Loosie: If you haven't read Monty Roberts book I suggest you do so. What you described in your first post could be an excerpt from it. You shouldn't judge a mans techniques or philosophies with what you see inexpert people doing on youtube.
Please don't assume the above, without at least asking me. Altho I don't remember him discussing the similarities of predatory behaviour & join up, or anything of the sort, I have read MR's first book, and a lot of other stuff from him BTW. It was actually reading about him in his own words that caused me to think twice about how much his popularity was actually warranted. I have also seen him personally do his 'Join Up', not just other people, 'inexperts' & otherwise.
As I also tried to emphasise, I'm not against round penning fully by any means, but it depends on how it's done & why, & **generally** I find MR's approach & reasons not the best option, for the reasons I described. I also explained that in some situations I actually do use that style of game tho.
Also it would take 5 strong men working in shifts several hours to run a horse so long that it was exhausted and HAD to submit.
I think you underestimate the effects of such techniques. Depends on the situation, etc, but again, that also depends how it's done too I reckon. And we're not talking putting the human to physical work to achieve anything here either. They do very little, standing in the middle of a circle, with the horse doing all the running.
But the point was, discussing predator's techniques & the *similarities*, not saying that round penning was exactly the *same*. It's the attitude of the whole game, not just the end product. I don't think it's productive to scare a horse or generally put it in a confrontational, no hope situation in the name of training, period. Altho I've seen techniques that use physical exhaustion(& they DON'T necessarily take strong men or shifts or many hrs BTW), I know that as a rule that's not part of the process. Altho in most cases I don't think it's the aim, it seems mental & emotional 'exhustion' - ie 'shutting down' is frequently part of 'round penning' tho.
Rather the horse sees you as the lead mare or just realizes that you are not going to eat it the same thing is accomplished.
I think the assumption that 'Join Up' causes the horse to 'respect' you as the 'lead mare' & 'bond' with you is a faulty assumption. I think this exercise is handy in some situations & can indeed *be part of* helping the horse gain trust in your games - ie realise you're not going to eat it. *If* you already have begun building solid foundations, I believe these sort of games can also help reinforce the horse's attitude towards you. As others have pointed out tho, it's far from a magic bullet and is but one small 'tool' that may be appropriate to pull out of the box in some situations.
I wonder, what is it that you think it accomplishes?
For that matter, I've asked many people over the years & never got much of anything back, but I'll ask again.... what else does MR do, besides join up?
...Besides make carpet armour for gate shy racehorses & keep 'untrainable' 'vicious' horses in a maze of pens, remove their teeth & control them with cattle prods?? - I'm sorry to be so cynical, but those were a couple of the things in his book that influenced my attitude about the man.