It felt brave and bold to finally decide to stay the course and hold The Movement 2020 after all on June 21-23, 2020. At times it felt like paddling up a wild stream without a compass. It could have been so much easier to throw in the towel and postpone until next year. But in the end it was the horses, and the people who love and value them, who helped the organizers decide to stay the course.
If there is one thing we all have learned since March 2020, it's that life is uncertain. In fact, it's hard to imagine life ever being certain again. But our horses tend to ground us to the fact that we can live in the present, breathe deeply by choice, and count the living beings around us as the real treasures in our lives.
No one wanted to see another equestrian event cancelled! Monty Roberts, at 85, certainly didn’t. Turns out, neither did Dr. Temple Grandin, or any of the other presenters for that matter. They all felt it was too important at this time in history, and too valuable. So as a group, together they put on the planned six sessions with a united message that horses bring hope to humanity.
There might never have been a better time in history for a cross-species, non-violent message to be delivered by the horses via the world wide web. In 2019, The Movement founder, Debbie Roberts Loucks arranged with Horse and Country TV’s Jonathan Rippon to provide live streaming from Flag Is Up Farms.
“We were planning our 3rd annual The Movement and our mission was to spread the exciting discoveries that good horsemanship had been developing. The horses have been validating what is increasing obvious, that gentle and fair handling of horses is causing better partnerships and better performance between horse and horsepersons. That is worth sharing and celebrating,” said Loucks.
"Horses are the unsung heroes of many parts of our life,” added Nelly Kennedy who voluntarily consults for the event, "They have unprecedented healing power and they help us learn, lead and live better."
Even when two of the European presenters were not allowed to fly into the USA, they decided to coordinate with the trainers in California to arrange for a multi-media and interactive presentation from Germany and England, and they were live on screen from the arena.
"So many people wrote and requested to please not cancel, if at all possible, we knew we needed to get creative and find a way not to disappoint. The presenters were equally enthusiastic about staying the course. All of them that could travel to us in Solvang, California, were there with me, social distancing of course," Monty Roberts said, adding "Technology is amazing these days and I directed to my team to re-create the closest experience possible for the viewer, submitting questions ahead, watching from the best seat, multi-camera view, good sound and even interaction with presenters during the sessions."
HorseandCountry.TV under the direction of David Qualls, provided the live streaming expertise for many more people globally to watch, listen, learn and even ask the presenters about their concepts and training methods as they saw it live from Monty’s iconic round pen at Flag Is Up Farms. It was a ringside seat with a multi-camera view, up close, with some presenters switching from the arena to the integrated video and graphics with moment-by-moment live learning. This made the experience even more interesting and educational, with the horses and experts in the round pen demonstrating and allowing for questions from a virtual audience.
Horse and Country TV reported on June 25 that there were “Approximately 350 plays On Demand to date. We are pleased with those numbers. To be honest, we don't really have anything similar to compare it to yet, this was something of an experiment in a way."
The Movement 2020 was archived as well so that all ticket holders and subscribers of H&CTV will have access after the event. This allowed for different time zones and any interruptions and also to review the content again and again.
The horses and the presenters were all varied and extremely talented in their own right. Monty Roberts opened THE MOVEMENT 2020 with a demonstration of understanding the flight animal demonstrating Join-Up®. Jamie Jennings and Monty trained a beautiful Perlino stallion to come to the mounting block and stand from across the pen in just 30 minutes. This was followed by Ashley Mancuso instructing Yoga on Mustangs and working with Jamie Jennings with a Mustang named Tucker live from the arena, saddled and at liberty.
Dave Mochel of Applied Attention presented on 'How to live, love, work & lead peacefully & powerfully'. Monty demonstrated how horses accept leadership when it is displayed in love and confidence in body language.
Denise Heinlein shared about respectful interactions between horses and people and then Denise introduced a war veteran to his first Join-Up with a horse, demonstrating healing from traumatic experiences.
Dr. Madison Seamans, DVM, author and artist gave viewers a presentation on how a horse’s vision influences their behavior and Dr. Elli Boardman, Chiropractor, presented an understanding of equine behavior to help when treating horses. The dark bay Mustang Tucker was painted to show a full skeletal outline for the audience to observe his movement. May Oliveira Medeiros and Erin Burkett were the artists who enthusiastically created a better way to present the information.
The final two hours were with Dr. Temple Grandin on How Horses Think and Monty Roberts demonstrating with Jamie Jennings on Monty’s horse Nice Chrome. Temple spoke for the horse and for the autistic person. Patience, kindness, & positive reinforcement were at the center of her concepts. Monty and Temple worked together to identify characteristics of the flight animal in a horse, learning new things from a human and gaining trust at the same time.
"What makes this movement strong is the number of people willing to believe there is a teachable path to a better way with each other,” Debbie Roberts Loucks added, "which is why the comments coming in are so encouraging."
“This event made me have hope again in humanity and motivated me extremely in learning about horses. Thank you so much. Huggs from Laura from Chile.”
“Great job everyone!!! Thank you for bringing Flag Is Up to my home office! Stay safe and be well!”
"Thanks so much for bringing The Movement to us remotely. It is only day 1 and I have 18 pages filled in my notebook! Inspiring! Thanks again, Leanne”
“I never thought I would say this but this live stream is just as valuable as actually being there. I thought how can this match being in the face of knowledge but the knowledge being shared in a genuine and humble way. God Bless Everyone involved!!!!! Amazing!!!!!!”
“SO glad you’ve chosen to include the human element of horsemanship. Compassion and understanding is vital to all of our success, regardless of what our day jobs are.”
“Who knew this was not just about horses and how they think react and respond. Its on us. We need to be more self aware in order to communicate with these beautiful precious animals!!!”
“I am a novice and feel totally accepted, something I was so afraid of as I entered the ‘joining up circle’."
MONTY ROBERTS AVAILABLE FOR SELECT INTERVIEWS:
The New York Times bestselling author and world-renowned horse trainer Monty Roberts is available for interviews.
MONTY ROBERTS first gained widespread fame with the release of his New York Times Best Selling book, The Man Who Listens To Horses; a chronicle of his life and development of his non-violent horse training methods called Join-Up®. Monty grew up on a working horse farm as a firsthand witness to traditional, often violent methods of horse training and breaking the spirit with an abusive hand. Rejecting that, he went on to win nine world's championships in the show ring. Today, Monty's goal is to share his message that "Violence is never the answer." Roberts has been encouraged by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II with the award of the Membership in The Royal Victorian Order, as well as becoming Patron of Join-Up International. Other honors received were the ASPCA "Founders" award and the MSPCA George T. Angell Humanitarian Award and FEI’s Man of the Year. Monty was recently included as Horse and Hound Magazine’s Top 50 Horsemen of All Time. Monty is credited with launching the first of its kind Equus Online University; an interactive online lesson site that is the definitive learning tool for violence-free training.
JOIN-UP philosophies can be seen at work with both humans and horses across the world, from farms to major corporations. To learn more about Monty Roberts or the many applications of his Join-Up training methods, visit www.montyroberts.com. Horse Sense and Soldiers aired on Discovery Military in 2010 highlighting the therapeutic effect horses and Monty Roberts' Join-Up® have on PTSD. Soon after Monty and his team developed the Horse Sense & Healing program for veterans and first responders. Lead-Up International was officially launched worldwide at the Monty Roberts International Learning Center in Solvang, California, in February 2017. The purpose of Lead-Up International is to reduce violence in the community by creating peaceful leaders from vulnerable youth utilizing equine-assisted therapy and non-verbal communication, building trust-based relationships.
The Movement is an annual event first launched in 2018 which aims to create a one of a kind experience, uniting outstanding speakers and live demonstrations with horses to show the unprecedented difference horses can make across all aspects of life.
Media Contact: Debbie Loucks
Monty and Pat Roberts, Inc.