Friday, March 12, 2010

The Fundamentals

After what seemed like weeks of staring out the front window waiting for that special package to come, the Fundamentals Series from Downunder Horsemanship finally arrived on Tuesday (In reality, it did not take the package very long to get to me, I'm actually very pleased with the customer service). I was so excited. It took every fiber of my being to not scream and jump up and down when I saw the UPS truck stop in front of our house. The guy in brown must have seen how excited I was anyway because he kind of chuckled as he handed me my package. It was bigger than I expected it to be so I wasn't actually able to run up the stares to the kitchen table, but I sure did hurry.

I opened up the cardboard box, pulled out the pretty green case with Clinton Anderson on the cover and actually took a picture of it before I took off the plastic (I know, I'm pathetic). Once I opened the kit up and started taking everything out the first thing I said was, "Mmm, it smells good." Haha! But actually it did, that nice freshly opened packaging smell accompanied by freshly printed paper smell. It's the smell of Christmas.

There is a lot that is included in the Fundamentals Series, and I knew there would be, but it is just so much more impressive to see it all in person.
There is a 100 page Philosophy book which thoroughly explains Clinton's horse training philosophy and the elements of horse psychology that play a role in his method. It is a beautiful book with full color photos on every page. It reads more like a really nice magazine article then a book. My only compliant about the book is that the cover is REALLY thin. Thiner than a magazine's cover. I'm afraid of tearing it or bending it. I think I am going to take it to the library and get is bound or laminated in some way.

There are fourteen DVDs with over 28 hours of brand new footage that has never been seen before in any of Clinton's old DVDs or the TV show. The footage is beautiful to watch too. I am a big critic of cinematography so I can really appreciate good camera work when I see it. It also is all in HD so the clarity and detail is amazing (it's really fun to watch on my dad's 32 inch screen). I've watched the first three DVDs so far and have already benefited from them. The lessons are broken up into very easy to understand steps and Clinton addresses every conceivable problem you may have when teaching your horse the lesson. He first shows you what the end goal is by using an already trained horse, and then goes on to show you how to do the lesson on horses that have never been taught the exercises before. The DVDs are so thorough and so amazing to watch. Clinton takes advantage of every moment to teach you something new. The DVD menu is also set up really well so that you can quickly skip to a specific part if you want to re-watch it.

In the kit there are also fifteen "Arena Mates" which are small pocket sized booklets that outline every exercise in detail, along with full color photos. Theses are meant to be taken out to the barn as reference guides. These booklets are very thorough and cover every major point Clinton makes in the DVDs, including the common horse and handler mistakes and other troubleshooting tips. I am very excited about these Arena Mates. One of my biggest frustrations have been trying to remember how to do the exercises while in the heat of training or knowing what to do when something goes wrong. I predict that these booklets will be a life saver. These Arena Mates are so thorough that I feel like I could go out and do the exercises by just using them without ever watching the DVDs, yet they are very concise and to the point and are not overly wordy. They get in get out and tell you exactly what you need to know. Each step is also color coded so that you can find exactly what you need in a hurry.

So, needless to say, I am very exciting about the Fundamentals Series. I am itching to get out there and put it to practical use. That will have to wait a few weeks though because of my arm. My surgery is set for next week, Wednesday March 17th. The doctor says that my recovery time should be about three weeks so hopefully by mid April I will be out training horses again. In the meantime I have a lot of DVDs to watch to keep me busy.

I will continue to keep the world posted on my progress. I really feel like this series will be an invaluable tool to help me reach my dreams.

Peace and Joy,

Miranda Joy


J. Randolph Turpin said...

I'm excited for you Miranda!

Risko said...

Miranda, Gloria and I are very happy and excited for you. You deserve it!

Johan said...

Hi Miranda,

I've been considering getting Clinton Anderson's Fundamentals series. However, as I'm at my very first steps of learning about horses and Western riding (through weekly classes for about two months so far) I'm wondering what you think of it, and if it covers enough of the early groundwork etc to work nicely for a beginner?

The reason I'm looking for this DVD series or something similar is that 1) I might have the opportunity to start working with and riding an 8-year old mare (together with her current owner) who isn't quite as well-trained as the horses I'm used to riding, and 2) after reading a lot about it, and starting to spend a lot of time with horses during the last year, I'm considering that I might want to get involved with horse training eventually..

I'd really appreciate hearing about your opinion!


Miranda Turpin said...

Johan, The Fundamentals series is perfect for someone that is just starting out training horses, or even just for someone that wants a better relationship with the horse they ride. As the title suggests, the series covers the very first exercises you should teach your horse. These exercises will be the foundation of everything else you do with your horse. Clinton takes the viewer step by step in each exercises and addresses almost every possible problem one might have along the way. It is very "idiot" proof. I would highly encourage you to get it. It is well worth the cost. I would also encourage you to continue taking riding lessons and working closely with a trainer who has more hands on experience. Experience is invaluable when training horses, it would be wise to work with someone that has more of it than you do. But anyone can benefit from this series, from green grass beginners to professional horse trainers.

Good Luck!

Miranda Joy Turpin

Johan said...


I've ordered the series, and hoping for it to arrive sometime next week or early in the week after that.

After that, time to get started.. Fortunately I have only two weeks until my vacation, which will let me spend some time putting theory into practice!

Miranda Turpin said...

Awesome! I am so glad to hear that you ordered it. You won't be disappointed. I would love to know how things go for you.

Good Luck!

Miranda Joy

Johan said...

Hi again Miranda,

Just wanted you to know that I've been watching the first few DVDs, and think the material looks really GREAT! Everything makes so much sense the way he's presenting it, and I love that you actually get to see what can happen when trying to work with untrained horses. The common mistakes sections are also very useful!

I've started (VERY slowly) implementing the first steps. Things have been going well so far, but it's.. interesting.. getting used to a horse sometimes jumping around just a few feet away, seemingly terrified, and then finally calming down as she learns that what I'm doing won't kill her.

I'm sure glad I wasn't scared around horses when I started. But then, if I had been, I'd probably never have gotten the idea into my stubborn head that I could actually learn to train horses ;)

That's kind of what I'm hoping I'll be able to do eventually though. It was just a thought at first, mainly wanting to improve my relationship with the horse I'm riding now, but I do think that I'd like to be able to help others with their horses eventually. We'll see what happens!

Anonymous said...

I just added your web page to my favorites. I like reading your posts. Thanks!.

Anonymous said...

Hi Miranda, I to have been considering buying the fundamental series. What sort of excercises are detailed in the kits, because i do already have the Clinton Anderson Downunder Horsemanship and I Don't really want to get it if it is that same excercises. Thanks for your help