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View Full Version : Can we have a NON-TRAINWRECK discussion about Monty Roberts?



Oldenburg Mom
Feb. 17, 2007, 06:56 PM
I keep seeing his show on RFDTV. I'm sorry, I like it. He seems to consistently back youngsters with little difficulty. The horses seem ok with it. I like the fact that he only asks them to walk once backed. It's just a good experience, from what I can see. For everyone.

I also very much like his philosophy of training without violence. This does not mean I'm walking up to a striking, rearing stallion and saying, "Let's Join Up" ... But ... tell me. PLEASE. SOMEBODY. Am I missing something?

And please, let's not call each other names, lets not group ALL NH together, etc. etc. Let's just have a polite discussion. This doesn't mean everyone has to agree!!! But if you can't be ... nice ... don't ruin it for everyon else. :) Please.

Rt66Kix
Feb. 17, 2007, 07:27 PM
I saw him a few years ago, and was looking forward to it. His book was interesting; when I heard he was coming to town I bought a ticket.

The first few horses that he worked with responded much the same way as other horses that are round-penned and exposed to NH techniques. However, the fourth horse is what made me furious.

This gelding had gone into a severe bucking fit that caused his (inexperienced) owner to get hurt. She was given the microphone and went into tremendous detail about the extent of her injuries. She also took advantage of her mic time to give extensive background on the horse. "He was supposed to be a family-safe horse that I could trail ride and teach the kids basic riding skills. His last owner said he never did anything like this! He was perfect when we bought him!"

The gelding was asked to w/t/c in the round pen in both directions. No problems; no bucking; no refusing. MR then put "Herman the German" on the gelding, which is a child-sized stuffed dummy. The horse was perfect at all gaits in both directions.

Then they put a racing saddle on him, and Jason, MR's assistant, mounted. Jason is a professional bareback rider. The gelding proceeded to w/t with no problems, but as soon as he was asked for the canter, sure enough, he bucked. In both directions, but worse to the right, from what I recall.

MR solution to this was to put a "bucking string" on the horse, which consisted of a thin rope that went between his upper lip and gum. It was attached in some fashion so that if the horse dropped his head to buck, the rope would "bite" into his gums and cause pain. Jason gets back on; w/t is perfect; canter gets ugly. The horse started to drop his head to buck, hit the string, and came back up quickly. He soon learned not to buck, or else he had pain in his mouth. His canter was unbalanced, and he was really scrambling to keep his balance. None of this managed to solicit a comment from MR. But he didn't buck any more.

The owner was thrilled to tears. MR had fixed her horse! He did tell her that she needed to work with a trainer at home, and not attempt to ride the horse until he was more predictable.

At no time was it mentioned if the horse had seen a vet or chiro to see if the bucking was pain related. IMO, if the horse is fine with little to no weight on his back at the canter, then you add weight and he bucks, well, maybe his back HURTS. Maybe a nerve is being pinched. Maybe something is wrong when weight is added. DUH...

So right then and there I lost any desire to ever see or hear or attend anything associated with MR. My belief is to rule out the physical issues first, then go to a training issue. It seemed as though the horse had to choose between pain in the mouth versus pain in the back.

While he may have some value in some areas of what he offers, I certainly don't think much of him as a total "horseman." He certainly wasn't thinking of the horse's well-being and welfare in this case.:no:

Ghazzu
Feb. 17, 2007, 07:30 PM
I keep seeing his show on RFDTV. I'm sorry, I like it. He seems to consistently back youngsters with little difficulty. .

Good video editors are worth their weight in gold...

Percheron X
Feb. 17, 2007, 07:30 PM
I've always liked Monty Roberts. Just good plain honest horsemanship.

I found a couple of Monty Roberts videos on youtube in case anyone's interested.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dC_15etNe7U&mode=related&search=
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uGsOV_eOYXk

TriggsPony
Feb. 17, 2007, 07:34 PM
Good video editors are worth their weight in gold...

ditto.

I'm a strong advocate for Natural Horsemanship, just not Monty Roberts.

War Admiral
Feb. 17, 2007, 07:42 PM
Huuuuge caveat: I don't have cable and have never seen the show. However, I did like his book and I have a sense that the NH people have given him a hard time over not very much.

I don't like ANY of the NH gurus all that much, but I'd give him just as much credence as any of 'em...

Dalfan
Feb. 17, 2007, 07:49 PM
Mark Rashid is my favorite of the NH gurus. Love his books.

I would agree; a lot of editing goes on in those vids.

summerhorse
Feb. 17, 2007, 07:51 PM
Most of the NH people have things I like and things I don't particularly like or that don't work necessarily on every horse. You just take what you like and use that.

There are a lot of trainers in every discipline (dressage, jumping, racing, whatever) that do things that make my hair curl. But they win and people think they are WONDERFUL. I just decline to use their methods.

Oldenburg Mom
Feb. 17, 2007, 08:02 PM
Rt66Kix,

It's so funny you mention the string. Because it was used on one of my horses. Now, to be fair, my horse had been checked out by the vet pretty extensively, including x-rays. This was a training issue. Compared to what I've seen by others, this was a simple, easy solution to a potentially difficult and dangerous situation. PLUS, you could not get more "non-pain" than the "buck-stop" (that's what we called it.) It was a piece of bailing twine, underneath the top lip and was LOOSELY tied to a loop around the ears that was secured at the back of the saddle.

99.9999% it was no different than...I don't know, wearing a string around your wrist. BUT, if he went to buck, yes it hit him immediately in the gum. Ouch! But having seen this, and having worked through this difficulty, this was FAR less painful than a chain over the nose. FAR less. And he had the choice of what to do. And wisely, he chose NOT to buck. He did it once or twice in the beginning, and was finished. He never bucked again. Now, he still wore it ... for about three weeks/a month. But, that was it.

Ghazzu, I have a ton of respect for you. Your post implies that ... well, he (because it IS his name on all this stuff) intentionally attempts to paint a picture that may indeed not be accurate. I find it difficult to believe--and yes, I could be 100% wrong--that his system is just a question of clever editing. Ok, yes, I admit someone could sustain this image for many many years. But at what point do you stop and say, "He may just have something here." Or perhaps just, "I want to know more."

Triggspony ... why not Monty? I've watched quite a few on RFDTV and he appears to be someone who pushes his products the least. What is your opinion ...

RainyDayRide
Feb. 17, 2007, 08:02 PM
Mark Rashid is my favorite of the NH gurus. Love his books.



I audited one of his clinics a while back... he wouldn't let one rider proceed until checking out physical issues/saddle fit.

He worked with maybe six-seven riders for either two or all four days - quite remarkable to see the improvement from day to day.

Oldenburg Mom
Feb. 17, 2007, 08:07 PM
Most of the NH people have things I like and things I don't particularly like or that don't work necessarily on every horse. You just take what you like and use that.

I think this is a very good POV, and I agree with it whole heartedly. Take from this person, that person, and maybe just this one thing from that guy over there. Because it works for me (you...whatever.)

Isn't this what we all do with any trainer? We search for the trainer that is as close to our individual philosophy of animal care/training.

Mark Rashid ... who is he? What "school" is he.

BTW, I like Monty ... well, as much as I've seen and read. I do NOT like Parelli...he's a little crude for my taste And I don't like the Australian guy. If I were a horse I'd rip his lungs out for nag nag nagging with that stick he uses. ARGH!

Bluey
Feb. 17, 2007, 08:17 PM
Many years ago Horse and Rider magazine had an expose type story about his book and quoted several people, some family members, that said plenty of what he wrote about in the book is not so, he invented it to make the story good.

He may be a good enough trainer, except that I think his timing is not as good as so many others in those RFD-TV programs I have seen, that are not that many.
I would say that he is about an average trainer, no more or less and maybe that is all he means to be.

Freebird!
Feb. 17, 2007, 08:26 PM
ditto.

I'm a strong advocate for Natural Horsemanship, just not Monty Roberts.

Well, no matter how much - or how little - his videos are edited, the way I see it the proof is in the pudding. Back when I worked at a TB training farm (I must sound like a broken record starting so many posts like that, but I can't help it - I learned LOADS galloping and breaking TB's!) I was the "Head Baby Breaker" and we started every single baby the same way you see Monty doing it. Except for there was no Herman the German....instead I was the dummy :lol:
Out of ALL the babies we started - fillies, colts, and geldings - there was only one horse that was ever sent back, and it was a 3 1/2 y.o. unbroke TB that came from a hunter barn - go figure.

To show even further how well his methods worked, the trainer got the wonderful idea to host a GTOBA get together on the farm, and show everyone how to get a never before saddled filly, broke in 1 hour. Now, even being a Monty fan bthen, I sure had my doubts, but going step by step, in less then 1 hour we had the filly quietly walking, trotting, halting, backing up, and steering quite well under saddle. No editing necessary.

So yes, after seeing first hand how well his methods work, I give him two thumbs up. :yes:

Oldenburg Mom
Feb. 17, 2007, 08:35 PM
I would say that he is about an average trainer, no more or less and maybe that is all he means to be.

What an interesting comment! Maybe indeed, that is all he means to be. I am surprised, however, that anyone would call him average. When I think about the "average" trainers I have met,...and the "above average" trainers I have met, he stands out as one that is definately not cast in the same mold. He thinks out of the box ...

I may not be looking at this correctly, however. Tell me what you're thinking ... more detail.


So yes, after seeing first hand how well his methods work, I give him two thumbs up. :yes:

Yes, this is where I am at the moment, Freebird. Unless there is something I don't know, ... ??? Something hidden...??? I'm fairly naive, I admit. I just wonder what people find about his TRAINING methods,... not his book ... that are questionable.

qhgirl1
Feb. 17, 2007, 08:51 PM
I saw Monty twice. The first time I loved what he was able to accomplish. The second time I saw him was after he came out with the dually halter. I didn't like the second one as much because I felt he skipped some steps and relied too much on the halter and the horse didn't really understand what was being asked of her.

There's good and bad about every horse trainer out there. You just have to determine which works best for you; wheather that's one trainer in particular or a combination of techniques from several different trainers.

BarbB
Feb. 17, 2007, 08:57 PM
He's a salesman. I spent a long time in sales, I recognize the sales tricks. Done right a good salesman is putting on a show and can distract you from anything he doesn't want you to see.

Doesn't mean he doesn't train horses.

I just think he is a better salesman than horse trainer.

Bluey
Feb. 17, 2007, 09:04 PM
About the string, some people use a side check, that goes thru rings on the bridle or something similar and the ends attach to the snaffle, not a string under the gums.
That does the same, keeps a horse's head from going down and so from bucking very much.
One native indian that starts horses for a well known cutting horse trainer uses an overcheck, that is fixed and goes over the head, not on the sides, so has less give.

Here are those bridles with side checks, but you can make your own with string:

http://www.griffinbrook.com/train.htm

I think the string under the gums is a little more extreme, but not by much.
We never needed any such with the horses we started (and some were feral horses of many ages, all males still stallions) but in a pinch, may have used one.

I wonder sometimes if MR likes to train and finds the problem horses interesting, knows he is a good trainer but needs shortcuts because it is showy.
Surely part of his success is that has the personality that attracts the kind of people that go to clinics.

I think that if you are good with horses, you also know how good and how not very good you are.
I seem to see that in him and have heard from one fellow that screened horses for his shows that he stays away from some problems, prefers others that he knows he can handle.

Maybe all clinicians do that, it makes sense. Why fight where you may fail and not do right by the horse, or where the situation won't be right, like not enough time, too slow and boring, to get a horse over some problems?
To be a succesful clinician, you have to be a showman and get the work done and the more flash, the better photo opportunity.

I really had a hard time watching his programs, the few times I tried, because he was way too slow catching on what the horse was offering him, his "talk" with a horse when teaching was somewhat inconsistent and confused some horses, that were missing what he wanted, because he didn't reinforced them when they did right.
Then, I am not the one doing it and maybe he had other goals in mind than I would have in those situations.

I also don't think that when a horse licks it's lips is "giving in", but it is a nervous reaction that shows the horse is under stress, that can be good stress of calmly learning without being anxious or stressed from anxiety. There is release of that tightness with the licking and chewing, but it is not "giving in" to anything or anyone.
I think that started because foals do that to appease older horses and so it has been seen as a submissive behavior.
The extrapolation of that behavior to a horse chewing and licking in other situations is wrong, I think.

goldponies
Feb. 17, 2007, 09:28 PM
He's not worth the electric bill to watch the show.

Ghazzu
Feb. 17, 2007, 09:32 PM
Rt66Kix,

It's so funny you mention the string. Because it was used on one of my horses. Now, to be fair, my horse had been checked out by the vet pretty extensively, including x-rays. This was a training issue. Compared to what I've seen by others, this was a simple, easy solution to a potentially difficult and dangerous situation. PLUS, you could not get more "non-pain" than the "buck-stop" (that's what we called it.) It was a piece of bailing twine, underneath the top lip and was LOOSELY tied to a loop around the ears that was secured at the back of the saddle.

99.9999% it was no different than...I don't know, wearing a string around your wrist. BUT, if he went to buck, yes it hit him immediately in the gum. Ouch! But having seen this, and having worked through this difficulty, this was FAR less painful than a chain over the nose. FAR less.
And he had the choice of what to do. And wisely, he chose NOT to buck.

There are a tremendous number of nerve endings on the gums.
Even baling twine on the gingiva is more severe than a chain over the nose.
While there are certainly times to put this knowledge to use, please don't delude yourself that it is not painful when pressure is applied.



Ghazzu, I have a ton of respect for you. Your post implies that ... well, he (because it IS his name on all this stuff) intentionally attempts to paint a picture that may indeed not be accurate. I find it difficult to believe--and yes, I could be 100% wrong--that his system is just a question of clever editing. Ok, yes, I admit someone could sustain this image for many many years. But at what point do you stop and say, "He may just have something here." Or perhaps just, "I want to know more."


He may have some nuggets of "something".
But IMHO, they are not worth digging through all the manure to reach.
Especially when there are other people (Rashid, as has been mentioned) who are willing to provide them without burying them in manure.

I lost any tolerance for Rberts after I was subjected to a speech in which he ranted and raved about how we wouldn't be in Iraq if only Ronald Reagan had followed through on his plan to send Monty to the middle east to fix everything up.

The man has an ego the size of Alaska.

PS--I've read his much maligned father's book, and Roberts stole most of his ideas from the man he spends so much time smearing.

Tom King
Feb. 17, 2007, 09:34 PM
A round pen is a useful thing. Haven't figured out the usefulness of Guru's yet.

clanter
Feb. 17, 2007, 09:38 PM
He's a salesman. I spent a long time in sales, I recognize the sales tricks. Done right a good salesman is putting on a show and can distract you from anything he doesn't want you to see.

Doesn't mean he doesn't train horses.

I just think he is a better salesman than horse trainer.


Tickets, every one have their tickets; the train is prepared to leave the station

All aboard…

Freebird!
Feb. 17, 2007, 09:39 PM
Yes, this is where I am at the moment, Freebird. Unless there is something I don't know, ... ??? Something hidden...??? I'm fairly naive, I admit. I just wonder what people find about his TRAINING methods,... not his book ... that are questionable.

That's the problem OM. People get so caught up with "he misquoted so-an-so in his book" Or "He's just a showman" or "He just uses gimmicks" that they miss all of the training techniques he has. I personally don't care about his shows on RFD, or his books. I just like his good solid training, which as I said above, does work. Before I started galloping racehorses I was a decent rider I guess, but I had never started a horse - just a few ponies here and there. In 6 months I was the head baby breaker, and was able to start the filly mentioned above in 45 minutes...with out getting killed. I'm not trying to toot my own horn here - I'm just saying that I have a lot to owe him, and there is a lot of good in what he teaches....if folks would just listen.

TBROCKS
Feb. 17, 2007, 09:42 PM
I have, like most everyone posting here, mixed feelings on the NH stuff. Mostly puzzled by why some NH equipment costs an arm an a leg and you have to be a "member" to buy it off a special website...But whatever, if that's how you find joy with your horse (and you got the bucks :lol:) more power to ya. I agree that you take what you like and leave what you don't. I watch MR and Clinton Anderson on RFDTV and used a combination of their methods to teach my 2 year old TB to trailer load, and the boy now walks onto the trailer on his own and stands patiently til I ask him to get off. It didn't take long for him to teach him, either. Priceless!

Plumcreek
Feb. 17, 2007, 10:13 PM
MR trained western show horses, and has his Flag is Up farm near where I grew up. He has had a lifetime of experience. I think that really knowing horses and being able to train and figure them out is one set of skills. Being able to make a living from the public off that knowledge WITHOUT having to train day to day, actually get on the horses and produce, or run a horse farm profitably (and we all know that is tough) takes a whole 'nother set of skills. Which is where all the ego, inflating the family drama in the book, salesmanship, and Magic Equipment comes in to separate the public from their money.

A judge I stewarded for, who was from the same area as well and knew MR since college at Cal Poly, said "He's got a great gig going, wish I had thought of it first".

Murphy's Mom
Feb. 17, 2007, 10:20 PM
I've never read his book. I've never seen his tv program. I have, however, seen him in person. I thought he was awful and, in some cases, downright abusive and detrimental to the horse's well being.

RoyalTRider
Feb. 17, 2007, 10:22 PM
"Can we have a non-trainwreck...."

Well, that depends. Can we have a Big Lick thread now, too?

Tom King
Feb. 17, 2007, 10:24 PM
looks like probably not.

SweetLatte
Feb. 17, 2007, 10:32 PM
My problem with Monty Roberts doesn't stem from his methods, but the fact that he claims that he "invented" each and every one of them. :rolleyes::

oleary157
Feb. 17, 2007, 10:37 PM
to answer the OP's question in the headline:

NO:lol:

Pronzini
Feb. 17, 2007, 10:44 PM
My problem with Monty Roberts doesn't stem from his methods, but the fact that he claims that he "invented" each and every one of them. :rolleyes::

And also the implication that every trainer pre Monty was a monster.

My personal problem with Monty is the razzmatazz. He always seems to be starting horses and only allowing a short time to do it so he can wow an audience. Training is about a lot more than just putting a saddle on their back or even sitting on them the first time.

Chipngrace
Feb. 18, 2007, 01:36 AM
I've always liked Monty Roberts. Just good plain honest horsemanship.

I found a couple of Monty Roberts videos on youtube in case anyone's interested.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dC_15etNe7U&mode=related&search=
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uGsOV_eOYXk


I was at the Expo in MN when he was working with Special, very cool. I've never seen his videos and I love the first one, he's got a great way of communicating on video that kept my attention and I loved the way he interacted with the baby horse.

equusrocks
Feb. 18, 2007, 01:57 AM
I had a hard time taking his methods to heart when I saw that video of him pressing that colt for days, while Monty had fresh horses lined up to chase him with. I think he could have found better ways to get his message across, that was a little excessive for my taste. While I'm sure he must be doing something right, I'd rather study elsewhere.

goeslikestink
Feb. 18, 2007, 02:46 AM
ummmmmm -- in general a lot of what these types of people teach to others or write or show is just snipppets of information thats been collected over the years
and then performed into a practice art--

to earn a living practice it enough and you have them same thing over and over agian but whenone horse doesnt perform or isnt prepapred and ready for said show then the horse is mad a bad fellow of untrianable

i learnt a long time ago from a great teacher that to learn about horses and ponies is you--- have to get close to those horses and ponies as an indidviual---
this has several meanings -- when you read the sentence think about what its teaching you as a human then think about how it can help you

thre are plenty of good horsepeople around that dont sell themselves in such a way and whose knoweldge is vast and at times are redicled even on here this bb board-- as harsh, outspoken, or what do you know types--
thing is when people have dealt with horses in lifetime and not just the average owner that might have 1 or maybe 2 horses and think they understand when in truth they do not - you cant judge well all lifes have to offer becuase - i own a horse type of thing--

and you cant learn it alll in one session and say this is how it has to be done watch me type of thing-----
horses /ponies are indidvual as they come and the learning game is a constant thing--

tkae for exsample -- if you teach a perosn to jump over a set of grids and you do those grids everyday of your life say 3ft just for argurment sake
then the perosn teaching has always a group of people to jump those as it he average hieght one goes up to --- but some will stay and continue with the lesson and some will not as there level has been tuaght to that hieght and they want to go on so they look elsewhere to learn more about the maxium hieght they can jump to-- whereby the miumium height people or new people comming into those lessons will thing great i have a erson here who can teach me to jump to a level i am happy with--------
the perosn who teaching therefore has a flow of folllowers over time some he loses some he keeps and some come back for a top and a practice
and some go onto other great thing as they have been taught the basics--

with these people they are showmen/women that have practice there art to perfection to make money
but in normal circumstances atrainer does the same ie a bhs registered trianer
teaching at riding schools etc knows the basics to

then you have advanced trianers and those are the ones that have been there and done it and have a proven record
like mary king pippa funnel william fox pitt john smart, grame fletcher
john whittaker etc
and those that are proven still compete -- some that are older ie john smart
may not be interanatonal to notch competing due to age but still compete nationally for fun and himself --- but his expreinces
are then still worthy when hes british eventing (as he used to compete 3 day
then show jumping) and bsja for over 30yrs hes a proven worthy expreince guy to give his knoweldge to those that need it and want it so he will alway have a group off followers yet compare to monty roberts
doesnt have to advertise and yes folks he teaches in good old usa
maryland ohio and camden so if hes near you go to a clinic and take your horses hes an excellent certified trianer --and so is his son of whome resides there ---and was a champion jockey- jonathan smart ---

my point -- its not the way of how you teach it how you teach it and is it worthwhile to you and your horse/pony
and when you been in horses as long as i have over time you learn to become a horse whisperer yourself as you start to understand the horses/ponies
but unless you ask politely then no horse or pony will do anything --
and i will say again with out watching monty roberts and for free
you have top level advance people alreayd here on the bb----

and i havent been here that long but already know who some are
when you dealing with people that are--- fei ---- csi --cso-- take it from me they lived it been it and still doing it ---
and the poeple that run resuce cneters see it to as they have to pick up the peices and make bewtter way of life for the horses thhat didnt make it to a nice home till they have them so to sort out there problem horses they need to find the cuase then work on that and bring them round
mays s comes to mind county another , me , lori --whoever wehat ever
then you have thomas 1 who is fei and still has a huge school and his knowledge is past on he dont need to shout and have a tv show but hes worthy of his chsoen dispaline -- but just becuase he drives doent mena to say that he doesnt do dressage or jump as those horse have to be obidenat so high clasical dressage comes to mind ---

youngters how you start them off is how you handle them in the 1st place and how you teach them good or bad its the human hand that does both good or the damage if you not expreinced enought then you send it to someone who is now wether thats monty thats entirely up to you --
but to me i oweuldnt have my youngster send round ina ring being chased
if it was brought up well it wont need to be -- as it would come to you
andin most they arnt wild just unhandled -- but then that was down to the owner to handle it

goeslikestink
Feb. 18, 2007, 02:56 AM
was tring to get you see that what you do at the start of ones life with ahorse
is down to how its been brought up-- and then to follow though by types of educated trianers to bring the horse and you on to your chosen disapline

but to me monty roberts starts horses as his tve show and his books but then what after that contibue having lessons --with him-- its a one day one thing

a show ----- practice to the art of perfection as with many of thses types of things parelli who ever what ever

in life its a continued education -- and for that you need grounded certifeid or proven trianers to help you and your horse wether it be a youngster or adult

natural horsemanship comes from the very 1st moment you say helloo to the horse you have it or you dont --

rideagoldenpony
Feb. 18, 2007, 03:02 AM
Haven't read everyone else's replies..... my husband and I watch him on RFD-TV, have not seen him in person. My husband read his book many years ago (and was impressed with it at the time), I have not read it.

My husband is a horse trainer by profession. It is what he does all day every day, and he achieves excellent results with both youngsters and problem horses (and no, he is not one of those cretin trainers that MR infers everyone but him must be). So I am coming at this from a knowledgable perspective.

We are not Monty Roberts fans.

What we see is that he is "stealing rides" in a lot of cases (as do many other clinicians). When you bring a horse into a new situation like those where there are tons of spectators, someone talking on a microphone, other horses around, etc -- you can "get away" with a LOT. We even see this with the first day that a new horse arrives here on our farm for training -- and it is certainly a lot less chaotic here!! They haven't soaked everything in yet, and you basically get "freebies" for the first ride or two -- for lack of a better explanation.

We watched Monty Robers work with a horse called "Quite Cool" on the last episode, and one of the things that stood out to me was that every time he wanted the horse to follow him in his so called "join up" he reached up and led the horse, then when it was walking beside him, he let go of the halter. He never walked away from the horse and had it follow him, he pushed it around in a circle with his body. The horse was not following him -- he was essentially following the horse. The horse was not "joined up" to him in the slightest.

Also, in other episodes we have seen him saddling horses and sometimes putting a rider on them that were really not ready for that. You really want horses to be comfortable with the process before moving onto the next step -- vs. hurrying up for the sake of being able to say "look what *IIIIIIIIIIIIIIII* accomplished in 20 minutes!!!!!" It isn't about how fast you get it done -- it is about lasting results and a horse that is calm and comfortable with what you are doing.

There are so many other things I could describe, but the bottom line is we don't think much of Monty or his blow up dolls. :lol:

In general though, I feel there is a bit to be learned from nearly everyone -- even if it is what you WON'T be doing!!! You never will know it all, and it is important to constantly bear that in mind. ;)

Bluey
Feb. 18, 2007, 03:35 AM
---"What we see is that he is "stealing rides" in a lot of cases (as do many other clinicians). "---

Yes, there is an art to that, to steal rides and keep doing it until the horse has learned something without blowing up.
For those that start many colts, day after day and keep riding them until they have several weeks under them, what clinicians do in a few hours is but a mere start and some of them botch it anyway, letting the horse act up, buck with the saddle and such, that a professional would not have let happen.
Why teach a horse to buck when you first saddle him, if you don't want a bucking horse?

I saw a well known clinician "start" a halterbroke colt in a round pen, working very well with the gentle colt, taking his time saddling him and then turned him loose, shooing him on and the colt exploded and, not being under control, ran into the panels and kept on bucking, scaring himself silly.:eek:

That clinician never got him to quit bucking that day, or the next day, when he tried again and he never did try to get on him then, as he said he would.
I would not have either, after spending two days letting him buck as much as he wanted and get better and better at it.:(

When we were starting colts, if one acted up too much, we were reprimanded.
It was considered our fault the colt acted up, that we had not done something right.
Acting up is resisting and we should as trainers know how to teach without bringing up that resistence in our horses.
There are skills and techniques that helps get colts started and going well.

Once you are going on with a colt in more busy environments, that is when something may set the colt off that is not under your control and then, if you had time to work enough to teach well, you can ride the storm without much trouble.

Percheron X
Feb. 18, 2007, 04:16 AM
I once had a trainer who didn't like some of what George Morris teaches, but I didn't agree with her, and I stopped riding with her because I didn't want to be part of the 1% that rode in her "style". But she taught me how lunge in a way where the horse really, really focused, where before her, lunging for me was only just W/T/C. I found other trainers that taught me how to ride the way I wanted, but none of them ever taught me how to lunge a horse like that.

I like Ghazzu's metaphor: "He may have some nuggets of "something". But IMHO, they are not worth digging through all the manure to reach."

I have yet to meet one person in this world who is 100% nuggets of "something". In my experience you always have to dig through at least some manure to reach a nugget.

The question for each of us is..... just what nuggets are you looking for..... how much manure are they worth digging through to reach..... and are you sure that you'll know where to find them?

When I watched the videos I posted earlier in this thread, I learned a little nugget regarding a question I recently posted in the dressage forum about horses that run backwards. Not what Monty was teaching in the video, but that's what I got out of it....

goeslikestink
Feb. 18, 2007, 05:49 AM
px thats true --- and i echo your statement

chai
Feb. 18, 2007, 07:22 AM
I have been to three of his seminars and while he is obviously a shameless self promoter, I like his message of non-violence in starting young horses and handling horses in general. At all three seminars, I saw a man who genuinely loves these animals, who took his time, and was very kind to the horses. I was most intereseted in his trailer loading demonstrations and there is no getting around the fact that he also got results without a huge fight or blowups.
If anything, he has proven to 'trainers' who think it's ok to break a horse's spirit with force and violence that there's another way to start young horses without hurting them. imho, that's a good message. I don't think everyone should run home from his clinic with a souped up special halter and a round pen, but he has some good ideas and suggestions.
Also, so what if he sells tickets to his seminars? How is that different from a trainer charging an audit fee for a clinic?

Bluey
Feb. 18, 2007, 07:28 AM
---"If anything, he has proven to 'trainers' who think it's ok to break a horse's spirit with force and violence that there's another way to start young horses without hurting them. imho, that's a good message."---

That is an odd comment?:confused:
Could you elaborate on that?

Starting a horse under saddle is something everyone training horses does.
You are educating a horse, showing him what we want and how to do it.

It doesn't involve anything about force or spirit, I don't think.
It is about communicating what we want in a way horses understand.

Oldenburg Mom
Feb. 18, 2007, 08:50 AM
Wow! Go to bed and look what happens.

Well, at least it's an interesting discussion, and I think everyone has been polite with good manners, expressing differing opinions without calling everyone names, etc. What a nice thing for a cold wintery day!

So I've read everyone's replies. As a general remark, I am not interested in how he maligned or didn't malign people in his book. Or where he got his ideas, or his ego. All I'm really interested in are his techniques...not where he got them, if he stole them, etc. etc.

Freebird, that's my question. Does his technique work for backing horses? The principles of non-violence?

Plumcreek, he seems to have less "junk" for sale than others. The main one I see him promoting is his "Dually" halter. And you really don't even need to buy that. Don't get me wrong, you can spend thousands and thousands. But you also don't have to.

Murphy's Mom. Can you explain the abuse etc. you saw?

Tom King, ... you make me laugh!! C'mon this isn't too bad.:lol:

Pronzini, I agree about this one. What I see however, is a kindly START to that training. Yes, training takes years years years. This is just the beginning of that long road...but I certainly agree with you.

Equusrocks ... pressing for days? I don't know about this ... can you elaborate?

Goeslikestink: <<natural horsemanship comes from the very 1st moment you say helloo to the horse you have it or you dont -->> This is such a good statement! I guess it's either in your heart or not.

Rideagoldenpony ... I saw that exact same episode, with Quite Cool. And yes, I noticed the same same thing. I did not reach to same conclusions, however. First, I thought what a LOVELY horse. And I think "join up" happened ... just not as strongly as possible. I think part of that was the audience... in fact at one point he actually asked an audience member to stay still. But the objective, of getting the horse backed, calmly, was achieved. I guess what I'm saying is so far I am trying to keep an open mind.

Bluey ... you obviously have much much more experience,... heck,...everyone probably has more experience that I do!!! :lol: :yes: An dyour example of the horse that went into the roundpen walls... YIKES! Was this MR? The reason I ask questions here is for this very reason...you all have more experience. I want to know what you think and what you see. I'm trying to get edumacated! And because I've got a lot less infront of me than behind, well, it makes learning more difficult. But I really am paying attention and listening to what you write!!

Percheron ... I like very much what you wrote. It seems as if I'm on the same page ... which again goes back to the same stuff written earlier. Take those nuggets you find ... and leave the rest.

Chai & Bluey ... I like Chai's statement about non-violence. I'll never forget watching a grand-prix rider working with one of his/her students and his/her student's horse. The objective was to square up for a halt. So the horse and rider would trot trot trot etc., halt. If the horse wasn't square this GP rider would take his/her dressage whip and hit the foot. This accomplished nothing. The horse did not understand what was being asked. I learned that day, and I am not saying when or where or who did this, there IS a lot of violence ... there CAN be a lot of violence in training. ANYONE that espouses non-violence has a good start in my book. Who was it that said "Nothing beautiful can be achieved by force." I guess that's where I'm coming from. So far, from what I have read, from what I have seen...I have seen nothing but kindness. I guess the bottom line here is ... I need to go SEE him work, not just watch an edited TV program. :yes:

Ghazzu. I saved the best for last! :lol:
There are a tremendous number of nerve endings on the gums.
Even baling twine on the gingiva is more severe than a chain over the nose.
While there are certainly times to put this knowledge to use, please don't delude yourself that it is not painful when pressure is applied.

I'm sure it did hurt. It also hurts when you rip a bandaid off a hairy arm. Ouch! The horse in question had two attempts at bucking (and I saw it ... they were minor attempts) Then it was finished. Now, he did continue to wear it for the next two-three weeks. But it was loose loose loose ... like a loop around the wrist. I think this was a better solution ... quick, over in two minutes. Conversely, I have seen people at breed shows with a youngster jerk jerk jerk jerk the chain over the nose (or a bridle in the mouth) so many times I can't count. Heck, I did it at Devon one year with a baby. And someone I know reprimanded me fiercely ... and I deserved it. I've learned my lesson. I would rather, in such a serious case as bucking that can seriously injure both horse and rider, have a very short painful solution, that works, than months and months that may do nothing more than reinforce the issue. Tell me I'm wrong. I sure may be. I hope I never give the impression that I know it all. And I'm not trying to be confrontational... what would you have done. Or better yet, WWTKD? :lol: What would Tom King do. Maybe there IS a better way!

TBROCKS
Feb. 18, 2007, 09:02 AM
---"If anything, he has proven to 'trainers' who think it's ok to break a horse's spirit with force and violence that there's another way to start young horses without hurting them. imho, that's a good message."---
That is an odd comment?
Who DOESN'T know someone or have personal experience with sending their horse for training, only to have it return a nervous wreck psycho from being manhandled and bullied? Sadly, I'm in the club. It seems that many trainers will give lip service to the fact that breaking a horse with gentle methods is the way to go, but few have the patience or will take the time to actually use them, instead resorting to gadgets and roughness. Great trainers are out there (I did find one) but IMO they're outnumbered by ones that suck.

WildBlue
Feb. 18, 2007, 09:21 AM
I can only tell you my impression. I saw him live several years ago and was looking forward to it after reading his book. After seeing him handle horses, I can tell you that I don't want him working with any of mine.

I know clinicians need to put on a show in a limited amount of time. But, to me, that's a real problem--it's easy to have too much show and not enough training and background psychology.

It might have been the first year he was pushing that pully-type halter. He had a panel chute set up to a ramped stock trailer and used his halter on each of the two horses. If the horse refused to go toward the trailer, while being crowded by the panels, he jerked it around until it decided that the trailer was less bad than the halter. Both horses were clearly stressed--white eyes, sweating, and trembling visible to the bleachers. Yes, he got them loading in about 5 minutes flat and from comments around me plenty of people planned to buy the magic halter. But, honestly, I'd have been a LOT more impressed if he'd taken as much time as the horses needed to stay calm and learn to quietly self-load.

He did the twine on the gums, as well, and did NOT issue a caveat in the form of what can go wrong. IMOHO, that's irresponsble. What happens if the horse stumbles or trips? Plenty of people were gung-ho about that little gadget, too. After the clinic, some first time horse owners at my barn who'd bought their daughter a barely-broke young horse made a short piece of twine from the horse's gums to the saddle horn a normal part of his bridle on the theory that it'd make their child safer.

Oldenburg Mom
Feb. 18, 2007, 09:33 AM
After the clinic, some first time horse owners at my barn who'd bought their daughter a barely-broke young horse made a short piece of twine from the horse's gums to the saddle horn a normal part of his bridle on the theory that it'd make their child safer.

Oh crikey! What a disaster. That's not the way it's supposed to be used...that's a recipe for a major disaster, IMO.

This is the BEST argument I've ever read for a clinician not showing a technique in public.

equusrocks
Feb. 18, 2007, 09:34 AM
OM, I just meant that in his book he claims to have ridden 100 miles over 3 days while trying to get Shy Boy to "join up." That just set me off a little bit. I just didn't see how chasing a horse through 100 miles of rough terrain for 3 days was a "gentle" experience.

Equibrit
Feb. 18, 2007, 09:36 AM
It is very easy for somebody with experience to look like a guru with all the answers, when compared to a room full of sycophants.

Oldenburg Mom
Feb. 18, 2007, 09:38 AM
OM, I just meant that in his book he claims to have ridden 100 miles over 3 days while trying to get Shy Boy to "join up." That just set me off a little bit. I just didn't see how chasing a horse through 100 miles of rough terrain for 3 days was a "gentle" experience.

YIKES! That is something I understand. Was Shy Boy a mustang?


It is very easy for somebody with experience to look like a guru with all the answers, when compared to a room full of sycophants.

Equibrit, so you are suggesting that the audience is populated with : self-seeking, servile flatterers; fawning parasites* I don't think this is necessarily true. I think some people attend to see him fail. I'm sure there are a great deal of "doubting Thomases" ... or perhaps people that just want to know what all the brouhaha is about.


--------------------------
* Definition of sycophant: a self-seeking, servile flatterer; fawning parasite. From www.dictionary.com (http://www.dictionary.com).

Bluey
Feb. 18, 2007, 09:41 AM
---"dyour example of the horse that went into the roundpen walls... YIKES! Was this MR? "---

No, should have made that clear, since we are speaking of him here.
I have only seen him a few times for a few minutes on RFD-TV and maybe long time ago, I think it was him, but may not have been, in a National Geographic documentary, where someone was covering a wild horse in a chute with grain, so it would "give in" to not being able to flee or fight back and so accepted that people were not a danger when approaching and touching him, or something like that.

Knowing how some farmer is killed every year in grain silos from the weight of the grain, even kids are killed in grain trucks if they fall in while it is being loaded, I was worried about the pressure of the grain on the horse's body and if it could breathe right.

When they let the horse out, he was drenched in sweat and had a very worried expression that I didn't like at all.
I wonder how he was the next day, how they continued with him, something they didn't touch on.

Someone gave me his book a few years ago for Christmas and it was interesting, but then, anyone's story is, I think.

That's all I know of MR, so really that's all I can say, don't have enough to go by with more.

Oldenburg Mom
Feb. 18, 2007, 09:48 AM
Oh, heaven's Bluey. I would like to think that MR wouldn't have done something as ... counter-intuitive ... and downright dangerous as something like that! I guess I made an assumption that it was a NH in a normal roundpen. I guess that's not the case.

Auventera Two
Feb. 18, 2007, 09:55 AM
I keep seeing his show on RFDTV. I'm sorry, I like it. He seems to consistently back youngsters with little difficulty. The horses seem ok with it. I like the fact that he only asks them to walk once backed. It's just a good experience, from what I can see. For everyone.

I also very much like his philosophy of training without violence. This does not mean I'm walking up to a striking, rearing stallion and saying, "Let's Join Up" ... But ... tell me. PLEASE. SOMEBODY. Am I missing something?

And please, let's not call each other names, lets not group ALL NH together, etc. etc. Let's just have a polite discussion. This doesn't mean everyone has to agree!!! But if you can't be ... nice ... don't ruin it for everyon else. :) Please.

Take what you like from each trainer and form your own methods that work for the horses you own or train. I take little bits from everyone - both traditional and natural and shape it into something that works for me. I do like some of techniques of Parelli, Lyons, Anderson, etc. but I also use a lot of normal ole' traditional methods too based on classical dressage. It just all depends on the horse I'm working with.

98neigh
Feb. 18, 2007, 09:57 AM
I've been to a Monty Roberts clinic, been to a Parelli clinic. I've read Carlyn Resnick's book Naked Liberty and got her video. there's another woman Leslie Diamond (I believe is her name) who does some natural training. I think, OM, you might want to look at the women. My perception of the men is a 'you must' attitude towards the horses, while the women, are more of 'let's do this together, let's be a team'.

I was going to type more, but I"m sick of typing (pretty pathetic, eh?). Anyway, look to the ladies.

chai
Feb. 18, 2007, 09:59 AM
Bluey, I'm a little bit confused by your question. Don't you ever wonder why it's traditionally been called 'breaking' a horse,as in breaking the horse's spirit so it will become subservient to man?
Believe me, if you've ever seen a 'broken' horse, it's not something you will forget. I spent a summer working for a bnt who was hot off a big win. People shipped in horses for training with this person, paying a small fortune, and the pressure for results, quickly, was huge.
A young horse came in for training that was one of those love-bugs you just can't resist. Cleaning his stall was practically impossible because he was in your pocket the whole time, curious, funny and incredibly sweet. He did not have a mean bone in his body.
Two weeks into his training, the bnt completely lost it with this young horse during a 'schooling session', beating him so badly, he was covered with welts from his poll to his tail. The was ridden so hard, he tied up and the vet had to be called in. I will never forget looking into the stall and seeing what this rock star of the horse world had done to this poor horse in just one ride. The light had totally gone out in his eye, and the curious, sweet creature who would come for snuggles was standing in the back corner of his stall with his head bowed, completely broken in body and spirit.
So, Bluey, I hope you understand now what I meant by violent versus non-violent methods of training a horse. Once you've seen what a heavy-handed monster can do to a horse, anybody who promotes kindness, patience and working With the horse instead of breaking the horse is ok in my book.

Ghazzu
Feb. 18, 2007, 10:00 AM
If anything, he has proven to 'trainers' who think it's ok to break a horse's spirit with force and violence that there's another way to start young horses without hurting them.

Why in the name of Allah do so many people seem to think that, until and unless a trainer is enlightened by MR, that most, or even many, trainers are "violent"?
I started working with young horses 40 years ago, and the people who taught me were slow, steady, and non-violent. They were also not the exception to standard methods, then or now.

Utah
Feb. 18, 2007, 10:07 AM
I've always liked Monty Roberts. Just good plain honest horsemanship.
]


He came to the barn I was boarding at. The two "unbroke" horses he and his "assistant" rode for "the first time" had all been under saddle for six months. He was well aware of this fact...he picked them out.

Daydream Believer
Feb. 18, 2007, 10:10 AM
I have never understood the hostility towards MR. I read his book and then read the rebuttals written by his family. Honestly...I could care less on who is telling the truth but one thing that is certain is that MR has taken care of lots and lots of foster children over the years and he promotes non violence in his lifestyle and his training methods. That is a good thing IMO.

He was the first NH guru I ever saw in a clinic and I thought it was pretty neat stuff. I used many of his methods to train my wild BLM mustang rescue gelding and they worked just fine...I had him happily going under saddle in short order and with a willing happy attitude as well.

I personally thought the bucking string idea is a good one and while it might hurt a horse who puts his head down to buck, it's better than seeing someone hurt badly by the horse or seeing the horse sold for meat. Yes, of course physical issues should be addressed first, but by the time these horses get to his clinic, generally they have been a problem bucker for a long time.

I also love his hair dryer trick to get horses used to clippers on their ears...very clever.

I have now been exposed to a number of NH trainers and still like MR alot as well as CA. They are quite different but each system works best with a different sort of horse.

I did get to meet Monty at the Equine Affaire some years ago and he stood and chatted with me for some time about my horse and did seem to care about my questions and my horse.

Dressage62
Feb. 18, 2007, 10:14 AM
Is the string over the gums thing like the Savvy String the other guy sells?

Bluey
Feb. 18, 2007, 10:15 AM
Why in the name of Allah do so many people seem to think that, until and unless a trainer is enlightened by MR, that most, or even many, trainers are "violent"?
I started working with young horses 40 years ago, and the people who taught me were slow, steady, and non-violent. They were also not the exception to standard methods, then or now.

Right, that is the way I learned, from true professionals, that were TEACHING horses, not breaking them.
I was the test pilot for several years, watching and learning, before I was given my own to start from scratch and then I had someone at my shoulder, correcting every little thing, until I got it right.

As for the big hat trainer that beat that horse, I have seen an olympic team member lose it's cool and beat a horse with one of those leather leads with a chain on the end, leaving welts and bare spots on the horse's behind and hind legs from the chain, the only time I have seen a horse really beaten and it was not as bad as you descibe, but enough for me.
The horse was jumping some gymnastics and he ducked a little and he fell off, the horse ran to the barn and into his stall, where the fellow grabbed the reins and jerked on them as he was hitting him with the lead.
So out of character, too. Useless, senseless. One wonders about people sometimes.

Dressage62
Feb. 18, 2007, 10:16 AM
"My perception of the men is a 'you must' attitude towards the horses, while the women, are more of 'let's do this together, let's be a team'"

This is a good comment. I can't tell you how many shows I've been to when the woman rider brings a boyfriend/SO who is not a horseperson, but thinks he can out-pull a horse because he is a big, strong man. Well, you know who wins in a horse versus man pulling contest.

FatPalomino
Feb. 18, 2007, 10:25 AM
My horse was in one if his clinics. My horse was a very quiet well handled baby, and we bought him up as the clinic was a benefit for a theraputic riding group named SPUR in NJ and they needed extra horses. (For you NJ folks this was probably 8 years ago at Convention Hall in Asbury Park, I had a big Palomino gelding and it was the 2nd night. The 1st night MR worked with a Palomino stud named Cooscenario and it did NOT go well...)

I saw Monty behind the scenes and wasnt impressed. He had to have 4 horses there and picked 2 for the demo. He lied that night about how well it went with the horse he did earlier that day (it did not go well...)

He was able to get my very quiet gelding to buck. They kept kicking him and kicking him to move on. Great way to deaden a baby to leg!

His ring was extremly deep footing. It took nearly an hour to cool my horse enough to let him stand in the stall- after 20 MINUTES of work. I think you get any baby (esp. a QH or a Fresian, the ones he picked to do in front of people) blowing that hard it's probably easy to get on.

My impression: very much a businessman. And very good at it.

BTW, anyone remember the story on TV years ago about a chestnut racehorse in CA that was banned from the tracks for starting gate issues that Monty "Fixed". I forget the horse's name, but he was by Blushing Groom, I think he had Blushing in his name. Anyway, I saw that horse with a fractured leg at the lay up barn my trainer worked out of. Great thing Monty fixed his starting gate issue :)

Oldenburg Mom
Feb. 18, 2007, 10:28 AM
Why in the name of Allah do so many people seem to think that, until and unless a trainer is enlightened by MR, that most, or even many, trainers are "violent"?

Ghazzu,

Well, I don't. I think there are a LOT of trainers out there that could care less about MR, probably have never heard of him, and do just fine. I'm sure the majority of Bereiters have never heard of him ... or perhaps have and dismiss him out of hand. I have never seen how they start a horse...but there are certain Germans I trust, and I don't think he would allow anything as Chai has described.

I think it is very easy to become frustrated and angry with a horse you are training. How many times have we read threads about people losing their temper with their horse and subsequently feeling so distraught, they ask for help with the guilt... right here on this BB.

A friend of mine says when she's working with her horses and she starts feeling frustrated she immediately stops and goes back to the house. If she's had a bad day...she doesn't go out. I've done it, not just once, but many times over the past five years. My horses have paid the price of my learning ... and it has humbled, and made me profoundly ashamed of myself.

If nothing else, MR is a flea in my ear reminding me over and over and over, that pain does not work as a training philosophy. By the way, this doesn't mean I've every beaten the manure out of my horses...or tied their heads to their tails, ridden them in drawreins... (JOKE! just kidding about the drawreins.) Nor have I ever done anything like Bluey described. Probably in the grand scheme of things, people would roll their eyes. But I am admitting there are times I should not have done what I have done.

Ok, maybe I'm rambling. But it IS so easy not to be patient. I think that perhaps that's the most important thing I've learned over the past 5-6 years. P-A-T-I-E-N-C-E. What's the hurry?


Is the string over the gums thing like the Savvy String the other guy sells?

I don't know... I'm going to look it up though. No, it's not, from what I can find.

Fatpalomino: Now this is what I'm talking about. Here is one person that can cite chapter and verse why his techniques are bunk. She saw it, she's not taking it second hand (although I am :lol:.) FP, did you have any chance to actually confront or question him about these issues? Did anyone? I am wondering if there was a response... ?

Dressage62 ... :lol: yeah, that pulling issue is one I learned pretty early on. Right along with: you can't stop a horse by pulling it's tail. :lol:

DressageGeek "Ribbon Ho"
Feb. 18, 2007, 10:30 AM
I would just like an acknowledgement that I played nicely and did not create a trainwreck, even though I really, really wanted to. Does this mean the Easter Bunny will fill my basket with many peeps?

Bluey
Feb. 18, 2007, 10:46 AM
---"or tied their heads to their tails, ridden them in drawreins... "---

I was taught how to tie their heads around when I came to the SW USA, is what all do here.
I didn't see much sense, what I was doing was working fine and no chance of a horse fighting and getting hurt and also, where is the real release, when a horse has to stay bent for any time? So I never have used it.

One horse I know was left over lunch in a stall tied back and when they came back and turned him loose, he could not bend his head at all.
He swelled from his poll to the shoulder and it took over a week for the swelling to go down and the horse be able to bend his neck any at all and several months before he could bend his head to one side.
No one knows what happened, if he fought and fell on his head, or what.

As for draw reins, we used them to teach an advanced RIDER that was having trouble achieving a feel for a horse's lightnes and giving to you, for a few minutes, then requested that the rider asked for similar feel with it's seat, legs and regular reins, always being very careful the horse didn't get behind the bit.

From all the years training in Europe, long ago, nor recently, I saw ONE horse that draw reins were used on, a Trakehner mare that came with tremendous resistences and the head instructor used them for a little, to help her "find the way to the ground" without the avoiding she was locked into.
Draw reins we were told were a tool "as dangerous as a razor on a monkey's hands".

Well, here in the SW, practically every trainer uses them on all kinds of horses, some even ALONE, no other rein there, as we see in some warmup cutting pens.:eek:

Guess that it is not what we use in techniques and tools that may be questionable, but how we go about using them and how the horse is responding.

Different places, different ways.:confused:

Oldenburg Mom
Feb. 18, 2007, 10:51 AM
I would just like ana cknowledgement that I played nicely and did not create a trainwreck, even though I really, really wanted to. Does this mean the Easter Bunny will fill my basket with many peeps?

YESH!

Ohyea Ohyea Ohyea!

Let the word go forth from this time and place, to friend and foe alike, that DGRH has played nicely on a potentially difficult thread. And that the EB needs to fill her Easter basket with many different colored Peeps, both stale and fresh.

NancyM
Feb. 18, 2007, 10:52 AM
I first saw MR work with an unbroke long yearling in 1979. He was really just starting to build up his reputation and starting to work at being a guru at that time I think. The TB breeders association brought him into the yearling sale in the fall, and hosted the exhibition. The long yearling was halter broke at the start, but definately not anything more than that, and was quietly ridden at the end of it by one of our local gallop boys. It was interesting, I didn't think it could be done in half an hour before that. I think he does it in half/three quarters of an hour because he can, not because it is the best thing for a horse, but he is doing a demonstration of what CAN be done with simple good communication and establishing a relationship with a horse. A lot of what he was doing was similar to other trainers I knew, but there was no doubt that the guy CAN communicate well with horses, can gain their trust, and impart what it is that he wants them to do for him. He has a nice way with horses, and some good ideas that are definately useful. Myself, I take longer than this to bring a horse from being halter broke to being ridden, I think it is better for the horse to take longer, and I am probably not as good a communicator as MR. But his breaking methods are pretty universal, because they work, the time you take is dependant on your skills and the reactions of the horse. If he wants to market that and can make money out of it, good for him. I think that is publicizing the use of gimmicks like the "buckstopper" is unfortunate, most people who watch his clinics are not at a level where they would know how or when to use a device like this, thus it is misused and misunderstood. I think that one problem with the clinics is that green people attend them, then think that they can go ahead and break/train their own horse, when in fact they do not have the experience or riding skills to do so. He makes it look easier than it is, because he is very good at doing it. Reading his books many years later, I found it interesting that he IS a good communicator, interacting with people, deer, and horses in similar ways. He has empathy for other beings, and this is obvious when he works with them. But I was surprised that his empathy does not come out in his public clinics well, but then, I guess that would be difficult to do that in that setting. His family spats and personal quirks are of no interest to me, except that they have obviously effected the sort of person he is.

All the NH gurus have a place in the equine community. There are a huge number of people who work with horses, and want to work with and train horses, yet have huge holes in their training, basic horse handling skills, communication skills, problems identifying the step-wise approach to learning, setting out attainable goals, understanding basic horse psychology. Riding lessons miss out on training people for a lot of this stuff, they often ONLY teach the mechanics of riding, not of training. This void is what the NH gurus fill for the equine owning public. It used to be taught in an apprenticeship situation, but not enough people can do that any more these days.

Amchara
Feb. 18, 2007, 10:59 AM
The best use I've gotten out of him is what Kelly Marks uses in her books. Still, some of you don't use and some of it you do.

I have read a few of Mark Rashid's books, but none of the recent ones. I feel like I should go read them again.

(PS- I loff my rope halter!)

Oldenburg Mom
Feb. 18, 2007, 11:00 AM
NancyM,

What a NICE post. Thank you very much.

I think you make some excellent points:

I think he does it in half/three quarters of an hour because he can, not because it is the best thing for a horse, but he is doing a demonstration of what CAN be done with simple good communication and establishing a relationship with a horse.
...I think it is better for the horse to take longer, and I am probably not as good a communicator as MR.
I think that is publicizing the use of gimmicks like the "buckstopper" is unfortunate, most people who watch his clinics are not at a level where they would know how or when to use a device like this, thus it is misused and misunderstood.
I think that one problem with the clinics is that green people attend them, then think that they can go ahead and break/train their own horse, when in fact they do not have the experience or riding skills to do so.
All the NH gurus have a place in the equine community.What fine points you make. I especially like the one about the green people. To be momentarily defensive here, my current trainer works with my horses ... not me. I watch..oh yes..like a hawk. And I have plenty of questions. But I do not have the experience to do what she does.

frugalannie
Feb. 18, 2007, 11:07 AM
Very well moderated thread on a powderkeg subject. Kudos to you and DGRH for restraint.

My opinion is that Monty Roberts has tried, with more or less success depending on your point of view, to codify some aspects of communication with horses that horsemen know instinctively. One example would be his discussion of facing your shoulders broadside to horse or not to get a predictable response. (Not going to repeat the whole thing here.) When I read the book, that struck me. What struck me even more was that subsequently, when I watched trainers of many persuasions whom I admired, they were using the same physical cues without even thinking about it.

In discussions with some of these folks, they thought that Roberts was teaching equine babytalk (no one used those words: I'm paraphrasing). They figured that this was stuff everyone knew in their bones. Well, we all don't, so maybe for us it helps to have someone write it down.

BUT, all of my trainer friends also made the point that what Roberts demonstrates and teaches is not enough. The problem is three-fold: he gives the impression that it IS enough to make a wonderful horse. It does not accomodate the exceptions, and every horse I've ever met was an exception in one way or another. Most importantly, it creates a situation of the razor in the monkey's hand. A razor is a very good tool when used appropriately and with great judgement. In the hands of someone who thinks that they know all about it, but doesn't, it's dangerous.

Just my take before going out to scrape ice off everything.

Bluey
Feb. 18, 2007, 11:08 AM
---" you can't stop a horse by pulling it's tail."---

:lol: :lol: :lol:

My first instructor, when someone was trying to tell him they had a better idea: "That makes as much sense as asking a horse to back by pulling on it's tail" (He meant when you are on said horse).

I started using that phrase and one day a kid student in summer camp asked me if we could really teach her horse to back by pulling on it's tail. Well we tried it for a little and had her horse backing by the tail in no time.:cool:
That is one phrase I quit using after that.
Would you know that 40 years later, I saw Parelli do that on RFD-TV?:lol:

For those that wonder about starting a horse in less than one hour or so, as MR does, we started many race and other colts like that, worked a little with them and got on and off many times and then walked them around, all bareback, with a halter only and inside the barn.
Then we went on from there and were riding them in the canyons in a few days.
Here is one, that was halterbroke already, so fairly gentle, but still a little bracey, as it shows in the picture. He then relaxed and rode out without trouble, have a picture a few minutes later, relaxed and calmly walking around there, but can't find it right now.
We had him saddled and outside the next day:

http://render2.snapfish.com/render2/is=Yup6JGQ%7C%3Dup6%3DzqH%3AxzX7BHpUUKxgXPQ0%3F87K R6xqpxQQQ0xJGexGQQxv8uOc5xQQQPQelaeaneaqpfVtB%3F*K Up7BHSHqqy7XH6gXPQ0%7CRup6JaQ%7C/of=50,415,443

Some colts you have to take longer, those we try to work with twice a day, if we can and others take to being ridden right off.

chai
Feb. 18, 2007, 11:08 AM
posted by Ghazzu:
"Why in the name of Allah do so many people seem to think that, until and unless a trainer is enlightened by MR, that most, or even many, trainers are "violent"?
I started working with young horses 40 years ago, and the people who taught me were slow, steady, and non-violent. They were also not the exception to standard methods, then or now."

Ghazzu, you used my quote to offer the above response, but nowhere did I ever say that unless trainers are enlightened by MR, they are violent. That is a gross exaggeration and I didn't say that at all. I, too, have been in the horse business for over 40 years and I have seen many wonderful trainers along the way who were working to gain the horse's trust instead of forcing them to submit long before Monty Roberts came along.

All I said is that a guy who promotes kindness and helps people to understand ways to gain the horse's trust is ok in my book. To each his own...if you hate MR, I don't care. In a world where people are cruel and animals can be mistreated, I just happen to like the fact that there is someone out there spreading the word that horses are sentient, thinking, feeling creatures and we should respect that.

Amchara
Feb. 18, 2007, 11:11 AM
Watched the videos. Not that impressed.

Oldenburg Mom
Feb. 18, 2007, 11:11 AM
HI! HI! HI! Frugalannie.

As usual, you make some good points, with superb clarity! Ahhhh... I wish I could write like that! *siiiiiiiigh* And you're right about the babytalk. I had no idea what the 45 degree angle was he wrote about. It was such a foreign concept I had to have someone explain it! :lol:



Watched the videos. Not that impressed.

Why don't you explain why, Amchara? As you can see, there is a great diversification of opinions...and everyone seems to be fairly calm and civil about it.

CrUsHpOnY
Feb. 18, 2007, 11:24 AM
I read his book Shy Boy...but that was about 7 years ago because the horse on the cover looked like mine :lol: and i was a pretty horse crazy little girl. I liked it then, but as of recently, i can't say much about his work because i haven't followed it really.

DressageGeek "Ribbon Ho"
Feb. 18, 2007, 11:28 AM
YESH!

Ohyea Ohyea Ohyea!

Let the word go forth from this time and place, to friend and foe alike, that DGRH has played nicely on a potentially difficult thread. And that the EB needs to fill her Easter basket with many different colored Peeps, both stale and fresh.

I hope he's listening!!!!

LarkspurCO
Feb. 18, 2007, 11:32 AM
I think it was him, but may not have been, in a National Geographic documentary, where someone was covering a wild horse in a chute with grain, so it would "give in" to not being able to flee or fight back and so accepted that people were not a danger when approaching and touching him, or something like that.

I saw this documentary. It was Monty.

findeight
Feb. 18, 2007, 11:39 AM
He, and some of the others, doesn't really give the owners of those clinic subjects anything to take home for a long term solution. I always loved Buck Branamen on that Masters video saying "Yeah I can fix it now but it won't do any good when they take him home". It's not that difficult to back a colt the first time or to work an issue out of a horse...ONCE. The problem is when they figure out what you are doing and resist that-they don't teach you what to do when the clinic lesson wears off.

I also do not like to see the first time under saddle colts pushed to WTC both ways if that is actually the first time, just tires them and asks for trouble. I don't see that doing them any good at all. I broke some and none of mine offered to buck at all either (they wait until they figure it out and decide they do not like this new direction their lives are taking).

Far as MR specifically, I lost him some time back when he took credit for "inventing" stuff that has been around for hundreds, if not thousands, of years. PBS did a special on him that really got me...first they have him overcoming a race horse's fear of the gate using a technique he "invented"...it was in an early 20th century training book and several much earlier for various problems.

But it really, really turned my stomach when he claimed he could gentle and ride a mustang out in the wilds. And he did. But they ran that thing into the ground over at least a full day and night, following it constantly with a string of fresh horses. When he finally caught up with it, he lassoed it around the neck and sat against the "noose" while it fought in the desert heat to exhaustion. And he indeed saddled and rode it and displayed how "gentle" it was. I like mine fed, watered and somewhat less exhausted so failed to get anything out of that particular stunt. Totally pointless and, IMO, abusive.

And then there was a lady I used to ride with. Got a bad case of middle aged crazies and ended up in his groupie cadre, flying all over to attend his clinics. Taking seminars out at Flag is Up. Spouting great rhetoric at our lessons. Still couldn't ride worth a dam*.

There is some good information and technique presented by MR, it's been good for longer then he has been around and will still be good when he stops turning it into a sideshow.

SaddleFitterVA
Feb. 18, 2007, 11:56 AM
I did not see OM's question about "what school" Mark Rashid is answered, but IMO, he is of the "Considering the Horse" school.

It is the title of one of his books, and sums up his approach pretty well IMO.

Mark doesn't sell anything, he only works with a maximum of 7 riders a day, normally in 4 day clinics where you can sign up for 2 or 4 days. I've ridden with Mark Rashid 5 times over the past 8 years. I personally have found that the biggest thing I learned from Mark was an attitude adjustment in my entire perspective on horsemanship. That, and "finding the try".

I've never seen Monty Roberts, but I have read his book, that first one that was all the rave about a decade ago. I have seen John Lyons, Pat Parelli, and a couple of others. All in person, not on television. But, Mark is the only one who I have ridden with. I rode with him before I'd ever seen or heard of his books, but a good friend was running the clinic and thought I would like him and she has not steered me wrong yet, so I signed up.

And, this is one possible answer, but he is horseman who is also a pretty effective teacher. He mostly teaches the rider how to deal with their horse and does it by asking them to become thinking riders.

Aptor Hours
Feb. 18, 2007, 12:03 PM
Huuuuge caveat: I don't have cable and have never seen the show. However, I did like his book and I have a sense that the NH people have given him a hard time over not very much.

I don't like ANY of the NH gurus all that much, but I'd give him just as much credence as any of 'em...



Huge ditto here! I still think NH always means New Hampshire ...LOL!!

rideagoldenpony
Feb. 18, 2007, 12:25 PM
He, and some of the others, doesn't really give the owners of those clinic subjects anything to take home for a long term solution. I always loved Buck Branamen on that Masters video saying "Yeah I can fix it now but it won't do any good when they take him home". It's not that difficult to back a colt the first time or to work an issue out of a horse...ONCE. The problem is when they figure out what you are doing and resist that-they don't teach you what to do when the clinic lesson wears off.


YES YES YES!!!!! :yes: :yes: :yes:

You said what I wanted to say, way better than I could have said it! :yes:

Plumcreek
Feb. 18, 2007, 12:39 PM
I think part of the issue here is 'what are you expecting to get from Monty Robberts' ?

Let me explain... My husband always rants against the "if it bleeds it leads" stories on the local evening news. I always reply that the local evening news is not a news program - it is a ratings/revenue generating vehicle for the station and network. However, if you wish to sit through the garbage, there are a few seconds of real news there. If you want a total news program, go to Jim Lehrer on Public Television or the like.

Monty Roberts et al clinics and videos are the same deal - a revenue generating vehicle for themselves. If you want a serious horse training education, you are looking in the wrong place. However you can, as Ghazzu said, find nuggets, original or centuries old, if you wish to sit through the rest of it.

If I go to a clinic by George Morris or a great reining trainer, I have high expectaions of learning something significant. If I were to go to a Monty Roberts et al clinic, I would go for the show.

And for those who would say that every trainer's business is a revenue generator for themselves, the difference is that generally no one is watching, and long term sustainable results are expected.

Red Barn
Feb. 18, 2007, 01:20 PM
I do admire the estimable Ribbon Ho's remarkable restraint!

I wonder, though, whether it would do any harm to point out that one of the reasons some of us go bananas about the various TVNatural guys is that they promise quick and easy mastery of a subject that we KNOW is a life-time study?

Joking about it feels like self-defense!

I mean, isn't this the same reason that Real Artists joke about Bob Ross?

bugsynskeeter
Feb. 18, 2007, 01:54 PM
I worked at a very well known QH farm down in Texas. We had a stallion there that was born at MR's farm and raised by him. He was bought by my boss after being with MR for several years. This horse is BY far the WORST horse I have ever ben around. He is the kind of horse that will try to kill you. And I saw him almost try to kill the vet I worked for. He was calculating and mean. I worked with his full siblings and none of them were like that. Food for thought...

I also met MR at Equitana several years back (actually rode in the elevator with him). Was not a very nice person to be around and rude. Very condescending...not my cup of tea...

c5rose
Feb. 18, 2007, 02:00 PM
Kindly fill-in this obviously clueless person (me) about why the anti-Monty Roberts remarks?

Is it because he went commercial like Parelli?
Is it because of the controversy surrounding how he grew up with an abusive father, and was supposedly friends with James Dean?

After I read The Man Who Listens..., I read it again, and bought Shy Boy. I love his books. I do also love his philosophy of NH, though I don't truly use it with my own horses. I'd love to see him in person.

So won't someone please tell me why there is controversy surrounding him?

Percheron X
Feb. 18, 2007, 02:46 PM
I wonder, though, whether it would do any harm to point out that one of the reasons some of us go bananas about the various TVNatural guys is that they promise quick and easy mastery of a subject that we KNOW is a life-time study?

The other reason is cause we're bored.... :)

ptownevt
Feb. 18, 2007, 02:53 PM
No one is perfect and no one has all the answers. We're all old enough that we should know that by now. That said, I'm sure that MR has faults, but anyone who promotes a gentle thinking approach to horses is okay by me. I think all these NH bnts are sort of like different denominations of churches. Taking a slightly different path but headed the same place.

The one that I am not sure about is Kenny Harlow. A long time student of his is very, very dependent on the whip. Leading is taught initially with a whip. Walk forward with the horse, stop and immediately start whipping the horse's front legs. Stop when they step back. This is to teach them to walk with you and to stop and step back out of your space when stop. I hate seeing it taught with a whip at the very start with no chance for the horse to learn it without being hurt. Then there was the bnt at Dressage at Saratoga a few years back who was quite literally kicking a young horse with spurs for rearing. Everytime he reared the bnt would bring his legs out and kick the spurs back into the horse. The horse ended up bloody and cowed. The judge did not penalize this guy for his behavior. Then the Grand Prix horse that went into the ring with grapefruit size hematomas on each side from the spurring in the warm up ring. No, no one is saying that all other trainers are violent, but many people who work with horses are.

There is a lot of physical pain inflicted on horses across all disciplines, all areas. If any of these trainers get even a few people to stop hurting horses they're doing good things.

Percheron X
Feb. 18, 2007, 03:52 PM
The one that I am not sure about is Kenny Harlow. A long time student of his is very, very dependent on the whip. Leading is taught initially with a whip. Walk forward with the horse, stop and immediately start whipping the horse's front legs. Stop when they step back. This is to teach them to walk with you and to stop and step back out of your space when stop. I hate seeing it taught with a whip at the very start with no chance for the horse to learn it without being hurt.

I know a Kenny Harlow student that is also totally dependent on the whip. She taught me some stuff, and I found the technique of using the dressage whip to tap at the top of the hip to be a great tool for teaching certain horses to trailer. But I just don't want to be one who has to depend on having a whip in my hand to get something done.

The problem with all training devices is that some people think they are the means to an end, when they are really just a step towards an end.

cuatx55
Feb. 18, 2007, 04:46 PM
I saw him at the horse expo in minnesota a few years ago...no "join up" just using one of his halters that oh gee! you too could buy for $29.99...(or something like that). He just stood there and pulled on this halter. Give me $200 and I could do that too! I liked his book, but something was lacking in his clinic that one day. I like certain elements of NH, but he's just not for me. He changed his course of action from what I could tell. But I never met him or seen him work many horses. Just my 2 cents.

Oldenburg Mom
Feb. 18, 2007, 04:58 PM
There is a lot of physical pain inflicted on horses across all disciplines, all areas. If any of these trainers get even a few people to stop hurting horses they're doing good things.

Yes, yes, and yes. But the question has been raised by this discussion: is it just a facade? And that, I do not know.

frugalannie
Feb. 18, 2007, 05:04 PM
OMom, I blush your read your compliments. Thank you, but you are a terrific writer yourself. You can start a thoughtful discussion and keep everyone heading in a positive direction, even if they don't agree. Good job! I think the Mideast could use you.

I loved the comment about us sounding defensive. To some extent, true. We know there are no easy answers. But at least many of the other leading lights in the biz are open about that. To wit, Jimmy Wofford's pithy comment," Riding is simple: it's just not easy".

frugalannie
Feb. 18, 2007, 05:13 PM
Sorry, OMom. We posted at the same time.

I might punt on your question. Does it matter if it's a facade as long as it a) does some good and b) does no harm? I think the hard part is b. The potential for people to think that after watching some videos or attending some clinics they are capable of retraining a problem horse or backing an untrained one exists. And with that there is the potential for both humans and horses to get hurt. Exceptional trainers are just that. As far as the rest of us, we can all become more attuned to the signals our horses are sending us and respond with more patience when there is misunderstanding on our part or theirs. If watching or reading Monty Roberts or anyone else helps someone attain better communication, I'm all for it. We learn in different ways. As long as we're learning, it's a good thing for horses.

MsM
Feb. 18, 2007, 05:19 PM
I am not a MR fan because I don't trust that his methods all work as advertised AND that they are beneficial to the horses. Running down a mustang to the point of exhaustion not only proves nothing about training, it is actually harmful to the horse and not something I would wish to emulate. I, too have read of similar fakery in his handling of "unbroke" horses. His self-importance and promotion are aggravating, but it is the concern that he is willing to fake it and market half-truths that turn me away.

summerhorse
Feb. 18, 2007, 05:37 PM
I worked at a very well known QH farm down in Texas. We had a stallion there that was born at MR's farm and raised by him. He was bought by my boss after being with MR for several years. This horse is BY far the WORST horse I have ever ben around. He is the kind of horse that will try to kill you. And I saw him almost try to kill the vet I worked for. He was calculating and mean. I worked with his full siblings and none of them were like that. Food for thought...

I also met MR at Equitana several years back (actually rode in the elevator with him). Was not a very nice person to be around and rude. Very condescending...not my cup of tea...


There are tons of very mean and nasty stallions out there who have been raised and handled by the very best people. Stallions just often turn mean and nasty. In the wild they'd be chasing off rivals, in captivity they are usually stuck in stalls.

bugsynskeeter
Feb. 18, 2007, 05:39 PM
There are tons of very mean and nasty stallions out there who have been raised and handled by the very best people. Stallions just often turn mean and nasty. In the wild they'd be chasing off rivals, in captivity they are usually stuck in stalls.

How stallions were handled has a lot to do with how they act in my opinion. We had 12 breeding stallions at the farm and numerous riding stallions. NONE OF THEM ACTED THE WAY THIS HORSE DID. None of them. This included full brothers to said horse.

Oldenburg Mom
Feb. 18, 2007, 05:50 PM
Kindly fill-in this obviously clueless person (me) about why the anti-Monty Roberts remarks?

Well, I'll try and tackle this. I suppose because he appears too good to be true.

It's kind of like the comment: If the deal seems to be too good to be true,... it probably is. The question I guess we're all tossing around here is..."Is MR everything he claims he is."

Some of the stories I find fascinating: covering a horse with feed? What the heck is that? (Did I even get that right?) Other remarks are very accurate, and seem to have really made him understandable. The best, I think was NancyM
Click on the > to see her post.

Oh, and continue down the page after you've read her and read Frugalannie. She did a great job, as she does above, of asking/commenting on some ideas.

Go back and read some of the first-hand comments. I think it would make anyone ask questions, which, frankly we should all be doing anyway.

summerhorse
Feb. 18, 2007, 06:22 PM
How stallions were handled has a lot to do with how they act in my opinion. We had 12 breeding stallions at the farm and numerous riding stallions. NONE OF THEM ACTED THE WAY THIS HORSE DID. None of them. This included full brothers to said horse.

And plenty others do. Ask the people who have to handle Dynaformer or the poor people who were savaged by Festival of Light or Corslew or Aly T. None of them started out mean or nasty, they just became that way over time. In the case of Aly T at least he had never acted like that until he did. *Ribot became so nutty over time he was not able to be returned to his owners at the end of his lease.

I've usually found horses that are mean because they are afraid or have been traumatized can be turned around by at least one person (if only one person). But the ones that are that way by nature simply are that way.

You can't condemn a person because of one horse.

bugsynskeeter
Feb. 18, 2007, 06:26 PM
The OP wanted a discussion about MR. I gave her my opinion of the only horse I've every worked with from his program. Worked with by MR himself. I gave my opinion. That's all. I shouldn't be condemned for that.

Ghazzu
Feb. 18, 2007, 06:53 PM
Stallions just often turn mean and nasty.

Balderdash.

Amchara
Feb. 18, 2007, 07:13 PM
It seems to me that a horse afraid of loading wouldn't learn to self load or come running to the trailer that soon.

The same with the baby. For being so inexperienced he was sure accepting of everything they showed him that hour.

goeslikestink
Feb. 18, 2007, 07:51 PM
uuuummmmm- i dont think anything of mr or kelly marks
will agree you can do and break in a horse within half an hour i know cuase i have done it -- depends on horses attitude -- breaking in or sitting on for the very first time isnt the hard bit -- the schooling is-- how you school and how you give basic ground manner by signals from leg to hand and your seat-
that the hard bit bring on a youngster to his/her chosen disapline its hard work to get them there --
you dont have to be violent -- what you have to be is encouraging and confident in what you doing as then the horse gets confidence and trust by you

the thing i hate about mr is the chasing around

think about it another way-- when we lunge on the lunge line the golden rule
is not to chase the horse with the whip or rest of line not to wlak or run with it
but to --- pivet on the standing leg and to stay behind the eye

and ask politely giving clear signals and msot of all from your voice -- to the horse

voices are far better used correctly -- if you speak namby pamby to a horse
then thats lack of confidence and the horse will win
if you ptaze a horse in a bit of higher than normal talking voice as good- boy
thats a definate postive response from the horse

deeper tones like no or back ---when asked also is a positive repsonse from the horse

normal chit chat tells the horse you happy like if you chit chat to another human--- and horse sits and listens thats a good responses from a horse

if a horse is neavous then a softer tone and whispers to encourage the horse

voices added with pats and scatches - get results
same to when it needs ashort sharp smack- like a naughty child done and dusted at the time of the incident
bit like a dog bring my slippers i praze and pat you
pooh on the carpet( tlaking young dog not ones whos oldand gone a bit incontinent) and smack you with the nerwspaper and say bad boy

Plumcreek
Feb. 18, 2007, 09:31 PM
Monty Roberts has been involved in many different areas of the horse world. He is obviously making more money being exactly the (good or bad) guru we are all talking about than anything else. Seems like it is working for him.

I have been to Flag is Up to visit a friend standing a QH stallion there. I will say the place is really beautiful on a realistic scale.

monstrpony
Feb. 18, 2007, 09:43 PM
I suppose I'm one of those who has taken up the path of so-called natural horsemanship. The person I follow most closely, simply because of his availability and because I like 95% of what he does, is a name that few of you would recognize. But my own horsemanship has improved in leaps and bounds because of this path I'm following. Maybe I was just at the point in my life when I was ready to hear it, after being unlucky enough to grow up being exposed to a lot of poor horsemanship--who knows. What I do know is, my life with horses a lot better today.

I've looked at a bunch of different practitioners, some I like and respect, and some I question, not so much because of the horsemanship, but because of what they do to promote themselves, and the ways in which those promotions have tainted what goes on between them and the horse.

But I have learned one other lesson from all of this--if you aren't lucky enough to be born on the right horsemanship path, and you have to find it by some quirk of luck, you have a better chance of stumbling on that quirk if someone's out there making a loud noise about it.

In my case, MR was the particular loud noise that intersected with my existence at the right time, and for that, I will always be grateful to him.

I've grown to see some things I judge to be holes in what he does, and am continually amused by those who so vehemently disparage his "sales pitch", but the simple fact is, that's the pitch that started an important change in my life, so I'm not exactly in a position to say it is all bad.

OMom, the short answer to your question is that, no, you probably never will be able to have a really fruitful discussion that cleanly separtates the horsemanship from the rest of it. But, you'll never know for sure unless you try, and I wish you luck in proving me wrong about that.

mcm7780
Feb. 18, 2007, 10:40 PM
I have never seen him but grew up where his farm is. I've meet a lot of people there who don't think too highly of him. One lady worked for him and "took 'care' of the horses who didn't listen." Another had a horse who was sent to him for help with trailering issues and ended up with a preventable injury after being worked for several hours. Heard lots of stories about how a lot of history was fabricated. While I can't confirm this, these were stories from people who had direct contact with him. That said, I think some of his stuff can be useful if used in the right way but the right people, but most a lot of "his" training techniques have been around for ages.

Calena
Feb. 18, 2007, 11:42 PM
What we see is that he is "stealing rides" in a lot of cases (as do many other clinicians). When you bring a horse into a new situation like those where there are tons of spectators, someone talking on a microphone, other horses around, etc -- you can "get away" with a LOT. We even see this with the first day that a new horse arrives here on our farm for training -- and it is certainly a lot less chaotic here!! They haven't soaked everything in yet, and you basically get "freebies" for the first ride or two -- for lack of a better explanation.


This is what I don't like about most of these clinics. I've gone to a couple of his clinics with greenies and both times I've had to explain to them that just because that happened in that situation does not mean it will for them work at home with their problem horse. Put the same horse in his own backyard where he feels secure and then have these clinicians instruct the owners on what to do and maybe some real progress will be made. Hmm . . . that sounds like what most of us are already doing when we take lessons, the difference being they've found a way to get rich in the horse industry ;). That I will give them credit for.

I'm still learning so whenever I get the opportunity to watch someone with more experience, I watch. Sometimes I learn things. I've learned some things from watching Monty Roberts. I've seen many, many trainers that make him look like an inexperienced novice. Take it for what it is and go on our way (hiding our wallets).

Kelly G
Feb. 19, 2007, 12:22 AM
I think what really needs to happen when it comes to trainers like MR, in fact when it comes to any trainers, is that we look at their techniques logically, and if a technique they suggest makes sense and works, then it's good and we can take it on board, but if it looks cruel or senseless and terrifies or exhausts the horse involved, then, seriously, it shouldn't be given the time of day. Many trainers have some great ideas and some not so great ideas, and from what I can see MR is one of the many.

Unbroken, unspoilt horses are for the most part a gem to teach, they don't need special techniques to teach them to do what we ask, they just need to be taught clearly and logically, so that they understand what's being asked of them. They're usually inquisitive, trusting and willing to learn as soon as you get their confidence, anyway.

Horses who've been screwed with and messed up are a different matter, and I think that whatever technique is the quickest, easiest and most painfree to help them avoid ending up at the "meatworks" is a good technique, at a pinch.

On a slightly different but related subject, goeslikestink wrote:
when we lunge on the lunge line the golden rule
is not to chase the horse with the whip or rest of line not to wlak or run with it
but to --- pivet on the standing leg and to stay behind the eye.

Please, where is the logic that says if you don't plant one foot in the dirt, and if you follow behind the horse when necessary, you can't longe a horse effectively. I know how long this myth has been around, I spent the first decade or so of my riding life believing it, and it is incredibly wrong, and responsible for many, many horses who don't longe effectively.

Kelly.

Red Barn
Feb. 19, 2007, 08:23 AM
Remember Post #2?
[QUOTE=Rt66Kix;2225506]

This gelding had gone into a severe bucking fit that caused his (inexperienced) owner to get hurt. She was given the microphone and went into tremendous detail about the extent of her injuries. She also took advantage of her mic time to give extensive background on the horse. "He was supposed to be a family-safe horse that I could trail ride and teach the kids basic riding skills. His last owner said he never did anything like this! He was perfect when we bought him!"



Jeez.

This lady seems pretty typical of the people who flock to the Quick-Fix Gurus -- according to her, the HORSE has a terrible problem.

But wait a second here! If a new student comes to a responsible trainer with a gelding that "was perfect when she bought him" and now ISN'T, wouldn't you suppose that the first thing that trainer would do would be to take a close look at the student's riding style and ability? And we're not talking rocket science here:

Does she have rough hands? A severe bit? A jarring seat, whaling on the poor horse's back? Lousy balance? Big ol' spurs? A poorly-fitting saddle? Is she (gasp!) too heavy for a small horse? Too clumsy for a sensitive young one? Pretty basic, you'd think.

But NO. In the fuzzy world of Kindly Cowboys, it's NEVER the rider's fault. In fact, they never address the sticky issue of rider ability in any way whatsoever. (Horses, after all, do not pay the bills.) No market-savvy TeleTrainer is dumb enough to risk losing a potential sale by implying that the teary-eyed customer is anything but a tender-hearted victim.

So Yes! Of course they're popular! YOU write the checks, the HORSE gets the "cure." Case closed.

Sentry Chick
Feb. 19, 2007, 10:35 AM
I've watched many of these marketed Natural Horsemanship trainers. I find more good things than bad things with some of their training. Things that I have been doing far longer than they've been on TV. I was one of those NH way before they came up with the TV shows and I didn't even know it. LOL

But what turned me off of Monty was that he had to lie right out of the chute. I may not agree with some of their training and that's my choice but please, please, please, don't flat out lie to the people that will either make or break you. He completely lost my trust in him. I don't like liars. And I don't forgive and forget.

But if you find some good training ideas from him, good for you. Take them and make a good relationship with your horse.

Oldenburg Mom
Feb. 19, 2007, 05:51 PM
Remember Post #2?
[quote=Rt66Kix;2225506]

In the fuzzy world of Kindly Cowboys, it's NEVER the rider's fault.

Hmmmm. Well, I don't know if I would agree with that statement. In fact, I think it's just the opposite. 99.9% of the time, it's the riders fault. And from what I've read and seen, I think he makes that pretty clear.

Monstrpony,... as usual, you have some good words to contribute! :winkgrin: I think this is excellent, perhaps because I identify with it:
But I have learned one other lesson from all of this--if you aren't lucky enough to be born on the right horsemanship path, and you have to find it by some quirk of luck, you have a better chance of stumbling on that quirk if someone's out there making a loud noise about it.I also think it's important that he IS stressing patience and non-violence. The only thing I find disturbing about learning is that this may indeed be a facade; behind the scenes it may be a different story. I sincerely hope it's not... what I've learned from this thread, (big surprise!) is ... yes, don't assume that just because someone spouts a POV, doesn't mean they necessary live it. (Note to self: KT, you've GOT to be more sceptical!)

bugsynskeeter...
The OP wanted a discussion about MR. I gave her my opinion of the only horse I've every worked with from his program. Worked with by MR himself. I gave my opinion. That's all. I shouldn't be condemned for that.I agree with you, you shouldn't be condemned. BUT, people may disagree with you. No one has been rude ... they just have a different opinion. AND consider--wouldn't it be a boring world if everyone agreed!!!! :yes:

Again, since this thread is winding down, I think NancyM, Monstrpony, and Frugalannie made some points that will really stick with me; comments that I'll consider while I continue to watch MR on RFDTV. Because, after all, ANYTHING is better than reality TV. Ohhhhh yeah.

mairzeadoats
Feb. 19, 2007, 06:29 PM
I have just a few memories of Monty Roberts. 1. is that his own family sued him. 2. is a t.v. interview in which he pretty much claimed that until he came along *all* horse training in the world was done by abuse. that one really turned me off. 3. is that a friend was going to send her new "problem" horse to him but was told by the head of a major midwestern vet school that he's a scam artist, or something to that effect, and my favorite, 4. is the rumor that if you look closely at his video when he catches and works with a feral stallion, you'll see said "feral" stallion is wearing shoes. (I can't remember if he's also a gelding. I do remember the jokes about all those feral farriers running around, lol.)

chicki
Feb. 19, 2007, 06:46 PM
Isn't he the one that told his audience at the global dressage forum this year that if they took the piaffe out of dressage, they would have less problems..or something to that extent? I heard he created a bit of a sour taste with the trainers there...what is HE doing talking about piaffe to a panel of the world best dressage trainers anyways???:lol:

summerhorse
Feb. 19, 2007, 07:50 PM
I have just a few memories of Monty Roberts. 1. is that his own family sued him. 2. is a t.v. interview in which he pretty much claimed that until he came along *all* horse training in the world was done by abuse. that one really turned me off. 3. is that a friend was going to send her new "problem" horse to him but was told by the head of a major midwestern vet school that he's a scam artist, or something to that effect, and my favorite, 4. is the rumor that if you look closely at his video when he catches and works with a feral stallion, you'll see said "feral" stallion is wearing shoes. (I can't remember if he's also a gelding. I do remember the jokes about all those feral farriers running around, lol.)

I have the book and there are no sign of shoes and the horse is tired but hardly exhausted looking, it takes a LOT to "exhaust" a mustang. Like a helicopter chasing them for 30 or 40 miles at full speed.

I don't think the horse needs shoes now, most mustangs have hooves harder than other horses only dream of.

findeight
Feb. 19, 2007, 08:17 PM
I don't care if the ferral horse/mustang had anything left or not, chasing him down is right there with the old LTD-lunge to death-at the shows...or giving them a pop of ace. So is chasing them around a round pen for 20 minutes.

Explain the difference please. Especially after one spends 15 minutes sitting against a neck loop with that mustang. That is how you work with cattle, not train a horse. Scare them and tire them into submission...and that is a valid way to get to a tough horse. But few start with that, it's a crutch.

But, you know, NONE of these guys, even the ones I respect, can help me find that single oxer and, I bet, they won't help you with a half pass or two tempi changes in Dressage either. Or balancing from a full gallop to a drop fence doing Cross Country. Might get the race horse into the gate but it won't shave a tenth of a second off his time at the 1/4 mile either.

Horse training is just not that simple BUT it is not rocket science either.

Red Barn
Feb. 19, 2007, 09:31 PM
I said:

"In the fuzzy world of Kindly Cowboys, its NEVER the rider's fault."

And OMom replied:

"Hmmmm. Well, I don't know if I would agree with that statement. In fact, I think it's just the opposite. 99.9% of the time, it's the riders fault. And from what I've read and seen, I think he makes that pretty clear."

But, uhm. . . apparently Monty "cured" the horse in Post #2 with a "professional bareback rider" and a dummy of some kind, right? And a piece of string? I mean, the owner was never actually seen ON THE HORSE. . . y'know, riding it . . .

If what you say is true, and the rider really is expected to take resposibility for her own part in the horse/rider equation, then this seems like sort of a glaring omission, don't you think?

Or am I missing something here?

findeight
Feb. 19, 2007, 09:36 PM
No, you are not missing a thing. In fact, you get what many don't care for in these presentations/sideshows/stunts. It does not go home with the owner who handles the horse every day.

mallowlark
Feb. 20, 2007, 06:20 AM
Well, so I've always had a weird negative reaction to Monty Roberts. One of those instinctive 'something feels wrong' things. But slightly more rationally, his autobiography is, um, rather far-fetched. The family's rebuttal (http://www.horsewhispersandlies.com/index.html) makes for interesting reading - so does Monty's father's book, on Monty's site (maybe he thought no one would bother reading it?). I don't know that I believe that it was all sunshine and roses the way the family argues, but MR pretty clearly lied about quite a lot. And when you have someone whose methods are supposedly all about trust but originated out of lies - and not exactly white lies either...well, I have a bit of an allergic reaction. There may very well still be some 'nuggets' in his methods - I'd just rather dig through a different kind of manure and look for nuggets from someone else.

Red Barn
Feb. 20, 2007, 09:05 AM
No, you are not missing a thing. In fact, you get what many don't care for in these presentations/sideshows/stunts. It does not go home with the owner who handles the horse every day.



Agreed! Unless this lady rides around with a dummy by her side and a string in her horse's mouth forever, it's hard to see the practical application of this "training" method. . .

But here I remind myself that OMom originally asked an honest question about all this, and I will try to be serious for once.



As somebody who's been teaching riding for some years, I find the huge popularity of this whole "Natural" thing (Monty, Pat et al) genuinely distressing because it promises to provide "Horsemanship" WITHOUT educated riding.

This, frankly, is a crock.

From the horse's point of view, there is no substitute for tact, empathy and athletic skill on his rider's part. It's unfair to expect flawless under-saddle behavior from horses ridden by untrained people, no matter how "nice" these people may be. It is unethical -- and potentially dangerous -- to take money from said people by pretending otherwise.

I'm sure I sound like an old crank (I AM an old crank, actually) but this issue is important to me. I see genuine respect for equestrian excellence being eroded by a bunch of silly psycho-babble, and it saddens me very much. (And the fact that these shysters sell themselves as "humane" . . . ahk! It's infuriating.)

I believe our horses deserve better from us, and I hope OMom finds the strength to resist the Kool-Aide.

katarine
Feb. 20, 2007, 09:17 AM
From the horse's point of view, there is no substitute for tact, empathy and athletic skill on his rider's part. It's unfair to expect flawless under-saddle behavior from horses ridden by untrained people, no matter how "nice" these people may be. It is unethical -- and potentially dangerous -- to take money from said people by pretending otherwise.

I'm sure I sound like an old crank (I AM an old crank, actually) but this issue is important to me. I see genuine respect for equestrian excellence being eroded by a bunch of silly psycho-babble, and it saddens me very much. (And the fact that these shysters sell themselves as "humane" . . . ahk! It's infuriating.)


AMEN!!!

Everything you said, and more!!!

Remember Ferdinand
Feb. 20, 2007, 10:20 AM
I agree with Red Barn about NH trainers not holding riders accountable, to a certain extent.

I think it goes without saying that most riders don't take constructive criticism very well, especially from a trainer they just met. I've had several instructors in my life and they all eased into telling me that I sucked. :) So look at it from that perspective. If these people pay $$$ for a clinic to fix their horse, they don't want to be told that it isn't the horse that is the problem, so some of these NH trainers may not feel comfortable telling the rider all their faults. But they aren't all guilty of that. There is a thread where Parelli was being discussed and a someone posted their experience at a Parelli clinic where Pat was telling the riders that they were the problem, not the horse. He was put down for saying that and it was assumed that he had a big ego. Maybe he does have a big ego, but that doesn't mean that the rider wasn't at fault;) . It seems like a lot of times these trainers are damned either way they go. There are people in the world who will never let them be right about anything.

Now lets look at the differences between non-NH trainers and NH trainers. A non-NH trainer usually sets up shop in a barn, builds a client base that come for training advise and instruction on a regular basis, making it much easier to permanently fix the problems the horse and rider are having. The early NH trainers did not have this luxury when they are starting out. Their methods were too new and taboo. The early NH trainers (MR, PP, JL, etc) built their businesses by traveling from place to place holding clinics. Their marketing strategy was to gain credibility by word-of-mouth. Because they couldn't offer follow up education to their students, they were trademarked as scammers, or quick-fix artists. Once they have made a name for themselves, they could afford to offer their home study programs and on site lessons to continue their students education. But, once they did that the non-NH world labeled them "Commercial Sell-outs". Like I said, these guys are damned either way they go.

As far as MR goes, I don't know a whole lot about his training methods so I can't make a judgement on whether or not they are effective. I do know that the issues over the controversy that he learned a lot of his methods from his father but marketed them as his own turned me off to ever looking at his theories. That hurt his credibility in my opinion.

Bluey
Feb. 20, 2007, 10:22 AM
---"From the horse's point of view, there is no substitute for tact, empathy and athletic skill on his rider's part. It's unfair to expect flawless under-saddle behavior from horses ridden by untrained people, no matter how "nice" these people may be. It is unethical -- and potentially dangerous -- to take money from said people by pretending otherwise.

I'm sure I sound like an old crank (I AM an old crank, actually) but this issue is important to me. I see genuine respect for equestrian excellence being eroded by a bunch of silly psycho-babble, and it saddens me very much. (And the fact that these shysters sell themselves as "humane" . . . ahk! It's infuriating.)

I believe our horses deserve better from us,"---

But, you see, that is "the american way", where anyone that wants to, without any qualifications, experience or help, with obviously little common sense, can buy a colt and start it under saddle, or try to and train it, even if they don't even know how to ride and, more important, can be very proud of the attempt and whatever they accomplished.

You can see that represented in all the horse forums you care to participate in and no one dares mention that "it is not in the best interest of the horse", or they get jumped on.
It is every red blooded american's right to do as they please, if it makes sense or not.

Much of that is what fuels the clinicians and, good or bad that they may be, it does serve a purpose and helps many people.
They are filling a void in the otherwise non existent equestrian education of many, especially in the SW, where I reside.

I rode haphazardly as a kid, then took lessons in a riding school with a certified instructor and went on from that to a regular instructor's program, to learn more.
In fact, you could not own/manage a stable without a licensed instructor on board.
That protects the public AND the horses.
For some reason, that is not the way things are done in the USA.
Anyone can hang a shingle and call themselves a trainer. Many are very good, some terrible, but there is no one to monitor who is at least reasonably knowledgeable to "do no harm".
We license most any other trade, from real estate, to builders and those in the building trade, etc., but not anyone around horses, be it trainers, farriers, etc.
A license doesn't mean someone is verygood, only that they are up to a minimum standard of knowledge and proficiency.

I say, so what if some have to "drink the cool-aid" to learn a minimum?
I think that they and their horses are the better for it, under the circumstances, until we have some better, generally accepted system of educating those working with horses.

As of now, horse educations seems to be whatever the market requests and the clinicians are that, judging by their success.

Oldenburg Mom
Feb. 20, 2007, 10:45 AM
I believe our horses deserve better from us, and I hope OMom finds the strength to resist the Kool-Aide.

Woof! Looks like I've got some "explaining" to do ... at least to present how I view all this.

First: the horse with shoes. Don't know the story, can't really comment on that. But again, caveat emptor should be the hallmark here, and I think, yet again, that's what I am learning.

Second: from what I have read and seen, the subject is very narrow here-- starting horses. MR may train for certain things, but I would never choose him to work on my piaffe or passage. Of course, I will never have to find someone to teach me that anyway (nor my horse :lol:) so the question/answer is moot.

Third: Horse training is NOT rocket science. It's harder, because it involves an ultimately unpredictable living being. Ok, I'm saying this somewhat tongue in cheek ... but consider. How many threads on this board are questions/answers/problems/solutions etc. to training issues...or the corollary, trainer issues. That says to me it IS difficult.

Fourth: Red Barn. I do not want to go into the issues involved with my trainer's use of the buckstop; I would be more than happy to go into detail on a PM. But, I will still say this. It was, in my trainer's hands, a very good solution. At no time did I feel the horse was being unduly harmed, nor was he in any continual physical pain. However, I strongly agree with those people who would use this on their own, without the guidance of a good trainer...and that is a whole can of worms in itself.

Fifth: <<I find the huge popularity of this whole "Natural" thing (Monty, Pat et al) genuinely distressing because it promises to provide "Horsemanship" WITHOUT educated riding.>> I do not agree with this. I don't know if I am a *typical* 50+ year old, bitten-by-the-bug-in-late-middle-age, or not. But after studying for only five years, I still consider myself very much a beginner. I know just enough to know I don't know squat. But, the attraction to NH is the non-violent approach--or maybe: there is a different and better way to achieve SOME objectives. I started this thread, to discuss MR's training: is it a bunch of hooey or not. I answer that I am currently taking away from this thread is: maybe it is. I do not count the second-hand stories either. I think the people who have had a personal experience are very persuasive.

And I just want to add one more thing--I think there are plenty of folks out there just like me. I know I'm never going to ride GP. I'm going to be exceedingly lucky if I get to 3rd level before I have to stop riding. Heck, I STILL haven't gotten to TR-4. The joy is the journey ... what I have to (sadly) learn is that a LOT of people say one thing, and do another.

Anyway, I'm starting to babble... NEXT!

Bluey
Feb. 20, 2007, 10:53 AM
---"But, the attraction to NH is the non-violent approach--or maybe: there is a different and better way to solve the problem. "---

As a traditionally trained individual, I almost resent that.:(
There is nothing "violent" in traditional horsemanship and there can be plenty "violent" in any horsemanship, NH or not.

Any violent training is purely bad training, I think.

pds
Feb. 20, 2007, 11:02 AM
You can lead a horse to water but can't make him drink -
Unless of course you have attended various NH clinics, become a convert, use a carrot stick, join-up, a round pen, a dually halter, mecate reins, down under handy stick (for when carrot stick just won't do), joined the savvy club, mastered the seven games, purhcased countless DVD/Videos/books. :D

Oldenburg Mom
Feb. 20, 2007, 11:03 AM
Bluey,

I'm not talking about (nor writing about) the kind of trainer you obviously are. Anyone who would get as involved in this thread as you have been is CLEARLY passionate about what she is doing, compassionate, and experienced. Your closing statement says it all: <<Any violent training is purely bad training, I think.>> I agree. But look at the "I'm Appalled..." thread, the very first post. THAT's what I'm talking about.

Question: which method would you choose, MR or the one described? (Yes, I know what your answer would be...neither. ;) :D)

Also, a discussion of ideas should never be taken personally. I think that's what leads to TW. We're tossing ideas around...not talking about training techniques of anyone on this board ... unless of course MR posts here. :lol: And if he does.... C'MON MR, defend yourself!!! :lol:

caffeinated
Feb. 20, 2007, 11:03 AM
But wait a second here! If a new student comes to a responsible trainer with a gelding that "was perfect when she bought him" and now ISN'T, wouldn't you suppose that the first thing that trainer would do would be to take a close look at the student's riding style and ability? And we're not talking rocket science here:

Does she have rough hands? A severe bit? A jarring seat, whaling on the poor horse's back? Lousy balance? Big ol' spurs? A poorly-fitting saddle? Is she (gasp!) too heavy for a small horse? Too clumsy for a sensitive young one? Pretty basic, you'd think.

But NO. In the fuzzy world of Kindly Cowboys, it's NEVER the rider's fault. In fact, they never address the sticky issue of rider ability in any way whatsoever. (Horses, after all, do not pay the bills.) No market-savvy TeleTrainer is dumb enough to risk losing a potential sale by implying that the teary-eyed customer is anything but a tender-hearted victim.

And *THAT* is what bothers me about so many different NH people. I admit I've never gone to a clinic or investigated beyond demos and reading free articles- but what I've seen hasn't made that worth it to me. It's always a "fix the horse" problem. They phrase it in a way that it sounds like a "help the human communicate with the horse" thing, but I've never seen any focus on "maybe if you had better hands your horse wouldn't toss his head" or that sort of thing.

As for MR himself- I have a lot of trouble giving him any credit. I'm sure much of what he does is great and works- but it's very difficult for me to have any respect for someone who misrepresents himself- it's pretty easy to debunk many of his claims about what he's done and where he's been (stunt double in "National Velvet"? hardly. All that info is easily available on imdb...)

Can a liar have good methods? Possibly.

But the Shy Boy incident does not seem particuarly "kind" to me... neither does the lip twine described earlier in this thread. Even the dually halter is not particularly kind. All of these methods are forcing the horse to choose between doing something or experiencing pain. So gushing about how he uses kind and gentle methods seems sort of strange, really.

Either way, there are many people who would benefit far more and have a much better relationship with their horses by learning to ride better, rather than following a "training guru"

I think horses usually know what to do- they know how to walk, trot, and canter. They learn easily to carry themselves. They tend, for the most part, to be pretty agreeable about things. The main tactic of "training" is really to learn how to ask them- it requires riding well. George Morris said something about that- it's about being FAIR to the horse. The kindest training method of all is just staying in balance and being fair, really.

Yet you don't see much of a focus on that with these guys. (and I could be wrong, but since I don't get much of a hint of that, I haven't bothered to delve any deeper than what's easily available...)

Remember Ferdinand
Feb. 20, 2007, 11:07 AM
You can lead a horse to water but can't make him drink -
Unless of course you have attended various NH clinics, become a convert, use a carrot stick, join-up, a round pen, a dually halter, mecate reins, down under handy stick (for when carrot stick just won't do), joined the savvy club, mastered the seven games, purhcased countless DVD/Videos/books. :D

Or attended a clinic with George Morris. But only if you ride without stirrups.

monstrpony
Feb. 20, 2007, 11:18 AM
I started this thread, to discuss MR's training: is it a bunch of hooey or not. I answer that I am currently taking away from this thread is: maybe it is.

OMom, be careful here, be very careful not to throw the baby out with the bathwater!

MR is an "element" if you will in a horsemanship movement. The horsemanship is not new, but it's current itteration on the larger public radar screen IS something, well, different. The hoopla, advertising, proseletizing, and kool-aid dispensing is new and different--that's what has gotten our attention. But the horsemanship is not.

MR further shoots himself in the foot by touting his stuff as original. He claims to have learned it by observing horses in their natural state, and because he believes he "sees" some things differently than most people (the color-blindness thing). This is different from the learning path of "classical" horsemanship being passed down from person to person along a dying path--at least, until the general horse public got wind of how special it is, which is what has turned things around.

If you do any examination at all of the good part of what MR--or any of the others-- "teach", it differs little from what the vaqueros learned and passed on to the few who were willing to take the time, or what Xenephon figured out and passed to his followers, who gave birth to classical dressage. It has to do with understanding what the horse is, and then using that understanding to work more effectively with the horse. No more, no less.

Don't lose sight of that. It's being cleverly disguised, packaged, dressed up, and sold, and sometimes, much of the beauty is lost as a result. But the fact that this kind of horsemanship is re-emerging is a good thing for the horse "industry".

Why does it have to re-emerge? Because many, many practitioners of this perspective on working with horses are quiet, humble people who have never sought the bright lights. Many are the kind of people who communicate with horses better than they communicate with other people, so passing along their knowledge has been difficult--this is why so many of the best writings on this kind of horsemanship read like they were written by third-grade autistic dyslectics; the real personalities behind them don't fall far from that mark; they're two legged horses, not traditional human beings. This is why the tradition came so close to being lost, in the rush to make horses extensions of our commercial selves, instead of just honoring the horse. This is why some of the best riders are such poor clinicians. This is why the rest of us "normal" folks have to study so hard to get there.

This is why the publicity, however warped, is not all a bad thing. Because, in the end, it's better for the horses. And that, in the end, is really our goal, no?

Oldenburg Mom
Feb. 20, 2007, 11:25 AM
Ahhhhh, Monstr. What persuasive words! IMHO, however, the baby and bathwater are still together. ;)

Plumcreek
Feb. 20, 2007, 11:37 AM
Good post, monstrpony! I agree.

Additionally, the "want it now" generation has spawned horse trainers who cater to demands to train horses fast, sometimes using not so nice methods. Where some of the old timers used cruelty because they did not know better, the new timers use gimmicks (hock hobbles attached to the bit come to mind) and chemical methods because they work for the moment and give instant results, don't really care about the horse.

au_panda
Feb. 20, 2007, 11:43 AM
OM: IMHO, good ideas are good ideas. I'm not too bothered by where they come from. If I see something I think is interesting, I usually try it and if it works, good. If if works consistently, I might even incorporate it into my thinking and use it. But..... I've given up on the Rural Channel and all the NH shows. These guys are making a living (fortune) grandstanding. They suck in lots of people to these clinics to see the "magic" then they go to the next city and do it over again (and over and over and over). How are these miracle horses the next day? What comes next after the "games"? I don't want to play games with my horses, I want them to ride safely, show well and basically do what I ask. I try to make it black and white to them that safe is good, unsafe is not. It is unsafe to buck, unsafe to strike, unsafe to rear, kick, bite, refuse to get in the trailer (because someday we just might be stopped on the side of a freeway with cars going by at 80 MPH in an emergency and have to unload and reload - oh, actually, that's already happened - and there can be no discussion about how they are to act). I have OTTB's that came to me with issues from mishandling at the track and young stock that have been raised and handled, non-violently (if you're willing to classify things like being punched in the nose for biting as non-violent) since birth. I would never subject them to a NH "clinic"; sorry but I'm not impressed by "loading a horse in less than 5 minutes" "breaking a horse to ride in an hour". I attended a clinic by a lesser known guy that's close to me. The clinic was about Emotional Control - written up as of the horse but many of the lessens were control of the handler/rider. This was probably the most useful topic for actually dealing with training issues and I have yet to see any of the televised NH "trainers" discuss it.

GrayMe
Feb. 20, 2007, 11:47 AM
"Opinions are like buttcracks everyone has one". Some are full of poop, some are kind of cute but all are necessary for good health.

Concerning the fire breathing stallion...I did see a BNT with a stud that had seriously injured several of his staff (uprovoked behavior, they were cleaning his stall). After exhausting all avenues to moderate his dangerous behavior, they were considering euthanasia. A local small breeder asked if he could lease the stallion as a pasture breeder. He agreed to all conditions set forth by BNT. Horse was not to leave pasture...ever...other conditions concerning safety of people on farm and horse. Result...within 3 months of turnout with 7-8 mares you couldn't tell him from the mares as far as demeanor. He would come up to the gate like an old gelding. No more problems. He was fine with the mares coming and going and lived out his life in that pasture. So I guess you never know what causes these behavior problems. His was as simple as claustrophobia. Nothing caused by abuse just something he was born with.

Bluey
Feb. 20, 2007, 12:05 PM
---"Many are the kind of people who communicate with horses better than they communicate with other people, so passing along their knowledge has been difficult--this is why so many of the best writings on this kind of horsemanship read like they were written by third-grade autistic dyslectics--the real personalities behind them don't fall far from that mark; they're two legged horses, not traditional human beings. This is why the tradition came so close to being lost, in the rush to make horses extensions of commercial ourselves, instead of just honoring the horse. This is why some of the best riders are such poor clinicians. This is why the rest of us "normal" folks have to study so hard to get there."---

That made me smile.:)
There is an old phrase, "he is half horse".
Grandma once told me that I was not half, but 99% horse.:lol:
We were coming from town and some cattle were out, so we went by the barn and the ranch horses were thru drinking water and starting to go over the hill, grazing, in their 1 1/2 mile long brushy pasture.
They dropped me by the barn and told me to catch a horse, come to the house to change clothes and go get the cows.

I walked over to the fence and called a horse, petted him a little and told him to wait for me and walked over to the house, a long ways off and around the pens.
While I was changing, they ask me who I had put in and when I told them I had called Rowdy and asked him to wait, they jumped on me!
"Hurry, finish and go get him, before all are gone! What were you thinking!"
Ok, I hurried, worried then and ran down to the barn and there was Rowdy, by the gate, the last horse's behind disapearing over the hill.
We got our cows in.:cool:

That day it kind of hurt my feelings that I had been so naive to think horses were understanding me, which I really thought they were, but later realized that maybe they were not, just happen to work that they knew what was wanted and were well trained.
I still talk to horses and they do what I say, but it is not because they know what I say, but what I mean and need, not the same thing.
A big distinction, that we can't really teach people, but we can teach them how to learn to communicate on their own terms with horses.

I think that this is what many of today's clinicans are trying to teach, what comes naturally to some, oh so hard to others, but all can really learn.

One consequence of being 99% horse is empathy for the horses, that it is hard to see them so often not being considered as the individual they are.
We trained race horses and we let them be themselves, as long with demanding that they did what we needed of them. Many were quirky and that was fine, that is who they were. The same with ranch horses or any other horse.
Most people don't want to know their horses that well, or interact with them at that level, it takes much out of many people, as it does take much from me to NOT do so, ignore what I see that I wince and don't like.

The whole long story is to say that some trainers hit me as not being that well atuned to the horses they work with, others are. MR seems to be one of the ones that don't always are looking at the horse itself.
For some clinicians, it seems that horses are a tool to display their ability, experience and smart ways to outthink and outmaneuver the horse.

On that level, I don't like some of them as much, although I admire some of the tricks of the trade they may use and the facility to speak and be understood and followed by so many.
That is why I can't hardly watch RFD-TV sometimes, it grates what they do.
We can always learn from anyone, what to do and what not to do, both.

As far as autism and a facility in some individuals with those traits to work with animals, a famous person that does that is Temple Grandin.

Coreene
Feb. 20, 2007, 12:08 PM
And then there's what goes on when he is not in front of an audience or a camera.

Oldenburg Mom
Feb. 20, 2007, 12:17 PM
And then there's what goes on when he is not in front of an audience or a camera.

That is exactly what I have started to question. :yes: That doesn't mean the rest of his techniques are garbage ... it just means that personally, I am not going to take everything he says as gospel.

Coreene
Feb. 20, 2007, 12:21 PM
You should read the book by his (I think) Aunt. A wonderful contrast to Saint Monty.

I am going to Global Dressage Forum in October; last year he was one of the speakers. Made a bit of an arse out of himself with some of the "training" suggestions. I hope he's not on this year's agenda; if he is, that's when I'm ducking out for coffee.

But O-Mom, you know I do still love you. :yes:

Oldenburg Mom
Feb. 20, 2007, 01:14 PM
But O-Mom, you know I do still love you. :yes:

*blush* The Ducster sends cuddles. BTW, since this is MY thread (teehee) I think I'l hijack it for a "special moment"; I loff my goober pony! Oh, and BTW, THIS is what it's all about, people.

findeight
Feb. 20, 2007, 01:16 PM
A non-NH trainer usually sets up shop in a barn, builds a client base that come for training advise and instruction on a regular basis, making it much easier to permanently fix the problems the horse and rider are having. The early NH trainers did not have this luxury when they are starting out. Their methods were too new and taboo.

No. Sorry but that is just not true at all. Their methods were the same ones used by better trainers and horsemen forever. I learned basic horsemanship in, like 1959-1960, at a public riding stable from some movie stunt guys and they taught what we now refer to as NH method for figuring out and managing horses. Nobody ever said most of the methods were taboo, they just did not think these tricks and tidbits would solve every single problem a horse has-and they already knew them so did not want to pay to go see somebody else do it. I'd always heard the name MR over a whole lot of years and...well... he didn't have a great reputation way back.

Horse owners frequently want more from a trainer then to just fix a specific problem, they want to jump or do Dressage or chase cows. "NH" types do not offer any of this, just problem solving. If you do want to do those things and compete? You go to a trainer who does those things and competes. Has absolutely nothing to do with any "taboos" or anything like that-NH trainers can't haul you down the road to compete in your discipline.

There is NO SUCH thing as NH anyway..there is nothing natural about climbing on a horse and making him do our will. NOTHING AT ALL. There is only GOOD HORSEMANSHIP and that's all this hooey is. No secret and it has been no secret since Alexander the Great realized the horse was afraid of his shadow and turned him the other way.

Ghazzu
Feb. 20, 2007, 01:17 PM
The early NH trainers did not have this luxury when they are starting out. Their methods were too new and taboo.

Their methods are as old as Xenophon.

arabhorse2
Feb. 20, 2007, 01:18 PM
findeight, you're my hero! :D :D

Ghazzu
Feb. 20, 2007, 01:19 PM
The early NH trainers (MR, PP, JL, etc) built their businesses by traveling from place to place holding clinics. Their marketing strategy was to gain credibility by word-of-mouth.

In the tradition of Mr. Rarey and the other "horse whisperers".

frugalannie
Feb. 20, 2007, 02:31 PM
Awwww, OMom. What a great photo! The expression on his face is priceless. (Wish we could see the expression on yours!)

Red Barn
Feb. 20, 2007, 02:37 PM
findeight, you're my hero! :D :D

Mine too!

Percheron X
Feb. 20, 2007, 02:42 PM
So if MR is totally worthless like some are insinuating... please explain all this so I can conscionably agree with you.

Monty Robert's "List of accomplishments"
(source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monty_Roberts)

1939-1944 Stunt double for Mickey Rooney, Roddy McDowall, Charleton Heston, Elizabeth Taylor in National Velvet and others
1948 Tracked wild mustangs and learned “the silent language of Equus”
1950–1969 Regional NIRA All Around Championships

11 National Championships in Show Ring
National NIRA Champion Bulldogger
NIRA National Team Roping Championship
NIRA National All Around Championship1954 Worked with James Dean on East of Eden

1966 Founded Flag Is Up Farms
1966–2004 Started and trained hundreds of race horses; produced champions including:

Cathy Honey, An Act, Aladancer, Walk in the Sun, Tobin Bronze (United States)<>
Alleged, Dajur (Europe)Lomitas, Quebrada, Risen Raven, Macanal, Lavirco, Silvano, and :*Sabiango (Germany)<>
Sharivari and Bahroona (New Zealand) 1973–1986 Leading consignor to Hollywood Park/Two-Year-Old Thoroughbreds In Training sale

1985 - Gold Card Lifetime Member, PRCA, Professional Rodeo Cowboy’s Association
1986 - First public demonstration of Join~Up® in Vancouver, BC, Canada
1988 - Named “Stock Horse Man of the Year” by National Reined Cow Horse Association
1989 - Queen Elizabeth II invites Monty to Windsor Castle to demonstrate Join~Up® and train her staff
1996 - "The Man Who Listens to Horses" is published
1997 - Book remains on New York Times best-seller list for 58 weeks
1997 - Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI) awards Roberts their Equitarian Award at their Washington, DC International Horse Show
1997 - National Horse Show Association’s Award of Merit
1998 - BBC/PBS documentary Monty Roberts: The Real Horse Whisperer airs
1998 - First Join~Up® demonstration tour visits more than 40 states in the United States
1998 - ASPCA honors Roberts with their “Founders” award
1998 - Roberts creates the Western Equitarian Awards Banquet held annually for trainers in the Western riding disciplines who choose to train horses in the absence of violence or pain
1998 - The British Horse Society bestows their Appreciation Award
1998 - Santa Barbara Wildlife Care award for “Lifetime of Dedication”
1999 - Monty’s book, "Shy Boy: The Horse That Came in from the Wild" is released and hits the best-seller lists
1999 - Documentary "Shy Boy: The Horse That Came in from the Wild airs"
2000 - ASPCA awards Roberts their “Man of the Year” award
2000 - MSPCA bestows the George T. Angell Humanitarian Award
2001 - Monty’s book, "Horse Sense for People" is published
2002 - Awarded honorary doctorate from the University of Zurich, Switzerland in animal psychology
2002 - Monty’s fourth book and first textbook, "From My Hands to Yours", is published
2002 - Monty demonstrates Join~Up® as part of Queen Elizabeth II’s Golden Jubilee at Windsor Castle
2002–2003 - Monty, Pat, and Shy Boy ride in Tournament of Roses parade
2004 The Girls Scouts commission a special Join~Up® badge and training program in honor of Monty’s pioneering work
2004 - Monty’s German bred Sabiango wins the Grade 1 $350,000 Charles Whittingham Memorial Handicap at the Hollywood Park Racetrack in California, followed shortly thereafter by the $200,000 Kentucky Cup Turf
2004 - Monty’s fifth book, "The Horses in My Life" is published in Great Britain, Germany, and Australia
2005 - Awarded honorary doctorate from the University of Parma for his work in animal psychology
2005 - Monty’s "The Horses in My Life" is additionally published in the United States and in many other languages.
2005 - Roberts awarded the Silbernes Pferd (Silver Horse) Award in Germany for lifetime achievement for outstanding contributions to promoting the love of horses. He is the first foreign-born and first American to receive this award.
2005 - Documentary completed about Monty’s work with the wild horses and the aboriginal youth of Palm Island, Australia
2006 - Monty’s DVD Series A Backstage Pass! is completed with 17 episodes filmed in ten countries

Underwhelmed
Feb. 20, 2007, 02:45 PM
I have been to a MR clinic. I was not impressed - not upset, either - just not impressed. I went with a friend, and after the first demonstration, she looked over at me and said, "Isn't this the same thing that most good horse trainers do when they're starting their babies?" She was right, EXCEPT, the the horse trainers I've worked with did it much more slowly, nicely, calmly, gently, etc. Babies were gradually introduced to the idea of lunging, then bitting, long-lining, wearing a saddle, then mounting. Over a period of weeks or months. All for short periods each day, with small goals met one at a time.

I don't have a problem with MR, but I do think that his methods are similar to (and perhaps inferior to) methods that have been successfully used to start young horses for many many years. His "non-violent" approach is not new, as another poster said, it is simply good horsemanship. A trainer who uses a violent, rushed method is just a bad horse trainer.

Oldenburg Mom
Feb. 20, 2007, 02:54 PM
Awwww, OMom. What a great photo! The expression on his face is priceless. (Wish we could see the expression on yours!) Thank you! He's my baby dumpling! :yes:

--------------

Well, Percheron, I understand some of the beginning ones are questionable, e.g., stand in for etc. But I'm going to see if I can find and check the credits for the films. I'll get back on this one.

BUT,

They don't just give these awards away. That is quite a list of accomplishments, I must say. And I find it hard to believe that ALL of them would be somehow questionable.

Any responses?

------------------------

P.S. BTW, a great big THANK YOU to everyone for being mature about this! Well done! We CAN all be civilized and still retain our differing opinions!

P.P.S. Great quote, Underwhelmed. Not often you see Plutarch quoted these days.

Coreene
Feb. 20, 2007, 03:00 PM
Wikipedia can be edited by anyone. Read the relative's book. It's an interesting contrast.

Percheron X
Feb. 20, 2007, 03:38 PM
I found the same list on the MR website....
http://www.montyroberts.com/ab_about_monty_career.html

If the guy really is a fake here's everyone's chance to prove it.
I'm going to see if I can validate any of this.

Coreene
Feb. 20, 2007, 03:40 PM
The book written by a relative does a great job of it. Google is also a great place. You can see the book at www.horsewhispersandlies.com (http://www.horsewhispersandlies.com) Or Google his name and "liar" or "fraud."

mairzeadoats
Feb. 20, 2007, 03:47 PM
PercheronX -- publishing books and making movies are not horsemanship. The vast majority of items on that list of accomplishments are not horsemanship, they're salesmanship. Totally, totally different things. And how convenient that the same list that he put on his own website appears in Wikipedia. Gee, I wonder who made his Wikipedia entry, anyway?

Ghazzo nailed it -- the NH methods are as old as Xenophon. Just packaged up and marketed.

As a former marketing communications professional, I do have to say I envy his ability to generate cash for himself.

caffeinated
Feb. 20, 2007, 03:47 PM
I found the same list on the MR website....
http://www.montyroberts.com/ab_about_monty_career.html

If the guy really is a fake here's everyone's chance to prove it.
I'm going to see if I can validate any of this.

The very first items on the list can be checked on imdb.com. The site lists all the stunt doubles for National Velvet, including those who were not credited, and Monty Roberts does not appear in the list.

:)

kewpalace
Feb. 20, 2007, 04:12 PM
The very first items on the list can be checked on imdb.com. The site lists all the stunt doubles for National Velvet, including those who were not credited, and Monty Roberts does not appear in the list. :)Yea, the list is:


Stunts (http://www.imdb.com/Glossary/S#stunt_performer) Rex 'Snowy' Baker (http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0048853/).... stunts (http://www.imdb.com/Glossary/S#stunt_performer) (uncredited) Johnny Carpenter (http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0139383/).... horse-riding stunts (uncredited) Alice Van Springsteen (http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1311591/).... stunts (http://www.imdb.com/Glossary/S#stunt_performer) (uncredited)
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0037120/fullcredits#cast

Miss J
Feb. 20, 2007, 04:27 PM
I like MR as well......I brought my TB to him when he came to my town, and he used him as a the "non-trailering" demo horse. He did very well with him, and gave me advice and tips on what to do.......when I was leaving the coliseum, or trying to rather...my horse would not load! heheh a little embarrassing, so I pulled Monty from his book signing, and he got into the trailer(2 horse strait haul circa 1930 lol) and gave a little pull and in jumped my horse.

Percheron X
Feb. 20, 2007, 04:31 PM
PercheronX -- publishing books and making movies are not horsemanship. The vast majority of items on that list of accomplishments are not horsemanship, they're salesmanship. Totally, totally different things. And how convenient that the same list that he put on his own website appears in Wikipedia. Gee, I wonder who made his Wikipedia entry, anyway?

I agree to a point, but they are still accomplishment none the less.

What I really want to know is if MR has untrue information in his own bio.

I'm researching the book "Horse Whispers & Lies" right now.


Ghazzo nailed it -- the NH methods are as old as Xenophon. Just packaged up and marketed.

As a former marketing communications professional, I do have to say I envy his ability to generate cash for himself.

I completely agree with Ghazzo, and with it being a marketing angle.

The question is, what is the true value of MR's accomplishments for society. Has society been enriched at all because there is a MR?? And if so, to what extent has he enriched society?

Red Barn
Feb. 20, 2007, 04:32 PM
Thanks for the link to "Whisperers and Lies"! Very entertaining. Haven't finished, but was quite impressed to discover that Monty was able to perform flying lead changes at the age of THREE. . . Yowzer!

Oldenburg Mom
Feb. 20, 2007, 04:33 PM
Miss J,

I'm curious, have you had problems loading him since? Did you find any issues...any changes--good or bad--after you got him home? I'm very interested also in MR's response ... did he say why the horse wouldn't load?

You're a firsthander!! I'm very curious about what you noticed!

Oldenburg Mom
Feb. 20, 2007, 04:35 PM
Thanks for the link to "Whisperers and Lies"! Very entertaining. Haven't finished, but was quite impressed to discover that Monty was able to perform flying lead changes at the age of THREE. . . Yowzer!

This is starting to get disconcerting. BUT, please consider, there are two sides to every story. Just because these folks are saying "This is the REAL truth" doesn't make it any truer than MR saying "This is the REAL truth."

caffeinated
Feb. 20, 2007, 05:10 PM
This is starting to get disconcerting. BUT, please consider, there are two sides to every story. Just because these folks are saying "This is the REAL truth" doesn't make it any truer than MR saying "This is the REAL truth."

Very true, but reading it sure is interesting, and there are interviews with tons of sources- not just his family, but the police and other horse trainers (including those he claimed as having "mentor" status) do paint a pretty consistent picture.

I dunno, I tend to trust those who say "the truth isn't that interesting" more so than those with the ultra-dramatic story. But that's just me, and probably comes from having a friend in High School who was a creative and compulsive liar...

Mozart
Feb. 20, 2007, 05:46 PM
Well I read his book many years ago and thought "cool" , seems like a great guy and a great horseman.

In 1999 I was vacationing in the Santa Ynez valley (lovely place, thought I had died and gone to heaven, vineyard after horse farm after vineyard) DH and I were driving around, passed Flag is up Farm and I got very excited. So we drove in and found out they were open to the public. Got our visitor passes and the brochures and handouts detailing all the products we could buy.

So we wandered around the place, not a soul in sight. Saw a covered round pen with saddle and bridle in the dirt outside it. Tack was filthy, bit was dirty and rusty.

Saw one agitated horse by himself in a row of stalls, stalls looked like prison cells, solid dividers all the way up, dark, dingy. Mentioned it to a trainer after the fact, she smiled and said "social isolation. Old trick"

Saw the mustang, Shy Boy, also in a dark stall, doors shut, divided all the way up. Thought to myself that he probably kicked himself daily for not trying harder to get away.....

Now, to be fair, for all I know the mustang was on stall rest or something. But it just it didn't seem right. Freedom, open spaces. Then you meet MR and find yourself in a dark closed in box stall. :no:

All in all the place had a sad decrepit feel to it. Which really surprised me. Somehow I was expecting something different.

Red Barn
Feb. 20, 2007, 05:46 PM
Yes! It really IS fascinating! What a terrific thread!

Of course, in fairness, OMom is right -- The Family sayin' it don't make it so --but my own personal instinct is to believe them. They sound like very earnest, not very sophisticated people who are genuinely horrified to see honorable friends slandered.

And if even half of this book is true, then Monty Roberts must be a genuine, dyed-in-the-wool sociopath. What an interesting turn of events! WAY more fun than a plain old everyday con artist, don't you think?

Remember Ferdinand
Feb. 20, 2007, 06:09 PM
No. Sorry but that is just not true at all. Their methods were the same ones used by better trainers and horsemen forever. I learned basic horsemanship in, like 1959-1960, at a public riding stable from some movie stunt guys and they taught what we now refer to as NH method for figuring out and managing horses. Nobody ever said most of the methods were taboo, they just did not think these tricks and tidbits would solve every single problem a horse has-and they already knew them so did not want to pay to go see somebody else do it. I'd always heard the name MR over a whole lot of years and...well... he didn't have a great reputation way back.

Horse owners frequently want more from a trainer then to just fix a specific problem, they want to jump or do Dressage or chase cows. "NH" types do not offer any of this, just problem solving. If you do want to do those things and compete? You go to a trainer who does those things and competes. Has absolutely nothing to do with any "taboos" or anything like that-NH trainers can't haul you down the road to compete in your discipline.

There is NO SUCH thing as NH anyway..there is nothing natural about climbing on a horse and making him do our will. NOTHING AT ALL. There is only GOOD HORSEMANSHIP and that's all this hooey is. No secret and it has been no secret since Alexander the Great realized the horse was afraid of his shadow and turned him the other way.

Hmmm. I have to disagree. If they aren't new and taboo than why are we having this discussion (and 20 zillion other threads) on the merits and effectiveness of NH methods? And by new, I don't mean that these trainers [I]invented[I]the techniques, but they certainly are responsible for bringing them mainstream. Yes ATG tamed his horse by turning him away from his shadow--but he was laughed at in the process and told it wouldn't work..until it did.

NH isn't about riding the horse. It's about developing a respect and communication system with your horse that is similar to the one he shares with his herd. It is through that communication system that your human/horse relationship becomes safer and more predictable. I don't know if MR promises that he can accomplish more than that, but the NH principles that I study focus on the horse/human relationship. It is through that communication that training and riding become more fluid and less stressful.

Coreene
Feb. 20, 2007, 06:21 PM
Time Magazine, however, did an exceptionally thorough bit of research on the subject for an expose piece and discovered that many of his tales were mere cases of "pull my finger." As in not true.

Sandy M
Feb. 20, 2007, 06:52 PM
Hmmm. I have to disagree. If they aren't new and taboo than why are we having this discussion (and 20 zillion other threads) on the merits and effectiveness of NH methods? And by new, I don't mean that these trainers [I]invented[I]the techniques, but they certainly are responsible for bringing them mainstream. Yes ATG tamed his horse by turning him away from his shadow--but he was laughed at in the process and told it wouldn't work..until it did.

NH isn't about riding the horse. It's about developing a respect and communication system with your horse that is similar to the one he shares with his herd. It is through that communication system that your human/horse relationship becomes safer and more predictable. I don't know if MR promises that he can accomplish more than that, but the NH principles that I study focus on the horse/human relationship. It is through that communication that training and riding become more fluid and less stressful.

Responsible for bringing them mainstream? Hardly. Besides, in most instances, what people "object" to with regard to NH isn't NH per se, but the relentless marketing, this is IT! Nothing else is correct!! All the others are horse abusers!! I learned my initial horse-handling back in the late '40s, early '50s, and no one I worked with abused their horses - it was always "Keep it slow and gentle." Also, some people question the applicability of NH beyond groundwork and basic under saddle manners - roundpenning isn't going to teach a horse to go on the bit or do more advance dressage or jumping.

I must say I laugh at the Parelli ads "with/out Parelli (horse running away); with Parelli (horse shoves face in halter)." Gee, I walk up to my horse's stall, he looks at me, I hold up the halter, he shoves his face in. No Parelli! No MR. It IS as old as Xenophon - nothing new under the sun. (plus MR was very rude to a friend of mine who was there to buy his book - insulted her aged horse (which I had given to her) and implied she didn't know what she was doing, after she had rehabbed the injured 25 year old and shown him briefly just to prove he was "back." (she got two 1sts and a 2nd).

Percheron X
Feb. 20, 2007, 07:22 PM
Time Magazine, however, did an exceptionally thorough bit of research on the subject for an expose piece and discovered that many of his tales were mere cases of "pull my finger." As in not true.

Thank you Coreene! :D

Here's the link to the Article in Time :
http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,989824-1,00.html

I put a good hour into searching for any news articles that would substantiate the claims MR makes in his bio, and I didn't find much. This doesn't mean that MR's claims are untrue, it just means that google searches like.... FEI Roberts "Equitarian Award".... Don't yield a whole lot of information. I tried to validate several of the awards, and came up with no proof.

Did MR really receive an award from the FEI as stated in his bio?
"1997 - Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI) awards Roberts their Equitarian Award at their Washington, DC International Horse Show."

I think MR has made positive contributions for the equine industry by raising public interest and awareness about horses. I think that is a notable achievement in itself.

I still think he's a good horseman..... I'm just starting to wonder if maybe he's better at telling stories?

mairzeadoats
Feb. 20, 2007, 07:28 PM
The question is, what is the true value of MR's accomplishments for society. Has society been enriched at all because there is a MR?? And if so, to what extent has he enriched society?
__________________

Actually, I thought Omom's question was something along the lines of is there any merit to his training methods. To what extent has he enriched society? That sounds more like sociology than horsemanship. In any event, I don't think he's enriched society so much as he's enriched himself.

Looking through the citizen's for truth site, I'd totally forgotten the little fiasco with Dominick Dunne. As a writer, OMom, you should find that one interesting. Back when the senator's daughter, Chandra Levy, disappeared, apparently Monty tried to latch onto some extra notoriety by telling Dominick Dunne some story about how he'd been on a flight to the middle east to train some sheik's horses, and learned that she'd been kidnapped and dumped out of the plane into the ocean. Of course, time proved the 2nd part of his story to be a complete lie. Call me skeptical, but personally I seriously wonder about the former part of his story.

To be honest, this all reminds me of Hildago. And how some cowboy's start to believe the yarns they spin...

Coreene
Feb. 20, 2007, 07:49 PM
And here's a total sidebar, since Dominick's name came up: Judith Spreckles - former publisher of "Horses" magazine that we all swooned over in the 60s 70s and 80s (was it that long?) - is one of Dominick Dunne's best friends and sat in for him at one of the big trials he was covering for Vanity Fair (I think it was the Menendez one but could have been OJ) on the days that he couldn't make it.

Red Barn
Feb. 20, 2007, 07:51 PM
"I must say I laugh at the Parelli ads "with/out Parelli (horse running away); with Parelli (horse shoves face in halter)."


Yes, I love those! And I've always thought maybe George Morris should do one, too:

WITH GEORGE MORRIS (Elegant rider on happy horse jumps 5' oxer)

WITHOUT GEORGE MORRIS (Linda Parelli jumps pic-nic table sans helmet)

Percheron X
Feb. 20, 2007, 08:11 PM
The question is, what is the true value of MR's accomplishments for society. Has society been enriched at all because there is a MR?? And if so, to what extent has he enriched society?
__________________

Actually, I thought Omom's question was something along the lines of is there any merit to his training methods. To what extent has he enriched society? That sounds more like sociology than horsemanship. In any event, I don't think he's enriched society so much as he's enriched himself.



Replace each use of "society" with the word "horsemanship".:winkgrin:

Horseman are a part of society. All segments of society are interrelated. I was just looking at it from a sociological perspective. :)

Remember Ferdinand
Feb. 20, 2007, 08:30 PM
Responsible for bringing them mainstream? Hardly. Besides, in most instances, what people "object" to with regard to NH isn't NH per se, but the relentless marketing, this is IT! Nothing else is correct!! All the others are horse abusers!! I learned my initial horse-handling back in the late '40s, early '50s, and no one I worked with abused their horses - it was always "Keep it slow and gentle." Also, some people question the applicability of NH beyond groundwork and basic under saddle manners - roundpenning isn't going to teach a horse to go on the bit or do more advance dressage or jumping.

I must say I laugh at the Parelli ads "with/out Parelli (horse running away); with Parelli (horse shoves face in halter)." Gee, I walk up to my horse's stall, he looks at me, I hold up the halter, he shoves his face in. No Parelli! No MR. It IS as old as Xenophon - nothing new under the sun. (plus MR was very rude to a friend of mine who was there to buy his book - insulted her aged horse (which I had given to her) and implied she didn't know what she was doing, after she had rehabbed the injured 25 year old and shown him briefly just to prove he was "back." (she got two 1sts and a 2nd).

I understand what you are saying. I guess I look past the marketing and the "my way is the only way!" nonsense and just focus on studying the communication techniques. It's awesome that you have that relationship with your horse.

monstrpony
Feb. 20, 2007, 08:36 PM
And if even half of this book is true, then Monty Roberts must be a genuine, dyed-in-the-wool sociopath.

Aha. Now, we might be getting somewhere useful.

While I still appreciate that MR happened to be the one who opened my eyes to the fact that there was still a lot about horses that I didn't know, I will also admit that I've read enough, um, other stuff about him that I do want to ask "will the real MR please stand up?" And, by the way, which one are you???

I do believe the man has some, um, "issues".

CharliesMom
Feb. 20, 2007, 09:18 PM
Whether you or I find his training methods valid or controversial matters not to me. I have respect for a man who
donates his time and resources to the community. (While I was a student at Cal-Poly in the late 80’s, he would lecture, give clinics and provide breeding to his stallions to Cal-Poly Foundation owned TB mares.)
opens his home to both friends and strangers alike (short story: A friend and I were driving south from Cal-Poly SLO in the late 80’s and happened across his farm, before I even knew who he was, and I rang the buzzer at the gate. We were welcomed in and after a brief tour were told we could just wander around as we pleased. I was quite impressed with the farm and surprised that he would let a couple of 20-somethings just wander his place freely)
fosters children (I believe his website says that he and his wife have fostered more than 40 children)
has been able to excel at a variety of riding disciplines (rodeo, western, racing, etc)
spends his working hours doing what he loves
is articulate in both the spoken and written word (How many books has he sold?)
runs a successful business in an industry where most of us have more expense than income

As for his training methods and his claims. He is an entertainer and people buy tickets to his shows. He is a salesman and many people are buying what he is selling. Lots of salesmen make exaggerated claims. If you don’t like what he is selling, don’t buy. I admit to being more impressed with him in my younger years that now. I was smitten in college but less affected by the “show” I saw of his within the last few years.

For me (like others on this thread/board), my riding has been influenced by the good and the bad. I take what I can from the good and realize what not to do by watching the bad. Monty Roberts is no different, whether you put him in the good or the bad category. There is no trainer or horseperson that can be everything to everybody. The Monty Roberts, Parellis, and others get all the scrutiny because of their success and publicity, by placing themselves in the public eye.

Evalee Hunter
Feb. 21, 2007, 12:04 AM
First, although I am not a big Monty Roberts fan, I do NOT think he is a liar. It is quite possible for 2 people to be in the same place, viewing the same happenings, & have completely different memories of what transpired. My husband & I do that all the time!

Now, I remember another post Oldenburg Mom made in which she said something along these lines (& this is a very broad paraphrasing): that until she met someone that was into natural horsemanship, no one had ever told her to watch the horse for cues & body language; that natural horsemanship may be "common sense" to a few people, but not to everyone, as most people don't know they should be picking up communication from the horse. (& I'm sure if I mis-remember or misunderstaood, - or, worse yet, it was someone other than OMom who posted these thoughts - that OMom will come on & correct me).

I am wondering if her question about Monty Roberts grew out of these experiences?

I do know that many people pick up communication from horses as easily as (or more easily than) from other people - but, perhaps it is necessary for most people to start riding & working with horses at a young age to do this. I think children are more open, more relaxed, less concerned about what others might think, so they pick up horse communications. I certainly know my daughter did. She shocked me when she was maybe 10 or so as we were trying to catch a hard to catch horse, by saying, "Look, he's chewing, he's ready to be caught!" She had never met any of the natural horsemanship people, never read any natural horsemanship books, but she knew.

Madeline
Feb. 21, 2007, 01:47 AM
He came to the barn I was boarding at. The two "unbroke" horses he and his "assistant" rode for "the first time" had all been under saddle for six months. He was well aware of this fact...he picked them out.

I've always wondered about the apparent contradiction of horses who are supposedly "untouched by human hands" but who have been raised on fancy-schmancy TB breeding farms and have obvious neatly pulled manes and and polished and trimmed feet. I'm not sure that the ones I saw didn't have ears and whiskers trimmed as well. Makes me wonder about the degree to which that "willing suspension of disbelief" is supposed to happen...

findeight
Feb. 21, 2007, 07:35 AM
FLAG IS UP Farms....his bio says he founded it and has owned it since way back??

Wasn't that auctioned off in bankruptcy some years back? I don't have time to research that but I was under the impression he was leasing a portion of that back in the mid 90s. Have no idea what the deal is now.

BTW there is NOTHING wrong with his basic methods, only the way he frames them...but alot of people who have been in the business for alot of years don't care for that frame.

As far as bad trainers? I don't know. Never use any myself.

caffeinated
Feb. 21, 2007, 09:40 AM
First, although I am not a big Monty Roberts fan, I do NOT think he is a liar. It is quite possible for 2 people to be in the same place, viewing the same happenings, & have completely different memories of what transpired. My husband & I do that all the time!

Though I agree with that, I think his brother would have remembered losing his bunk bed to James Dean, and that if he was in the movies it would be easy to confirm. I also tend to think that if someone actually worked for a very well respected and big name, legendary trainer, that legendary trainer might actually remember meeting him. I also tend to think that if the boy had really ridden in so many races, as he describes, someone in his family might have remembered it. When horses he describes as having been "saved" by him are remembered by their owners as having died in his care, it sort of makes me go hmmmmmm....

*shrug*

Does this have any bearing on his training procedures? Probably not. But if I can't trust someone on one thing, I have a lot of difficulty trusting the other things.

Besides which, any talk of "gentleness" and such seems to fly in the face of some of what has been described here. Making the horse choose "my way or pain" to me doesn't really seem all that gentle and considerate.

findeight
Feb. 21, 2007, 09:57 AM
Well...you know...he claims he watched his father stab a man to death while his brother remembers that same bar fight and says his father cared for one injured in the fight and didn't kill anybody.

Murder or no murder is, really, kind of alot to misremember:confused:. Somebody is wrong. And the statute of limitions does not run out for homicide. Odd the "Cold Case" squad didn't jump on that to close it.

It's things like that that make some not find him particularly trustworthy. I have no idea what he was actually doing out in California when I was growing up there in the late 50s and early 60s. BUT I heard the name thrown around some and it was never good.

I prefer horsemen who let their work speak for them. MR's voice sort of drowns any possibility of that.

Ghazzu
Feb. 21, 2007, 11:55 AM
First, although I am not a big Monty Roberts fan, I do NOT think he is a liar. It is quite possible for 2 people to be in the same place, viewing the same happenings, & have completely different memories of what transpired. .

Ah, but is it possible for one person to be in two places (like in school and out watching wild mustangs) at the same time?

Ghazzu
Feb. 21, 2007, 12:00 PM
Let's make this issue of credibility a little more generic, though--say you were contemplating sending a horse to a "regular" BNT.
Then you found numerous instances of the BNT claiming to have won championships that s/he had not won, in fact, championships that were entirely fictitious.
And you were told by numerous people that the experience and qualifications that this trainer claimed to have were also quite heavily embroidered.

Is this someone you would want to do business with?
Even if that person got "results" at a clinic you audited?

summerhorse
Feb. 21, 2007, 12:35 PM
FLAG IS UP Farms....his bio says he founded it and has owned it since way back??

Wasn't that auctioned off in bankruptcy some years back? I don't have time to research that but I was under the impression he was leasing a portion of that back in the mid 90s. Have no idea what the deal is now.

BTW there is NOTHING wrong with his basic methods, only the way he frames them...but alot of people who have been in the business for alot of years don't care for that frame.

As far as bad trainers? I don't know. Never use any myself.


He was running it for an owner who gave him some kind of partnership deal but then turned out to be a bit nutty (bipolar) and basically tried to tear down the castle he'd built. He ordered horses killed, Monty sold them instead and the guy had him arrested for horse theft (even though the money was in trackable accounts). The man declared bankruptcy at the same time. The horse theft cases were thrown out and Monty had to sue him I believe and in the end mediation or the judge whichever divided up the farm leaving Monty with what he has now and the guy sold the rest.

As for his brother I don't actually remember him being around during the James Dean part but that doesn't mean anything, I'd have to go back and read about it.

Having seen and heard of too many cases where people lie about EVER seeing abuse in homes where children DIE from it I take all claims of that never happened with a grain of salt. What it might really mean is I don't know why I never did anything about that. It's not uncommon for a family to have one child that is singled out for abuse and the rest of the family just considers it normal. There is a famous set of books by a man out in CA (well at the time anyway) and he was terribly abused. It was documented pretty well by the schools and finally FINALLY they took him away (although the foster homes weren't much better) and his brothers and sisters deny it ever happened. They were conditioned to think that was normal behavior, that he was just being punished because he was bad. And for them to admit otherwise they would have to look deep inside themselves and ask WHY did they allow that to happen when they could have helped somehow? Many people don't want to find out the answers to that question.

If you take one event and have 20 eyewitnesses you will have 21 different stories at least. memories are weird. Besides seeing different angles our minds automatically put our own spin on it and often create or fill in gaps without us realizing it.

But again the point is if you don't like Monty, John Lyons, Josh Lyons, Parelli, whatever, just don't pay any attention to them.

Coreene
Feb. 21, 2007, 12:39 PM
IIRC, there was big doubts cast upon fostering all those kids as well. His website can say anything it wants. Doesn't mean it really happened. I, too, have a website, and on it I can say I am a size four and make my living riding grand prix jumpers. Doesn't make it true.

caffeinated
Feb. 21, 2007, 01:01 PM
As for his brother I don't actually remember him being around during the James Dean part but that doesn't mean anything, I'd have to go back and read about it.

MR claimed James Dean slept in the top bunk- which was MR's brother Larry's bed. Larry is pretty sure that he doesn't remember sharing a bed with James Dean and was home, sleeping in that top bunk, during the time period cited.

:)

At least that's the story his family tells.

Red Barn
Feb. 21, 2007, 01:31 PM
Do you guys think there is any sort of psychological connection between Monty's (alleged!) sociopathic behavior in Real Life and the whole Mystic Horse Whisperer myth?

The whole business seems so blatantly narcissistic and self-aggrandizing. . . creepy, really, when you consider how many people seem drawn to this type of person.

monstrpony
Feb. 21, 2007, 01:38 PM
Do you guys think there is any sort of psychological connection between Monty's (alleged!) sociopathic behavior in Real Life and the whole Mystic Horse Whisperer myth?



Which "mystic horse whisperer myth" are you referring to?

I thought the "horse whisperer" idea went back much further than any of the current crop of marketeers, but just got revived because of the book and then movie of the same name (which was not based on MR).

Red Barn
Feb. 21, 2007, 01:47 PM
Well, there's Monty's own Robert Redford one, to start. (I'd call that a self-creation, wouldn't you?)

But then there's the whole Super Star Mega-Trainer phenomenon in general. . . You decide!

Oldenburg Mom
Feb. 21, 2007, 02:05 PM
I'm at home sick today :( ... so this is going to be very brief.

We've really strayed from where this started. Now, almost the whole discussion is about ... something other than his training.

Oh, and Evalee, yes, I think that was me. And if it wasn't it should have been. :lol:

mallowlark
Feb. 21, 2007, 02:10 PM
He was running it for an owner who gave him some kind of partnership deal but then turned out to be a bit nutty (bipolar) and basically tried to tear down the castle he'd built. He ordered horses killed, Monty sold them instead and the guy had him arrested for horse theft (even though the money was in trackable accounts). The man declared bankruptcy at the same time. The horse theft cases were thrown out and Monty had to sue him I believe and in the end mediation or the judge whichever divided up the farm leaving Monty with what he has now and the guy sold the rest.

Or, alternatively, Harcourt (the owner/financier) was a generous, overly trusting man that MR defrauded. Alternatively, he had no mental disorder and ordered no horses destroyed. According to the family, MR also didn't acquire Flag Is Up with compensation from Harcourt. (From Horse Whispers and Lies)


Having seen and heard of too many cases where people lie about EVER seeing abuse in homes where children DIE from it I take all claims of that never happened with a grain of salt. What it might really mean is I don't know why I never did anything about that. It's not uncommon for a family to have one child that is singled out for abuse and the rest of the family just considers it normal. There is a famous set of books by a man out in CA (well at the time anyway) and he was terribly abused. It was documented pretty well by the schools and finally FINALLY they took him away (although the foster homes weren't much better) and his brothers and sisters deny it ever happened. They were conditioned to think that was normal behavior, that he was just being punished because he was bad. And for them to admit otherwise they would have to look deep inside themselves and ask WHY did they allow that to happen when they could have helped somehow? Many people don't want to find out the answers to that question.

I very much agree with this - it happens way, way too often, which is why I would be inclined to reserve judgment on the abuse. But movie credits and school records are rather less subjective. As are court documents, newspaper articles, birth certificates, etc. all of which the family cite. And, assuming they aren't lying about what's in those documents, that means he wasn't a stunt double, wasn't missing school so his father could exploit his riding talents, didn't win a national horsemastership contest (but won a state contest the year after his younger brother won it), didn't have a Cherokee grandmother, etc.

And the scans of Monty's father's entire book (available on Monty's website: http://www.montyroberts.com/images/jui_photos/horse_horseman_training.pdf) are not exactly consistent with how Monty portrayed them. For example, the pictures that Monty says are 'tying a horse to gain supremacy' are actually about tying a horse for gelding or medical care...and Marvin Roberts advocates this particular method because the horse won't bump its head or mouth on the ground. A bit different the blood and pain image Monty paints.

And, well, after someone has been shown to lie about all those things, I get more willing to believe that he also lied about the abuse. It is still 'more willing' and not 'positive', however. That may be just my inherent reluctance to completely discount a story of abuse because so many people who are telling the truth aren't believed.

findeight
Feb. 21, 2007, 02:18 PM
See, I just have a problem with claims like "founded and operated Flag is Up" for the last 25 years or however long it has been there with a sign in front of it. While sort of skipping the bankruptcy, fact he didn't own it et al.
Let alone the more dramatic stuff.

Sideshow. And the OP did ask what about MR without causing a trainwreck. This has not derailed and posters have supported their sides of the argument.

kewpalace
Feb. 21, 2007, 02:49 PM
And the scans of Monty's father's entire book (available on Monty's website) are not exactly consistent with how Monty portrayed them. I couldn't find it on his website. :no: What's the link??

Lora
Feb. 21, 2007, 02:54 PM
BTW, anyone remember the story on TV years ago about a chestnut racehorse in CA that was banned from the tracks for starting gate issues that Monty "Fixed". I forget the horse's name, but he was by Blushing Groom, I think he had Blushing in his name. Anyway, I saw that horse with a fractured leg at the lay up barn my trainer worked out of. Great thing Monty fixed his starting gate issue :)[/QUOTE]


I really don't see how you can blame Monty for this poor horse fracturing a leg. Chances are if Monty hadn't fixed his starting gate problem he could have ended up on someone's dinner plate over-seas.

mallowlark
Feb. 21, 2007, 03:14 PM
I couldn't find it on his website. :no: What's the link??

Oh, sorry. I found it through google, and really should have checked that detail. http://www.montyroberts.com/images/jui_photos/horse_horseman_training.pdf It's a pretty big file, so it may take awhile to load.

kewpalace
Feb. 21, 2007, 03:25 PM
Oh, sorry. I found it through google, and really should have checked that detail. http://www.montyroberts.com/images/jui_photos/horse_horseman_training.pdf It's a pretty big file, so it may take awhile to load.
Thanks . . . guess my search skills need more practice, LOL. :winkgrin:

summerhorse
Feb. 21, 2007, 03:54 PM
See, I just have a problem with claims like "founded and operated Flag is Up" for the last 25 years or however long it has been there with a sign in front of it. While sort of skipping the bankruptcy, fact he didn't own it et al.
Let alone the more dramatic stuff.

Sideshow. And the OP did ask what about MR without causing a trainwreck. This has not derailed and posters have supported their sides of the argument.

Well he did found and operate it. Harcourt had nothing to do with the running of the farm, he was not really a horseman, he was an investor.

Coreene
Feb. 21, 2007, 04:40 PM
We've really strayed from where this started. Now, almost the whole discussion is about ... something other than his training.Surely you didn't think this thread would be any different than every other MR thread that turns into exactly this, did you? :confused:

I know, I know, don't call you Shirley! :lol: And I hope you feel better soon and don't get the projectile flu that too many of us have had.