The message of Join-Up goes far beyond horses. The lesson is also about philosophies of communication and relationships.
Join-Up proposes that not just horses, but humans too, thrive in a cooperative and safe environment and falter in a climate of fear and submission.
It is clear why corporations, educators, government leaders, physicians, and more, are using Join-Up as a platform for work outside the equine world.
Monty frequently speaks with groups of veterans, abuse victims, youth and prison inmates, translating his theories about rewarding positive behavior with horses, to human applications. He uses the horse as a model, and shares how more can be accomplished with mutual respect and cooperation than can be accomplished with dominance and aggression.
Educators are applying Join-Up techniques in their classrooms. School administrators, teachers and psychologists visit the Farm in increasing numbers to consider how Join-Up principles offer alternatives to children without the fear of pain or punishment. Using Monty’s methods, the Kinghurst Junior School (read article) in Great Britain, has gone from being condemned as a failing school, to being re-classified as a center of excellence.
Make it easy for the child or adult to Join-Up® with you, rather than struggle against you, Monty said.
Monty’s Principles™ really amount to common sense and immense patience. He believes that children and horses have the same behavioral patterns. They are both naturally “flight” animals. If you frighten them and resort to confrontation, you’ll lose them. Simple one-on-one reassurances and praise reap long term dividends that can all be undone with the quick slamming of a book on a desk or shouting back.
Monty Roberts has used the success of Kingshurst as a blueprint for schools worldwide. Konocti Unified School District in Northern California was the first to open its doors and listen in the USA. Monty now offers his program Monty’s Principles to public and private schools, co-ops and equine therapy groups. Monty’s Principles has been developed in cooperation with veteran teachers and experienced administrators in challenging environments. It trains teachers in the use of a method for teaching that employs a horse’s communication system of gestures as a metaphor to aid teachers in class instruction, and provides course material for the method. (click here to request info on this program)
“To watch him tame a horse in 30 minutes that has never before been ridden, without resorting to the conventional and fairly brutal breaking methods that usually takes weeks, is quite inspiring. Likewise, to hear from children who probably would have been lost in the system who are now fully engaged, really does make you wonder why more have not listened before.” — Paolo Marenghi and the “Nightline” Staff ABC News London Bureau.
Government agencies, such as the CIA’s polygraph division have sought to learn more about Join-Up, relative to the value of body language – based on Monty’s many years of observing animals and people. White House representatives have asked to learn more from Monty about fostering confidence and loyalty within organizations (read article). Monty has even taken the principles of his Join-Up methods to Los Alamos National Laboratory, to promote the value in trust and cooperation, as seen in his work with horses.
Medical clinicians are now using the Join-Up communication formula when working with children with autism. These children exhibit a similar level of sensitivity to the horse’s in regards to body language, tone of voice, and touch. The non-aggressive, visual based communication that is integral to Join-Up horse training philosophies has proven a useful tool when working with these children’s unique needs. (read article)
The Join-Up principles, while originally developed as a tool to work with horses, hold value in an infinite number of applications: some tactical and quantifiable, some more abstract. Join-Up is about a balanced existence, encouraging trust, reliability and comfort from others, but it can only occur when an underlying desire for partnership exists on both sides. With humans, as with horses, communication enables Join-Up. Trust keeps the process alive.