Archive for the ‘Twitter’ Category


Champion Trainer Gai Waterhouse Calls on Monty

Wednesday, August 21st, 2013

Solvang, CA (August 21, 2013) –  Race trainer Gai Waterhouse will utilize the skills of the world’s most famous horse whisperer in her attempts to show Australian punters “something very special” in the spring with her high profile import Carlton House.

Waterhouse confirmed on her website that Carlton House is being readied to resume in the Group III Tramway (1400m) at Randwick on September 7, 2013, where the six-year-old will carry 59kg under the set weights and penalties conditions of the race.

Waterhouse is determined to thoroughly help this son of Street Cry, following the counsel of Her Majesty to request American horse whisperer Monty Roberts to Australia to work with Carlton House as the trainer tries to improve his starting stalls manners.

“Monty Roberts, the great horse whisperer is coming to Sydney to assist with Carlton House in an attempt to get the absolute best out of him because his best is something very special,” Waterhouse said.

“Everyone at Tulloch Lodge is very much looking forward to the magician gracing our stable.”

“Monty is one of the best men one could possibly call upon when it comes to assisting a horse who has barrier problems.

“…he is very effective at what he does. I have complete faith in the magic ways of Monty Roberts.”

Roberts has worked with the Royal Family’s horses since 1989. In 2011 he was privately honored when made an honorary Member of the Royal Victorian Order by the Queen for service to the Royal Family and Her Majesty.

In 1989, the Queen Mother was reduced to tears after Roberts managed to tame her wildest horse. Roberts has been involved with some aspects of the monarchy’s horses ever since.


How to Prepare Your Horse for the Farrier

Tuesday, February 26th, 2013


My young horse, who is 10 months old, needs farrier attention yet it seems to me that he is too young for Join-Up. What steps should I take before bringing in my farrier? Kerry Milford

Monty’s Answer:

Thank you for your timely question. This week we have added a sixth farrier lesson to my Equus Online University. Students should ask their farriers to watch along with them as they learn from world renowned farrier Ada Gates showing us how she achieves a balanced foot and objective farriery. Farriers will appreciate that these owners are willing to prepare their horses for the farrier’s visit.


I remember, as a child, my father telling me that he had never been to a dentist and that he hated the thought of ever having to go. I remember my first visit vividly. I was totally unprepared, scared to death, and hated every minute of it. By the time our children made their first visit to the dentist, times had changed dramatically, and our family dentist was willing to take the time for a mock visit, where an assistant explained to the children the value of dentistry, and educated them about the great lengths taken to keep it pain free.

Consequently, our children have never feared the dentist, and our family has enjoyed a much improved dental environment than from my childhood. This is precisely the message that I believe to be applicable when preparing your horse to deal with the farrier. Let’s first address your question about Join-Up®.

Once your foal has been weaned and no longer calls out for his mother, he is ready for his Join-Up sessions. Accomplishing Join-Up is a great way for your foal to enter that period of his life when his mother is no longer a factor. Properly done, it will promote an understanding between weanling and human that will be beneficial lifelong. I recommend two or three Join-Up sessions on consecutive days. Be gentle and patient with foals as they are small and ultra-sensitive.

Doing too many Join-Up sessions at this stage is usually counterproductive. It is a little like often telling a child the same story; the foal will come to resent it and exhibit gestures of anger. Prudently accomplished, two or three Join-Up sessions will allow you to live by the concepts of Join-Up throughout the relationship with your horse.

The post Join-Up work with the Dually halter should proceed until you achieve strong signs of willingness and relaxation. Then, you can move on to accomplish other goals. The Dually is very effective for schooling a horse to stand for the farrier or the veterinarian. The Dually halter will also help a horse load into a trailer, walk into a starting gate (starting stalls), walk through water, stand for mounting or any other handling problems.

Any person preparing a horse to be trimmed or shod by the farrier should take this responsibility seriously. I have seen extremely wild and fractious horses that require a week or more to be prepared for the farrier’s visit. During this training period the sessions might take up to an hour a day. Half-hour sessions twice a day are not a bad idea.

In every country I have visited, I have found that some people believe that the farrier can educate the horse himself when it comes to standing and behaving while the footwork is done. This is an unacceptable mind-set. A farrier is a professional and should be treated as such. His expertise is to care for your horse’s feet, not to train him. While it is true that some farriers are also good horsemen and quite capable of doing the training, most horse owners do not plan to pay the farrier for training services.

The farrier often feels that he is being taken advantage of and should not be required to take the time necessary to train. This can result in short tempers, and horses dealt with in an inappropriate way. While farriers are generally physically fit, muscular and capable of administering harsh treatment, should something like this occur, the blame should rest with the people securing their services, and not the farrier. Starting to prepare your horse to meet the farrier should preferably be done just after weaning, but you might inherit an older horse that has not had this education.

The following procedure is for yearlings and older horses. I would suggest that your student be introduced to the round pen and go through one, two or three Join-Ups on successive days. Once Join-Up has been achieved and your horse is perfectly willing to follow you with his adrenaline down and volunteers to stay with you comfortably, I suggest that you put your student though two or three daily sessions with the Dually halter.

Once that has been accomplished, you are well on your way to having your horse stand comfortably while you pick up and deal with his feet. To begin the farrier-schooling process, you should first rub your horse over, or spray him, with insect repellent. He finds it disconcerting if he has to stand on three legs and can’t stomp one to remove an insect. Once the repellent is applied, you can begin to pick each foot up repeatedly.

If, at this juncture, your horse is perfectly willing to give you one foot at a time and stand on the other three while you tap on the lifted foot and run a rasp over it, you are probably ready to give your farrier a call. If your student is reluctant, offers to kick, or refuses to allow you to tap or rasp the lifted foot, I suggest that you fabricate an “artificial arm,” which I’ll discuss later.


At this point, the good horseman should reflect on why a horse might react in this fashion. Each of us should quickly remember that the flight animal relies upon his legs to carry him to flee for survival. We should immediately understand that acting out violently toward the horse does nothing but convince him that we are predators and out to cause him harm. Delivering pain to your student is absolutely inappropriate.

To make an artificial arm like the one I use to train horses that are difficult for the farrier, you will need the following items:

1. An old rake or broom handle, cut 3 feet (approx. 1 meter) long, or a hardwood cane with a straight-handle grip, not curved grip.

2. One heavy-duty work glove.

3. One sleeve of a discarded sweatshirt or heavy work shirt.

4. One roll of electrical, gaffer or duct tape.

Place the glove over one end of the pole and fill it with straw or shavings. Slide the sleeve into place so that the cuff can be taped at the wrist portion of the work glove. Fill the sleeve with sponge, straw or shavings, and tape the upper end of the sleeve to secure the material inside. You should have approximately one foot (30 cm) of uncovered pole for easy handling.

I’m finding it fun for me, at this stage in my life, that innovative students, encouraged to keep open minds, are making some very interesting discoveries. Kelly Marks is the director of the original Monty Roberts courses in England. She brought Ian Vandenberghe to be an instructor in my concepts. Ian came up with an idea that is very helpful, particularly for small, female trainers. He concluded that if the arm had a stiff thumb on it, the handler could, at the appropriate moment, slide the thumb down behind the rear leg, stopping at the pastern.

Using the padded thumb, the handler could actually lift the hind leg without placing her own arm in jeopardy. I was on tour in England when I received a very difficult horse, with a strong desire to kick. The English team brought me Ian’s improved arm and I found it very effective.

If your equine student wants to kick the artificial arm, do not discourage him. Return the arm to the position that bothered the horse until the horse accepts it anywhere you want to put it.

Begin using the arm by massaging the body, shoulders and hips of the horse before proceeding to his legs. You can even rub the belly, and up between the hind legs. Spend considerable time in the area of the flank, as it will be often touched by the farrier’s shoulder. Bad habits can get started if the horse is still sensitive in the flank area before the leg-lifting procedures begin. Use the arm to massage all four legs until the horse is perfectly happy dealing with the procedure.

If you are dealing with an extremely flighty or dangerous horse, you may consider using an assistant so that one person can control the head while the other uses the arm. Remember, if the horse acts out or pulls his leg away from you, drop the leg immediately and then school with the Dually halter. This will not be necessary with most horses that are raised domestically, but it could be an advantage with mustangs or horses raised with little human contact.

Be alert and watch for improvement, and when you get it, remove the arm from that position at once and go to the other side of the horse to continue working. Your student will regard this as reward for not kicking, and is likely to quickly improve. With your student cooperating fully when you pick up all four feet and tap and rasp, ask your farrier if he has an old pair of farrier’s chaps that he can lend you, if you don’t own a pair yourself.

You need your horse to allow you to work on all four legs while you are wearing loose-fitting chaps, which may frighten him and present a problem when the farrier visits. Most horses become accustomed to chaps within five to ten minutes without a much difficulty. On the day the farrier arrives, your student should have the person who has been working with him present for his first farrier procedure.

You should choose a place for this work that the horse is familiar with and one where you have accomplished a large part of your schooling. It should be a safe enclosure with good lighting so that the farrier can see the feet clearly. Good footing should be provided, and a firm, level surface should be available so that the farrier can judge the action of the feet as the horse walks away from, and back toward, the farrier.

You should have the Dually halter on your student, and move through the procedure slowly so that he accepts the activity while staying calm and relaxed. Advise your farrier that you believe it is a good idea to pick the feet up and put them down a few times before working on the foot just to accustom the horse to the activity. It is also a good idea if the farrier picks up the foreleg briefly just before picking up the rear leg on that same side, to help prepare the horse for work on the hind foot.

If you find that you have done insufficient work to prepare your horse for the farrier, then stop the procedure at once and allow additional time for further schooling before reintroducing him to the farrier. Following these procedures, your farrier is likely to be a much happier member of your team than if he would be if required to deal with an unprepared horse. And just as important, your horse will be a much happier individual, likely to enjoy a lifetime of comfort with the farrier.

Anyone who owns a horse should read material written by notable farriers to better understand the importance of foot care. The old saying “No foot, no horse” is certainly valid. An owner should take the responsibility of being as informed as possible when it comes to this critical part of the horse’s anatomy. The informed owner will judge the farrier’s work by the angle, shape and health of the foot he helps to create, and not by the amount of material he removes.

Good luck with your foal’s training and let us know how it goes with all his new experiences.


What’s best for your horse’s feet?

Thursday, February 14th, 2013


There are so many opinions on what’s best for the horse’s hoof in magazines and from vets, farriers, clinicians and trainers. Whom do you believe? To settle differences in opinions, Ada Gates proposes a safe, measurable, efficient and consistent way to look at the hoof together and establish a scientific process of assessing the needs of your horse. By using objective measurements of the hoof, you can Join-Up with your farrier and ensure the best hoof care for your horse.

Ada’s Hoof Ruler Kit gives you a road map for assessing the feet, creating a balanced hoof, explaining what that means, and defining how to achieve it every time. The kit will teach you how to assess the horse’s feet, read the measurements, set a goal for your horse’s feet and attain that goal. A goal of balance. This is an invaluable tool that you can put to good use in an effort to get the best hoof care for your horse and Join-Up with your farrier.

This is a must have tool to ensure the hoof is consistently trimmed and balanced correctly. The Patton Hoof Kit was designed by Monty’s favorite farrier, Ada Gates, to demystify the trimming process and work with your farrier as a team by relying on numbers, not opinions.  The kit includes an article on hoof care with detailed instructions for balanced trimming, a how-to DVD, the Patton Hoof Ruler, and a marker pen.

It will help you:

  • Rely on numbers and measurement to create a road map for your horse’s hoof care
  • Achieve equal weight distribution in the foot by finding the center of the foot
  • Define the four equal quadrants on the bottom of hoof to produce an accurate, balanced trim
  • Learn from the step-by-step DVD with Monty Roberts and Ada Gates Patton

Equus Online University subscribers can purchase this product at a reduced price. Monty designed and developed his educational line of products to make it easy for you to learn from his videos, use his equipment and become a better partner with your horse. This product supports that process and is offered as an integral part of Monty’s concepts using the nature of Equus. Learn how to subscribe here to be eligible for the discount:


Gentle and Elegant: Monty Roberts and Charlotte Bredahl

Wednesday, February 13th, 2013

On March 16 and 17, 2013, two worlds of horsemanship will come together. Monty and Charlotte Bredahl will join forces and share how they stay true to their concepts of training championship horses. Learn how peak performance is achieved when discipline and cooperation come together. At this special workshop you’ll watch classic dressage and Western riding in harmony with the horse. Don’t miss it! Click here for more details:


Horse Sense and Healing: Join-Up with Veterans

Wednesday, July 4th, 2012

We have been working with veterans suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), over the course of five separate recent clinics. this year. The results are coming in and the outcome is fantastic. We have people laughing and getting back to a normal life who have been afflicted with PTSD for upwards of 35 years. All the way from Vietnam to Afghanistan, these injured warriors come home in a terrible state and need our help to get back to the civilized world. The horses are doing their work with incredible efficiency. The outcome has been so significant that I have decided to write a book about this work. I will tell you more about it in due time. For now, enjoy the extraordinary stories about horses healing people in the video above.


Catch Your Horse in the Field… Or, Let Your Horse Catch You!

Wednesday, July 4th, 2012

Monty’s Answer: Thank you for sending this question as it is asked quite often. People regularly hear me say, “Don’t catch your horse; let your horse catch you.” I would like to address your question assuming that you understand the basic tenets of Join-Up and you have exhausted the use of these basic concepts of doing a pasture Join-Up® and allowing your horse to trust and “catch you”. I will assume that you are correct in your assessment that the horse is remedial for this issue.

You might have noticed that the other horse who is easy to catch is growing even easier as you ignore him/her while chasing down your gelding. I would like you to set aside some time when you can work for perhaps two hours or even more. I don’t want you to feel rushed or under pressure for any reason. Rushing may have caused the problem in the first place. I need you to create a small enclosure area within your pasture or use a field that has a small catch pen.

Place a very small amount of food like a hand full of grain or a bite of hay into the far corner of this small area within the field. When you enter the field to catch him, I would like you to live by the language of Equus and the concepts of Join-Up®. If you enter passively, fingers closed, equipment quiet and eyes averted, your horse should come to you when you invite him. If he moves away from you, send him away by deliberately fixing your eyes on your horse’s eyes, meaning ‘go away’ in his language.

the language of equus - sending away

From Monty's textbook: From My Hands to Yours


In this way, drive him to the small enclosure. Once he has found this “sweet spot” inside the enclosure, stroke his neck and head and make that small area a safe and happy place to be. Halter him and lead him out of the small area. Take him to the middle of the pasture, remove the halter and walk away assuming he will follow you. If he follows, walk in arcs and allow him to see you as a leader and a place of safety. Use a lot more of the rubbing in that position.

If he leaves you, again square your shoulders on him, eyes on eyes again, pushing him away with the language of your body. Repeat this entire process until the enclosure, and you in it, become a safe and relaxed place to be. Again rub him on the head between his eyes and on his neck and withers so he may learn to trust that you will not cause him pain. After spending 5-10 minutes in the enclosure, once again lead to the middle of the field giving him another chance to stay with you.

As the days go by, try not to make a big deal out of this catching business. Simply conduct this process and one will see that there will be a reduced time until that day when you arrive and he begins to follow you to the small enclosure. It is at that point in time that one should begin to put the rope around his neck, out in the field. Lead him for a short distance, take the rope off, walk with him toward the small enclosure, give him his handful of grain, and a good rubbing.

Soon there will be a day when the small pen is simply not necessary and you will begin to put the rope around his neck in the field and lead him for a minute. Take the lead off and leave him with a cup of grain while you rub and stroke him. Then start the process of haltering which may set him off again but with the rope around the neck one can begin to expect no problem from catching. He should then stand for putting the halter on several times before leaving the field.

One should always remember that it is a good idea to catch these kinds of horses when you don’t have a hard day’s work for them. Often we should simply catch the horse, rub and stroke him and then simply turn him loose for the day. If we reserve our catching only for those days when there is a hard ride ahead one can easily see how this would become a problem by which the horse surmises that being caught is a bad thing and not a good thing.

Please keep us informed of the progress or lack thereof. We need a good result in order to share these procedures with other owners of horses difficult to catch. Who knows? You may very well come up with some unique idea that will pass the test of being non-violent which can be added to my scenario for the next owner plagued by the same issue. We should always be diligent to observe our horses closely and watch for the tiniest opportunity to meet their needs.


Watch Monty Roberts videos on the Horse & Country TV

Wednesday, January 25th, 2012

Monty Roberts joins Horse & Country in this 13 part series. Filmed at Monty’s stunning Flag Is Up Farms in California, this series takes you on a journey into the mind and memories of one of the most influential men in equestrianism. Meet the inspirational man who listens to horses, and find out how he gains their trust and understanding. Click on this link to see the video:



Ask Monty: Is there such a thing a ‘coldback horse’?

Wednesday, January 25th, 2012


My husband would like to know if there is such a thing as a “coldback horse”. In other words “one that you have to lunge before each ride”? We think not, but there are others who tell us yes. Robert says he’ll take your word before anyone else’s.

Monty’s Answer:

The Coldback horse is a phenomenon generally referred to by horse people whereby the horse tends to want to buck with the saddle or the saddle and rider in the first minutes of any given day. The inference is that when the back is cold the horse wants to buck. When the back warms up, the tendency is to accept the saddle and rider. When assessing this phenomenon, one wants to be very careful not to confuse a physical problem with a psychological problem.

Many Coldback horses will generally outgrow it and resolve the problem pretty much on their own. One should be careful to exercise moderately before mounting. If we are dealing with a physical problem, the odds are that it will not resolve itself without dealing with the physical malady before expecting a resolution to what we term the Coldback problem. At this point in time I know of no other diagnostic solution than to X-ray the dorsal processes of the spinal column.

Once the X-ray is completed, the competent vet will diagnose normality or abnormality of the dorsal processes, their spacing and their alignment. Should there be the problem of misalignment, it is likely that the vet will determine it to be ‘Kissing Spine’. I am discovering that many horses who have heretofore been termed buckers or horses with many negative labels are actually horses with anatomical abnormalities that can cause extreme pain with the weight of a rider. One should be sure to investigate the potential for physical problems before labeling the horse as having psychological problems.

What can you do to help this horse? The vet might use an anti-inflammatory between the dorsals or even the removal of some processes with no ill effect with the horse being able to carry the saddle and rider.


Ask Monty: How can I learn the correct riding position?

Wednesday, January 18th, 2012

Question: Hello, I have a little problem when I’m riding: I can’t keep my toes in. How can I fix my problem? Thank you, Candi

Monty’s Answer:

Beginning riders have to train their muscles to get their riding position right. To achieve the leg position that I practice, you will want the center of the stirrup to be in the middle of the widest part of your foot. The goal is to have your toes pointed toward the horse’s ears, but straight ahead is acceptable. Your body should be aligned in a line from your head straight through your heels.

The ‘correct’ riding position varies depending on the riding discipline that you practice. A good student will also note that the correct riding position has changed through the times. When I was a young boy taking riding lessons, my riding instructors often reminded me to ‘grip with the knees and keep the toes in’ and this is the way that I ride even today.

The critical factor is that your body is well aligned so that you can be centered and balanced. The center line of the horse and the center line of the human should be matching exactly. Achieving the correct riding position takes a lot of practice. The goal is to be balanced on the horse at every gait, ensuring the safety of the rider and setting the horse and rider up for good performance.

Watch Monty explain and demonstrate his riding style in this video:


Ask Monty: What do you use to protect your horse’s back?

Thursday, January 5th, 2012

Question: My lovely appaloosa mare, Leggs, and I enjoy rambling round the countryside (hacks/trails of 10-20 miles) and a few long distance rides each year. Leggs’ current saddle pad is a bit too long, rubbing slightly over her lumbar spine/loin area. The problem is that we live in the UK and ride western. Well, Leggs is Western and has been a great teacher so now we amble along happily understanding each other. The point is that there are no Western saddlers anywhere nearby to go and explore suitable saddle pads. Instead I’ve done some research online and come up with two possible options and wanted to see if any of you have experience of them. I am considering the Cavallo Western All Purpose – Performance Enhanced and the Horsedream Products 30mm pile merino lambskin western pad with a twill outer. I think the outer is a bit like a normal English numbna. I hope anyone with a Cavallo saddle pad could let me know what you think of its performance as to import one to the UK costs half as much again on the usual price – very expensive! Or if you use a merino wool pad without all the extras, like felt and woven exterior, how does it work? I want Leggs to be as comfortable and happy as possible, so if you’ve got any comments on the above or even another saddle pad idea it would be good to hear. Liz n Leggs

Monty’s Answer: Recently, I filmed a series of lessons for Equus Online University called ‘The Science of Saddle Fitting’ with saddle tech, Robert Ferrand. Our findings confirmed that no saddle can fit perfectly under all circumstances, but we can optimize the effect of a proper fitting saddle accompanied by an effective saddle pad cushion.

Since 2007, I have been working with a Canadian company, Cavallo Inc., that has reached out to assist us in this effort to maximize the effect of the saddle pad in the area of protecting the horse’s back. In this video, you will see me reviewing the qualities and benefits of Cavallo pads as I work with my horse, Nice Chrome.