Wednesday November 4, 2020

What is your opinion on horse rugs? I've read that they mess up the horse's own heating system, but I can't just go off one person's opinion. I don't think they are really needed, because horses in the wild don't have rugs, and they survive, at least they don't die from the cold often. Though at the same time, if you had a show horse that had only ever had a rug, then swapping it to being without one wouldn't be great for it. But for horses and ponies that rarely have rugs on it wouldn't be a problem to not use rugs ever again. I'm of the opinion that rugs are not needed, and are possibly not good for our horses. But, I'm eager to learn, and not only learn, but learn the truth.

Many thanks,
Ruth McClure

Dear Ruth,

You’re right! Rugs (blankets) are not needed. I am a lifelong student of the American Mustang and they are some of the healthiest horses on the earth. Their feet are typically far superior to the domestic horse. While they may have a rough coat at times, their ability to withstand variations of temperatures is extremely high.

It is nice to have a beautiful coat on a show horse and many owners believe that horses are more comfortable in the winter when rugs are used. I don’t have a big problem with that philosophy but when it comes down to the nature of equus, blankets are seldom, if ever, necessary -- unless the horse has been clipped, of course.

February 8 to 12, 2021: Monty's Special Training in English (and Equus!)
Postponed to early 2021: CHA Equine Facility Manager Certification at Flag Is Up Farms in California
November 6 to 8, 2020: Introductory Course Module 4: Preparation for the Intro Exams
November 10 to 12, 2020: Introductory Course Module 01: First Steps to Monty’s Methods

I've been riding for many years and have recently found that Monty's guidance is a blessing. The horse I am working with is in need of assurance and the training methods Monty uses are exactly what this horse needs. Thank you for the opportunity to understand the language of horses.

Jodi B., Verified Buyer

Chris and Amanda Moore met when they were 12 years old and eventually married. But their marriage began to crumble until they found passion building Reigning Grace Ranch together, redeeming the equine, strengthening the child and discovering hope for the family in a safe and positive authentic western setting. And Dr. Juliet Getty shares how to transition our horses to winter feeding at this time of year.

Congratulations to Teegan Chomondeley and family on your adoption of Salty (Unusual Taste) - the first horse to be re-homed through our Mustang & Transition Horse Program in partnership with the ASPCA’s The Right Horse Initiative and their adoption partner Win Place Home.

Visit to view our horses available for adoption.

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 

How do I stop my pony from moving when I try to mount? My family's pony Dusty rarely stands still when I go to mount. He also doesn't like being tacked up. When he sees the tack, he walks off to the other side of the yard, because he knows being tacked up means 'work'. I do manage to tack him up and then the biggest problem is mounting, because then he either steps sideways or walks forward so that I can't mount. When we first got him (nearly 2 years ago) he was fine, but then it just came on. I would be really struggling to mount, and he would be walking forward like a racehorse. Then a few months ago I decided I'd try and work with him, although I didn't have any set things I would do. This is what I did though.

I'd attempt to mount (bareback) and when he moved, whether it was forward or sideways, I'd then push him back to the spot where we started. His habit had gotten so bad that whenever someone put their hands on him and at the same time stood on the side you mount from, he would threaten to kick, stomp his hoof, and then usually move sideways. Thankfully he didn't move to the side I would be standing on, but it was and is a problem. Anyway, my working with him did help a lot, but now he's gone backwards again. I'm going to try what I did again, but do you have a solution?