08-12-2009, 09:00 PM
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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.