Posts Tagged ‘Equus’

 

April 29-30 The Movement 2019 Symposium in Solvang, CA

Thursday, February 28th, 2019

March 8, 2019 Solvang, California: Come and discover how and why the qualities of horses teach us how to lower stress and build trust at The Movement 2019 to be held at Flag Is Up Farms, in Solvang, California, April 29-30.  Tickets can be found at www.THEMOVEMENT2019.com

The Movement’ symposium launched in 2018 with the vision to unite outstanding speakers and live demonstrations with horses. Founded on Monty Roberts’ belief that non violent forms of communication are essential to building trust and achieving outstanding results, the mission of The Movement is to help people discover the unique power of horses to teach better ways to interact across all aspects of life.

Two hundred participants from around the world journeyed to Solvang and agreed that the symposium was a life changing experience. The 2018 presentations were recorded for historical relevance and can be found here.

The journey continues with world renowned experts across psychology, science, social work and horse training exploring breakthrough insights on how mindfulness and horses help us better learn, lead and live better.

2019 PRESENTERS APRIL 29-30

  • Monty Roberts, horse trainer, Join-Up concept founder
  • William Miller Ph.D., Emeritus Distinguished Professor of Psychology and Psychiatry, The University of New Mexico
  • Kris Robins, CSW and Member, Motivational Interviewing Network of Trainers, Veterans Program Developer
  • Dr. Veronica Fowler, Senior Post Doctoral Scientist, Equine Behavior
  • Dave Mochel, Mindfulness Coach, TED Talk contributor
  • Christy Counts, President The Right Horse Initiative
  • Dr. Robert Miller, DVM Founder of Foal Imprint Training
  • James Oliver, award winning photographer, veteran, addiction group counselor

The importance of clinical science trials, training methods, non-violent communication and a mindful approach will be represented as essential to build trust and significantly improve all aspects of relationships. The unique power of mindfulness and the unique power of horses will be explored during two days of keynote presentations from a cross section of speakers, live demonstrations with horses and meaningful discussions. Whether a horse expert or horse lover, the goal of the take-home is to affect lives in a positive way through studying the qualities of the horse.

Tickets can be found at www.THEMOVEMENT2019.com and an early bird rate ends March 11th.

“We are describing The Movement as an event to Learn, Lead and Live Better,” said Debbie Roberts Loucks who is managing the event. “A movement started in the horse industry when horse owners began to have a clearer vision of how horses affected humans in positive way. Inspired by how interchangeable the lessons from herd behavior were, I’ve watched trainers, teachers, mothers and managers become better communicators, leaders and influencers for good. This year’s presenters are each amazing in their industries and they all have a vision of a better world, inspired by incorporating horses in their own story. They come to share that vision and build on it with participants who will take home a life-changing plan. Leaders may inspire, but only when people choose to act does a vision become a movement.”

This unique event helps you better understand problem solving using violence-free training methods. People will come and spend time with like-minded people absorbing what non-violent communication can be and enjoy discussions with Monty and students from around the world.

At the workshop, Monty and his Certified Instructors will work with a range of young and remedial horses. Participants will gain first-hand knowledge during demonstrations, lectures, and discussions. This event is for the novice rider, the non-rider, as well as the advanced student who wants to observe advanced horsemanship at work. There will be demonstrations on how to communicate with horses in their natural language in various situations.

“The Movement event is approved as continuing education credit hours for our CHA membership as it brings together scientific and practical experts who are helping horses and humans to work better together,” Christy Landwehr, CEO of the Certified Horsemanship Association.

Monty Roberts’ life’s goal is “to leave the world a better place than I found it, for horse and for people too.”

For more information, contact Flag Is Up Farms at (805) 688-6288 or email admin@montyroberts.com

Go to the website here: www.THEMOVEMENT2019.com

For general tickets with 2 day access: https://tinyurl.com/y5o7j84e

For the VIP Ticket Experience: https://tinyurl.com/y6873cmn

For the Awards Dinner to benefit the Horse Sense & Healing program for Veterans and First Responders and the Lead-Up program for at-risk youth:

https://montyrobertsshop.com/products/events-join-up-benefit-dinner

 

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Media Contact: Debbie Loucks

Monty and Pat Roberts, Inc./Join-Up® International

(949) 632-1856

debbie@montyroberts.com

 

MONTY ROBERTS AVAILABLE FOR SELECT INTERVIEWS:

The New York Times bestselling author and world-renowned horse trainer Monty Roberts is available for interviews.

MONTY ROBERTS first gained widespread fame with the release of his New York Times Best Selling book, The Man Who Listens To Horses; a chronicle of his life and development of his non-violent horse training methods called Join-Up®. Monty grew up on a working horse farm as a firsthand witness to traditional, often violent methods of horse training and breaking the spirit with an abusive hand. Rejecting that, he went on to win nine world’s championships in the show ring. Today, Monty’s goal is to share his message that “Violence is never the answer.” Roberts has been encouraged by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II with the award of the Membership in The Royal Victorian Order, as well as becoming Patron of Join-Up International. Other honors received were the ASPCA “Founders” award and the MSPCA George T. Angell Humanitarian Award. Monty is credited with launching the first of its kind Equus Online University; an interactive online lesson site that is the definitive learning tool for violence-free training.

JOIN-UP philosophies can be seen at work with both humans and horses across the world, from farms to major corporations. To learn more about Monty Roberts or the many applications of his Join-Up training methods, visit www.montyroberts.com . Horse Sense and Soldiers aired on Discovery Military highlighting the therapeutic effect that horses and Monty Roberts’ Join-Up® have on PTSD. Monty developed his Horse Sense and Healing program for military and first responder personnel with stress injuries detailed here http://www.join-up.org/veterans.html  Recently Monty Roberts added the program Lead-Up to his global impact on children ages 14-22. Developed in partnership with Catherine Cunningham from Guatemala, Lead-Up’s mission is to reduce violence in the community by forming peaceful leaders across the globe, through the embodied experience of Join-Up® and lessons learned from horses and from the equine herd. http://www.join-up.org/lead-up/

Photos available upon request.

 

Monty Roberts’ New Series on Horses That Fear Spray Bottles

Monday, December 31st, 2018

December 31, 2018 Solvang, California: Monty Roberts is the ultimate horse behaviorist. Whether the issue is how to encourage a horse to want to do something, or conversely how to overcome a remedial issue, Monty is called upon by some of the greatest horse persons on earth to help.

Sometimes a horse has lived with a fear issue most of his life. Roberts believes that this is just not fair to the horse, especially if there is an opportunity to overcome that fear.

One of the most common phobias amongst horses are the hissing spray bottles spurting strange smelling liquid in the direction of the horse’s body. If you imagine this from the horse’s viewpoint, it makes sense that the neophobic equine has a problem tolerating this scary moment. Monty tackles this chronic issue in the way he has become famous for: simplicity, common sense and quite a few incremental steps, to be fair to the horse.

In this series Monty starts by using a gentle gelding as a guide in Part 1: Horses Can Learn Through Observation https://montyrobertsuniversity.com/training/2031189169

Part 2: Step by Step Spray Bottle Training

“Show the horse that there is no pain connected to the water spray.” says Monty Roberts.

Part 3: Where to Stand When You Spray Your Horse, demonstrates the steps to habituate the comfortable place a horse finds to overcome his fears of the spray bottle.

“I never stop learning,” says Roberts. “And I don’t want any of my students to stop learning either! I want all of them to be much better than me. We are just scratching the surface of knowing how much horses can teach us.”

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

Since launching, Monty Roberts and many legendary trainers have contributed their knowledge of horsemanship. “Considered a rosetta stone for horse communication, one of gestures like signing for the deaf, online lessons are available 24/7 have contributed greatly to the encouragement and study of non-violent training of horses.” said Roberts. He wants the global impact to spread in his lifetime and encourages interested persons to log on at http://montyrobertsuniversity.com/library and have a free look around.

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.

Debbie Roberts Loucks, Monty’s daughter, spearheaded the development, “We are first and foremost advocates for keeping horses in people’s lives. The more than 500 video lessons are in categories of Ground Work, from foundational to Advanced, and Ridden Work, from foundational to problem solving. And there is a terrific forum plus a searchable data base of over 600 Questions and Answers from Monty with a handy search bar.”

In 1948 while laying on his belly watching wild mustangs through binoculars in the Nevada desert, the 13-year-old Monty Roberts couldn’t imagine that what he was discovering about horses he would share nearly 70 years later online.

Queen Elizabeth clearly wanted the best for her horses. Whether they were Thoroughbred racehorses, military horses, carriage horses or simply horses she loved to ride, Her Majesty wanted them trained in the most respectful manner possible. The Queen endorsed Monty’s concepts of training horses without violence, causing them to rise to the highest degree of proficiency in their given discipline with the lowest possible stress.

Her Majesty observed five days of Roberts’ causing young horses to accept their first saddle and rider in about 30 minutes. It was then that the Queen requested a book about who Monty Roberts was and why he chose to reverse what had been the traditional ‘breaking’ procedures for 6,000 years. The publishers suggested the book would sell 3,000 to 5,000 copies, but, in fact, Her Majesty watched as Roberts’ first literary challenge reach six and a half million copies.

It has been with the Queen’s encouragement that Monty Roberts has now toured the world demonstrating his principles. In 44 countries Roberts has presented his audiences with over 11,000 horses. About 25 percent have been totally untrained, while 50 percent have been severely beset by behavioral problems. The remaining 25 percent simply refused to load in a trailer or truck used for transportation. All of these were successful in overcoming their given problem.

While tracking wild mustangs in Nevada as a boy, Roberts observed a nonverbal communication between the horses, a silent language he would later call ‘Equus’. Roberts incorporates Equus into his nonviolent training approach called Join-Up®. Roberts first developed Join-Up to help teach horsemen how to stop the cycle of violence typically accepted in traditional horse breaking. Roberts created a consistent set of principles using the horse’s inherent methods of communication and herd behavior.

The result is a willing partnership in which the horse’s performance can flourish to its full potential, rather than exist within the boundaries of obedience. These principles are valuable tools to understanding what motivates horse behavior and increasing effectiveness in any application. Join-Up training methods are most simply expressed in the process of starting raw horses. Without the use of pain or force, the trainer persuades a raw horse to accept a saddle and rider in less than 30 minutes.

Monty Roberts has discovered that these principles are effective as a tool for dealing with many stress-related issues of the human mind. Roberts believes that PTSD is not, in fact, a disorder, but an injury. He states that it should be PTSI. His belief is that injuries heal and most people believe that disorders are challenges that do not tend to heal. Disorders require other forms of dealing with disorders of the human.

With these beliefs in place Roberts has been working with military veterans and first responders in Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States. More than 1,000 individuals have experienced the engagement of horses in the process of dealing with post-traumatic stress injury. The results of these clinics have been overwhelmingly successful and are gaining momentum throughout the areas where Roberts has conducted his clinics.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Media Contact: Debbie Loucks

Monty and Pat Roberts, Inc./Join-Up® International

(949) 632-1856

debbie@montyroberts.com

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Photos available upon request

MONTY ROBERTS first gained widespread fame with the release of his New York Times Best Selling book, The Man Who Listens To Horses; a chronicle of his life and development of his non-violent horse training methods called Join-Up®. Monty grew up on a working horse farm as a firsthand witness to traditional, often violent methods of horse training and breaking the spirit with an abusive hand. Rejecting that, he went on to win nine world’s championships in the show ring. Today, Monty’s goal is to share his message that “Violence is never the answer.” Roberts has been encouraged by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II with the award of the Membership in The Royal Victorian Order, as well as becoming Patron of Join-Up International. Other honors received were the ASPCA “Founders” award and the MSPCA George T. Angell Humanitarian Award and FEI’s Man of the Year. Monty was recently included as Horse and Hound Magazine’s Top 50 Horsemen of All Time. Monty is credited with launching the first of its kind Equus Online University; an interactive online lesson site that is the definitive learning tool for violence-free training.

Monty Roberts has created Join-Up International, a 501c3 non-profit foundation. With his learning center on his Flag Is Up Farms in Solvang, California, he has produced a growing list of certified instructors globally. These facts insure that Monty will meet his life’s goal which is to leave the world a better place than he found it for horses and for people, too.   www.MontyRoberts.com

 

Monty Roberts International Learning Center 2019 Dates Announced

Sunday, September 30th, 2018

September 30, 2018 Solvang, California: Its going to be an exciting year at Monty Roberts’ Flag Is Up Farms in Solvang, California, home of his International Learning Center and Shy Boy, the mustang of documentary and Breyer fame.

Monty Roberts is entering his 29th year of touring the globe, demonstrating methods of nonviolent training of horses brought to him by members of the audience, both in the saddle and from the ground. The best nights of each tour are edited into a show Roberts calls Backstage Pass of the most challenging and endearing horses from tour. On Monty’s website, 13 new episodes of Monty’s Backstage Pass television series is here https://vimeo.com/montyroberts/vod_pages. The series is comprised of the most spooky horses, new starters, head shy horses, horses that won’t load, buckers, hard to mount horses, and more as they learn from their session with Monty’s gentle methods.

Just added to his Equus Online University interactive online lesson site is a series from Olympian Will Simpson with his talented Chacco P on training to relax and soar over fences. https://montyrobertsuniversity.com/training/2031189156

Additionally Roberts has added dates in Solvang for these courses:

Join-Up: 3 Days Long at $1250

An introduction to the language of ‘Equus.’ Classroom discussion will cover horse behavior and language. The Join-Up® process will be demonstrated and broken down in various exercises, before you get the chance to complete several Join-Ups with different horses. You will learn how to use the Dually halter to establish a relationship where the horse leads willingly and respects your space. At the end of the four days you will have the tools to create an effective, trust-based partnership with your horse.
February 19-21, 2019
March 4-6, 2019
April 8-10, 2019
April 25-27, 2019
August 19-21, 2019
November 12-14, 2019
December 2-4, 2019

Long Lining: 3 Days Long at $850

Effective long-lining has numerous benefits for training and conditioning horses. This class aims to teach you these benefits, the advantages of long-lining over single-line lunging and the skills required to long-line effectively.
February 11-13, 2019
March 7-9, 2019
April 11-13, 2019
May 2-4, 2019
June 3-5, 2019
August 22-24, 2019
October 14-16, 2019
December 5-7, 2019

Horsemanship 101: 1 Day Long at $300

For those new to horses, returning after a long break or trying to overcome fear, these two days will help you become safe and comfortable around horses. Classroom discussion will provide an introduction to how horses think and behave and practical sessions will teach you how to approach, halter, lead, groom and move safely around a horse. You will learn the basic concept behind the Dually™ halter and after watching Join-Up® demonstrations, will experience a guided round pen session to feel the power of inter-species communication.
April 6, 2019
April 7, 2019
August 17, 2019

August 18, 2019

Since these dates are newly added and may not be on the websites yet, its best to reach out to the Monty Roberts International Learning Center at +1 805-688-6288. For Monty’s calendar: http://www.montyroberts.com/ab_about_monty_calendar/see-monty/

 

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Media Contact: Debbie Loucks

Monty and Pat Roberts, Inc./Join-Up® International

(949) 632-1856

debbie@montyroberts.com

MONTY ROBERTS AVAILABLE FOR SELECT INTERVIEWS:

The New York Times bestselling author and world-renowned horse trainer Monty Roberts is available for interviews.

MONTY ROBERTS first gained widespread fame with the release of his New York Times Best Selling book, The Man Who Listens To Horses; a chronicle of his life and development of his non-violent horse training methods called Join-Up®. Monty grew up on a working horse farm as a firsthand witness to traditional, often violent methods of horse training and breaking the spirit with an abusive hand. Rejecting that, he went on to win nine world’s championships in the show ring. Today, Monty’s goal is to share his message that “Violence is never the answer.” Roberts has been encouraged by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II with the award of the Membership in The Royal Victorian Order, as well as becoming Patron of Join-Up International. Other honors received were the ASPCA “Founders” award and the MSPCA George T. Angell Humanitarian Award and FEI’s Man of the Year. Monty was recently included as Horse and Hound Magazine’s Top 50 Horsemen of All Time. Monty is credited with launching the first of its kind Equus Online University; an interactive online lesson site that is the definitive learning tool for violence-free training.

JOIN-UP philosophies can be seen at work with both humans and horses across the world, from farms to major corporations. To learn more about Monty Roberts or the many applications of his Join-Up training methods, visit www.montyroberts.com . Horse Sense and Soldiers aired on Discovery Military highlighting the therapeutic effect that horses and Monty Roberts’ Join-Up® have on PTSD. Roberts has teamed with The Corporate Learning Institute to help transfer the key learning’s from his work to the workplace.

Photos available upon request

 

CHA Equine Facility Management Certification in Central California

Tuesday, July 31st, 2018

July 31, 2018 Solvang, CA: Monty Roberts and Flag Is Up Farms announce they are collaborating to hold a Certified Horsemanship Association (CHA) Equine Facility Management Certification Clinic February 15,16,17 in Solvang, California, centrally located.

 

CHA clinics are directed by nationally recognized CHA Clinic Instructors and the Clinic Instructors for this clinic will be Jill Montgomery, Region  9 Director, CEO JRAM Enterprises and Christy Landwehr, CEO of CHA. Participants have the opportunity to receive feedback from the other participants and the clinic instructors; and to improve their safety, herd and program management skills.

Participants will be evaluated on their level of expertise coming into the clinic. Enrollment in this clinic is limited to 10 participants who must have prior horsemanship experience and may allow some auditors to participate but will not receive certification. Early registration is necessary to reserve a place.

The Equine Facility Management (EFM) program is a 2.5 days certification clinic to evaluate participants on their skills and knowledge of equine facility management. Participants will demonstrate skills and take a written test at each of four levels of certification. Each participant starts at level 1 and may proceed to the next level upon successful completion of each level and may receive up to Level 4 Certification over the weekend clinic.

CHA’s goals are to promote safety, education and quality in group horse programs and develop qualified instructors for stables, schools and other locations where equine instruction is given. The clinic is designed to certify instructors and improve teaching techniques. Nearly 1,000 instructors are certified by CHA each year.

CHA publishes manuals and materials especially designed for students and instructors. Prior to clinic arrival, and after receipt of registration and deposit, participants receive all necessary manuals. It is important that participants come prepared as there will be little time to study during the clinic.

Cost of this clinic will be $750 which includes lunch, manuals and certification fees all while at the beautiful Flag Is Up Farms in the horse country of the Santa Ynez Valley. For more information or to enroll, please contact Jill Montgomery by email:  jill.montgomery@yahoo.com

The purpose of CHA is to promote excellence in safety and education for the benefit of the horse industry. CHA certifies group riding instructors, recreational vaulting coaches, barn managers, college coaches, drivers and trail guides; accredits equestrian facilities; publishes educational manuals and hosts regional and international conferences. For more information on the Certified Horsemanship Association, please visit www.CHA-ahse.org or call toll free 1-800-399-0138.  To find a certified riding instructor or accredited equine facility near you visit www.CHAinstructors.com

 

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Media Contact: Debbie Loucks

Monty and Pat Roberts, Inc./Join-Up® International

(949) 632-1856

debbie@montyroberts.com

MONTY ROBERTS AVAILABLE FOR SELECT INTERVIEWS:
The New York Times bestselling author and world-renowned horse trainer Monty Roberts is available for interviews.

MONTY ROBERTS first gained widespread fame with the release of his New York Times Best Selling book, The Man Who Listens To Horses; a chronicle of his life and development of his non-violent horse training methods called Join-Up®. Monty grew up on a working horse farm as a firsthand witness to traditional, often violent methods of horse training and breaking the spirit with an abusive hand. Rejecting that, he went on to win nine world’s championships in the show ring. Today, Monty’s goal is to share his message that “Violence is never the answer.” Roberts has been encouraged by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II with the award of the Membership in The Royal Victorian Order, as well as becoming Patron of Join-Up International. Other honors received were the ASPCA “Founders” award and the MSPCA George T. Angell Humanitarian Award and FEI’s Man of the Year. Monty was recently included as Horse and Hound Magazine’s Top 50 Horsemen of All Time. Monty is credited with launching the first of its kind Equus Online University; an interactive online lesson site that is the definitive learning tool for violence-free training.

JOIN-UP philosophies can be seen at work with both humans and horses across the world, from farms to major corporations. To learn more about Monty Roberts or the many applications of his Join-Up training methods, visit www.montyroberts.com . Horse Sense and Soldiers aired on Discovery Military highlighting the therapeutic effect that horses and Monty Roberts’ Join-Up® have on PTSD. Roberts has teamed with The Corporate Learning Institute to help transfer the key learning’s from his work to the workplace.

 

Monty’s Special Training Clinic Daily Journal

Saturday, August 10th, 2013

 

Day 1, Monty’s Special Training

A super group representing horse lovers from about 10 countries came to Flag Is Up Farms for an educational experience spanning 5 days. On this first day of the clinic, I worked with Liger, a beautiful Arabian gelding destined for high achievements in endurance. The 3-year-old starter is owned by Heather and Jeremy Reynolds. He bucked like a kangaroo with the saddle but settled to a beautiful ride. Later I worked with a fine Arabian mare who did not want to be caught in the field. We also had a classic Join-Up with Trigger and much more fun and fascination on Flag Is Up Farms. Here is Liger on the long lines:
 
 
 

Day 2

We used a dummy rider before we introduced a live rider to our starter horse. In today’s session, Certified Instructors Denise Heinlein and Courtney Dunn demonstrated my concepts with Liger. Shopping bags, dummy rider and flapping legs helped this young horse become accustomed to a rider. Many older and more experienced horses would be challenged by plastic bags and floppy legs, but working in a low-adrenaline and safe environment supported Liger in his training. This horse has a wonderful mind and the demonstration was highly educational.
 
Liger on Day 2, outfitted with a dummy rider and plastic bags, ready to go to work with Certified Instructor Courtney Dunn

Liger on Day 2, outfitted with a dummy rider, is ready to go to work with Certified Instructor Courtney Dunn

 

Day 3

We began the horse work at the Untouched Horse Gentling Facility at Flag Is Up Farms. The broodmare in the video below was an older rescue with little prior handling. Certified Instructor Denise Heinlein excelled at timing and patience to bring this mare to a more peaceful place to end the session on. More on handling tomorrow.

 
 
 

Day 4

Today was a day made in heaven if you love horses and appreciate the ability to offer them a better life. We started with mounting block lessons – one of the most vulnerable times in a rider’s moments with a horse. After that, a rescued Paint took many skeptical moments before we were able to achieve a Join-Up and Follow-Up with this wonderful horse, literally on its way to the feedlot. It was emotional. Then, another session with the endurance Arabian, Liger, this time with a buddy horse in preparation for his first trip outside the Round Pen tomorrow. Lastly Ada Gates demonstrated some life-saving trims for your horse’s feet.
 
desensitization
 

Day 5

Our last day was the culmination of so many wonderful training sessions. I was overwhelmed by the acceptance of the horses and the appreciation the students had for how far the horses had come. Starters, remedials and even babies taught us many things and gave us great moments to remember for a lifetime. Thank you to the MRILC Team of Instructors and all our staff for the super job creating an environment in which the student can learn. We hope to see you at Flag Is Up Farms next year!
 
~ Monty
 
Here is young Liger on his 5th day as a riding horse, right on track!

Here is young Liger on his 5th day as a riding horse, right on track!

 

 

How sensitive is your horse?

Tuesday, June 18th, 2013
Question:
My horse is very sensitive in the flank and the stifle area. When I am grooming her, she seems to get very angry. She puts her ears back and even acts as though she would kick me. When I brush or touch her in the area of the flank or the stifle, she moves her hips toward me and not away. If I push harder, she pushes much harder against me. She has pinned me up against the wall several times and it’s very frightening. What should I do, Mr. Roberts? My instructor says that I should not go into her stall without a whip. I don’t want to whip her, but I don’t want her to hurt me either. There must be a solution to this problem. Can you help me? Sincerely, “Extremely Frightened!”
  
Monty’s Answer:    
Thank you for your inquiry. This is actually a subject near and dear to my heart. This is the pattern of behavior that causes so much trouble with horses in the starting stalls in racing. There are rails inside the stalls which jut out toward the horse. They are there to protect the feet of the jockey but in my opinion, they cause more trouble than they save. The horse that is sensitive in the flanks and stifles will go ‘into pressure’ particularly if its applied to that area of their body. I have maintained for most of my adult life that horses are ‘into pressure’ animals. It is the same phenomenon as we see in the human baby as they bring in new teeth. 
 
The gums are irritated and the child gets comfort from pressing hard on them typically from a teething ring. The horse has survived, in part, because they have learned to go into the sharp pain of a dog biting in the region of the flank. If the horse should run away the dog would simply rip the flesh allowing the intestines to exit the body and the dog makes a successful kill. Survival of the fittest has caused horses to behave with an ‘into pressure’ pattern of dealing with sharp pain. One must use soft grooming brushes on this type of horse and be very careful about staying out of the kick zone. It is essential that we treat this area carefully.
 
You have probably trained your horse to move off pressure without even knowing it. While riding, you will put a leg against your horses side and when the horse moves off the leg, you remove the pressure. You have probably done this on both sides of your horse. Most likely, when your horse was ridden only a few times, there was a tendency to move into the rider’s leg and not away from it. Eventually however your horse learned it was better to move away from the leg. At this present time I have some experiments going on which may prove to be a help with the very problem that you have described. It is to see if we can teach the horse to move off pressure in the area of the flanks. 
 
In order to alter this behavior, I have asked that a soccer ball be attached to the end of a strong bamboo pole. I have asked that the pole be about 6 feet long (2 meters). The ball is actually taped onto the end of the stick, covered with sponge and more tape applied… any way to cause the bamboo stick to be safe when pushed against the horses flanks. I direct the handler to press the ball into the area of the flanks, and stay with it if the horse pushes back. After a few minutes of work, most horses will step away experimenting with how to get the pressure off the ball in the flank. With the slightest step away the handler will remove the ball immediately, releasing all pressure.
 
The reason for the large ball is so that the horse feels no sharp pain. After removing the ball the handler should proceed to the other side and repeat the process. When one can achieve behavior that is immediately off pressure instead of into pressure, you’re well on your way to a successful alteration of deeply imbedded behavioral patterns. Having accomplished this you will be safer to groom, open gates more easily and even have better flying lead changes than you could achieve prior to training your horse to move off pressure even when it’s in the flank area. It is still early in this experimentation, but I think I am the first person to set up this kind of trial. 

After making sure that your horse has no physical ailments, the next step is to desensitize that area. As a point of interest, people who imprint their foals and have aspirations to train them to be performance horses, do not desensitize this area. They leave this area naturally sensitive so that cues can be given by the rider.

 

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.

 

Monty Roberts Certified Instructors’ Gathering 2012

Wednesday, March 21st, 2012
Imagine a gathering of Monty Roberts Certified Instructors from all over the world coming to Flag Is Up Farms to share their ideas and further their learning. Imagine untouched and wild horses being gentled by some of the best teachers of Join-Up on earth. Imagine riding together at my beautiful, state-of-the-art equine facility in the USA. This dream came true for me and a majority of my instructors last week in Solvang, California. More photos will be coming soon. Next year’s gathering is scheduled for the first weekend in February.

A top-class team of Monty Roberts Certified Instructors is active worldwide. The common goal of these individuals is to leave the world a better place for horses and for people, too. If you are in a situation like the owner of Blaze, whose story is outlined below, please contact a Monty Roberts Certified Instructor to discuss the specific courses and instruction they provide. I hope you have great success in your search for a better knowledge of horsemanship through force-free communication, and know that my Instructors will be a valuable tool.

– Monty

 

December 4, 2010: Understanding the Needs of Horses

Sunday, December 5th, 2010

Often, when I see people working with horses, it seems clear to me why a horse might be confused. We humans are far from perfect at understanding the mind of a species whose behavioral patterns are so far removed from our own. I wish I could live another hundred years because I believe we will ‘get it’ much better as time progresses. I often watch horses migrate through a road map of understanding as I do my work. I feel as though many of them would like to come back to me a month or so after a training session and say, ‘Now I know why you persistently asked me to do something that seemed scary to me at the time. I can handle it now.’

The horse training principles that I practice and share with you focus on the nature of the horse and meeting his needs, rather than simply citing the needs of the human and setting out to make the horse conform to them. I would like each one of you to eliminate the phrase ‘make the horse’ from your vocabulary. Many decades of working with these wonderful animals have shown me the value of bringing the horse to want to do what you are asking of him, not demanding it of him through force.

There is a movement on this earth of ours to understand horses better and to treat them in a far more reasonable way than we have in the past. I congratulate those who seek information and live up to their responsibility to learn as much as they can about the horses they admire. You are the ‘doers’ in this industry, seeking answers to improve your understanding of, and relationship with, the horses we have come to love. Many people know by now that my life’s goal is to leave the world a better place than I found it, for horses and for people too. You know that I cannot do it by myself. Each of you will realize that if we are to succeed in becoming better partners with our horses, it will take a family of individuals who care. You can be part of that family.

– Monty Roberts

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