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Horse Sense for People : The Man Who Listens to Horses Talks to People Paperback – Import, January 1, 2002

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Product Details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: Anchor Canada (2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385659164
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385659161
  • Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 4.9 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,021,783 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Monty Roberts, known as the "Man Who Listens to Horses" has led an extraordinary life. An award-winning trainer of championship horses, best-selling author, Hollywood stunt man, foster dad to 47 children (in addition to three of his own) and creator of the world-renowned and revolutionary equine training technique called Join~Up, Monty Roberts could now, in his later years, be resting on his laurels -- but that's not his style.

Roberts has won countless awards and received immense worldwide press coverage, put three books on the New York Times best-seller list, trained some of Queen Elizabeth II's equestrian team in London and been awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Zurich. But if you go looking for Monty Roberts, you won't find him lounging in his favorite chair high up in the hills overlooking his horse-training farm in the beautiful Santa Ynez Valley.

Monty Roberts, The "man who listens to horses" is more likely to be found somewhere on the globe continuing to spread his message of nonviolence. You're more likely to find him speaking to incarcerated youth in a juvenile detention facility, gentling his 15,000th horse at a demonstration, teaching his techniques to the growing number of students at his Equestrian Academy in Solvang, California or advising executives at Fortune 500 companies.

Why have millions of people from all walks of life responded to his PBS television shows, books, demonstrations, and media appearances with such passion? What makes Monty's message so compelling that everyone from the C.I.A. to Volkswagen invite this cowboy to share his experiences with their executives and leaders?

Perhaps it comes from the undeniable power of personal experience, of having witnessed too many horses "broken" in using violent, traditional methods. Perhaps it's having experienced an abusive childhood himself.

Monty often expresses that his goal in life is to leave the world a better place for horses and for people. With energy and enthusiasm, he gets up every morning, most often in a hotel in some town far away from his home, his horses, his staff and his farm, to keep talking . . . and listening.

Monty first learned to listen to horses while observing wild mustangs in Nevada at the age of thirteen. Sent there to round up horses for the Salinas Rodeo Association's Wild Horse Race, he spent hours silently watching the feral horses interact with each other. Soon he realized that they used a discernible, effective and predictable body language to communicate, set boundaries, show fear and express annoyance, relaxation or affection. In a moment that would change his life and the lives of horses and people forever, Roberts understood that utilizing this silent language would allow training to commence in a much more effective and humane manner, encouraging true partnership between horses and humans. Later, he would name this moment of partnership "Join~Up," and it would become the foundation of all his work with horses and people.

After this revelatory moment with the wild horses, Roberts returned home to his family's riding school at the Salinas Rodeo Grounds in Salinas, California. There, he had grown up watching his father "break" horses using traditional methods involving pain, control, fear and coercion. Testing his new insights into the nature of horses, Monty tried out some of his new ideas and was promptly punished for challenging his father's traditional methods.

Monty remained undeterred from his vision and later became a champion Western horseman. Hollywood hired him as a "stand in" rider and stunt double for stars such as Elizabeth Taylor in National Velvet and many other films. He even worked with James Dean during the pre-production and filming of the acclaimed movie East of Eden.

Monty knew that his future lay in working with horses, and he commenced an incredible career in Thoroughbred racing. Throughout the years he worked with many champions (including the famed "Alleged") and opened a training facility, Flag Is Up Farms, on 154 acres in the Santa Ynez Valley in 1966. He and his wife, Pat, enjoyed immense success training Thoroughbreds, becoming the leading consignor of two-year-olds-in-training at the Hollywood Park Racetrack for 18 years. Even today, the walls of Monty and Pat's offices are covered with artwork, newspaper clippings and other memorabilia from their years on the track.

As the couple raised their own family of three, over the years Pat and Monty also took in 47 foster children. Many of them still return to Flag Is Up Farms for visits, and credit Pat and Monty with helping to turn their lives around. Today, Pat and daughter Debbie (with her husband, Tom Loucks) run the multi-dimensional and international family business from offices on Flag Is Up Farms.

By the 1980s, the Roberts and their extended clan were living their lives on the farm, happily collecting accolades for their work with racehorses. Then a phone call came that once again changed the direction of Monty's life forever.

The call was from the offices of Queen Elizabeth II, the reigning monarch of England and an avid horsewoman. She had heard about Roberts' work and invited him to come to her country and show her staff his Join~Up(R) method. The Queen was so impressed by his demonstration she urged him to write a book. That book became "The Man Who Listens to Horses".

Published in 1996, "The Man Who Listens to Horses" became a full-blown phenomenon. The book went on to sell nearly 5 million copies. Suddenly, Roberts and his training methods had skyrocketed into the limelight. The phone lines were jammed at the farm and the media was clamoring to get an interview; but more importantly, hundreds of thousands of horse lovers heard the message that there was another way.

The PBS and BBC television networks aired documentaries about his work, four more books were published and became best sellers, and countries throughout the world translated these materials, sharing his message that violence is never the answer. Over the past several years, Monty has toured the United States and has raised over $1.6 million for horse-related charities, including 4-H and therapeutic riding organizations.

Monty still demonstrates Join~Up(R) across the globe. His fourth book "From My Hands to Yours: Lessons from a Lifetime of Training Championship Horses," is a textbook format of his Join-Up training principles. His academy, the Monty Roberts Equestrian Academy, located at Flag Is Up Farms, trained more than 140 students last year using his non-violent methods. MREA is run by the nonprofit organization, Join~Up(R) International, Inc. which has set out to ensure that Join-Up principles will be available for generations to come.

Monty never forgets the lessons he learns from the horses. In his fifth book, Monty recounts the stories of his best loved horses, chosen from the tens of thousands he has worked with throughout his lifetime. The Horses in My Life is a celebration of the horses he has learned the most from, as well as those that have impressed themselves most indelibly on his memory and in his heart.

Today, Monty remains steadfast to his goal; "to leave the world a better place than I found it, for horses and for people, too."

Customer Reviews

Every family should read this book.
Charlyne Laine
I would rate this book with 10 stars, if possible.
Cora Gail Johnson
Monty Roberts has some great stories.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Meddie B. Finnegan on January 14, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Monty has an easy writing style. It is not eloquent, but it is gentle and easy to understand. I liked the book because he describes, in full, how the language of Equus works. Then, by comparing horse stories and human stories, both from his experience, he shows how a non-violent, positive relationship builds rapport and effectiveness in dealing with people and animals alike.
The book felt pretty repetitive about half way through. That is why I was glad that I had checked it out at the library instead of spending twenty-some bucks on it at a bookstore. Although I didn't agree with every one of his points, I liked his message and having the opportunity to see issues, such as parenting, from another point of view.
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Niki Collins-queen, Author VINE VOICE on November 2, 2005
Format: Paperback
Monty Roberts' "Horse Sense for People" is a good book about an extraordinary person. Rising above his own abusive childhood where he suffered 71 broken bones by age 12 from his father's beatings he has shown that his Join-Up method with horses can be used to "tame" unruly children. He and his wife Pat raised 47 foster children plus three of their own. Roberts said, "I had show there is a better life if you get rid of violence."
Roberts turned the horse world on its head and gained international fame when he developed a technique called Join-Up based on communicating with horses using their natural body language. He says communication among humans and horses enables Join-Up and has identified 187 signs with which he can communicate with a horse. He says, "The language of the horse is the language of gestures. It is a gift we all have."
Roberts has trained over 70,000 wild horses and usually gets and out-of-control horse to accept saddle, bridle and rider in 30 minutes. He learned to "listen" to horses by paying attention to the way they communicate with each other with their ears, eyes and body postures. An essential part of Join-Up is the breakthrough moment when a horse bonds and nudges him.
Now 70, Roberts rode his first horse at age three, won his first riding trophy at age 4 and spent most of his life working as a competitive rider trainer, winning four world championships and training hundreds of stakes-wining racehorses.
Roberts is the author of three best sellers including the book "The Man Who Listens to Horses" that sold 4.5 million copies. He wrote the book at the urging of Queen Elizabeth II who invited Roberts to train her equestrian staff.
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 10, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Monty Roberts finally crosses from the realm of horses to that of people. It's about time. His non-violent approach to horses and his lessons well learned and described in "The Man Who Listens to Horses" are finally extended to the world of human interactions, from family dynamics to the corporate sky scraper. How will we survive and flourish together? Monty goes to the heart of these issues and brings a philosphy necessary for Millennial Man. We can live by Monty Robert's philosophy or wallow in the muck of the disintegrating status quo. If everyone who reads this book comes away with one new idea then it is a resounding success.
Monty maintains his easy style and voice and uses the anecdotal approach to teaching. It is extremely readable. Some people may not be comfortable with Monty outside of the horse world, but in fact he never leaves it, using analogies whenever appropriate.
I hope that this book is one of many where experts in empathy, understanding and non-violence leaves the niches and comes to the forefront so we can all learn to make the world a better place for all living things.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Sandra Kelsey on August 2, 2001
Format: Hardcover
I haven't read his other books and didn't expect him to be Ernest Hemingway. I know him as a magician with horses, not words. However, I was very impressed with his simple style; he doesn't belabor a point or show-off with big words. Therefore, his message shines through loud and clear; our general thinking about how to raise kids and relate to each other has much to be improved upon and he shows us a way to do it that is miles ahead of anything I've read anywhere including the mental health field. I understand Publisher's Weekley's criticism from a literary point of view but, heh, let's focus on the message; a message that is the answer to our present 'civilized' society's major problems. Any criticism of his book manifests a tenacity to hang on to traditional ways of thinking, thinking that has taken us to war overseas, in our schools, and into our own backyards. Monty is simply telling us to learn from nature, and its telling us that violence disrupts, gentleness and patience restores.
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27 of 30 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 14, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Less Horse, More People
I'm not that interested in social reform, so I liked this book least of the three written by Mr. Roberts. It's about applying Join-Up principles to people, at all levels of society. Philosophy is interspersed with stories of the author's experiences with remedial horses and people. Key statements are 'Violence is never the answer', 'Violence is always for the violator and never for the victim', and 'No one of us was born with the right to say 'you must or I'll hurt you' to any other creature, animal or human'.
The book is not clear on exactly what it means by violence. (Page 68: -quote- All of this raises the question, "How do you define violence?" It's a very difficult question with no simple answer. -endquote-) 'Coercive Violence', is my best guess. I am unsure if the nonviolence statements were meant to extend to human self-defense.
The author himself describes man as 'fight', horses as 'flight'. Thus, they're very different. It seems logical that horse-human analogies must fall apart eventually, specially if you believe (as I do) that people are moral beings and can choose to do right or wrong in ways that horses cannot. The book also gives brief opinions on a few subjects that really deserve thorough study and discussion before conclusions are drawn; firearm restriction, criminal incarceration, tracking devices for offenders, spanking.
*Content Note: Parents getting this book for pre- or young teens should know that it includes a vivid story of sexual abuse, told in the victim's words.
If you are looking for information on horses and Join-Up, I suggest you buy Mr. Robert's other fascinating books "The Man Who Listens to Horses" and "Shy Boy". Give "Horse Sense for People" a test run at your library before parting with cash.
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