Wednesday April 10, 2019

Dear Monty,
I value your opinions, which I look forward to reading every week on questions and answers. One of which works so well when you gave advice for someone who had a 'biting' horse. You suggested tapping them gently with your foot whenever they go to nip - it totally surprises them as normally you'd use your hand to shield or even reprimand. It really does work thank you.
My question to you is nothing to do with biting, but in your wisdom and affinity with studying horses, do you think that they get bored and unhappy if they are not ridden or worked very much even though they are well cared for? I have an ex-racehorse who is now 12 years old and I only have time to ride once or twice a week just hacking out. He is stabled at night and out in four acres during the day with a companion, but sometimes I just think he may need more stimulation with his breeding. I care about his happiness, which is the only thing that worries me sometimes. I am lucky to have my own stables and grazing at home, so therefore I am seeing him from my window all the time. Every time I step outside he looks to me and asks "what are we doing now then mum"!

Christine from France


After a second read of Christine’s Question, Monty adds this to his answer:

I really appreciate your desire to meet the needs of your horse. It is clear that you have a strong affinity for this animal and I have a feeling that you are simply worrying too much in the areas you describe. Each of us should remember who Equus the horse is, how long he has been around and what his historical patterns of evolution have taken place. It has been 50 million years and evidence shows that they were quite happy to exist with a family group and graze on open plains for more than 49 million years before there was even a human on earth. 

Sometimes we have a tendency - I admit to it myself - to think that we are more important to the horse than we generally are. It is my opinion that it is OK to make this mistake because the human can rationalize love, bonding and a committment to the needs of others. Horses are quite happy to simply live with their friends and graze on available grass. What you want is to feel good about your commitment to the horse. That is not a bad idea. It sounds to me like you are being very responsible to the every day needs of your horse. Please worry less about the emotional needs that you feel for him.
April 29 to 31, 2019: The Movement at Flag Is Up Farms, Solvang,California
May 1 to 3, 2019: Equine Assisted Intro to Motivational Interviewing at Flag Is Up Farms, Solvang, California
May 25, 2019: Night of Inspiration at Flag Is Up Farms, Solvang,California
July 22 to 26, 2019: Monty's Special Training Brazil at Flag Is Up Farms, Solvang,California
July 29 to August 2, 2019: Monty's Special Training at Flag Is Up Farms, Solvang,California
August 5 to 16, 2019: Gentling Wild Horses at Flag Is Up Farms, Solvang,California
April 11 to 13, 2019: Long Lining Course
April 15 to 19, 2019: Introductory Exam
April 25 to 27, 2019: Join-Up Course
Watch the video here:

This two day symposium April 29-30 in Solvang, California will be in the arena and in the classroom where presenters and trainers will share their unique perspectives of the flight animal and how their vocations were changed when they were able to use horses as a metaphor for a better understanding of their work and relationships. At  The Movement  you will take home ways to apply non-violent forms of communication and leadership and to help humans and horses live a better life.

If you can't attend the event or you're curious about last year's Movement, watch this video:

April 29-30 2019
Solvang, California

Test yourself each week as I challenge you to answer the question below. I mean this. Sit down and write an answer. Don't wait for my answer next week. If you have been reading my Weekly Questions and Answers for the last six months, you should be in a position to do this. Send your answer to my team at:  
Why should you bother? Because it will help you focus. There is probably a comparable question in your life that needs answering... or will be. If you can gain insight into how to go about answering a practical question that is loosely related to your problem, this exercise will help you answer your nagging question. Then read my answer. I want all of my students to learn to be better trainers than me.That's good for you and good for horses! 
~ Monty 

Hi! I had a question concerning Join-Up, and it is, can you do Join-Up with an already bomb proof horse? My horse is a 18 year-old Quarter Horse, and he's about as solid as they come. It's like nothing fazes him, when I try to send him away, he just stands there and does nothing. Am I not being clear enough in my signals, or is he confused by what I'm trying to get him to do?

Thanks for any input you have.

This episode is all about helping horses stay healthy while in turn enriching our lives too! Dr. Juliet Getty, equine nutritionist and Dr. Emily Weiss, national equine welfare.