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The Man Who Listens to Horses Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of The Man Who Listens to Horses


Horseman Monty Roberts used his abusive childhood as a catalyst to show that violence and intimidation are never the answer. Monty Roberts watched his father tie ropes to the legs of the terrified horse. The animal fought until it was thrown to the ground. The horse continued to thrash as Robert's father held the ropes, Then, the broken animal gave up. This was why it was called Horse-Breaking. Monty knew it was wrong. His empathy was met with his own beating, but he was never to be "bent" to this culture of violence.
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Robert's father was a sadistic man, but the burden of the abuse he put upon his son Monty, only solidified the boy's conviction that fear can never produce respect. The boy would head to the high deserts and watch the beauty of a language and culture so far removed from the darkness of his own. The mustangs showed him that there was another way.

Forced to perform as a stunt rider on movie sets, Monty won a university scholarship and earned money riding in rodeos. While he was kicking out a corral-end ranch life raising racehorses, someone he met in the fall of 1977 was to change everything.

The deer would be named "Grandma", but on that November day, Monty saved her life. Recovering from the coyote attack, the deer taught him the language he had watched the mustangs use so many years before. Monty began applying the technique of "pressure and release" - the basis of his, and all, training principles - and it worked. This was "join-up".

Monty Roberts communicated with horses. He used the language of "Equus" and changed the lives of thousands of horses, including some in front of the Queen of England. This book is Roberts' message. "Join-up" is now used in corporate America, it teaches troubled children... and continues to prove that anger and violence can never yield progress.
Best part of story, including ending: This story explores how one man used abuse to change the lives of non-human and human animals. The breadth of the narrative is such that readers will find it exhilarating.

Best scene in story: Readers will enjoy Monty learning the body language of prey animals as he communicates with "Grandma" the doe. It is the non-human animals that teach truth, and win, against the human world of deception.

Opinion about the main character: Monty Roberts exhibits the intelligence and determination to fight against, rather than give in to and perpetuate, the circle of violence and intimidation.

The review of this Book prepared by Andrea Martin a Level 1 Blue Jay scholar

Chapter Analysis of The Man Who Listens to Horses

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Plot & Themes

Animal story?    -   Yes Kind of animal:    -   horse Period of greatest activity?    -   1950+

Subject of Biography

Gender    -   Male Profession/status:    -   farmer Ethnicity    -   White Nationality    -   American

Setting

How much descriptions of surroundings?    -   6 () United States    -   Yes Small town?    -   Yes Century:    -   1930's-1950's

Writing Style

Book makes you feel?    -   encouraged If this is a kid's book:    -   Age 16-Adult Pictures/Illustrations?    -   More 6-10 B&W How much dialogue in bio?    -   roughly even amounts of descript and dialog How much of bio focuses on most famous period of life?    -   26-50% of book

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Monty Roberts Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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