Wednesday January 16, 2019


Hi Monty,

I'm enrolled with your  Online University and am enjoying the lessons. I am new to horsemanship and do not yet own a horse. I found a ranch here in So Cal, LA area, to begin my real world lessons to handle horses. The current method is to start with a light hand and increase the pressure until I get the horse to do what I want.

Recently, my coach has told me to increase the pressure = continue to kick the sides of the horse until he moves as I want for a walk, trot, or lope. These are not light kicks but very hard. I work up a sweat doing this. It feels violent as I'm doing this kicking, my inner balance is up ended, and my frustration is growing. It feels wrong. I've watched other master trainers ride without the kicking, I'm being coached to get the horse to cooperate/submit. 

It's gotten to the point that when I go to get the horse to prep for the lesson, I project his anticipation on seeing me as "Oh no, it's him again." And he's already decided on his level of cooperation for the lesson. Then the lesson becomes an argument instead of a conversation.

BTW, this adds to my hesitation of owning a horse, along with other factors.

I need some advice.

from me and my phone, Tom


Dear Tom,

Wouldn’t it be nice if every novice horseman read their horses the way you have. The description you have written outlines for me a set of principles all too often present in the world of traditional horsemanship, dating back 6000 years.

What you have described is wrong. I haven’t met your instructor nor do I know for certain that your description is absolutely correct. If it is a reasonable outline of what you are told to do, then it is "dead wrong." You need help.

Please accept my invitation to continue visiting lessons on the online university and since So Cal is your home, have a hard look at the courses available on my farm in Solvang, California. Thank you for your interest, please stay in touch.

M y Join-Up Experience - Student's Review
"The Join-Up Course offered me a hands on learning experience with a group of interesting people and nice school horses. The time spent in the classroom and in the round pen and around the farm where all equally beneficial to me understanding the practice. Thanks to all the people who help to put this program together."

Elise A., Verified Online Registration

February 15 to 17, 2019:  Horse Sense and Healing , Flag Is Up Farms, Solvang, California
February 21 to 24, 2019: Monty Roberts at the  Norwegian Horse Festival
March 14, 2019: Monty Roberts Demonstration at  Equitana in Essen, Germany
April 29 to 30, 2019: The Movement at Flag Is Up Farms, Solvang, California (coming soon)
February 1 to 3, 2019: Introductory Course Module 1
February 8 to 10, 2019: Introductory Course Module 2
February 11 to 13, 2019: Long Lining Course
February 15 to 17, 2019: Horse Sense and Healing Workshop
February 19 to 21, 2019: Join-Up Course
February 22 to 24, 2019: Introductory Course Module 3
March 1 to 3, 2019: Prep for Introductory Exams Module 4
March 4 to 6, 2019: Join-Up Course
March 7 to 9, 2019: Long Lining Course
April 29 to 30, 2019: Save the Date!

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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 

Hello Monty Roberts.

I'm hoping you can remember little Smurf who you worked with at Ottly college 2017, I'm sure you will be very pleased to hear we have managed and worked with him with great success to pick up his back hoofs with out kicking out any more.

The reason why I am messaging you is have have a huge problem to desensitize him to people. If you can remember, he is extremely scared of people and although I can desensitize him from any object, people are a huge problem for me, I have had him for coming up to 3 years now and although he half trusts me he still snorts at me in the stable and backs away, if we are out he does this mad panic like I'm going to beat him (I've never laid a finger on him) and his fright just takes over to the extent I've been to hospital several times with rope burns and broken fingers this year alone. I'm wondering when you are in the UK next so maybe you would come and do some one on one work with me or I could bring him to a venue that you are working at?

Looking forward to hear back from you.

Merry Christmas and a happy new year.

Kind regards,

Hannah Sewell and Smurf
Producer of the horsemanship YouTube show Heels Down and Bottoms Up, Michael Eric Lawrence Jr. is interviewed by horse trainer Monty Roberts. And Paul Righetti and Pat Roberts share some of the traditions of growing up in California while announcing that Paul is receiving the "Honored Vaquero” award from the Santa Ynez Valley Historical Museum. Next up, "Getty on Forage & Seasoned Rider Magazine”!