Monty Roberts

moscow_mule

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Went to my first Monty Roberts demo today :) What an amazing man(84 yo) So good to see a legend. Kelly Marks was fab, got books signed by both of them. Lovely people happy to chat even though snec was full to capacity. If like me you haven't been before I recommend that you do...he unfortunately won't be around forever :(
 

Bonnie Allie

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Went to one of his shows years ago. Content was good but the BS and blagging was completely unnecessary and over the top which really put me off.

I HATE unsubstantiated statements that don’t have data or evidence to back them up. His show was full of them. To make it worse, at the break his snake oil sales pitch turned a lot of people off.

His honesty was called into question also when the “never seen before” horse he was working with had been carefully selected the day before from a group of horses which he had put through a trial to find the most amenable one for the show.

It was a “show” we had signed and paid to see, and on this he delivered.
 

dogatemysalad

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It's great to hear that he's still out on the road at 84 yrs old. I went to see him about 17 years ago. He is a legend and his books are essential reading, along with a few other American horsemen (with the exception of the awful Parellis ).
However, his show left me a bit cold, as Bonnie Allie says, he is a bit brash and gives his products a hard sell. It's very difficult to convey the essence of horse behaviour and understanding in a short time, where the audience have come to see a miracle transformation in 30 mins.
 

SEL

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I also went to see him many, many years ago before the demos were televised and natural horsemanship was a "thing". Back then he genuinely wanted to help the 3 troubled horses in for the demo. He was brutally honest with one set of owners that their rescue horse may never be safe under saddle.

The last demo I went to was all showmanship and left me cold. I think since they got televised it's all needing to fit into cases that can be solved in 30 mins or so.
 

Steerpike

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I offered them my horse for their clinic/demo day next week, but they offered to come and collect him, this put me off and the time scale they had I didn't feel would be of benefit to my horse. Not sure if I will go as part of the audience. I can't say their communication is all that good either.
 

dogatemysalad

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Saw him years ago and saw through the BS he was selling. Hate these types that are making money from plain horse sense they have dressed up to make it theirs.
Unfortunately, horse sense isn't that common, that's why there's a market for it. Many people don't grow up surrounded by horses anymore. Its a big leap from riding school to ownership.
 

lannerch

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Went to one of his shows years ago. Content was good but the BS and blagging was completely unnecessary and over the top which really put me off.

I HATE unsubstantiated statements that don’t have data or evidence to back them up. His show was full of them. To make it worse, at the break his snake oil sales pitch turned a lot of people off.

His honesty was called into question also when the “never seen before” horse he was working with had been carefully selected the day before from a group of horses which he had put through a trial to find the most amenable one for the show.

It was a “show” we had signed and paid to see, and on this he delivered.
I much prefer Richard maxwell he just gets on helping the horse in front of him without dressing it up and is much more down to earth.
 

Red-1

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Recently bought into cob culture.
I saw him years ago and felt it was done as a magician act, all about how good it was and without the actual means to work out how to apply it for yourself.

Then I saw the video last year (or the year before) where a horse threw the rider 3 times. It was plainly obvious that the horse was not ready to be ridden, it had frozen and was tight and not relaxed at all. I believe he even swore when the rider fell the second time and got their foot caught and was dragged. No matter, throw her back on!

After seeing that poor horse (and rider) I would not go back and watch again.

I love watching the Mark Rashid demos, and have had two horses as demo horses there too, where riding I felt he really looked after our best interests. Plus gone to America to ride with him (and do Aikido) on 4 occasions. Highly recommend.

Loved Richard Maxwell too, went to some early ones, then went to a more recent one where I hoped to glimpse something to rekindle my daring do days - only to find he has become more cautious with age just like me. So, I gained something, just not what I thought!

Buck Brannaman - yes I think the man is a genius. However I did not think the crowded area of riders was a good conduit for teaching.

I also live very close to Guy Robertson, had a great week on a horsemanship course last year where we ended up doing cow work.
 
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Unfortunately, horse sense isn't that common, that's why there's a market for it. Many people don't grow up surrounded by horses anymore. Its a big leap from riding school to ownership.
that in itself is the problem. Why are ownership courses not available anymore? Horsemanship can be taught without the price tag. You don’t need a life surrounded by horses to be a horseman or to have
where are the instructors like we used to have that would say plain to your face nope not ready yet?

People are ballsy enough to go buy horses now without the slightest clue how to look after it but not ballsy enough to admit they dont have a clue what they are doing.

maybe I’m just too old school. I don’t like gimmicks and quick fixes. Spent too many years fixing those issues to be glamoured By big talk and a round pen
 

Rowreach

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I saw him years ago and felt it was done as a magician act, all about how good it was and without the actual means to work out how to apply it for yourself.

Then I saw the video last year (or the year before) where a horse threw the rider 3 times. It was plainly obvious that the horse was not ready to be ridden, it had frozen and was tight and not relaxed at all. I believe he even swore when the rider fell the second time and got their foot caught and was dragged. No matter, throw her back on!

After seeing that poor horse (and rider) I would not go back and watch again.
That horse was from a rescue place near me. There was quite a bit of fallout since they posted the videos on their Facebook page (thinking it was all wonderful) and weren’t expecting the (perfectly justified imo) backlash. A few weeks later they posted a very long distance shot of a brown horse being ridden round a field, claiming one and the same horse ....

I was no fan of MR before that demo, absolutely horrified after seeing what he did with that poor horse (and surprised the rider wasn’t badly hurt). For someone supposedly able to read horses, he wasn’t much good there.
 

ycbm

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There was a point in that video where I think most of us were yelling at the screen 'right, you've gone far enough for today now GET OFF!' but Monty made it trot, it exploded (again) and the rider went into orbit (again). I'm afraid he lost all my respect from that one video, it was so obvious when it was time to call it quits and take the pressure off the horse.

I'm not a fan of any kind of backing or retraining as entertainment. Both those things should be done with the least possible pressure and no time constraints, and that isn't consistent, I don't think, with a paying audience.

.

.
 

milliepops

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agree with PPs. the performance/entertainment element is what has really turned this from something with some useful ideas to a circus act.
I was given a parelli book by someone who trained barrel racers in the US when I was at school. It was WAY before the whole thing went sour and turned into a money making scheme (back in the day when they told you what yachting rope to buy so you could make a good halter rather than sell you one for £30). I still think some of that was good stuff. But it was more about helping people to teach their horses in a patient way, rather than a spectacle with a clock ticking down.
 

be positive

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I'm not a fan of any kind of backing or retraining as entertainment. Both those things should be done with the least possible pressure and no time constraints, and that isn't consistent, I don't think, with a paying audience.

Read more at https://forums.horseandhound.co.uk/threads/monty-roberts.780848/#RXs3iBfuwU0pQuCw.99

I have never been to a MR demo because I do not feel it is entertainment to see horses rushed through what should be a relaxed process done at the pace the horse, and rider, is comfortable with, my aim when starting has always been to avoid any need for an explosion by going as slowly as required.
I have done many with some time pressure, paying clients want results within a reasonable time but they also want a happy, relatively safe animal returned that is not shut down and is ready to go on, the fastest was backed within days, hacking alone within a week but many others took far longer and the odd one was sent home early with me asking the owners to send back a few months later because we felt they needed longer to mature.
I do not see the point of showing a horse being backed in 30 mins, it still needs time to be built up properly once it gets home and if the owners have the skill to do that properly what has been gained by subjecting the horse to being used for entertainment in the first place.

Other issues such as loading, difficult to catch has a bit more point to it but I guess that is less exciting for the audience.
 

Steerpike

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That is the reason why I decided not to put forward my horse, I don't think he could cope mentally with the short time slot they would have allotted him, and their offer to come and collect him at £60 for the first hour and £5 for every 5 minutes afterward the first hour plus travel per mile put me off, not that I mind paying for a service.
 

paddy555

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I went to a MR demo may years ago. One candidate was a pony around 14hh. It bucked for a pastime. He put bucking reins on, made it run around and eventually put a rider on. The rider was beyond brilliant and did stay on. There was no follow up commentary as to what the pony needed next. I asked MR at his book signing if the pony was sorted now. No, it would needed lots more work but he hadn't made that clear to the audience. It was a pretty common pony with a pretty average owner. There was no way that a child was ever going to be able to match up to MR's brilliant rider. So it was a good demo. in showmanship but not in solving the pony's problems long term.

I also saw Maxwell at a demo. He worked with a young, barely haltered horse to teach it to lead. Demo was fine. He led it out of the ring and was about to leave the building through a not very nice walkway exit. Horse wouldn't go. Some of us were positioned there and we had a lovely 20 mins whilst he worked the horse telling us what was happening. No showmanship or ego and he was someone who seemed able to really control his temper. The horse was totally messing him around, had obviously not learnt it's lessons in the demo. and some may have thought it was making his work looked poor but he calmly went back to the beginning . He was far superior in his handling of the horse than MR. When he spoke to the audience he didn't come across as all ego.
 

TPO

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A ray of sunshine 🌞
The name just left my head but that poor "wild" horse that they chased down then when it was exhausted enter stage right: big huckling cowboy to get on the poor wee buckled mite.

Shy Boy, that was it.

Lots of stories from his family about his fabricated story and I'm sure there was also something fishy reported about the filming of the Shy Boy car crash too.

Rumour has it that Monty was "just" a cowboy but when one of his foster daughters started a career in marketing that's when things started to change...

Same story for Pat P. He was "just" a travelling clinician until he met Linda who worked in marketing or PR I think it was and well the rest is history.

I'm a huge Richard Maxwell fan and recommend anyone close to any of his demo locations s to go and watch him. Hes doing a tour just now and hes coming back to Scotland soon to work with the same demo horses (Sandra Low-Mitchell's) to show their progress.
 
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Science has moved on, MR hasn’t and is still using dominance theory to mentally/emotionally abuse horses into submission.

not a fan, never have been.
I've proved to a few people over the years what a complete nonsense join up is. If you send your horse out for a couple of laps on each rein then ask it to come in, it'll follow you. Absolutely no need to have it running around until its knackered.

Their is no magic to it, it just appeals to the horses preference for an easy life.

Join up is sold as a magic cure for every horse but it just looks like dominance to me.
 

LR

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I’ve seen MR, Kelly R and Richard Maxwell. Richard was my favourite. I saw a Kelly Marks demo near Portsmouth years ago now. 2 demos interesting. Final one was a hand reared grey mare which was shocking. Tried to get her to accept a rider by putting her in the tiniest round pen possible and the rider mounting by climbing down the sides. Like a rodeo show but without releasing them. The horse went ballistic and don’t know how the horse and rider weren’t injured.
 

Orangehorse

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Have you met him? He comes across as genuinely wanting to make things better for horses and he knows he gets lots of flack
I've proved to a few people over the years what a complete nonsense join up is. If you send your horse out for a couple of laps on each rein then ask it to come in, it'll follow you. Absolutely no need to have it running around until its knackered.

Their is no magic to it, it just appeals to the horses preference for an easy life.

Join up is sold as a magic cure for every horse but it just looks like dominance to me.
Join-up is NOT running them round until they are knackered! I have heard of people doing this, but it is NOT join-up.
 
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I think it's a bad idea doing backing or any training for show, especially with a strict time limit. The person is going to be stressed if they aren't progressing on schedule and then if they push it the animal will react against it.

Perhaps it's a bit like when you're running late and a good loader all of a sudden won't load. They sense everything (little feckers):p
 
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