanship Walkabout Tour is a horse clinic given by horse trainer Clinton Anderson. He is well respected among people not only in the USA but in his home of Australia as well. He is known for his understanding of horses and how they think and react to pressure.

There was a fresh half-inch of snow on the ground, but that did not deter anxious horse lovers from seeing Clinton Anderson give his horse demonstrations. Arriving at the Kentucky Horse Park with ten minutes to spare, the line of cars waited to park in the designated area, which seemed like a mile from the arena. There were many people wearing cowboy hats and boots, walking as fast as they could in the cold temperatures, to get to the arena.

Once inside the brand new arena, patrons quickly found a seat so that they could hear what Anderson was saying. He had his personal horse, Diez, laying flat on the ground which immediately inspired everyone to learn what his methods could teach. He asked Diez to sit up, the horse sat with back legs still folded underneath him. He said “lay down Diez” with that Australian accent and the horse lay back flat. After about an hour, there was a short break so people could get autographs and pictures with Anderson and purchase items at the booths set up by sponsors of the Down Under Tour.

Back to the demonstration; using a local horse that had respect issues Anderson discussed the importance of using a round pen. He stated that this round pen was 50’ in diameter and 6’ tall, joking that if a horse was to jump over this type of fence, just let the neighbors have him. He began working with the horse, lunging at different speeds showing that control is important. All of a sudden, the horse leaps out of the pen! Anderson made a few more jokes and went with the situation, having his assistant help collect the horse and bring her back to the round pen. He finished the lesson with the horse without another mishap, but added maybe a 30’ pen would have been better for this horse.

Recommendations: Go see the tour, it’s well worth it, but buy the DVDs and watch at your leisure. There is so much information coming in such a short time, it would be better digested at home. RFD TV has a weekly Downunder program with some of the demonstrations. Anderson is dedicated to helping people learn about horsemanship.