The Man Who Listens to Horses

The Man Who Listens to Horses

4.6 25
by Monty Roberts
     
 

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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 thirty minutes. His powers may seem like magic, but his amazing …  See more details below

Overview

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 thirty minutes. His powers may seem like magic, but his amazing "horse sense" is based on a lifetime of experience. Roberts started riding at the age of two, and at the age of thirteen he went alone into the high deserts of Nevada to study mustangs in the wild. What he learned there changed his life forever.



Monty Roberts has spent his whole life working with horses—schooling them, listening to them, and learning their ancient equine language. In The Man Who Listens to Horses, he tells about his early days as a rodeo rider in California, his problems with his violent horse-trainer father, who was unwilling to accept Monty's unconventional training methods, his friendship with James Dean, his struggle to be accepted in the professional horse-training community, and the invitation that changed his life—to demonstrate his method of "join-up" to the Queen of England.



From his groundbreaking work with horses, Roberts has acquired an unprecedented understanding of nonverbal communication, an understanding that applies to human relationships as well. He has shown that between parent and child, employee and employer (he's worked with over 250 corporations, including General Motors, IBM, Disney, and Merrill Lynch), and abuser and abused, there are forms of communication far stronger than the spoken word and that they are accessible to allwho will learn to listen. This inspirational and gentle man, first introduced to the American public on Dateline NBC, is part James Herriot, part Bill Gates, and part John Wayne. And his story is one you will never forget.

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Editorial Reviews

Washington Post Book World
Quite a story. . .He takes us from the moment he learned to listen to horses through the development of his skill at 'gentling' them.
Horse and Rider
Fascinating. . .reads like the most thrilling adventure story.
New York Times Book Review
Riveting and inspirational. . . Will first break, then mend your heart.
Sporting Life
Extraordinary. . .wisdom born of a tough and immensely varied life.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
This book is important reading for those interested in communication, particularly interspecies communication and linguistics. Growing up in the late 1940s on his father's horse farm, which also had a rodeo area, Roberts began to develop his revolutionary view of horse behavior in his early teens by observing the wild mustangs in the Nevada high desert. He came to know what a horse was thinking, he claims, by noting the position of its body, head, tongue, ears, legs and tail, as well as the focus of its eyes. He held firm to his insight despite the violent opposition of his father, who felt his son's notion threatened everything he had built his business on, namely that a horse had to be 'broken.' On one occasion, Roberts' father beat him so badly that he had to be hospitalized. But in time, the son scored many successes with horses he had 'started' (trained) rather than 'broke,' and he began to acquire followers. Among them was Queen Elizabeth II, an ardent horsewoman, who witnessed Roberts' demonstrations, became a convert and instituted his system for royal mounts. Roberts, who has worked as a movie stuntman since he was two and performed in rodeos, has 'reformed' many problem animals. How he learned to listen to horses, to communicate nonverbally, is the central feature of his convincing book, which will certainly elicit controversy.
San Francisco Chronicle
Roberts' story is more fascinating and profound than any told in fiction.
Wash. Post Book World
Quite a story. . .He takes us from the moment he learned to listen to horses through the development of his skill at 'gentling' them.
Kirkus Reviews
The surprisingly complex and lively memoir of a successful and influential horse trainer who helped pioneer nonviolent methods of breaking horses in. Some of the book's vigor and pace may have to do with the fact that Lucy Grealy is the co-author. The narrative begins in 1948 when Roberts, then 13, spent time studying wild horses in the Nevada desert. He applied what he learned there to radically new ideas about how wild horses could be trained and came to be an important figure in horse racing circles. His portrait of the business of breeding and training horses is frank and fascinating, but the book's most memorable passages cover the rodeos and horse business in the west as it was in the author's youth, and include a haunting portrait of his violent, racist father and of some of the other remarkable figures Roberts knew (including a young James Dean). Over and above everything, though, is Roberts's surpassing love for horses, captured here in his evocations of the horses he has trained over a career spanning four decades.

From the Publisher
"The Man Who Listens to Horses will first break, then mend your heart.... A riveting and inspirational story.... Read it. Monty Roberts will make you marvel." -The New York Times Book Review

"Utterly engrossing.... For those who have ridden the high plains country, wide open, atop a horse in the full, mature glory of its strength, the only honest reaction after reading the book is to smile in warm agreement." -Michael Enright, The Globe and Mail

"Mesmerizing.... The kind of life-altering book you never want to finish." -San Francisco Chronicle

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780091802066
Publisher:
Random House, Incorporated
Publication date:
08/01/1997
Pages:
304
Product dimensions:
6.30(w) x 9.45(h) x (d)

Read an Excerpt

'It all dates from those summers alone in the high desert, me lying on my belly and watching wild horses with my binoculars for hours at a time. Straining to see in the moonlight, striving to fathom mustang ways, I knew instinctively I had chanced upon something important but could not know that it would shape my life. In 1948 I was a boy of 13 learning the language of horses. . . .' -- From The Man Who Listens to Horses

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
"The Man Who Listens to Horses will first break, then mend your heart.... A riveting and inspirational story.... Read it. Monty Roberts will make you marvel." -The New York Times Book Review

"Utterly engrossing.... For those who have ridden the high plains country, wide open, atop a horse in the full, mature glory of its strength, the only honest reaction after reading the book is to smile in warm agreement." -Michael Enright, The Globe and Mail

"Mesmerizing.... The kind of life-altering book you never want to finish." -San Francisco Chronicle

Meet the Author

Monty Roberts, born in 1935, lives in California. He is currently at work on his second book.

Lawrence Scanlan lives in Ontario.

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Man Who Listens to Horses 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 25 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
If you own a horse or work with them- READ THIS BOOK!!! This guy can read your horse like a book! I'm not a book worm and this book was the longest book I have ever read.I never got bored reading this book and believe me when it comes to books my tension spand is not very long unless its a really good book.This books tells Monty Robert's story of his life, how he learned to listen to horses and he also gives a few pointers when you are trying to do Join-UP with your horse!
Guest More than 1 year ago
The Man who Listens to Horses is an Awesome book! I still have 3 chapters left, but it is a very good book that is about life and earning a horse's trust. It even has a Step-By-Step Giude in the back on how to start horses, Monty's way. It really opens your eyes and shows you how cruel people are to these wonderful creatures. An amazing book. I reccomend to all ages! :)
Guest More than 1 year ago
OH MY GOSH...Great Book...Can not wait to read the 2nd 'Shy Boy' This book has not only helped me with my horses but every day life....Thanks!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
We used this book for our March book club. It wasn't enjoyed by everyone. We had a horse lover and former owner of a horse in the group. She enjoyed the book more than others. Monte Roberts chose to leave holes in story we tried to fill in. His mother was a mystery to us.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Buck brahnam's book is a much better read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book! Opened my eyes to the intelligence and feelings of horses. One of the BEST books I have ever read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The Man Who Listens to Horses is a very well written book. It made me cry at some points in the book. It is very eye opening. When you read it, you won't want it to end. It is one of those books that changed my life forever. I loved it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Monty Roberts has revolutionized the way we see our horses. I've had the privilege of seeing him work and highly recommend all of his books .
HandelGirl More than 1 year ago
This book humbly and joyfully details the journey of an exceptional human being. Monty's life--from his childhood, characterized by both parental abuse and the joy of horses, to his current life at Flag Is Up Farms--is one that will inspire even the most unemotional soul. The book is one of gentleness and wisdom, and any horseman or horsewoman--or person--will better him- or herself by reading it.
I will add that I ordinarily detest stories about animals, but that this book, rather than reeking of the usual B-grade sentimentality common to the genre, is full of grace and quiet dignity. Two thumbs up!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I am and loved the book, but my husband is not. He picked up the book and in 2 days finished it! He loved it, too!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book really pulled me in. I started off reading the first chapter and before i knew it i was continuing on to the sixth chapter. I love horses a lot and that's why i chose to read this book. Monty Roberts is a horse lover also and he knows how to 'Talk' to them. Monty Roberts doesn't really understand what the horses say by neighing to him, he undertands their body language. Like when a horses ears go back, that's when you know that they're irritated and impatiant. I learned a lot from this book, and if you read it... I know that you will too.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is a must for horse lovers. I, personally, gained a lot from this book. It is one of my favorites of all time.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Monty Roberts entices the reader in his best selling autobiography, The Man Who listens to Horses. The story begins in Salinas, California during the Great Depression. Born and raised on the rodeo grounds, he is bothered from an early age by the inhumane way horses are 'broken.' The book contains many conflicts Roberts has experienced throughout his life; ranging from man versus man to man versus nature. Monty Roberts is one of the leading pioneers in the 'join up' process. He began studying the silent language of horses at the age of thirteen on the scorching Nevada deserts. Traditionally horses are broken in a cruel way, being tied to a pole and beaten into submission. Experts say that this way creates horses that perform in fear, making unstable mounts. Monty's method involves gaining a horse's trust and respect as the leader. He rewards good behavior as an alternative to punishing bad. Roberts is an excellent author. The details constantly keep the reader intrigued. I will commend him for criticizing not just others, but even his own stupidity. The part of the book I enjoyed the most would have to be the step-by-step instructions to 'join up' with horses. I also enjoy his many conflicts which he has experienced throughout his life. He tells stories of past rodeos and 'untamable' horses he has tamed. This action-packed page-turner won't let you put it down. His stories range from 'crazy' horses to psychotic owners. He tells of life with his prejudiced, thieving father as well as hardships of The Depression and a world war. This is one of the best books I have ever read. I read it almost nonstop from cover to cover because I couldn't put it down. Monty Roberts has paved the way for horse whisperers, but he emphasizes you must listen to horses not tell them; he asks horses to perform, doesn't order them. I know I will never look at horses the same again.
Guest More than 1 year ago
one of my absolutely favorite books by my favorite horse trainer, monty roberts. this bok describes his life and how he learned the language of equus...might sound crazy, talking to horses, but it is just the best book ever. i am only 13. as u can see, this book is really easy, but it will AFFECT YOUR LIFE. IT DID TO MINE. monty roberts helps u understand the real communication of horses. his life is a true miracle. he has discovered something no one has ever discovered befored. it is sooooooo amazing u just wonder how he does it. if u r scared of horses or dont like them, i really recommend this book because it teaches the real meaning and that horses are more scared of u than u r of them. u will understand horses a lot better. it is also a guide of training. it is also a bible for horse lovers. the man who listens to horses is just too good to describe in words
Guest More than 1 year ago
monty roberts is no fake this man can really communicate with horses he's a wonderful man and i hope to meet him some day
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is my bible!!! It is the most incredible and enlightening book I have read. It helped me communicate with my horse better, and even helped me communicate with people better. I wish I could meet Monty Roberts!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
The idea of join up is excellent as this will give us a better world and loving atmosphere between human,and animals. Human beings had been cruel while breaking animals and also youngsters. I experienced this and was very upset and lost my confidence in human beings. The feelings of hatredness filled my heart but just cant' do anything to the higher authorities. Then I had a fall during riding and broke my ankle. While resting at home my instructor lend me this book and I realised that the only thing I can do is to change myself and learn to achieve join up with human beings and animals.And I am happy since then. I learnt to admit what people had done were wrong and will never want to repeat this in future, so hope that we can make this world a more loving one,to all living creatures forever.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I read this book & I'm still reading it. I've tried some of his methods on my own horse & they really work! The horse understands what you are trying to do & starts communicating w/ you. If you want to become closer to your horse this book is for you! Definetly! If you love reading about real life horse whisperers this book is also for you!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book, though a biography, was pretty good. I read it in 4 days and now have the sequal SHY Boy.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Raised in the world of traditional English Horse Riding, this book was a revelation for me in understanding my horse and made him my friend and ally.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I myself am a dedicated equin lover. I have fond that not only has this book entertained me but has also helped me with my equin friends. I highly recommend reading this book. I also think it brings up a very good point that the equin world has been ignoreing since the time of the coyboys. Horses have a social order too and they also thrive on friendship as much as we do.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was recomended to me by a fellow hoses lover and I thank her everyday. I have used the tactics of Monty Roberts at my own barn and found that it is less stressful for the horse and myself. His meathods provide an effective result and a better bond of trust between the horse and rider. I thank Monty Roberts for this extrodonary piece of literature that I have benifited from and hope that others will as well.