December. 11, 2019 – Ask Monty Newsletter

Question: How do you achieve a high performance with horses?

You work mostly on horse problems such as biting, kicking or refusing to go into the trailer. Do you think your methods could make top horses even more successful, get dressage horses more concentrated in the arena or make show jumpers show more spirit in the course? Have you ever been successful in working with top sport dressage or show jumping horses?

Monty’s Answer:

When you create a partnership with your horse, causing the horse to do his work because he wants to and not because he is forced to, then you improve the performance of that horse no matter what the discipline is. I have worked with dressage horses for both Camilla du Pont and Charlotte Bredahl. Charlotte, who was an Olympic bronze medal winner in Barcelona, uses my methods and has horses in training with me.

At one time, my partner Jeff Lovinger and I owned a wonderful Thoroughbred who didn’t make it to the racetrack, so we put him in a hunter/jumper program on my farm. Now deceased, Napur became one of the world’s best show jumpers for several years and was shown by Hap Hansen and Will Simpson in both the United States and Europe.

Rough Frolic led the United States for several years as a hunter and was one of the most successful in that division. It happens that Rough Frolic retired early from racing and went on to be what is known as a strip hunter in the United States. These are judged on conformation as well as performance.

These are not the only two top competition jumpers that I worked with, but they are the most noteworthy. However, please do not think that any equestrian discipline is unique. Where horses are concerned, the similarities far outweigh the differences, regardless of the breed, the size or the activity. A horse is a horse, and the needs of these animals are not limited to particular disciplines.

I have ridden eight World Champions in the show ring. While all these were in the Western division, I also showed many hunters and jumpers and won one national championship in the saddle, which involved hunters, jumpers and Western horses. I can state categorically that the general needs of the horses in each of these disciplines are quite similar. To achieve high performance from the cutting horse, reining horse, hunter or jumper, certain elements of cooperation must be accomplished. It matters not what the discipline is.

Probably the most important horses of the latter half of my career have been on the racetracks of the world, and I can tell you beyond a shadow of a doubt the same elements are important there as in the above-mentioned disciplines. I have been fortunate to work with over four hundred international stakes winners in racing competition. I had ‘Horse of the World’ two separate years. Those individuals needed the concepts I have discovered as much as any of my cutting horses or reined cow horses did.


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