October 7, 2020 – Ask Monty Newsletter

Question: How do you earn a horse’s trust?

I board my horse at a sanctuary/boarding ranch, and we have a horse that got here from a feedlot rescue, being unloaded from a trailer and set into the pasture. She’s been in this pasture for three years, untouched. She is fat and happy and wore her feet on her own. But she needs vet work done…the owner has had multiple people out here to work with this horse and they have roped her to get her into a round pen and tried all sorts of things. The slight raise in our hands and she is terrified. No one has been working with her for some time now, and the owner and I were able to herd her into a smaller pen in the pasture.

We have a nice gentle woman who will just sit with her and try to gain her trust. But, like I said, a slight raise in our hands or anything and she cowers. This horse obviously had some sort of trauma and so far the closest we can get trust in three years is feeding her a treat and a slight touch on her nose. I have seen mustangs less afraid… what should the owner do?

Monty’s Answer:

One cannot imagine how many questions come through regarding sanctuary horses. Even though it is a minefield of problems, I consistently congratulate those who would attempt to create a better life for these precious individuals.

Imagine if you were a flight animal and some athletic individuals showed up, raised their arms in the air, swung a rope in circles and then cast it around your neck so that they could pull you into a smaller enclosure. I submit the next time somebody raised their hand, the flight animal would attempt to flee.

There are so many ways to accomplish these efforts without roping and forcing. I need to continue to remind people about my Equus Online University and my textbook, From My Hands to Yours. Neither one of these efforts is inclusive of roping the untrained horse.

Those who assist me in promoting my courses titled “Gentling Wild Horses” should realize that we need to be more diligent these days to fill these courses, as more caring individuals are reaching out to create better lives for untrained horses that are looking for a home.

We will keep trying, so you keep watching and we will attempt to fill in the required information.


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Read the full newsletter: How do you earn a horse’s trust?