Otherwise known as the “man who listens to horses” Monty Roberts was the inspiration for the movie “The Horse Whisperer”, starring Robert Redford. While there are many talented horse whisperers today, Monty humbly admits that his “technique” was long used by Native Americans for centuries- he is just the one who studied it and gave it a name: “Join Up“, thus starting an international sensation not just for compassionate listening and understanding of horses, an international equine training center, and school but also a corporate event program at his home ranch in the Santa Ynez Valley, Flag is Up Farms.
Monty’s principle of “Join Up” specifically describes when horse accepts human as its partner and the moment is nothing short of magic and spectacular. Monty is no stranger to violence, indicating he did not have a happy childhood and is adamant about not using traditional horse “starting” methods of often times painfully forcing a horse to follow the human by “breaking” the horse. Monty believes that first you seek to understand the horse, its style, communication preferences, fears, etc. and work with this to establish trust between horse and human. Monty has worked with wild “never-before-started” horses and “difficult” horses no one has been able to “start” and generally within an hour, can have the horse “Joining Up” with him when other methods that took others months and sometimes years (and failed) simply did not work. Monty has trained his international expert staff to work with this method as well and people from all over send their horses to Flag Is Up Farms to have their horses experience a “miracle” of sorts.
Monty teaches that his methods of listening, watching and “reading” another being and catering to its needs and communicating with what that being needs translates directly to person-to-person relationships, too. Because of this, corporations from all over the world send their staff and executive teams to Flag Is Up Farms where guests not only get to watch a never-before-started horse be “started” by Monty or one of this certified instructors, but they are then invited into the private home of Monty and his wife Pat up on the hill, a gorgeous “museum” in and of itself with sweeping views of the Santa Ynez Valley and their ranch. From arrival through their Western Saloon-style bar with games and historic western memorabilia (Geronimo’s rifle hangs proudly on the wall, along with many , many other items), The Queen’s Wall (Queen Elizabeth is a patron and advocate of Monty Roberts and Join Up and this wall showcases correspondence between HRH and Monty), his wife Pat Robert’s incredible bronze sculptures, paintings to a home-cooked Western BBQ bountiful buffet cooked by the Robert’s staff, an event at Flag Is Up Farms is nothing short of a lifetime experience.
Even if you are not planning a corporate event, Flag Is Up Farms is open to the public for visiting. While the Robert’s private home is off limits to the public and is available for private events for their corporate event program, you can still enjoy the sprawling ranch and farm below. You can see farm life as it unfolds, and if you’re really lucky, perhaps catch the staff working with Monty’s methods with the horses.
Flag Is Up Farms is open 7 days a week from 9am -5pm and no reservation or fee is required. For more information, click here: