I have been a fan of Monty Roberts for quite a while now, both for his work with horses and also his advocacy work towards disadvantaged young people and victims of domestic abuse.
The focus in this article is horses though and I wanted to introduce a few of his techniques and share some resources that are available about his life and work.
Monty Roberts is often referred to as the real horse whisperer, and he is associated with his own brand of horsemanship technique.
His unique system involves non-violent communication and developing an understanding between a person and a horse, so that the trainer communicates with the horse in a language that they both understand.
His most famous technique is probably the Join up method which he has taught all over the world, and which even grabbed the attention of Queen Elizabeth II in the UK.
Monty has a team of trained experts that have mastered his techniques and can train on his behalf.
One of his best known proteges is Kelly Marks who has started sharing his teaching under the guise of her own Intelligent Horsemanship training programmes across Europe, while Monty remains based in his homeland in the U.S.
The techniques Monty uses have evolved after years of studying and watching how horses interact with each other in the wild. As a young boy he observed them for weeks at a time and noticed how they spoke to one another and managed the herd.
He then took this knowledge and applied it to his own training with some amazing results.
Monty has been known to say that the term ‘natural horsemanship’ is a bit of an oxymoron, since he is a keen equine science lover. But he applies the principles of non-violence and healing to everything that he does including horses and this is the approach that became named as natural horsemanship.
He is also a known advocate against domestic violence and knows from first hand experience about the suffering children experience from violence in the home.
This inside knowledge enables him to relate closely to horses, especially those that might be scared or nervous of their surroundings. It is also the reason why he never advocates using violent or forceful ways to make a horse do something it clearly does not feel comfortable doing.
Equus Online University
Monty spends a lot of his time travelling and promoting his methods to people across the globe. He also operates an online university where you can access all his training videos and lessons. Below is a sample of the introductory videos available as part of the 350 video collection, with new ones being added all the time.
Monty has a team of international instructors that have been selected from across the globe and take his message back to their own country. In Ireland Caroline Jennings, Sarah Moore and Caitriona O’Meara are all qualified Monty Robert’s instructors.
In the UK Kelly Marks has her own Intelligent Horsemanship training with further Irish qualified instructors.
There are instructors listed on Monty’s website for many countries across the globe and you can learn more about Monty’s work and courses through his website Equus Online University and/or sign up to his newsletters.
Monty Roberts has a strong following and has written a number of books describing his story and route into communicating with horses. One of his best loved books is ‘The Man Who Listened To Horses’. This book tells his story from watching his father break horses to his own observations of horse communication amongst the wild herds.
The book is inspirational at a number of levels because not only is about communicating with horses, which should appeal to most equine fans, but it is also about human communication generally.
As one reviewer on Amazon said, they read the book without any interest in horses or horsemanship, what appealed to them as a business consultant was how Monty was able to understand and get into the mind of who he wanted to communicate with – in this case a horse.
"Monty tells a story that illustrates a simple yet profound truth: You can best communicate by imagining yourself in the other's place. For Monty, the most obvious "other" is a horse" Amazon review
The sequel to this book is also available on Amazon and gets some good reviews as well, it’s called Horse Sense for People.
As with most of his writing Monty makes this personal and it is easy to read and enjoyable, even if you don’t agree with everything he has to say or those who are not necessarily interested in horses but enjoy reading about non violent communication techniques with animals.
I hope you enjoyed this introduction to the work of Monty Roberts, if so there are also some other articles that may be of interest to you on this site.
- Monty Roberts Join Up Technique
- Monty Roberts Shows How To Load A Nervous Horse
- What Is Intelligent Horsemanship?
- Kelly Marks – A Perfect Choice
If you have any information to share on this subject please feel free to leave a comment below and if you could please share the article on social media, thanks.