Difficulty in Catching My New QH Gelding - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 15 Old 07-04-2010, 08:09 PM
Green Broke
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
Posts: 4,510
• Horses: 2

I would strongly suggest doing join-up once you DO catch him, in a smaller area. Trying to be "nice" to him isn't going to earn his respect - it may work, but only until you ride him and he gets pissy with you again. Start doing join-up with him and demanding his respect.

I hope God tells her to smash her computer with a sledgehammer.

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post #12 of 15 Old 07-04-2010, 08:21 PM
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Australia
Posts: 6,179
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Once you tire out the rest of the herd not interested in playing your game, the horse you're trying to catch will essentially begin circling the herd trying to find a way in. At this point it becomes much easier, because you just stay on the outskirts of the herd keeping the horse out.
Lol! Our herd are lazy as - I used to do this with Vodka sometimes, but all ours would just stand in the middle while we kept him going on a circle around them. No galloping for them!

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post #13 of 15 Old 07-04-2010, 11:19 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Alberta
Posts: 9
• Horses: 1
Hi MacabreMikolaj,
I've never done a Join Up, or even heard of one until this week. Will he automatically run in a circle in a round pen? I guess since I'm getting used to him I want to make sure that when I'm driving him to move, he's going to stay on the peripherals of the round pen! I've heard of horses rearing at the 'driver' while doing this, and it has me a bit wary of trying this alone with a new horse. Also, if it's unsuccessful, will he just become fearful of me? I don't want to make things worse!
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post #14 of 15 Old 07-05-2010, 12:55 AM
Green Broke
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
Posts: 4,510
• Horses: 2
It's fairly easy. You don't need to be overly aggressive about it, and you're welcome to use a lunge whip. If the horse has ever been lunged or round penned in his life (which I highly assume he has if he's trained), he'll know what to do.

You don't want to run him to death because then you end up with an exhausted horse that's fearful of you. You want to stay positioned by his hind quarter and never step forward to get "ahead of him" unless you want him to stop and turn. Looking him in the eye will drive him, looking at his rump will take the pressure off.

You essentially want him to keep up a good trot with plenty of changes of direction to get him listening and focused on you. The signs you're looking for are licking and chewing of the mouth (usually first) and then a lowering of the head - the signs of a submissive horse being asked to return to the herd. At this point, you want to turn about 3/4 of the way with your back to him - still be able to glance out of the corner of your eye, but keep your head down and your posture inviting. Even if he doesn't immediately venture towards you (some horses won't), he should stay focused on you - attention drifting to another horse or trying to graze is unacceptable and he should be driven again.

It doesn't always "work" the first time - mostly if there are a lot of distractions. This method works best when the horse has nobody/nothing else to focus on but you - if he can see the herd, it's going to take longer because he's not going to feel he NEEDS you, he's going to drift his attention to them and trying to get back to them.

If you reach the point where he's chewed and dropped his head, his focus is on you and he's willing to stand (alert on you) while you walk up to him and pat him, that's perfectly acceptable. My Arab mare actually took FOREVER with join-up because she's been taught from a young age on the lunge that walking in to me was a no-no!

At this point give him tons of scratches and fussing, be the "lead mare" and let him know how pleased you are that he's agreed to let you make the decisions. If he's this "freaked out" I would advise several sessions of this before introducing riding - once you feel he's going well, you can space them out and only use them when you feel like maybe he's fixing to forget who's boss.

Here's a good Monty Roberts vid with an obviously unworked horse so you can get a feel for what to do with the "unsure" horse. Pay particular attention to where he places his body - he's always "behind" the horse at an angle, until he wants a change of direction upon which he steps in front of her shoulder to "cut her path off".

Also, note his fantastic round pen - this is almost crucial to having it go as well as Monty Roberts can get in such a short amount of time. The horse has GOT to DEPEND in you entirely for it to go this quickly and easily - most of us have to deal with the issues of outer distractions and working harder to focus our horses.

I hope God tells her to smash her computer with a sledgehammer.

MacabreMikolaj is offline  
post #15 of 15 Old 07-07-2010, 08:04 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Alberta
Posts: 9
• Horses: 1
Thank you very much MM for the detailed explanation! I'm really keen to try this. I watched Monty's Join Up video and read a book about it and have scoured the internet reading about it. It seems very, very helpful when done properly. The only problem is that I've never longed a horse in my life and am a bit nervous about it. I don't want to do it improperly and make matters worse.
Benny and I had a better day today in the pasture. He let me approach him when I had the halter hanging around my neck (which is HUGE for him). But the minute I tried to put the rope around his neck, he started sidestepping away. We played this a few times until he looked at me and pawed the ground once, just one stomp. Is he trying to dominate me? Because it worked :S I wasn't sure what that meant so I just let him be because I was alone out there and nervous about being kicked. Until I can find someone to properly show me how to longe him to achieve Join Up, I don't know how to catch him?!? He's not scared of me anymore so I can't even herd him into the paddock. Will spinning the lead rope make him scared of the lead rope???? Ugh, this is frustrating and discouraging for the newbie :(
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