Monty Roberts Transfers his Concepts of Trust-Based Accountability to the Work Place
Monty Roberts has teamed up with The Corporate Learning Institute to create Horse Sense for Organizations. New York Times best-selling author Monty Roberts is serious about transferring his concepts of trust-based accountability to the work place. Monty and Pat Roberts, Inc. (MPRI), and The Corporate Learning Institute have just announced the launch of a brand new series of business development services, Horse Sense for Organizations. The new services offer a window into Monty Roberts’ life, with its success stories and setbacks as case studies.
“We are launching a series of workshops, retreats and resources aimed at applying Monty’s lessons to the workplace,” Monty Roberts’ Vision Strategist Debbie Roberts-Loucks stated. The four new workshops and retreats include an exciting night with Monty Roberts showcasing his equine discoveries, an organizational development how-to, leadership development training and a team building workshop. Each workshop will focus on the trust-based accountability process that Monty developed for horses.
“The same process that a human leader utilizes for helping to calm and win the trust of a horse is exceptionally useful at work,” Roberts-Loucks remarked. “Trust is the foundation of work performance and motivation, and we have identified the process steps for helping leaders lead with more accountability and increased trust. We think that will be very useful in today’s workplace,” she said.
MRPI has joined forces with CLI, the Corporate Learning Institute, and a Chicago-based training consultancy. CLI’s managing partner Dr. Susan Cain will head up the new services. “We are thrilled to be partnering with Debbie and Monty to provide a great new line-up of training workshops and eBooks. Clients can expect to see an innovative series of workshops that capture Monty’s business lessons as well as the application of his approach to the human leadership world,” Dr. Cain remarked. The new books will include A Lifetime of Business Lessons from The Man Who Listens to Horses, Leadership Lessons from The Man who Listens to Horses, and Building Effective Teams from The Man Who Listens to Horses.
The eBooks are now available. “The eBooks will offer insights and lessons learned from Monty’s life and practice,” Dr. Cain concluded.
Please can you help me? I have the most amazing pony for the show ring but I have a huge problem with her she will not stand in the lineup in the ring. When they are called in to the center she just will not stand and then will rear continuously and just gets so worried. Please can you help me? She is unbeaten when she stands but this is very rare. She also hates clapping it gets her so upset and makes the whole situation worse! I would love some of you advice.
Thank you for giving me the opportunity to once again address the issue that you describe in your question. It is a fact that a question similar to yours comes up globally about a hundred to 200 times per year. It is probably second only to “my horse or pony won’t load”. Your question is word-for-word virtually identical to the one asked of me by Simon Charlesworth who trains in the area of Newmarket in England.
Simon was training a pony of the highest caliber seen in the entire UK in the year 2012. Simon was forced to retire Pearly King from classes due to the very behavior that you have described in your question. When he stood and, for whatever reason, was relaxed and controllable on the day, he was an undefeated winner of ridden pony classes. I was asked to travel to Newmarket and deal with Pearly King for one day.
As it turns out Simon Charlesworth is the best student anyone could hope for. He must have listened to every word I said, logged it in an organized brain and then put it to work in a flawless manner. Pearly King responded beautifully and was undefeated subsequent to the work we did. Pearly King qualified for the Horse of the Year Show, was the champion ridden pony and went on to be the “supreme champion ridden horse of the UK 2012”.
So the question is “what the heck did we do?” Well, I can tell you that every student of my Equus Online University has been made fully aware of the principles I used with Pearly King. First and foremost were the lessons on the use of the Dually Halter. After that there were the principles of standing to mount. Then there was standing while mounted. I realize that it is not helpful to simply be exposed to these lessons — the challenge is learning how to execute them.
Simon Charlesworth not only listened but he must have worked very hard at implementing these lessons. Simon went on to use the recommended electronic sounds of applause and other frightening auditory experiences. He must have had them going for hours on end in Pearly King’s stable. When he entered competition Pearly King was able to stand with his tail toward the audience while they were cheering for him.
While their performance was fantastic, it left a lot of viewers with the idea that he was just a fantastic pony who expressed fire and sizzle when it was appropriate and then was quiet and relaxed when he needed to be. The fact is it wasn’t easy for him and out of the woodwork came pony owners asking the same question you asked here. It is not possible to describe each element in an answer such as this. You must learn them.
In the autumn of 2012 a young girl brought a pony to Myerscough College near Preston. He was very much like Pearly King and the little girl had been called in to go for the championship at The Horse of the Year Show. The pony was a real challenge when asked to line up and was excused from the ring, banished from the competition. We were able to make a huge difference in this pony in the 30 minute session.
This particular demonstration is in the queue at the moment to be a lesson on my Equus Online University. Send in as many letters as you want requesting that that pony’s lesson be used as soon as possible. It was a great experience for me; a fantastic improvement in the life of the pony. But most of all I had a young lady and her mother with smiles on their faces like never before. Request it, and then watch for it.
Whenever I am working with students, I tell them that it is not a bad thing when a horse makes a mistake. It’s just that we need to create consequences to demonstrate that it was a mistake. I further tell them that I make mistakes every day. I accept the consequences of those mistakes and I do my best to rectify them as soon as possible. I expressed to my students that the important thing is the negative consequences cause a mindset that keeps one from making the same mistake again.
Recently, I made a mistake. As a part of an answer to a Q & A question, I explained a recent event where Pearly King was named “The Supreme Champion ridden HORSE of the UK.” In that answer I referred to Pearly King as a pony. This was a grave error, as he is a “HORSE” and not a pony. This is one of the most positive stories of my career, and I am very upset with myself for falling into a trap, which I believe the readers will find understandable, to a degree, when the facts are known.
In the United States our racing industry is loaded with horses that are ridden as companions for the racehorses. These are generally geldings and of all sizes and breeds. Sometimes, one will find the ridden companion horse to even be an ex-racehorse. As soon as the appropriate tack is placed on them they are referred to as a “pony” or “pony horse.” Many of my students referred to their riding horse as a “pony” and consider this as a “term of endearment.”
Pearly King is a “horse” and in no way should I have referred to him as a “pony.” His sire, Kilvington Scoundrel, is one of the most famous sires of show horses in the UK. His owner, Joanna MacInnes has proven to be regarded as one of the premier breeders of all time in the UK. Kilvington Scoundrel has produced both champion pony’s and champion horses, which may have contributed to the mistake that I made. No excuses, Pearly King is a “HORSE” and one to be proud of.
Please, if you are a frequent reader of my Q & A’s, do not be hesitant to correct me when I am wrong. We Americans tend to get casual with the use of a borrowed language that we sometimes morph into something that practitioners of true English can’t even recognize. Please try to remember the important aspects of my answer which were that Kilvington Scoundrel produced a fantastic son that was judged “Supreme Champion Ridden HORSE of the Year in the UK.”
It is important to also note that Simon Charlesworth proved to be an incredible student and goes high on my list of horsemen that followed my recommendations and ushered them to a higher level than I can remember any student doing in recent history. Remember also that Pearly King is a very special ridden horse that deserves every accolade that is appropriate to the status that he has achieved. Thank you for continuing to read ASK MONTY and visit my website.
Just as with virtually every problem I meet, I recommend Join-Up® for the non-loading horse. I feel that perhaps the non-loading horse benefits significantly from this process, and is far more likely to cooperate with trailer loading if he has consciously chosen to be with you rather than away from you. Join-Up acts to make it easier to get the horse to accept the Dually halter. After Join-Up, virtually every horse is more likely to accomplish the loading process with a lower pulse rate.
Loading your horse is integrally connected to the use of the Dually Halter. You should read and clearly understand the practice of using the halter as a training tool before attempting to execute the procedures described below. First, it is important to concentrate on developing cooperation with your horse by using the Dually. Do not underestimate the power of schooling the horse to willingly back-up. It may not seem important to a handler wanting to load a horse, but backing-up will ultimately prove to be extremely important in this exercise. Often there is the need to back the horse to unload and that is a factor one must also consider. More important, however, the horse that willingly backs-up and comes forward is more likely to load willingly than the horse that is reluctant to back-up.
I recommend that you use gentle horses who handle easily to hone your skills in the use of the Dually. You should not belittle the importance of learning how to safely use the Dually before dealing with horses that are apt to be difficult. A complete understanding of the use of the Dually coupled with a trained set of muscle responses can only be acquired through practice.
The method by which the horse transitions from the ground to the floor of the vehicle is critically important to the safety of the horse during loading and unloading. If a trailer is used and a typical ramp gate attached, then the ramp angle should be as shallow as possible, and there should be great attention paid to the traction provided by the surface of the ramp. If it is a step-up trailer, you should attempt to provide the lowest possible distance from the ground to the floor of the trailer. If the trailer is inappropriately high, then seek out a sloping area where the trailer can be parked to reduce the distance the horse is required to negotiate entering and exiting the trailer.
Once an acceptable vehicle of transportation has been selected, place the vehicle in an area where the footing is appropriate for loading. This means that it should be a friable soil surface such as sand with a minimum of two inches of cushion. Shavings or other show ring type surfaces are okay if they provide sufficient cushion (crumbly soil) and traction. I suggest that the trailer or truck be parked in such a fashion so as to create wings alongside the loading ramp. You can use a wall or fence for one side of the vehicle and portable panels or a disconnected gate used as a wing on the other side. I also suggest that the use of an appropriate wall or fence behind the horse will help greatly in the loading process. This is easily provided by backing into the corner while inside a building or field. If you have panels for each side of the ramp and behind the horse, essentially this is the best of all possible worlds. This is the method I most often use in loading demonstrations. One can use the corner of an enclosure with appropriate fencing if that is desirable.
After you achieve complete cooperation schooling with the Dually, you can progress to the next step, which is to approach the truck or trailer. Once in the enclosure, just behind the ramp, begin to work the horse in a forward-and-back routine, that is, two steps forward, two steps back. This is called a “rocking horse” motion by students of mine. During this procedure, you should make no attempt to load the horse until the forward-and-back motion of the animal can be evoked readily by body communication alone. You should face the horse, standing in front of the animal and looking down toward the area of the horse’s chest. You should be able to step forward toward the horse’s shoulder, and the horse should back-up readily with no tension on the lead. You should then be able to reverse yourself, and the horse should readily move forward with no tension on the lead, following your body motion.
Once this back-and-forth communication can be comfortably achieved with no exertion of pressure on the lead, turn and walk into the vehicle and expect the horse to follow. In extreme cases, should the animal refuse to come forward, you can place tension on the Dually halter, and wait for the slightest motion forward by the horse. If forward motion is observed, be quick to reward it with a rub between the eyes. If the horse flies backward, release the pressure, allowing the horse to reach the obstacle placed to the rear of the horse. Once the reversing has ceased, you should begin the pressure again on the Dually halter and wait to observe forward motion.
When the animal negotiates the ramp and enters the trailer, you should consider his work just beginning. The horse should be taken off the trailer and reloaded 10 to 15 times before making any changes. Once the horse is negotiating the loading process with adrenaline down and in complete comfort, you can begin to remove the influence of the wings and walls. You can also move the vehicle to lessen the effect of the assistance provided by these objects. You should continue the process until the horse loads with ease in a vehicle that is freestanding and without wings of any sort.
I believe that these loading procedures should take place on a day when there is no need for travel. Waiting until you must travel usually allows insufficient time to execute these procedures without anxiety. Each procedure described in this chapter should be conducted in a calm, cool and tranquil fashion. It should be your goal to achieve willing loading with the adrenaline level of the horse as low as possible. The horse should walk quietly with his head low, and exhibit licking and chewing, which denotes relaxation.
If you follow these procedures to the letter, the results are usually incredibly good. You can create a loader that you can send into the trail er on his own with very little effort. I often accept a horse for a demonstration that has been extremely difficult to load for years, and he generally negotiates the loading process within a minute or two of the time that I actually ask him to load. Take the time, keep the adrenal- ine level low and always regard safety as the number-one priority. And remember, never tie your horse in a trailer while the back gate or ramp is open.