My Transformative Experience with Monty Roberts, the Legendary “Horse Whisperer”

Jun 30, 2024 | General, Scarlett's Blog

by Scarlett Lewis,Chief Movement Officer
In the heart of Solvang, California lies Flag Is Up Farms, the birthplace of a revolutionary approach to horse training known as “Join-Up,” pioneered by the legendary Monty Roberts. My journey to experience Monty’s techniques was deeply personal and transcendent, shaped by a shared lifetime passion for horses and an unwavering belief in love and connection.
Monty Roberts, often dubbed the “horse whisperer,” communicates with horses using “the language of Equus.” This intuitive and empathetic non-verbal communication allows horses to understand that he is a source of safety and trust, fostering a bond so profound it’s almost ethereal. This method stands in stark contrast to the violent techniques employed by Monty’s father, who mercilessly beat him, resulting in 47 broken bones during his childhood. These harrowing experiences became the impetus for Monty’s quest to find a compassionate and humane way to communicate with horses.
What resonated with me most during my visit to Monty’s farm was witnessing firsthand the depth of trust and understanding he instills in these magnificent creatures. The “Join-Up” method has garnered global acclaim, endorsed by trainers worldwide and even the former Queen of England. Despite this, Monty has faced significant detractors, including his own aunt who authored a book dismissing his claims and methodologies. Yet, Monty’s resolve never wavered, bolstered by the support of one of his middle school teachers, a Catholic nun, who recognized his injuries and got him help and also his potential. She consistently supported him, reminding him to stay true to his mission. Her words continue to resonate and encourage him to this day.
Meeting Monty in person was nothing short of extraordinary. Here stood a man I admired my entire life, whose techniques I had enthusiastically adopted with my own horses to great success and also in my life. More than just a horse trainer, he is a soul mate of sorts, sharing similar values, faith, and an unwavering commitment to compassionate horsemanship. Known for his iconic blue shirt, Monty’s presence is as genuine and steadfast as the principles he embodies.
Monte and his wife Pat, raised three children of his own, and 47 foster children, most of which were brought to the farm, traumatized and angry having experienced a tough life, including abuse. Monty understood and provided a safe haven where they could learn, grow and be strengthened.
My experience underscores the importance of role models in our lives and the necessity to embody the values we preach. Our actions speak louder than words, witnessed by our children and those who look up to us. Monty’s journey from a broken, battered child to a beacon of empathy and compassion serves as a powerful reminder to rise to our highest potential and be the best version of ourselves.
In reflecting on this experience, I feel galvanizing gratitude for the lessons I learned at Flag Is Up Farms. Meeting Monty Roberts has reaffirmed my belief in the power of love, connection, and the significance of being a role model. His journey is a testament to the fact that despite adversities, with compassion and dedication, one person can bring about incredible change—not only in the world of horse training but also in the broader spectrum of human relationships and interactions.
Let us strive to lead with love and authenticity, knowing that through our actions, we have the power to inspire and uplift others, just as Monty Roberts has done for me and countless others around the world. Monte acknowledged the lain in his life is what inspired him to do and be better. Thank you Monte, for Choosing Love as a thoughtful response.
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