Saturday, November 11, 2006

Monty Roberts... Horse whisperer, or a bag of wind???

Because of my recently acquired eighteen-month-old filly, I've done plenty of surfing, Googling up various horse-training methods online.  RFD TV has lots of helpful shows I watch from time to time, too.  I've picked up a few basic things that seem to work well with Libby. 

I keep in mind that a little knowledge can be a dangerous thing; I pray hard when I'm working with my adolescent horse that I won't do anything to mess over her mind (and of course that I don't get hurt). 

What I've been using most is the Parelli Seven Games; Libby already seemed well versed in games #1 and #2 when I got her, but I reinforce those constantly, and am working on #3.

This morning I turned on the TV early, and there was Monty Roberts, the famous "horse whisperer", who has even trained horses for Queen Elizabeth II.

It didn't take a lot of web surfing to find out that his family has written a book refuting the things he's said about his cruel daddy and his mousy, subservient mom.  I've been skimming over the book, which can be read on-line for free if you sign in and make a password.  I'd say there are a lot of inconsistencies in Monty's stories.

I think I'll stick with Pat Parelli.

(Added later)  I should have mentioned that nobody really has any objections to Monty's methods with horses; it's just that he tells so many lies about his past, especially about his father.


magran42 said...

I don't have horses and I don't "know" horses but I went to Parelli Seven Games and was amazed.  I enjoyed the reading and will return to read it all.  As with most animal training, some of the principles can be applied to human understanding.

deshelestraci said...

I used some Monty Roberts on a horse that I was retraining.  Some of it worked.  Wouldn't say that I would swear by him.  I did see him also.  It was pretty impressive but again I wouldn't recomend using it unless you have a bunch of horse experience.  I think Parelli is a more stable person in general.  And yes, a better bet!

astaryth said...

Although I pick up and read horse training books, have worked with several trainers as an 'assistant trainer', have seen even more trainers that I just observed, but didn't work directly with, watch many shows (yep, RFDTV is cool), I have come up with the following philosophy:

No one training method is the be all end all.... Every horse is different and what works on one doesn't always work on the next. That being said, I find that I take pieces parts from every book, trainer, and show I've seen and I mix in a little common sense, and most importantly, I try to know and understand the animal I'm dealing with. If I look in their eyes and see understanding, YEAH! If I look in and see confusion, it's time to try something else <LOL>

I guess what I'm trying to say is that I'm sure that whatever method you use you will not mess up Libby! You have a load of common sense and really care about her... YOU are going to do FINE!!!

fowfies said...

Thanks Donna for that link, I read up on the first two games and have succeeded very well with them already with Derby.  We had to do the pressure thing early on to get him to know we meant him no harm, but he had to respect that we were the leader.  I saved the link and will read more of the games later...I have got to get out and paint that barn! LOL!  Good luck working with your girl, horses are so much fun.  I feel like I can feel what Derby is feeling moreso now, and thats a comforting feeling.  Horses are like nothing I have ever had teh occasion to work with, thats for sure.

bhbner2him said...

Pete is a devoted fan of RFD TV.  -  Barbara

improperlynamed said...

Sadly, much of The Man Who Listens To Horses appears to be fiction. Very entertaining, but untrue.

As companions to this book, I recommend 'Horse Whispers & Lies' found online at ; the Feb. 1999 issue of Horse & Rider magazine's article, 'Horse Whispers or Horse Feathers?'; San Francisco Examiner Article: 'BIOGRAPHY CALLED UNBRIDLED FICTION' January 11, 1997; "Horse of a Different Color" by John Skow & James Willwerth, Time Magazine Dec. 14, 1998; "Now! Read the True (More or Less) Story!" Tuesday, February 24, 1998 The New York Times; and "A Peddler of Court Gossip May Pay the Piper" by Jonathon Turley.

On Nicholas Evans' website FAQ (, he has posted,
"Some of you may have read that someone called Monty Roberts was the model for Tom Booker, The Horse Whisperer in the book, and that he helped me with my research. It's not true. met Mr Roberts once, briefly, in England but have never seen him with a horse or seen him since. He had no involvement whatsoever."

This article is interesting also:

improperlynamed said...