Wednesday January 9, 2019


The vast majority of horse people will use a whip or stick at some point, mounted or dismounted. Where is the threshold for what you consider to be “cruel” use? Is there a hard line or a blurry line in your opinion for what is abuse?


It is not my intention to address the fine line between attempting to improve performance and/or being cruel. It is my opinion that any time you deliberately strike a horse with the intention to cause pain it enters the category of cruelty. In addition to being cruel, it will eventually be proven to be a mistake when it comes to improving performance. 

One of my ‘middle of the night’ thoughts is that it is actually fun to think of ways to cause the horse to accomplish a goal you contemplate without the production of pain. A good education will set your mind to work producing procedures which will accomplish this goal that then allows one to cause the horse to want to do it instead of forcing the horse.
February 15 to 17, 2019:  Horse Sense and Healing , Flag Is Up Farms, Solvang, California
February 15 to 17, 2019: CHA Equine Facility Management Certification
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 31, 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


Solved Trailer Loading Problem

My little Appaloosa cross initially had no fear of trailering. Then she had a bad experience in wash racks that were like stocks, a narrow passage and after that she not only wouldn’t go in the washrack, she wouldn’t tie to a hitch near the wash rack and wouldn’t load on the trailer. A trainer at the barn where I board/train mentioned the Dually halter , as well as behavioral modification training.

We worked together with the Dually halter, for several weeks, first on approaching the hitching posts, tying to them, then stepping into the washrack area, then going into the wash racks, then finally the trailer. We practiced about several times a week. We had a goal because I was about to go on a solo road trip with my mare and had to be able to load her into the trailer.

We did it! The Dually halter (and the supportive reward based behavioral modification) made it possible for me to go on my road trip with confidence. Of course, no piece of equipment is magic. The equipment must be accompanied by patience and wise human behavior. However, if the human knows what she/he is doing AND has a Dually halter, the results are amazing.

Thank you, Monty Roberts for devising this horse-friendly halter. My mare thanks you! 
Rachel B.
Verified Buyer


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,

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 watch other master trainers ride without the kicking I'm being coached to do 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


Monty Roberts is running free, resilience-building workshops for veterans, police, fire, first responders and their families. Horse Sense and Healing is a three-day program and it involves working closely with horses. The individuals and horses develop a special bond built upon mutual trust and respect. Join-Up offers everyone an effective tool to rediscover themselves through the eyes of the horse. This self-awareness exercise deals effectively with emotional trauma, anti-social behavior and withdrawal, anger, stress, combat stress and even Post Traumatic Stress Injury (PTSI).  READ MORE
To find out about Monty's upcoming Horse Sense and Healing workshops and for more information, go to:  
Dear Team at Flag is Up Farms,
As the Youth Recreation Coordinator for the City of Buellton I wanted to express my gratitude for the first class treatment and instruction the youth received while attending the Join-Up experience. Every student that was there was chosen for different struggles that each are facing currently. One thing that is consistent with every student who attended the program is that their main issues stem from the lack of trust or fear of rejection. 
The staff for the program was so professional and loving that every student left each day so excited to come back. After leaving Flag is Up Farms each session, the ride back to the Rec Center got louder and louder because of the great experiences they were having. You can check with Jerry on that one as he witnessed it on the bus after the last session.
This was an amazing experience and we as a Recreation Department and City of Buellton are so blessed to have this treasure in our backyard.  One of the moms who picked up their child the last evening said, “ This is the best week we have had as a family since I can remember, and I feel like there is a glimmer of hope for my son again.” 
Thank you again for all that you do. Keep up the good work and I hope we will be able to join you again in the future.
Paul Smith
Buellton Youth Recreation Coordinator

Find a Monty Roberts Certified Instructor  near you. All courses offered by certified instructors give students effective tools to communicate using the horse's own natural language, forming a partnership based on trust and communication rather than dominance. Visit the certified instructor web page here: