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Horse Sense for People Paperback – May 28, 2002

4.4 out of 5 stars 40 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

A wonderful concept is poorly executed in this earnest but unsatisfying effort at self-help by the original "horse whisperer." Depicted movingly in his previoius books, The Man Who Listens to Horses and Shy Boy, Roberts's work as a "horse psychologist" has demonstrated the benefits of a social order based on "trust, loyalty and mutual concern" and guided him to develop an unusual, nonviolent style of "starting" thousands of horses with the "Join-Up technique," encouraging them to accept saddle and rider. He believes that by establishing trust and building partnerships between colleagues, his approach can also succeed in today's team-oriented workplace, citing examples from his consulting with such companies as Paradyne. He also intends to show how it can work with families, especially with autistic children, and with counteracting teenage violence, although the suggested "Blackboard" method for getting cooperation from children seems too studied. Unfortunately, redundant writing and plodding sentences obscure Roberts's simple and sensible principles. It's a shame he didn't give the reins to a collaborator who might have supplied a firmer structure. Still, he's an appealing presence--a man who helped raise 47 foster children, who is passionately opposed to violence and a charming teller of horse stories, which seem more real than some of his stories about humans. Agent, Jane Turnbull (U.K.). (May) Forecast: Given the runaway successes of Roberts's other books, a five-city author tour and 20-city schedule of horse-training shows, many buyers will not be deterred by the book's flaws.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


"I'm no horseman, but I know miracles when they happen. I've watched this magician of nonviolence change the wild rearing beasts into gentle horses under their riders, time and again, in minutes. Here he hands us some powerful lessons about healing and gentling ourselves and our relationships." Richard Bach, author of Jonathan Livingston Seagull

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books; 1st edition (March 15, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0142000973
  • ISBN-13: 978-0142000977
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.6 x 7.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #150,260 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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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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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