Monty Roberts Equus Online University
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My Join-Up® Experience

Didn't know anything at the time

Hello! 100 lessons completed

Forty-three years ago (I was 14 yrs old) my sister and I went to spend a week with my grandmother. My uncle lived in the same small town in San Luis Obispo County on about three acres. My cousins all had steers for 4-H in a paddock out in back. A local rancher had a young horse who was not suitable for ranch work that he wanted to sell and he asked my uncle to keep it in town where it would be easier for potential buyers to view the animal.
My sister and I went out to catch the horse and she ran from us. At some point during the proceedings I stopped chasing the horse and began 'mirroring' her actions and fleeing from my sister with the horse. The horse evidently accepted me as another herd member fleeing from the human and she came up to me and stayed quite close. I was able to put a halter on her and ride her (bareback) around the paddock.
My sister returned home after a week but I stayed at my grandmother's all summer. I rode this little mare almost every day. I had no tack so I rode her bareback with a halter and rope. She changed from being quite wild to quietly walking up to me when I entered the paddock. After I went home to return to school, the rancher sold the mare to a man with a daughter about my age who wanted a quiet saddle horse.

vicci - UK (North Wales)
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Thanks for sharing your story with us Scout, very interesting and heartening.

karyn & tokia
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That is so cool! In gradeschool I got to go to a farm in the summer, mostly so my folks could get away from us kids and take a trip. Me and the farm girl use to get yelled at trying to catch the calves and ride them. They had a mean big white horse with scarey white eyes. We were told horrible stories about how evil the horse was and how it would kill us if we got anywhere near it. They were milking cows and i saw that horse out in the pasture walking in behind the cows. Then i realized the horse went to get the cows every day. I was a kid and kinda stupid, i used bale string and made a halter, got on the fence and got up on him. Then he would go get the cows. he would walk out and not do anything scarey at all. I did have to walk back a couple times because of the little stream, he did a little hop over, once i was on the ground he wouldn't wait for me until he got the cows rounded up and was on his way back. Found out quickly why he was an "evil wild horse" his owner whipped him until he was bleeding, and the horse became evil when he could see her or she tried to do anything with him.

Mel - Ramsgate UK
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So frustrating when you know these people who feel they can cause pain to any animal. I know what you mean when you say he was gentle with you but wild with the owners. Our most recent pony a Welsh D we've got on loan, but I did it because I could see them hit him each time they came to see him. They could never catch him so they used to entice him up with mints then try and get his rug on still with mints in their hand, but not letting him have any, he'd bite to get them and they'd smack him around the head. Their words were "if he's naughty just hurt him and he'll stop" Since I've been loaning him they've been down once in 4 weeks and as soon as they came in the field he went from this knowing gentle pony with us, to ears right back and straight in for the bite at them. Shows they know and remember those who hurt them.