“A free horse running is a beautiful sight,” proclaims Monty Roberts. So why would this lifelong horse gentler pluck one from its wild herd and train it to live in captivity? Many who knew Shy Boy’s story wanted to know if a free-roaming mustang wanted to come in from the wild and live a domesticated horse’s life. In this moving, dramatic narrative, Monty Roberts candidly reveals the answer to that persistent question.
At the age of 17, Roberts achieved “join-up” with a mustang in the wild by duplicating the movements of the herd matriarch. Forty-five years later, he sought to re-create that accomplishment without a round pen. The
BBC learned of Roberts’s plans and produced a documentary on the join-up of the stallion who would come to be known as Shy Boy. Roberts hoped the film would widely disseminate his message of nonviolence—a message whose delivery has become his life’s work.
His approach to starting instead of breaking horses may come as a surprise given the beatings Roberts himself endured at the hands of his domineering father. Yet in his case, violence did not beget violence, and he instead went in the opposite direction of cruelty. “I told myself a long time ago that I would go to the ends of the earth to show what is possible between humans and horses,” Roberts explains. “I would tell the world that the gentle way is the better way.”
In his relationship with Shy Boy, Roberts successfully demonstrated the profound benefits of gentling a horse. Almost a year after join-up with the magnificent mustang, Roberts again extended the respectful hand of friendship and let Shy Boy make his own choice: Would he rather stay with his gentler or rejoin his herd in the wild?
Roberts’s heartfelt account brings the suspenseful join-up of Shy Boy alive for the listener while his calm, soothing tone undeniably identifies him as the loving, patient teacher we all wish we had.
Monty Roberts / Harper Audio
For more information on animal welfare and pet tips check out Premier Pet Lifestyle Expert and Animal Rescue Advocate Wendy Diamond at www.wendydiamond.com and www.animalfair.com.