Monty Roberts is, as they say, the real
horse whisperer--even if he does revile the last third of Nicholas Evans's romance
. Yet Roberts also makes clear from the start that listening and close attention have more to do with gentling an animal than soi-disant whispering. As far as he's concerned, silent communication can "effectively cross over the boundary between human (the ultimate fight animal) and horse (the flight animal). Using their language, their system of communication, I could create a strong bond of trust. I would achieve cross-species communication." And achieve it he does. After one short session, he has even the wildest stallion nickering with ungulate abandon.
Roberts's descriptions of "joining up," as he calls it with horses--as well as with the deer who cavort on his California farm like so many hyperintelligent Bambis--are inspirational in the best sense of the word. Surprisingly, though, it took him long years to persuade most of the humans in his life that pain and punishment are not the way to go. Indeed, the author expends many a page on past mistakes and disasters, familial and professional. Yet The Man Who Listens to Horses remains a powerfully positive document--and not just for Mr. Ed. Best of all, when it comes to his life's work, Roberts is far more practical than mystical. Instead of portraying himself as Equus's messiah, he'd rather share his hard-won knowledge. Having overcome years of rejection and ridicule, the author is certainly not short in the self-esteem department, as some passages in this book demonstrate. No matter. He always checks his ego before entering the corral. --Kerry Fried
--This text refers to the
From School Library Journal
YAABy the time he was seven years old, Roberts knew that he wanted to work with horses for a living. An experienced rider, competing in horse shows since age four, he began to understand how horses communicate by observing wild mustangs on the Nevada range. How he progressed from child rodeo star to horse trainer for Queen Elizabeth II is an inspiring story of quiet persistence in dealing with an abusive father, losing his first horse, and facing rejection and ridicule because of his unique, nonviolent training methods. Told in a matter-of-fact way, this narrative looks into the horse business from rodeo to racetrack as experienced by a "real-life horse whisperer." The appendix offers a guide to the join-up method of training that Roberts developed. Young adults will enjoy the story and gain insights into dealing with adults and following their dreams.ABetsy E. Pfeffer, Northern Virginia Community College
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.