We all want to be safe – horses and humans alike. Throughout the moments of The Movement Symposium 2019 we came to a better understanding of how our actions influence not only our equine friends but our human connections as well. Over 100 attendees and 8 presenters gathered together at Monty Roberts’s Flag is Up Farm in Solvang, CA to learn from one another and experience how horses affect humans in a positive way.
Moments of The Movement Symposium 2019
Moments of The Movement Symposium 2019 were a combination of watching Monty Roberts gain a horse’s trust and acceptance coupled with hearing from experts in equine behavior, human psychology, research and science. All presentations focused on helping humans make a better world for their fellow man and their horse friends.
Horses Don’t Lie
“Horses don’t lie,” Monty Roberts reminds us every time he works with a horse.
This Thoroughbred horse came to Monty a few weeks prior. He would not back up because he kicked out the back of a horse trailer and was treated harshly when he wanted to back out as an escape of the unsafe environment. Monty, using his voice and body language, demonstrated how the horse now backs through the L with full trust in his leader.
Settling an “Unsafe” Mare
This young mare, who was deemed unsafe upon her recent arrival at Flag is Up Farm, was running away and snorting at the presence of plastic when surprised with it. Monty Roberts demonstrated the steps he takes to get full trust and acceptance of the dreaded plastic.
Here’s a final result of Join-up in action. An formerly unsure (and deemed unsafe) horse eventually follows her leader over a tarp without a lead rope because she trusts him.
Settling a Horse By Breathing
One the most amazing things I witnessed Monty Roberts do with this mare – who just moments before had accepted going over the tarp – was to get her to transition to a walk over this tarp from trotting around the round pen, by breathing. Yes, just breathing. When the mare was trotting Monty would join her rhythm with short strong breaths which changed to slow soft blow outs when she came to the tarp while she went over it.
It took only about three trips around the round pen for the mare to transition to a walk over the tarp, as the breathing slowed. She then picked up a trot again, once she was through the tarp, when Monty returned to the short strong breaths. What an example of how sensitive horses are to our emotions – our very breaths.
The Horses are OK. We Need Fixing
“The horses are Ok. We’re the ones who need fixing,” relayed Debbie Loucks, Monty’s daughter and organizer of The Movement Symposium 2019 as we talked about the event. You know she is right. We humans are the ones who need the healing power of horses, whether we are riders or not.
Horses Can Help People Self-Soothe
“Just being with the horse moves us to a higher receptive state which causes humans to relax,” says Kris Robins, Veterans Program Director. “Horses can help people to self-soothe.”
The Movement is designed to heighten our awareness of the contribution horses make to human existence, enabling us to have better interactions with each other. The demonstrations along with the panel presentations all challenged us to make a difference in our human and horse interactions which in turn allow us to lead better lives.
Photo Credit: Sharon Jantzen