Summary and book reviews of The Man Who Listens to Horses by Monty Roberts

The Man Who Listens to Horses

by Monty Roberts

The Man Who Listens to Horses
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  • First Published:
    Aug 1997, 310 pages
    Paperback:
    Dec 1998, 255 pages

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Book Summary

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.

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 all who 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.

CHAPTER 1
The Call of the Wild Horses

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 thirteen learning the language of horses.

In the wilderness of Nevada, the soil is silky and cool to the touch at dawn, and at midday will burn your skin. My summer vigils were marked off by the heat of the day and the cold of the night and a profound sense of solitude. It felt right to be there under those vast skies on that dove-gray moonscape in the company of wild and wary horses. I remember, especially, a dun mare with a dark stripe along her back and zebra stripes above her knees. Clearly the matriarch of the herd, she was disciplining an unruly young colt who had been roughing up foals and mares. I ...

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Kirkus Reviews

His portrait of the business of breeding and training horses is frank and fascinating, but the book's most memorable passages cover 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 some of the other remarkable figures Roberts knew (including a young James Dean). Over and above everything, though, is Roberts' surpassing love for horses, captured here in his evocations of the horses he has trained over a career spanning four decades.

Kirkus Reviews

His portrait of the business of breeding and training horses is frank and fascinating, but the book's most memorable passages cover 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 some of the other remarkable figures Roberts knew (including a young James Dean). Over and above everything, though, is Roberts' surpassing love for horses, captured here in his evocations of the horses he has trained over a career spanning four decades.

Publisher's Weekly

This book is important reading for those interested in communication, particularly interspecies communication and linguistics.

Publisher's Weekly

This book is important reading for those interested in communication, particularly interspecies communication and linguistics.

Author Blurb Jack Canfield, co-author of The Chicken Soup for the Soul
Monty Roberts' book The Man Who Listens to Horses has inspired me to the depths of my soul. Observing Monty's philosophy and method of working with horses and people is one of the most profoundly deep, awe-inspiring, and heart-opening experiences I've ever witnessed. I highly recommend this book to everyone.

Reader Reviews

Sarah

Brilliant!!
I LOVED this book! It is my favorite book ever now. I really admire Monty on how he was so determined to do things HIS way, no matter what anyone else said. Shy Boy is his second book, another favorite of mine now. Monty Roberts is a true ...   Read More

emi

i love monety. his ideas make sense. and they work- you can see results.

Smartybeth

I am a 16 year old horse enthusiast. I train horses using Monty's methods and would never change them. This book explains how he got were he is today and how he developed his mehtods that are now famous the world over. I recieved this book as a ...   Read More

Li

This was a very helpful book in helping me gain more knowledge about horses phycology. Roberts has spent alot of time with these horses, and it has shown to be at his advantage. I am glad that new methods have arisen to train todays horses, so they ...   Read More

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