What History Taught Me

Lee Anderson, Living Historian & Horseman


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The secret to training a horse is absolute trust. Being a prey animal, horses, by nature, fear humans. We are predators and, without trust, a horse will always be “on edge.” They are big, powerful and quick, and more concerned with their welfare than yours.

I first became interested in the Spanish vaquero’s horse training methods when I was a teen in the early 1950s and read Ed Connell’s “Hackamore Reinsman” series of articles in Western Horseman Magazine. The articles made a lot of sense to me then, and they still do. In the early 1900s, Ed worked on California ranches alongside sons and grandsons of old-time vaqueros, and he was the first to document their training methods.

When I’m credited as a “horse whisperer,” I have to bite my tongue and try to maintain composure. I’ve spent over 60 years diligently studying, plus thousands of hours developing my horse training skills. Mother Nature didn’t just hand them to me.


I’ve been a metal fabricator, a welder, a forklift operator and a spray painter. I can set up and run a 10-foot gate shear, a 400-ton press brake and a four post, 400-ton punch press. About 10 years ago, I retired from AlliedSignal aerospace...

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