www.MontyRoberts.com While tracking wild mustangs in Nevada as a boy, Monty observed a nonverbal communication between the horses, a silent language he would later call “Equus.” Monty incorporates “Equus” into his nonviolent training approach called Join-Up®.
Monty first developed Join-Up® to stop the cycle of violence typically accepted in traditional horse breaking. Convinced there must be a more effective and gentle method, Monty created these consistent set of principles using the horse’s inherent methods of communication and herd behavior. The result is a willing partnership in which the horse’s performance can flourish to its full potential, rather than exist within the boundaries of obedience. These principles are valuable tools to understanding what motivates horse behavior and increasing effectiveness in any application. www.MontyRobertsUniversity.com/library
Join-Up training methods are most simply expressed in the process of starting raw horses. Without the use of pain or force the trainer persuades a raw horse to accept a saddle, bridle and rider. Working in a round pen, one begins Join-Up® by making large movements and noise as a predator would and begins driving the horse to run away. She then gives the horse the option to flee or Join-Up®. Through body language, the trainer will ask, “Will you pay me the respect due to a herd leader and join and follow me?” The horse will respond with predictable herd behavior: by locking an ear on her, then by licking and chewing and dropping his head in a display of trust. The exchange concludes with the trainer adopting passive body language, turning her back on the horse and without eye contact, invites him to come close. Join-Up occurs when the animal willingly chooses to be with the human and walks toward her accepting her leadership and protection. This process of communication through behavior and body language and mutual concern and respect, can be a valuable tool to strengthen all other work with horses.
Experienced horse people, including Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, have called Monty’s method incredible. Two-time, World’s Greatest Horseman winner, Ron Ralls uses Monty’s methods in the foundation for his training work as well.
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