When Jim was 10, his family moved to Arkansas, and in short order his dad gave in to Jim’s and his siblings’ requests to get horses. The Anderson kids grew up riding their gaited hoses around pastures and down country roads. Jim loved every minute of being in the saddle and working around the animals.
When he went off to college and then focused on establishing his career as a teacher and coaching basketball and tennis, horses took a backseat in his life. He reconnected with his childhood passion in the mid-90s, when he and his wife bought property in the country, allowing them to have horses. “My dad got me into gaited horses when I was a kid, so that’s naturally the horses I got when I started back up,” Jim says.
With no formal horsemanship education in his past, Jim began researching horse-training techniques. He tuned in to RFD-TV and came across Clinton. “Clinton’s program was the easiest to watch and it was enjoyable. He kept you interested in what he was doing, and it seemed like the results came so much more quickly compared to the other trainers I watched,” Jim says.
While Jim primarily enjoyed exploring trails with his horses, he and his wife began breeding their horses and showing them. “At one point, we had 18 horses and had a lot of fun raising them and taking them to shows,” he says.
After attending a tour in Claremore, Oklahoma in 2008, Jim became a dedicated student of the Method and set out to learn as much about horsemanship as he could. His quest led him to the ranch and participating in multiple 10-day clinics, from Intermediate to Colt Starting.
Each clinic intensified Jim’s desire to continue to add to his knowledge. Attending the Academy, where he’d learn how to refine his skill set, was a natural progression. As soon as he retired from education and coaching, he made attending the Academy a reality.
“I’ve always enjoyed helping others and look forward to sharing my horsemanship knowledge with horse owners,” Jim says. “A lot of people don’t realize how much more enjoyable horses can be if you learn how to communicate with them and take the time to build a safe, respectful foundation. When you see that lightbulb go off for people when they realize what it’s like to work with a well-trained horse, it’s pretty amazing.”