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This is a discussion on Join-up within the Natural Horsemanship forums, part of the Training Horses category
  • Joining up with a horse in a pasture
  • What is best size round pen for join up

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    07-21-2009, 07:17 PM
I do free lunging with my horse in a 30x60m (approx) ring, I use a lunge whip because I find it is a better more versitile tool. I just lunge him and usually he will circle me on his own without a barrier and sometimes he goes to the other end and gallops back. Even in a bigger ring, he still joins up and does a full follow up.

The only reason to use a round pen is it keeps the horse focused on the human, and they realize quicker that the human is the leader. I can't even do join up in the round pen anymore because the second we go in he sticks to me like glue and if I do manage to send him away, he signals me before he even gets to the rail.
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    07-21-2009, 07:17 PM
Oh ok this sounds really good. Do you think it's to late to do it with my lil boy, buddy? I've had him since April. What do you think?
    07-21-2009, 07:17 PM
I think its a sort of time out for a horse. And since we don't live with our horses and eat with them and lead them around like ... well horses do, this is a good way to do a time out on our time.

Or that's how I see it, not having done it before.
    07-21-2009, 07:18 PM
Originally Posted by masatisan    
...the second we go in he sticks to me like glue and if I do manage to send him away, he signals me before he even gets to the rail.
I love this!
    07-21-2009, 07:22 PM
True, masatsian. I find roundpens work better the first few times but like I mentioned, you can do it with any size arena or none at all.
    08-01-2009, 04:19 PM
Than ks so uch eceryone! I may try it with her today but I am afraid it would ruin the realationship we have already if I do it wrong :(
    08-01-2009, 08:50 PM
^^Honestly, if it doesn't work, a little free lunging isn't going to hurt her.

I have a question to add, if you don't mind. How long does it usually take your horses to join-up with you? I understand it varies from horse to horse, but the average horse you're joining-up with for the first time? And should they be going around at a canter/gallop initially? I've half-heartedly tried joining-up with school horses before, but I've never fully achieved it, although most do follow me around afterward.
    08-10-2009, 12:29 PM
I use join up to catch my horse most of the time because she doesnt really like coming in so instead of just letting her run then stop and all I keep her on the move and eventually she stops and comes into me
    08-12-2009, 07:41 PM
My horse will join up almost instantly or within a few minutes if he is feeling testy. I believe the average (Monty has a chart on his website) is to get a horse saddled for the first time in 30 min.
    08-12-2009, 08:00 PM
SD, you got it for the most part but you missed a step with the signals. After the ear locks, you will get the other 3 signals in any order. They are 1.Licking and chewing 2. Drop the head (doesn't have to bob, sometimes, it just comes down a little and 3. They will come off the fence , or make an attempt to get closer to you. After they've given you all of this, keep them going until YOU decide you want them to come in. At that point, you make a small arc, with the hand nearest them across your body. Once they come to you, pet them well, then immediately do a follow up. -> with the horse's head at your shoulder, cut across in front of him, and make a small circle, then change directions so he follows you, like a tiny figure 8. The longest Join Up I ever did was right around 30 min. Most take far less than that. When we get started, I don't just canter them. The point is to send them away - REALLY send them away. It's about distance, not number of laps. They have to run a certain distance (in my 60' pen its about 3 laps each way) before you turn them *another 3 laps) only then, do you even consider looking for the cues. If you've been at it for a while, and there is no give on their part - send them away again - H.A.R.D. For another few laps, turn them a lot (the turns will wear them out more than the running). There is a detailed explanation in 'From my Hands to Yours', but if you have the opportunity, take a clinic. A certified instructor can tell you what you're doing right or wrong and help you get your desired result.
I've taken the course - good amount of money for a correction, but it does give them a little Gibbs smack (for those that watch NCIS).
Round pen is best, but it's easy enough in a pasture. I've even done it with other horses in the pasture lol.

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