John Brazil, Jr., World Champion Winner of 20 Working Cow Horse Classes

January 12th, 2017

Solvang, January 9, 2017

From Monty Roberts:

Recently, because I am working on my second autobiography, Pat and I have been revisiting memories from my years of professional competition in the event called working cow horse. This competition originated in Spain and Portugal and tested the ability of finely trained horses to control cattle on ranches and open ranges. The Spaniards brought their horses and their horsemanship to the Western United States where they conducted popular competitions calling their four-legged partners, Working Cow Horses.

I began my competitive life at the age of four and was working cattle on horseback as far back as 1940. The working cow horse was celebrated at the largest horse shows in the Western United States. Salinas, California where Pat and I were born, hosted the largest of these competitions throughout the 1940s and into the 1950s.

In 1948 I clearly recall the first time I watched John Brazil Jr. competing on the competition grounds where I was born and raised. John won all three of the categories competed for in that particular year. John, a small man of Portuguese decent, was immediately a hero for me. He rode as if he was part of the horse. Few riders could match his skills at high speed or with the precise maneuvers required.

John had been working for Cutter Laboratories, a West coast company experimenting with animal vaccines. John’s job was handling cattle for them. Simultaneously, W.D. Dana, owner of the Empire State Building in New York City contacted John. He indicated that John had been recommended to him, as he had purchased a cattle ranch near Healdsburg, California. Mr. Dana agreed with John that he could continue to compete on horses purchased by Mr. Dana for the purpose of working cattle. John remained the trainer for Mr. Dana until his death in 1964. At that time a dispersal sale of the Dana horses allowed me to purchase one of John’s young prospects, a mare named Night Mist. I was able to win two world championships on Night Mist and amassed a record of 31 straight victories. Night Mist was one of my most successful working cow horses and is buried here on Flag Is Up Farms.

One segment of the working cow horse competition is called reining, which included flying lead changes and, while running at top speed, sliding stops and spins to illustrate the horse’s sensitive mouth and athletic ability. A second segment of the competition is called (herd work) cutting and requires the horse to control a single bovine animal by keeping it from returning to the herd. The third and final segment is to control a single bovine animal as if it was on the open ranges. The reined cow horse today still competes with one of the widest range of skills of any of the horse competitions.

After the Second World War and entering the 1950s, I began to compete with horsemen at the apex of the working cow horse division. Pat and I became close friends of John Brazil and his wife, Laurie beginning in the mid-1950s. I was in competition with John 20-30 times per year throughout my 20-year career as a professional schooling and showing the working cow horse.

While I competed in a wide range of disciplines, John Brazil specialized in the working cow horse and competed solely in that discipline.

Throughout my professional life in competition I met individuals who had dozens of different personalities and acted with a variety when it came to integrity. John Brazil was and is the epitome of a gentleman. The world of horse competitions is rife with people who would criticize another’s work to judges or anyone who might be inclined to listen. I never knew John Brazil to criticize anyone. This man inspired me to take on the promise to myself that I would never openly criticize another horseman by name in public. I believe this attitude has served me well.

My books, tours travels and executing the decisions I made for my career post-competition retirement, have consumed my life for the past 28 years. About a year ago, while conversing with Al Dunning, a mutual friend and speaking of great horsemen, Al told me that John Brazil at 95 was still alive, healthy and working with his horses. I asked Pat to discover contacts for John and said I wanted to go wherever he now lived and have a good visit. She made arrangements to drive the eight hours to Geyserville, California, a small village in the heart of the northern California wine country.

I must say I have to thank Pat for driving every mile of the 16-hour round trip, but she agrees that it was well worth the effort. Not only did we find John Brazil alive and well, but also his wife, Laurie was right there with him. John was born in 1922 and served with the US armed forces in WW II. John and Laurie were married in 1946 and recently celebrated their 70th anniversary. John is still working with about 10 head of horses and caring for the 20 or so head of cattle he uses for his working cow horses. The four of us visited for five to six hours, finishing with dinner at their favorite restaurant in Geyserville.

In going through John’s stable, it was clear that it might be difficult to place a large Western saddle on the back of these horses. He agreed that in the last several years he used a pulley device he designed and made himself suspended from the rafters. With his invention he could attach his saddle at the level of his waist and then elevate the saddle so he could place it on the back of the horse without having to lift the weight. John then explained to Pat and I that after watching our videos, he has trained his horses to the mounting block, which he now admits to using even though he used it for about five years before admitting that!

John Brazil, Jr. (left), and Monty Roberts (right)

John Brazil, Jr. (left), and Monty Roberts (right)

My goal is to give John Brazil as much credit as I can for influencing me to act in a gentlemanly fashion to those I deal with, whether in the horse business or simply in life itself. Today’s forms of communication are often filled with slanderous remarks toward one another, criticisms of the opinions of our fellow man or just plain being rude for the sake of it. If I were in charge of finding a person who was best suited to molding the character of the next generation, John Brazil Jr. would be my choice.

I have spoken of and written about my eight world championships in the working cow horse discipline. John Brazil won 20 world championships in the working cow horse division. He is humble to the extent that very few people know of him, which is a shame really, but it is truly the story of John Brazil. John has chosen not to be a public figure. At 82, I only hope that I can use John’s influence to encourage the next generation to appreciate the value of integrity, honesty and a respect for our fellow man.

 

 

 

 

Monty Roberts Adds Demonstration Dates in Germany

January 10th, 2017
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
 
Media Contact: Debbie Loucks
Monty and Pat Roberts, Inc./Join-Up® International
(949) 632-1856

Monty Roberts has announced this year’s dates in Germany which are: 

March 31, 2017 Monty Roberts Germany Tour in Munich

April 9, 2017 Monty Roberts Germany Tour in Redefin

April 20, 2017 Monty Roberts Germany Tour in Dorsten

April 22, 2017 Monty Roberts Germany Tour in Alsfeld
 
In the United Kingdom, Roberts will be demonstrating again in March leading up to the dates in Germany. The locations will be announced at http://www.montyroberts.com/ab_about_monty_calendar/see-monty/
 
Roberts’ first public demonstrations were in the United States beginning in 1986. They were limited to two or three public demonstrations per year. It was April of 1989 when he met Her Majesty, the Queen. At the conclusion of one week’s work at Windsor Castle, Her Majesty arranged for 21 cities and 98 horses that were added to the 23 horses Roberts worked with at Windsor in a five-day period of time. The total on the trip was 121 horses.

A recent count Roberts’ overall statistics read like this:

27 years
10,800 horses
2,763 public events
2.3 million miles
3.6 million attendees
41 countries
2,950 untrained horses (first saddle and first rider)
2,750 non-loaders
5,100 random remedial horses
Cancellations – zero
Illnesses – zero
 

Launch of Groundbreaking Methods to Reduce Violence

January 10th, 2017

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Media Contact: Debbie Loucks for Monty and Pat Roberts, Inc./Join-Up® International
(949) 632-1856 debbie@montyroberts.com 
Katie Cunningham Lead-Up International katie@join-up.org 
 
In 2017, Lead-Up International will officially launch in Solvang, California, at Flag Is Up Farms during the week of February 13. Lead-Up International, partner of Monty Roberts’ Join-Up International, recently announced that the journal ‘Human Animal Interaction Bulletin’ has published a report by Dr. Judith Gibbons and team with scientific evidence of reduced violence and abuse toward horses and people through the Lead-Up Program.  Lead-Up International is an original and compelling Leadership Program that aims to create peaceful leaders through workshops with horses. 

The Lead-Up program is based around workshops with horses in which participants are introduced to humane ways of handling and interacting with horses. Participants discover non-violence and non-aggression for themselves through interactions with horses and principally through the experience of Join-Up® with a horse, the non-violent training system designed by Monty Roberts author of The Man Who Listens to Horses. Convinced there must be a more humane and effective system to train horses Monty created Join-Up, a consistent set of principles based on the horse’s inherent body language and herd-behavior. The result of Join-Up is a willing partnership based on mutual respect and trust.
Roberts has been recognized by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II who acknowledged his work by honoring him with the Royal Victorian Order and who is also Patron of Join-Up International, the 501 c 3 non-profit formed to educate people in these concepts. The Queen has also recognized Catherine Cunningham, Founder of Lead-Up International for her efforts to reduce violence in Guatemala. Queen Elizabeth is following the development of this program for the humane treatment of animals and trust based relationships with humans.

“The Lead-Up Program helps participants learn how to improve their self-awareness and regulate their body language and emotions through specialized interactions with horses and specifically through the embodied experience of Join-Up. Participants intrinsically learn that violence is not necessary and that they can be powerful yet peaceful leaders through self-awareness and better control of body language and emotions,” said Katie Cunningham, Founder, lifelong horsewoman and promoter of equine and human welfare.

The Lead-Up team has been developing the program since 2012 and has partnered with global organizations and local NGOs in Guatemala who have expressed the growing need to reduce violence in the communities they serve. Their team is international and varied in their talents but have in common the desire to take these groundbreaking methods to the world. 
February 10-12, the Horse Sense and Healing program of Join-Up International will be again providing an experiential clinic for Veterans and First Responders exposed to traumatic stress. Join-Up International is a California non-profit organization (tax ID 77-0459889) founded by world-renowned horse trainer Monty Roberts. Join-Up is dedicated to promoting gentle, effective alternatives to violence and force in both equine and human relationships. Roberts’ unique and gentle method of using the horse’s own language to achieve breakthrough results is revolutionary, but not magical. Communication is a gift all have and it can be practiced and developed.

“My goal is to leave the world a better place than I found it for horses and for people, too.”—Monty Roberts

Join-Up International seeks to foster the adoption of skills among a greater audience, insuring their preservation for generations to come. Join-Up concepts have helped abused women and children, and their abusers, too, as well as special needs children, youth at risk, prison inmates, foster families, children and adults with a history of abuse and war veterans.

Lead-Up International is seeking Founding Members to help launch a broader campaign to share these workshops with more organizations, people and horses. For more information about the program or to schedule a presentation, write to katie@join-up.org

Meet Monty’s Team at Equine Affaire and Equus Film Festival, NYC

November 8th, 2016
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
 
Media Contact: Debbie Loucks
(949) 632-1856
 
 
Meet Monty’s Team at Equine Affaire and EQUUS Film Festival, NYC 
 
November 8, 2016 Solvang, California: This week, Monty Roberts’ team of Debbie Roberts Loucks and Dr. Susan Cain will be heading to Equine Affaire November 10 to 13 at the EASTERN STATES EXPOSITION W. SPRINGFIELD, MA http://equineaffaire.com/events/massachusetts/.  They are offering Booth Specials, at booth # 2918 located in the Mallary building. 
 
They will be giving away free DVDs with sign-ups or renewal subscriptions to Monty’s Equus Online University, interactive online video lessons. Monty has produced over 425 lessons with a new lesson added each week to the Equus Online University. This is the definitive learning tool for violence-free horse training. Come and sign a big card to Monty, too.
 
Susan Cain, PhD will present on Horse Sense for Leaders: How to Build Trust-Based Relationships, an inspired work she developed with the assistance of Monty Roberts. See all of Dr. Cain’s presentations here: http://equineaffaire.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/16_ma_schedule_102016.pdf 
 
The following week, Monty’s media entries will be judged at the EQUUS FILM FESTIVAL, November 17-20, 2016 at the Village East Cinema in New York City. The festival is the first event of its kind dedicated to equestrian-themed film, fine art and authors. See more about Monty’s entries on page 26 here: 
 
Debbie Roberts Loucks is host of Horsemanship Radio and will be seeking interviews for the podcast at both events. Horsemanship Radio is an online radio show (podcast) dedicated to the exploration of good horsemanship throughout the world. Hosted by Debbie Roberts Loucks (Monty Roberts’ Daughter) the show includes segments, tips & interviews exploring good horsemanship. www.HorsemanshipRadio.com is a part of the Horse Radio Network. 
 
Monty Roberts, renowned horse gentler, is on tour in England appearing on November 12 at Your Horse Live http://www.yourhorselive.co.uk/what-s-on/evening-performance
 
For more information, email admin@montyroberts.com or call 805-688-6288 Pacific Standard Time.

The Most Positive Horse Forum is on Equus Online University

October 20th, 2016

October 19, 2016 Solvang, California: When Monty Roberts was invited by Queen Elizabeth II in 1989 to demonstrate his understanding of horsemanship, horse training’s 6000 year old tradition was forever changed. Roberts had cracked the code on the communication system horses used to survive for millions of years before humans had domesticated them. Roberts demonstrated concepts that drew a line at pain in training and his life’s goal is to leave the world a better place for horses and for people, too.

Roberts and his team developed the first of its kind Equus Online University; an interactive online lesson site that is already being considered the most effective educational tool for horsemen on the web. Launching in 2009 and adding one new video lesson per week has now firmly established the learning system as the most comprehensive globally. It was important to Roberts to not only quantify the language of the horses he calls Equus, but also to share its interpretation with lessons from world renowned horse persons such as Steffan Peters and Jan Ebeling from dressage, Will Simpson, Olympic jumping and Phillip Ralls from Western Reining.

Since launching, Monty Roberts, Richard Winters, Charlotte Bredahl-Baker, Martin Clunes (Doc Martin), Isabella Wolf, Kelly Marks and many more have contributed their knowledge of horsemanship. Considered the Rosetta Stone of the horse language, one of gestures, like signing for the deaf, online lessons available 24/7 have contributed greatly to the encouragement and study of non-violent training of horses, the flight animal, said Roberts. He wants the global impact to spread in his lifetime and encourages interested persons to log on at http://montyrobertsuniversity.com/library to redeem a free daypass.

As part of the learning support, Equus Online’s Forum creates a safe place to ask questions and get encouragement from credentialed instructors who have studied Monty’s lessons for years. And Monty just launched a new version of the Forum this month which is another level of support.

  • Emojis and emoticons have been added as well as text edits and active links
  • Email notifications are available on people’s posts so students can choose to subscribe to a post, and be notified of any comments on that post

Debbie Roberts-Loucks, Monty’s daughter, spearheaded the development, and shared, “We are excited to be a part of the growing population who love their horses. The 425+ lessons are in categories of Ground Work, from foundational to Advanced, and Ridden Work, from foundational to problem solving. Adding to that, there is a this terrific forum and over 600 Questions and Answers from Monty with a handy search bar.”

Monty Roberts’ Upcoming Clinic Dates in the United Kingdom

October 18th, 2016

October 19, 2016 Solvang, California: Monty Roberts and his team will be demonstrating on these dates and locations:

October 21st Hartpury Gloucester, October 26th Surrey, October 29th Devon, November 3rd East Yorkshire, and November 5th Lincolnshire. Ticket info: http://www.montyroberts.com/ab_about_monty_calendar/see-monty/

Monty is adding an Evening Performance to his Living Legend Tour on Saturday 12th November 6.30pm – 9.30pm. The world’s greatest Horse Gentler, Monty Roberts, will be at Your Horse Live this November for an exciting evening performance to share his techniques which have produced multiple world champion horses as well as having helped thousands of troubled horses and owners around the globe. Whether a leisure rider or a professional, attendees can learn the secrets of his success. http://www.yourhorselive.co.uk/what-s-on/evening-performance

Monty will be working alongside his longest standing instructor, Kelly Marks, and together they’ll be demonstrating their practical techniques to help your horse with clipping, loading, mounting, bucking and numerous other ground and ridden challenges.

Roberts’ first public demonstrations were in the United States beginning in 1986. They were limited to two or three public demonstrations per year. It was April of 1989 that he was invited by Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II to demonstrate at Windsor Castle. At the conclusion of one week’s work, Her Majesty arranged for 21 cities and 98 horses more, added to the 23 horses Roberts worked with at Windsor in a five-day period of time. The total on the trip was 121 horses.
To date, Roberts’ overall statistics read like this:

27 years
10,800 horses
2,764 public events
2.3 million miles
3.6 million attendees
41 countries
2,951 untrained horses (first saddle and first rider)
2,752 non-loaders
5,100 random remedial horses
Cancellations – zero
Illnesses – zero

Monty Roberts’ Upcoming Clinic Dates in California and the UK

September 13th, 2016
clippers_2
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
 
Media Contact: Debbie Loucks
Monty and Pat Roberts, Inc./Join-Up® International
(949) 632-1856

August 29, 2016, Solvang, California: Monty Roberts and his professional team teaches RIDING WITH RESPECT; striving for partnership and communication with your horse through non-violent training. This year’s dates are September 24-25. More information can be found here: http://www.montyroberts.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/RwR_Sept2016.pdf
 
This is a unique opportunity to attend a ridden clinic at Flag Is Up Farms in Solvang, California. The clinic consists of two days of group training for you and your horse. Instruction will be tailored to meet your level of riding. All disciplines and types of horses are welcome; however, if you want to bring a young horse, we suggest you have had 60 plus days of ridden training prior to the clinic. Maximum 10 people with horses. A limited number of our Willing Partners™ horses are available to ride in the clinic for an additional fee. Lunch is included. Riding with Respect is Saturday/Sunday, September 24-25 • $600/weekend or $350/day with your own horse • $900/weekend or $450/day with a Willing Partners™ horse http://www.montyroberts.com/horses/willing-partners-program/  Email info@montyroberts.com or Call 805-688-6288
 
In the United Kingdom, Roberts will be demonstrating on these dates and locations:

October 15th in Lancashire, October 21st Hartpury Gloucester, October 26th Surrey, October 29th Devon, November 3rd East Yorkshire, and November 5th Lincolnshire. Ticket info: http://www.montyroberts.com/ab_about_monty_calendar/see-monty/

Roberts’ first public demonstrations were in the United States beginning in 1986. They were limited to two or three public demonstrations per year. It was April of 1989 when he met Her Majesty, the Queen. At the conclusion of one week’s work at Windsor Castle, Her Majesty arranged for 21 cities and 98 horses that were added to the 23 horses Roberts worked with at Windsor in a five-day period of time. The total on the trip was 121 horses.

To date, Roberts’ overall statistics read like this:

27 years
10,800 horses
2,763 public events
2.3 million miles
3.6 million attendees
41 countries
2,950 untrained horses (first saddle and first rider)
2,750 non-loaders
5,100 random remedial horses
Cancellations – zero
Illnesses – zero
 
###

Science Confirms It: Join-Up® is Gentle on Horses

September 13th, 2016
photo-04-06-2016-16-24-05
A paper titled “Monty Roberts’ public demonstrations: Preliminary report on the heart rate and heart rate variability of horses undergoing training during live audience events” has been accepted for publication in the international journal “Animals.”

“Animals” is an international and interdisciplinary scholarly open access journal concerned with publishing high quality scientific papers within the field of ‘animals’, including zoology, ethnozoology, animal science, animal ethics and animal welfare. In particular, this journal showcases scientific study describing animals’ interactions with the outside world, including humans. “Animals” is a member of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) and takes the responsibility to enforce a rigorous peer-review together with strict ethical policies and standards to ensure the addition of high quality scientific works to the field of scholarly publication.

This new paper describes the opportunistic collection and analysis of heart rate (HR; beat-to-beat intervals) and heart rate variability (HRV) of 10 horses being trained during Monty Roberts’ public demonstrations within the United Kingdom and is authored by Loni Loftus, Kelly Marks, Rosie Jones-McVey, Jose L. Gonzales and Dr. Veronica L. Fowler (lead author).

Key findings from the study include:

• Stress responses recorded in this study were comparable (e.g. when compared to horses undergoing foundation training) or more favorable (e.g. when compared to novel object tests, handling tests or horses anticipating competition) to previously reported studies in the literature. 
• Stress responses during public demonstrations were proportional to low-moderate exercise intensities described in other training methods where horses were under similar levels of physiological stress as reported in literature.
• The stress responses during a specific training method known as “Join-Up®” were comparable to other methods of training used by Monty Roberts during public demonstrations, and were consistent with exercise intensity (physiological stress). There was no evidence that Join-Up® altered HR and HRV in a way to suggest that this training method presents the horse with psychological or physical stressors which would negatively affect welfare. 
• There was preliminary evidence that training undertaken in a roundpen, including Join-Up® controls or inhibits the flight response (limits the fear response). 


In conclusion, training of horses during public demonstrations is a mild stressor for horses. However the stress responses observed within this study were comparable or less to those previously reported in the literature for horses being trained outside of public audience events and was indicative of exercise at low-moderate intensity (physiological stress), rather than psychological stress. 

The full paper will be available open access within 10 days.

###

612 Questions You Asked Monty Roberts

July 29th, 2016

July 29, 2016 Solvang, California: Monty Roberts is back from touring the world this spring, helping owners and horses face their fears and learn to trust each other. When given the chance, we sat down with Roberts to hear what advice he had for students who hope to understand horse behavior a little better.

Turns out that Monty and Pat Roberts, owners of Flag Is Up Farms, are celebrating their 50th year of gentle horse training in their Solvang, California location. As we were preparing for this interview, Roberts had been preparing to greet a variety students throughout the summer of courses, including a group of Brazilians. Much of the work is hands-on training like the Gentling Wild Horses course and Join-Up, using the methods Monty discovered while still a teenager in Nevada watching mustang herds interact. The students will get a rare look at Monty Roberts’ lifetime of knowledge and experience, but we first wanted to ask how people who couldn’t afford to travel to and participate in courses would ever be able to learn what he knows.

Monty’s Special Training Week is August 1st to 5th, where he works with a variety of horses. Students will observe how Monty Roberts’ concepts work with problem horses, young horses and unhanded horses, across all breeds and many disciplines. Following this first week, students will then participate in the Join-Up® Course followed by the Long Lining Course to experience how communication with horses in the round pen happens, hands-on. Included in the courses is a subscription to Monty’s Equus Online University. This online learning tool will support the continuing education in Monty’s methods.

What we hadn’t anticipated was that Monty already had a plan for people who could not journey to him to learn. His answer came in the form of a question, “Have you seen what I created for the world to have in perpetuity? Since 2004 I have been answering questions from horse owners, trainers and lovers as they come to me. Once per week I publish my answers for anyone one who wants to learn, as my gift to the horse world.”

While we were aware of Roberts’ Equus Online University, we admitted to him that we hadn’t added up the weekly questions and Monty’s answers to learn that he already had a library of over 612 nuggets of knowledge based on a lifetime of training championship horses. This was the wealth of knowledge we had hoped to share with you, and more. There is even a free Daypass allowing us to log on and test ride the lessons. Best of all, the 612 questions and Monty’s answers do not require paid access. As Monty said, they are his gift to those wishing to learn gentler, more humane ways to train horses. Access to the Equus Online University can be found here: www.MontyRobertsUniversity.com/library

The courses are:

August 1–5, 2016 Monty’s Special Training at Flag Is Up Farms, California USA

Aug 22–2 Sep Gentling Wild Horses course at Flag Is Up Farm, California USA

And more: http://www.montyroberts.com/ab_about_monty_calendar/see-monty/

Email info@montyroberts.com or Call 805-688-6288

Monty Roberts Announces ‘Riding with Respect’ Dates

July 29th, 2016

July 29, 2016 Solvang, California: Monty Roberts’ professional team teaches RIDING WITH RESPECT; striving for partnership and communication with your horse through non-violent training. This year’s dates are September 24-25. More information can be found here: http://www.montyroberts.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/RwR_Sept2016.pdf

This is a unique opportunity to attend a ridden clinic at Flag Is Up Farms. The clinic consists of two days of group training for you and your horse. Instruction will be tailored to meet your level of riding. All disciplines and types of horses are welcome; however, if you want to bring a young horse, we suggest you have had 60 plus days of ridden training prior to the clinic.

Maximum 10 people with horses. A limited number of our Willing Partners™ horses are available to ride in the clinic for an additional fee. Lunch is included.

Riding with Respect is Saturday/Sunday, September 24-25

$600/weekend or $350/day with your own horse

$900/weekend or $450/day with a Willing Partners™ horse http://www.montyroberts.com/horses/willing-partners-program/

Email info@montyroberts.com or Call 805-688-6288