A Horsey Fun-Filled Weekend at Monty Robert’s Flag Is Up Farm!

Welcome to my weekend coffee share where we share what’s been happening in our life with old friends and new. I am up north visiting my daughter and her girlfriend gifted us with these beautiful flower bouquet’s. What a great way to start my post with these flowers, as I just love them. Flowers of any kind always make me smile! πŸ˜€

I drove up to Orcutt, CA where my daughter lives and I am staying with her while I attended Monty Robert’s The Movement, 2022 ~ Happiness, Health & Horses! His Flag Is Up Farm is located in Santa Ynez Valley which is just minutes away from Solvang, CA. My daughter is about 30 miles north and so the drive was not bad to get to the clinic. It was an all day event for both Friday and Saturday and I am spending Sunday with my daughter and friends and will head home Monday. I have some time here and thought I would share the photo’s I took of this weekend and the training seminars.

We started out with this 3 year old Arabian filly who has had very little to no training, just growing up in a pasture. Within 2 days he had a rider on her back using his gentling methods. He is on a mission to change the training techniques across the globe for non-violent training for all horses. It doesn’t matter if they are wild mustangs, young horses needing to be “broke” he hates the term breaking horses, we should be gentling them as we speak Equus to them and get them to want to be with us and learn from us. It is all so amazing what he shares and his methods are tried and true and he wants to rid the world of violence, if only he could. He helps groups of people with PTSD and holds training seminars for corporations and anyone needing to see how horses can heal and help teach us patience and confidence.

We had a seminar on hoof care and the woman in the photo is Ada Gates-Patton the first and only woman journeyman farrier of thoroughbred horses in the nation. She also inspects the shoes of every horse taking part in the Rose Parade. I also have a photo of Monty talking to us here as we were waiting for the farrier to trim the horse. Her background and knowledge was so amazing to hear about and she was Monty’s farrier for many years. I won’t go into her whole background but she gleaned so much information to us about horses hooves, it was so educational and something I am so grateful to learn about. Ada explained to us what she was looking for after the trim on the horse for a balanced hoof.

We broke for lunch which was provided each day and we enjoyed the beautiful grounds of Monty’s farm. It is so tranquil there and a huge farm! There are horses everywhere, in pastures or paddocks. He has transition horses from gentling mustang’s to off the track thoroughbreds that will be retrained for a new career. He also has young thoroughbreds there for training for the racetrack. He will get them started and use to the starting gates and they will be sent back to their racing trainer. Such a busy place but you would not know it with how peaceful it is there. ❀

We are back in the round pen where Jamie did a “join up” with this thoroughbred who was recently retired from racing and will be retrained for a new career. She is a beautiful young mare and started out a bit nervous but settled right down while being worked with in the round pen. This is what Jamie does at her farm in Oklahoma getting retired racehorses from Horse and Hound Rescue and that is how I got my horse Midnight Murphy, a retired racehorse but he never made it to the track because he was too slow!

It was so wonderful to finally meet Jamie in person and as we exchanged hugs it was such a pleasure to see her training in action and all she has learned from the great Monty Roberts. She will be continuing his legacy as they train more and more people in his methods. There are Certified Monty Roberts Trainers all over the world. Monty is 87 years old and he has accomplished getting all of this training online with I believe hundreds of video’s and with my participation at this clinic I get 3 months free for Monty’s online university training.

The above photos are of Mark Bolender a famous trainer in his own right being an expert on extreme trail and mountain trail competitions. He has designed mountain trail courses all over the world and he has designed and put in a mountain trail course at Flag Is Up Farm in the infield of Monty’s racetrack. This is Mark’s famous horse Checkers. A National Grand Champion I think more than once and he is now a Breyer horse (You can buy a plastic Breyer horse of Checkers!) Mark is riding him bridle-less with just a rope around his neck. Very impressive as he navigates the bridge. He even turned around on the bridge! There are many components on the trail course and I did not take photos of everything there. I’m finding that there is so much to share, maybe I’ll just share more photos and less words!

Friday was a long day as we had wine and cheese and a concert in the evening. Templeton Thompson and Sam Gay sang to us as we enjoyed the evening. It got a bit chilly with a strong breeze but it was beautiful music and a fun time!

The next day was gentling mustangs in a special pen Monty had built so that the wild mustang’s could be gentled and all could stay safe. In the stalls that you can see they are standing in they can be touched all over with a long stick and a glove at the end which mimics a hand. These wild mustang’s have been there for about 6 weeks now and believe me, you could tell they were still pretty wild. But they were trusting too, and you can see Jamie rubbing on one’s shoulder as he enjoys the scratches!

Day 2 and Monty uses a dummy rider to get the young Arabian filly to accept a rider. She did buck a lot at first with the dummy on it’s back. It is secured and has weighted boots to mimic a rider. It does not fall off but she was very good when a rider did get on which was so wonderful to see. His gentling methods are truly amazing!

Here I am standing next to Monty Roberts. I didn’t want to interrupt him as he is always deep in conversation explaining away as there are always so many questions. Haha, this photo works as I am kinda shy anyways! And a photo looking out to the pastures. So pretty! I’ll end here as there is just so much to share and I did not upload all my photos of the weekend. I think you get a pretty good taste of my horsey adventures and I am enjoying spending time with my daughter too! We are off to a seafood restaurant in Pismo Beach. YAY! I just love Sanddabs and that’s what I will have for dinner! YUMMY!

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend and thank you so much for stopping by!

Horse Crazy and Happy Cowgirl,

~Diana ❀

21 thoughts on “A Horsey Fun-Filled Weekend at Monty Robert’s Flag Is Up Farm!

  1. What a great retreat for cowgirl! Looks like it was peaceful and informative –
    Also – I like the “we should be gentling them ” better than the breaking term!
    Hope the rest of your time up north is awesome
    β˜€οΈπŸ˜ŠπŸ’›

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Aww, thank you so much Yvette!! It truly was a wonderful retreat, so much horsey stuff and peaceful too! I couldn’t ask for a better vacation since I’ve been able to spend some quality time with my daughter too! πŸ€—πŸ’–πŸ’ž

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m so happy to hear, that you got to have this experience. It’s wonderful to learn about this gentleman and his gentling methods. And then to have quality time with your daughter. Sounds like a special time.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so very much. You said it best, a very special weekend! πŸ’– I’m also so happy to help share about Monty Roberts and his quest to educate others about better ways to train horses. My daughter is so special to me too! I’m a happy Mom and cowgirl!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Wow, what an awesome experience you described. I’ve read about Mark Bolender (one of my horse fantasies is to ride on the mountain trail course at his place in the North West) and listened to the music of Templeton Thompson. Seen Monty Robert videos. But I’ve never met any of them in person. You got to do all three in one fell swoop! And how neat to meet the person you got Murphy from. That must have been a special moment. Sounds like a beautiful weekend all around!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It truly was an experience of a lifetime and since I only live just over 3 hours away and I could stay with my daughter (added bonus!) I just couldn’t pass up this opportunity! I didn’t know about Mark Bolender before this year actually but he is an amazing horsemen too! And the mountain trail course is AMAZING!! Maybe I’ll share more photos of the trail course with another blog post, although I didn’t take photos of every obstacle that was there, but they had the thoroughbreds in hand on the course. Meeting Murphy’s trainer was so special, she is so sweet! Such a wonderful weekend!! ❀️🐴❀️

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Hi Diana,

    This all sounds like it was made for gals like you and their horses. I still would not want to own one, but can’t deny the appeal of becoming such good friends with such animals.

    You know, I’ve long had a question. Just as we see to the medical needs of horses with different technologies, everything done by a professional farrier makes good sense to me but what happens to wild horses hoofs who never meet a farrier? How do they not grow and cripple older horses?

    I’m pleased that your trip turned out so wonderfully.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Gary!
      What a wonderful question that was actually asked during the clinic about the wild mustangs hoofs. Wild mustangs have the toughest feet in the world and out in the wild with all the terrain they travel the hoof naturally is shortened by use because they travel miles as they graze. The only reason domesticated horses (including mustangs) need hoof care is we end up softening their hoof with bedding and softer ground. Then their hoofs soften and grow and need trimming and care. Great question!!

      Thank you also for your kind words as it makes me so happy a non horse owner or non-horsey person can see the appeal of them and enjoy reading about them. You touch my heart, and make me smile!! Thanks for stopping by and I hope you have a wonderful week! 🀠🐴❀️

      Liked by 1 person

      1. And what a wonderful answer to my question Diana. I was stiffing up for something like, “their hoofs do grow out so many of them do become crippled and die younger than they would if they had human care.
        I understand and like your answer much better than where my instincts went.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I am happy you like my answer however the sad thing is wild horses actually die way younger than domesticated horses with human care. They only live if they are lucky to about age 15, that life span can double with human care. At this clinic I found out that the killer of wild horses are parasites that they get from eating off the ground. We deworm our horses to keep parasites controlled, which helps lengthen their life. Isn’t it interesting that the smallest thing can devastate the horses gut, and they will eventually bleed internally and die.

        Natural predators have mostly been removed because horses roam on some of the same land as corporate owned cows and sheep. These corporations have paid to have wolves and mountain lions removed from many areas so that the cows and sheep thrive. These same corporations want the wild horses removed so they don’t have to share open land with them. So the controversy over wild horses is huge and kinda sad. I’m not sure how I feel about the wild horses, and all the controversy surrounding what to do with them. It’s a huge topic with lots of people debating. Haha, just thought I’d share what I heard this weekend over the wild horses in our country!

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  5. What a wonderful experience Diana! Monty Roberts has done so much good for the care and better understanding of horses I can imagine what a treat it must be to meet him and see him at work. The flowers look beautiful and we wish you a blessed rest of your stay πŸ’– xxx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so very much Xenia! It truly was an event of a lifetime being able to watch in person and see Monty’s work with horses! And an added bonus he had a renowned trainer Mark Bolender there as well. I’ve just learned about him this year. My daughter’s girlfriend is so very sweet to get us the beautiful flowers. ❀️🐴🀠❀️

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Lovely flowers and it sounds like a great seminar. It is so good to see people being taught how to manage any animal gently. We are trying our best with Molly but she is getting to the stage where she is definitely ‘trying’ at times. She is so bad at running off with our shoes and other things lately. I call her back and trade her for a treat but Dan says I am just teaching her to steal from us. πŸ˜‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It truly was a great weekend and I have learned so much! Thinking in terms of gentle training which is so wonderful but I think can be trying sometimes and we need to rethink the training. I haven’t done much dog training in years, but I’m thinking I don’t think you are training her to take them as you are reinforcing her returning them to you. I believe like horses, animals do not think like humans, so you have to reinforce the good behavior and not reward the bad. (Maybe if you put her in time out when she steals something she shouldn’t?) Sometimes it is good to break down training into steps, and if you don’t get the answer you want break it down again and then again. At least this is how it works with the horses. I think she will grow out of much of this behavior, but I totally understand you don’t want her chewing up all your shoes! Maybe you have looked, but am thinking there may be some YouTube videos on this subject of training that might help with training Molly! She’s such a silly girl! πŸ’ž

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      1. Thank you, Diana. I have watched some videos that gave some helpful advice. I do put Molly into a two minute timeout in the porch when she insists on playing too rough. She doesn’t realize how sharp her teeth and nails are. I am sure she will quit stealing shoes and cushions, but I will see if I can find anything.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. It was something I’ll never forget! I’m sure they will have it again next year, but am not sure if I’ll attend again. I’m so happy you enjoyed my post, I have some more photos so I may write another post as I didn’t include things I did with my daughter as well. Thank you Anne!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. wow this looks like it was quite the packed weekend … I do think you also know quite enough about horsey stuff that I can totally see you actually hosting retreats of yourself, having people drive up to listen to your nuggets of wisdom combined with years of experience ^_^
    Of wishes and horses!!!
    ~B

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aww, thanks B! That is such a wonderful compliment and if things were different I could totally see myself working at a facility like this one I attended so that I could help teach and impart what I’ve learned over the years! I was truly grateful I decided to attend, it was a little pricey but worth every penny! 🀠🐴❀️

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