Monty Roberts Plays the Numbers Game

John Dolan

Some things just aren’t believable no matter how hard one tries – unless, of course, you happen to be a candidate for “Ripley’s: Believe It Or Not” or the Guinness Book of World Records. Last I heard, Monty Roberts was not being pitched for either.

Monty Roberts likes to share with his audiences stories – and all of these stories contain large amounts of numbers.

There’s one that says Monty had broken 19 vertebra at the hands of his father. Said one family friend: “Not one of us ever heard of him breaking his neck (vertebra), that leaves (thoracic 12) & (lumbar 5). Total not including the neck or tailbone, which are fused, 17. We don’t think he broke the same ones twice, or 2 twice, since it would have been hard to (according to his book) lift weights while body building, play football, steer wrestle, bull ride, bulldog, ride broncs, jump horses, ride race horses (200 races), & chase Shy Boy horseback for 36 hours, part of which was a constant 10 or 15 mile gallop over rough terrain.”

I asked an orthopedic surgeon what he thought of Monty Roberts bone-crunching numbers and activities – “If this man did all those activities with as many broken bones as he claims then he’d have to be some kind of Superman. However, my guess is that he’d probably be bedridden for the rest of his life – and I do mean bedridden!”

Monty Roberts uses numbers in a very imaginative way, by multiplying them at least 10 times over. Then there are the alleged 47 foster children the government agencies know nothing about, the 10,000 horses he says he’s trained, and the 5,000 horses he allegedly started for the “Queen of England”.

There are also incorrect years and dates for the Salinas rodeo. He refers to his “equus” as being the best thing to happen to the horse industry and horses in the last 8,000 years. More big numbers.

Why does Monty Roberts insist on playing these number games? He either thinks people are too stupid to question anything he writes or else he’s massively delusional. People who know him think he’s both….and lots more.