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The Man Who Listens to Horses

4.07 of 5 stars 4.07  ·  rating details  ·  6,840 ratings  ·  163 reviews
Monty Roberts is a real-life horse whisperer -- an American original whose gentle training methods reveal the depth of communication possible between man and animal. He can take a wild, high-strung horse who has never before been handled and persuade that horse to accept a bridle, saddle, and rider in 30 minutes. His powers may seem like magic, but his amazing 'horse sense...more
Paperback, 352 pages
Published November 28th 1998 by Ballantine Books (first published January 1st 1997)
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Community Reviews

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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
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
Lucinda
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
Cecily
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
Jarilyn Schwab
If you love horses you'll love what this man has done for the horse world!! He is amazing!
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
Ruby
Jun 10, 2009 Ruby rated it 5 of 5 stars
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
Maddux
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
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
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
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
Toni
Very Good! He is an amazing person. It was certainly worth the read. I can't wait to try it on my ponies.
Thomas Strömquist
Monty Roberts autobiography is well worth reading. Well-written and gripping tales as well as an interesting time document. For me, his methods of interacting with horses, with gentleness and kindness, instead of whipping, tying and abusing them is of less controversy. This "traditional" way of "breaking in" a horse is of course traditional in the US only. It is actually hard to believe that when he visits a house in Europe "which is older than my known family line" that he still contains some o...more
Antof9
My review from BookCrossing: I started and finished this book on airplanes! I'm in NYC for a business trip this week, and finished this on the plane here yesterday. Thank goodness I had this book with me, as the movie on the plane was "Big Mama's House 2", which looked dumb and was confirmed to be dumb by the lady who sat next to me afterwards :) I think her exact words were, "that was the dumbest movie I have ever seen in my life." Followed by, "I wonder who chooses their movies?"

Anyway, about...more
Ihavequestions
When I read this book 10 or so years ago, I had never heard of Monty Roberts before, or at least, I couldn't remember ever having read of him before even though I had been a subscriber to popular horse magazines such as Western Horseman from the time I was a kid.

I took the book at face value, until it was proven to my satisfaction by several various other sources that much of the autobiographical information in it disqualifies the book from 'nonfiction' status. Marvin Roberts did not beat his so...more
Danielle Valois
The book "The man who listens to horses" is very detailed about how he came to love horses and how he grew up around them.
The purpose of the book is to show how Monty Roberts grew up around horses and how he looked upon their different personalities, and how the horses reacted about different events that took place.
Monty spent years and years trying to figure out what they were meant to do and what they do in different herds. The purpose of the book also is that Monty wanted to save helpless ho...more
Amy
Monty discovered a way to use body language to ask untamed horses to partner with him, and he was able to get a rider on a horse in about half an hour (the old way took a week or more). The old way, of course, was to break the horse's will by terrifying him and wearing him down. This created an adversarial relationship from the start--the horse obeyed out of fear, but not out of a desire to please or serve.

I think this concept of breaking a will or asking for willingness easily carries over int...more
Becky Vasquez
My boss owns horses that have been trained by Monty Roberts and through the years I have heard many stories about him and his horse-training techniques. I decided I wanted to read more about the "horse whisperer." I like horses, grew up with horses, but would not consider myself an avid horse lover, but I very much enjoyed the book and Monty's telling of his childhood and the events and experiences that shaped him. A good read.
Ashley
This one was given to me by my grandparents due to a childhood love of horses and even though it started out as a total snore I began to appreciate Monty's story and perspective as I kept reading. It exposed me to rodeo life in the Southwest in the 50's and 60's (what a thrilling and dangerous passion!) and also illustrated how an abusive father can completely shape his childrens' philosophy on life and humanity. The section on the Civil Rights movement in the Southwest was also enlightening to...more
Summer
Dec 29, 2007 Summer rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Karl Rove, Ann Coulter, the Taliban, Hamas, Al-Qaeda...
Shelves: nonfiction
I asked Mom to borrow this book because I wanted to create an accurate horse culture in the fantasy I'm writing, in which the animals are speaking characters. I had no idea just how much this book would change my own. Monty Roberts' life shows, in ways the fiction writer wouldn't dare to make up, the parallels in how we treat animals and how we treat people. My disapparate novel - tales of an estranged dragon, a brutal warrior prince, and a war that must be stopped - crystalized into something w...more
Kingfan30
I have watched Monty Roberts a few times on TV and have found his demonstrations fascinating, so I was quite looking forward to reading this. I love what he stands for, no pain to animals is just how it should be and I would love to give this a go to see how easy it is - he makes it sound very easy! As someone who rides at the local riding school, I don't think this will ever be an option, but you never know.

His story is quite fascinating, although some of it does sound like fiction - such as hi...more
Elizabeth
It was an interesting book. I can't say I've ever been into horses too much, but with that being said it kept my focus. The book is broken down into different stories throughout Monty's life. Some are more interesting than others, but overall it was thoroughly enjoyable.
Darren Money
Firstly I love horses.
This is what made me try this book, I believe this to a book I will never forget and to make me think of my own approach to life.
The story is told honestly and with such love of his horses , even though life becomes hard and the future looks bleak , he still
Retains his love for horses and his friends.

On the back cover the book says " this will change your life "

Chuck
This book is a difficult book to evaluate because as a layman in the world of horses I am not qualified to come to terms with the truth. This book is autobiographical and if true, it is a remarkable story of a man abused as a child that uses his feelings of kindness and communication to deal with horses and people. The problem with the book is that it is self-promoting and autobiographical and the only source of information comes from the writer himself. In truth, there are a number of skeptics...more
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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
More about Monty Roberts...
Shy Boy: The Horse That Came in from the Wild The Horses in My Life Horse Sense for People: The Man Who Listens to Horses Talks to People From My Hands to Yours: Lessons from a Lifetime of Training Championship Horses Ask Monty: The 150 Most Common Horse Problems Solved. Monty Roberts

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