MONTY ROBERTS IN FEBRUARY with Kelly Marks

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MONTY ROBERTS IN FEBRUARY with Kelly Marks

Post by lightertouch on Thu Jan 08, 2009 10:42 am

Get inspired for 2009 and make it your best year yet!

Sat Feb 7th South View EC, Cheshire
Fri Feb 13th The College EC, Keysoe
Sat Feb 14th Hadlow College, Tonbridge
Friday Feb 20th Quob EC, Southampton
Sat Feb 28th The Hand EC, Clevedon

Go to www.intelligenthorsemanship.co.uk or ring 01488 71300
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Re: MONTY ROBERTS IN FEBRUARY with Kelly Marks

Post by fin on Thu Jan 08, 2009 10:57 am

Thanks for this. I went to see Monty Roberts years ago but have never been to see Kelly Marks. Certainly something to plan for.
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Re: MONTY ROBERTS IN FEBRUARY with Kelly Marks

Post by Cyndi on Thu Feb 12, 2009 6:22 pm

Has anyone been to the first stop on the tour, on the 7th? Would like to hear your thoughts on it.
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Re: MONTY ROBERTS IN FEBRUARY with Kelly Marks

Post by lightertouch on Fri Feb 13, 2009 6:35 am

No but I've been to several and also helped out as a volunteer. Monty was my starting point in natural horsemanship, many years ago. He's incredibly skilled at what he does. Kelly is almost as skilled, and seems to me to bring a more gentle (dare I say feminine?!) feel. Their feel and therefore speed at helping horses learn to be ridden, or deal with problems is phenominal.

I would say, as do they, that the demo situation is not the best one in which to do this kind of work - Monty says starting CAN be done in half an hour, but for best results do it in small blocks over 4 days. Tho it can have its advantages - the non-loaders often end up looking like they feel the horsebox is a safe place to hide from the audience! Monty's current rider is also pretty amazing, last year he did some fabulous work with a horse with mounting issues. His feel was also super... roll on the day when I'm that good! Not sure I'll ever be that springy tho - the amount of jumping up and jumping off the guy did!

Hope that helps, feel free to ask me questions if there's anything I haven't mentioned. Smile
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Re: MONTY ROBERTS IN FEBRUARY with Kelly Marks

Post by Wild Pony on Sun Nov 29, 2009 12:29 pm

COMPLETE OT - I love Kelly Marks!!!! I wish I lived closer to her just to see her in action. I love, love her!

EVERYBODY I TALK TO SAY "KELLY who???" (I'm in Canada)

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Re: MONTY ROBERTS IN FEBRUARY with Kelly Marks

Post by Cyndi on Sun Nov 29, 2009 2:59 pm

Hey, I'm in Canada too! There are a couple of us in here .

I have read a couple of Monty's books, including "From My Hands to Yours", and last year my kids bought me one of Kelly Marks' books ("Perfect Partners"). I've watched some video of her, when she was working with the wild horses - very inspiring to watch. I'd love to see her live as well. Funny how so many North American trainers spend a lot of time in Europe (like Monty), yet the European trainers don't come here as much (unless I'm just not hearing about their visits).

I am open to a number of trainers - I like most of what they do, but honestly, sometimes I'm not sure about some of the things they do. I'm trying to find my way through the maze of training techniques, to find what my horse and I enjoy the most.
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Re: MONTY ROBERTS IN FEBRUARY with Kelly Marks

Post by Wild Pony on Sun Nov 29, 2009 3:48 pm

I am open to a number of trainers - I like most of what they do, but
honestly, sometimes I'm not sure about some of the things they do. I'm
trying to find my way through the maze of training techniques, to find
what my horse and I enjoy the most.

TOTALLY what i'm doing! I'm figuring my own way and I can tell you that I get some funny look and comments. But someone had to start somewhere. The first "trainer" was hit by a fairy stick and TAAAAAAAAAADDDDA! Each of my horses have different needs. I like to rely on what Iw learned from a traditional trainer and new views like Kelly and then my own spin on how it will work on my horsey.


HAve I mentioned....I LOVE IT HERE!!!!! Smile

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Re: MONTY ROBERTS IN FEBRUARY with Kelly Marks

Post by lightertouch on Mon Nov 30, 2009 1:32 am

Great to hear Wild Pony Smile I also pick and choose my techniques, though I'm currently working for an RA (Intelligent Horsemanship (kelly Marks' organisation) Recommended Associate). IH actively encourages thinking for yourself, rather than picking one method and following it exactly, which is one of the things I really like about it. There are a few things Monty does that I don't like, a few my boss doesn't like, and we work on alternatives. Its very stimulating!

Did you like Perfect Partners Cyndi? There have been 2 books since, Perfect Manners and Perfect Confidence. Perfect Confidence is all about rider confidence and talks through neuro linguistic programming exercises and suchlike. I should really get mine out and work through it!
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Re: MONTY ROBERTS IN FEBRUARY with Kelly Marks

Post by Wild Pony on Mon Nov 30, 2009 5:35 am

I told my horsey friend about not so much about "Natural" but "Intelligent". But it didn't stick. Sad I think that thinking about what you are doing is important.

though I'm currently working for an RA (Intelligent Horsemanship (kelly Marks' organisation) Recommended Associate).


JEALOUS!!!


I have all three books and loving the one directed at the the rider! I'm waiting until Christlmas holidays to have a mini vacation with my books.


Did I mention, I LOVE THIS FORUM! lol

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Re: MONTY ROBERTS IN FEBRUARY with Kelly Marks

Post by Cyndi on Tue Dec 08, 2009 2:56 pm

Yes, Lightertouch, I did like Perfect Partners I've got quite the book collection started in my living room. lol

There are a couple of things I'm not sure of, with the Monty Roberts method, so I do kind of pick and choose what I want from him and Kelly. One of the things I'm not sure of (and I don't know that Kelly does this) is that Monty uses an up-and-down jerking motion (he kind of jerks down, but I'd have to watch him again to be sure it's up and down) to get a horse to back up or stop moving, etc.. I'm not sure I like that idea. Some people say that scares a horse more than calms it down. Is that what Monty means by "schooling" a horse? He's all about non-violent training, but I'd like to know what his idea of non-violent is. Compared to his father's way of training (read the book "The Man who Listens to Horses" to find out about that), he is very non-violent, yet some might argue that his ways of jerking on a lead or pulling an unwilling horse is kind of harsh. I'm not slamming Monty at all - I'm a big fan of his, as he's the one that got me on to "natural" horsemanship - but I'm just so confused by all these techniques and methods.

Sometimes I watch videos of "natural' trainers and I wonder what the difference is between them and some traditional trainers. Some trainers that I've seen on YouTube shouldn't (in my opinion) have the word "natural" in their description!

I was listening to a telephone interview a while ago, through the "Horse Conscious" website/group (it was a freebie that I was allowed to listen to, because I'm not a paying member of the group), which was between the founder of "Horse Conscious" and Klaus Ferdinand Hempfling. Hempfling mentioned something that really made me stop and think. He talked about natural horsemanship trainers in general, but I have a feeling he was pointing a finger at Monty, because he mentioned how some trainers make a horse run until it finally gives up and gives in to them (kind of sounds like having a horse run around a round pen until they show signs of wanting to join up). Now here's an example of "who do I believe??!!" - Monty says that when you ask a horse to move in a round pen, you are the predator - you keep your eyes locked on the horse's eyes until it shows signs of letting you "chair the meeting", then you look away and the horse slows down, etc.. Hempfling argues that by doing that (making the horse "flee"), you are breaking the horse's spirit (or however he worded it) - the horse gives up and loses its spark. You end up with a depressed horse that has no "life" in it. He describes it as an antelope that finally gets tired and stops and lets the cat eat it - it gives up. I suppose that either one could be looked upon as an extreme. It's up to us to decide what we want for our horses, and it may very well depend on the horse itself. Some horses may respond better to one type of training than others. Something to think about.

No wonder I'm confused!!! LOL
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Re: MONTY ROBERTS IN FEBRUARY with Kelly Marks

Post by lightertouch on Fri Mar 26, 2010 2:49 am

Cyndi, what you describe above about horses running until they give up, or to the point of exhaustion, is what can happen if a trainer hasn't fully grasped Join-Up. Doing this is extremely unpleasant and unfair to the horse, and could be considered abusive. I think it is for this reason that RAs are prohibited from teaching it.

Now this is my take on Join-Up - it may not be quite correct, and you could always forward the above post to Monty and/or Kelly. They will reply!

Monty says the horse will run for about 7/8ths of a mile at the start of Join-Up, before slowing down. Every horse. This he says is what they do in the wild, as most predators are getting tired, maybe have given up by then. The horse slows to check if the predator still follows. Blindly running and running and running is not a good survival technique. You could still be tired when the next predator arrives.

At this point the horse will usually slow to a trot (the handler allows this but keeps the horse moving with smaller, less aggressive, movements), and offers the last few signs it would like to JU with you. At this point, the horse is treating you like an alpha mare, not a predator, and the signs are those of respect and a wish to communicate. The handler takes more pressure off the horse, allowing it to walk, then picks the moment to take their shoulder by and offer JU.

The horse should NEVER be run to exhaustion. An unfit horse may find 7/8ths of a mile at canter hard work, but its unlikely to be exhausted. JU should never be done with a horse that is ill or injured.

JU to me is an amalgam of predatoral/flee behaviour, and an alpha mare disciplining a member of its herd by pushing it to the outside, on its own, where its vulnerable to predators, then accepting the signs of respect and desire to return to the herd. Of course its not even that simple, as the horse finds it cannot get away from the predator thats chasing it, yet the predator has not taken any of the many many opportunities to do eat the horse. And then the strange, predator-type thing thats chasing it, stops chasing, then offers to alpha mare behaviour, saying its safe to approach, and that by being with it, the horse will be safe and protected.

My experience of JU is that it is an incredibly useful tool. Its an amazing bonding technique, allowing training to move faster as the horse is more trusting. Also, the run allows nervous tension, fear and anger in the horse a release, you may also get bucking, squealing and galloping. It may also take the edge off a fit horse.

I think if a horse were depressed after the run, there's no way you'd get JU. A depressed horse would be more likely to just stop, and wait for the next thing to happen to it. I'm sure it wouldn't walk over to the handler and touch them, and then follow them (Follow-Up) around the round pen at liberty. I'm honoured every time I achieve JU and FU. There's no feeling like it for me, having a horse want to stay with me when they don't have to. Very Happy

I've soap-boxed too long and run out of space! Embarassed

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Re: MONTY ROBERTS IN FEBRUARY with Kelly Marks

Post by Cyndi on Fri Mar 26, 2010 5:35 am

Thanks Lightertouch!

I understand the concept, and remembered the part about the 7/8th mile. Perhaps it's Hempfling who doesn't understand that the horse isn't being run to exhaustion. It is just like you said, when Monty watched the wild herd, the ones who misbehaved were driven out of the herd for a while, and wanted nothing more than to come back...and they weren't driven away for miles.

You are so right with the feeling you get with JU and FU!! Nothing like it. When I would do JU with Fanny, I could hardly get her to go around me a couple of times before her head was down and her circles were smaller. Most times she'd try to come to me right away, yet she wouldn't always FU. In cases like that, do I keep driving her away? Knowing what to do in that situation is the hard part for me. I don't want to keep driving her away for a few 'laps' if her wanting to come in is genuine. On the other hand, if she's just being lazy and comes into the center of the circle simply to avoid running circles, do I let her get away with it?
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Re: MONTY ROBERTS IN FEBRUARY with Kelly Marks

Post by FlorayG on Sat Mar 27, 2010 6:47 pm

personal opinion coming in here - as usual! on this forum. I think if your horse says to you' I don't want to do this, I want to be with you' then you should listen to that. Why drive away a horse that wants to be with you? and if it's laziness, fair enough, i like a lazy horse, they all have enough energy when you need it.
I once tried this Join Up with mine. Poor girls. They immediately said 'why are you doing this? don't you want me near you?' So I stopped. I think it is a useful technique with a horse that refuses to pay you any attention, but not with one that already accepts you.
I don't think it's anything to do with being a predator - I have used it on other, difficult horses and they showed no sign of seeing me as a predator, just as someone who was more senior than them and able to give orders. After a while they accept that you will give orders, and you will insist on being obeyed, and they decide life is easier (lazy again!) to do what you want. At this point you can begin to build a relationship
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Re: MONTY ROBERTS IN FEBRUARY with Kelly Marks

Post by Cyndi on Sun Mar 28, 2010 7:21 pm

I'm trying to think of whether I read this in one of Monty's books, or if I read it in his on-line weekly newsletter, but he had mentioned that you don't have to do Join-Up with your horse all the time. Makes sense that if your horse wants to be with you, why drive it away? I remember doing JU with Fanny when I first got her. I used it as part of our routine groundwork for a while, and then I did it less and less. It's been a long time since I've done it now, mostly because I have never had a "smallish" place like a round pen to do it in. I had/have no desire to chase her around a large paddock...now who's lazy??!! LOL
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Re: MONTY ROBERTS IN FEBRUARY with Kelly Marks

Post by lightertouch on Mon Mar 29, 2010 3:17 pm

Oh absolutely its main purpose is establishing a trusting bond with the horse, enabling you to continue its training with the horse more inclined to believe you're not trying to kill it every time you introduce something new! If you already have that bond, JU is often not necessary.

We also try to find a good 'reason' to send a horse away, after the first couple of JUs, if we need to do another. Theres no doubt they work hard when sent away, and we sometimes use it as a negative consequence if they break away during Follow Up (following u around at liberty), normally the second stage of JU. So we may start a session with FU, and if they break away, send away and do JU.

We'll normally do 3-6 JUs with a starter, then may never use it again with that horse.

Cyndi, it gets very much harder in anything bigger than a round pen - it can be done but by gum you'll work for it!

The body language we use is part horse, part predator, as we don't have the ears, nostrils and long neck of a horse, but we do look like a predator (coz thats what we are). We can mimic predatory actions to send the horse away, ie claw shapes with our hands, locking our eyes on theirs etc, instead of the snaking head and neck, drawn back nostrils and flat back ears a horse would use.

Not sure how clear that is, v. v. tired, plz say if I'm gibbering nonsense, I might be able to clarify tomorrow! Sleep

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Re: MONTY ROBERTS IN FEBRUARY with Kelly Marks

Post by Cyndi on Mon Mar 29, 2010 3:46 pm

No, no need to explain I understand very well what you are saying. We are also naturally predatory to a horse simply because our eyes are on the front of our heads, not on the sides.

I know that when I'd have Fanny circling, she would respond quickly to my body language - placement of my hand with fingers in a claw position, standing up taller and then relaxing, shifting my eyes from her eyes to her hip, etc.. . Horses are so perceptive and amazing. I would also try her with Follow Up first and see how she did, and if she didn't do it I'd send her out and do Join Up. I never takes her long to JU.

I'm so excited to be moving to a barn that has an indoor arena as well as an outdoor/grass one, and a round pen. As a beginner, I really appreciate those 'aids'. Until Fanny gets used to her new surroundings and her herd, I can work with her in the round pen because it's right next to the paddock. She should feel more comfortable if she can see the other horses.
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