Archive for Natural Training

Our Mission: What’s In It for the Horse?

The photo above was taken from our front yard by Lucas Wiesmann, one of Kathleen’s Mock Trial students, at her annual Mock Trial Dinner last Friday, the day before the regional competition. The photo of Zeke racing down to meet the kids so beautifully represents who we are, our mission, that I’ve placed it on our home page and here on this this blog post, because both are about just that. Thank you Lucas!

Are you asking everyday what’s in it for the horse? With lifestyle? With training? With diet? With feet? With relationship? What’s in it for the horse? Not what’s in it for me? Until then you cannot even imagine how good things can be.

Clinician Ray Hunt always opened every clinic or symposium the same way. “I’m here for the horse,” he would say. “To help him get a better deal.” He and his mentor, Tom Dorrance, were the first to promote looking at a relationship with the horse from the horse’s perspective. Their question was never What’s in it for me? But always, What’s in it for the horse?

During our relatively short journey with horses we began to understand early on that What’s in it for the horse? should be the only question. And not just related to training, but to Lifestyle, Diet, Feet, the concept of Liberty, as well as Relationship. And that only by understanding all of these from the horse’s perspective could we begin to approach that illusory state of mind referred to as Horsemanship. We were discovering that our way to horsemanship could never be about how well we ride, or how many trophies we win, or how fast our horse runs, or how high he or she jumps. Read More→

“My soul and my heart have truly changed.”

“I have just finished reading this book, my soul and heart have truly changed, I carry a lot of guilt at the moment, but I promised my three babies to place their needs before my own….thank you Joe!” – Cindy Barlow

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No Agenda Time – Join Up Without a Round Pen

Joe and Saffron

You might remember that, for me, the most important element in Monty Roberts’ Join Up is that the choice to join up, to trust, belongs to the horse. It is not forced by the human. And when the horse makes that choice freely, of its own free will, everything changes. No-Agenda Time takes longer than Monty’s Join Up (which usually works for him in 30 to 40 minutes). Our No Agenda experiment with our new mustang Saffron took 35 days, but when it happened everything changed, like a flash, right before our eyes. Everything! As if she had just flicked a switch. Read More→

What’s In It for the Horse?

Are you asking everyday what’s in it for the horse? With training? With lifestyle? With diet? With feet? With relationship? What’s in it for the horse? Not what’s in it for me? Until then you cannot even imagine how good things can be. Read More→


First day home. So frail and tiny.

First day home. So frail and tiny.

Not anymore! She's big... strong...

Three years later – Big and Strong!

Mouse Today

See the Video of Mouse
at Three – Two-and-a-half Years After Rescue

Below is an excerpt chapter from the book The Soul of a Horse about the adoption of Mouse from the Animal Rescue League of Iowa. The League rescued her and 13 other horses from extremely grotesque circumstances. She’s an American Saddlebred and was approximately seven months old when adopted, skinny and undernourished, and came to Monty Roberts’ Flag is Up Farms completely untouchable with hooves that looked to be out of a horror movie.
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Cash Changed So Many Lives

Chris Lombard, world renowned natural trainer, clinician, and author of Land of the Horses, remembers Cash:

Dear Joe:

I remember reading your newsletter while standing in the middle of the Equine Affaire in Massachusetts one cold Saturday in November. As I finished it I just stood there. Hundreds of people were walking around me, looking at the trade show exhibits, talking about horses and horse stuff. I was floored. I couldn’t move. I was stunned. I felt it all. And here this was, all this horse show stuff going on around me. All this stuff that is trying to help people get to what you felt with Cash.

As I often do, I need to kind of go away and be on my own to process something like this for myself before getting back to it in the real world. I went for a walk in the rain soaked woods the next morning with my dog Matea. There was snow on the ground, a half inch or so, and it was raining and cold. I thought about you and Cash. And I came to this. Read More→