11-03-2009, 11:37 PM
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Me and Shay-la both use it as a tool. She's much better at it then I am, haha, my Arab mare just doesn't get the point of join-up, she spends half the time just trying to snuggle in close to me anyway. All I have to do is stand still for half a second and she'll immediately trot into me and bump me with her nose.
However, for youngsters and such, Shay-la likes using it as a tool anytime one of them is getting a bit snotty. It helps reinforce your position as the leader. Think of how a natural horse herd acts - the lead mare isn't going to drive away a young naughty colt once and be done with it. She's going to have to do it every time his little pea brain forgets his lesson the first time and goes right back to naughty behavior.
So I think join-up is a useful tool anytime you feel your horse is forgetting a bit who the leader is and acting out, trying to get bigger then his britches.