Monty Roberts Equus Online University
Horse Training Video Instruction Program

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My Join-Up® Experience



I have three horses. A quarter horse gelding (with a little pinto-n-paint in him), he’s 15 hands, and two thoughbreds. My wife and I have owned them for 5 years and they’ve been only fed and petted. I was uninterested in them except making sure they were safe and had what they needed. We are boarding them on a farm with rolling pasture. All is well until I wanted to learn more; I wanted to ride the quarter horse. He is an amazing animal. Very patient and smart. The trainer called him lazy, but that's because of me. Rocket was a cutting horse, and trained on a hackamore, and then he was owned by a farmer whose young son cared for him. Now he is with us, in a way. He cribs because he is bored out of his mind, so it was time to get him working. I hired a young trainer, who barrel races and has a list of owners endorsing her as excellent. But after 4 weeks all I could do well was saddle up. The training started with "he's already trained". Then with a tom thumb bit I was taught to 'control' the horse by saying, "stop" and yank on the bit. When he wouldn't turn or he'd start running to the barn the lesson for the day was, “Show him whose boss". Being a passive person my thoughts were, Shouldn't we be working together instead of struggling with him? “What’s going on?” I asked. “Oh, he's just lazy”. To say the least Rocket was becoming head shy (from the trainers' method of slapping the horse’s face to take a bit). He eventually became cinch shy, herd bound, and barn sour. I worked with him for the rest of the summer, never hitting him, and slowly he took the bit, but the second time he put his nose in the water trough. Trying to ride him was always unpredictable. I started studying everything about horsemanship, but not willing to spend a monthly car payment to learn a better way to deal with Rocket. One day I was rummaging around in the garage and came across an audiocassette I purchased 3 or 4 years ago at the bargain table in a video rental store. I bought it because it had a horse picture on it and thought my wife would like it. It ended up in a box. I took it out and listened to it as I drove my deliveries the next day. Holy Cow!!! I liked this guy. I wanted more. I bought his books, “Horses in My Life”, “Horse Sense for People”, and “The Man Who Listens to Horses”. His method and his non-violent approach towards horses was my desire. I underlined his words and sentences to focus on the method. "Work when disciplining” stood out. But the precept was still blurry. I went to the computer and typed in Monty Roberts. He had a website! And there were videos. I watched the Join-up session. It was a miracle that moment of Join-up. I bought the videos, Join-Up and Follow-Up. Also I found a copy of “From My Hands to Your Hands”, hoping for more detail. The book came first and I was in it every second, even driving down the road while making deliveries. The videos came next. I could not stand it; I had to do this (understanding if it worked I was committed to 4 days). That day I started, the snap on the lead rope was not my friend. It hit me twice in the head, I don’t know how many times in the back and chest. I was limping around the paddock after it got me in the kneecap, and my left finger stung so bad it felt frostbit... yet the most exciting thing happened. After seeing his ear locked on me, his smaller circles, the clicking noise near the mouth, I wondered why he was trying to eat grass while walking.... his head was lowered!!! I shot down my glance, moved out in front. He stopped, and I turned my shoulder to 45. We both stood there panting. I walked in arcs, talking softly "come on, its okay”. My arch came closer to him and I slowly reached under his halter and touched it, “come on” I said and he started towards me. I rewarded him. We walked in circles and serpentines. I finished with the vulnerable areas, and lifted his feet. He was so good. That night when my wife came home she asked how'd it go. I told her and watched tears well up in her beautiful eyes. The second, third, and forth times were even better and took less time, just as Mr. Roberts said. Rocket greets me at the gate eagerly, like he’s saying ‘what are we gonna do today’. I truly believe he wants more. I’ve been studying the double line lunging lessons so hopefully this weekend we'll have some more fun.

Hello! 100 lessons completed 150 lessons completed

Fantastic!! You must be loving this online uni then.. It's a bit hard to keep the adrenaline down when you get your first join-up isn't it? I felt like crying and laughing all at the same time. I'm pretty sure I ended up punching the air and yelling out "Alright!!" or something like that. Keep us posted on how you are going.

Vio Berlin
Hello! 100 lessons completed 150 lessons completed 200 lessons completed 250 lessons completed 300 lessons completed 350 lessons completed 400 lessons completed

Hi there, it is late at night again and this time I just logged in to see what was going on in the forum. I like your story and the way you found out about Monty. Does the former "trainer" know ? What did she say ? I met today a Tinker who - I guess - is closed to shut down because he is really bored with his owner. She is a young girl who has no idea what is going on. I am looking forward to find some things this horse loves to do in order to bring him back to have fun with his owner. He is the second horse who does not move a step when I try to send him away (the first it happend it was a Tinker too and I got her going on the second day) and I hope I will make him move in the round pen as soon as the weather is better and the ground not frozen anymore. I do believe in Monty's Concepts and I love to path the message on. Yes, keep us posted on how it is going, good luck ! Vio Berlin