March 25, 2020 – Ask Monty Newsletter

Question: Have you seen PTSD in a horse before?

During the breaking in of my beloved mare, something went horribly wrong for her. Somehow she became a rodeo horse. She was rejected because she didn’t buck properly. Her tail was broken and she was tazered. Then when she still wouldn’t buck properly, she was given a chance to be rescued. She wouldn’t float for the person trying to rescue her so I was asked to see if I could get her onto my friend’s horse truck. She got on, reluctantly, and the whole drive home I said repeatedly, “What have I just done?”

Those first two months, she saw numbers of horses go through the crush to be butchered. Its left its scars. She was wild when she came to us. You couldn’t touch her, couldn’t get close. She would stand in the center of the round pen and pivot on the spot keeping herself as far from you as she could. She has come so far; leads, ties, swims. Is there is anything I can do to make life, and the yard, not so scary? It’s something like PTSD. She has her flashbacks and just becomes terrified, freezing. You just wait for all hell to break loose. It hasn’t yet, but she gets that look in her eye like she isn’t there. She quivers and you can’t do anything because it is like you are no longer there. She’s absent. I have seen that look in World War II veterans.

I can’t get her to walk near the yards or take another step forward, even backwards, or lunging. She just stares and it’s like a black hole opens in her mind. It’s sad to see. I can turn her around on the spot and when she comes back to me, she won’t dare get closer once she goes into this black hole. We walk away, walk along the road on the opposite side, etc. but those yards and gates.

I would like to add she’s a pet. I can’t ride very well. I am not meant to ride at all, I just want to know what else I can do to help. I am happy where she is at as far as a pet goes, but I do feel for her. Is there something you can do for a horse with that kind of trauma? Have you seen PTSD in a horse before?

Kind regards,

Monty’s Answer:

Dear Beth,

Thank you for your story about the beloved mare in your life. Remember that your mare does not have PTSD. There is no D – she was not born with these problems and disorders tend to be circumstances which refuse to heal. Your precious mare has been injured, probably both physically and mentally. Injuries heal and disorders tend not to heal. The question here is how can we heal this injury. My answer is that I hear “Join-Up” screaming out at me with every sentence you have written. Study my Join-Up techniques. There are over 600 lessons on my Online University. They are short and to the point. Study them and follow their suggestions.

Your precious mare is precious to you and I promise you will gain as much in your coming together with her in a partnership as she will gain receiving your actions in a partnership. In the meantime, you will have fun. You will learn so much and she will enjoy the journey maybe even more than you do. You don’t have to ride her in an attempt to solve her problems. You can be there for her to work when she is wrong and relax and be appreciated when she is right. I sit here today wishing I could be there with you to watch this mare shed her demons. I can hear her asking you to please understand the problems and cause me to shed them.

Let us know how it goes with your precious mare because if you use my book From My Hands to Yours and couple that with the Online University, I believe you will be amazed at what a friendship you can create when you and your mare come together in a partner ship which I believe is certain to happen if you use my concepts and all of my non-violent techniques. If you have before and after videos, send them through so that we can rejoice with you and see the difference from where she was and how she has become. We wish you well.


Monty Roberts signature

Read the full newsletter: Have you seen PTSD in a horse before?