My horse won't join up with me

       The Horse Forum > Training Horses > Natural Horsemanship

My horse won't join up with me

This is a discussion on My horse won't join up with me within the Natural Horsemanship forums, part of the Training Horses category

Like Tree10Likes

LinkBack Thread Tools
    01-17-2014, 11:40 AM
My horse won't join up with me

So my horse won't join up with me. But the problem isn't that she doesn't want to be with me. The problem is that no matter what I do to try and send her away (flailing my arms at her, running towards her while yelling, cracking the lunge whip right behind her etc...) she just looks at me and doesn't run away. The worst she will do is start backing up while facing towards me. I can jump up and down and wave my arms in her face and she will just spin towards me and back up. I have literally had her walk backwards around the entire full sized arena. The thing is she looks kind of scared so I don't know why she doesn't take off. All the other horses have never given me a problem. The only way I can get her to run is if I grab her halter and run along side of her. But as soon as I let go she slams on the breaks and spins. If I manage to piss her off enough (typically after 20 minutes of this) she might start turning her butt towards me which makes me uncomfortable. Like, I don't want her to kick me. I WILL NOT hit her to get her to run away from me so don't suggest that. The point of joining up is to form a better bond, not scare the hell out of your horse. And right now I feel like I may be scaring her by trying to join up. How am I supposed to get her to join up with me if I can't get her away from me?

Also in case it matters she does not lunge. I mean I have lunged her once or twice but she doesn't know how to do it and in all honesty I've only done it a few times with other horses.
I will try to get a video up of this sometime if it will help.
Sponsored Links
    01-17-2014, 12:50 PM
Super Moderator
Why do you want to do join up?
The thinking behind it seems to be that a horse that didn't want to be around people gets run around until its either exhausted or bored and then stops and submits to the handler because it would rather be with them than keep on with the running
If your horse would rather be with you than race around the pen then why do you need to do that step?
I am in agreement with Hempflings opinion on using the round pen for that purpose
I think you're probably confusing him
If you want to do liberty work - different thing - training your horse to respond to verbal or body language cues then its easier to begin that on the lunge
loosie, Palomine and Clava like this.
    01-17-2014, 01:09 PM
Green Broke
I've lunged some pig horses before, a Fjord in particular who WOULD run you right over. He refused to leave your bubble no matter how much you would yell, flail, crack the whip, etc. What fixed him? I turned the lunge whip upside down and smacked him a few times in the bum. He left and I've never had a problem since. It didn't hurt him, but it was enough to tell him "this is unacceptable, try again" (if you were wondering this was a chronic problem of his, he knew darn well how to lunge).

Do you have a round pen? Or a small arena? The help of one is very beneficial with learning to lunge. If you tag her shoulder odds are she is going to yield that body part and be lined up waiting for you to send her off and around. Then you need to follow through with driving her away from you. Right now you are rewarding her for just backing away from you by releasing the pressure. You need to keep driving her away until she goes. Personally, I'd do it with some light over hand swings of the lunge whip which will eventually make contact if she didn't go.
    01-17-2014, 01:38 PM
If you know she does this and are unwilling to hit her I wouldn't be trying join up at all. Think about it from her perspective: she knows that if she backs up or faces you or doesn't respond then she can get out of doing it. The yelling, running towards her and acting 'scary' is bluster and she knows it. She's calling your bluff, and that is going to make her a whole lot angrier and more resentful than giving her a pop on the butt with your whip.

You don't have to beat her and it's not going to make her scared of you. I don't think she's scared of you at all right now. A crack with the rope or whip will make her respect you.,

Even if you start on the lunge and teach her to lunge, that will give you a bit more control and you can avoid being kicked.

I usually like join up for young or less handled, less trained horses. It's a quick start to building trust and respect, but like anything it's not good to overuse. I won't drill a horse at it. In this case with an older, more confident, less respectful horse join up may not be the ultimate tool.
Posted via Mobile Device
    01-17-2014, 02:18 PM
Start by doing very simple things, like just 'sending' her somewhere, off to the side or out in front. Can you send her ahead of you toward a bucket or through a gate or anywhere? Your leadline has to be long enough to allow this. But, a rider shoiuld be able to lead the horse AND lead them by sending . Sending means the horse is not longer looking at you, but at the thing you direct them to go see. They are still, however, being "lead" by yuou becuae you are telling them where to go.
loosie likes this.
    01-17-2014, 03:08 PM
Super Moderator
There's a difference between sending a horse away - where its obeying a cue/request to 'walk on' and driving a horse away in a manner that says to the horse that you don't want it around
I have to get 2 horses through a stable door sized exterior barn door and then through a narrow gate to get from my barn area into the field so I can lead them both together to any of the paddocks. It means one has to walk in front of me and one behind me. I just tell the lead horse to walk on and off she goes.
loosie likes this.
    01-17-2014, 03:35 PM
That's why I am curious to know if the OP can even send this horse away from her, on a leadline.

If the horse is ok with being sent away on a leadline, she will be better able to handle it loose.

I also wonder if when leading this horse, does the horse walk right up on top of the handler, and if anything scares it, does it barge right onto the handler? Some horses just want to be really close to the handler, too close. That's a problem, too.
loosie, Palomine and jaydee like this.
    01-17-2014, 05:51 PM
Super Moderator
^^^ I'm thinking on much the same lines
    01-17-2014, 07:03 PM
Originally Posted by sheenanaginz    
The problem is that no matter what I do to try and send her away (flailing my arms at her, running towards her while yelling, cracking the lunge whip right behind her etc...) she just looks at me and doesn't run away.
I've had a couple of experiences with overly desensitised horses & I wonder if she's been a beginner Parelli-ite horse or such, that they overdid & never progressed past the first game. Is she a new horse for you?

I don't personally think much of 'join up' but whether or not you want to do it, I think it's important to think about what you want to achieve from it, and she needs to learn to respond to you first.
I have literally had her walk backwards around the entire full sized arena. The thing is she looks kind of scared ... If I manage to piss her off enough (typically after 20 minutes of this) she might start turning her butt towards me which makes me uncomfortable. Like, I don't want her to kick me. I WILL NOT hit her to get her to run away from me so don't suggest that.
What are you perceiving is the point of doing this?? I just don't get why you'd continue to want to do something to scare her & 'piss her off'? And yet while you're apparently happy to keep doing that, you refuse to consider using effective pressure. Am I missing something?

Also in case it matters she does not lunge.
That's a given, if she doesn't know how to respond to your signals. I'd find someone experienced to help you with her, so you can learn how to be effective. I'd personally suggest you re-evaluate your resolve not to use physical pressure, but if not, then I think the only way is to learn how to use clear positive reinforcement training. I think this is valuable anyway, and learning the *principles behind it*, whether someone is keen on 'treat training' or not, is invaluable to understand how to be an effective trainer. Look up 'clicker training' to learn more.
jaydee likes this.
    01-27-2014, 02:11 AM
The way horses bond with you through join up is them recognizing you as the alpha horse. Horses want to follow strong leaders in the wild because it keeps them alive.

The reason that some people "hit" the horse/tap them with the whip is because when they do, they are imitating horse behavior in the wild. The more dominant horse will bite it kick the more submissive horse on the flank or butt and drive them away and control direction much like we do when we tap the horse with the whip and persuade them to change direction in the round pen, which in training initially sometimes means playing chicken with the horse.

After driving them around the round pen or arena and changing directions you will see their ear point in your direction showing that they are listening and they will start dropping their head showing submission and licking and chewing signifying relaxation. When you notice this you can either hold your hand out like a hand shake position to let the horse sniff you much like the gesture of horses sniffing noses and let the horse approach you or turn away and stand in a relaxed stance and let the horse approach you. If your horse doesn't approach you I encourage them by stepping to one of their sides to face me and the movement to turn sideways can often lead to a step or more in my direction. When the horse comes to you praise and petting are in order. Usually the horse will start following if not stepping to the side or trying to circle around them while getting them to turn facing you will often help.

We don't use round pens to wear the horse down. It's so we can "chase" the horse and have walls to get them to change directions in a more confined space as not to wear ourselves down because it's best not to end the process till we get results. I've done the same method in large pastures and it takes a lot of running but it can still be done. We are always fair to the horse and let them make the decision. They can join up or work harder.

I'd get a trainer if possible to help but remember a whip isn't always a punishment but can be a form of communication as long as it's not over used.
Posted via Mobile Device

Quick Reply
Please help keep the Horse Forum enjoyable by reporting rude posts.

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the The Horse Forum forums, you must first register.

Already have a Horse Forum account?
Members are allowed only one account per person at the Horse Forum, so if you've made an account here in the past you'll need to continue using that account. Please do not create a new account or you may lose access to the Horse Forum. If you need help recovering your existing account, please Contact Us. We'll be glad to help!

New to the Horse Forum?
Please choose a username you will be satisfied with using for the duration of your membership at the Horse Forum. We do not change members' usernames upon request because that would make it difficult for everyone to keep track of who is who on the forum. For that reason, please do not incorporate your horse's name into your username so that you are not stuck with a username related to a horse you may no longer have some day, or use any other username you may no longer identify with or care for in the future.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:


Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.

Old Thread Warning
This thread is more than 90 days old. When a thread is this old, it is often better to start a new thread rather than post to it. However, If you feel you have something of value to add to this particular thread, you can do so by checking the box below before submitting your post.

Thread Tools

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Doing join-up with a bomb-proof horse? mrstorres2566 Horse Training 18 09-19-2013 08:04 PM
What motivated you to join the Horse Forum? Walkamile Horse Talk 54 08-29-2012 08:45 PM
How many posts to join Horse Chat??? tillynrimmer Horse Talk 0 02-14-2012 10:59 AM
Join-up with an older horse songbird Natural Horsemanship 6 07-05-2011 04:56 AM
Join Up with Older Experienced Horse? stephanie9557 Natural Horsemanship 5 03-13-2010 11:37 PM

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 06:35 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.5
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.6.0