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Sarah Kreutzer

The Women Who Listen To Horses

Dealing with nervous, remedial or thoroughly misunderstood horses is all part of a normal day for Sarah Kreutzer, Debbie Reilly and Maya Horsey - three Monty Roberts Certified instructors who have brought the legendary horseman's non-abusive methods of communication home from California to the UK.

Sharing Monty's vision to make the world a better place for horses is a passion that drives each one of them and they work tirelessly to create an environment in which people can not only listen to their horses, but also treat them with respect.

Instead of a traditional relationship based on domination and submission, a two-way channel of communication is established, with both horse and rider speaking the same language - Equus.

Because Monty Roberts and his proteges, of whom there are only 16 in the world, are often called 'horsewhisperers' many people wrongly assume that they spend their time talking quietly into animal's ears.

Maya & Debbie

"This name comes from something Monty once said," explains Debbie. " 'A good trainer can hear a horse speak, a great trainer can hear a horse whisper'."

"A trained eye can 'hear a horse through tiny, subtle movements such as the twitch of an ear, the flaring of a nostril or tightly drawn-up facial muscles," she continues.

" By the time a horse is rearing, biting or bucking, it is literally screaming out for help,"

Sarah, Debbie and Maya's belief that non-abusive methods can benefit every horse has been backed up time and again by an extensive catalogue of success stories. Their credits include helping a race horse to develop from also-ran to winner, restoring the confidence of horses that would spook in traffic, tackling remedial problems, ironing out long established traits, training point-to-pointers and hunters and starting numerous young horses.

"It's amazing," says Sarah "How many people think their horse is being just plain awkward. In the wild, horses have to get along in herds, so to be awkward is really not in their nature.

"Getting to the bottom of a problem involves us checking out a horse's environment and looking at root causes. A horse that is bucking may be telling us that its saddle is uncomfortable or that there is a problem with its teeth."

One of the most remarkable things about the Monty Roberts' method is the close bond that develops between human and horse. Instead of dashing off after a tiring session in the round pen, a training coral, often used by Monty, the horse would rather spend time with its task-master.

"Most horses who have been worked in the traditional manner cannot wait to get back to the field or stable," says Maya."The horses we deal with will often walk over and nuzzle us."

Sarah, Debbie and Maya each trained and worked with Monty Roberts at his ranch in California where they were also instrumental in developing and writing the certified courses offered by his organisation.On their return to the UK they have each established their own business while maintaining close links with Flag Is Up!

Their geographical bases - Sarah Kreutzer in North Yorkshire and Debbie Reilly and Maya Horsey in Hampshire and Dorset ensure that Monty Roberts is accessible to everyone.

Please follow the links below to learn more about each instructor:
Sarah Kreutzer
Debbie Reilly
Maya Horsey


Visit the Monty Roberts Learning Centre on Stand No. 53 at the British Equine Event, 2nd & 3rd November 2002


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Updated: October 2005.