I used the join up technique on both of my horses, but like everyone else has stated its about timing and other training plus the join up. The join up wont fix everything.
My mare is the more interesting of the two. I had been messing with her and such for a few weeks. She was extremely fond of me but was super pushy. I had layed out a number of ground rules and she would sometimes listen sometimes not. One day after having some issues I decided trying to ride was a waste so I decided to lunge instead. We lunged for a while, a long while, but the weather was cool. I decided why not see if she would join-up.
I was pleasently surprised when 1 1/2 hours into our lesson she gave me the signs and such. I have had many less issues since then. It is deffinently not a fix it all! But It did make the connection in her head that I was in charge. I could make her move when I wanted and as long as I wanted. I didnt try to scare her. I just made her move.
She is a better horse since then but the only reason it worked was because I had developed a relationship with her and some basic training before hand.
My gelding, who is actually better tempered took, longer and more patience to preform a join up with. We had 2 months of prior training and bonding. One day he was being particularly snotty on the ground. I was sick of it and decided I was going to show him who was boss. Got him lunging and made him move. Didnt let him stop.
Three hours in texas triple digit summer heat later he gave me the signs and walked to me. He was never once scared. We did it at a fast trot. I didnt have the drive to make him lope in the heat, that would have worn me down lol. So three water bottles and a thing of gatoraid down, plus lots of sweat and he did it.
Watching him I could see he was trying to find out who would last longer, who was tougher, who deserved to be in charge. He was testing me as much as I was testing him. Finally he decided I won the test.
He has also been a better horse since, but once again there was prior training and bonding to this.
So is join up good? Yes but only if it is done right without the intent to frighten the horse and it works best if prior bonding and training has taken place. I use it define my position after the horse has accepted me as a herd member. Once they see me as part of the herd I have to make it know that Im not just part im in charge. Prior bonding and training is key to the join up!
Horses Will Listen...Even When No One Else Could Possibly Understand...