Ask Monty

Monty & Pat Roberts Present: Willing Partners™

A willing partner…isn’t that what every horse person wants? A horse that is not just well trained, but one that goes about his job happily. A horse that has been chosen personally by a trainer who has spent a lifetime seeking out beautiful, bright and gentle horses. And a healthy horse that has grown up in an environment provided by a world renowned lover of horses.

Monty Roberts’ Willing Partners™ horses are specifically chosen, raised and trained with these goals in mind. The time and care put into each horse is unparalleled and the results show it. Monty and Pat Roberts are recognized for having spent a lifetime of training outstanding horses, across disciplines. They created their Willing Partners™ program in 2005 recognizing a long noted need within the equine industry: where can one find a reliable, finished, competent horse that the trainer would stand behind?

Monty and Pat have put their hearts into this project.

“We do it because we love the challenge of producing wonderful horses who are truly finished in their training. In addition, we meet fantastic people and generate relationships globally that have stood the test of time since our first sale.” ~Monty

But selecting and training horses for a premier program such as this isn’t easy, and it isn’t inexpensive. A graduate from the Willing Partners™ program requires sometimes up to 30 months of consistent training. With the goal being to produce relaxed and reliable horses in a variety of circumstances, time and patience is essential.

Willing Partners™ horses must meet Monty and Pat’s strict requirements to become graduates from the program. They must accept pigs, goats, sheep, llama, deer, tarpaulins and hundreds of scary objects and learn to pull a cart. They must also have excellent ground manners, side-pass to a mounting block, stand perfectly still to be mounted, stop cold if you fall off, load into a trailer reliably and easily, stand for the farrier, be easy to catch in the pasture, and have solid flatwork, including lead changes, counter canter, side-pass, and acceptance of a curb bit.

“Feel free to come and see the operation and get to know the extent to which we work to achieve our intended goals. We care about our horses, but most of all we care about the people who will ultimately enjoy them.” ~ Monty Roberts Like Us On Facebook
WPP-button-brochure WPP-button-videos flyer

Willing Partners Available for Sale

All of our Willing Partners have been placed with loving homes

For more information please contact us: or call 805-688-4382

Visit the farm!
Flag Is Up Farms
901 E. Highway 246
Solvang, CA 93463


“We have purchased two Willing Partners horses, one for me and one for my 15 year-old daughter.  We could not be more pleased with our equine companions.  One of the great strengths of the Willing Partners programme is that the character of the horse is maintained and developed. The horses graduate from the programme with complete personalities that express so much more than just going through the motions of their training.  The training regime produces a horse that has the best of both worlds in terms of sensitivity and trust.  A Willing Partners horse is sensitive and responsive to its rider even with the most subtle of queues.  At the same time, when new or frightening things are encountered, the horse will have trust in the leadership of its human companion instead of merely resorting to flight.  A Willing Partners horse is a living testament to the power of Join Up in getting the very best out of a human-equine relationship” ~ Donald, owner of “King Barry Pine” & “Hollywood Gladiator”, United Kingdom

“The reason we purchased both our Willing Partners horses was for the peace of mind knowing that they were started from the beginning with gentle methods. Having a happy horse with good conformation, well trained and supported by Monty even after the purchase, was worth everything to us.” ~ Beth & Mark, owners of “Concord Inferno” & “Hesa Sugar Bear”, Southern California

“Monty and his team made great efforts to find the perfect match for our daughter Rina, who has spina bifida. They were very attentive to her needs and had great ideas and imagination for training the horse to respond to Rina’s cues…We felt they had Rina’s best interest at heart…they are very competent.” ~ Charlotte, owner of “Sterling”, Denmark

“In buying Tango from Monty and Pat, we got a horse that has given us all a great experience. He loves to work and has the temperament that makes it fun to be with him whether it’s riding out with the young horses on the gallops, in the woods, pulling carts or sleds or being my friend who accompanies me when I take some of our best racehorses all over Scandinavia to the race courses.” ~ Rune Haugen, Norway (

“Owning Tango has allowed me to trust horses again enough to ride at the age of 66. I had lost my confidence, but Tango has given me back the feeling of being safe. He is a wonderful horse that loves everything that is asked of him.” ~ Randi Nilsen, Norway

“Magic, a Willing Partner from Monty and Pat, has been trained with gentle and horse friendly techniques that allow him to have the freedom of choice in training and development. Magic has no fear of discovering new things, with his intelligence far above the average. I never went into troubles even in very challenging conditions here in Malaysia (very steep and muddy slopes and wild animals). I am so thankful to enjoy every moment with my horse buddy Magic, who is really magical and so inspirational. He not only teaches me the horse friendly manner and perspectives but also helped substantially to regain the trust of a “lost” ex-racehorse, today his friend, and a willing and cooperative riding horse. Last but not least and most important as Monty’s ambassador Magic spreads Monty’s message of non-violent training techniques across the region. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. Happy trails.” ~ Magic, Shadow King and Carina B., Singapore/ Cameron Highlands, Malaysia

“I met Monty at Merrist Wood last year. I’m based in Surrey and own Quixote, one of the Willing Partners graduates. I wanted to let you know how he is getting on. He lives at home with me and my children’s black shetland and seems very happy! We back on to hundreds of acres of common land so we love hacking as well and riding in the paddock and doing some horse agility. He is very calm, quiet and steady, is very clever, loves variety and loves people. He is adored by all who see him, even those who have never been near a horse before. He has been with me just over a year now, and he will be with me for life or until the children are big enough to ride him, then I will be in touch with you again to come and try another Willing Partner Horse!” ~ Nicola, United Kingdom


Willing Partners that Have Left the Herd

shark monty roberts, willing partners program, gentle horses, horses for sale, flag is up farms sterling tango
RBARL Silver Shark – SOLD! Birchcreek Cadillac – SOLD! Sterling – SOLD! Tango – SOLD!
thenudude Jax Timex Birch Creek Bonanza Celebrity Aristocrat
The Nu Dude – SOLD! Jax Timex – SOLD! Birch Creek Bonanza – SOLD!
Celebrity Aristocrat – SOLD!
Cherokee Grey Hawk Bonnies Magic Lena Buddha Sugar Bear
Cherokee Grey Hawk – SOLD! Bonnies Magic Lena – SOLD! Budainarush – SOLD! Hesa Sugar Bear – SOLD!
Concerto Jaz Shadow monty roberts, willing partner, willing partner program, gentle horses, trained horses, horses for sale
Yellow River Concerto – SOLD! Jaz King of Blues – SOLD! MS Hancock Shadow – SOLD! Concord Inferno – SOLD!
kinggoldzimfandel quixoteconcerto cusudden ladysman
Kings Gold Zimfandel – SOLD! Quixote Concerto – SOLD!  Cee Ya Sudden – SOLD! Hollywood Ladysman – SOLD!
horse for sale, monty roberts trained horse, willing partner quarter horse, bombproof gelding dox4
Celebrity Sugardaddy – SOLD! Hollywood Gladiator – SOLD! Dox Starlight – SOLD! King Zebra Magic – SOLD!
hollywoodgoldsmokey-more King Barry Pine - Sold sierra_king_tut_more Mr Sun Baron - Sold
HollywoodGold Smokey – SOLD! King Barry Pine – SOLD! Sierra King Tut – SOLD
Mr Sun Baron – SOLD!
casinova-more ransominsilver-more micsmojo_more  
Casinova Redneck – SOLD! Ransom In Silver – SOLD! Nics Mojo – SOLD
 Nu Hollywood Zane – SOLD
horse for sale willing partners horse, sale horse, monty roberts trained horse
Chasen My Stetson – SOLD! King Coyote Quixote – SOLD!

Some people ask, how is it possible to have a barn full of such bright and willing horses? The answer is in the selection process and the training process. First, the horses selected for the program are from ranches and breeding programs that meet strict requirements laid out by Monty and Pat. They travel in person to select the horses, often looking at more than 100 colts, to come home with a mere handful of candidates. They are raised on Flag Is Up Farms in lush green pastures amongst their peers in the program, learning herd social behavior (manners) and growing up in an environment healthiest for horses with ample, nutritious grazing and room to stretch their legs and frolic.

But, you ask, do all of the horses you select become Willing Partners?

Some of the colts who come to the Farm to become Willing Partners show so much athletic ability and fire to perform, that they are better selected for alternate training programs, occasionally with other trainers or highly competent and competitive amateurs who are seeking out a hotter, more fiery horse to compete with. Other horses may not make the grade to become a Willing Partners graduate for other reasons; soundness, temperament, or desire…these horses are the most expensive line item in the Willing Partners Program budget, because time and care must be taken to find forever homes for these horses without the coveted Willing Partners seal of achievement. We do not pass every horse entered into the program and because of this you can feel assured that the Willing Partners horse you purchase will meet your every expectation.


Frequently Asked Questions

Why did you start your Willing Partners™ Program?

Monty: People are crying out for this. Everywhere I go people ask me where to find a horse trained for the entire family to enjoy? So many trainers offer ‘broke’ horses…well, I have always aimed to go above and beyond that paradigm. I don’t want my horse ‘broke.’ I want him to be a willing partner. Doesn’t every horse owner, in fact, want the same?

Who is it designed for?

Monty: The world is saying ‘find us quality horses that we can count on.’ This program is designed for anyone who fits within that category.

What makes your Willing Partners™ horses unique?

Monty: The time, patience and thoroughness of the program is what makes the Willing Partners unique. They are selected for their temperament, conformation and color, then trained for reliability and partnership. These horses are trained by my concepts and as such they will not experience pain or fear. They learn to trust people and thus we create horses that in turn can be trusted. That is what makes these horses unique.

Can I watch the Willing Partners being trained?

Monty: Of course. Our farm is open to the public. You may visit us anytime during normal business hours. We also plan to start streaming video of the horses in training on our website so people can watch their progress.

Can Willing Partners™ horse be customized to fit my needs?

Monty: When the need arises, we can custom train a horse in our program for a client’s specific needs. This is a very specialized effort. We have custom trained horses to become foxhunters, ranch horses, and therapeutic riding horses, in one case, for a girl with spina bifida. The neat thing about the horses in this program is that they are malleable and versatile; they can fit in well to a variety of different circumstances.

Are Willing Partners™ horses safer than other horses?

Monty: Riding and working with horses always involves risk, but I feel that this risk is minimized with the horses that we select to put through the Willing Partners™ Program. Of course, it would be hubris to pronounce that our horse are “bombproof” or would never put a foot wrong. It’s more accurate to say that these horses have been given the best and most thorough foundation in the beginning of their lives, to make the rest of their life experiences with their owners as positive and successful as possible.

Do I have to ride in a specific discipline?

Monty: Not at all. So far the horses have gone to people in Saudi Arabia, England, Denmark, Norway, and all over the United States, where they fulfill their owners’ wide-ranging needs, including competition in pleasure classes, trail riding, foxhunting, driving, and therapeutic riding activities for children with disabilities.

Endorsement from a Willing Partners horse owner:
Monty and his team made great efforts to find the perfect match for our daughter Rina and are very attentive to her needs. They have great ideas and imagination for training the horse to respond to Rina’s cues. They are super friendly. We feel they have Rina´s best interest at heart and we feel they are very competent.” ~ Charlotte Stjernfelt, owner of Willing Partners™ graduate STERLING

For more information please contact: or call 805-688-4382

Visit the farm!
Flag Is Up Farms
901 E. Highway 246
Solvang, CA 93463

If You Plan to Visit…

Journeys; The Horses of Wine Country, article by Gigi Meyer in The New York Times

Backroads of the California Wine Country, book by Karen Misurace and Gary Crabbe