Wednesday May 6, 2020

I think there may be a few over-fresh horses coming out at the end of lockdown, with riders who will be challenged to sit a buck. I’d love to get some advice from you on the "staying on" part. I think I can sit a buck pretty well as riding racehorses taught me to grip with my ankles. There are many roads to Rome though. How does your dressage-trained rider stay on for a rodeo? Would you have some words of wisdom on this please. 
Kelly Marks, Monty Roberts Certified Instructor 


Dear Kelly,
Isn’t it coincidental I was planning to ride Chrome today so I could school a particular Thoroughbred to respond to the Dually Halter while being led from another horse. Since Chrome has had an uneventful month or so, I was wondering what to do with him because he will tend to buck when he is fresh. I think your idea is a good one and should be valuable to horsemen worldwide. To my way of thinking, the most important part of these ‘fresh horse’ rides is what you do before you get on. Prior to putting yourself in the saddle, there is very little chance of being injured by a fresh horse. Once you have a leg on each side of him, you belong to him. The fresh horse can buck you off even if he is the kindest character you could ever imagine. 
It is what Equus is. Equus represents a flight animal with a world of energy and a deep temptation to buck and play, especially when fresh. Whether the bucking is entertainment for the horse or a serious attempt to get one off of his back, injuries occur under either of those conditions. Before I get on Chrome today, I intend to first put him in a turn out to ’stretch his legs’ and then have him saddled and released once again in a safe enclosure, watching that he doesn’t roll. While I have round pens, any small enclosure with good fencing and reasonable footing will do. I have some rectangular 'turn outs' on our farm which are about 20 by 40 meters (20 x 40 yards). I have used these with Chrome before and found him to be very prone to buck, run and play for four or five minutes. After about four or five more minutes, with no bucking, I then feel safe to mount.
There was a time in my life when I would simply saddle a horse of this description and get straight on. I found it to be fun to have some bucking and playing under me. Remember, I spent two years riding bulls in professional rodeo. Do not fall into this same category. There is no fun in wearing a cast and it is not right to subject your horse to being listed as another horse who caused an injury. It isn’t fair to the species and we should show them far more responsibility than my former actions would express. Injuries are not fun to horses or humans; if you have followed my techniques from the beginning with your horse, I would suggest to even resort to the long lining experienced in the early stages of the process of training the horse one now rides for pleasure. 
Somewhere in my eight books I suggested that one of the 'Golden Rules' of good horsemanship is to print with a bold red marker on a piece of paper, ‘SAFETY FIRST.’ Place one of these reminders in your tack room, another in your feed room, one in your car and one more on the refrigerator that you visit several times a day. The lack of attention to safety has caused more people to give up on horses because of irresponsible accidents or even just the fear of having an accident because of the dangerous behavior of the horse involved. People tend not to admit that they gave up their horse interests because of fear. The fact is, however, a huge percentage of those who do give up their horses are doing so, at least in part, by a fright they received.

June 21 to 23, 2020:  The Movement 2020  at Flag Is Up Farms in California
September 11 to 13 , 2020: CHA Equine Facility Manager Certification at Flag Is Up Farms in California
July 6 to 17, 2020: Introductory Course of Horsemanship
July 11, 2020: Kids' Course
July 18, 2020: Horsemanship 101
July 24 to 26, 2020: Horse Sense and Healing
August 3 to 7, 2020: Monty’s Special Training (English)
August 8 to 10, 2020: Introductory Course Module 01: First Steps to Monty’s Methods
August 11 to 13, 2020: Introductory Course Module 02: Join-Up
August 14 to 16, 2020: Introductory Course Module 03: Long Lining
August 17 to 28, 2020: Gentling Wild Horses
From Jonathan B. , Verified Buyer:

I have been practicing Join-Up for over a year, and I can testify that these halters cause your horse to learn intrinsically (teach themselves) but they are only as good as the hands that use them. Just as Monty states in the DVD, "You must be clear, concise, immediate, and fair.” Love these halters!


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 

I'm a new subscriber, Monty, and am thoroughly enjoying reading through your Online University site, and watching the videos that are available. As well as being horse-aware, understanding and interpreting their language, I can see that you are also very human-aware! You have a restful, non-threatening way about you that allows your message to be easily heard and accepted. I am thankful to have this learning opportunity! 
My question for you: in your work with PTSD sufferers, have you found that there are certain signs to look for, and body language that can be used by another person to convey safety, and to reinforce trust? A loved one lives with painful past trauma. Looking back over the years, I realize that at times the storm passes over quickly, and at other times the suffering is prolonged. I cannot see, however, what exactly made the difference. It would be wonderful to have sort of a template to follow, signs to look for and body language or spoken language, to employ that would allow trust-building and relaxation to take place.

Thank you for being a source of helpful information and positivity!

Mental Skills Coach & Tribute to Greg Ward, by Monty Roberts University Tonya Johnston is a Mental Skills Coach who works with equestrian athletes and loves her horses. Tonya helps riders apply mental skills across disciplines. Debbie shares the three most important knots equestrians need to know. Also, Jack Roddy and Monty Roberts went to college together, both are rodeo champions, entrepreneurs, mentors and friends. Both Hall of Famers pay tribute to champion and team mate Greg Ward.