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The Man Who Listens to Horses

4.08  ·  Rating Details  ·  8,901 Ratings  ·  206 Reviews
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 uplif ...more
Paperback, 320 pages
Published January 26th 1999 by Vintage Canada (first published January 1st 1997)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Oceana2602
As a horse owner, I have a HUGE problem with so-called "gurus". I've seen to many people who follow one guru this week, the next one next week, all without any regard for what their horse needs and certainly without ever questioning the "guru's" methods.

Roberts is not really one of those people I'd call a "guru". Sure, he sells, but then, everyone's gotta make a living. But in everything I read from him and about him, I had the feeling that he cares first of all about the horses - unlike "gurus"
...more
Penny
Jun 04, 2011 Penny rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I grew up eating, breathing and thinking horses--and, to my great shame, abusing horses. For all my obsession with the critters I couldn't take the xtra step and Understand them---when I did comprehend what I had done, it hurt to know that I had been so cruel to one of God's greatest living beings. Monty Robert's writings helped me to 'see the light'-I am proud to know that he lives on this Earth, making his way thru ignorant humanity, fighting that ignorance with every step, every word, every b ...more
CAW
Jul 03, 2012 CAW rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is one of those life-changing books. It's really about 4.8-9 in how I'd rate it for readability, but the star system doesn't allow for that.

The work of a man clearly of fierce intelligence but minimal formal education, the prose is rough and honest as a cowboy's hands and tells the tale of an extraordinary life and the rediscovery of something as world-changing as the internal combustion engine: the ability to believe things other than humans have something worthwile to say, and to hear it.
...more
Kathleen L. Maher
I read this book in a week, in the midst of reading another book and a very hectic work and holiday schedule. If I had no other obligations, I would have read it in one sitting. Monty Roberts is a gifted story-teller who can not only decipher horses' body language, but then communicate it in a captivating and clear way to others.

Roberts regales with vignettes of his relationships with memorable horses like the mustang herds he spent two summers with, his childhood show horses Brownie and Ginger
...more
Lucinda
Mar 16, 2012 Lucinda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was the catalyst for change in the way in which i rode, handled and understood horses and for that i have to give thanks to Monty Roberts who introduced me into the world of effective communication, natural horsemanship and the proper understanding of these magnificent animals. I was gripped from page 1 to page 374 hence being unable to put this book down even for a few minutes i finished reading it in under a week, and being that i am naturally a very slow reader this occourance was t ...more
Maria Jansson
May 19, 2016 Maria Jansson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've read this book several times, and it's been a great source of inspiration for the horse part of my life, for the past 11 years. It's time for my daughter to get her first horse, and I figured that it was time for me to re-read this excellent book.

There's so much I can relate to when it comes to Monty Roberts childhood with an abusive father (in my case it was step-father,) and how this affect his way of thinking about both people and horses. It's difficult to understand that the cruel way
...more
Jarilyn Schwab
Jul 26, 2012 Jarilyn Schwab rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you love horses you'll love what this man has done for the horse world!! He is amazing!
Jess
Aug 20, 2015 Jess rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I found this book by accident because I was looking in the wrong section of the library for another book for someone else. I'm so glad I did. Not only was it an engaging account of an extraordinary life, it was a clear, simple articulation of a method for creating connection and trust with a horse.

I've recently taken a course on taming mustangs that was based on Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) principles. The aim of this method is the humane training of horses (and other animals) based on gai
...more
Constance
Jun 23, 2015 Constance rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not just a book for the horsey set (I had read his "From My Hands to Yours: Lessons from a Lifetime of Training Championship Horses" before), this is an very interesting autobio.

I enjoyed the life and times described of his childhood in California during the 40's and 50's, his experiences in the movie world and as a competitive rider (all as a child ... it was definitely a very different time!) and later his work in Europe with horses.

Something I did not know about him was that he is completely
...more
Audrey Vint
This book is in the time period of the 1930's to the 1990's. The main character is Monty Roberts who is a horse whisperer who travels the world to help train horses. Monty's life is a roller coaster like anyone else. He came from the bottom to the top and much wisdom is shared.
I feel like it would be cool that at the end, Monty added a little writing from his children and how they love him and respect his job. There weren't any boring parts but in some areas the story goes into extreme detail
...more
Mari
Dec 19, 2015 Mari rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography-memoir
Já vou começar essa resenha anunciando: é uma das melhores biografias que já li, com certeza! Me espanta imensamente que Monty Roberts não seja um autor com vasta experiência, porque sua escrita é fluida e tem o que existe de melhor dentro da literatura contemporânea: uma ausência de pretensão e uma narração próxima do leitor, como se fosse, por exemplo, cartas para um amigo próximo.
A história em si cativa desde o princípio, porque o que me motivou de verdade a ler esse livro foi a pergunta: "Po
...more
Ruby
Jun 10, 2009 Ruby rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
The book is a biography of monty's life. A small chapter in the end is on join up. I thought it was cool to find out that Monty is colorblind. He sees the world in black and white. He tells his story about being a boy whose father broke horses. He tried to brake his son but in the end Monty still has his spirit. He found a way to communicate and get horses to trust him and join up. When he was just a young boy, he went into the desserts of Nevada to study wild mustangs and learned their ways of ...more
Kaelin
May 21, 2012 Kaelin rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really love Monty Roberts' work. I've read other books by him and read a lot about his work with horses. I love how he describes the relationships he builds with horses and how he rehabilitates them with such love and care. In this book, he talks more about his childhood and how he came to do what he does now. You have a lot more of an understanding of why he trains horses with such gentility after hearing of his childhood and how his father treating him and his animals. I also enjoyed getting ...more
Penny
Apr 13, 2009 Penny rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Monty's relationship with his father had such an incredible impact on his life. Throughout the book, I was still seeing someone still looking for approval. My opinion is that Monty is still seeking it. The other poignant moment was when he talked about the number of people attending his father's funeral vs. his mother's funeral. A cruel confirmation on how we can turn away from what is really happening and how the forgotten the others become. It is truly a book of raw emotion behind his words hi ...more
Veronica
I expected more. I appreciate the divulgation of the message of a possible communication between man and horse that Monty Roberts depicts here. The book tells Mr. Roberts' life, which has been an entertaining one. The style is smooth and easy. At the end of the book there's a description of the method of association with horses. Not so in depth, though. I also thought there would be more focus on Equus, the horse language. While the signals described in the book are surely of great usage, they a ...more
Raven
Mar 13, 2015 Raven rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Although some things in the introduction (written by someone else) rankles and the particular discipline from which the author comes is relatively alien and unattractive to me, it is a worthwhile book.

The basis of his approach to horse training, while possibly unique in particulars, is not altogether unfamiliar to me and so I think it must not be quite as revolutionary and 'new' as has been touted. I believe the author himself mentions proponents of creating a partnership with horses back throu
...more
Tom Lindsey
Nov 16, 2014 Tom Lindsey rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When I tell people about this book they say, "Oh is that the Horse Whisperer?"

This is not the Horse Whisperer! The Horse Whisperer is a novel (and a movie based on the novel). The Man Who Listens to Horses is nonfiction.

Monty Roberts tells how he learned to speak the language of the horse (he calls it Equus). It is non verbal. It is based on body language. He tells the reader how to communicate in it.

He also tells of his childhood and his battle(s) in court and getting flag-is-up farm. It is qu
...more
Lorie
A stunning book. The first third, about his growing up years, is a truly amazing story. Here is a kid who knows he has a gift for working with horses at age 7, and by age 13 he is riding the Sierra Nevada high country alone, observing wild mustangs, as part of his research to forward his theory about gentle handling being superior in all ways. All of this had to be done in secret, as he was not supported by anyone in his life (except quietly by his mother) - in fact, his father once beat him wit ...more
Alicia
Jun 13, 2011 Alicia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The man who listens to horses
by Monty Roberts
Autobiography

I realy enjoyed this book. I had been very intrested in Montys work and how well he can relate to horses and think its amazing what he has learnt from horses.
from this text i learnt alot more about join-up and found it amazing that i could be done with many diffrent animals in the wild.
i recomend this book to anyone who wants to have a deeper conection with their horse.
Samantha
May 26, 2009 Samantha rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this book several years ago when it was fashionable in the UK and when I was still riding. Interestingly all the riding instructors seemed to hate it. I found it fascinating and pretty much took it at face value. I find animal psychology fascinating in as much as it equally relates to humans (us other herd animals!) I think if you ride or are merely interested in horses this would be an interesting read.
Susan
Jun 18, 2009 Susan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I just listened to this book, and several times, I didn't want to get out of the car. It was interesting. I want to learn more about how Monty interacts with the horses to get them trusting them because he says it's a similar concept for humans. Hmmm. . . His approach and methods have been very, very successful consistently. I was sad to learn that his dad was abusive.
Margaret
Nov 27, 2013 Margaret rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoir
I enjoyed Monty's book very much and I chose to disregard the rebuttal of his story by his own family. I simply think his story should be taken at face value and hopefully his approach to breaking horses softy has deterred harsh treatment and has made the public aware of the abusive treatment of horses. That fact alone makes this book worthwhile.
Lew  Stewarts
I read this book a long time ago because I love horses. Monty Roberts is an effective author. However, he is not the creator of round pen training or "horse whispering", no matter how many times he tries to tell you he is. And he is not the only trainer who believes in the message 'be kind to horses'. I thought the book read well as a mostly fictionalized account of his life because I later learned from a number of different sources that most of the stuff he wrote about was made up or downright ...more
Maddux
May 26, 2012 Maddux rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this years ago... can't remember when. It started the change in the way I communicated with my horses.

Monty Roberts' story - his life - is devoted to the horse.

For non-horse people, it's an interesting read.

For horse people... it could be the turning point in your equine relationships.

Sasha
Jan 11, 2011 Sasha rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An excellent book about overcoming the cycle of abuse, toward both humans and animals. His revolutionary approach to training horses changed the way I look at horses and how they are treated, as well as influenced my interactions with them. A relevant read for horse lovers and non-horse-people alike.
Teresa
Apr 08, 2013 Teresa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting, a decently written autobiography. The author had a rich, eventful life. The one downside is the author's negative focus on his father. This casts a shadow through the book. I found myself hoping the Mr. Roberts would just let his feelings go and get on with the task of living.
Sonja
Mar 10, 2012 Sonja rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
To me this was an amazing rags to riches real life story of a very talented horse trainer. He is now one of the most famous trainers promoting a natural gentler approach to communicating with horses.Monty Roberts
Samuel Wells
Mar 20, 2016 Samuel Wells rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was an unexpected joy. Thankfully, I had not seen the movie (The Horse Whisperer) before reading it. It would have left me with wrong expectations. The book is an autobiography of a man's life with horses and of his determination to learn to understand them and make their life better. Roberts's motivation is a deep respect for these animals and he brings with this motivation an instinct for animal communication. If you laugh at the idea of talking to animals, you will be disabused of t ...more
Sunny Margolies
Monty Roberts' story has been dismissed as largely fictional by his own family members so it's hard to find much good in "The Man Who Listens to Horses". I think whatever love of horses he really did have was from his parents which he is loathe to admit. Sad. Instead he says his parents abused him and even called his father a murderer. All lovers of horses will certainly appreciate the message that we should be kind to them. Of course and I believe that as well, fervently, but it you want to rea ...more
Toni
Aug 05, 2012 Toni rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very Good! He is an amazing person. It was certainly worth the read. I can't wait to try it on my ponies.
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He wrote that by personally observing horses in the wild, he learned to "listen" to their non-verbal "language"; that when horses understood that they can trust you, they will decide to be with you. Roberts registered as his term for "hooking on", the phrase "Join~Up", in which a trainer negotiates with an untamed horse to form a voluntary relationship with him
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