Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and Monty Roberts Reducing Violence With Horses

June 23rd, 2015

Photography: Eva Zielinski-Millar©

June 23, 2015 Solvang, California: The Commander of the Police Academy of the State of São Paulo, Colonel José Mauricio Perez had the honor of being awarded by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II with a certificate that celebrated efforts to eliminate violence in the treatment of citizens in São Paulo, Brazil. The act of Her Majesty had immediate and positive repercussions in Brazil with the media.

Colonel Perez said he had learned the Join-Up® principles after reading Monty Roberts’ book, The Man Who Listens to Horses, presented to him by the captain responsible for the cavalry regiment of the academy. He decided to adopt the philosophy of Join-Up in the training of cadets. A student of Monty Roberts, Eduardo Moreira, wrote the bestseller Life Whisperers based on his experience learning from Roberts, and was asked to make a speech for a group of 500 cadets at the academy.

Colonel Perez came to the belief that by eliminating all forms of violence in the training of the students, he would contribute for a more humanitarian, capable and transformative police force. The news was delivered by Eduardo Moreira to Monty who traveled to Brazil to see for himself the Colonel’s impact. Through that academy, 100,000 police officers could be positively impacted, resulting in a less violent environment for more than 40 million people, the population of São Paulo. Monty was delighted with what he saw.

Monty immediately took the story to the attention the person who had asked him almost three decades ago to transform the world through the Join-Up message: Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. The Queen recognized that the seed she planted was blooming like never before that would reverberate forever the legacy and mission. The awarding of the certificate took place June 16 at Windsor Castle in private ceremonies attended by Her Majesty, Monty Roberts, Colonel Perez, Eduardo Moreira and Eduardo’s wife Juliana Baroni.


Join Monty

May 5th, 2015

Are you interested in being mentored by Monty? Please fill out the application form here: http://goo.gl/forms/WPv1aJ8LV2

Thank you for your interest. More details will be sent after the selection from the first round of applications.




Effective Communication by John Janclaes

May 5th, 2015

Are you interested in how the principles of communication with horses transfer to human leadership models? Read this article by John Janclaes, President and CEO of Partners Federal Credit Union: http://www.montyroberts.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/Guest-Blog-V3.pdf





Horse Sense for Leaders Guided Discussion

April 27th, 2015

horse sense for leaders

Start a discussion on the levels of trust in your organization. Use our complimentary Quick Read Book and Worksheet to talk about trust and how to create more in your organization.

~ By Dr. Susan Cain and Debbie Roberts-Loucks with Monty Roberts




This Week’s Video Lesson

February 25th, 2015

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Monty’s latest online lesson is live!

TRAINING TO LOAD SAFELY IN THE TRAILER, Lesson 7: Challenging Conditions

Click here and watch the video: http://www.montyrobertsuniversity.com/training/2031188949

“I will attempt always to educate you in tactics that will produce results without violence.”
- Monty Roberts






The Humane Society and Monty Roberts as Keynote Speaker Team Up to Honor Horses

February 13th, 2015

February 13, 2015 Solvang, California: Monty and Pat Roberts are pleased to announce three USA appearances by Monty in the next two months. The international growth of non-traditional and violence-free training of horses since 1996 when Monty’s autobiography The Man Who Listens to Horses was published, has drawn Monty to travel for over 20 years now. It is rare when Monty is able to share his mastery of horsemanship in the United States.

On March 7 the Humane Society of the United States has extended an invitation to Monty Roberts to speak at The HSUS Equine Protection Program’s upcoming benefit in Wellington, Florida. The event will be held at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center. The HSUS will be presenting Priscilla Presley with our Horsewomen of the Year award. 

On April 1 in New Orleans, Mr. Roberts has the distinct honor of serving as the keynote speaker for the Human Society’s “Honoring the Horse” program.  Attendees will learn from leading experts in their field on a variety of issues related to horse care and well-being and advocacy, as well as network with fellow devotees. The event is geared toward anyone who owns horses, is considering owning a horse, trains horses for competition, cares about the welfare of horses, or wants to improve their understanding of all things equine.

On April 2 in New Orleans, Mr. Roberts will be participating in the Humane Society International’s Annual Animal Care Expo.  This gathering is a world-class educational conference and full-scale trade show for anyone who works or volunteers in the animal protection fields around the globe. Expo is an annual event which brings people together to learn the newest and best information available for helping animals.   

For details, visit the website http://www.montyroberts.com/ab_about_monty_calendar/see-monty/  or phone 805-688-6288


Honoring the Horse – Monty and the Humane Society of the United States

February 10th, 2015

Tuesday, March 31, 2015 – Wednesday, April 01, 2015
New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center
900 Convention Center Blvd
New Orleans, Louisiana 70130
United States 

The Humane Society of the United States will be hosting its first national equine event, Honoring the Horse, at the New Orleans Convention Center on March 31 and April 1. 

Keynote: Monty Roberts Author, “The Man Who Listens to Horses”, Founder, Join-Up International known as the “Man Who Listens to Horses” has led an extraordinary life. An award-winning trainer of championship horses, best-selling author, Hollywood stunt man, foster dad to 47 children (in addition to three of his own) and creator of the world-renowned and revolutionary equine training technique called Join-Up, Monty Roberts could now, in his later years, be resting on his laurels – but that’s not his style.

Roberts has won countless awards and received immense worldwide press coverage, put three books on the New York Times best-seller list, trained some of Queen Elizabeth II’s equestrian team in London and been awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Zurich. But if you go looking for Monty Roberts, you won’t find him lounging in his favorite chair high up in the hills overlooking his horse-training farm in the beautiful Santa Ynez Valley. 

Attendees will learn from leading experts in their field on a variety of issues related to horse care and well-being and advocacy, as well as network with fellow devotees. The event is geared toward anyone who owns horses, is considering owning a horse, trains horses for competition, cares about the welfare of horses, or wants to improve their understanding of all things equine.


Horse Sense for Leaders Excerpt 1

February 8th, 2015

Man in the Arena
“It is not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how the
strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done
better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena,
whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives
valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, because there
is no effort without error or shortcoming, but who knows the great
enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself for a worthy
cause; who, at the best, knows, in the end, the triumph of high
achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while
daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid
souls who knew neither victory nor defeat.”
-Theodore Roosevelt

“I can see people who have been exposed to violence from across the room. That’s my
-Monty Roberts

In Brazil, like much of Latin America, horses are often trained by traditional methods
involving force. Training horses in the traditional method involves using an authoritative
and forceful leadership style to “break” the horse.

Translated to the work-world, this style recalls the hierarchical, top-down command and
control leadership style useful in the manufacturing age, but it does little to engender
trust, collaboration, and motivation in today’s age of information.

This approach has been replaced by leadership models that engender trust and help
followers find their motivation, styles like charismatic leadership, situational leadership,
servant leadership and transformational leadership. The market is crowded with
leadership theories, each proclaiming their benefits and respective values.

A good example of transformational leadership – the ability of a leader to inspire
followers – can be seen in Monty’s Join-Up process, where the horse is transformed
from flight animal to trusting partner.

There is research to support how transformational leaders impact followers. According
to authors Bass and Riggio (2006), there are four components to transformational
leadership, what they call the four I’s:

1. Idealized Influence: leaders are seen as a role model, “walking the talk,” and
are admired by others who pay attention to what the leaders do.

2. Inspirational Motivation: leaders inspire and motivate followers. Their sense of
charisma lifts followers to a high performance expectation and to high levels of

3. Individualized Consideration: leaders authentically care about others, focusing
on followers’ needs and feelings.

4. Intellectual Stimulation: leaders challenge followers’ toward higher levels of
performance, expanding their sense of personal capabilities.

Research shows that transformational leaders are anything but “soft”; groups led by
transformational leaders have higher levels of engagement, performance outcomes and
motivation than groups led by other types of leaders (Bass and Riggio, 2006).

The key that transformational leadership holds to increasing motivation is the
combination of positive expectations and personal challenge.

Monty often says, “I don’t want my students to be as good as me, I want them to be
better than I am.”

This exemplifies Monty’s transformational leadership approach, inspiring horses and
humans to strive beyond complacency, to exceed their normal levels of performance
and rise to the occasion because they are encouraged and challenged.






How do you achieve a light, responsive mouth?

January 27th, 2015


Does Monty have a formula about how to achieve a light responsive mouth? Does he start riding in a halter, if so how long before he starts introducing a bit and would he still ride with the halter as well as a back up? Which bit does he start with? Which bits does he progress with and how much would he expect of a youngster at each stage of training the stop and turns and what to do if they start to lean on the bit? How much does ground work flexion and long-reining help with lightness and are there negative effects of starting off straight away in a strong bit, such as a Pelham, which would achieve quicker results?


Alice G., UK



The process of causing a horse to accept the bit and bridle is known, in most of the horse world, as “mouthing” the horse. I have heard the procedure called “bit-ting” the horse, “bitting up” the horse and “schooling to the bit and bridle.” Whatever term you use for this procedure, it is causing the horse to accept communication from the hands of the rider through the reins, and ultimately the bit.

I call mouthing one of the most important procedures where training the young horse is concerned. It is critical to cause the horse to respond to cues from the reins and bit with the most subtle cues one can accomplish. The tissues over the bars of the horse’s mouth in the area of the corners are precious to any horseman. They should be treated with utmost respect as there is no second chance to create sensitivity once this area has been damaged during training.

We all want a sensitive mouth, but we are responsible for creating that sensitivity or destroying it. The bit is our partner in that effort. Regarding your question about ‘strong bits’ remember my constant admonition that there are no harsh bits. The only things that can be harsh about a bit are the hands that hold it. The well-trained horse with a properly fitted bit can have the reins tied on with fishing line and one should not have to worry about it breaking.  

To start the young horse, however, I use the Dually Halter and teach the horse to respond to light rein pressure off the training rings on the Dually. I am also a proponent of mouthing the horse before saddling or riding. The definition of mouthing is to accustom the horse to bit and bridle (usually a snaffle). It is to cause the horse to be comfortable with wearing this device and responsive to being guided by it. It might seem strange to the reader who has seen my demonstrations to grasp this concept. I do not see the horses used in my demonstrations until the time of the event.

With a few exceptions, I don’t even know who owns them or where they come from. I want as much separation between myself and the horse as I can possibly have. This means that I would consider it inappropriate to even give instructions to the owner regarding mouthing.

To be given the chance to mouth a young horse before the start of saddling, bridling and riding is a high priority for me (outside of the parameters of a demonstration). For the past 40 years or so, I have taken every opportunity to acquaint the horse to the bit, bridle and reins before saddling and riding.

I am a strong advocate for using “black iron bits.” These were the normal bits for thousands of years before the advent of stainless steel. I find that horses prefer black iron and perform better with it than stainless steel. I further recommend that the black iron bit has copper inlaid in the mouthpiece. The combination of black iron and copper seems to me to be preferred by virtually every horse I work with.

I recommend that you accustom the horse to the surcingle, which can be accomplished in the round pen or even in a box stall. Once the horse can cope with the surcingle comfortably, I begin the process of mouthing. You should always take care not to have protrusions from the walls or fences of the enclosure you use for mouthing.

I will place a black iron snaffle with a brow band headstall appropriately on the horse’s head. You don’t need to have riding reins on the bit as a pair of side reins are used instead. The bit should sit in the horse’s mouth so that it effects a slight smile on the horse. Once the bit is touching the corners of the horse’s mouth, the handler should adjust it upward until it is about one-sixteenth of an inch higher than the corners would be in a natural state.

I suggest that the side reins be adjusted quite loosely at first. I recommend that the handler loose lunge the young horse in the round pen in sessions approximating 15 to 20 minutes in length. You can execute this event using all three natural gaits of the horse. It should be noted that exhaustion is not a part of training and you should be careful to monitor the horse’s comfort throughout the procedure.

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After the horse has accepted the surcingle and the snaffle bit with loose side reins, the handler should then begin a process of shortening the side reins until the horse is nodding off the bit. Take care not to tighten before the horse is fully comfortable as he could object to the tension and potentially suffer injury by rearing or acting out in another negative fashion.

The side reins should be equipped with elastic to allow the horse a flexible tension and not a solid one. The handler might continue to loose lunge, creating impulsion by simply tossing a light driving line behind the horse to move him forward. Be sure the environment is safe. One should study the footing and the walls closely so as not to create an environment that could be dangerous for your animal.

After two to three sessions, you can often introduce driving lines using the side rings on the surcingle at approximately the same position where a rider’s knee might be. The handler should always be sensitive to how much work the young horse is doing and how he is accepting that work.

I recommend that mouthing should take place for 10 to 12 sessions before saddling and riding. The knowing handler will vary the length of time according to the needs of the horse. The nervous, fractious animal should be mouthed for a greater number of sessions than the quiet, cooperative one.

It is extremely important to use effective safety measures, only advancing when your equine student is fully prepared for it. I have provided an illustration here so that you can see each feature of the mouthing apparatus.

Many horsemen ask me how I suggest handling the horse that tosses his head while being rid-den and I tell them that this mouthing procedure can be employed. It is most likely that a bad set of hands has caused this problem. I have found it effective to allow the horse to toss his head, simply meeting the side reins and stretching the elastics.  

Normally, horses will stop the head tossing after four or five sessions as recommended in this section. I have used this method of mouthing a horse for well over 50 years now and have found it to be most effective. When I finally saddle and ride the animal schooled in this fashion, it is amazing how cooperative he is with his turns, stops and reining back.

~ Monty 

Monty’s Points:

I recommend the mouthing process whenever it is possible:

» Start mouthing in a round pen.

» Use a black iron bit with copper inlay.

» Use a long line with a surcingle and side reins.

» Use side reins with elastic.

» Do 10 to 12 sessions of mouthing before riding.

» Limit mouthing sessions to 20 minutes or less.

» Mouthing procedures can be used for horses that toss their heads.

» Safety is critical. Advance only when your equine student is ready.

GO TO: From From My Hands to Yours, Chapter 3 Building Trust  


Episode 32: Trainer Chris Morris, Horse Sense for Leaders author Dr. Sue Cain

January 21st, 2015

horse sense for leaders

English trainer Chris Morris talks about how he helps remedial horses and author Dr. Sue Cain talks about her new book Horse Sense for Leaders based on Monty Roberts’ concepts of Trust-based Leadership.  This week’s tip features Lyndsey White with 10 Facts about this important piece of riding gear. Listen in…

Horsemanship Radio Episode 32 by Index Fund Advisors IFA.com 


ep 32 pic 2