Wednesday July 3, 2019

Dear Monty, 

First off I want to thank you for opening my eyes to a better way of training horses. When I was younger and first got into horses it was through an older gentleman who had a talent for horses but was much like your father in his methods. Looking back, I am ashamed at the methods I used "breaking" horses under his guidance on his ranch. I remember in particular a bay colt he had me tie high to a dally pole and sack it out with a rolled up feed sack and the fear in his eyes as he could go no where. Then he would saddle him tied that way and get on because the idea was he couldn't buck when tied high to the dally pole. His methods worked to get him riding but that horse was so scared of people that he was dangerous when not under saddle. He eventually sold him at a kill pen.

Last night I saddled up and rode a young colt for his first ride that reminded me of that colt I ruined years ago. What a difference your methods have made for me in the last eight years. He was so calm and willing to learn, following me around like a dog when I got off the saddle because he trusted me and truly wanted to be by me.

Sorry for getting off topic. The question is, is it good to have other people ride your horses. Will it help them to trust humans more if they are ridden by multiple people? Some people don't want others riding for various reasons such as teaching bad habits, don't ride same as they do etc. I have several horses I let anyone ride because they put up with a lot of mistakes. I have a mustang for years that I never let anyone ride but me. What is the best approach?

The reason this is in my head is because I am working with a 12-year-old gelding that was given to me. Seemed in good care, good ground manners, didn't show fear of people or signs of abuse, he was just a pasture pet that had never been ridden. I have him riding good for me and he trusts me and enjoys being around me and other people, but when someone else tries to get on him he will not stand still and prances around in a circle snorting. Never moves an inch when I put my foot in the stirrup. 

Should I push him to accept other riders now or give him more time? I've probably started 100 horses with your methods and understand a horses lack of trust when there is evidence of abuse or fear instilled in them. I don't believe that is the case with this horse so this is new territory for me.

Thanks and God bless,


Dear Rick,

What I want you to do is put all of those original, old fashioned methods on a piece of paper, take a match to it and just plain forget about them. That's the way it was for 6000 years. Fortunately the world is moving away from the old techniques and beginning to strike violence from the procedures regarding the training of horses. 

Horses are neophobic. This means they are skeptical and/or frightened of anything new. When we put a bit on a horse we seek to put the best one we can find. When we put a saddle on a horse we seek to find the most comfortable possible. When we put an unfamiliar rider on a horse it certainly should be someone who knows what they are doing.

Once a horse has carried a collection of competent riders the tendency will be to accept new riders with less skepticism. Once your horse has performed for several riders they know nothing about, and these new riders perform reasonably well, the better chance you have that your horse will accept unfamiliar riders far more comfortably. 

Please take advantage of my Monty Roberts Online University to experience the many lessons available there. The lesson on The Mounting Block introduction occurs to me to be a good pathway to answering this question. One can control the movements of a horse at the mounting block with a much better chance to cause a horse to relax and accept a new rider. 

There are so many lessons which relate to your question, it occurs to me it is a fertile road map to expand your use of my concepts and to cause your horse to want to become a partner instead of the old way of attempting to force your horse to be a partner. Congratulations on the growth of your knowledge concerning non-violence.
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
July 8 to 10, 2019:  Introductory Course: First Steps to Monty's Methods
July 8 to 19, 2019:  Introductory Course of Horsemanship
July 13, 2019: Kids' Course (ages 8 to 15)
July 19 to August 2, 2019: Monty's Special Training
From Monty's Equus Online Uni student D. Nickell:

"160 lessons in, I absolutely LOVE these nuggets and treasures. It would take pages and pages to say how what I am STILL learning, observing the wisdom and intelligence of intrinsic learning. Thanks yet again, for impacting my world, my life and truly I hope to make Horse Sense and Healing in Sept. Laughter, oh do I love BRUCE! Tears, can't stop crying as I observe Rocky. So many people I want to get this uni to."


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 Monty

My Question is, can we train our horses not to be reactive to herd
behavior? I have a 6 year old mare who was taken away from her mother
relatively young, 11months. She displays a lot of naughty behavior, e.g. is
moody around other horses, pins her ears if they get close, tries to
kick, squeals, can also challenge her handler i.e. me, and can be
quite argumentative and stubborn when riding, she is more reactive to
young horses not so much to mature horses, a friend has suggested she go
out with a herd to learn some manners....your opinion would be much

Thank you
Kind regards, Gillian

Author Joe Camp & Advocate Staci Hancock
Staci Hancock founded the Kentucky Equine Humane Center. Joe Camp, the man behind the canine superstar Benji, wrote the best selling The Soul of a Horse.

The Movement June 2020!

The fourth week in June 2020 is being held for the 3rd annual event that centers on the qualities of horses to teach us how to lower stress and build trust at Flag Is Up Farms, in Solvang, California. 

The Movement’ symposium launched in 2018 with the vision to unite outstanding speakers and live demonstrations with horses. Founded on Monty Roberts’ belief that non violent forms of communication are essential to building trust and achieving outstanding results, the mission of The Movement is to help people discover the unique power of horses to teach better ways to interact across all aspects of life.
Two hundred participants from around the world journeyed to Solvang and agreed that the symposium was a life changing experience. The 2018 presentations were recorded for historical relevance and can be found  here .
The journey continues with world renowned experts across psychology, science, social work and horse training exploring breakthrough insights on how mindfulness and horses help us better learn, lead and live better.