Enjoy a free excerpt from the new book on Building Trust-Based Relationships, Inspired by the Work of Horse Whisperer and New York Times Best Selling Author Monty Roberts. Click here to read the excerpt: http://www.montyroberts.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/Excerpt-Flier.pdf
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To do a dissertation on the whip in racing, I feel the first thing a horseman should say is, “It does not matter whether it’s racing or any other discipline, the whip is the whip.”
Equus, the flight animal, is about 50 million years old. If you accept the discovery by Dr. Louis Leakey of Lucy in the Olduvai Gorge, then humans are approximately 3.2 million years old. We must conclude then that horses got along just fine without human beings for 47 million years. We are quick, however, to use the term “problem horse,” a quite pompous statement from a species so junior. (more…)
Blushing ET was brought to Flag Is Up Farms in November of 1997. He was a beautiful, athletic, chestnut Thoroughbred who had been banned from the track due to a violent phobia against starting gates, and a deep-seated distrust of humans. I was sure that I would be able to get him back to Santa Anita for the start of the racing season on December 26. When I began to work with him, I realized that I was dealing with a new dimension in troubled horses.
In 1992, I designed a piece of equipment to help the horse by protecting his vulnerable areas. It is a double-carpeted blanket that fits behind the saddle and drapes over the hips down to the hocks. The primary objective was to cushion the effect of rails that run along the inside walls of the starting gates. These are protrusions found in all gates designed to protect the feet and the legs of the jockeys. The blanket protects the sensitive sides of the horse from the annoying stimulation of the rails. A ring is attached to the rear of the blanket into which a rope is snapped. This allows an attendant to pull the blanket off as the horse leaves the gates. (more…)
Excerpt from Chapter 9 of Monty’s textbook, From My Hands to Yours
To obtain your own copy of Monty’s textbook, please CLICK HERE.
Traditionally, in the extrinsic method of training, a horse is put into a starting gate with a few others he is going to compete against. Next, a button is pushed which causes the gates to fly open, thereby freeing the horses to run forward. Often, the trainer encourages the horse by hitting him on the hips or the hocks the moment the gates are released. The jockey might use both vocal and physical “persuasion” to press the horse forward into immediate flight.
Even if you have no connection with racing, you can still benefit greatly from this section on the behavior of horses when we ask them to habituate to the starting gates, because these principles are applicable to equine behavior in all disciplines, including leisure riding. (more…)