Posted by JAS on September 30, 1999 at 19:33:40 at Horse Whispers Discussion Forum
Okay, I couldn't resist, Monty Roberts came to town (Monroe, Washington), I spent $25. to see him in action. It was a benefit for the local therapeudic riding program. Monty demonstrated "starting' a 2yr. mare, she was uncomplicated, and it went smoothly. All the time Monty is explaining to us why you never ever hit a horse. Then a not very tough problem loader, then a young gelding who wanted to buck, they all went well.
The fourth and final horse was a 4yr QH stallion, who had developed a bucking habit, and the owner gave up on trying to ride. Monty tried to Join Up,to put it mildly, the colt couldn't care less, then moved on to the saddle and bridle. It was funny to see him trying to saddle this onery little devil with it trying to kick him for all he was worth. Monty put on the "buck stopper" what us old timers call a war bridle. This colt takes one big hop and hits the war bridle, knows full well Monty caused this and dives at him. ...Monty and helper scrambling backwards trying to get out the gate with this horse trying to strike, bite, or just stomp on either one of them. This is one nasty spoiled 15h 2" horse, Monty slams the door just in time, and says " this colt joined up real hard!!!, look at how he is trying to stay close to me so I can help him" What a joke!!!!
This colt was trying to skin him, dependant my $%##, he wanted to eat him alive, while Monty was scrambling backwards, slapping the colt in the face with a soft line so they could get out of there in one piece. Monty tried to drive him away from the gate by throwing the line over the top of the fence, not very effective. Finally Monty and helper squeeze back in, grab the colts halter and get two ropes on him so they can continue. they saddle him up and strap on a dummy, all the time this colt is taking chunks out them with his teeth and cow kicking almost to his ears. You could hear them grunt when he would get a good mouth full. The colt was too smart to buck again with the war bridle anchored down his crest to the saddle, so he just humped up a little. They managed to get the helper on the colts back for a couple of minutes, the colt was tense, but knew he couldn't buck. We all decided whatever Monty pays his help it is not enough.
As they were untacking the colt he continues biting and kicking. Monty looked happy to hand the colt back to the owner. You could tell the horsemen in the crowd, we were all but rolling in the aisles!!! This colt was not impressed with Monty. I actually enjoyed the non violence message, wrapped in "dinner theater" horsemanship. and it was sure good for a laugh, but Monty Roberts sold more junk than taught anything. He hasn't reinvented the wheel, but he is quite a showman.
As that colt was jumping down his shirt, I think he would have liked to have and old fashioned lariet instead of his soft squishy rope. I'll never forget him putting a spin on being chased by that colt, very amusing!!!
SO, WHAT'S A WAR BRIDLE?:
This questioned was answered on the same bulletin board by: Caroline on October 05, 1999 at 19:30:55:
Monty has two training items that he's put his name on - "gimmicks" we might call them, as they are above and beyond the severity that we would normally use on a horse. One is his "Dually" halter, which is a glorified "war bridle", which tightens down and puts pressure on a horse's head when pulled.
The other is his "Buck-stop". I haven't seen one, but have the idea that somehow a rope placed against the horse's gum-line, runs up between the horse's ears, along the top of his neck to the saddle, so when the horse puts his head down to buck, his mouth is punished.
I do object to Monty's marketing of these devices to the general audiences that he performs to. I'm sure that in the hands of some experienced people, that they could be effective at times. But Monty indicates that they can be easily used by anyone - dangerous advice, in my way of thinking. Caroline