Monty Roberts Training Center Open and Active in Solvang

With all the activity happening at Monty Roberts’ Flag Is Up Farms, you immediately know that it is safe place to be, outdoors and moving about one of California’s most beautiful equestrian settings. The training center is more active than ever, given that Monty Roberts, the world renowned horse trainer is home, masterfully coaching horses and riders alike to improve their skills in a beautiful partnership.

In an unusual year when international travel is a challenge, Monty has focused on producing happy horses and skilled trainers right from home. Since 1966 Flag Is Up Farms has always been free to visit and enjoy, with visitors from all over the world coming to observe the Join-Up® training methods and take a self-guided tour of the grounds.

Recently Monty has been interviewing and training riders for his 60-day pilot for the Monty Roberts’ Mustang & Transition Horse Program (MRTHP) that kicked off on October 12 by going live on Horse & Country TV online. Monty worked with nine horses he had never met before. Some received their first saddle and rider, some were there to gain more training to settle and politely come to the mounting block.

The program is being run by the Monty Roberts International Learning Center at Flag Is Up Farms, in partnership with The Right Horse Initiative – a program of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA).

In the words of The Right Horse, “Each year, hundreds of thousands of good horses find themselves in transition of career or ownership. And each year, a growing number of these horses end up at risk of inhumane treatment. It’s time for all of us to come together and play a role in changing their story and fate.”

Research by the ASPCA indicates there are over 1.2 million homes that have both the perceived resources and desire to house an unwanted horse. This number greatly exceeds the approximately 200,000 unwanted horses living each year in the United States.

However, a lack of high-quality training for remedial issues and wild / feral horses is one of the most consistent, ongoing needs for horses in transition. A well-trained, safe and pleasant horse has a much higher adoption rate, lower length of stay in a shelter and a higher likelihood of staying safe for life.

And this is where the MRTHP comes in. By utilizing Monty Roberts’ world-renowned gentle and effective training techniques including Join-Up and his patented humane gentling pen, Monty and his team at the MRILC will gentle and start unbacked horses, work through remedial issues with others, and re-gain the trust and desensitize all of these horses to a variety of objects and stimuli – to make them safe and willing partners for their future owners.

For almost 25 years the MRILC has been dedicated to promoting and teaching gentle, effective alternatives to violence and force during the starting and training of horses. And students visiting the MRILC will have an opportunity to work with the horses in the MRTHP program, learning the Monty Roberts methodology and how to practically apply it to working with horses.

Courses range from complete novice (including those with no prior horsemanship experience) to beginner and intermediate horse owners, all the way to advanced level (to qualify as an industry professional).

With the recent addition of the modular option for the introductory course of horsemanship, students are now able to work towards certification in the Monty Roberts methods by taking four x 3-day modular courses: 1) First Steps to Monty’s Methods, 2) Join-Up: Building A Trust-Based Partnership, 3) Long Lining – The Benefits, Form and Fun, and 4) Preparation for The Introductory Exams over length of time that suits their schedule and budget.