A Real Horse Whisperer, Monty Roberts
Join-Up: one of the most famous horsemanship marketing product
So many people advised me to learn more about the Join-Up to work with horses that I spent some time to study many videos of Monty Roberts, read some articles related to this practice and some “scientific” comments. In A Real Horse Whisperer, Monty Roberts explains the (supposedly) genesis of his method: Monty’s theory is said to be based on facts observed in nature _ a mare preventing a colt to come back to the herd in order to punish it. At first sight, it sounds quite pleasant, but Monty Roberts’ practice of the theory is completely different:
- Instead of a herd in which the colt wants to sneak, we have a man that the horse wants to avoid.
- Instead of preventing the colt to get back into the herd, we stress the colt to move in circles again and again…
Robert Miller describes quite well what the Join Up is and I still wonder how the horse world can consider this practice being efficient and nice to horses. Basically, the idea is to frighten the horse to the point where it has to submit in order to stay alive… I’ve seen more gentle approaches.
Robert Miller in A Real Horse Whisperer, Monty Roberts
A Real Horse Whisperer: Documentary or Bad Western?
All this DVD is built around an experience made by Monty Roberts: he, chasing and taming a mustang in the wild. When Monty is presented as a “superhero” daring to face death [sic] in this adventure, the horse is introduced as a man killer, a dangerous creature on Earth: “Those jaws can crush a man’s leg […] and that hind leg, when it kicks, it is frankly lethal.”
Monty Roberts explains how he has been riding all afternoon, all evening and all night long to chase the wild mustang he picked in the herd: “The first nearly hundred miles was fast, furious, wild, difficult… and the horse was very restless”!!!
From that moment, Monty Roberts was accompanied by an assistant to work the horse in order to put a halter on him. The mustang has been exhausted and frightened for hours until it is caught and haltered. On the day after, groundwork starts. Here comes another registered product: Equus. This is supposed to be “a language of the body, of the body position, motion, speed of motion, and direction of motion”. Yet, except the Join Up method previously mentioned, we see no other particular example of that Equus during this colt breaking (nope, Monty does not start colts, he breaks them).
Businessman and mythoman
A Real Horse Whisperer, Monty Roberts
And all the rest is a bunch of lies:
- Monty says his father beat him with a chain – His aunt actually published a book to say it was not true.
- Monty says he was the origin of the novel the “Horse Whisperer” – He is so good that Robert Redford hired… Buck Brannaman to assist him with all the horsemanship knowledge and scenes.
- Monty says he found a new way to talk to horses – He uses old cowboy methods implying pain and fear (see the Join Up, see the Buck Stopper)
- … Monty has told so many deformed truths, to say the least, that there is a web site dedicated to this matter: montyrobertslies.com.
One of the worst
As a conclusion, I have to say that Monty Roberts is one of the worst horsemen I read about. There are those who love horses and live for them (Tom Dorrance, Ray Hunt, Buck Brannaman and more whose names we will never hear about), there are some who do not tell the whole truth in order to make money (Clinton Anderson, Pat Parelli) and there are some who lie in order to take your money, whatever happens to the horses, this is the least of their concern…
- A Real Horse Whisperer – Part 1 of 4, Monty Roberts
- A Real Horse Whisperer – Part 2 of 4, Monty Roberts
- A Real Horse Whisperer – Part 3 of 4, Monty Roberts
- A Real Horse Whisperer – Part 4 of 4, Monty Roberts