Horse Sense & Healing
Life-transforming workshops with veterans and first responders
Monty Roberts runs free resilience-building workshops for veterans, police, fire, first responders and their families. The three-day program, Horse Sense & Healing, involves working closely with horses, including Monty ‘s globally acclaimed “Join-Up” process. Over the three days, participants and horses develop a special bond built upon mutual trust and respect.
Join-Up is an effective tool to help participants rediscover themselves through the eyes of the horse to deal more effectively with emotional trauma, anti-social behavior and withdrawal, anger, stress, combat stress and Post Traumatic Stress Injury (PTSI).
Monty Roberts’ methods demonstrate the deeply healing power of establishing a trusting relationship with horses without the use of force, causing a partnership with the horse. After three transformational days, participants can better understand how to control their anger, confront painful memories, cope with real-life situations and move on with their lives and relationships.
“We have been working with persons suffering from PTSI, over the course of five separate clinics each year. The results are coming in, and the outcome is fantastic. We have people laughing and getting back to a normal life who have been afflicted with PTSI for upwards of 35 years,” says Monty Roberts. “All the way from Vietnam to Afghanistan, your local Police Station to the Ambulance Driver these injured heroes come home in a terrible state and need our help to reconnect with their communities. The horses are doing their work with incredible efficiency.”
The Horse Sense & Healing Story
When Discovery Channel inquired about filming a documentary of Monty Roberts’ work, we thought it would be about horse training. But back in 2010 there was a growing concern in the military community that Post Traumatic Stress was a cause for the suicide rate of 22 deaths per day in the United States.
Horse Sense and Soldiers was released on the Discovery Military Channel in September 2010 and the phones at Monty’s office began ringing asking for a program as seen on the documentary to help veterans and their families cope with the effects of Post Traumatic Stress. Monty Roberts and his team immediately began creating a program with input from counselors and doctors who were experienced with Post Traumatic Stress – and Horse Sense & Healing was born.
The Horse Sense & Healing program has been helping veterans, their families and now first responders too, overcome past emotional injuries and learn to trust, communicate emotions and build resiliency to cope after deployment. Like the horse, a flight animal, these heroes have found it difficult to trust again. The military developed boot camps to train for war but very little is done to re-train our service personnel to reenter domestic environments.
The center of the experience of these 3 clinics is achieving Join-Up® with a horse. Join-Up is a form of communication between a horse and a human, based on a body language of gestures, like signing for the deaf. Leading up to the Join-Up, many skills of emotional control, focus exercises and breathing are shared. Learning why the horse is a uniquely qualified species to help heal, the participants leave the farm with a sense of peace and hope.
Veterans and First Responders suffering with Post Traumatic Stress Injury are welcomed and encouraged to apply for a future Horse Sense & Healing clinic.
Participants are selected by a committee. There is no charge to the participant for the program. Lodging is available at no charge should it be needed, and lunches are provided complimentary each day.
Individuals are welcome to bring a spouse, child (16+) or significant other to attend the workshop with them.
While tracking wild mustangs in Nevada as a boy, Monty Roberts observed a nonverbal communication between the horses, a silent language he would later call “Equus.” Monty incorporates “Equus” into his nonviolent training approach called Join-Up®.
Monty Roberts first developed Join-Up to stop the cycle of violence typically accepted in traditional horse breaking. Convinced there must be a more effective and gentle method, Monty created these consistent set of principles using the horse’s inherent methods of communication and herd behavior. The result is a willing partnership in which the horse’s performance can flourish to its full potential, rather than exist within the boundaries of obedience. These principles are valuable tools to understanding what motivates horse behavior and increasing effectiveness in any application.