horse sense

MOnty pic

Well, well it has been quite the exciting time around here the past couple of weeks. Last weekend was a Saturday Hippotherapy clinic. Sunday was a Centered Riding Clinic. And then, this past weekend was a Monty Roberts demonstration which we attended with VIP tickets. Mind you, I have traveled to California “Flag is Up Farms” for clinics and expected to meet Mr. Roberts, but, alas-no he was out of the country. So to finally see him in person and talk with him (per the VIP splurge) was excellent to say the least. What I really like about him, specifically, is how he relates working with horses to life in general, to working with people. His book “Horse Sense for People” really is the greatest book I have ever read. He projects the skills used in horse communication to parenting, work relationships, career, life, everything. Trust, respect and communication being the basis for all things. He promotes non-violence in all ways (including our words). Also, he is 80 years old and still touring, teaching, training and riding. What an inspiration.

MOnty pic 2

The funny thing is that in all my horsey years I really didn’t know too much about Monty Roberts. Not long ago, an old college friend of mine who was visiting mentioned watching some Monty Roberts videos in his master’s program for teaching. He explained how it was used to open a discussion about how teachers teach and treat children. For some reason, that really fascinated me. And, from there, I started reading his books. Then, of course, my daughter fell in love with Shy Boy. We watched the documentary, read the children’s version of the book together and met Mr. Shy Boy when we visited the farm. I’m not one to be “star struck”, but I will say if I’m going to be–it’s gotta be Monty. Did I mention, that I (out of all the hundreds there this weekend) won the raffle for some free equipment AND got a hug from the Horse Whisperer. Ok, anyways. It’s been a good couple of weeks of learning and re-energizing. For all we know, we always continue to learn. Any (horse) person who treats others as if they know it all, is only kidding themselves and limiting their own possibilities. We are a community of people and we can learn from each other, we can respect each other, and we can always pick and choose what we want to use and/or believe. To accept from another and be open to new things is not to limit ourselves.

14 thoughts on “horse sense

  1. I just clicked on the link to Monty’s on line school. wow..what a wealth of information. Just a couple of weeks ago I read an article about some horse whisperer competitions..where several seasoned trainers competed against each other to break and ride wild horses in (I can’t remember how long an event) but it was done in front of a crowd of people. It just amazes me. I have always been intrigued by how some people like Monty’ have learned and mastered the language of an animal group…(thinking here too of that guy who does the same sort of training with dogs) Sounds like you have had some very cool stuff going on. DM


    • Yes, I’ve watched one DVD like that called “In a Whisper”. I’m amazed too at the communication that can happen between humans and animals if we just figure out how they operate. We’re homeschooling on Jane Goodall right now which is very similar to what we’re talking about here. the way she learned to communicate with the chimpanzees is amazing.

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  2. I had no idea Monty was 80!!! I bought his first book when I was on vacation in the UK years ago (late 90s). Then he came to the LA Equestrian Center to do a Join Up demonstration and book tour. I had my UK copy and stood in a LONG line to meet him. I did not have a camera, but I will still remember how he did a double take at my UK version of the book and I told him I hunted it down in a bookshop in London because my dad had seen a PBS program about his work with the Queen and so we knew the book was there. So I count myself among the first to know about the Man Who Listens to Horses. Not that it matters. But it’s a fun memory. 🙂 That is an amazing picture your family can cherish forever.


    • That is a terrific memory! I’m so glad you shared it. You wouldn’t believe he’s 80 by the way he rode and presented. His entire show was 6 hours and we were there an hour early and saw him participating in all the set up. I’m sure he put in at least 8 straight hours in the show. He also did 80 pushups in honor of his 80th birthday! He, then, rode like a pro talking over the microphone the whole time and didn’t even seem out of breath. I am blown away…more than I could do that’s for sure!


  3. I am way out of my league here with the horse speak 😉 but it is so cool that you got to meet this person who is important to you. And his work sounds really interesting. I am certainly going to check it out!


    • Thank you for your kind words. I love looking at different ways of communication and how we use our body language and inner strength to communicate across all barriers…be it animal or human 🙂


  4. I went to Monty’s farm several years ago and he was out of town but I was able to see his trainer work with a horse. She was incredible with the young, unbroken colt. I have read his book, too, and loved it. I do Equine Assisted Psychotherapy at my farm and thought you might be interested in checking out a blog I have for therapists. I teach a course at my university to graduate students about using horses in therapy. I follow the Eagala model and so I am the Equine Specialist and I work with a therapist whenever we teach a class or do therapy. People can learn so much from horses about communication, fear, relationships, trust, and so much more. I love your site!


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