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The Cycle Of Violence - Interview with Monty Roberts
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The Cycle Of Violence - Interview with Monty Roberts

If anyone knows the cycle of violence, it's Monty Roberts. 72 bones broken by age twelve, all by his father, the only method of communication and training of horses he knew at this age was violent, fearful and controlling. With the guidance of his 8th grade teacher and dedication to communicating with horses in a nonviolent way, Monty Roberts broke the cycle of violence that had so dampened his spirit. He began a new unmarked journey in his life at the age of thirteen. Now, at 77 years-old, he has left a path that many not only find admirable, but also a path many have chosen to follow.

You may know him from various movies, published works and as "The Man Who Listens to Horses." As a young boy, Monty was quiet and observant, lending to his keen ability to perceive the nonverbal communication of horses which later led to the development of a silent language he calls "Equus." His love for horses grew from watching wild mustangs in Nevada. He believed that the 'old way' of working with horses was outdated and medieval; it was time to start a new tradition of working with horses in a positive way; the time of 'breaking horses' was over.

After about twenty years of studying and working with horses, winning National Championships in Equitation and working as a stunt double in Hollywood, Monty Roberts founded Flag Is Up Farms in 1966. Here, he continued his success in the Thoroughbred racing industry with his wife, Pat. Flag Is Up Farms is where Monty, his family and horse celebrity, Shy Boy, call home. It is also where "some of the world's most successful performance horses and highest earning race horses" have built their foundation of training.

Over the years, Monty has continued to develop a philosophy of training called "Join-Up," incorporating methods of training that are nonviolent and utilize nonverbal communication. "Join-Up" is the partnership that a horse chooses to develop with the trainer. "The result is a willing partnership in which the horse's performance can flourish to its full potential, rather than exist within the boundaries of obedience." This philosophy of training has reached as far as Queen Elizabeth II and her equestrian team.

Monty's mission in life is "to leave the world a better place for horses and for people." This is a goal most would say he has accomplished throughout his seventy plus years of working with horses, horse people, raising a family and fostering 47 children. Monty would say, "The critics keep me getting up in the morning, doing things better, possessed with doing it right, PEOPLE is the one word answer, not horses."

While Monty could have retired years ago, he chooses to continue on his path of making this world a better place. At 77 Monty continues to travel the globe, speaking to various audiences, sharing his philosophies of training, working with horses, horsemen and children, and most recently, working with veterans and PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). He has truly "broken the cycle of violence" and renewed not only the spirit of the horse, but his own spirit as well.

To learn more about Monty Roberts, "Join-Up" and Flag Is Up Farms click visit his website (http://www.montyroberts.com/). For your FREE day pass to Monty Roberts' Equus Online University, click this link (www.MontyRobertsUniversity.com/promotions/DAYPASS) and use the promotional code, DAYPASS.

A big thanks goes out to Monty Roberts and his staff for the opportunity for Equine Industry News to have an interview.

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  1. Nancy Richards
    The blogs I've written (Ground Tying and When A Horse Says No Way: Trailer Loading For The Opinionated Horse) are based on the training stuff I have learned from Monty's books and videos. They have helped me with my Tb mare that quite a few people told me to dump a few years ago. I stuck with her and now she's the sweetest horse ever.
    Log in to reply.
    1. EquineIndustryNews
      EquineIndustryNews
      That's awesome! I am glad you have seen good results and that you stuck with it! Thank you for reading my article, I really appreciate it!
      Log in to reply.
      1. Nancy Richards
        You're welcome! I hope you'll read mine. :)
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        1. EquineIndustryNews
          EquineIndustryNews
          Sorry it took me so long to reply. Will do! :)
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  2. jst4horses
    Take the opportunity to learn from Monty. It is fun, and even the videos help your horse and you be better together. I learned Native American horsemanship from two different trainers as a child and was training for one because he had been injured for awhile and could not ride, so we did what I now call "upsy downsy" training with him doing the ground work and teaching me and the horse, and me doing the saddle work. When I broke my back in a traffic accident and was horribly disabled I now use upsy downsy myself and love it. I can do it by phone or sitting in a chair in the volunteer work I do for veterans and high risk youth and family program equine therapeutic riding. I added some Monty and some others, and have my own style. Develop your own. Your own personal horse, my Snowy is FORTY and still working as a catch-groom-saddle boy, and vaulting for teeny tinies..........will learn that you have gone to a clinic and groan, or say LOL, as you bring home new methods. You will grow, get along better with others and be better in your own career as well, no matter what it is.
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  3. Chestnut Mare
    Chestnut Mare
    Voted. A wonderful blog! It is very interesting to read this about Monty Roberts, because my most recent blog mentions him in passing as well. I didn't know all this about him though, so thank you! However my blog, which is on the same theme as yours, does mention another horse trainer who had a similar background to Monty. It's called The Real Horse Whisperers, please check it out and vote if you like it.:-)
    Log in to reply.
    1. EquineIndustryNews
      EquineIndustryNews
      Sorry it took me so long to reply. I'll check it out, thanks! :)
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