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The Man Who Listens to Horses [Paperback]

Monty Roberts
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (171 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Jan. 26 1999
This spellbinding memoir details the extraordinary life of Monty Roberts: a man whose gentle, compassionate training methods - transforming the once brutal practice of horse-breaking throughout the world - are redefining the way we think about communication, not only between other species but between ourselves. Over the past year, more than a million people have been uplifted by Roberts' book - from animal lovers to business leaders, and everyone in between. Amusing, poignant, riveting and humane, The Man Who Listens to Horses is that rare book that brings us into the company of a man and his magic, and opens us to the world of animals.

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The Man Who Listens to Horses + The Soul of a Horse: Life Lessons from the Herd
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Product Description

From Amazon

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 Hardcover edition.

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.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book literally changed my life!... May 30 2002
By Ingrid
I got the book from my brother for christmas a couple years ago, and when I started reading it, I couldn't put it down. In my opinion, it was a great book! After I read it, I kept thinking about how I could communicate with horses better. I had never thought too much about horses having their own language, but after reading this book I ALWAYS thought about it. I started to do things about horse slaughter, such as finding this really sad poem and posting it all over the internet, and signing petitions and such. I have read "The Man Who Listens To Horses" five to ten times and I'm in the middle of reading it now. I love stories where people, or animals, do things differently than society is used to. I really appriciate the fact that Monty explained the Equus language at the back of the book. I started trying them out with the horses at the stable I rode at and I grew obsessed. I went and saw Pat Parelli a couple days ago, and now I know for sure that if I ever get a horse and I train him, I'll combine Monty Roberts and Pat Parelli's methods to train him. I STRONGLY recommend you read this book. It'll open your mind...
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Amazing Book by an Amazing Man May 24 2001
By A Customer
The Man Who Listens to Horses By Monty Roberts
Reviewed by Ashley Sutton
For hundreds of years, people have trusted the traditional way of training horses. This method uses beatings, pain, and suffering to break the horse's spirit and force him to obey. This practice was considered normal, but the consequences of "breaking" a horse this way are tragic. Horses lose their trust toward humans, and while many people are aware of this loss, it seemed that this was the only effective way to train horses. But one day, Monty Roberts went out into the wilderness of Nevada to watch the wild mustangs that roamed there. It was observing the herd's strict disciplinary procedures that brought Monty to noticing a pattern in the horses' behavior, a kind of "language." He called this language "Equus," and his knowledge of Equus helped him discover join-up, efficient, painless way to train horses. In The Man Who Listens to Horses, Monty Roberts tells of his childhood, his discovery of Equus and join-up, and of the many obstacles that stood in his way of sharing his methods with others. Now sixty-six years old, Monty "is squarely built, and at 240 pounds on a five-foot-four-inch frame, he is much heavier than he looks," says Lawrence Scanlon, who wrote the introduction to the book. His vision is impaired; he can only see black, white, and a wide array of gray tones. Monty grew up around horses, since his father was a well-known horse trainer. Throughout his childhood, Monty witnessed the cruel methods of breaking horses that his father used. His disagreements with his father were a main factor in what made his so determined to stop these methods. Monty's father was a firm believer in sacking-out, in other words, tying a horse up and beating him into submission.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A book for all horse owners Oct. 31 2001
Format:Mass Market Paperback
If you are a horse owner or a horse lover, then Monty's book is for you. For many years horse trainers have trained horses by beating and whipping them to gain superiority over the animal. This technique is called breaking the horse. In his book, The Man Who Listens to Horses, Monty describes ways of training a horse without ever inflicting any kind of pain on the animal. He uses methods of communication to get the horse to do what he wants instead of whipping or beating it. Monty calls his painless method of training a join up. He developed this method of communication with horses by studying mustangs in the wild as a young boy. Monty's methods of training have gained recognition all over the world even from the Queen of England. In his book, Monty also talks about his rocky childhood, his abusive father, and meeting James Dean. Monty's father was a horse trainer also, but he used the traditional way of breaking horses. As he was growing up, Monty witnessed the horrible methods his father had used to train horses. This gave him the inspiration to develop a gentler way to train horses. My favorite phrase in the book is that horses are not crazy they are made crazy by people. As a horse owner and lover, I very much enjoyed this book. I believe that all horse owners and trainers should adopt Monty's methods of training. This book is not just great for horse lovers but for any animal lover too!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Fact or fiction? Oct. 25 2001
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
When I first read this book (after being awestruck by the PBS TV special and Monty's personal appearance on their pledge night) i believed every word of it. HOwever i am not from a horsey background and know rather little about horse training (altho as a child I collected Breyer toys and took a few riding lessons that was dabbling.) I started researching newsgroups etc, devoted to horsemanship as well as reading between the lines. It really does read like a collection of outrageous tall tales and I am starting to agree with the claims of some of the man's relatives that it is mostly bogus. It is easy to impress the ignorant but I am no longer impressed. There are too many negative anecdotes from experienced (and humane) horse people to ignore, even ASIDE from the "family feud" issue over the child abuse accusations (i throw up my hands there and say God knows but I'm sorry people got hurt.) Monty seems to have been corrupted by money and sleazy commercialism, and claims to the contrary are being suppressed due to fears of lawsuits - several newspapers and a respected magazine did well researched exposes and the latter got sued. I'd suggest reading this book for pleasure but don't use it as a how-to or put it on your nonfiction shelf, Mark Rashid is a better respected (in the United States) authority on gentle horse training and impresses many of the people who dislike Roberts - that says a lot.
THe one thing Monty definitely did NOT make up is his so called method - reading 'horse language' and communicating with horses has been done for 1000s of years! It's not an old versus new thing. His claim that "everybody was horribly cruel until I came along" is an insult to many kind and humane people who work with horses and have done so in the past. That is hard to forgive.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Monty Roberts persuades horses to be ridden.
Monty worked out a great procedure to persuade a horse to accept a rider. He kindly made it available to others so that the original cruel 'taming' need not take place. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Patricia Morrison
5.0 out of 5 stars an inspiring read
This book seamlessly integrates emotional, philosophical and technical development of a remarkable human being, teaching us all about making a better life for us all as fellow... Read more
Published 6 months ago by William L. Day
5.0 out of 5 stars The elegance of simplicity.
It's amazing how body language reveals far more than we realize! I've come to believe that men are two-legged horses :)
Published 7 months ago by Amira Abdellatif
5.0 out of 5 stars A Wonderful Gift
I gave "The Man Who Listens To Horses" to my friend for his birthday. He really loved it. The book gives such a thorough and insightful account of training, handling, and... Read more
Published 12 months ago by Deerpath
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Read!
So much relevance not just to horses but to life!
Haven't finished yet but enjoyed it alot so far!
Published 14 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply amazing
Monty Robert is an amazing man and this book is for all the horse lovers who are truly looking to have a special and trusting relationship with their horse. Read more
Published 14 months ago by Val
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best books I've ever read!
Quite possibly the best book I've ever read. Very moving true story. I also have a great love for horse and understand where he is coming from. Read more
Published 17 months ago by connoisseur
5.0 out of 5 stars A book for anyone who cares for or about horses
This book is for anyone who cares for or has ever cared about horses, or animals in general. It strenghtens the believe that trust in this world gets you further than anything... Read more
Published on May 2 2010 by L. Pepin
1.0 out of 5 stars This only got 1 star because they didn't have 0.
Research this man before spending. I think you'll find it eye opening.
Published on April 3 2002
1.0 out of 5 stars Just a load of...
This book really belongs in the fiction section! While the methods do work, it's mostly because they've worked for hundreds of years before Roberts came around. Read more
Published on March 29 2002 by "jezebel888"
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