Cleaning out one of our bookshelves the other day, (we are downsizing and off to see the world in a year or so), gave a chance to glance through books that had a big impact on my life. If a person who questions what they are told is a brave human being, then one who questions what has been modeled by family and culture and finds new ways to create respect and love is a hero.
Monty Roberts, of “The Man Who Listens to Horses” fame has an a-maz-ing story! If he is an honest cowboy then some of his life stories belong in the movies. From Monty’s earliest years riding and winning in horse shows with kids 5 – 9 years older, to his boyhood adventures camping overnight and observing the wild horses and their communication within the herd, to his stunt riding and a brush with stardom and friendship with James Dean to his dreams coming true with the most well planned out horse stables in the country off the beautiful coast of California and success with choosing, training and riding some talented race horses… and then an unbelievable triumph over an unbalanced business partner who nearly destroyed it all, to his command performance with the Queen of England and the Queen Mother. His extraordinary way of “joining up” with horses and earning their trust without whips, tie ups or violence allows for the trust of a horse that has never been ridden to accept the bridle, saddle and rider in just 30 minutes!
Monty developed and refined his techniques, similar to other horse gentlers, in spite of what some family members, the horse culture of the past, his school teachers and more than a few nay sayers told him was possible. He persevered and held to his vision through ridicule and alleged abuse to bring this observant, respectful way of handling horses (and people) to the main stream. Monty, aged 79 is still in the saddle at “The Flag is Up” Ranch in California teaching these skills to others from around the world and offering Horse Sense and Healing workshops for veterans.