Book Report: “The Man Who Listens to Horses”

I found this book at Goodwill in hardback for $1.75. I love Goodwill. You never know what sorts of treasures you will find. I enjoyed the book immensely; you may remember that I’ve watched a lot of Parelli stuff and read as much about him as I could online without actually paying him anything. Monty Roberts is considered a forerunner of Parelli, one of the original “horse whisperers” who taught a different, kinder approach to starting horses. The Nicholas Sparks book “The Horse Whisperer” took a lot of inspiration from Monty Roberts’ life and techniques.

The book is Roberts’ biography and it tells the story of growing up in northern California and being heavily involved with rodeo and Western performance horses. He also spends a lot of time in the book talking about his observation of mustangs in the wild and how he learned a way of communicating with them based on their interactions with each other. He learned how to “speak horse” essentially. Monty’s biggest contribution to the horse world was figuring out a kinder, more humane way to start a totally green horse with a bridle, saddle, and rider. He can take a wild mustang that’s never been handled and within 30 minutes have it calmly bridled, saddled, and willingly accepting the rider. I have zero interest in starting unbroken horses, but I was fascinated nonetheless. Oh, and Monty doesn’t call it “breaking,” he calls it “gentling.”

The book is a great, easy read and I recommend it, especially if you’re interested in natural horsemanship!


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