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TSB 30th Anniversary2015 marks the 30th anniversary of the publication of CENTERED RIDING, the now classic text by Sally Swift. CENTERED RIDING, the book, has sold over half-a-million copies worldwide and has been published in 16 languages. For many horse people—across riding disciplines and state lines and national borders—it changed the way practical riding instruction could be disseminated, marking the first contemporary “how-to-ride” text that moved away from the formal riding books of the classical masters. The book went on to inspire an international organization devoted to riding instruction that continues to flourish today.

CENTERED RIDING was the first “horse book” published by Trafalgar Square Books—we are a small business housed on a working cattle and horse farm, tucked well away from main thoroughfares in the idyllic hills of rural Vermont. In the years following CENTERED RIDING’s release, TSB has focused on the acquisition and publication of books and DVDs on horses, horse care, and riding with one mission—for the good of the horse—in mind.

Since CENTERED RIDING, many TSB books have become bestsellers across riding disciplines, including:

GETTING IN TTOUCH (1995), which helped launch the phenomenal career of renowned animal behaviorist and horse trainer Linda Tellington-Jones.

THAT WINNING FEELING! (1997) by Jane Savoie, which was one of the first sport psychology books specifically for riders.

YOGA FOR EQUESTRIANS (2000) by Linda Benedik and Veronica Wirth, which introduced the idea of cross-training the rider for better riding performance.

BOMBPROOF YOUR HORSE (2004), a book that enabled mounted police officer Sgt. Rick Pelicano to show everyday riders how to make their horses safe in any situation.

CLINTON ANDERSON’S DOWNUNDER HORSEMANSHIP (2004), which introduced the Australian horseman’s method to readers at the dawn of his meteoric success.

TUG OF WAR: CLASSICAL VERSUS “MODERN” DRESSAGE (2007) by Dr. Gerd Heuschmann, which made public the controversial “Rollkur” practices that had dressage circles in turmoil all over the globe.

 

Click image to see a short video featuring some of our bestselling books and DVDs.

Click image to see a short video featuring some of our bestselling books and DVDs.

 

TSB now also distributes hundreds of educational DVDs for equestrians and is the exclusive North American distributor for PferdiaTV of Germany. TSB worked side-by-side with Cedar Creek Productions and Director Cindy Meehl to produce the international smash 7 CLINICS WITH BUCK BRANNAMAN (2012)—a seven-disc DVD set of instructional footage obtained during the making of the award-winning documentary film BUCK.

Since the publication of CENTERED RIDING by Sally Swift 30 years ago, TSB has published and/or distributed over 600 books and DVDs, regularly releasing 12 to 15 new equine titles each year.

Help us celebrate 30 years of CENTERED RIDING and publishing “for the good of the horse”! Take 30% off all CENTERED RIDING books and DVDs during the entire month of November, and tag your favorite CENTERED RIDING tip or personal CENTERED RIDING “aha” moment #CenteredRiding30.

 

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CLICK IMAGE TO ORDER

 

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Ever wondered what a day-in-the-life of a top horse professional is like? Ever wish you were a fly on the wall of an indoor at a top trainer’s barn? At Trafalgar Square Books, we’re asking our top authors to give us the blow-by-blow, nitty-gritty of what it’s really like to “be them” on a regular ole day, so we can live out our own equestrian fantasies just a little more clearly, and appreciate their commitment to the horses and horse sports we love just a little more honestly.

In honor of the 10-Year Anniversary of one of TSB’s all-time bestselling books, Clinton Anderson’s Downunder Horsemanship: Establish Respect and Control for English and Western Riders, we’re kicking off a new blog series with 24 hours in the life of Clinton himself.

And WOW, we thought publishing made for long days! We’ve got nothin’ on this guy! Take a moment to walk a day in his boots and you’ll appreciate why Downunder Horsemanship has grown into an internationally recognized and respected brand and Method of horse training.

 

clinton24hour

A normal day for Clinton Anderson…

3:00 a.m.  Wake up and get dressed. [Editor’s note: Yes, you read that correctly three in the morning.]

3:30 a.m.  Train my two- and three-year-old performance horses. These are horses I have bred and raised at the ranch. They’re in training to be reiners or working cow horses. One of my top reining prospects this year is Pluto, a two-year-old colt, registered with the AQHA as Instant Upgrade. He is by Cromed Out Mercedes, an NRBC Futurity champion out of Princess in Diamonds with lifetime earnings over $146,000. Pluto’s dam, Nic N Smart, by Reminic, was one of my favorite show horses, having won all three divisions (Limited, Intermediate and Open) of the Ohio Valley Reining Horse Association Snaffle Bit Futurity with me in 2006.

6:00 a.m.  Go back to the house and eat breakfast. I mostly eat bacon and eggs.

6:30 a.m.  Head back to the barn to train more of my two- and three-year-old performance horses.

9:00 a.m.  I hand my last horse over to my barn manager Katie Kelch and then head to the large outdoor arena to teach my Academy students. They’re each training horses, so not only am I concerned about making sure they’re learning the information I need them to, but I also want to be sure the horses are progressing through the program at a good pace. I generally start with 10 to 12 Academy students at the start of the program in June and end up with three or four outstanding individuals who actually graduate the program to become one of my certified clinicians. My clinicians are not only outstanding horsemen and instructors, but they each possess the four core values of Downunder Horsemanship: They are loyal, hard-working, ambitious, and personable. Because I’m in the people-training business, I place as much, if not more, emphasis on those core values as I do on an individual’s horsemanship ability.

12:00 p.m.  I head up to the house to grab a quick lunch. Lunch is usually something rich in protein. Then I take a shower and change into clean clothes to head into the office in town. It’s about a 20-minute drive from the ranch to the office. (I’m known for my lead foot and keep a careful eye out for the local policemen!)

 

A big part of Clinton Anderson's time in the office is spent replying to email!

A big part of Clinton Anderson’s time in the office is spent replying to email!

 

1:00 p.m.   I’m in the office daily from about one in the afternoon until six every night. When I walk through the doors of Downunder Horsemanship, I make a quick round of the office, greeting all of my teammates and checking to see if anyone needs anything from me. Then it’s down to business.

To keep things simple and to keep myself from getting bogged down in details, I have three whiteboards in my office. I use one board to “spitball” ideas (a lot of Downunder Horsemanship innovations start here as my chicken scratch), another to keep track of the tasks I’m working on, and a third to follow the projects of the employees I directly manage.

As the president of the company, I have four main job duties:

  • Support my managers and employees.
  • Train and coach my employees.
  • Hold employees accountable to deadlines and commitments.
  • Maintain the culture and inspire the team to move forward.

My management technique is to let my employees do their jobs. I don’t micromanage. In fact, if I feel like I have to micromanage an employee or have to constantly be tapping him or her on the shoulder, I don’t keep that employee around. I have to trust that when someone tells me he or she will get the job done, it’ll get done. I realized a long time ago in my career that I don’t need to be the smartest guy in the company; I just have to be smart enough to surround myself with the smartest people I can afford.

I respond to A LOT of emails. In fact, emails take up the majority of my day in the office.

Because my name is on the door, I feel it’s important that I review everything that is produced at Downunder Horsemanship. That means I watch every club DVD, television show, and DVD series, and I proofread all articles and training materials. It’s crucial to me that my customers get the right information in the easiest-to-understand format.

6:00 p.m.  By six, I’m ready to call it a day at the office. Before heading out the door, I make one last round, making sure no one needs anything from me before I leave. However, I always have my cell phone on me and my employees know that they can contact me whenever they need to. In fact, we have a saying around here: “You don’t always get your way, but you always get your say.” I’ll hear anybody out, and while it doesn’t mean I’ll implement their idea, they are always encouraged to tell me their thoughts.

6:30 p.m.   When I get home after a day in the office, I’m beat. To unwind, I often head out to the back of the house where I’ve set up a swing next to the pool. Some nights (well, okay, I’ll be honest, most nights!), I pour myself a Captain Morgan and Coke and chill out.

 

Clinton's end-of-the-day chill-out includes a swing and a drink---and there might still be some business to take care  of, too.

Clinton’s end-of-the-day chill-out includes a swing and a drink—and there might still be some business to take care of, too.

 

7:00 p.m.  Depending on the time of year, I like to grill for dinner. My favorite meal is grilled lamb chops from Omaha Steak House.

7:30 p.m.  Then I watch horse training DVDs to keep educating myself. Right now, I’m watching lessons I had filmed of me working with my mentor, Ian Francis. I find that I pick up on extra tidbits by going back and watching the lessons over and over again. I especially pay attention to Ian and the subtle ways he’s cueing the horses.

9:00 p.m.  I try my best to get to bed at a reasonable hour so that I’m ready for another full day. I find I have to have at least seven hours of sleep to function worth a crap the next day, so that’s why I try hard to be in bed no later than nine. In fact, I prefer to be in bed by 8:30, if possible!

 

And then there are the not-so-normal days…

Days when I have no other commitments besides working in the office are pretty straightforward, but those days are few and far between for me. Because I’m the face of Downunder Horsemanship, I’m a key part to most projects and have to be available for filming and photo shoots, and of course teaching clinics and doing tours. Most days involve some really creative schedule juggling to fit everything in.

Clinics: When I’m teaching a clinic, I’m with the participants from 9:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m., or whenever the clinic ends for the day. Sometimes when I really get into a lesson, the day ends a little later than five. When a clinic is going on, I lean heavily on my managers to pick up the slack for me because I can’t be in the office daily. Luckily, I have a great team that does a phenomenal job.

Tours: When I’ve got a Walkabout Tour, I usually leave Stephenville on a Thursday to arrive at the venue a day-and-a-half before the show starts. I use that time to meet with sponsors and other business associates, work my horse Diez, and catch up on work. On Saturday and Sunday, I’m on from 8:30 in the morning until 6:00 in the evening. I catch a short break for lunch on both days, but other than that, I’m either in the arena explaining the Method or answering people’s horse training questions. Then I spend the majority of Monday in airports, on planes, and in the car returning to the ranch. It makes for a long weekend, but sharing the Method with horse owners and seeing some of my biggest fans makes it all worthwhile.

Photo Shoots: I have to be ready to go in front of the camera at dawn when lighting is the best. Often times, we’ll start shooting early in the morning and then break around ten in the morning and pick it back up at four in the afternoon when good lighting returns. The days can be long, but I’m fortunate to have one of the best equine photographers working for me. His skill behind the camera definitely keeps Downunder Horsemanship at the forefront of providing the best instruction and inspiring horsemen to reach their dreams.

 

Clinton reviews all the footage filmed for his television show and DVDs.

Clinton reviews all the footage filmed for his television show and DVDs.

 

Filming: Creating material for television shows and DVDs consumes a third of my year. Some filming is done at the ranch, but the majority of shows are taped on location. I might be a natural in front of the camera, but my team works hard to make sure I look my best on film and get my points across clearly. At most filming sessions, we have three cameras rolling and a sound technician on hand. And, just like when I am in the office, I’m hands-on at filming and photo shoots as well, making sure the important details of a lesson are captured.

 

Clinton’s endless energy and amazing attention to detail brought his Method to the hands of horse lovers in his seminal book CLINTON ANDERSON’S DOWNUNDER HORSEMANSHIP. To order your copy of the 10th Anniversary Special Edition, CLICK HERE NOW.

 

CLICK THE IMAGE ABOVE to order the 10th Anniversary Special Edition of Clinton's first book.

CLICK THE IMAGE ABOVE to order the 10th Anniversary Special Edition of Clinton’s first book.

 

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Halloween2013

 

When you work with or ride horses for long enough, there’s bound to be at least one moment where you find yourself with your heart pounding, your stomach in knots, and all-out fear pulsing through your body.

Scary incidents are an unfortunate byproduct of working with such large, powerful animals. Sometimes, a frightening scenario plays out because of human error. A person (often out of ignorance) may startle a horse or push him too hard or too fast. Horses are our athletic partners, and rider decisions made in training and competition can cause dangerous scenarios to unfold. Sometimes, the horse’s instinct for flight or fight is the source of danger. It does not matter how much you love your horse or how much you think he loves you—the fact remains that horses are hardwired for survival, and they possess teeth, hooves, speed, and size to make that possible.

The good thing is that we can educate ourselves to limit the number of scary incidents and keep riding and working with horses safe. The more we know about the horse and his instincts, the more we respect his power and teach him to respect our presence, the better we are at our chosen discipline, and the more secure our seat, the safer we will be. And, when we feel safe (not scared!) we can have more fun doing what we love to do.

Here’s what Buck Brannaman says about fear and how we can defeat it with knowledge in 7 CLINICS WITH BUCK BRANNAMAN:

 

 

Riding in Real Life: The Runaway

When I was ten years old I went on a hack with my riding instructor. She was on a green training project and I was on an older OTTB mare. I’d ridden since I was five and was a confident kid. I’d also ridden the mare before in lessons.

We crossed the main road and headed up a fairly steep ascent. I don’t really remember how far we had traveled when the mare I was on decided she’d just had enough. She spun, and I stuck on, but then she was off, galloping downhill on a gravel road, faster than I’d ever gone in my life. Sitting here, typing this now, I can feel my heart racing at the memory of it…of how I couldn’t stop her…how I pulled back with all my strength and seesawed the reins, but the mare just pulled back harder and ran faster.

At the time, the only answer I had to the situation was to get off. At the time, hitting the ground hard seemed less scary than plummeting downhill toward a busy road on an out-of-control horse. I’d learned the emergency dismount when I’d started riding and managed some skewed form of it, flinging myself out of the saddle and then rolling, as I remembered being taught, away from my horse’s flying hooves.

I had a helmet on (thankfully). I didn’t break anything (thankfully). I was sprained and bruised and shaken, but other than that I was okay. The mare, too, survived her skidding, sliding navigation across the road and back to the barn, where we found her with lathered chest and heaving sides, reins dangerously looped loose up near her ears.

The tool I had needed when my horse ran away with me, but didn’t have yet, was the “pulley rein” or “one-rein stop.” I needed to know how to redirect my horse’s energy. Sergeant Rick Pelicano, author of BOMBPROOF YOUR HORSE and BETTER THAN BOMBPROOF describes it this way:

 

The Pulley Rein

1  Hold one rein tightly, braced on the neck and grabbing mane if you can.

2  Pull the other rein straight up and toward you.

3  Lean back, push your legs forward, and sit deep in the saddle.

Training Tip: Clinton Anderson has a great One-Rein Stop exercise to help train your horse to immediately stop and soften at any gait when you pick up one rein. Check out CLINTON ANDERSON’S DOWNUNDER HORSEMANSHIP.

 

But what about my instructor? What could she have done in my runaway scenario? Caroline Robbins, Publisher at Trafalgar Square Books, says that some of her scariest experiences riding were out on the trail with others, watching as a horse bolted and took off, and not knowing what to do or how to help.

Sean Patrick, author of THE MODERN HORSEMAN’S COUNTDOWN TO BROKE and one of this year’s Road to the Horse Wild Card Contestants, began his career as a high-country guide in the rugged mountains of British Columbia. I asked him about his experiences in groups and what onlookers should do when a fellow rider is in trouble.

 

Sean says:

1  Avoid reacting yourself. When a horse is pulling a tree out of the ground, jumping sideways or bolting off, remain still and quiet. When a handler rushes toward a reacting horse or yells, “Whoa!” the result is rarely helpful. A runaway does not need another horse to run behind it as well. The fleeing reaction might continue.

2  When in the saddle, the sound of thundering hooves can initiate a startle reflex with your own mount. When you feel this anxiety building, it might be best to simply take one rein and turn your horse to face the opposite direction. A well-trained mount will be able to stand quietly, but a more-novice horse may feel influenced by the other horse’s fear.

3  When a group is together in a pasture, and one rider is having great trouble, there is very little to do except keep yourself safe. This way the runaway horse is more likely to relax, slow down, and come back to the group. If a fall happens, at least you will be in control and able to come to the rider’s aid. When in such situations, I’ve learned to sit quietly and respond after it’s over.

 

Horses can bring us joy, peace, companionship with other people and other creatures, and they can bring us closer to the land that surrounds us. As long as we keep learning and strive to better understand the horse and react in more appropriate ways to his own reactions, as long as we seek instruction from others with more experience so we are prepared to handle whatever happens in the saddle, then we are on our way to keeping the “scared” out of riding and working with horses, and the joy in it.

Stay safe. Have fun. Happy Halloween

–Rebecca Didier, Senior Editor

 

All the books and DVDs mentioned in this post are available from the TSB online bookstore, where shipping in the US is always FREE.

CLICK HERE TO SHOP NOW

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The Trafalgar Square Farm horses, enjoying the fields this past summer--we already miss those long days of sunshine and late evening rides!

The Trafalgar Square Farm horses, enjoying the fields this past summer–we already miss those long days of sunshine and late evening rides!

 

Sometimes, it feels good to just remember why we love horses. On this Friday, enjoy a few photos that capture why we all work so hard to have horses in our life and do right by them.

 

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–The TSB Staff

www.horseandriderbooks.com

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Sean Patrick, author of THE MODERN HORSEMAN'S COUNTDOWN TO BROKE, is a "Wild Card" Competitor at Road to the Horse

Sean Patrick, author of THE MODERN HORSEMAN’S COUNTDOWN TO BROKE, is a “Wild Card” Competitor at Road to the Horse

The 2013 Road to the Horse Competition kicks off this weekend in Lexington, Kentucky, celebrating its 10-year anniversary with a chance for spectators to meet past competitors, including two-time winner Clinton Anderson, author of the TSB bestselling books LESSONS WELL LEARNED and DOWNUNDER HORSEMANSHIP.

In addition, 2013 marks the beginning of the Road to the Horse “Wild Card” competition.

The eight Wild Card contestants begin their journey at the 2013 event by choosing a horse from the 6666 Remuda. These Quarter Horses from the legendary 6666 (“Four Sixes”) Ranch in Texas are specifically bred to work and pen cattle. Wild Card competitors will take home their new equine partner, and each will have 12 months to work with his or her AQHA Remuda colt before returning for the Wild Card Competition at the next Road to the Horse in 2014.

In 2014, the Wild Card contestants will go head to head on the Friday morning of the event. Their horses will be judged as follows: 20 percent for the health and condition of the horse upon arrival, 30 percent for obstacle course performance, 40 percent for pattern work, and 10 percent for the freestyle performance. The winning Wild Card trainer will then immediately step into the final round pen and compete for the coveted 2014 Road to the Horse World Championship of Colt Starting title.

“We know there is an abundance of talent in the horsemanship world,” says Road to the Horse producer Tootie Bland. “The time has come to recognize all of the great horse trainers and present them with the opportunity to become the next world champion.”

TSB is proud and excited to announce that Sean Patrick, author of the bestselling book THE MODERN HORSEMAN’S COUNTDOWN TO BROKE and creator of the accompanying four-disc DVD set by the same name, is one of the eight Wild Card contestants selected by written and video application. We can’t wait to follow along as Sean brings his 6666 Remuda colt through his Countdown training program, and we wish him the best of luck in next year’s competition!

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TSB Managing Director Martha Cook and Senior Editor Rebecca Didier recently visited Sean’s training facility in New Smyrna, Florida. CLICK HERE for the story.

CLICK IMAGE TO ORDER!

CLICK IMAGE TO ORDER!

CLICK HERE TO ORDER THE MODERN HORSEMAN’S COUNTDOWN TO BROKE BOOK & DVD SET

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We started the day in the Stockyards, then headed for Stephenville.

We started the day in the Stockyards, then headed for Stephenville.

This morning we set out to wander the Stockyards a bit before grabbing a terrific breakfast that involved fresh tortillas, darned good chorizo, and a lot of cheese (not to mention the biscuit that came gratis with the coffee!) at Esperanza’s on North Main Street in Fort Worth. Then, it was into the rental car for the drive out the Stephenville, which we had planned to put us right by the famous Teskey’s Saddle Shop in Weatherford (the cutting horse capital of the world), but sadly our GPS chose a different route, convincing us that old-fashioned maps and the powers of reasoning trump technology any day (at least when shopping for horse stuff is involved).

Oh well, we’re going BACK to Forth Worth tomorrow, a different way…and Teskey’s will be in the picture this time.

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We had a great lunch at the Hard 8 Pit BBQ with Pam DeFazio and Rachelle Wilhelm from Downunder Horsemanship (it sounds like all we are doing in Texas is eating, doesn’t it?) and had a chance to visit with TSB author Clinton Anderson at his offices before he leaves for his Walkabout Tour stop in Tampa, Florida.

We topped the day off by meeting up with Kayla Starnes, author of TEAM ROPING 101, endorsed by the USTRC, and it was great to talk horses, training, and Texas living with a native.

Hope to swing through the Cowgirl Museum tomorrow before we hit the skies and head for Florida!

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We’re thrilled to see Aussie-born horse training phenomenon Clinton Anderson, author of the bestselling books DOWNUNDER HORSEMANSHIP and LESSONS WELL LEARNED, the featured cover story in the December/January issue of Western Shooting Horse magazine!

Don’t miss the article by Ken Amorosano, which tells a little of Clinton’s personal story and how he found a way to transform his talent and love for horse training into a successful business and international brand. Based in Texas, Clinton is proud to call the United States his home, making him an inspiring example of someone making the American Dream his own.

“The American Dream can be defined and measured in a lot of ways. And in the modern world, it takes a lot to reach The Dream—especially for folks born outside the U.S.,” writes Amorosano. “But against the odds, Australian native Clinton Anderson has used a steadfast work ethic and appreciation for talented people to become a major force in equine education.”

Pick up a copy of Western Shooting Horse wherever quality equestrian magazines are sold to read the rest of the article, plus catch Clinton’s own article “Calming the Overanxious Horse” in the same issue!

And don’t miss your chance to buy Clinton Anderson’s DOWNUNDER HORSEMANSHIP and LESSONS WELL LEARNED during our holiday sale, which ends TOMORROW, November 27th, 2012. Order now and receive 15% off all items (excluding sale products and sets, which are already discounted) plus FREE SHIPPING.

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