I first joined this forum looking for some advice for working with my very dominant gelding, Tonto. Prior to Tonto, I had absolutley no previous experience with Horses, which really impacted my relationship with him. It's been a little less than a year since than and things have been progressing well. In April I rescued a mare named Star who I am now learning to ride on.
While things have been progressing well with Tonto, I would really like to do a join-up with him. I don't have an actual round-pen at the moment, but I do have a temporary one that would work for the time being. My question is how do I do a proper join-up? Are there any good join-up videos I could learn from?
This is how I do a join-up:
Bring the horse into the "round pen". Turn him loose and point in the direction you want him to go. With the other hand it's helpful to have a rope or whip with a flag or plastic bag tied to it. I point that at their hindquarters and "flick it" if they start to slow down or if I want them to go faster. I concentrate on staying "behind" their hindquarters. To get them to change direction, I run ahead of them toward the round pen (be sure you're well enough ahead of them) and wave the "flag" at them and point in the other direction until they turn, as soon as they do, I go back to pointing/pointing flag at hindquarters. Make them turn a few times. You'll know they're ready to join up when they start licking/chewing, their ear is turned towards you, and they lower their head. I usually wait until they do all of this then I completely drop everything and stand very still. The horse should slow down, come to a stop, and come into the middle with you. If they don't, send them back out. If they do, walk around and make sure they follow. If they don't follow, send them back out. It may take a few tries. Good luck!