Great on the join up, me not so lucky. I too watched Monte Roberts, John Lyons, and Pat Parelli. You must have a hidden talent you didn't know until you met Makana. Good luck to you both and have fun!
No, I wouldn't say I have any hidden talents, just an inherent ability to read people and animals.
Join up is fairly straight forward, and fairly easy to accomplish.
Confidence in yourself is mandatory. If you lack it, you already failed.
Horses are prey animals. Humans are predators.
Look at eye location in the skull- predator's eyes are both forward facing, prey eyes are on the sides of their head.
How does this apply? Psychology of you, as well as your horse.
Essentially, in join up, you're assuming the HMFIC position. HMFIC is head mo fo in charge.
Timidity, being unsure of yourself, psychological weakness, and hesitation, all undermine your position, usually fatally.
When you do join up, OWN THE ROUND PEN.
It's YOURS. Own it physically, mentally, and emotionally.
Your horse has inherent natural flight instinct.
Join up works on that simple premise-getting your horse to submit to your authority, and become part of your "herd".
The exercise is based in using body language to induce specific reactions in your horse.
Eye contact to it's butt drives the horse forward. Eye to eye stops the horse. These eye positions, in conjunction with your posture, are what compel the reactions in your horse.
It's how you steer your horse around the pen.
Your indicators in horse body language are ears, head position, and mouth actions.
If you have your horse's full and undivided attention, it's ear will be on you like radar, it's head will be lowered into a submissive position, and it will be licking its lips.
If you don't have all three components, you don't have anything, and you won't get the join up.
Once you have all 3, turn you body position 90 degrees ahead of your horse, and look away. DO NOT MAKE EYE CONTACT WITH THE HORSE WHATSOEVER!!!!!
Just stand and wait for it.
Listen for the footsteps.
Your horse may stay a couple feet away.
If it does, do not make direct eye contact, bow your head, and pet your horse on the forehead.
You have now joined up.
I can now lead my horse around with my hand under her head, and she does so quite willingly.
It is exceedingly amazing to see a horse go from hesitant and standoffish to pocket pony overnight.
I've now done it with 3 horses, and it's equally breathtaking every time.
On your next day off, first thing after your horse's belly is full, go play in the round pen and work on your groundwork.
Get a little momentum going on, then start the join up, and see how it goes.